Human Space Exploration

MOON’S SOUTH POLE IN NASA’S LANDING SITES

NASA is working right now to send American astronauts to the surface of the Moon in five years, and the agency has its sights set on a place no humans have ever gone before: the lunar South Pole. Water is a critical resource for long-term exploration, and that’s one of the main reasons NASA will […]

STUDYING BEHAVIOR IN SPACE SHOWS MICE ADAPT TO MICROGRAVITY

NASA is preparing to send astronauts on journeys that will include longer stretches in microgravity – to the Moon and onward to Mars. Understanding how basic biology works in space will help astronauts adapt and thrive during long duration missions. To better understand how space affects astronauts, researchers often study other model organisms, like mice, […]

SENDING AMERICAN ASTRONAUTS TO MOON IN 2024; NASA ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE

The president directed NASA to land American astronauts on the Moon by 2024, and the agency is working to accelerate humanity’s return to the lunar surface by all means necessary. “We’ve been given an ambitious and exciting goal. History has proven when we’re given a task by the president, along with the resources and the […]

NASA’S LANDMARK TWIN STUDY REVEALS RESILIENCE OF HUMAN BODY IN SPACE

Results from NASA’s landmark Twins Study, which took place from 2015-2016, were published this past week in Science. The integrated paper — encompassing work from 10 research teams — reveals some interesting, surprising and reassuring data about how one human body adapted to — and recovered from — the extreme environment of space. The Twins […]

NASA SELECTS TWO NEW SPACE TECH RESEARCH INSTITUTES FOR SMART HABITATS

As exploration missions venture beyond low-Earth orbit and to the Moon — and eventually Mars — NASA must consider automated technologies to keep habitats operational even when they are not occupied by astronauts. To help achieve this, NASA has selected two new Space Technology Research Institutes (STRIs) to advance space habitat designs using resilient and […]

NASA RESEARCHERS CATALOGUE ALL MICROBES AND FUNGI ON THE ISS

A comprehensive catalogue of the bacteria and fungi found on surfaces inside the International Space Station (ISS) is being presented in a study published in the open access journal Microbiome. Knowledge of the composition of the microbial and fungal communities on the ISS can be used to develop safety measures for NASA for long-term space […]

NASA, BOEING EXTEND CREW FLIGHT TEST, UPDATE TARGET LAUNCH DATES

NASA and Boeing have agreed to extend the duration of the company’s first crewed flight test to the International Space Station after completing an in-depth technical assessment of the CST-100 Starliner systems. NASA found the long-duration flight to be technically feasible and in the best interest of the agency’s needs to ensure continued access and […]

BACTERIAL FACTORIES COULD MANUFACTURE HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROTEINS FOR SPACE MISSIONS

Nature has evolved protein-based substances with mechanical properties that rival even the best synthetic materials. For example, pound for pound, spider silk is stronger and tougher than steel. But unlike steel, the natural fiber cannot be mass-produced. Today, scientists report a new method that takes advantage of engineered bacteria to produce spider silk and other […]

ESA AND NASA TO TEAM UP ON LUNAR SCIENCE

ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration, David Parker, and Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, signed a Statement of Intent to coordinate joint science research about the Moon and identify opportunities for lunar mission cooperation. Signed during the National Academies’ Space Science Week in Washington DC, the statement highlights a common […]

DRONE MAPS ICY LAVA TUBE IN ICELAND IN PREPARATION FOR CAVE EXPLORATION ON THE MOON AND MARS

The SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology, Inc. have announced the successful mapping in 3D of the interior of an ice-rich lava tube in Iceland using a LiDAR-equipped drone. The team was investigating the Lofthellir Lava Tube Ice Cave in the remote Myvatn region of Iceland, and used the drone to document the lava tube’s shape […]

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