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A first customer for the Space Superhighway

NASA has recently announced that it will partner with industry to resupply the Lunar Orbiting Platform-Gateway: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-to-partner-with-american-industry-to-supply-artemis-moon-missions Last month in Aviation Week Online, we talked about the...

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Lunar dust — a big deal

The six Apollo missions experienced a wide variety of effects from lunar dust (regolith). The image is a NASA photo of Dr. Harrison Schmitt in his dust-begrimed suit. There is a superb 2007 compilation of dust effect information from the six Apollo missions:...

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Let’s get agile in space

If you’re not in the IT world, you may not be familiar with the concept of “agile development.” Basically it started as a software development method—small bites, quick turns, frequent “scrum” meetings to elicit good ideas, test as you go. That’s an inadequate...

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Unlocking Economic Value in Earth Orbit

The following op-ed was published online in Aviation Week and Space Technology today and is reprinted here with permission. Opinion: Unlocking Economic Value In Earth Orbit Gordon Roesler and Mark Mykityshyn  The transition from government-led to private-sector-led...

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Back to the Moon in Five

After yesterday’s direction by Vice President Pence to NASA to get Americans back onto the surface of the Moon by 2024, one can find the following reactions: “There’s not enough budget” “I’ve heard this kind of pronouncement too often in the past” “There’s no way they...

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How to mine the Moon for fun and profit

There is water on the Moon. After years of encouraging scientific data, this summer the finding was conclusive. Analysis of data from the Indian satellite Chandrayaan-1 proved it. What good is water on the Moon? As someone once said, "In the desert, gold is useless,...

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How to do space servicing safely

An illustration of Space System Loral's concept for a satellite servicing system it is developing with DARPA. Credit: SSL Inspecting, repairing, and upgrading satellites in space will make them cheaper, last longer, and able to perform more missions. But...

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News

Crater analysis suggests more water on the Moon

Some of the craters at the Moon's poles are shallower than typical impact craters. It has just been suggested that the "fill" material could be largely water ice, as is true at Mercury: https://phys.org/news/2019-07-moon-thought.html Of course, the only way to really...

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Moving around on the Moon

This week, specifically June 6-9, is the International Space Development Conference in Arlington, Virginia. Traditionally, this is the conference where new thinking and radical ideas receive a hearing from a broad, like-minded audience. My talk is at 11 AM on...

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Japan looks at robots for the Moon

Japan was an early leader in space robotics. Their ETS-VII mission in 1997 demonstrated the ability of robots on orbit to perform several useful tasks (see the Library for more information on ETS-VII). Now Japan is studying how to use autonomous robots to prepare a...

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A huge week in space–April 8-12, 2019

Last week did not bring us a single earth-shattering event. But there were so many technical accomplishments that manifested: Stratolaunch's air launch vehicle, the world's largest airplane, made its maiden flight Israel's Beresheet probe entered lunar orbit--the...

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Work on DARPA’s robotic payload continues

DARPA's program for Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites received a severe blow on January 30, when its partner SSL, the satellite manufacturing arm of Maxar Technologies, pulled out of the partnership, citing fiscal woes. Fortunately, DARPA continues work...

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A lunar industrial vision

Both the US and China are putting plans for going to the Moon in high gear. Eventually, this is so that the Moon becomes a source of economic activity. Lunar resources, like water and metals, can support sustainable human presence on the Moon.  They can also lower the...

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