Blog & News



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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The prospects for a space gold rush

Some estimates of the potential payoff from mining the cosmos -- whether on the moon or Mars or in the mineral-rich asteroid belt -- are out of this world. One such appraisal would equal $100 billion for every single human being alive. But the former NASA astronaut...

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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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DARPA looking for a new partner in space robotics

A couple of weeks ago, we posted that DARPA’s partner for the RSGS program had pulled out, citing financial challenges: DARPA has reacted quickly by reaching out to the US aerospace industry for a...

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How important do people think satellite servicing is?

After one company pulled out of a major program for servicing satellites in space, some people are asking whether the whole idea is premature. But one step backwards isn’t the whole story. Here is an article that collects the opinions of several space industry...

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