Category: Space

A dead Russian spacecraft almost collided with a NASA satellite. The crash could have sent 7,500 bits of debris rocketing...

A simulated image of a satellite collision and the resulting debris. ESA / ID&Sense / ONiRiXEL, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO NASA’s TIMED satellite narrowly avoided colliding with Russia’s dead Cosmos 2221 spacecraft this week. In the worst-case scenario, the collision would have ejected 7,500 bits of debris into low-Earth orbit. Satellite collisions are becoming more likely as the amount of space junk in low-Earth orbit…

Intuitive Machines’ first moon lander also broke ground with safer, cheaper rocket-style propulsion

Intuitive Machines’ first lunar lander officially lost power today after spending seven days on the moon. The lander made history for being the first American hardware to reach the lunar surface since 1972 and the first privately built spacecraft to land on the moon. But the lander, called Odysseus, will be remembered for another reason: […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

North Korea’s twice-failed spy satellite is now up and running, aerospace experts say

A rocket carrying a spy satellite Malligyong-1 is launched, as North Korean government claims, in a location given as North Gyeongsang Province, North Korea in a handout imahe released on November 21, 2023 KCNA A North Korean spy satellite was spotted adjusting its orbit in space, experts said. South Korea had previously suggested the Malligyong-1 was inactive. Little is known about it — but “we can definitely…

India lays foundations for a new spaceport dedicated to smaller launches

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received the go-ahead to construct a new spaceport in Tamil Nadu, with which it aims to help private players launch small rockets in space with less fuel consumption. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the second spaceport, located on an island named Kulasekharapatnam […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Intuitive Machines faces early end to moon mission after lander tips over

Intuitive Machines’ first moon mission will come to a premature end due to the spacecraft landing on its side, which altered how the solar panels are positioned in relation to the sun, the company said in an update Tuesday morning. Flight controllers were still working to determine the battery’s remaining life, which could be between […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

45 years ago, NASA’s Voyager spacecraft flew past Jupiter. See how the iconic video compares to photos of the planet...

Jupiter as seen by Voyager 1 (left) is far less detailed than this enhanced imaged of Jupiter captured by Juno. NASA / JPL; NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Rita Najm © (CC BY) NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft flew past Jupiter 45 years ago, capturing iconic footage. The Voyager probe’s movie of Jupiter made history, revealing the planet like never before. See how those images compare to Jupiter pictures from NASA’s…

Odysseus lander tipped over on moon’s surface, now on it’s side

The Odysseus lander, just a day after it made a historic landing on the moon, tipped over and is now on its side, officials revealed. The lander, which made history as the first private spacecraft to land on the moon in over 50 years, ended up on its side near the moon’s south pole. The craft “caught a foot in the surface” and might have…

Quick thinking and a stroke of luck averted a moon lander disaster for Intuitive Machines

Intuitive Machines’ spacecraft touched down yesterday on the lunar surface . . . sideways. CEO Steve Altemus confirmed during a press conference Friday that, while it wasn’t a perfect landing, it’s nothing short of a miracle the spacecraft landed intact at all. Using a small model of the lander, Altemus demonstrated how engineers believe the spacecraft, called Odysseus, made its […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

The first private company just landed on the moon. Here’s how they did it.

A Houston company made history by successfully landing the first commercial US spacecraft on the moon, more than 50 years after the US made its last crewed landing. The aerospace company, Intuitive Machines, worked with NASA to launch the Nova-C lunar lander in their “IM-1.” The collaboration, which included technology from other private companies, marks a possible trend for NASA to partner with commercial entities….

Odysseus makes historic lunar landing: ‘Welcome to the moon’

The Odysseus lunar lander made a historic moon landing Thursday afternoon, becoming the first private spacecraft to do so and marking the first U.S. moon landing in more than 50 years. “I know this was a nail-biter, but we are on the surface, and we are transmitting. Welcome to the moon,” Intuitive Machines CEO Stephen Altemus said after the successful landing. “Odysseus has a new…

Varda Space, Rocket Lab nail first-of-its-kind spacecraft landing in Utah

A spacecraft containing pharmaceutical drugs that were grown on orbit has finally returned to Earth today after more than eight months in space. Varda Space Industries’ in-space manufacturing capsule, called Winnebago-1, landed in the Utah desert at around 4:40 p.m. EST. Inside the capsule are crystals of the drug ritonavir, which is used to treat […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Reports of Russia building nuclear space weapons have alarmed officials, but security experts aren’t panicked — yet

CNN reported Russia is attempting to build a nuclear space weapon with the ability to destroy the world’s satellites. LMPC via Getty Images CNN reported Russia is attempting to build a nuclear space weapon to destroy satellites. Space security experts told Business Insider reports may be true, but it’s not yet time to worry. They said the existence of a secret weapon is more likely…

The hard tech renaissance accelerates as YC spotlights space, manufacturing and defense

Y Combinator is putting hard tech in the spotlight. On Wednesday, the accelerator released an updated list of ideas it would like to see in applications — with categories like space, manufacturing and defense featured prominently. YC has backed plenty of hard tech startups before. Launch companies Stoke Space and Relativity Space and satellite broadband […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

After rockets and spacecraft, Rocket Lab’s next frontier could be applications

Rocket Lab is exploring possible applications for a satellite constellation that they would build, launch and operate in-house, similar to SpaceX’s Starlink business, as a way of generating recurring revenue, an executive said this week. “If you look to where we ultimately want to go, in a lot of ways we want to emulate what […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Intuitive Machines lunar lander en route to the moon after SpaceX launch

Intuitive Machines first mission to the moon is now underway. The company’s Nova-C lander, called Odysseus, lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in the early hours of Thursday morning. The spacecraft will now embark on a eight-day journey to the moon, with a landing attempt scheduled for February 22. Deployment of @Int_Machines IM-1 […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Varda Space Industries finally gets approval to bring its drug manufacturing spacecraft back to Earth

Varda Space Industries has received long-awaited approval from regulators to return its first spacecraft to Earth — and with it, a batch of pharmaceutical crystals manufactured on orbit. Varda’s Winnebago capsule has been stuck in limbo for months. The company launched the spacecraft on a SpaceX Transporter mission eight months ago, with the plan to […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Intuitive Machines to take its shot at reaching the moon with first private lunar lander

Intuitive Machines is looking to succeed where past ventures have failed with its inaugural lunar lander mission, which would mark the first time a private company has landed a spacecraft on the moon — ever. The mission is poised to lift off on a SpaceX rocket at 12:57 a.m. EST tomorrow from the launch company’s […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

NASA announces ‘super-Earth,’ exoplanet in ‘habitable zone’

A nearby “super-Earth” exoplanet was recently discovered just 137 light-years away from Earth, prompting scientists to dig deeper into if it has the conditions to sustain life, NASA announced. The planet, dubbed TOI-715 b, is about one and a half times as wide as Earth and orbits within a conservative “habitable zone” around its parent star, NASA confirmed in a press release last week. NASA…

Lynk forges ahead with public market debut despite SPAC’s dwindling reserves

Satellite-to-phone connectivity provider Lynk Global will head to the public markets via a merger with a shell company led by former professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez. The two companies confirmed the deal on Monday after announcing a non-binding LOI with Rodriguez’s special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Slam Corp, in December. According to an investor presentation […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Happy Valentine’s Day, space fans: Intuitive Machines, SpaceX target moon mission lift off on Feb 14

Intuitive Machines is ready to go to the moon. The company announced Monday that its first lunar lander has completed all final integration milestones and is now encapsulated in SpaceX’s Falcon 9 payload fairing, where it will stay until launch on February 14. The mission launch window opens at 12:57 AM EST; should weather or […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Secretive moon startup led by ex-Blue Origin leaders raises new tranche of funding

A stealth startup led by ex-Blue Origin leaders, focused on harvesting resources from the moon, has quietly closed a sizable new tranche of funding, according to regulatory documents. Interlune, a startup that’s been around for at least three years but has made almost zero public announcements about its tech, has raised $15.5 million in new […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

SpaceX will reap the benefits of new Dragon research opportunity

SpaceX will become the co-owner of valuable data, biological samples, and possibly even patents and intellectual property related to human spaceflight, according to the terms and conditions of a new program inviting research on crewed Dragon missions. The company started quietly inviting proposals “for exceptional science and research ideas that will enable life in space and […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

An asteroid the size of a football stadium will blaze past Earth on Friday. Here’s how to watch the ‘City...

Artistic rendering of asteroids in space. dottedhippo/Getty Images A giant “city killer” asteroid will safely shoot past Earth this Friday traveling at 41,000 mph. Its closest approach to Earth will be 1.77 million miles, over seven times farther than the moon. You can’t see it with the naked eye but you can watch the event live on YouTube. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has spotted a giant,…

Cerulean empowers ocean pollution watchdogs with orbital observation

The vastness of the ocean allows polluters to evade detection in all but the most egregious violations. SkyTruth aims to change that with Cerulean, an orbital monitoring platform for coastal waters that spots not just oil slicks but the ships that produce them faster and with more certainty than ever before. The nonprofit organization has […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Saying goodbye to the little helicopter that could

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. Last week, NASA held its annual day of remembrance to commemorate all those who lost their lives in the pursuit of human space exploration – including the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia. The day is a sobering reminder of the perils of spaceflight and the dear […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

Tomorrow.io’s radar satellites use machine learning to punch well above their weight

Those of us lucky enough to be sitting by a window can predict the weather just by looking outside, but for the less privileged, weather forecasting and analysis is getting better and better. Tomorrow.io just released the results from its first two radar satellites, which, thanks to machine learning, turn out to be competitive with […] © 2024 TechCrunch. All rights reserved. For personal use…

NASA’s Mars helicopter broke during a mysterious communication blackout. Now it will never fly again.

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, in a close-up from the Perseverance rover’s cameras. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU NASA says its Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, broke beyond repair during a mysterious communication lapse. Imagery suggests that at least one of the helicopter’s blades was damaged during its final flight. Ingenuity soared past NASA’s wildest dreams by flying 72 times. It was a huge success. NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, the little drone that’s…

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