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An Aviation Milestone Occurred Yesterday

from SOFREP:

CHUCK YEAGER: THE AIR FORCE’S WORLD RECORD-BREAKER TURNS 97

Photos: U.S. Army Air Forces, U.S, Air Force, Chuck Yeager website

Photos: U.S. Army Air Forces, U.S, Air Force, Chuck Yeager website

Chuck Yeager always had the “Right Stuff” regardless if NASA never selected him for the space program. Yeager was a decorated fighter pilot in World War II and became a test pilot and was the first man to exceed the speed of sound in level flight.

Yeager was born to a farming family on February 13, 1923, in Myra West, Virginia. He graduated from the Class of 1941 from Hamlin High School in West Virginia. Then, in September, he enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Yeager was assigned to the Army Air Corps as a private and was a mechanic at George Air Base in Victorville California. He wasn’t eligible for flight training due to his age and his lack of education. However, three months later the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the U.S. lowered the eligibility requirements and helped by his 20/10 vision, he was accepted into the flight program. read more

Mid-Sized Commercial Lunar Lander

Illustration depicting the mid-sized lander on the lunar surface
Illustration depicting the mid-sized lander on the lunar surface
NASA

NASA has unveiled its latest concept for a mid-sized lunar lander designed to deliver payloads of up to 300 kg (660 lb) to the Moon’s polar regions. Part of the space agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, the unmanned “pallet” lander is designed to carry a variety of experiments and instruments, including small autonomous rovers, to the lunar surface. read more

Apollo 50th Anniversary Watch

The Saturn V (left) and I.S.S. (right) models at night, demonstrating the luminous hands and star...
The Saturn V (left) and I.S.S. (right) models at night, demonstrating the luminous hands and star map dial, and the perpetually glowing, tritium gas-filled glass tubes (automatic version only) at the ends of the hour and minute hands(Credit: Xeric)

There’s a galaxy of products commemorating Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary, from coins to cushions, tumblers to tote-bags. But for those who really want to wear their astro-hearts on their sleeve (or wrist), the Trappist-1 NASA edition might just send them over the moon. read more

Dragonfly Mission to Titan

NASA has announced a plan to explore the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

The space agency made the announcement in a media teleconference Thursday afternoon, detailing its vision of a robotic rotorcraft dubbed Dragonfly that will collect samples and measure soil composition in search for signs of habitability.

The enormous, icy moon is said to be the most Earth-like world in the solar system, and previous findings by the Cassini mission suggest it holds some of the ingredients necessary for the emergence of life.

Dragonfly will launch in 2026 as part of NASA’s New Frontiers program, and is expected to arrive at Titan in 2034. read more

$50 Million Will Get You 30 Days Aboard The International Space Station

NASA has announced a plan to allow tourists to fly on the International Space Station starting next year.

Up to two private astronaut missions will be allowed per year, each lasting 30 days at most.

But, a trip to space won’t come cheap – with life support systems and all necessary supplies considered, it will cost an eye-watering $35,000 per night at minimum.

The announcement came as NASA unveiled its new business model on Friday, revealing a plan to incorporate more commercial and marketing opportunities ‘both in low-Earth orbit and around the moon.’

NASA has announced a plan to allow tourists to fly on the International Space Station for the first time starting next year. File photo

‘Today is a very remarkable day,’ NASA’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWitt said in a press conference Friday morning.

‘NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before.’

Read more

Throw a DART at It

There’s an Asteroid on a collision course with. Isn’t there always? So what do we do?

Claire Reilly takes a look at NASA’s mission to gently bump those killer asteroids off course and (hopefully) save humankind, using NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, or DART. read more

NASA Announces Commercial Space Flights

Artist's concept of the Crew Dragon
Artist’s concept of the Crew Dragon(Credit: SpaceX)

NASA has announced the dates for the first flights of the commercial manned space capsules that will be used to ferry astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station (ISS). read more

NASA Gets Voyager 1 Going Again

After almost four decades of dormancy, NASA has successfully ordered the Voyager 1 deep space probe to fire a set of thrusters that have been inactive for 37 years. The November 28 test was carried out by mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, as part of an effort to keep the unmanned explorer functional for up to an additional three years as it speeds into interstellar space. read more

Two Candidates Chosen to go to Titan

Dragonfly is a dual-quadcopter lander that would take advantage of the environment on Titan to fly...
Dragonfly is a dual-quadcopter lander that would take advantage of the environment on Titan to fly to multiple locations(Credit: NASA)

NASA has ramped up its next phase of space exploration by green lighting further development of two unmanned mission concepts. Scheduled to launch sometime in the mid-2020s, the proposed missions include the Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR) spacecraft, which is designed to bring back comet materials to Earth, and the Dragonfly dual quadcopter, which is designed to fly about in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. read more