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Does the Mars Helicopter need a Designator and Call Sign?

Artist's rendering of Ingenuity and the Perseverance rover
Artist’s rendering of Ingenuity and the Perseverance rover
NASA/Caltech

NASA’s Ingenuity is no longer just the world’s most expensive hobby helicopter. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has given an official flight designator and call-sign codes for the robotic rotorcraft and the Wright Brothers Field in Jezero Crater on the Red Planet.

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Metl Tires are Coming

The Smart Tire Company's Metl tires are the first consumer application of NASA's airless shape memory ally tire technology
The Smart Tire Company’s Metl tires are the first consumer application of NASA’s airless shape memory ally tire technology
Smart Tire Company

An advanced tire technology developed by NASA for use on planetary rovers could be coming to a bike lane near you, with startup the Smart Tire Company leveraging the technology to introduce an airless alloy tire to the world of cycling. With the elasticity of rubber and the strength of titanium, these Metl tires promise a number of practical benefits, and mightn’t be limited to just bicycles for long. read more

Water on the Moon?

Astronomers have detected molecular water on the Moon
Astronomers have detected molecular water on the Moon
NASA/Goddard/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Astronomers have detected water on the Moon. While that statement might sound all too familiar in recent years, previous reports were based on spectral signatures that could have been other related compounds – this time, the detection is unambiguously water, in the molecular form we need.

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A 3-D Printed Moon Base

Project Olympus is a collaboration between BIG, 3D-printing firm Icon, Search+ and NASA's Marshall Space Center
Project Olympus is a collaboration between BIG, 3D-printing firm Icon, Search+ and NASA’s Marshall Space Center
BIG

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has conceived some of the most interesting architecture projects we’ve seen on land, and even water, but its latest design is out of this world – literally. It involves the development of 3D-printed Moon habitats that could be used to support the human exploration of Earth’s satellite.

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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.’

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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