Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos offered to waive $2 billion in payments to secure his spaceflight company Blue Origin a NASA contract.
Bezos asked NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in an open letter Monday to award Blue Origin a contract to construct a Human Landing System (HLS), a lunar-landing vehicle, as part of the Artemis program, offering to waive up to $2 billion in fees. Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX had been awarded the $2.9 billion contract in April, beating out Blue Origin’s bid, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Artemis program is intended to return human astronauts to the Moon, with a manned mission to Mars planned as well. Though the program was initially planned as a joint contract, it was awarded solely to SpaceX due to budgetary constraints which Bezos’ offer sought to alleviate, according to the letter.
“Blue Origin will bridge the HLS budgetary funding shortfall by waiving all payments in the current and next two government fiscal years up to $2 billion to get the program back on track right now,” Bezos wrote in the letter. Read More
Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk always wanted to fly. She had her first flying lesson when she was nine years old and grew up making wooden planes, building treehouses, riding horses, biking, hunting, and fishing. As a young girl growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, Wally recalls, “I did everything that people didn’t expect a girl to do.”
Wally’s curiosity and love of flying, however, would ultimately shape the rest of her life. She obtained her flying license at Stephens College when she was in her teens, then joined the “Flying Aggies” aviation team at Oklahoma State University, where she earned a degree in education. Wally then got her first job at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where she was the only female flight instructor.
At the height of the Space Race, in 1961, when she was just 22 years old, Wally became infatuated with the idea of taking her passion for flying to the next level, as an astronaut in space. Read More
A senior NASA employee has plead guilty to bank fraud after applying for over $350,000 in COVID-19-related relief. On Monday, NASA Senior Executive Service employee Andrew Tezna pleaded guilty to submitting fraudulent applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Economic Injury Disaster loans, and COVID-19 unemployment benefits for his retired mother-in-law. Read More
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration made history Monday morning when it conducted the first ever powered and controlled flight on a different planet.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Ingenuity, a solar-powered helicopter, took flight on Mars for more than 39 seconds, reaching a maximum altitude of 10 feet, the agency announced. Hours after the flight, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California confirmed the success after it received data sent from the helicopter.
“Ingenuity is the latest in a long and storied tradition of NASA projects achieving a space exploration goal once thought impossible,” acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said in a statement Monday. Read More
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration released the first photos taken by its Perseverance rover on Mars after it became just the fifth rover to ever successfully complete the landing.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) photos released Saturday showed Mars’s vast landscape and rocky terrain. On Thursday, Perseverance successfully completed its landing on the Red Planet after a nearly seven-month flight from Earth. Read More
In a wide-ranging interview on “Just the News AM,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine touted his agency’s innovations in 3D-organ printing, immunization, and fiber optics made possible through microgravity in space.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Thursday applauded the United States’ recent ending of nine years of reliance on Russia to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station, while also warning of the growing threat of Chinese and Russian anti-satellite technologies. Read More
NASA launched a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket from its Wallops Island facility on Friday evening; the launch was visible across much of eastern and central Virginia. The rocket will send a Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station with a $23 million experimental toilet, other hardware, and food resupplies including garlic, apples, brie cheese and dark chocolate covered cranberries. Read More
Texas A&M professor and NASA researcher Zhengdong Cheng was arrested Sunday for alleged conspiracy, false statements, and wire fraud.
According to a United States Department of Justice press release, Cheng allegedly “willfully took steps to obscure his affiliations and collaboration with a Chinese University and at least one Chinese-owned company.” Read More
Two NASA astronauts returned to Earth on Sunday in a dramatic, retro-style splashdown, their capsule parachuting into the Gulf of Mexico to close out an unprecedented test flight by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.
It was the first splashdown by U.S. astronauts in 45 years, with the first commercially built and operated spacecraft to carry people to and from orbit. The return clears the way for another SpaceX crew launch as early as next month and possible tourist flights next year. Read More
With eight successful Mars landings, NASA is upping the ante with its newest rover.
The spacecraft Perseverance — set for liftoff this week — is NASA’s biggest and brainiest Martian rover yet.
It sports the latest landing tech, plus the most cameras and microphones ever assembled to capture the sights and sounds of Mars. Its super-sanitized sample return tubes — for rocks that could hold evidence of past Martian life — are the cleanest items ever bound for space. A helicopter is even tagging along for an otherworldly test flight. Read More
A University of Tennessee – Knoxville associate engineering professor has been arrested and indicted on three counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements for allegedly hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving funding from NASA, the Department of Justice said in a statement.… Read More
The hole in the ozone layer shrank to its smallest size since scientists began recording it, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. Read More
by Lee Edwards Let us pause to celebrate the 50th-anniversary today of a mission once thought impossible: the landing of a man on the moon. Let us proclaim, without embarrassment, that America, and only America, had the requisite leadership, scientific community, and resources to make it possible for Apollo… Read More
by Shelby Talcott NASA announced its plan to open the International Space Station (ISS) as early as 2020 to private astronauts who want to see life on the other side of Earth’s atmosphere. Parts of the ISS will be opened for space tourism and commercial filming, according to The… Read More
A female astronaut is due to set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, the U.S. space agency said Wednesday, the same astronaut who was to have been in the first all-female spacewalk scrapped over lack of a right-sized spacesuit. Astronaut Christina Koch, who completed the spacewalk with… Read More
NASA has made it clear they want astronauts back on the Moon in 2024, and now, they are zeroing in on the Red Planet – the US space agency confirmed that it wants humans to reach Mars by 2033. Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, said Tuesday that in order to achieve… Read More
Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday called for landing astronauts on the moon within five years, an accelerated pace that would aim to put Americans on the lunar south pole. Pence said NASA needs to achieve that goal “by any means necessary.” Speaking at a meeting of the National Space… Read More
by Michael Bastach Another major headline-grabbing climate study suggesting oceans have warmed faster than previously thought is full of “factual errors and misleading statements,” according to independent scientist Nic Lewis. Lewis challenged the climate paper’s central arguments that more recent estimates of ocean heat content (OHC) are higher than… Read More
Just 33 minutes into the New Year, NASA’s New Horizons probe made space exploration history, flying by the most distant body ever visited by a spacecraft from earth. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which built and operates the spacecraft, said Tuesday it had “zipped past” the object known… Read More
by Tim Pearce Multiple federal agencies are pushing agenda-driven climate science on their websites, according to The Heartland Institute. The Trump administration has taken a public stance supporting fossil fuels and questioning the scientific “consensus” of climate change research. Parts of federal websites should be overhauled or taken down… Read More
by Alex Christy NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is looking to the future of Mars exploration after NASA successfully landed its InSight Mars Lander on Monday. “This accomplishment represents the ingenuity of America and our international partners and it serves as a testament to the dedication and perseverance of our… Read More
by Chris White NASA is ordering an investigation into SpaceX’s culture and commitment to safety after company CEO Elon Musk took a hit off a marijuana cigarette in September on a livestreamed podcast. The agency’s review will look at both Boeing and SpaceX, both of which are responsible for… Read More
by CHQ Staff Universal Pictures’ chose Oscar-winning French director Damien Chazelle and Canadian actor Ryan Gosling to lead “First Man,” the story of the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s quest to land a man on the moon. The story line focuses on astronaut Neil Armstrong and the years… Read More
Bradford Smith, a NASA astronomer who acted as planetary tour guide to the public with his interpretations of stunning images beamed back from Voyager missions, has died. Smith’s wife, Diane McGregor, said he died Tuesday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of complications from myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune… Read More
Vowing to reclaim U.S. leadership in space, President Donald Trump announced Monday he is directing the Pentagon to create a new “Space Force” as an independent service branch aimed at ensuring American supremacy in space. Trump envisioned a bright future for the U.S. space program, pledging to revive the country’s… Read More
by Jason Snead Before he became the first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn was famous for another pioneering achievement. In 1957, he became the first man to fly across the country faster than the speed of sound, traveling from California to New York in just three hours and 23… Read More
The International Space Station is becoming more and more independent. Now, astronauts can carry out microbial DNA sampling, which opens up exciting avenues for practical research. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins poses for a picture during the first sample initialization run of the Biomolecular Sequencer investigation. Credits: NASA. Space Germs The… Read More
John Young, a legendary US astronaut who went into space six times, orbited the moon and then walked on its craggy surface, has died, NASA announced Saturday. He was 87 and died late Friday of complications from pneumonia, the space agency said. He lived in a Houston suburb just minutes… Read More
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft — cruising interstellar space billions of miles from Earth — was back on the right track Friday thanks to thrusters that were fired up for the first time in 37 years. The unmanned spaceship was launched along with its twin, Voyager 2, more than 40 years… Read More
Artist’s conception of the complex magnetic field environment at Mars. Yellow lines represent magnetic field lines from the Sun carried by the solar wind, blue lines represent Martian surface magnetic fields, white sparks are reconnection activity, and red lines are reconnected magnetic fields that link the surface to space via… Read More
There’s no map showing all the billions of exoplanets hiding in our galaxy — they’re so distant and faint compared to their stars, it’s hard to find them. Now, astronomers hunting for new worlds have established a possible signpost for giant exoplanets.… Read More
It might be lingering bashfully on the icy outer edges of our solar system, hiding in the dark, but subtly pulling strings behind the scenes: stretching out the orbits of distant bodies, perhaps even tilting the entire solar system to one side.… Read More
Making waves in the physics community. A visualization of how merging black holes create ripples in spacetime NASA Three American physicists won the 2017 Nobel Prize for work that enabled the first observation of gravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of spacetime. Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne… Read More
Ready set go. Elon Musk still really wants to put people in a canister, set off a controlled explosion beneath them, and shoot them out of the Earth’s atmosphere towards a barren, airless piece of rock—preferably one 33 million miles away. On Friday at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide,… Read More
It’s pretty much official now: there are gravitational waves. A collaboration between the LIGO Lab and the Virgo interferometer collaboration just reported the first joint detection of gravitational waves, adding much more weight to previous detection events. It’s not the first time gravitational waves had been detected. Physicists had recorded… Read More
Engineers are exploring the ancient art of Origami to create folding spacecraft. An ancient art form has taken on new shape at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Origami, the Japanese tradition of paper-folding, has inspired a number of unique… Read More
If you sometimes find yourself in the midst of everyday annoyances and frustrations from work, it can be helpful to take some time out your day for a humbling dose of ethereal wonder. Which is why we compiled our ten favorite photos from the Cassini spacecraft’s 13-year voyage around Saturn.… Read More
Cassini program manager at JPL, Earl Maize, left, and spacecraft operations team manager for the Cassini mission at Saturn, Julie Webster embrace after the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky › Full image and caption… Read More
Here’s how the planned crash into Saturn will go down. Cassini’s last moments were meticulously planned out. NASA/JPL-Caltech After almost 20 years of exploration, discoveries and gorgeous pictures, it’s time to say goodbye to Cassini. Launched in 1997, it took the Cassini spacecraft seven years to reach it’s ultimate destination—Saturn.… Read More
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is headed toward its Sept. 15 plunge into Saturn, following a final, distant flyby of the planet’s giant moon Titan. The spacecraft made its closest approach to Titan today at 12:04 p.m. PDT (3:04 p.m. EDT), at an altitude of 73,974 miles (119,049 kilometers) above the moon’s… Read More
This artist’s concept from August 2015 depicts NASA’s InSight Mars lander fully deployed for studying the deep interior of Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech › Full image and caption › Full image and caption”/> Preparation of NASA’s next spacecraft to Mars, InSight, has ramped up this summer, on course for launch… Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee — A total solar eclipse is often attributed to various things. Coincidence. Magic. Divine intervention. The rare event is so grand that even scientists are moved to use words beyond the realm of science. Scott Bolton of NASA used all the words above when talking to reporters Monday… Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The total solar eclipse on Monday amazed a sold-out crowd at First Tennessee Park north of downtown. The park is home to the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team. It was one of many venues where people from near and far came to watch the solar eclipse… Read More
No eclipse-related road closures are planned for Monday, according to a Metro Nashville Police Department press release issued this week. Authorities are cautioning people to be aware of moving traffic and not get distracted by viewing the eclipse. “Nashville has a number of places to safely watch and enjoy next… Read More
A West Tennessee company is busily producing special glasses to view the solar eclipse Aug. 21. American Paper Optics, located in Bartlett, a Memphis suburb, will be shipping out orders until Aug. 18, reports WSMV Channel 4. The company, whose products include 3-D glasses for DVD releases, has never seen… Read More
NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover uses extremely advanced software that allows it to independently locate individual rocks for study without human intervention, scientists working on the project told Space.com Wednesday. A software update called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) gave the Curiosity rover a degree of artificial intelligence, and… Read More
Children participating in Vacation Bible School at Brentwood Baptist Church spent this past week learning about outer space and on Friday evening got the chance to meet a real, live astronaut. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams talked about his exciting career and shared his photos from space during an event to… Read More
NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams will speak Friday evening at Brentwood Baptist Church to close a week of Vacation Bible School featuring a galactic theme. The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend his presentation. Williams, a native of Wisconsin, has spent 534 days… Read More
NASA captured a photo of one of Saturn’s moons in a way that looks exactly like something out of science fiction. In its photo of the moon, Mimas looks a lot like the Death Star from the Star Wars movies, thanks in large part to its 88-mile-diameter crater. Saturn’s icy… Read More