Max Q: Launches from SpaceX, Boeing and the ESA

Max Q is a new weekly newsletter all about space. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Sundays in your inbox. Typically, the holiday season is a slow one in the tech industry — but space tech is different, and this past week saw a flurry of activity, including one of the most important […]

NASA’s space pallet concept could land rovers on the moon cheaply and simply

Establishing an enduring presence on the Moon will mean making a lot of landings — and NASA researchers want to make those landings as reliable and cheap as possible. This robotic “pallet lander” concept would be a dead simple (as lunar landers go) way to put up to 300 kilograms of rover and payload onto […]

NASA’s VIPER lunar rover will hunt water on the Moon in 2022

NASA is looking for liquid gold on the Moon — not oil, but plain-old water. If we’re going to have a permanent presence there, we’ll need it, so learning as much as we can about it is crucial. That’s why the agency is sending a rover called VIPER to the Moon’s south pole — its […]

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine explains how startups can help with Artemis Moon missions

At this week’s International Astronautical Congress, where the space industry, international space agencies and researchers from around the world convene to discuss the state of space technology and business, I asked NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine about what role he sees for startups in contributing to his agency’s ambitious Artemis program. Artemis, named after Apollo’s twin […]

NASA’s new Moon-bound spacesuit is safer, smarter and much more comfortable

The next Americans to set foot on the Moon will do so in a brand new spacesuit that’s based on, but hugely improved from, the original Apollo suits that last went up there in the ’70s. With easier entry, better mobility and improved communications, these won’t be nearly as clumsy or restrictive — though you […]

NASA’s first all-electric experimental X-plane is ready for testing

NASA will fly in the near future a crewed X-plane, one of the experimental aircraft it created to test various technologies, for the first time in two decades. This X-plane, the X-57 Maxwell to be exact, is significant for another reason, too: It’s the first fully electric experimental plane that NASA will fly. The delivery […]

Japan’s ispace now aims for a lunar landing in 2021, and a Moon rover deployment in 2023

One of the private companies aiming to deliver a commercial lunar lander to the Moon has adjusted the timing for its planned mission, which isn’t all that surprising given the enormity of the task. Japanese startup ispace is now targeting 2021 for their first lunar landing, and 2023 for a second lunar mission that will […]

NASA calls for more companies to join its commercial lunar lander program

NASA has opened up a call for companies to join the ranks of its nine existing Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) providers, a group it chose in November after a similar solicitation for proposals. With the CLPS program, NASA is buying space aboard future commercial lunar landers to deliver to the surface of the Moon […]

NASA taps SpaceX, Blue Origin and 11 more companies for Moon and Mars space tech

NASA has selected 13 companies to partner with on 19 new specific technology projects it’s undertaking to help reach the Moon and Mars. These include SpaceX, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin, among others, with projects ranging from improving spacecraft operation in high temperatures to landing rockets vertically on the Moon. Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin will […]

Original Apollo 11 landing videotapes sell for $1.8M

VCRs didn’t really exist when the first men walked on the moon, but NASA was ahead of the curve and recorded the event for posterity on videotapes — which just sold at auction for $1.8 million. The Hasselblads may have captured more detail, but there’s nothing else in the world quite like these tapes. On […]