Nanoracks Performs First Test of ISS Waste Disposal Technology

A bag of ISS waste is jettisoned from the Bishops Airlock on July 2, 2022. gif: Nanoracks/Gizmodo Private space company Nanoracks has announced the successful first test of a new technology to get rid of trash from the International Space Station. Tea International Space Station may seem glamorous, but astronauts aboard the orbital outpost still … Read more

Rover Gathers Rocks on Active Volcano to Simulate Moon Mission

The four-wheeled, two-armed Interact rover spent four days collecting rocks on Mount Etna. Photo: ESA While working out of a hotel room in Italy, astronaut Thomas Reiter commanded a four-wheeled robot to pick up rocks from the surface of an active volcano on the Sicilian east coast, and he did so while role-playing as though … Read more

NASA’s CAPSTONE Now Heading to the Moon

Conceptual image of CAPSTONE in orbit around the Moon.Image: NASA An important milestone has been reached in the newly launched CAPSTONE mission, as the tiny probe, moving in excess of 24,000 miles per hour, has escaped low Earth orbit and begun its four-month trek to the Moon. CAPSTONE, short for Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology … Read more

Astronauts Can Suffer a Decade of Bone Loss During Months in Space, New Research Suggestions

The new research found that human bones, like the wrist bone pictured here, suffers from accelerated loss of density as the result of long-duration missions in space. Image: L. Gabel et al., 2022 Long-term exposure to microgravity results in the loss of bone density, and new research reveals the disturbing extent to which this happens … Read more

LightSail 2 Mission Poised to Burn Up in Earth’s Atmosphere

LightSail 2 spacecraft captured this image on June 11, 2022, which shows Madagascar and a portion of Mozambique.Image: The Planetary Society For the past three years, a tiny loaf-of-bread-sized spacecraft with gigantic wings has been sailing on sunbeams in low Earth orbit. LightSail 2 has far exceeded its life expectancy and proven that solar sails … Read more

SpaceX Mounts Starship Booster on Texas Launch Tower

SpaceX’s massive Super Heavy booster stage is now standing (very) tall on the company’s launch pad in south Texas, as it awaits a series of tests and final checks. The company is eager to launch the fully stacked Starship rocket for a flight test as early as July, but a number of regulatory hurdles still … Read more

NanoAvionics Small Satellite Uses GoPro for Selfie in Space

A view of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from low Earth orbit (shown at 8x normal speed). gif: NanoAvionics/Gizmodo Proprietary space-grade cameras are expensive, limited, and a pain to develop. Smallsat manufacturer NanoAvionics recently sidestepped any development issues and opted for something off the shelf instead. The company used a GoPro Hero 7 mounted to a … Read more

NASA to Launch CAPSTONE Mission on Monday June 27

A tiny satellite is poised to set the stage for something far grander: a full-blown lunar space station. NASA’s CAPSTONE satellite is scheduled to launch on Monday and then travel to a unique lunar orbit in a pathfinder mission for the Artemis programwhich is seeking to return humans to the Moon later this decade. CAPSTONE … Read more

SpaceX Just Pulled Off Three Launches in 36 Hours

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched Germany’s SARah 1 military imaging satellite into orbit on June 18.Photo: SpaceX It was a busy weekend for SpaceX, with the private space company launching three of its Falcon 9 rockets into orbit over a period of three days. SpaceX’s final launch may even have been carrying a classified government … Read more

Test to Maneuver ISS with Cygnus Spacecraft Didn’t Go as Planned

The Cygnus space freighter approaching the ISS on February 21, 2022. Photo: NASA NASA is currently evaluating the ability of docked Cygnus spacecraft to serve as boosters for the International Space Station, but a recent test of the concept was quickly stopped, for reasons that aren’t yet clear. The engine firing of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus … Read more