Biden picks former senator who flew in space to lead NASA
President Joe Biden has chosen Nelson, a former senator from Florida who flew on the space shuttle to lead NASA. Scott Applewhite, File)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – President Joe Biden has chosen a former senator from Florida who flew on the space shuttle right before the Challenger accident to lead NASA. Biden on Friday announced his intent to nominate Bill Nelson as the space agency's administrator. “There has been no greater champion, not just for Florida’s space industry, but for the space program as a whole than Bill,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said in a statement. Plenty of qualified candidates,” retired space shuttle director and program manager Wayne Hale tweeted earlier this month.
Report: Biden selects Bill Nelson as next NASA chief
The sky isn’t the limit for former Florida Senator Bill Nelson, who’s been selected by President Joe Biden as the next chief of NASA, according to a new report from The Verge. Citing three sources with knowledge of the decision, The Verge reported the former senator has been chosen to replace NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a Trump appointee. The selection of Nelson for the post was made known to Senate and NASA staffers this week, the sources told the outlet, and an official announcement is expected to be made soon. Nelson, a former three-term senator, became the second member of Congress to journey into space when he served as a payload specialist for the Columbia space shuttle mission in 1986. In November 2018, Nelson lost his reelection bid for a fourth term in a tight race against former Florida Gov.
Halted rocket test could stall NASA moon shot, redo possible
In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 photo made available by NASA, the core stage for the first flight of NASA's Space Launch System rocket undergoes a hot fire test at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, NASA blamed the automatic shutdown on the strict test limits. All four engines fired for barely a minute, rather than the intended eight minutes, on the test stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. NASA said it can adjust the test limits if a second test is deemed necessary, to prevent another premature shutdown. The Artemis program is working to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024, a deadline set by the Trump administration.
First woman, next man on moon will come from these NASA 18
The first woman and next man on the moon will come from this elite group. The announcement was made at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, beneath one of only three remaining Saturn V moon rockets from the 1960s and 1970s Apollo program. Half of the NASA astronauts have spaceflight experience. Two are at the International Space Station right now: Kate Rubins and Victor Glover. The other experienced members on the list include Kjell Lindgren, Anne McClain and Scott Tingle, both former space station residents.
Chuck Yeager, 1st to break sound barrier, dies at 97
Gen. Charles Yeager talks to members of the media following a re-enactment flight commemorating his breaking of the sound barrier 65 years earlier, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, died Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, at age 97. Yeager died Monday, his wife, Victoria Yeager, said on his Twitter account. Among the flights he made after breaking the sound barrier was one on Dec. 12. President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Collier air trophy in December 1948 for his breaking the sound barrier. ___This version corrects that Yeager flew an F-15, not an X-15, when he was 79.
Astronauts board SpaceX rocket for night launch, no Musk
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday on the first full-fledged taxi flight for NASA by a private company. With COVID-19 still surging, NASA continued the safety precautions put in place for SpaceX’s crew launch in May. Even the two astronauts on the first SpaceX crew flight stayed behind at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The four astronauts will be joining two Russians and one American who flew to the space station last month from Kazakhstan. The first-stage booster — aiming for an ocean platform several minutes after liftoff — is expected to be recycled by SpaceX for the next crew launch.
SpaceX crew flight delayed; Musk gets mixed COVID-19 results
Friday’s postponement news came after SpaceX chief Elon Musk disclosed he had gotten mixed test results for COVID-19 and was awaiting the outcome of a more definitive test. “So ‘Elon Musk Tests Negative for Covid’ is an equally correct title,” he tweeted. Four astronauts — three Americans and one Japanese — are scheduled to rocket to the International Space Station on Sunday night. The upcoming crew flight comes just three months after the end of the test flight with Hurley and Bob Behnken, both NASA astronauts. NASA and SpaceX are especially eager to retrieve this first-stage booster; it will be used for the next crew launch.
NASA's new moonshot rules: No fighting or littering, please
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s new moonshot rules: No fighting and littering. The space agency released a set of guidelines Tuesday for its Artemis moon-landing program, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and other agreements. Founding members include the U.S., Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The coalition can say, “Look, you’re in this program with the rest of us, but you’re not playing by the same rules,” Bridenstine said. ___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
NASA moon-landing tech hitches ride to space on Bezos rocket
The sensors and computer — tested during the booster’s descent and touchdown — will hitch another suborbital ride with Blue Origin. Led by Amazon founder Bezos, Washington state-based Blue Origin is leading a team of companies to develop a lunar lander for astronauts. Tuesday’s launch was the first in nearly a year for Blue Origin: The pandemic stalled operations. Blue Origin said its staff is maintaining social distancing and taking other safety measures. Blue Origin said it needs a couple more flights before launching people — tourists, scientists and professional astronauts — on short hops.
'On our way to Mars': NASA rover will look for signs of life
The mission will send a Mars rover to the Red Planet to search for signs of life, explore the planet's geology and much more. NASAs Perseverance rode a mighty Atlas V rocket into a clear morning sky in the worlds third and final Mars launch of the summer. the mission will yield lessons that could pave the way for the arrival of astronauts as early as the 2030s. Because going to Mars is hard, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said just before liftoff. Samples taken straight from Mars, not drawn from meteorites discovered on Earth, have long been considered the Holy Grail of Mars science, according to NASAs now-retired Mars czar, Scott Hubbard.
Tropical storm may delay 1st SpaceX crew's return to Earth
On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, SpaceX and NASA cleared the Dragon crew capsule to depart the International Space Station and head home after a two-month flight. (NASA via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Tropical weather barreling toward Florida could delay this weekends planned return of the first SpaceX crew. On Wednesday, SpaceX and NASA cleared the Dragon crew capsule to depart the International Space Station and head home after a two-month flight. SpaceX is already preparing to launch a second crew to the space station at the end of September. NASA wants six weeks between the splashdown and the launch of the next Dragon crew, for capsule inspections and reviews.
2020's final Mars mission poised for blastoff from Florida
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will launch to Mars arrives at Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The rocket scheduled to launch on Thursday will land on Mars in February 2021 and the Mars 2020 rover, named Perseverance, will study Martian geology. (AP Photo/John Raoux)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The summers third and final mission to Mars featuring NASA's most elaborate life-hunting rover is on the verge of liftoff. The rover Perseverance will follow Chinas rover-orbiter combo and a United Arab Emirates orbiter, both launched last week. First things first, though: Good flying weather is forecast for United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket.
Look out, Mars: Here we come with a fleet of spacecraft
Three countries the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates are sending unmanned spacecraft to the red planet in quick succession beginning in July 2020. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Mars is about to be invaded by planet Earth big time. Each spacecraft will travel more than 300 million miles (483 million kilometers) before reaching Mars next February. Only the U.S. has successfully put a spacecraft on Mars, doing it eight times, beginning with the twin Vikings in 1976. The United Arab Emirates and China are looking to join the elite club.
NASA naming headquarters for 'Hidden Figures' engineer
WASHINGTON NASA is naming its Washington headquarters after Mary Jackson, the space agencys first African American female engineer whose story was portrayed in the popular film Hidden Figures.Jackson started her NASA career in 1951 as part of a segregated unit of female mathematicians at what is now Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Jackson was later promoted to engineer and retired from NASA in 1985. Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement Wednesday. Part of the street in front of NASA headquarters is called Hidden Figures Way" and a computer research facility at Langley is named for Katherine Johnson, another of the Hidden Figures mathematicians, who died in February. A NASA facility is also named for her in West Virginia, her home state.
NASAs next Mars rover honors medical teams fighting virus
(NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASAs next Mars rover is honoring all the medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus battle around the world. With just another month until liftoff, the space agency on Wednesday revealed a commemorative plate attached to the rover, aptly named Perseverance. The rover team calls it the COVID-19 Perseverance plate, designed in the last couple months. If the rover isn't launched by mid-August, it would need to wait until 2022 when Earth and Mars are back in proper alignment. The United Arab Emirates and China also are preparing spacecraft for launch to the red planet by mid-August.
SpaceX opens era of amateur astronauts, cosmic movie sets
Amateur astronauts, private space stations, flying factories, out-of-this-world movie sets this is the future the space agency is striving to shape as it eases out of low-Earth orbit and aims for the moon and Mars. But the future is incredibly exciting, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren said the day before SpaceXs historic liftoff. The ticket price which includes 15 weeks of training and more than a week at the space station is about $55 million. Beginning in 2024, Axiom plans to build its own addition to the 260-mile-high (420-kilometer-high) outpost to accommodate its private astronauts. SpaceX still has to get NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken safely back to Earth this summer in its Dragon capsule.
SpaceXs astronaut-riding Dragon arrives at space station
Once on board the space station, Hurley said the capsule, newly named Endeavour after the retired shuttle, handled extremely well. He was the pilot on the last U.S. spaceship to visit the space station the last shuttle flight, by Atlantis, in July 2011. Until Saturday, SpaceX had launched only space station supplies or satellites. Tremor was going to join Earthy, a plush globe delivered to the space station on last years test flight of a crew-less crew Dragon. Even so, getting the two astronauts safely to orbit and then the space station had everyone breathing huge sighs of relief.
SpaceX's historic encore: Astronauts arrive at space station
The two astronauts will fly on a SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. Once on board the space station, Hurley said the capsule, newly named Endeavour after the retired shuttle, handled extremely well. He was the pilot on the last U.S. spaceship to visit the space station the last shuttle flight, by Atlantis, in July 2011. Until Saturday, SpaceX had launched only space station supplies or satellites. Even so, getting the two astronauts safely to orbit and then the space station had everyone breathing huge sighs of relief.
Take 2 for SpaceX's 1st astronaut launch with more storms
The Falcon 9, with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on top of the rocket, is scheduled to liftoff from Launch Pad 39-A Saturday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. SpaceX pressed ahead with its second attempt to launch astronauts for NASA a historic first for a private company but more stormy weather threatened more delays. Elon Musks company came within 17 minutes Wednesday of launching a pair of NASA astronauts for the first time in nearly a decade from the U.S., before the threat of lightning forced a delay. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said managers were debating whether to bump the next launch attempt from Saturday to Sunday to take advantage of a slightly improved forecast at Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex reopened Thursday, after a 2 1/2-month shutdown, and within a few hours, all 4,000 tickets were snapped up for Saturdays launch attempt.
NASA chief "all in" for Tom Cruise to film on space station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA is rolling out the International Space Stations red carpet for Tom Cruise to make a movie in orbit. Bridenstine said hell leaving it to Cruise and SpaceX to provide the mission details. I will tell you this: NASA has been in talks with Tom Cruise and, of course, his team, and we will do everything we can to make it a successful mission, including opening up the International Space Station," he told The Associated Press. Asked about Cruise filming on the space station, Musk told CBS This Morning, Actually, I think that remains to be seen. The question is, Can Tom Cruise make a new movie that inspires the next generation Elon Musk. And if he can do that, then were all for it.
SpaceX ready to launch NASA astronauts, back on home turf
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. A SpaceX rocket is ready to boost two NASA astronauts into orbit Wednesday, the first launch of Americans from the U.S. in nearly a decade. Riding aboard the brand new SpaceX Dragon capsule for the historic flight: veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. SpaceX is controlling the vehicle, theres no fluff about that, said Norm Knight, a NASA flight operations manager. The last time astronauts launched from Florida was on NASAs final space shuttle flight in July 2011. Development of SpaceXs Dragon and Boeings Starliner capsules took longer than expected, however, and the U.S. has been paying Russia to launch NASA astronauts in the interim.
Weather looking up for historic SpaceX launch of NASA astronauts
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – With the weather looking up, SpaceX and NASA officials vowed Tuesday to keep crew safety the top priority for the nation's first astronaut launch to orbit in nearly a decade. Veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were set to make history Wednesday afternoon, riding SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on a test flight. SpaceX has been launching cargo capsules to the space station since 2012. NASA hired SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to transport astronauts to the space station, after commercial cargo shipments had taken off. Development of SpaceX’s Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner capsules took longer than expected, however, and the U.S. has been paying Russia to launch NASA astronauts in the interim.
Weather better for historic SpaceX launch of NASA astronauts
Veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were set to make history Wednesday afternoon, riding SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on a test flight. On the eve of the launch, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said from Kennedy Space Center that both the space agency and SpaceX have been diligent about making sure everyone in the launch loop knows they're free to halt the countdown if there's a concern. SpaceX has been launching cargo capsules to the space station since 2012. NASA hired SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to transport astronauts to the space station, after commercial cargo shipments had taken off. Development of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner capsules took longer than expected, however, and the U.S. has been paying Russia to launch NASA astronauts in the interim.
American astronauts set for American launch
Hurley flew on the final shuttle mission aboard Atlantis in 2011. In the midst of more development than weve ever had before in NASAs history, we are going launch American astronauts in American rockets from American soil, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. The Dragon spacecraft is a capsule. It is the same launch pad used to launch Apollo 11 to the moon and employed on the last shuttle mission to end an era. Just a few seconds after the first stage separation, the rocket's second stage will fire its engines for about six minutes.
NASA, SpaceX bringing astronaut launches back to home turf
Elon Musk's SpaceX is the conductor and NASA the customer as businesses begin chauffeuring astronauts to the International Space Station. The drama unfolds from the exact spot where men flew to the moon and the last space shuttle soared from Kennedy Space Center. NASAs newest test pilots, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, are launching from home turf with SpaceX presiding over the countdown. Plagued with software problems, Boeings Starliner capsule is still a year from launching with Ferguson and two NASA astronauts. In terms of launch power, the relatively small Falcon 9 has far less than the space shuttle did, another layer of safety.
Will virus keep Florida spectators from astronaut launch?
In ordinary times, the beaches and roads along Floridas Space Coast would be packed with hundreds of thousands of spectators, eager to witness the first astronaut launch from Florida in nine years, scheduled for May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)ORLANDO, Fla. In ordinary times, the beaches and roads along Floridas Space Coast would be packed with hundreds of thousands of spectators, eager to witness the first astronaut launch from Florida in nine years. Earlier this month, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine asked potential spectators to watch the launch online or on TV from home. NASA astronauts have not launched from the U.S. since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. Although crowd sizes varied, a high-profile space shuttle launch could attract a half million visitors to the Space Coast.
Astronauts arrive for NASAs 1st home launch in decade
The two are scheduled to blast off next Wednesday afternoon atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, bound for the International Space Station. They'll soar from the same pad where Atlantis closed out the shuttle program in 2011, the last home launch for NASA astronauts. Since then, the only way to the space station for astronauts has been on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan. Hurley and Behnken still dont know how long theyll spend at the space station: anywhere between one and four months. Boeing, the competing company, isn't expected to launch its first astronauts until next year.
NASA details Artemis moon missions
NASA has dubbed this path back to the moon Artemis, after Apollo's twin sister in Greek mythology. NASA is calling this the Artemis program in honor of Apollo's twin sister in Greek mythology, the goddess of the Moon. Other factors of the design represent the Earth, the moon and our trajectory from the moon to Mars. Currently, the focus is on the moon, but NASA sees these concepts as workable for a Mars mission, as well. Astronauts will launch on Artemis 2, and the first woman and next man to walk on the moon will launch on Artemis 3.
Chris Kraft, NASA's first flight director, dies at 95
Chris Kraft is seen here at his flight director console in the Mission Control Center during Gemini-Titan V flight simulation. Chris Kraft, NASA's first flight director, died Monday, two days after the agency celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, according to a NASA. "America has truly lost a national treasure today with the passing of one of NASA's earliest pioneers -- flight director Chris Kraft," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement. He was a pioneer in his field and created the the concept of NASA's Mission Control. In 2011, NASA named its Building 30 Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in his honor, "Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Mission Control Center."
President Trump marks Apollo 11 anniversary by meeting its astronauts
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, second from left, and Buzz Aldrin, second from right, with Vice President Mike Pence and first lady Melania Trump, speaks during a photo opportunity commemoratingCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reunited Friday on the eve of the 50th anniversary of humanity's first moon landing. The president asked if astronauts could get to Mars without first going back to the moon. He noted that the Apollo 11 command module and attached lunar module went straight into lunar orbit and even separated and redocked around the moon. The vice president is commemorating Saturday's anniversary at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, visiting the launch pad where Apollo 11 blasted off. NASA televised a two-hour show Friday afternoon remembering Apollo 11 but also looking forward to its future moon plans.
NASA shakes up leadership in push to meet moon mission deadline
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine informed agency employees in a memo Wednesday night that NASA veteran Bill Gerstenmaier would no longer be leading the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. Instead, Bridenstine said, Gerstenmaier will serve as special assistant to NASA's Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard. He named Kenneth Bowersox, a former NASA astronaut who made five space shuttle flights, as the new acting associate administrator. Bridenstine told the Post in an interview Thursday that the decision was his alone not the White House "at all." Bridenstine told CNN Business in June that NASA will need an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion over the next five years for its moon project Artemis.