Drones on Mars? Small 'Helicopter-Like' Scout Could Be Added to Mars 2020 Rover Mission

Artist’s conception of the helicopter-like drone which could accompany the Mars 2020 rover. Image Credit: NASA

Over the past few years, numerous orbiters, landers, and rovers have been sent to Mars, revealing the world as never before. There is, however, something else which hasn’t been done yet: a helicopter, airplane, or balloon. An […]

ULA and Blue Origin Production Agreement Expands Development of BE-4 Engine

Blue Origin’s dedicated BE-4 engine test facility in West Texas. Credit: Blue Origin

A production agreement between United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Blue Origin, LLC, was announced Thursday, Sept. 10, to enable the expansion of production capabilities for the BE-4 engine. The American-made engine produced by Blue Origin will power ULA’s next generation […]

Flying the Friendly Martian Skies: NASA to Test Mars Airplane Prototype

Artist’s conception of the Prandtl-m airplane flying above the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA Illustration/Dennis Calaba

For several decades, Mars has been a busy place, with orbiters, landers, and rovers providing unprecedented views of the Red Planet. Another exciting possibility which has yet to be realized is an airplane, which could soar […]

LightSail A Success: Planetary Society Reviews Data and Plans for 2016 Mission

LightSail captured this image of its deployed solar sails in Earth orbit on June 8, 2015. Photo Credit and Caption: The Planetary Society

It’s not a true space mission without a little bit of drama, and The Planetary Society had just that. Unforeseen software glitches, spacecraft falling silent, and periods of no contact […]

XCOR’s Lynx Spaceplane Meets Development Milestone Leading Up to First Test Flight

The XCOR Lynx Mark I vehicle being fabricated at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif. Photo: Mike Massee / XCOR Aerospace

XCOR Aerospace proudly announced continued progress on its Lynx spaceplane, a suborbital spacecraft designed to take humans and payloads to the edge of space. The Lynx strakes, a major […]

Blue Origin BE-3 Hydrogen Engine Successfully Completes Acceptance Testing

Blue Origin’s BE-3 rocket engine ramps up to full power operations of 110,000 lbf thrust. Photo credit: Blue Origin

The BE-3 rocket engine is the first new hydrogen engine developed in the United States since the RS-68 engine (used on ULA’s Delta-IV) over a decade ago. The company behind the design and development […]

Exploring an Alien Sea: NASA Designs Submarine to Send to Titan

Artist’s conception of the Titan Submarine Phase I Conceptual Design. Much like submarines on Earth, the sub would explore the depths of one of Titan’s methane/ethane seas. Image Credit: NASA

Who wouldn’t want to go explore an alien sea? It seems that NASA would certainly like to, and the agency has unveiled a […]

Moon Bound Google Lunar XPRIZE Awards $5.25 Million in Milestone Prizes

The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE is a competition designed to inspire young scientists and engineers to build a robot and safely land it on the lunar surface while on a strict budget. (Photo credit: Google Lunar XPRIZE)

A total of $5.25 million in Milestone Prizes was awarded to five teams this week, […]

New Way to Tame a Rocket Engine

Combustion instabilities can make a rocket engine have a really bad day. High frequency combustion instabilities are periodic oscillations of combustion that occur due to the coupled interaction between unsteady heat release from combustion, acoustic fluctuations within the combustor, and perturbations of the incoming propellant.

These instabilities become […]