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Perseverance lands safely on Mars and sends back its first images of the surface

Mars rover Perseverance has landed on the surface of Mars after a white-knuckle descent involving picking a landing spot just moments before making a rocket-powered sky-crane landing. The rover immediately sent back its first image of Jezero Crater, which it will be exploring over the course of its mission. A […]

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Firefly will light up the moon with $93M lunar lander contract from NASA

NASA has awarded Firefly Aerospace a $93.3 million contract to take a lunar lander module loaded with experiments to the surface of the moon. While the company will not be performing the launch itself, it will be providing the spacecraft and “Blue Ghost” lander for the 2023 mission. The space […]

Astronaut Anne McClain on designing and piloting the next generation of spacecraft

NASA recently announced the astronauts who will be taking part in the Artemis missions, and among them is Anne McClain, who has spent 203 days in orbit and conducted two spacewalks on the ISS. With the space industry looking nothing like it did 10 years ago and new spacecraft and […]

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Dedicated commercial human in-space operations are coming sooner than you may realize

If you’ve ever heard someone refer to the idea of “working in space,” you’d be forgiven for thinking they were describing a science-fiction plot. But the number of humans actively working beyond Earth’s atmosphere — and living significant chunks of their lives there, too — is about to start growing […]

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NASA’s head of human spaceflight, Kathryn Lueders, will join us at TC Sessions: Space

NASA’s human spaceflight program took big strides in 2020 with the official kick-off of the commercial crew program with SpaceX, and on plans to return humans to the surface of the Moon via the Artemis program. NASA Associate Administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate Kathryn Lueders […]

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NASA wants new and innovative storytelling tech to document its Artemis Moon missions

NASA has issued a new request for proposals from partners that would be able to help it supplement its own storytelling in new and innovative ways, including potentially through use of robotic camera systems, high-resolution and 360-degree video capture, immersive VR content and more. The agency has noted that it’s […]

Max Q: NASA makes key discovery for future of deep space exploration

Max Q is a weekly newsletter from TechCrunch all about space. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Sundays in your inbox. This past week, we unveiled the agenda for TC Sessions: Space for the first time. It’s our inaugural event focused on space startups and related technologies, and […]

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NASA commissions report to show its economic impact: $64B and 312K jobs

Perhaps anticipating budget pushback from the federal government, NASA has released its first-ever agency-wide economic report, documenting the agency’s impact on the nation’s jobs and cash flow. Everyone knew NASA was impactful, but now we know exactly how impactful it is, some $64 billion and more than 300,000 jobs’ worth […]

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NASA to test precision automated landing system designed for the moon and Mars on upcoming Blue Origin mission

NASA is going to be testing a new precision landing system designed for use on the tough terrain of the moon and Mars for the first time during an upcoming mission of Blue Origin’s New Shepard reusable suborbital rocket. The “Safe and Precise Landing – Integrated Capabilities Evolution” (SPLICE) system […]

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NASA issues new call for lunar payload deliveries from its commercial moon lander partners

NASA wants its private commercial space company partners to make more moon deliveries on its behalf: The agency just issued another request for scientific and experimental payloads that need lunar delivery sometime in 2022, in part to help pave the way for NASA’s Artemis human lunar landing mission planned for […]