Carnegie Mellon University and spinoff space startup Astrobotic are developing a robotic rover to look for water on the Moon, and the little bot just passed the crucial preliminary design review phase, putting it one step closer to its inaugural mission planned for 2022. MoonRanger is aiming to be the first robotic detective to investigate […] …Continue Reading

Engineers at MIT, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, have devised a way to build a camera lens that avoids the typical spherical curve of ultra-wide-angle glass, while still providing true optical fisheye distortion. The fisheye lens is relatively specialist, producing images that can cover as wide an area as 180 degrees […] …Continue Reading

NASA is going to be testing out 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 is made up of […] …Continue Reading

The European Space Agency (ESA) is doing its part to help protect the Earth from any errant asteroids that may threaten terrestrial life, awarding a €129.4 million ($153 million) contract to an industry consortium led by German space company OHB. The contract covers the “detailed design, manufacturing and testing” of a mission codenamed ‘Hera,’ after […] …Continue Reading

The pandemic has led to N95 masks quickly becoming one of the world’s most sought-after resources as essential workers burned through billions of them. New research could lead to an N95 that you can recharge rather than throw away — or even one that continuously tops itself up for maximum effectiveness. The proposed system, from […] …Continue Reading

Earth observation has grown from government-run missions to a crucial everyday business tool, but it still has room to grow. Specifically, into the thermal infrared spectrum, if startup Satellite Vu gets itself into orbit. The company plans to be able to monitor the heat signatures of most of the planet’s buildings with a satellite constellation […] …Continue Reading

While SpaceX and its ilk in the commercial rocket launch market have changed the economics of space and ushered in an era of small satellite entrepreneurship, the actual rocket engine technology they use isn’t that different from what was in use 50 years ago when NASA was making its first forays into outer space. Firehawk […] …Continue Reading

Elon Musk has shared some details about future testing of Starship, the SpaceX launch vehicle currently being developed by the company at its Boca Chica, Texas facility. Recently, SpaceX has completed short, 150 meter (just under 500 feet) test flights of two earlier Starship prototypes, SN5 and SN6 – and SN8, which is currently set […] …Continue Reading

Alameda-based rocket launch startup Astra finally got the chance to launch its first orbital test mission from its Alaska-based facility on Saturday, after the attempt had been delayed multiple times due to weather and other issues. The 8:19 PM PT lift-off of Astra’s ‘Rocket 3.1’ test vehicle went well – but the flight ended relatively […] …Continue Reading

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced $21.75 million in awards today for a variety of scientific achievements. One in particular is a tech/science crossover: A $3 million award to David Baker, whose work over the last 20 years has helped validate the idea that computers can help us understand and create complex molecules like proteins — […] …Continue Reading

SpaceX performed a milestone first polar orbital launch of a satellite from its East Coast launch facility at Cape Canaveral on Sunday. The Falcon 9 mission carried three payloads, including a SAOCOM-1B synthetic aperture radar satellite which was flown on behalf of the Argentine space agency, and two small satellites for clients Tyvack and PlanetiQ. […] …Continue Reading

While the science was front-and-center in Elon Musk’s presentation about Neuralink, his human brain computer inference company, the surgical robot the company debuted made a splash of its own. The rounded polycarbonate sci-fi design of the brain surgeon bot looks like something out of the Portal franchise, but it’s actually the creation of Vancouver-based industrial […] …Continue Reading

NASA and Boeing have provided some updates around their Commercial Crew plans, which aim to get Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft certified for regular human flight. The CST-100 and Boeing’s Commercial Crew aspirations hit a snag last year with a first attempt of an uncrewed orbital flight test, which did not go to plan thanks to a […] …Continue Reading

Building out its previous commitment, the White House is announcing a $1 billion investment into two of tech’s most promising frontiers, AI and quantum computing. Last year, the Trump administration rolled out an executive order on AI declaring its intention to bolster U.S. dominance in the field, but the order didn’t address much in the […] …Continue Reading