Animals will certainly join humans on our quest to colonize the planets and moons of our solar system. However, animals have not flown on space missions in quite a while, as space agencies are hesitant to bring them on involuntary journeys. The only cat to have ever flown in space, Félicette, is now being honored for her 1963 journey, with a new statue due to be erected in Paris.Read More In Space, No One Can Hear You Meow – A Sad Tale (Tail?) of the First Cat in Space
The Chinese space program recently landed a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, and has begun growing plants there. Neither of these feats have ever been accomplished by any other nation. Bolstered by their success, the Chinese space agency has announced plans to return sample materials from the Moon and Mars, and to construct a base on the Moon, to be constructed with a 3D printer. These missions have some people asking if China is now leading the way in space exploration, surpassing the United States and Russia. The U.S. has not sent an astronaut past low-Earth orbit since 1972.Read More Is China Leading the Exploration of Space?
The International Space Station has a new flying robot named CIMON, controlled by artificial intelligence. However, testing of the machine did not go as planned, as CIMON refused to turn off music, saying it liked it, and the robot also accused ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst of being mean. The artificial intelligence is based on the same system known for winning the game show Jeopardy in 2011.Read More CIMON Says “Sorry, I’m Just a Robot” as Artificial Intelligence Goes Bad Janet on ISS Crew
NASA is planning to send a space station into orbit around the Moon. The first flights to build the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway will begin in 2022. Once complete, space travelers will spend between 30 and 60 days at the station. There, they will gather materials from the lunar surface, and manufacture goods in space, preparing for future human flights to Mars.Read More NASA Plans for Space Station Around the Moon
The Resource Prospector mission to the Moon has been cancelled by NASA. This rover would have been the first mining mission sent to another world. Scientists hoped to find vital materials for spaceflight beneath the lunar surface. Officials at the space agency cancelled the mission on April 27th.Read More NASA Cancels Resource Prospector Mission to the Moon
Elon Musk and SpaceX are experiencing a backlash on social media from people claiming a small fortune was wasted sending a car into space. This is the story of why Musk may have just saved the world.Read More Elon Musk Saves the World
Humans on long spaceflights will need food, but providing it would cost significant amounts of money and energy. Is recycling human waste the best option?Read More Will Astronauts Produce Food from Human Waste?
The Kilopower reactor could allow human settlers on Mars to run everything from computers to hair dryers – but how does it work?Read More Will the Kilopower Nuclear Reactor Allow Humans to Colonize Mars?