The big picture

NASA chief touts new Earth-observing satellites for climate

"I became more of an environmentalist when I went into space," NASA's Bill Nelson said.

May 25, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Major satellite program launches to hunt for methane, carbon "super-emitters"

The new consortium represents a potential leap forward in the effort to hold polluters accountable.

Apr 15, 2021 - Energy & Environment
The rise of military space powers

Nations around the world are shoring up their military capabilities in space.

Dec 1, 2020 - Science
How NASA and the Space Force might fare under Biden

NASA might get to stay the course, but would have to compete with other spending priorities.

Oct 27, 2020 - Science
The next environmental crisis could be in space

Space junk could threaten humanity's future in the stars.

Oct 20, 2020 - Science
Planetary science in the private space age

Companies are also hoping to launch missions to far-off destinations like Venus and Mars.

Sep 23, 2020 - Science

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Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 12, 2021 - Science

Blue Origin auctions off a trip to the edge of space for $28 million

A test dummy flies aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard. Photo: Blue Origin

A seat aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed flight to suborbital space fetched $28 million during a live auction on Saturday.

Why it matters: While the market for suborbital tourist flights to space may not be huge, experts say it's an important, public-facing part of the space industry that could popularize it as more people start flying.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 11, 2021 - Science

Blue Origin's auction for a trip to space is ending

A Blue Origin New Shepard rocket takes flight. Photo: Blue Origin

Blue Origin's auction of a seat on the company's first passenger flight to space comes to an end on Saturday with a live webcast of the event.

Why it matters: The company's first crewed suborbital flight will kick off its bid to send paying tourists up to the edge of space, a market expected to grow in the coming years.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 10, 2021 - Science

Exclusive: Amazon Web Services picks 10 startups for space program

Photo: NASA

Companies planning to build robots to explore the Moon and track junk in space are among the 10 startups chosen for an Amazon Web Services' program designed to help mature their businesses.

Why it matters: This latest venture is part of Amazon's play to become even more involved with the space industry, helping to support customers as their satellites beam huge amounts of data back from orbit.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 8, 2021 - Economy & Business

Relativity Space raises $650 million to fund reusable, 3D-printed rocket

Artist's illustration of the Terran R rocket. Image: Relativity Space

Relativity Space has raised $650 million to help fund its plans to build a fully reusable, 3D-printed rocket.

Why it matters: Relativity is part of a growing number of launch companies looking to capitalize on governments and other companies hoping to send their wares to space in the coming years.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 8, 2021 - Science

Tiny creatures have safely reached the International Space Station

A squid ahead of its flight to space. Photo: NASA/Isaac Watson

Squids and tardigrades are now safely ensconced on the International Space Station after their flight to space this weekend.

Why it matters: The tiny creatures will be used for experiments that could help scientists learn more about how various organisms might behave in space.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 8, 2021 - Science

A renaissance for Venus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is sending missions to Venus for the first time in more than 30 years, breathing new life into the scientific quest to understand the oft-ignored planet.

Why it matters: Understanding Venus is thought to be key to learning more about how habitable worlds form within our own solar system — and outside of it.

Jun 7, 2021 - Technology

Jeff Bezos is going to space this summer

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Jeff Bezos announced Monday that he and his brother Mark would be among those flying on the first passenger flight of his space company Blue Origin — via a video posted on the billionaire's Instagram account.

The big picture: The passenger flight, the New Shepard, will be launching on July 20, with Bezos and his brother joining the winner of a public auction for one of the seats.

U.S. report does not rule out existence of alien technology in UFOs

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

A government report did not find evidence of the existence of alien technology in unidentified flying objects, but it also does not offer a definitive conclusion on what the strange flying objects are, the New York Times reports.

The state of play: The report says that over 100 UFO incidents — many of which were witnessed by Navy personnel — did not originate from any government program, per the Times.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 2, 2021 - Science

NASA is going back to Venus

Venus in full view. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has chosen two new missions to unlock the mysteries of Earth's evil twin: Venus.

Why it matters: This marks the first time the space agency will send dedicated missions to the cloudy planet in more than 30 years.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jun 1, 2021 - Science

NASA's Curiosity rover captures cloudy day on Mars

Clouds seen by Curiosity on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The clouds on Mars look oddly Earthlike in recently released photos taken by NASA's Curiosity rover.

Why it matters: By studying these Martian clouds from the ground, scientists hope to learn more about how Mars' thin atmosphere works and how it differs from Earth's.

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