NASA has told Elon Musk's SpaceX to pause work under an exclusive Moon program contract until the Government Accountability Office rules on rival bidders' challenges, Reuters reports.
Why it matters: Companies including Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin vied for the contract as a source of funding to build a lunar spacecraft. The high-profile project is looking to send humans back to the Moon for the first time since 1972.
Former Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) was unanimously confirmed by Senate on Thursday to serve as head of NASA.
The big picture: As NASA administrator, Nelson will lead the agency as it works to send astronauts back to the Moon, which would pave the way for an eventual Mars mission.
Jeff Bezos' space company Blue Origin teased the start of ticket sales for its New Shepard rocket on Thursday.
NASA and SpaceX still appear to be pushing to meet the 2024 deadline to land astronauts back on the Moon first set by the Trump administration.
The big picture: In its first 100 days, the Biden administration undid many of the Trump administration's policies but President Biden has largely hewed closely to Trump-era space policies.
Astronomer Jill Tarter wants the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) to be taken seriously.
Why it matters: SETI as a scientific field has long played second fiddle to other, well-funded searches for direct and indirect signs of life — like NASA’s Mars program and the hunt for alien planets around distant stars.
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is challenging NASA's decision to award SpaceX the sole contract to build a human lander system for the space agency's return to the Moon.
Why it matters: These types of big government contracts are hugely important as a source of funding for Blue Origin and SpaceX.
Companies and governments around the world are racing to figure out how to clean up human-made junk that is cluttering space.
Why it matters: Trackers are seeing more and more close calls between satellites, as companies work to deploy constellations of hundreds to thousands of small spacecraft, adding to fears that those small satellites could become junk themselves.
The big picture: The Crew Dragon spacecraft "Endeavour," which launched on a Falcon 9 rocket Friday, docked autonomously with the ISS at 5:22 a.m. ET, joining another Crew Dragon spacecraft, "Resilience."
Four astronauts took flight to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon early Friday morning.
The big picture: This marks the third time SpaceX has launched people to space for NASA, helping the space agency end its reliance on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft and rocket for trips to the space station.
Earth is special, even in the context of the thousands of planets outside of our solar system so far found by astronomers.
Why it matters: The holy grail for researchers remains finding an Earth-sized planet in a similar orbit to our Earth around a Sun-like star.