NASA and its Commercial Crew Program announced new agreements with three American commercial companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years.
Advances made by these companies under newly signed Space Act Agreements through the agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers.
SpaceX’s crewed Dragon will get more lift capability from the next-generation of Falcon rockets. The uncrewed version of Dragon recently made history as the first commercially built spacecraft to rendezvous and then berth with the International Space Station.
Sierra Nevada Corporation will advance its Dream Chaser spacecraft, which resembles NASA’s space shuttle but is smaller and based on improvements to the agency’s HL-20 lifting-body design. The company partnered with United Launch Alliance to launch its spacecraft atop an Atlas V rocket.
Boeing will continue to develop its CST-100 spacecraft, which underwent rigorous testing during two previous commercial crew development phases. It too will launch atop an Atlas V.
The latest Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Martian surface and has sent back the first images to NASA.
For more images sent by Curiosity, click here. As for the NASA Team, they were elated with the success of Curiosity.
There were even those who gave honourary tribute to the success of the mission.
Naturally, there was congratulations all around, even the President giving his own words of appreciation.
I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality—and I eagerly await what Curiosity has yet to discover. ~President Obama on last night’s rover landing on Mars (viabarackobama)
We’ll be watching and hoping that this will give new information about the mysterious red planet.
- Mars rover Curiosity lands on surface of Red Planet – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Photos: NASA Rover Curiosity Touches Down on Mars (abcnews.go.com)
- NASA Scientists Celebrate The “Curiosity” Mars Rover Landing (videogum.com)
- F*ck yes! Curiosity lands on Mars! (leilabattison.wordpress.com)
- NASA?s Curiosity Rover Lands Safely on Mars (wired.com)
- Nasa Curiosity Landing: as it happened (telegraph.co.uk)
- Curiosity Lands on Mars: NASA’s Behind the Scenes Images (mashable.com)
- First Photos of Mars from Curiosity [Mars Rover] (io9.com)
- NASA’s Mars Rover Crashed Into a DCMA Takedown (motherboard.vice.com)
- VIDEO: NASA’s ‘Curiosity’ Rover Makes Historic Landing on Mars (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Greetings From Mars! Huge NASA Rover Makes Daring Landing on Red Planet (space.com)
- Huge Mars Rover Set for Nerve-Wracking Landing on Red Planet Today (space.com)