Planetary Society-funded PlanetVac Picked by NASA for Possible Moon Flight

PlanetVac Sample Collection: Attached to a lander leg, PlanetVac collects a surface sample by using an inert gas to move regolith into the sample container. (Credit: The Planetary Society)

PASADENA, Calif. (Planetary Society PR) — PlanetVac, a Planetary Society-funded technology that simplifies the process of collecting samples from other worlds, may fly to the Moon.

(more…)

MSU Researchers to Send Computer Prototype to the Moon

A MSU computer prototype that was tested aboard the space station, shown here on Oct. 24, 2016, resembles the new version that will go to the moon. (Credit: MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez)

by Marshall Swearingen
MSU News Service

BOZEMAN, Mont. — In their quest to develop an improved computer that could one day be used in NASA spacecraft, Montana State University researchers have tinkered with their creation on the laboratory bench, dangled it from high-altitude helium balloons, sent it to the International Space Station and launched it into Earth’s orbit on a bread loaf-sized satellite. Now it will go to the moon.

NASA announced earlier this month that an MSU team led by Brock LaMeres has won a coveted spot on a 2020-2021 lunar mission that will be the biggest trial yet for the radiation-tolerant computing concept LaMeres conceived more than a decade ago.

(more…)











Masten Space Systems Selected for NASA SBIR Award

Mojave’s Masten Space Systems has been selected for a NASA contract to continue development of technology that will improve the 3-D manufacturing of rocket engine injectors.

Masten work on its PermiAM system will be funded under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award. The contract is worth up to $750,000.

“Masten is currently focusing on the propulsion elements of PermiAM with direct applicability to small satellite launch vehicles, upper stage engines, and planetary landers in support of the NASA [Commercial Lunar Payload Services] program,” the company said in its proposal summary.

(more…)