The CarbonWatch instrument sensors can measure CO2 and CO signals independent from sunlight, using a simplified, replicable architecture and an onboard processing system.

The five percent of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, biosphere, and oceans attributable to human activity has disrupted the Earth’s natural carbon cycle and is driving long-term climate change. …


The Lucy spacecraft passing one of the Trojan Asteroids near Jupiter. Artist illustration courtesy Southwest Research Institute / NASA.

On Saturday, a ULA Atlas V rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, a mission with the potential to transform our current knowledge of the solar system and planetary origins.

During its 12-year journey, Lucy will gather valuable insights by studying seven Trojans and one main…


During re-entry, NASA’s Orion crew module will generate temperatures hot enough to melt rock.

If all goes according to plan, NASA’s Orion space capsule will transport its first crew of astronauts to the moon by 2024. When it comes screeching back through Earth’s atmosphere, it will generate temperatures hot enough to melt rock. To protect the capsule and its inhabitants, Orion is equipped with…


The population of satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) is expected to rapidly rise over the next decade. With the increased number of space objects comes a higher risk of collisions between active satellites, inactive satellites or other space debris. …


Launch of the Inspiration4 Mission. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the first civilian crewed mission from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Sept. 15, 2021. Credit: U.S. Space Force | Staff Sgt. JT Armstrong

Spaceflight is entering a new era of civilian space tourism, commercial spacecraft, and missions to return to the Moon. However, most of today’s launches do not include capabilities for in-space rescue. Much like the early days of U.S. …


Modern space is transforming at unprecedented speed. Aerospace is advancing the concepts, capabilities, and strategies needed to leverage an integrated digital approach to solve challenges across the space and other complex enterprises. …


Ashley Kowalski, Project Leader in the Global Partnerships department at Aerospace, has been selected by NASA’s Human Research Program for a spaceflight simulation study in Moscow, Russia. …


DiskSat is a plate-shaped satellite (1m in diameter, 2.5cm thick) that could provide the required power and aperture needed for future missions.

The answer to that question may lie in a two-dimensional DiskSat, a NASA Small Spacecraft Technology program funded concept that may expand SmallSat mission designs and enable major scientific discovery at lower cost.

The concept for DiskSat originated when Richard Welle, Aerospace Senior Scientist took part in a study of…


The APPLE concept is a new type of spacecraft power system that will open previously inaccessible parts of the solar system to human exploration and make a range of rapid transit missions possible. Credit: Aerospace

Space exploration remains a herculean effort. Due to the immense challenges imposed by time and distance, missions to near-Earth objects have been successfully accomplished using traditional means of propulsion. However, the outermost planets in our solar system are 2 to 3.7 billion miles from the Sun. …


STATE OF PLAY

Spacecraft propelled by nuclear fission or fusion are now being researched as a faster means of traveling the solar system. Credit: NASA

Multiple companies are developing advanced technologies for nuclear, electric, chemical, and solar propulsion with the potential to dramatically improve Earth-centric space operations and interplanetary exploration for decades to come. We surveyed the market’s “state of play” for insight into near and medium-term developments.

What is Nuclear Propulsion?

Nuclear propulsion derives from two atomic processes…

The Aerospace Corporation

We operate the only federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) committed exclusively to the space enterprise.

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