TOP STORIES: July 2018

27 July 2018

Each month we round up some of the top stories in space, entrepreneurship, innovation, finance and technology.

Here’s our round-up for July:

NASA Could Have People Living on the Moon in 8 Years. And That’s Just the Beginning

“We’re working to have astronauts on the moon by the mid-2020s–probably the 2025-to-2026 time frame,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations. Read more here.

Credit: Thomas Campbell—NASA

SpaceX has a successful second launch of its Block 5 rocket

This was the second launch of the new version of SpaceX’s Block 5 rocket. The first one had a flawless debut on May 11, and the first stage made a safe return to a drone ship, as expected. Since then, SpaceX engineers have been assessing how that Block 5 core, optimised for reusability, actually performed during that flight. Read more here.

Lead image: The Block 5 variant of the Falcon 9 rocket, on the launchpad, with its Telstar 19V payload. Credit: SpaceX

Bridenstine discusses ISS future, exploration cooperation in Europe

NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said on July 17th that he had good discussions with European officials in the UK about potential cooperation on NASA’s plans to return to the Moon. See more at SpaceNews.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and ESA Director General Jan Woerner discussed several issues during a July 16 meeting at the Farnborough Air Show. Credit: NASA

Blue Origin pushed its rocket ‘to its limits’ with high-altitude emergency abort test

Blue Origin pulled off another successful test launch, landing both the New Shepard rocket and capsule after flight. The company ignited the capsule’s emergency motor after it had separated from the rocket, pushing the spacecraft up to a top altitude of around 74 miles — a new record for Blue Origin. The firing also caused the capsule to sustain up to 10 Gs during the test, but Blue Origin host Ariane Cornell said “that is well within what humans can take, especially for such a short spurt of time.” Read more at The Verge.

ESA’s ICE Cube Experiment On Board The International Space Station Is Ready For Action


‘Astronaut time and expert advice come as part of the package and experiments and samples can be returned to Earth for analysis,’ said ESA. Read more at Inquisitr.

Orbex Secures £30 Million Funding for UK Space Launch Vehicles

In a press release, Orbex has announced that it has secured £30 million ($39.6 million) in public and private funding for the development of orbital space launch systems. Orbex will launch orbital vehicles from the newly-announced UK Vertical Launch spaceport in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands as part of the main consortium. Read more on their website.

Orbex launcher
lifting off from Sutherland Spaceport. Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild.


Israel has unveiled its plan to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon December next year. If successful, Israel would become the world’s fourth country to land on the moon – a feat only Russia, the United States and China have achieved.

A press conference on July 10, 2018 ahead of the planned launch of Israel’s first lunar spacecraft. Credit: I4U News.