Every month we recap some of the top stories in space, entrepreneurship, innovation, business, and technology.
With many exciting advancements in the international space sector, here is our recap for August 2022.
NASA announced the planned launch date for the Artemis I SLS Megarocket for 29 August. This will be the first of three planned missions to return humans including the first woman to the Moon. Unfortunately, this launch was scrubbed on the pad due to a hydrogen leak from one of the rocket engines. Read more about Artemis here.
NASA Artemis I on the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center ahead of its originally scheduled launch date of 29 August. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)
The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that it will seek funding for a preparatory space-based solar power program called Solaris. The funding will be used to conduct a three-year feasibility study to address technical issues surrounding the applications of SBSP – a potential application for converting solar energy into electricity and beaming it to Earth for use. Read more about the call for funding and technical concerns here.
Concept rendering for the ESA Solaris program. (Image credit: ESA)
The first astronaut flight with the Boeing Starliner reusable spacecraft has been delayed. The inaugural flight was originally scheduled for December 2022. NASA and Boeing have now postponed the launch to as early as February 2023 to address some technical issues identified on an uncrewed flight this past May. Read more about the Boeing Starliner and its delayed launch here.
The Boeing Starliner capsule during an uncrewed flight to the ISS. (Image credit: NASA/Boeing)
NASA has extended its partnership with SpaceX – the only private space company to date to send astronauts to the ISS – by awarding them $1.4 billion for five more astronaut missions. NASA officials have noted that the continued partnership and use of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rockets will allow the U.S. to maintain “uninterrupted capability for human access to the space station until 2030.” Read more here.
SpaceX astronaut crew arriving for launch. (Image credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)
Nichelle Nichols, beloved star and pioneering actress who played Lieutenant Uhura in the classic TV series Star Trek, has passed away. Age 89, she died of natural causes at her home in Silver City, New Mexico.
Actress Nichelle Nichols at the event for Star Trek: Discovery (Image Credit: CBS)
Following its already impressive images from deep space, the James Webb Space Telescope has photographed Earendel, the most distant star currently known in the universe. The light from the star is very faint, but can be seen in the new image released on Twitter on 2 August. Read more here.
Cut section of the James Webb Space Telescope image of Earendel. (Image Credit: NASA)