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Flattops from space: the once (and future?) meme of photographing aircraft carriers from orbit

Aircraft carriers, given their size and distinctive shape, stand out in satellite imagery. Dwayne Day explore the long history of taking images of carriers from space, from spysats in the Cold War to commercial imagery of Chinese, Indian, and other carriers.

Astronomy flagships, past and future

Astronomers are awaiting the final report of the astrophysics decadal survey, which will make recommendations on future large missions to pursue. Jeff Foust reports that as NASA waits for the report, it's busy getting past recommendations launched or recovered from technical and policy problems.

Assessing and celebrating the global impact of the "First Lady Astronaut Trainees"

On Tuesday, Wally Funk, one of the women who passed astronaut medical exams more than 60 years ago, will finally go to space on New Shepard. James Oberg says the impact of the so-called "Mercury 13" goes beyond a long-awaited spaceflight.

Review: Leadership Moments from NASA

NASA has provided many examples of good leadership, and bad, over the years. Jeff Foust reviews a book by a former astronaut and a space journalist who try to distill insights about leadership in general from the agency's experiences.

The suborbital spaceflight race isn't over

For many people, Richard Branson's successful flight on SpaceShipTwo Sunday marked the end of a billionaire space race with Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. Jeff Foust reports that the real competition between the companies, and the race to win customers, is just beginning.

China is using mythology and sci-fi to sell its space program to the world

China shares few details about its space missions, often waiting until after launches or other events happen to announce them. Molly Silk explains how China is marketing its space ambitions using both an imagined past and imagined potential futures.

When it comes to spacewalks, size matters

The spacesuits NASA uses for spacewalks date back decades and are long past their design life. Steven Moore explains that means, in some cases, a key factor in selecting astronauts for spacewalks is whether they fit in the remaining suits.

Review: Across the Airless Wilds

Fifty years ago this month, the Apollo 15 mission landed on the Moon with the first of three lunar rovers used by astronauts. Jeff Foust reviews a book that recounts the long history of development of that rover, which was a game-changer for both astronauts and scientists.

Ingenuity, InSight, and Ice Mapper

Rovers seem to get all the attention on Mars, but there are other current and planned missions to the Red Planet. Jeff Foust updates progress on a helicopter that continues to push the limits of flight, a lander with fading power, and a future orbiter mission working on a tight budget.

Flights to Mars, real and LEGO

In the late 1960s, Boeing developed a concept for a nuclear-powered crewed Mars spacecraft. More than a half-century later, Dwayne Day describes, that concept continues to stimulate imaginations, including of one designer who created models of it using LEGOs.

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