Solar Sails

Solar sails are the only method of spacecraft propulsion in which no fuel is needed. Until recently spacecraft powered by solar sails were the stuff of science fiction. However,  following the success of the Japanese spacecraft IKAROS which flew close to Venus in 2010, and in 2019 the crowd-funded Light Sail 2 spacecraft it is… Continue reading Solar Sails

Chinese Moon samples

Like many of my readers I was pleased to see that the Chang’e 5 spacecraft returned to Earth on 16 December 2020 with around 2 kg of lunar rocks. This great achievement was the first lunar sample return mission for China and is indeed the first time any rocks have been brought from the Moon… Continue reading Chinese Moon samples

First American crewed spaceflight since 2011

On May 27, SpaceX's Dragon 2 capsule will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket  sending NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. The lift-off will mark the return of orbital human spaceflight from the USA for the first time since the Space Shuttle retired in 2011. To mark this event… Continue reading First American crewed spaceflight since 2011

Staying on the Moon

Until the outbreak of the global pandemic there was a good chance that mankind would return to the Moon in the next ten years, even if the deadline of project Artemis to have a manned mission in 2024 was a little ambitious. It will be some time before the effects of the current crisis on… Continue reading Staying on the Moon

British coverage of Apollo 11

Last year as all my readers will know was the fiftieth anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing. Image credit NASA Although the pictures and video from the Apollo 11 mission, including Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon, are famous throughout the world and are freely available on platforms such as YouTube, it is… Continue reading British coverage of Apollo 11