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How many people are in space right now?

how many people are in space right now

The International Space Station is designed to always be crewed by cosmonauts and astronauts. For this reason, women and men have been living and working in space constantly since the first Expedition mission in the year 2000. So how many people are in space right now?

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Bill Nelson’s NASA divides key space program leadership between Kathy Lueders and Jim Free

There was something refreshing last summer when NASA promoted Kathy Lueders from her leadership role over Commercial Crew and Commercial Cargo programs to lead Human Explorations & Operations.

A key goal of the Artemis program is to send the first woman and person of color to the Moon in this decade. It only felt appropriate that a highly qualified female would make key Artemis program decisions after the unceremonious departure of her predecessor.

Now Bill Nelson’s NASA is dividing the human spaceflight program into two separate mission directorates: Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate and Space Operations Mission Directorate.

Jim Free, a former NASA deputy, will take on exploration duties while Lueders retains her responsibilities in operations.

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Ovens, wifi, and toilets: Elon Musk promises these improvements on future SpaceX spaceflights

It’s hard to believe that SpaceX has only just started launching people to space, but that’s practically the case with just four crewed missions under their belt since last year. DM-2, Crew-1, and Crew-2 missions for NASA saw the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft send humans to the International Space Station. The journey inside Dragon wasn’t also the destination as it was for Inspiration4.

What changes when the experience in Dragon is tested by ordinary people for whom the SpaceX spacecraft is also the endpoint in space? SpaceX founder Elon Musk has weighed in with some early suggestions that range from cooking methods to waste management.

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SpaceX Inspiration4 mission will use Apple Watch and iPad for health research study in space

SpaceX is flying four private citizens to orbit on a three-day mission called Inspiration4, and Apple hardware will be key in a first-of-its-kind research study happening during the flight. These products include Apple Watch Series 6, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPad mini 4, as selected by SpaceX.

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Virgin Galactic ‘Unity 23’ mission to fly Italian Air Force and National Research Council crew

Virgin Galactic has announced its next spaceflight mission after sending founder Richard Branson to space on its previous mission.

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Inspiration4: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital launches Mission of a Lifetime podcast

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is launching a four-part podcast series called Mission of a Lifetime ahead of the Inspiration4 mission on September 15.

Inspiration4 orbital civilian mission will include new health research with SpaceX and team

The upcoming Inspiration4 mission to space won’t just make history as the “world’s first all-civilian human spaceflight mission to orbit” as it’s frequently described. The four crew members aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will participate in a new health research study during the three-day journey in space.

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When will NASA send SLS and Orion on the first Artemis mission around the Moon?

NASA is sending astronauts back to the Moon for the first since Apollo 17 in 1972. The new space exploration program is called Artemis, and the first Artemis mission is just months away from happening. A new report though begs the question of when will NASA truly launch Artemis 1?

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[Update: New target] Blue Origin targeting next New Shepard mission with NASA tech and art installation on Wednesday

Update: Blue Origin is pushing back the mission target by 24 hours.

Blue Origin has announced its next New Shepard rocket mission called NS-17 will take place on Wednesday, August 25. The mission carrying NASA technology and a special art installation will be an uncrewed spaceflight following founder Jeff Bezos’ trip to space on NS-16.

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[Update: Delayed past NASA Lucy mission] Boeing stands down from current Starliner launch window, returning spacecraft to factory

Update: In a press conference Boeing and NASA detailed why they will be moving Starliner back to their factory and the next possible launch opportunities.


The ongoing saga that is Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft takes another unfortunate turn today. Boeing has announced that it will return Starliner to its factory after experiencing hardware issues that prevented a launch attempt.

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‘Inspiration4 Miler’ is the one virtual run space fans can’t miss (yes, there’s a stellar swag bag)

The Inspiration4 hype train is full steam ahead, and the team at Space Explored is all aboard. The newest piece of awesome to come out of the first all-civilian mission to orbit is the Inspiration4 Miler, a virtual walk or run to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Participation raises money for a phenomenal effort and the swag bag includes must-have Inspiration4 merch.

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‘Where are my engines, Jeff?’ Ars investigates Blue Origin BE-4 engine delay for ULA Vulcan rocket

You don’t have to spend much time on Space Twitter or Reddit to stumble upon a few dozen “Where are my engines, Jeff?” memes. Ars Technica recently took a shot at finding the answer to why Blue Origin’s BE-4 engines are delayed.

Need your Inspiration4 fix? TIME feature on first SpaceX all-civilian mission to orbit has you covered

The team at Space Explored is tremendously pumped for the upcoming Inspiration4 SpaceX mission happening as soon as next month, and a new TIME feature published this month explains why.

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NASA test fires SLS RS-25 engine at Stennis, validating new manufacturing process

NASA recently conducted an important 8-minute RS-25 single-engine hot fire test at Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi. Space Launch System (SLS) relies on four RS-25 engines (and two solid rocket boosters) to leave the planet for destinations like the Moon and beyond as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

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Perseverance Mars sampling attempt not quite ‘hole-in-one’ as NASA works the problem

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover reached the Red Planet in February, and weeks of never-before-attempted Ingenuity helicopter flights followed. Now Perseverance is ready to knock out a major mission of its own: collect Mars samples.

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Starliner: Boeing restores 7 of 13 propulsion valves, still eyeing August launch

Last week Boeing paused its second Starliner orbital flight test mission to the ISS after discovering propulsion issues with the spacecraft at the launch pad. The company has released a new update today on the latest status of the mission.

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SpaceX hits 90,000 subscribers across 12 countries using Starlink satellite internet service

SpaceX reports a new record of ~90,000 Starlink satellite internet subscribers, according to CNBC.

SpaceX Inspiration4 mission documentary series coming to Netflix in September

Inspiration4 is easily the coolest spaceflight mission of the year, and Netflix will soon have a documentary detailing the incredible experience for the four private citizens traveling to space for three days.

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Boeing pauses critical Starliner OFT-2 mission to ISS over propulsion system issue

After a year and a half of focusing on software issues, Boeing has paused its Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station today. The launch was scheduled for this afternoon but scrubbed hours before liftoff due to a propulsion system issue with the spacecraft.

Boeing’s mission is to have its uncrewed Starliner spacecraft reach the International Space Station and return safely before it can be rated for human spaceflight. Boeing is one of two providers for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (along with SpaceX) to transport astronauts to and from the space station.

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White House taps Microsoft Azure Space director for National Space Council executive secretary

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has chosen Chirag Parikh to serve as the executive secretary of the National Space Council. Parikh most recently worked as senior director of Microsoft’s Azure Space division. As executive secretary of the National Space Council, Parikh is well-positioned to influence space policy across the government.

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GAO backs NASA decision to rely on SpaceX Starship for Moon landing, dismissing Blue Origin-backed protest

SpaceX Starship will officially be the single solution for the first lunar landing mission under NASA’s Artemis program to return to the Moon. This comes after the US GAO backed the decision to use Starship as the lander, stating it didn’t break any laws with the selection. The space agency first announced its decision to land astronauts on the Moon with SpaceX in April, but legal protests from the Blue Origin-led National Team and Dynetics halted progress for the contract.

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Watch Virgin Galactic send Richard Branson and crew to space during first livestream

Set aside some time on Sunday to catch Virgin Galactic’s very first livestream of a crewed spaceflight on the company’s SpaceShipTwo Unity spaceplane. Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson will be a passenger on the first fully crewed spaceflight on SS2, and special guests include host Stephen Colbert and artist Khalid.

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Scoop: Base portion of SLS Pathfinder arrives at U.S. Space & Rocket Center after NASA donation

This week the U.S. Space & Rocket Center took delivery of a huge piece of space history. The 27-foot-wide base portion of Space Launch System Core Stage Pathfinder, a full-scale mockup of the SLS rocket’s main segment, arrived in Huntsville, Alabama, where it will soon be displayed publicly. The original hardware was created to help NASA simulate operations in preparation of its upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon.

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California Prius driver stopped for cruising with SpaceX Starlink dish in front of windshield

It may be Independence Day weekend in the United States, but driving a hybrid car with a Starlink internet dish obstructing your view isn’t a freedom we can celebrate.

Watch OneWeb launch 36 internet satellites for service in the Arctic, UK, Canada, and Alaska

After coming back from the dead recently, OneWeb continues to build out its constellation of satellites to provide networking service to terminals around the world.

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Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson set to go to space 9 days before Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin

There is really no material value in one billionaire beating another billionaire to space. Yet Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson is scheduled to be aboard his company’s spacecraft during a suborbital flight before Jeff Bezos rides his rocket with Blue Origin.

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Elon Musk taunts ULA and Blue Origin after rogue plane and regulation delay SpaceX rocket launch

So this happened today. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responded to a Vulcan rocket teaser video from ULA CEO Tory Bruno with a slightly provocative “when do the engines arrive” response. Without mentioning Blue Origin, the taunt is mostly targeted at Jeff Bezos’ rocket company.

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Jeff Bezos is flying his rocket to space, and over 100K people are asking him to stay there

Jeff Bezos is just a few weeks away from being among the first humans to leave Earth in his New Shepard rocket, and a growing number of people are hoping he won’t be allowed back.

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European Space Agency recruiting world’s first parastronaut in effort to open space for physically disabled

Josef Aschbacher is pushing a major initiative at the European Space Agency to recruit and launch the first physically disabled astronaut to space. Reuters reports that several hundred of 22,000 ESA astronaut applicants who have applied are eligible thanks to ESA’s initiative.

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China becomes first nation since U.S. to land a rover on Mars

Perseverance, Ingenuity, and all the other American bots on Mars now have company. China became the second-ever country to successfully land a rover on the red planet today. Zhurong, named for the god of fire in Chinese folk tales, is roughly the size of NASA’s 2004 Spirit and Opportunity robots.

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Rocket Lab faces another Electron second stage failure and payload loss on 20th mission

It’s a tough day for the folks at Rocket Lab. After a successful liftoff from New Zealand, the California rocket company experienced another failure of its Electron second stage. This sadly means that the payload, two BlackSky satellites, were lost during the mission.

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Ask SpaceX Anything: Starship, Dragon, and Starlink software developers hosting AMA

Five members of SpaceX’s software team will be participating in an AMA (ask me anything) Q&A session on Reddit on Saturday, May 15. Have a question for folks behind the software that powers Starship, Dragon, Starlink, and more?

’60 Minutes’ reviews first month of life on Mars for Ingenuity helicopter and Perseverance rover

We’ve been deep diving through Perseverance and Ingenuity since before the Mars 2020 mission lifted off from Cape Canaveral last year. Still, seeing NASA’s Mars rover and first-ever helicopter and their first month spent on the red planet still wows us.

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Starlink or aliens? Ben Platt drops SpaceX story on James Corden’s ‘Late Late Show’

If you’ve ever seen Starlink satellites after they deploy in low Earth orbit, you’ll understand why musician and actor Ben Platt and his boyfriend mistook SpaceX’s internet satellites for an alien invasion in the night sky …

Dogecoin sending SpaceX mission to the Moon on Falcon 9 lunar payload mission

Dogecoin has gone from a joke crypto coin to the hottest cryptocurrency since bitcoin, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is largely responsible for its meteoric rise over the last few months. Now the space exploration company is planning the first dogecoin-funded mission to the Moon …

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Boeing targets mid-summer launch for second Starliner uncrewed orbital flight test to ISS

Boeing is one step closer to joining SpaceX in launching astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA. The company’s Starliner spacecraft will conduct its second uncrewed orbital flight test, known as OFT-2, as soon as July 30. OFT-2 is Boeing’s second shot at having its spacecraft reach ISS, dock, and undock before returning to Earth.

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SpaceX is using a $75K robot dog named Zeus to test Mars-bound Starship rockets

If a dog is man’s best friend, can a robot dog named Zeus be best friends with a rocket to Mars? We’d like to believe so, and that’s what appears to be happening in South Texas.

LabPadre who documents SpaceX activity at its Boca Chica facility caught footage of what appears to be a Boston Dynamics-made robot dog running around the Starship test site.

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Watch NASA astronaut Kate Rubins return to Earth with cosmonauts Sergey and Sergey

After six months working on the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is returning to Earth tonight alongside her mission colleagues Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. NASA will have live coverage through the night of the crew’s departure from ISS and return to Kazakhstan.

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SpaceX Starship as NASA’s Artemis lunar human landing system tidbits

NASA is buying SpaceX’s Starship rocket a $2.9 billion ticket to the Moon, and the ramifications of that decision are plentiful. The Washington Post was first to report that Starship is NASA’s sole choice for the Artemis human landing system for astronauts going to the Moon. The agency later held a press conference with reporters during which it made the news official while adding more color to the story. NASA has also published a source selection statement written by Kathy Lueders detailing specifics around its decision.

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Former astronaut Pam Melroy named as Biden pick for NASA deputy administrator

NASA will soon have a new second-in-command leading America’s space agency. The Biden administration announced its intent to nominate former astronaut Pam Melroy for the role of deputy administrator.

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NASA selects SpaceX to develop human landing system for Artemis moon mission using Starship

NASA is actively working on Artemis, a space exploration program that includes a mission to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon during this decade. Astronauts will travel from Earth in NASA’s Orion spacecraft which will launch on the space agency’s Space Launch System rocket. SLS gives Orion the boost it needs to reach the Moon, but Orion doesn’t touch down on the lunar surface. A third vehicle called a human landing system is needed to transport astronauts to the surface of the Moon. One year ago, NASA selected three potential partners for providing the human landing system for Artemis 3, the first mission in the program that includes walking on the Moon.

Later today, the U.S. space agency will officially announce which partner it will proceed in funding for development. Ace Washington Post space reporter and author Christian Davenport has scooped the 4 p.m. EDT press conference with source selection details. According to Davenport, SpaceX has won the contract with its Starship-based human landing system bid.

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Apple launches first TV+ companion podcast with ‘For All Mankind’ series in time for second season

Apple is launching its first podcast series connected to an original series on its Apple TV+ video streaming service. For All Mankind: The Official Podcast is hosted by actor Krys Marshall, who plays astronaut Danielle Poole on the show. The weekly podcast series will include interviews with more cast members, space experts, and former astronauts.

Trading Space: After reaching space, Astra aims for NASDAQ

Launch service startup Astra successfully reached space with its Rocket 3.2 vehicle for the first time in December. Now the satellite launch company is setting its sights on a new target: the New York Stock Exchange. Astra plans to join the small but growing list of publicly traded space companies this year.

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Crew-2: NASA and SpaceX targeting 4/20 for next astronaut launch to space station

SpaceX will conduct its third mission to send astronauts to space on April 20 from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft will send two NASA astronauts, one JAXA astronaut, and one ESA astronaut to the International Space Station. The mission called Crew-2 will be the first SpaceX flight for a European Space Agency astronaut and the second for a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut.

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Axiom Space names full ‘Axionaut’ crew for private Ax-1 mission to space station

Axiom Space has assembled the first private crew bound for the International Space Station. Three investors turned Axiom customers will join a former NASA astronaut to conduct a non-government mission in space. The mission dubbed Ax-1 will rely on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft to transport the four men to and from the space station.

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NASA and Boeing set new date for second Starliner test ahead of astronaut missions

Boeing is positioned to start flying astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA as soon as this year, but the Starliner spacecraft must complete an orbital flight test without crew. NASA and Boeing now have a new date set for when the OFT-2 mission will be conducted. If successful, Boeing’s Starliner will join SpaceX’s Crew Dragon in transporting astronauts from the U.S. to the ISS for NASA’s Commercial Crew program.

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Jim Bridenstine lands at aerospace investment firm in post-NASA gig

Republican Congressman from Oklahoma turned NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has already found his next gig after resigning from the space agency to make way for the next NASA leader.

Steve Jurczyk becomes Acting Administrator of NASA as Jim Bridenstine shares farewell video

The United States has a new President, and NASA has a new top boss. NASA’s Associate Administrator has been elevated to the position of Acting Administrator following the resignation of Jim Bridenstine.