Stylized illustration of satellite scanning oil rigs

From ‘monitoring’ to action

By Hope Hodge Seck

April 2024

Methane is invisible, odorless in low concentrations and a byproduct of raising cattle and drilling gas and oil for energy. The arrival of MethaneSAT in orbit last month has sparked new hopes among environmentalists that businesses will soon be held accountable for their methane emissions and that this will prompt them to improve their self-monitoring. Hope Hodge Seck looks at the fine points of identifying polluters from space.


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Graphic of thermal protection tiles
Engineering Notebook

Cutting the cost of thermal protection

By Keith Button

April 2024

For every spacecraft that NASA and commercial space companies want to launch to low-Earth orbit and beyond, thousands of tiles must be manufactured to ensure these vehicles land more or less unscathed from the searing temperatures of plowing into the atmosphere. A Colorado company may have devised a way to make tiles more quickly and more cheaply. Keith Button learned about the upcoming laboratory tests that could be a turning point.


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Advanced air mobility

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Human Spaceflight

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Space Science

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