Spaceflight Insider

  • Launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe delayed

    Jason RhianJuly 18th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- NASA announced on Wednesday, July 19 that the launch of the agency's Parker Solar Probe mission, which is designed to "touch" the Sun - had been delayed an additional two days. 

  • Iridium NEXT Flight 7 being readied for launch atop SpaceX Falcon 9

    Jason RhianJuly 18th SpaceX is working to rack up yet another successful launch for its 2018 manifest in the next several days. As is often the case with the NewSpace firm, this mission will be a commercial flight meant to further a long-standing collaboration with one of the company’s most loyal customers.

  • Juno may have found new volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 17th A new heat source detected near the south pole of Jupiter's moon Io may be the site of a previously undiscovered volcano, according to researchers working with data returned by NASA's Juno spacecraft.

  • Jettison Motor readied for integration into Orion’s LAS

    Jason RhianJuly 17th NASA and the agency's commercial partners have been preparing for the Orion spacecraft's Ascent Abort Test (AA-2) currently slated to take place in 2019. Aerojet Rocketdyne's jettison motor is a critical part of this test and is being prepped for use.

  • Space exploration and scientific discovery: Space strategy needed by 2020

    Press ReleaseJuly 16th Space exploration and scientific discovery initiatives are increasingly becoming global endeavors. The costs involved can be beyond the resources any single country, so for the world to explore space and make more scientific discoveries there should be a space strategy by 2020.

  • Trio of observatories reveal rare double asteroid

    Jim SharkeyJuly 16th Observations by three of the world's largest radio telescopes have revealed that a near-Earth asteroid discovered in 2017 is actually two objects, each about 3,000 feet (900 meters) in size, orbiting each other. The two bodies are nearly equal in mass and not touching each other.

  • Northrop Grumman’s OA-9 Cygnus leaves International Space Station

    Derek RichardsonJuly 15th Following two months attached to the International Space Station, the ninth Cygnus resupply spacecraft was unberthed and released from the orbiting outpost to perform a secondary two-week free-flight mission.

  • Fermi Telescope discovers neutrino’s origin as supermassive black hole

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 15th A cosmic neutrino detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was found to have originated in a gamma ray emitted by a supermassive black hole 3.7 billion light years away at the center of a galaxy in the constellation Orion.

  • Topographic maps reveal surface details on Pluto and Charon

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 14th Researchers on NASA's New Horizons team have put together global topographic maps of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, which vividly depict the stunning variety of terrains on both worlds.

  • Israeli company eyes Moon landing in early 2019

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 14th SpaceIL has unveiled its plan to land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon in early 2019. The company announced that the mission would be launched by a Falcon 9 rocket in December 2018.

  • President Trump selects NASA Deputy Administrator

    Joe LatrellJuly 13th On Thursday, July 12 President Donald Trump announced his choice for the NASA Deputy Administrator position. His choice was James Morhard, who is currently serving as Deputy Sergeant at Arms for the United States Senate.

  • Video: Falling Heritage – SLC-17 demolished to pave way for the future

    Jason RhianJuly 13th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The two towers at Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 17 were demolished via controlled explosions at 7 a.m. EDT (11:00 GMT) on Thursday July 12, 2018. When the towers fell, 61 years of launch history came to a close. The site will now be used by Moon Express to test its lunar lander.

  • Iridium NEXT Flight 7 being readied for launch atop SpaceX Falcon 9

    Jason RhianJuly 18th SpaceX is working to rack up yet another successful launch for its 2018 manifest in the next several days. As is often the case with the NewSpace firm, this mission will be a commercial flight meant to further a long-standing collaboration with one of the company’s most loyal customers.

  • Jettison Motor readied for integration into Orion’s LAS

    Jason RhianJuly 17th NASA and the agency's commercial partners have been preparing for the Orion spacecraft's Ascent Abort Test (AA-2) currently slated to take place in 2019. Aerojet Rocketdyne's jettison motor is a critical part of this test and is being prepped for use.

  • Northrop Grumman’s OA-9 Cygnus leaves International Space Station

    Derek RichardsonJuly 15th Following two months attached to the International Space Station, the ninth Cygnus resupply spacecraft was unberthed and released from the orbiting outpost to perform a secondary two-week free-flight mission.

  • Israeli company eyes Moon landing in early 2019

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 14th SpaceIL has unveiled its plan to land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon in early 2019. The company announced that the mission would be launched by a Falcon 9 rocket in December 2018.

  • GAO report on Commercial Crew suggests: ‘The hell they will launch (operational crew) before 2019’

    Jason RhianJuly 13th Predictions by SpaceX's president, Gwynn Shotwell, that the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft would fly with astronauts by 2018 appear to be inaccurate. Similarly Boeing's entry in NASA's Commercial Crew Program are not expected to able to achieve key certification objectives this year either, according to a government report.

  • Canaveral’s Delta II launch site demolished, paving the way for Moon Express

    Jason RhianJuly 12th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A piece of the Cape's launch history came to an end on Thursday, July 12, with the demolition of Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 17. The site where NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers began their epic voyage to the Red Planet have been reduced to rubble - paving the way for use by Moon Express.

  • Long March 2C orbits two Earth-observing satellites for Pakistan

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 10th Lifting off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) in China’s Shanxi Province, a Long March 2C rocket orbited the PRSS-1 and PakTES 1A Earth-observing spacecraft for Pakistan on Monday, July 9.

  • Russian Progress MS-09 spacecraft reaches International Space Station in record time

    Derek RichardsonJuly 10th Russia’s Progress MS-09 freighter launched atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked with the International Space Station in less than four hours—a mere 2.5 laps around Earth.

  • Progress MS-09 set for fast-track rendezvous with ISS

    Derek RichardsonJuly 7th Continuing a busy period for the International Space Station’s Expedition 56 crew, an automated Russian Progress cargo spacecraft is set to launch to the orbiting outpost. Liftoff is scheduled for 5:51 p.m. EDT (21:51 GMT) July 9, 2018, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

  • Parker Solar Probe heat shield installed

    Curt GodwinJuly 7th Engineers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab recently attached the Parker Solar Probe's 160-pound (72.6-kilogram) thermal protection system, or heat shield, to the body of the spacecraft in preparation for its launch, scheduled for no earlier than Aug. 4, 2018.

  • India conducts pad abort test for its crewed space flight program

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 6th On Thursday, July 5, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully carried out an emergency Pad Abort Test (PAT), marking the first step to qualify India’s indigenous Crew Escape System technology for launching astronauts into space.

  • NASA seeking industry proposals for first element of Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway

    Lloyd CampbellJuly 5th NASA is asking for proposals from industry to partner with the space agency in developing the first piece of its proposed Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway through a draft broad agency announcement. The space station proposed to be a cislunar outpost for deep space exploration missions, both robotic and human.

  • Saturn’s moon Enceladus has conditions that could support microbial life

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 4th Complex organic molecules have been discovered in the plumes of Saturn's moon Enceladus. The data transmitted back to Earth by the Cassini Saturn orbiter, which ended its service above the ringed world on Sept. 16, 2017.

  • Crew Dragon undergoes more tests as it progresses to operational readiness

    Curt GodwinJuly 3rd After recently being subjected to electromagnetic interference (EMI) testing, SpaceX's Crew Dragon inches closer to operational readiness with the completion of two key tests.

  • CRS-15 Dragon brings science experiments, artificial intelligence to ISS

    Derek RichardsonJuly 2nd SpaceX’s CRS-15 Dragon cargo resupply ship has been attached to the International Space Station. the spacecraft rendezvoused with the orbiting outpost in the early-morning hours of July 2, 2018, and is expected to remain berthed for about a month.

  • Inside Opportunity: ‘Oppy’ fights for its life in massive Martian dust storm

    James RiceJuly 1st Our intrepid Opportunity rover is currently in the midst of riding out a massive global dust storm that began May 30. This storm moved south down the well-known Acidalia storm track into Xanthe Terra. A few days later the storm had stretched from eastern Valles Marineris to northern Arabia Terra. It then moved across the equator and south toward Meridiani Planum where Opportunity is located.

  • Swan song: Final SpaceX Block 4 Falcon 9 launches CRS-15 cargo mission

    Curt GodwinJune 29th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla -- Clear weather and a Moonlit pre-dawn sky provided perfect conditions as SpaceX launched its final Block 4 Falcon 9 on its fifteenth cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The rocket lifted off at 5:42 a.m. EDT (9:42 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40).

  • SFI Live: Launch of CRS-15 atop SpaceX Falcon 9

    Jason RhianJune 29th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is set to launch its last Block 4 Falcon 9 rocket on June 29, 2018. Join Jim Siegel as he hosts SpaceFlight Insider's live webcast leading up to the opening of the launch window at 5:41 a.m. EDT (09:41 GMT). The mission is poised to get under way from Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida, SpaceFlight Insider's live coverage is slated to open at 5:11 a.m. EDT.

  • JWST exceeds cost cap, launch delayed to 2021

    Jason RhianJune 28th The James Webb Space Telescope, in development for the past 22 years, is now scheduled to take flight on March 30, 2021. Known for its numerous delays and cost overruns, the JWST appears to be in the final stages for its flight atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

  • China launches technology demonstration satellites atop Long March 2C – spent stage falls on town

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 27th China launched a Long March 2C rocket carrying two technology demonstration satellites designated XJSW A and XJSW B on Wednesday, June 27.

    The Range
  • Launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe delayed

    July 18th
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- NASA announced on Wednesday, July 19 that the launch of the agency's Parker Solar Probe mission, which is designed to "touch" the Sun - had been delayed an additional two days. 

  • Juno may have found new volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io

    July 17th
    A new heat source detected near the south pole of Jupiter's moon Io may be the site of a previously undiscovered volcano, according to researchers working with data returned by NASA's Juno spacecraft.

  • Space exploration and scientific discovery: Space strategy needed by 2020

    July 16th
    Space exploration and scientific discovery initiatives are increasingly becoming global endeavors. The costs involved can be beyond the resources any single country, so for the world to explore space and make more scientific discoveries there should be a space strategy by 2020.

  • Trio of observatories reveal rare double asteroid

    July 16th
    Observations by three of the world's largest radio telescopes have revealed that a near-Earth asteroid discovered in 2017 is actually two objects, each about 3,000 feet (900 meters) in size, orbiting each other. The two bodies are nearly equal in mass and not touching each other.

  • Fermi Telescope discovers neutrino’s origin as supermassive black hole

    July 15th
    A cosmic neutrino detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was found to have originated in a gamma ray emitted by a supermassive black hole 3.7 billion light years away at the center of a galaxy in the constellation Orion.

  • Topographic maps reveal surface details on Pluto and Charon

    July 14th
    Researchers on NASA's New Horizons team have put together global topographic maps of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, which vividly depict the stunning variety of terrains on both worlds.

  • President Trump selects NASA Deputy Administrator

    July 13th
    On Thursday, July 12 President Donald Trump announced his choice for the NASA Deputy Administrator position. His choice was James Morhard, who is currently serving as Deputy Sergeant at Arms for the United States Senate.

  • Video: Falling Heritage – SLC-17 demolished to pave way for the future

    July 13th
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The two towers at Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 17 were demolished via controlled explosions at 7 a.m. EDT (11:00 GMT) on Thursday July 12, 2018. When the towers fell, 61 years of launch history came to a close. The site will now be used by Moon Express to test its lunar lander.

  • Lockheed Martin 3D prints fuel tank components

    July 13th
    Lockheed Martin has announced the creation of a 3-D printed titanium dome for satellite fuel tanks. The 46-inch diameter vessel completed final rounds of quality testing this month. The program was instituted to create a high-pressure tank that can carry fuel on board satellites and marks a significant step toward streamlining the deployment of spacecraft on orbit.

  • Gallery: Canaveral’s SLC-17 demolished

    July 12th

  • AR-22 engine fired 10 times in as many days

    July 12th
    Boeing's Phantom Express had its AR-22 rocket engine put through its paces over the course of more than a week via tests to ensure the engine's ability to accomplish the space plane's objectives. It is hoped these tests will pave the way for the spacecraft to carry out missions to space with a pace similar to that aircraft currently carry out today.

  • Animation depicts upward movement of water from Europa’s subsurface ocean

    July 11th
    Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have created an animation simulating the possible upward movement of water from Europa's subsurface ocean to its surface, by applying a numerical model used to study movement in Earth's crust.

  • China churns out yet another launch with flight of BeiDou-2 I7 navigation satellite

    July 10th
    On Monday, July 9, China utilized a Long March 3A rocket to send the BeiDou-2 I7 satellite on its way to orbit. The flight marked the second successful launch in less than two days - and added another spacecraft to the nation's homegrown BeiDou satellite navigation system.

  • Running on Empty: NASA’s Kepler spacecraft pauses observations

    July 9th
    The Kepler mission team recently received an indication that the spacecraft is running very low on fuel. The team has paused the spacecraft's planet-hunting science observations and placed it in a hibernation-like state to prepare to download the science data collected during its most recent observation campaign. Once the data is downloaded, the team expects to begin a new observation campaign with the spacecraft's remaining fuel.

  • First Laser Light for GRACE Follow-On

    July 6th
    The laser ranging interferometer (LRI) instrument has been successfully switched on aboard the recently launched twin U.S./German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites. The LRI, which is being flown as a technology demonstration, has made its first measurements in parallel with GRACE-FO's main microwave ranging instrument, and initial comparisons of the data from the two types of instruments show that they agree as expected.