Sierra Nevada issues statement in wake of SS2 disaster

Photo Credit: CBS News

Colorado-based Sierra Nevada Corporation, a one-time contributor to Scaled Composites’ first thee powered test flights of SpaceShipTwo, has issued the following statement regarding the loss of the spacecraft. SpaceShipTwo was lost shortly after separating from its carrier WhiteKnight Two aircraft on Oct. 31, 2014:

SpaceShipTwo crashes into Mojave Desert, one pilot reported killed – UPDATE

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo - has been lost during an Oct. 31 flight test. Photo Credit: Virgin

During a 12:19 p.m. EDT (1619 GMT) powered test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, the spacecraft encountered an inflight anomaly and crashed into the Mojave Desert, according to a report appearing on Kern Golden The company referred to the loss of the spacecraft as a “serious anomaly” – which resulted in the loss of the […]

Antares accident: Could decades old, Russian-made AJ-26 be to blame?

Photo Credit: Joel Kowsky / NASA

As has been widely reported, Orbital Sciences Corporation’s (Orbital’s) Orb-3 Antares rocket failed, on Oct. 28, a few seconds after liftoff. The rocket appeared to explode and then fall back onto Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, destroying the rocket and its 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) of cargo — intended for resupply of the […]

Stunning new video of catastrophic loss of Antares and Cygnus

Photo Credit: JD Taylor / SpaceFlight Insider / USAinSpace

One of SpaceFlight Insider’s newest members, JD Taylor began his tenure with our firm with the launch of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket and its payload of the SS Deke Slayton, Cygnus, spacecraft bound for the International Space Station with about 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) of cargo. It would never make it. At approximately 12 seconds into […]

Fabulous at 50: ULA delivers GPS IIF8 to orbit on 50th flight of Atlas V

United Launch Alliance sent the 8th Block IIF GPS satellite today, Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 1:22 p.m. EDT (1722 GMT). Photo Credit: Mike Deep SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – United Launch Alliance (ULA ) successfully sent the 50th of the Colorado-based firm’s Atlas V 401 rockets, designated AV-050, into orbit with the GPS IIF8 satellite on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Liftoff took place at the very opening of the 18-minute launch window rom Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida […]

Orbital Sciences Antares rocket explodes less than a minute into flight

Just moments after liftoff, Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket exploded. The accident happened at approximately 6:22 p.m. EDT (2222 GMT). Photo Credit: JD Taylor / SpaceFlight Insider

WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, Va — On Tuesday, Oct. 28,  Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital ) suffered the loss of one of the Dulles, Virginia-based firm’s Antares launch vehicles, along with the SS Deke Slayton, Cygnus, spacecraft at 6:22 p.m. EDT (1822 GMT). The anomaly happened within the first minute of flight, which left the launch pad covered in fire, smoke, and the […]

50th ULA Atlas V poised to hoist GPS IIF8 satellite to orbit

United Launch Alliance is preparing to launch one of the company's Atlas V 401 boosters to ferry the GPS IIF8 navigational satellite aloft. Liftoff is currently set for 1:21 p.m. EDT (1721 GMT) on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Photo Credit: ULA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – Colorado-based United Launch Alliance (ULA ) is prepping the 50th Atlas V launch vehicle to ferry the eighth GPS Block IIF satellite to orbit. Liftoff us currently scheduled to take place on Oct. 29 at 1:21 p.m. EDT (1721 GMT). This will mark the third time that a ULA Atlas V 401 rocket has […]

Launch of ESA’s first ‘Space Plane’ – postponed

Photo Credit: Jacques van Oene / SpaceFlight Insider

The launch of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle), ESA’s first-ever “space plane” has been postponed to give scientists time to fine tune the mission’s flight plan. At present, there is no established revised launch date, a new one is expected soon.

NASA seeking ultra-lightweight materials to enable missions to Mars

Image Credit: JPL / NASA

NASA is seeking proposals to develop and manufacture ultra-lightweight materials for aerospace vehicles and structures of the future. Currently and in the recent past, manufacturers have been using composite “sandwich” materials. Composite sandwich structures are made by attaching two thin skins to a lightweight honeycomb or foam cores. Today this type of composite is used […]

Wayward sailboat scrubs multi-million Antares launch to ISS

Photo Credit: Patrick J. Hendrickson /

WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, Va. — The weather at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia – could not have been more perfect, with a 98 percent chance of favorable conditions for launch. Similarly, the Antares launch vehicle itself was primed and ready for flight. However, there will be no flight of Antares tonight - due to a […]

Launch Viewing Guide: ULA Atlas V 401 with GPS IIF8

Photo Credit: United Launch Alliance

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — United Launch Alliance (ULA) is getting ready to launch one of the company’s Atlas V 401 rockets on the 50th flight of the venerable booster. This particular Atlas will launch the GPS IIF-8 navigational satellite to orbit. The Atlas will fly in what is known as the 401 configuration (that’s rocket scientist speak for […]

Google executive Alan Eustace shatters Baumgartner’s record

Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president, now holds the new record for highest parachute jump. This follows his October 2014 jump from the edge of space. Photo Credit: Paragon Space Development

Two years ago, Austrian Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier when he successfully parachuted from the edge of the stratosphere. During this historic jump, he managed to break three world records –highest parachute jump, fastest freefall, and highest manned balloon ride. On Friday, Oct. 24, his records were broken - by Google executive Alan Eustace, who successfully […]

Our Spaceflight Heritage: Expedition 7 returns home after history-making mission

Ed Lu (left) and Yuri Malenchenko staying warm in chairs after extraction from Soyuz TMA-2. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The crew of Expedition 7 returned to Earth after spending six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on Oct. 27, 2003 at 9:41 p.m. EDT (0141 GMT).  With the leadership of Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos, and US astronaut Edward Lu followed Norman Thagard in traveling to space in a Soyuz spacecraft. The two men experienced a more scaled […]

Orbital Sciences readies SS Deke Slayton for resupply run to International Space Station

Orbital's Antares rocket sit poised at the Wallops Flight Facility's Pad-0A. The launch vehicle is tasked with sending the SS Deke Slayton, Cygnus, spacecraft to the International Space Station. Launch is currently scheduled to take place at 6:45 p.m. EDT (2245 GMT) on Monday, Oct. 27. Photo Credit: Joel Kowsky / NASA

After minor delays, Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) is set to launch one of the company’s Cygnus resupply spacecraft on Monday, Oct. 27 to deliver crew supplies and cargo to the International Space Station’s (ISS) Expedition 40. Monday’s launch is slated for 6:44 p.m. EDT (1844 GMT), providing only a 15 minute launch window at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport […]

OPINION: New 3D printer on Space Station may open new era in space manufacturing

Made in Space CTO Jason Dunn (left) and P.I. of the 3DP Experiment Mike Snyder look to optimize the first 3D printer for space. Photo Credit: Made in Space

On Sept. 23, 2014, the Dragon CRS-4 resupply spacecraft launched by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) docked with the International Space Station (ISS), delivering a cache of supplies including spare parts, clothes, food, and of course science experiments—numbering among them the first 3D printer in space. Manufactured by Made in Space, a small startup company out […]

Astronomers observe nearly 500 exocomets around nearby star

Artist's conception of exocomets around the star Beta Pictoris. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada

Comets have been in the news a lot recently, with the ongoing investigation of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the Rosetta spacecraft and the close flyby of Mars by comet Siding Spring this past week. But there is also another comet discovery – one much further out from our solar system. With the help of the HARPS instrument, on […]

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, mission complete, returns home

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft can be seen here drifting down to the Pacific Ocean where it splashed down at 3:39 p.m. EDT. Photo Credit: SpaceX

The Expedition 40 crew said goodbye to  a fellow space traveler with the departure of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX )Dragon cargo vessel which arrived at the space station on Saturday, Oct. 25. After being instructed to carry out a burn, the spacecraft and its new payload of used experiments and equipment splashed down off an […]

Report examines KSC commercial space launch activities

NASA has completed steps that the space agency has deemed as being important to the conversion of Kennedy Space Center to a modern spaceport - one capable of supporting multiple users. Photo Credit: Kim Shiflett / NASA

On Thursday, Oct. 23 NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a 33-page report detailing an audit of the agency’s efforts to transform Kennedy Space Center (KSC) into a multi-user spaceport. So far NASA has leased about half of the 23 facilities at KSC which are no longer in use following the end of the Space […]

Report: Orbital to seek new engine for Antares booster

Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / SpaceFlight Insider

SpaceFlight Now has posted a report detailing how Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation is looking into a new, as yet unnamed, rocket engine for use on the first stage of the firm’s Antares launch vehicle. The article, appearing on Oct. 19, came just slightly more than a week before the company is set to launch its Cygnus spacecraft […]

Orbital’s Antares booster moved to Wallops’ Pad-0a in prepartion for Orb-3 launch

Photo Credit: Joel Kowsky / NASA

Orbital Sciences Corporation and NASA rolled the Antares booster and Cygnus spacecraft which will carry out the Orb-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) out of Wallops’ Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) at 4:45 p.m. EDT (2045 GMT). The duo were ferried out to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A in preparation for a launch […]