Kepler Space Telescope discovers Earth-sized Planet in star’s habitable zone

Has the Kepler Space Telescope discovered "another" Earth? Image Credit: NASA/SETI/JPL

Today, astronomers working with the Kepler Space Telescope announced the discovery of the first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of its host star. A star’s habitable zone is the area around a star where the conditions would be ideal for liquid water to pool on the planet’s surface. Many factors contribute to a […]

Read More

Russian Soyuz-U rocket launches Egyptian military satellite

Photo Credit: Roscosmos

Egypt’s second “spy” satellite was successfully launched today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome located in Kazakhstan using a Russian Soyuz-U rocket with no upper stage. Launch from complex 31 – The second Soyuz launch pad at Baikonur – was right on time at 16:20 GMT. First and second stage of the Soyuz rocket all worked fine and the “Progress type” […]

Read More

SpaceX Launch of CRS-3 set for Friday, NASA plans spacewalk for following Wednesday

SpaceX and NASA have slated the next launch attempt for the Falcon 9 v1.1 carrying the Dragon spacecraft with supplies to the ISS at 3:25 p.m. EDT on April 18. Photo Credit: Carleton Bailie / SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — NASA and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) have announced that they will attempt to launch the Falcon 9 v1.1 with its payload of a Dragon spacecraft carrying more than 4,500 lbs of supplies to the International Space Station on Friday, April 18 at 3:25 p.m. EDT (1925 GMT). This will mark at […]

Read More

SpaceX to use Launch Complex 39A for Falcon Heavy – sets first launch in first quarter of 2015

From left-to-right: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell and NASA Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana. The trio held an event at KSC's Launch Complex 39A to detail how SpaceX would take control of the historic location for use on the company's Falcon 9 Heavy rocket and that it would launch in the first quarter of next year. Photo Credit: Scott Johnson / SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – On Monday, April 14, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) signed a 20 year lease agreement with NASA for the use of its Pad “A” located at Kennedy Space Center’s (KSC) Launch Complex 39 (LC-39A),  the pad from which all Apollo Moon landing missions, and many space shuttle  missions, departed the planet.

Read More

Orion powers through integrated systems tests

Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this year. Photo Credit: 
Lockheed Martin

NASA’s Orion spacecraft has completed critical testing of its integrated systems in preparation for its first test flight later this year. The flight test, designated Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) will launch the spacecraft more that 3,600 miles from Earth where it will complete two orbits before making a high-energy re-entry at 20,000 miles per hour.

Read More

NASA designing its own ‘flying saucer’ for future Mars missions

Engineers work on the LDSD system design at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Photo Credit: NASA / JPL

It may sound like something from a movie but it’s not – NASA is working on building its own version of a “flying saucer” for a future mission to Mars. The disk-shaped spacecraft would be used to transport heavy payloads and even people down to the surface, it was just reported in New Scientist.

Read More

Helium leak causes further delay for SpaceX’s CRS-3 mission to ISS

The planned 4:58 p.m. EDT (2058 GMT) launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 with a Dragon spacecraft bound for the ISS - has been scrubbed due to a helium leak in the first rocket's first stage. Photo Credit: Carleton Bailie / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Space Exploration Technologies hopes that they could conduct the third flight under the $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract that the company has with NASA were dashed by a helium leak in the Falcon 9 v1.1′s first stage. The technical issue forced a scrubbed to be called just shy of […]

Read More

Our Spaceflight Heritage: The Bold Administrator

Image Credit: NASA

On this day in 1972, NASA Administrator, Dr. James C. Fletcher, announced that the Kennedy Space Center serve as a space shuttle launch and landing site. Its official name became “Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility.”

Read More

NASA/SpaceX highlight science payload for CRS-3 mission

Photo Credit: Jason Rhian / SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – On Sunday afternoon, in the lead up to  Monday’s anticipated SpaceX launch, NASA held a news briefing to shed some light on a few of the science payloads being flown to the International Space Station  (ISS) on the CRS-3 mission.

Read More

NASA “Good to go” to support SpaceX launch of Falcon 9 v1.1 with Dragon on CRS-3 mission

SpaceX and NASA have cleared a Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket to ferry a Dragon spacecraft packed with more than 4,600 lbs of cargo to the International Space Station. Liftoff is currently slated to take place at 4:58 p.m. EDT (2058 pm GMT). Photo Credit: John Studwell / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has, after a number of delays, one of the company’s Falcon 9 v1.1 boosters ready to carry out  the Commercial Resupply 3 (CRS-3) mission. Launch is currently slated to take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Florida at 4:58 p.m. EDT (2058 […]

Read More

Opinion: Forty-five years later – what does “One Giant Leap” mean?

What real impact has the Apollo Program made on our everyday lives? Photo Credit: NASA

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong climbed down the ladder of a stubby, ungainly and fragile little spacecraft and became the first human being to set foot on another world. As he stepped cautiously into the lunar dust, he spoke the immortal words, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” Forty-five […]

Read More

Insider Interview: Mars Exploration Rover’s Jim Rice PhD talks 10 years on the Red Planet

Image Credit: Z. Gorjian, K. Kuramura, M. Stetson, E. De Jong, D. Maas / NASA

As NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity passes the one decade mark on the Red Planet, Dr. James Rice, a scientist working with the rovers looked back on 10 years of achievements and a future filled with possibilities. Rice detailed how the robot has survived adversity, persevered – and astonished.

Read More

Asteroid-bound OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is GO for construction

The OSIRIS-REx critical design review was held by an independent review board at Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver. The board validated the detailed design of the spacecraft, instruments and ground system. Photo Credit: NASA

NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) was given the green light to begin construction on Wednesday, April 9. The Mission Critical Design Review (CDR) that provided the go-ahead was held at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Littleton, Colo., April 1-9 through an independent review board consisting of aerospace experts.

Read More

Our Spaceflight Heritage: STS-1

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

On this day in 1981, Space Shuttle Columbia stood on launch Pad 39A, two astronauts sat strapped into their seats on the flight deck preparing its maiden launch of the program – STS-1. 

Read More

Our Spaceflight Heritage: First Manned Spaceflight

Image Credit: NASA

On this day in 1961, a Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, became the first person in space. Gagarin made a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft. The date of April 12 was already a huge day in terms of space history because of this. Some twenty years later, this date would be underlined in terms of […]

Read More

ORB-2 on track for May 6 launch, but may be delayed

Today the Cygnus Service Module and the Pressurized Cargo Module for the next Space Station resupply mission were mated at the Wallops Island, VA launch site. Photo Credit: NASA

With just a little less than a month to go before Orbital Sciences Corporation’s ORB-2 resupply mission takes to the skies, the launch may still be pushed back due to delays with SpaceX’s own resupply mission. Although Orbital’s Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft have the green light to proceed, the May 6 scheduled launch date […]

Read More

Launch Viewing Guide: SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 with CRS-3

SpaceX has rescheduled the launch of the CRS-3 mission for late in the afternoon of April 14. Photo Credit: Chris Thompson / SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is preparing to launch one of the company’s upgraded Falcon 9 rockets. This particular F9 will launch a Dragon spacecraft, filled with approximately 4,600 lbs of supplies to the International Space Station. The Falcon will fly in the v1.1 configuration (that’s rocket scientist speak for a version […]

Read More

New ‘Cosmic Tape Measure’ allows Hubble to see farther more accurately than ever before

Illustration showing how precise stellar measurements by the Hubble Space Telescope now extend 10 times farther into space than before. Image Credit: NASA / ESA / A. Feild (STScI)

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope are now able to measure the distances to stars and other objects more accurately than ever before, it was announced yesterday by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Basically, Hubble can now make highly accurate measurements of the distances to stars 10 times farther away than it was able to before. How […]

Read More

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: A rare sight

Photo Credit: ESA/Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research

On this day in 1986, Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to Earth. Several spacecraft were able to capture images of this spectacular moment. Giotto, with European Space Agency, took up close photographs of Halley’s nucleus, showing it to be a mixture of frozen water, other volatile ices, and rocky particles. Comet Halley was discovered in […]

Read More

Return to flight: NROL-67 launches atop Atlas V 541

Colorado-based United Launch Alliance successfully launched an Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. Liftoff occurred at  1:45 p.m. EDT - at the very opening of the launch window. Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched an Atlas V 541 rocket carrying the  NROL-67 payload from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 on Thursday April 10 at  1:45 p.m. NROL-67 is a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the government department in charge of the nations […]

Read More