SFI LIVE webcast of SpaceX Dragon Pad Abort Test

SpaceX Dragon V2 Pad Abort Test Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 photo credit: Carleton Bailie SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) successfully conducted a static test fire of the eight Super Draco rocket engines mounted to the sides of the crew-rated Dragon V2 spacecraft on Tuesday, May 5. This set the stage for the NewSpace firm to carry out a Pad Abort Test on Wednesday, May 6. […]

Pad Abort Test sets stage for SpaceX’s Commercial Crew efforts

SpaceX Dragon V2 commercial crew program NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX‘s) upcoming pad abort test represents the company’s next payment milestone under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). With this test looming, it seemed an appropriate time to step back and take a “big-picture” look at SpaceX’s history with the CCP, where it stands now, and what’s yet to be done.

NASA’s Orion loses weight, gains new windows

nasa_delta_iv_heavy_orion_eft1-michael_howard SpaceFlight Insider

NASA’s Orion spacecraft should offer crews that fly on the capsule excellent visibility and extra protection to as they journey to the International Space Station or on missions beyond low Earth orbit to cislunar space and elsewhere. Traditionally, the windows of crewed spacecraft, such as the Apollo capsule and the Space Shuttle, have been made entirely […]

NASA tech helping locate people trapped in wake of Nepal Earthquake

Nepal Earthquake image NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

On Apr. 25, 2015, an estimated 7,472 people had lost their lives during an earthquake in Nepal. Estimated at being a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, the tragedy saw an array of U.S. agencies rush to the aid of those affected. Some of these included the U.S. Geological Survey, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Office of U.S. Foreign […]

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The flight of Freedom 7 fifty four years ago

Mercury Redstone Freedom 7 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Fifty four years ago today, Alan Shepard Jr. became the first American in space flying aboard the Mercury capsule Freedom 7. Shepard and his ship lifted off atop a Redstone rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 5 and followed by a successful splashdown in the Atlantic after a flight lasting just over […]

Update: Vulcan Aerospace / Stratolaunch

Stratolaunch carrier aircraft under construction in Mojave, CA

At the 2015 Space Symposium held in Colorado Springs, Colorado an announcement was made that Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, has launched a new company, Vulcan Aerospace. SpaceFlight Insider had the opportunity to sit down, one on one, with Charles “Chuck” Beames, president of Vulcan Aerospace, to discuss the company and its plans for the future.

Caught in the act: NuSTAR shows ‘zombie’ stars may howl as they feed

NuSTAR data reveals 'zombie' stars may scream as they devour their companions. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has been peering deep into the heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way. In doing so, NuSTAR has spotted an intriguing glow of high-energy X-rays with an unknown origin. One possibility is that the center of the galaxy is inhabited by ‘zombie’ stars and the X-rays are the stellar undead […]

SpaceX’s Merlin 1D: Built to enable human space exploration

SpaceX Merlin 1D rocket engine Hawthorne California Falcon 9 v1.1 SpaceX photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) Falcon 9 rocket V1.1 gets part of its name from the fact that the booster uses nine Merlin 1D engines in its first stage. With the aerospace firm planning on conducting a pad abort test of the crew rated version of their Dragon spacecraft (V2) on May 6, SpaceFlight Insider and […]

Vostochny report part 3: Hunger games

Vostochny Cosmodrome Russian Federal Space Agency image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

“We have worked four months without a paycheck! Save the workers! We want to work!” More than 500 people including fitters, welders, and crane operators claim they have not received any money for four months. That was two weeks ago, but earlier in April, 100 workers went on strike and 26 started a hunger strike. […]

Rocket Lab: the Electron, the Rutherford, and why Peter Beck started it in the first place

Rocket Lab's CEO and founder, Peter Beck. Photo Credit: Rocket Lab

High-frequency, low-cost launches is the goal of Rocket Lab, a small aerospace company that suddenly gained attention after announcing the details of its Rutherford engine, named for the New Zealand-born British physicist Ernest Rutherford, at this year’s Space Symposium. SpaceFlight Insider had the opportunity to speak with Peter Beck, the company’s CEO and founder, about Electron launches and about the […]

Russia’s new space program: Search for extraterrestrial life amid budget cuts

Russian infographic showing ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter developed by Roscosmos and ESA

The Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, has stated its intent to search for extraterrestrial life despite losing 35 percent of its budget. According to a draft of the federal space program’s goals for 2016-2025 that was made public on Thursday, April 23, Russia plans to launch several spacecraft designed to find alien life. The project includes sending satellites and […]

SpaceX pad abort test will work to return crewed flights to Cape Canaveral

spacex_falcon_9_pad_abort_test-jason_rhian SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — SpaceX Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) is just a few days away from carrying out a pad abort test of the NewSpace firm’s Dragon V2 spacecraft. With this major milestone set to take place, an aspect that was common place throughout the sixties is set for a comeback – crewed missions launching from […]

New Horizons Pluto images show surface features, possible polar caps

Technicians installing the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in 2005. Photo Credit: NASA

The latest images taken by NASA’s New Horizons‘ Long Range Reconnaissance Orbiter (LORRI) instrument show intriguing dark and light patches on the surface of Pluto, including a bright region that could be a polar cap. These latest round of pictures come at a time when the spacecraft is fast approaching its flyby of the far-flung and […]

Missile Space & Range Pioneers: The future is now

Missile Space & Range Pioneers April 2015 event Brienna Henwood Director of Space Training and Research presentation photo credit: Jason Rhian SpaceFlight Insider

Twice a year, the Missile Space & Range Pioneers host an event held to honor past accomplishments in space as well as to catch members up on current events. With the 43rd Space Congress being held during the same time frame (Apr. 28-30 ) the roughly two-and-a-half hour long Spring Banquet was well-attended with a […]

SpaceX pad abort test slips to no-earlier-than May 6

Dragon V2 as seen on Spaceflight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — The pad abort test for Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX ) Dragon V2 spacecraft has slipped to no-earlier-than Wednesday, May 6, with the test window opening at 7 a.m. EDT (11:00 am GMT). According to SpaceX, this delay has less to do with any issue and more to do with needing more time to prepare […]

MESSENGER mission ends with impact on Mercury

NASA Johns Hopkins Applied Physics MESSENGER spacecraft planet Mercury on SpaceFlight Insider

NASA’s MESSENGER  mission came to an end at 3:26 p.m. EDT (19:26 GMT) on Thursday, April 30, when the spacecraft  impacted the surface of the planet Mercury at more than 8,750 miles (14,082 km) per hour. After nearly 11 years in space, four of which were in orbit around the tiny world which orbits closest to the […]

Blue Origin successfully tests ‘New Shepard’ suborbital rocket


The incredibly-secretive rocket company Blue Origin released video on Wednesday, detailing a test flight of their “New Shepard” spacecraft. The test flight occurred on April 29, 2015. Details about the flight are extremely limited, but Blue Origin did release a video and several photographs of the flight. This most recent flight highlights a company that is rapidly […]

Women in Space: Dr. Anna Fisher, one of the ‘Original Six’


SpaceFlight Insider and USA in Space recently had a chance to interview U.S. astronaut Dr. Anna Lee Tingle Fisher. In 1978, Dr. Fisher was in the first group of six women ever selected to be American astronauts. Prior to 1978, women were not allowed into NASA’s Astronaut Training Program. In fact, the only woman to have […]

Progress M-27M latest woe for Russian Space Program

Russian Federal Space Agency Progress_M-14M NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

When the Progress M-27M/59P cargo vessel launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome atop a Soyuz 2-1a booster on Tuesday, April 28, at 3:09 a.m. EDT (1:09 ALMT, 07:09 GMT), it appeared that it would be another routine flight of the venerable craft. However, anyone who follows spaceflight knows that missions into the void above our world are anything but […]

James Webb Space Telescope poised to take Hubble’s legacy farther

The James Webb Space Telescope

As the Hubble Space Telescope marks its twenty-fifth anniversary, NASA is preparing an even more ambitious telescope to be launched in October of 2018—the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Where the Hubble has probed the most distant galaxies in the universe in visible light and ultraviolet, the JWST will study the cosmos in the infrared […]