SpaceX prepares to launch its fourth commercial resupply mission

Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Space Explorations Technologies (SpaceX) is preparing to launch its fourth commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 20 at 2:14 a.m. EDT (0615 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40). Currently the weather forecast for Saturday’s launch lists conditions as 50 percent favorable for liftoff, with the […]

Orbital Sciences highlights processing facilities during recent tour

Photo Credit: Alex Polimeni / SpaceFlight Insider

During a Monday, Sept. 15 tour of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s facilities in Dulles, Va., the company highlighted the progress they have made in carrying out the next flights under the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract the firm has with NASA. Under the contract, Orbital is required is to send up to 44,000 pounds of […]

SpaceX could be certified with the U.S. Air Force by Dec. 1

Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

It has been a long process, but California-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) might soon be certified for military launches, according to the head of U.S. Air Force Space Command Gen. John Hyten. At the Air Force Association’s Air and Space conference on Tuesday, September 16, Hyten said, “Like every American, I love competition. I love entrepreneurs […]

Insider Exclusive: ULA’s Tony Taliancich talks NASA’s EFT-1 and the Delta IV Heavy

SpaceFlight Insider's Jason Rhian sat down with United Launch Alliance's Tony Taliancich to find out more about the EFT-1 mission that his company will be sending aloft in December. Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — The biggest NASA mission of the year is about three months away from lifting off. SpaceFlight Insider conducted an exclusive interview with the company which is at the forefront of making it happen. Colorado-based United Launch Alliance’s (ULA ) Director of East Coast Launch Operations, Tony Taliancich, sat down with SpaceFlight Insider for […]

Our Spaceflight Heritage: Vanguard 3

Image Credit: NASA

On September 18, 1959, the Vanguard 3  satellite was launched on a Vanguard rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 18 (LC-18) in Florida. The United States Department of the Navy successfully launched the third of eleven Vanguard satellites from the Eastern Test Range into geocentric orbit.

MAVEN preps for orbital insertion

Artist rendition of MAVEN arriving at Mars. Image Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A press conference was held at NASA headquarters today to discuss the status of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft as it prepares to enter Mars’ orbit. After completing a 10-month journey and traversing over 442 million miles, the craft is set for orbital insertion on September 21 at 9:50 […]

ULA and Blue Origin announce partnership to develop new rocket engine

Future ULA Atlas and Delta rockets might be powered by Blue Origin's BE-4 engine. Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CENENNIAL, Colo. and KENT, Wash. — Today United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Blue Origin, LLC announced an agreement between the two companies to jointly fund the development of Blue Origin’s new BE-4 rocket engine. Blue Origin, LLC is a privately-funded aerospace company owned by Jeff Bezos, owner, and this collaboration will permit ULA to […]

ULA launches secretive CLIO satellite atop Atlas V 401

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket with the CLIO spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 41 at 8:10 p.m. EDT - the very close of a two hour 26 minute launch window. Photo Credit: Jared Haworth / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – United Launch Alliance (ULA ) successfully sent one of the Colorado-based firm’s Atlas V 401 rockets into orbit with the CLIO satellite today, Tuesday, Sept. 16. The CLIO spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin for an unknown agency of the United Sates government. Liftoff took place at Cape Canaveral Air Force […]

Commercial Crew Program: and the winner(s) are…

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, left, announces the agency’s selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the International Space Station using the Boeing CST-100 and the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft as Former astronaut Bob Cabana, director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida looks on. Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla – Today, NASA took its next giant leap towards launching humans from U.S. soil. In a press conference, NASA administrator Charlie Bolden, Kennedy Space Center Director, Bob Cabana, and Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders announced both Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will be awarded contracts to build vehicles responsible for ferrying […]

Stennis Space Center readies For SLS engine testing

Engine test at Stennis A-1 test stand. Photo Credit: NASA

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS – On September 12, SpaceFlight Insider spent the afternoon at south Mississippi’s John C. Stennis Space Center – NASA’s primary engine test facility – and received an update on preparations being made at the Center for testing of the space agency’s new heavy-lift vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS).

J marks the spot: ESA unveils Philae’s landing site

View of Site J, Philae's targeted landing zone. Touchdown is expected to occur on November 11. Image Credit: ESA

PARIS, France — On August 27, we reported that the European Space Agency (ESA) narrowed down Philae’s potential landing sites to five locations. This morning, ESA announced the primary landing site as well as one backup site during a press conference. On November 11, the lander is scheduled to make history by being the first […]

Update: Antares’ AJ-26 engine failure

An AJ-26 engine being lowered into the E-1 Test Stand. Photo Credit: NASA

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS – On September 12, Spaceflight Insider had the opportunity to tour the Aerojet Rocketdyne facilities (Building 9101) located at NASA’s Stennis Space Center (SSC), in south Mississippi, and speak to Rocketdyne’s SSC General Manager, Mike McDaniel, regarding the May 22 2014 failure of an AJ-26 rocket engine during a test for Orbital […]

WISE Symposium rallies women in aerospace, science, engineering

Dr. Eileen Preisser (USAF GEOINT) presents "The Science Behind the Pursuit of Happiness" at the 2014 Women in Science and Engineering WISE Symposium. Photo Credit: Matthew Jurgens / U.S. Air Force

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla – The Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC ) at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida hosted their first Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) Symposium Sept. 10-11. The event was created to help encourage diversity not just in the general world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) but in AFTAC […]

ULA set to launch mysterious CLIO satellite Sept. 16

Photo Credit: Jason Rhian / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLa — United Launch Alliance (ULA ) is scheduled to deliver the CLIO satellite atop an Atlas V 401 rocket on Sept 16 from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The two- hour, 26-minute launch window which opens at 5:44 pm EDT (2144 GMT). 

Proton rocket can compete with Falcon 9, says Russian space corporation

Photo Credit: Ria Novosti / Roscosmos

Russia’s Proton rockets can compete with American SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicles in terms of commercial launch costs. So says United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC) Deputy Director-General Pavel Popov. Popov made his statements on Thursday, bringing to light the deepening competition between international launch service providers.

Launch Viewing Guide: ULA Atlas V 401 with CLIO

Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — United Launch Alliance (ULA) is getting ready to unleash one of the company’s venerable Atlas V 401 rockets. This particular Atlas will launch the CLIO spacecraft to orbit. Atlas will fly in the 401 configuration (that’s rocket scientist speak for a four meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single engine in the […]

OPINION: Today’s space program from the viewpoint of tomorrow

Photo Credit: Alexander Gerst / ESA / NASA

We’ve heard it over and over again. “Why are we spending billions of dollars shooting people into space when we have problems right here on Earth?” It’s the oldest and most frequent argument against space flight. Let’s explore the answer. Why are we spending billions of dollars shooting people into space when we have problems […]

‘We’re here!’: Curiosity rover arrives at Mount Sharp on Mars

The hills beckon: the mesas and buttes in the foothills of Mount Sharp where Curiosity will soon be exploring. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

After a long, and at times risky two-year journey, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has reached the base of the lower slopes of Mount Sharp, the primary destination since its landing back in 2012. Mount Sharp is about the same height as Mount Rainier on Earth and sits in the middle of the expansive Gale […]

First flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo delayed again

Photo Credit: Jon Griffith / Virgin Galactic

ABC News is reporting that space-tourism company Virgin Galactic has announced that the first flight of their commercial space tourism venture – has slipped to next year. Previously, the company’s owner, British billionaire Richard Branson, had given a number of dates as to when the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo duo would begin ferrying paying customers into […]

SpaceX CRS-4 mission to launch no earlier than September 20

SpaceX Dragon capsule will carry supplies and science experiments up to the ISS. Image Credit: SpaceX

Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX ) fourth commercial resupply mission (SpX-4 ) is now set to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at 2:16 a.m. EDT (6:16 GMT) on September 20. The Falcon 9 v1.1 will carry its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS). A decision was made to adjust the […]