Our Spaceflight Heritage: The first flight of Discovery – STS-41D

Space shuttle Discovery thunders off of Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo Credit: NASA

On August 30, 1984, space shuttle Discovery launched at 8:42 a.m. EDT (1242 p.m.GMT) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-41D crew was led by Commander Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr. and Pilot Michael L. Coats. The crew also included Judith A. Resnik, Steven A. Hawley, and Richard M. Mullane as Mission Specialists and Charles D. […]

Decision on Commercial Crew Program likely to be made after Labor Day weekend

Image Credit: NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — For the primary competitors under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program one day next week could be a very good day for one or two of them. CCP, the effort to cede responsibility in delivering astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) is poised to undergo yet another selection process. SpaceFlight Insider has […]

Scrub of AsiaSat 6 could impact launch of SpaceX’s CRS-4 mission

Photo Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – The launch of a commercial satellite, AsiaSat-6, has become one of the determining factors as to whether-or-not SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will take to the skies on Sept. 19 as is currently planned. With the recent delay of the flight of the AsiaSat payload, the U.S. Air Force’s Eastern Range could potentially see as […]

NASA touts progress made on Space Launch System, says booster will be ready to fly in 2018

NASA's Space Launch System has passed a critical milestone on its path toward being used to send humans to destinations beyond the orbit of Earth. Image Credit: NASA

NASA officials presented the latest developments to get their new heavy-lift boosters off the pad and into the skies to the media on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. The meeting was announced a few hours prior to its 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) time and worked to convey how the space agency had completed a pivotal […]

Our Spaceflight Heritage: remembering STS-128, five years later

Photo Credit: NASA

On August 29, 2009, space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A at 11:59 pm EDT (0359 GMT) with the STS-128 crew onboard. Led by Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Kevin Ford, the crew included Jose Hernandez, Danny Olivas, Nicole Stott, Christer Fuglesang, and Patrick Forrester as mission specialists. Discovery carried the Leonardo Multi-Purpose […]

In leadup to selections – NASA’s Commercial Crew Program announces ‘Summer of Advancements’

Image Credit: NASA

NASA engineers and program managers met throughout the course of last month (July 2014) to review the various spacecraft designs under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP ). Covering both the spacecraft as well as the launch vehicles which will send them to orbit, the review of progress made was part of the space agency’s Commercial […]

Search for Rosetta’s Philae landing site narrows

Five possible landing sites have been identified for Rosetta's Philae lander. Image Credit: NASA

Two weeks after the European Space Agency’s (ESA ) Rosetta spacecraft arrived at Comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, scientists have been busy gathering data in preparation for an upcoming landing on the comet’s surface. If all goes according to plan, in November, Philae will be the first spacecraft to ever land on the surface of a comet. […]

Sea Launch reduces staff due to lull in launches

Sea Launch's Zenit-3SL rocket aboard the platform Odyssey. Photo Credit: Sea Launch

Sea Launch has announced staff reductions due to a lack of launches for 2014.  The cutbacks will be made at the company’s headquarters located in Nyon, Switzerland and its prime contractor Energia Logistics in Calif. Satellite Today reported that Sea Launch will also be taking its vessels Sea Launch Commander and Odyssey out of service, […]

New Horizons crosses paths with Neptune on way to Pluto

Image Credit: NASA

In an unusual coincidence, NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons probe, now an estimated 2.75 billion miles from Earth, crossed the orbit of the ice giant Neptune on August 25, 2014 – 25 years to the day that the Voyager 2 spacecraft conducted its closest flyby of the Neptune system. The space agency responsible for both of these iconic […]

SpaceX AsiaSat 6 launch scrubbed – UPDATE

Photo Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Tonight’s planned launch of the AsiaSat 6 satellite by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) has been scrubbed, with no new launch date provided. SpaceX has since issued a statement that the Aug. 22 accident, which saw the loss of a Falcon 9 Reusable test article, was not the cause for this delay.

James Webb Space Telescope’s sunshield unfurled according to plan

First deployment of the sunshield test unit for James Webb Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA

The most visually-striking element of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), currently scheduled for launch in four years time, is a giant sunshade, designed to protect the spacecraft’s sensitive science instruments from the Sun’s glare. Shown in this story’s featured image, this vital component is shown during the first complete test of its deployment in a clean […]

Opinion: Do Russian lunar plans signal end to ISS?

Photo Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense

At the start of 2014, NASA announced its support for an extension of the International Space Station (ISS) program until at least 2024. Recent news out of Russia, however, suggests that at least one ISS partner may view that date as the end of the line – if not even sooner.

Launch of Falcon 9 with AsiaSat 6 slips to Aug. 27

Photo Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) has opted to delay the launch of the commercial AsiaSat 6 by 24 hours. Liftoff is now scheduled to take place no-earlier-than Aug. 27 at 12:50 a.m. EDT (0450 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 located in Florida. SpaceX has cited the […]

Galileo satellites launched into wrong orbit

Two Galileo satellites were launched into orbit on August 22. Image Credit: ESA

The first two functional satellites in the European Galileo constellation lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana at 9:27 a.m. local time (8:27 a.m. EDT, 1227 GMT) atop a Soyuz ST-B launch vehicle. Initially labeled a success, subsequent data shows that the satellites are in a lower-than-planned orbit. The European Space Agency initially claimed that all was […]

Former NASA astronaut Steve Nagel dies after battle with cancer

Steve Nagel lost his battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 67. Photo Credit: NASA

Steve Nagel, United States Air Force Colonel (ret.) and a former NASA astronaut, who flew on four space shuttle missions, died on Thursday, August 21, at the age of 67. He lost a two-year battle with an aggressive form of melanoma, and is survived by his wife, former NASA astronaut Linda M. Godwin, and two daughters.

SpaceX F9R explodes in the skies above Texas during test flight

Image of the explosion of the Falcon 9 Reusable test article on Aug. 22, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Spence

A report appearing on Business Insider has detailed how one of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) test articles has exploded in the skies above MacGregor Texas. The accident occurred on Aug. 22, 2014. Although unfortunate, the loss of the test article can be viewed as a validation of SpaceX’s safety systems. Local television […]

Boeing CST-100 completes final milestones under NASA’s Commercial Crew integrated Capability

Boeing's CST-100 commercial spacecraft in orbit above the Earth. Image Credit: Boeing

Boeing’ Crew Space Transportation (CST -100 ) spacecraft has met the necessary requirements needed to pass the “Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review” as well as the “Critical Design Review” (CDR) of the capsule-shaped spacecraft’s integrated systems. This places the CST-100 ahead of its timetable as well as its budget under NASA’s Commercial Crew integrated Capability. These […]

‘Doresa’ and ‘Milena’ Galileo spacecraft rise into morning sky via Soyuz ST-B

Archive Photo. Photo Credit: S. Corvaja / ESA

The skies above the Spaceport located at Kourou, French Guiana greeted a new star this morning as a Soyuz ST-B booster and its payload of the Doresa and Milena Galileo satellites to orbit. The flight began 24 hours later than originally planned with liftoff taking place on Friday Aug. 22 at 1227 GMT (8:27 a.m. EDT; 9:27 […]

Is a sitcom Chris Hadfield’s next frontier? ABC comedy in the works, report says

Chris Hadfield in the Cupola of the ISS. Photo Credit: NASA

It’s possible that Chris Hadfield’s best-selling book will become a sitcom! The astronaut who quickly became the world’s most-wanted Canadian last year, based on his amusing YouTube videos and stunning space pictures, is involved in production of a sitcom based on An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth, Deadline reports.

Launch of ESA’s Galileo delayed by 24 hours

Photo Credit: Arianespace / ESA

The launch of two European navigational satellites destined to be the first operational components in the Galileo fleet has been delayed by 24 hours. The Soyuz ST-B booster had been slated to launch on Thursday, Aug. 21 at 1231 GMT (8:31 a.m. EDT; 9:31 a.m. local time) from the launch site at the Guiana Space Center. Launch is now slated […]