Once in a Blue Moon: International Space Station transits Selene

International-Space-Station-pass-in-front-of-the-Moon-NASA-photo-posted-on-SpaceFlight-Insider

While a Blue Moon takes place rarely, a transit of the International Space Station occurs briefly and both instances took place over the course of this past weekend. According to one of NASA’s photographers, a recent transit of the ISS’s in front of the dusty lunar terrain lasted just .82 of a second. The imagery captured from […]

Russia reveals long-term plans for its Angara launch vehicle

Angara-5 rocket launches from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Dec. 23, 2014

The Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, a Moscow-based rocket manufacturer, has revealed its long-term plans for the newest Russian Angara launch vehicle. According to the company’s announcement, the rocket’s busy launch manifest includes 10 test launches in the next few years and a possible participation in the Sea Launch project. The plan also […]

Spitzer Space Telescope confirms super-Earth nearby

Exoplanet orbiting distant star Spitzer Space Telescope NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

With exoplanets found as far away as 13,000 light years, it appeared that worlds like our own were not in “the neighborhood”. Using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, scientist have confirmed the existence of a rocky planet somewhat similar in size to Earth – and it is just 21 light years away. 

Veteran astronaut Mike Foreman leaves NASA

Astronaut Micheal Foreman EVA STS-123 STS-129 ISS International Space Station NASA image posted on SpaceFLight Insider

For the third time in less than a month, one of NASA’s experienced space flyers has opted to leave the space agency. This week, astronaut Mike Foreman follows Stephen Frick and Tony Antonelli in leaving NASA. All three of the astronauts have flown into space twice, and all three are retired U.S. Navy captains. Foreman’s last […]

NASA celebrates 57 years as new SLS heavy-lift booster completes CDR

Space Launch System engines closeup at launch RS-25 NASA image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

In the same week that the space agency celebrated its 57th anniversary, NASA announced that its new super heavy-lift booster had completed its Critical Design Review (CDR). The Space Launch System or “SLS” is the booster that NASA plans to use for crewed missions into deep space. With the agency in a transition period between crewed programs, reviews […]

From Mercury to Pluto and Beyond: House committee holds hearing on space exploration

NASA MESSENGER image of the planet Mercury posted on SpaceFlight Insider

On Tuesday, July 28, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing entitled “The Exploration of Our Solar System: From Mercury to Pluto and Beyond,” to review recent planetary exploration successes and to assess new missions under development. The country’s leading space scientists also used the hearing to advocate for more funding […]

NASA’s Curiosity rover finds strange bedrock on Mars

A rock fragment dubbed 'Lamoose' is shown in this picture taken by NASA's Curiosity rover.

As NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity nears her third anniversary on Mars, it has discovered a geological feature unlike anything it has studied before – an area of bedrock with surprisingly high concentrations of silica. Silica is a chemical compound containing silicon and oxygen that is frequently found on Earth as quartz. High levels of silica […]

Preview: Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’

Matt Damon portrays an astronaut who draws upon his ingenuity to subsist on a hostile planet.

It is the movie many space tech enthusiasts have been waiting for: a big-screen adaptation of Andy Weir’s book “The Martian”. Directed by Ridley Scott, the movie, like the book, promises to be a technically-accurate, action-packed story of human ingenuity and endurance on Mars. Originally set for a November 25 release, it has been moved up […]

NTSB releases report on SpaceShipTwo accident

The Wreckage of SpaceShipTwo. Photo Credit: Alex Horvath/Barcroft USA

On Oct. 31, 2014, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed near Koehn Dry Lake in California, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury. Pilot Peter Siebold survived. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its report on the cause of the crash. As had been known almost from the beginning, Alsbury prematurely deployed the feathering system, causing the spacecraft […]

Astronaut Tony Antonelli leaves NASA after 15-year career

STS-132 Tony Antonelli Space Shuttle Atlantis International Space Station ISS NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Another of NASA’s highly-trained and experienced space flyers has decided to leave the Space Agency. Dominic A. “Tony” Antonelli, who has been with NASA for 15 years, has concluded his time with the agency – his last day was on July 10. Antonelli joins Stephen Frick, who left NASA three days later, as well as […]

ISS crew ducks debris as EVA preparations move forward

Photo Credit: NASA

Members of the Expedition 44 crew had to move out of the way of satellite debris late in the evening of Saturday, July 25. The most recent reminder that the environment above our world is becoming increasingly cluttered, did not impact crew safety or operations and, in fact, it might even get the station’s current residents […]

Powerful technology carries New Horizons through the Solar System

In the clean room at KSC’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, technicians prepare the New Horizons spacecraft for a media event.

Due to the Plutonian system’s distance from the Sun, solar power was never an option for the spacecraft visiting it. Solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity, would not receive enough of the Sun’s light from a distance of three billion miles.

Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

NASA Astronaut Stephen Frick Commander Space Shuttle Atlantis NASA Johnson Space Center photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Following many other space flight veterans, shuttle astronaut Stephen Frick has opted to leave NASA for a position within the private sector. His last day was July 13. He is just the latest among a number of departures from the Space Agency’s Astronaut Office as it transitions between the Space Shuttle Program to the Commercial Crew […]

Boeing’s CST-100 takes shape at former NASA facility

Boeing Commercial Space Transportation CST-100 spacecraft test article Kennedy Space Center Boeing photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

The Commercial Crew transportation Capability (CCtCap) phase of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program continues to advance at a steady pace. This week, two major components arrived for Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation 100 (CST-100) spacecraft at a processing facility located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The arrival of these parts marks just the latest step […]

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The Return

NASA space shuttle Discovery launches from Kennedy Space Center's LC-39A on mission STS-114 on July 26, 2005. Photo Credit: Carleton Bailie SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — It was a turning point in NASA’s history. After the dark days following the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107), the world saw the space agency take its first steps toward returning to the business of human space flight. The mission would go down as one of the more dramatic flights in shuttle […]

Interactive website lets you explore the International Space Station

International Space Station ISS interior European Space Agency ESA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

The European Space Agency (ESA ) has created an incredible interactive website that lets you tour the International Space Station (ISS) without having to pay $35 million for the flight up to the orbiting laboratory. Located at International Space Station panoramic tour, anyone can take in a rather in-depth tour of what the station occupants […]

China launches two satellites for its BeiDou navigation system

A Long March-3B rocket carrying two new-generation satellites for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) blasts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwest China's Sichuan Province, July 25, 2015

A Chinese Long March-3B rocket successfully launched two new-generation satellites on Saturday, July 25, for the country’s homegrown global navigation and positioning network. The lift-off occurred at 8:29 a.m. EDT (8:29 p.m. Beijing Time) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center located in the southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

Insider Interview: Nicole Stott talks leaving NASA, orbital artistry

Astronaut Nicole P. Stott at Johnson Space Center training for STS-133 NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Nicole P. Stott, a space flight veteran, having flown to orbit twice on NASA’s now-retired Space Shuttle Discovery, has decided to depart the space agency so that she can pursue another of her passions – art. The former astronaut is not walking away from promoting the benefits of space exploration or inspiring the next generation of engineers […]

Russia extends operation of the International Space Station until 2024

International Space Station ISS NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

The Russian government has accepted NASA’s proposal to prolong the life of the International Space Station (ISS ) through 2024. This decision ends fears that recent tensions between the United States and Russia over the Ukraine crisis would jeopardize NASA-Roscosmos space cooperation, and it follows other nations also agreeing to extend involvement on the ISS.

Pluto surprises scientists with atmospheric haze and flowing ice

Artist’s impression of how the surface of Pluto might look.

Pluto’s complex surface geology and unusual atmosphere continue to baffle scientists almost two weeks after the spacecraft’s closest approach to Pluto as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft returns data from the historic July 14, 2015, flyby. Images taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), released at a press conference on Friday, July 24, show evidence […]