24 hour scrub for NASA’s SMAP mission due to upper level winds

United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket Vandenberg Air Force Base California SMAP NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

NASA and Colorado-based United Launch Alliance (ULA ) will have to wait at least 24 hours before they are able to launch NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP ) mission. High upper level winds at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2) forced the launch team to push their attempts back from the 6:20 a.m. […]

Will NASA’s TESS spacecraft revolutionize exoplanet hunting?

NASA TESS Transiting Exoplanet Sensing Satellite MIT image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS ), planned to be launched in August 2017 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, is designed to discover thousands of exoplanets. Led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), TESS will focus on stars 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by […]

“Fight for Space” documentary film hosts Kickstarter Campaign

Fight for Space Kickstarter Campaign image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Chico, CA — Eventide Visuals, Inc has launched it’s second trailer and Kickstarter campaign for “Fight for Space” a feature length documentary film that explores the economic and cultural benefits of human space exploration, as well as the historical and political events that have led to the decline of human spaceflight activities and NASA’s struggle […]

SMAP is set to launch atop ULA Delta II rocket

SMAP set to launch as seen on Spaceflight Insider

NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory, able to produce the highest-resolution and most accurate maps of soil moisture ever obtained from space, is set to launch Thursday, Jan. 29, from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 9:20 a.m. EST (1420 GMT) marks the beginning of a three minute launch window, […]

Kennedy Space Center honors fallen astronauts as part of NASA Day of Remembrance

Space Memorial Mirror as seen on Spaceflight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. —  Around 200 people gathered at the Astronaut Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex  at 10:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) on Jan. 28, 2015 to pay tribute to the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, as well as other NASA astronauts and ground support crew who lost their lives while […]

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 29th anniversary of Challenger disaster

The crew of STS-51L as seen on Spaceflight Insider

On Jan. 28, 1986 space shuttle Challenger lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B at 11:38 a.m. EST (1638 GMT). The failure of an O-ring on the shuttle’s right solid rocket booster (SRB) at liftoff led to chain of events that caused the spacecraft to breakup 73 seconds into its flight, resulting in the […]

Lunar X-Prize milestones awarded to five teams

Artist rendition of Moon Express lunar lander as seen on Spaceflight Insider

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. – The Google Lunar X-PRIZE (GLXP ) Foundation announced winners of the Terrestrial Milestone Prizes in an award ceremony on Jan. 26, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The milestone prizes are designed to boost the efforts of the 18 teams currently attempting to launch a robotic lander on the Moon by the end of 2016. Nine […]

SpaceX releases animation of Falcon Heavy launching from LC-39A

Space Exploration Technologies Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A SpaceX image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Hawthorne, California-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) has released animation of the upcoming launch of one of the company’s Falcon Heavy rockets lifting off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida. SpaceX and other aerospace firms have released a lot of animation, however; at about 41 seconds in, this latest video begins to go […]

Family of Apollo 1 crew marks 48th anniversary of pad fire

Apollo 1 memorial as seen on Spaceflight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla - A somber crowd of approximately eight dozen met at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 34 (LC-34) for the 48th annual celebration of life of the Apollo 1 crew who died at 6:31 p.m. EST (1131 GMT) on Jan. 27, 1967. Betty Grissom, wife of Gus Grissom was joined by her […]

Orbital Sciences Corp.’s stockholders approve Feb. 9 merger with ATK

Orbital Sciences Corporation ATK Antares rocket Commercial Resupply Services NASA program Wallops Flight Facility image credit Mark Usciak SpaceFlight Insider

Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation’s stockholders have approved a merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK ), based out of Utah. The newly-formed Orbital-ATK will officially begin operations on Feb. 10 – the day after the merger is officially closed. The announcement comes after a special meeting held on Jan. […]

Opportunity celebrates 11 years on Mars with an amazing image

Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Opportunity surface of Red Planet NASA image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Cape Tribulation is a high point on the edge of Endeavour crater, located on the planet Mars. This spot overlooks the 14 mile (22 kilometer) wide crater and the surrounding terrain. At more than 440 feet (about 135 meters) above the crater rim this location is almost 80 percent of  the height of the Washington Monument. […]

2015 edition of NASA’s annual Spinoff publication shows space-inspired tech advances

The cover of the 2015 edition of NASA's annual Spinoff publication. Image Credit: NASA

NASA has gained a reputation for developing technological advances for space exploration that, though various channels, make their way into commercial applications later on. Memory foam, freeze-dried food and keyhole surgery are among the better-known examples. The 2015 edition of NASA’s annual publication on the subject, Spinoff, has been made available and includes the latest stories of these […]

NASA and partners confirm: Astronauts to take part in commercial launches in 2017

NASA-Commercial-Crew-Program-CCP-SpaceX-Boeing-NASA-image-posted-on-SpaceFlight-Insider

In a news conference airing on NASA Television Monday, Jan. 26, NASA and its commercial partners sounded a note of optimism with respect to the agency’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP ). A panel of NASA administrators and astronauts sat alongside representatives from Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) to provide an updated assessment on exactly when […]

SOHO spacecraft celebrates 20 years in space with new data on solar eruptions

Model created to examine the magnetic field before a giant solar eruption as seen on Spaceflight Insider

Cataclysmic explosions rock the solar system all the time, and most of humanity rarely notices. Such explosions are the subject of greater research as part of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), as scientists explore the phenomenon of these coronal mass ejections (CMEs). It turns out that even after 20 years worth of time examining the Sun’s violent weather – […]

Insider Interview: ULA’s Tory Bruno talks Next Generation Launch System

United Launch Alliance ULA Atlas V 551 MUOS-3 spacecraft photo credit Jared Haworth SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Colorado-based United Launch Alliance (ULA ) is preparing to move away from established, and aging, launch vehicles such as the Delta II (which is currently set to conduct its last launch in 2017), Atlas V and Delta IV. Instead, the joint venture, between aerospace titans Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, has stated that […]

NASA, Boeing, SpaceX to announce Commercial Crew Program launches for 2017

NASA Commercial Crew Program CCP logo in front of Earth posted on SpaceFlight Insider

In a press release issued on Thursday, Jan. 22, NASA teased that an upcoming media event held with SpaceX and Boeing will unveil some exciting announcements. The agency and its two partners appear set to lay out a more detailed timeline for sending American astronauts to low-Earth orbit—under the Launch America Commercial Crew Program—by 2017.

Opinion: To be or not to be? Mankind’s exodus to the stars

International Space Station ISS NASA Dextre Dragon spacecraft NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Today, Earth is a very accommodating and hospitable place for us to live. Temperatures are just about right. There is more than enough oxygen for us to breathe. Pure drinking water falls from the skies. Food grows on trees. For what more could we ask?

Huge asteroid 2004 BL86 to fly by Earth Jan. 26

Asteroid NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Asteroid 2004 BL86, slated to swoosh by Earth on Monday Jan. 26, is the largest known body to pass near our home planet until 2027. But there’s no need to panic as the astronomers estimate that the 1,640 foot (500 meter) wide space rock will pass by Earth at a safe distance of about three […]

Dawn Mission Director: Probe will introduce us to a strange new world

Artist rendition of the Dawn spacecraft approaching Ceres as seen on Spaceflight Insider

NASA’s Dawn mission is closing in on a mysterious, unknown world located in the asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter. The dwarf planet Ceres, named after the Roman goddess of agriculture, is nearing the point in its history when mankind will unlock its secrets. So far, humanity has only had a glimpse of this enigmatic […]

Reflections: The Astronaut Beach House

Astronauts Robert C. Springer, Nicole P. Stott, Samuel T. Durrance Astronaut Beach House photo credit Alan Walters Alan Walters photography

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — It is perhaps one of the least-covered (in terms of the press) components of astronaut “life” at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the adjacent Kennedy Space Center – the Astronaut Beach House. However, just going to the historic site, really does not allow one to get a feel for the true background, the […]