Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital ) has confirmed that it will replace the engines powering its Antares rocket, the AJ-26, with RD-181 engines supplied by Russia’s NPO Energomash. While other U.S.-based launch service providers are moving away from Russian-made rocket engines, Orbital has decided to move from one Russian-made rocket engine – to another.
With just under 4 years until its planned launch in October 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project reports it remains on schedule and budget. However, technical challenges with JWST elements and major subsystems, have diminished the project’s overall schedule reserve and increased risk, says a new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO ) has successfully launched the LVM3 X Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment or “CARE” at 09:30 a.m. Indian Standard Time (IST) – the test article flew to orbit atop a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III (GSLV Mk III) booster – which marked its first flight with today’s mission. The flight […]
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fl — Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX ) fifth contracted mission under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS ) initiative – might take a little longer to be given the green light for launch. A report appearing on NASASpaceFlight.com has stated that due to issues surrounding the rocket’s static test fire that was attempted on […]
NASA announced on Tuesday, Dec. 16 that Hawthorne, California-based Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX ) would provide launch services for the space agency’s upcoming exoplanet detection satellite. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS ) mission is slated for liftoff aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket in August of 2017.
This week is the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, a week of Earth and planetary science presentations where scientists, students, and media gather to hear the latest discoveries and developments. During a panel held Tuesday, Dec. 16, NASA revealed that its Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover has detected a hint of methane […]
A Proton booster successfully delivered its payload of the Yamal-401 satellite to orbit on Dec, 15 at 6:16 a.m. today local time (00:16 GMT and 7:16 p.m. EST on December 14). The launch took place through 7:16 p.m. EST (6:16 a.m. local time - 0016 GMT). The spacecraft was placed into a geosynchronous orbit atop a Proton […]
The MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System (CHAMPS ) was put through its paces via a hot-fire test carried out by California-based Aerojet Rocketdyne. This particular engine design is a hydrazine-integrated propulsion system for use on small CubeSats and could open up missions that were previously unavailable to the tiny spacecraft. Funded by the NASA […]
Late Saturday night the Senate passed the so-called Cromnibus bill funding the United States government through the end of the Fiscal Year, avoiding a second government shutdown in as many years. The bill, part continuing resolution, part omnibus budget act, allocated funding for NASA greater than the agency had requested and signals a resounding rebound […]
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fl — On this date, Dec. 16, 1965, NASA launched the Pioneer 6 spacecraft on a mission to conduct scientific research of interplanetary phenomena. This was the first of four missions that NASA launched for this purpose. The launch vehicle was the Delta 1-E with the location of the flight’s point of origin being […]
“Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour,” could be still an actual description of our ability to predict asteroid threats to Earth. This sentence, pulled from the Bible (Matthew 25:13), provides a reminder of a vast number of the more than 1,500 potentially hazardous objects, floating in space, that meander throughout the solar […]
It’s well known in the spaceflight community that employees of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) are expected to work hard. After this weekend, it appears that those employees are also capable of playing hard. On Saturday, Dec. 13, SpaceX held its annual holiday party in Hawthorne, CA. Many party-goers used social media to post photos, […]
Although the public’s attention, in terms of space exploration, might be focused on Mars – it is not the only terrestrial world that humanity has sent spacecraft to. On this date in 1970, the former Soviet Union (now Russia) became the first nation to land a spacecraft on the hostile plains of Venus. The Venera […]
With new launch vehicles entering into the market delivering an array of payloads to orbit - competition is picking up. This has caused politicians to begin weighing in on which companies are preferred and which are not. Whereas some of the concerns raised by political leaders appear to be predominantly geopolitical in nature, others appear to be […]
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — It took a number of organizations working as one to get NASA’s Orion spacecraft off of the ground and into the skies on December 5, 2014. While Lockheed Martin was the prime contractor on the spacecraft, United Launch Alliance (ULA ) provided the Delta IV Heavy booster, ATK produced the Launch […]
After an early scrub was called due to multiple weather violations on Thursday, Dec. 11, NROL-35 was carried into the black on Friday, Dec. 12, for its secret mission for the National Reconnaissance Office at 7:19 p.m. PST (0319 GMT). It launched from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, despite […]
The October explosion of the Orbital Science ORB-3 resupply mission rocket destined to the International Space Station caused an estimated $20 million in damage to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s (MARS) Pad 0A. It was not clear where the funding would come from to repair the damage. The state Virginia had stated that they did not […]
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) comet-chasing spacecraft, Rosetta, is on a mission of discovery, aiming to unlock the secrets of the early solar system. After deploying its Philae lander on Nov. 12, Rosetta has continued to orbit and analyze Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Scientists have long hypothesized that comets were responsible for supplying the infant Earth with […]
NASA’s Orion spacecraft, fresh off the heels of its successful first flight on Dec. 5 – is on its way back to the space agency’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. Engineers have already started to look at the capsule-shaped craft’s heat shield – and the precious information within its data recorders. Exploration Flight Test […]
United Launch Alliance (ULA ) has opted to delay the first California launch of the 541 variant of the Colorado-based firm’s Atlas V booster – will have to wait 24 hours. The NROL-35 mission is poised to get its start from Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 3E (SLC-3E) located in California. The classified […]