Spaceflight Insider

  • Orion update: Lighting the fire of awareness – Part 1

    Jason RhianAugust 21st Officials with NASA sat down with SpaceFlight Insider to discuss the current status of the Orion program, which evolved into discussions on how the space agency is working to spread the word about the new crew-rated capsule as well as the ties that the program has with past efforts—and more.

  • Mars 160: Crew returns to ‘Earth’

    Paul KnightlyAugust 21st The Mars Society's Mars 160 mission simulation has concluded and the six members of the international crew have started making their way home to “Earth”. The simulation in the Canadian high Arctic ended on Aug. 14, 2017, and the crew was flown out from the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Aug. 16.

  • Gallery: Atlas V launches TDRS-M into orbit

    Derek RichardsonAugust 20th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Rising into the sky atop a column of flame, United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket sent NASA’s latest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) into orbit. TDRS-M was the 12th spacecraft orbited for the space agency’s communications network, the first one launching in 1983.

  • ‘Great American Eclipse’ offers opportunity for millions

    Ocean McIntyreAugust 20th On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, anyone in the United States, most of Canada and northern parts of Mexico, and also some countries in the Caribbean will be able to view either a total or partial solar eclipse that will pass across the entirety of the U.S. from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

  • Astronauts showcase space art created with childhood cancer patients

    Press ReleaseAugust 20th Patients from around the world will have the opportunity to see a spacesuit art project they helped create. Astronauts currently living and working on the International Space Station will unveil the project at 10:25 a.m. EDT (14:25 GMT) Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. The 20-minute Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

  • Cassini has uncovered a wealth of data on Saturn’s rings

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 19th NASA's Cassini spacecraft, now conducting its final orbits between Saturn and its rings, is plunging further than ever into the giant planet's atmosphere. Over the last 13 years studying the Saturn system, the spacecraft has discovered a wealth of information about the planet's rings.

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to host Solar Eclipse Day 2017

    Press ReleaseAugust 19th For the first time in almost 100 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible through the United States. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, located in the partial eclipse zone, is commemorating this historic event by hosting a viewing opportunity right at America’s spaceport. On August 21, visitors will be able to sit in the Rocket Garden and watch the moon begin to cover the sun.

  • Atlas V launches TDRS-M data relay satellite for NASA

    Christopher PaulAugust 18th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket roared off the pad with NASA's newest communications spacecraft, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite M (TDRS-M). Liftoff took place at 8:29 a.m. EDT (12:29 GMT) Aug. 18, 2017.

  • SFI LIVE: Launch coverage of NASA’s TDRS-M

    Jason RhianAugust 18th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceFlight Insider is at Kennedy Space Center's Press Site for today's webcast covering the flight of a ULA Atlas V 401 rocket with the third next generation TDRS-M. SFI's Live Show is slated to begin at 7:30 a.m. EDT (11:30 GMT) with the 40-minute launch window opening at 8:03 a.m. EDT (12:03 GMT). 

  • Spacewalk goes into overtime as cosmonauts deploy satellites, collect science

    Derek RichardsonAugust 18th The two cosmonauts on board the International Space Station donned spacesuits and stepped outside the outpost for the 43rd Russian segment-based extravehicular activity (EVA). The Aug. 17, 2017, spacewalk lasted more than an hour longer than planned for a total duration of 7 hours, 34 minutes.

  • Proton-M launches military satellite into orbit

    Tomasz NowakowskiAugust 17th A military communications satellite, known as Blagovest 11L, has been successfully launched into space by a Proton-M / Briz-M heavy-lift rocket. The launch vehicle thundered off from Site 81/24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at exactly 4:07 a.m. local time on Thursday, Aug. 17 (22:07 GMT / 6:07 p.m. EDT on Aug. 16).

  • Atlas V rolls to pad as TDRS-M is prepared for launch

    Derek RichardsonAugust 17th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is undergoing final preparations in advance of a planned Aug. 18, 2017, liftoff with NASA’s next communications relay satellite. Liftoff of the rocket is targeted for the beginning of a 40-minute window opening at 8:03 a.m. EDT (12:03 GMT).

  • Orion update: Lighting the fire of awareness – Part 1

    Jason RhianAugust 21st Officials with NASA sat down with SpaceFlight Insider to discuss the current status of the Orion program, which evolved into discussions on how the space agency is working to spread the word about the new crew-rated capsule as well as the ties that the program has with past efforts—and more.

  • ‘Great American Eclipse’ offers opportunity for millions

    Ocean McIntyreAugust 20th On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, anyone in the United States, most of Canada and northern parts of Mexico, and also some countries in the Caribbean will be able to view either a total or partial solar eclipse that will pass across the entirety of the U.S. from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

  • Atlas V launches TDRS-M data relay satellite for NASA

    Christopher PaulAugust 18th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket roared off the pad with NASA's newest communications spacecraft, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite M (TDRS-M). Liftoff took place at 8:29 a.m. EDT (12:29 GMT) Aug. 18, 2017.

  • SFI LIVE: Launch coverage of NASA’s TDRS-M

    Jason RhianAugust 18th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceFlight Insider is at Kennedy Space Center's Press Site for today's webcast covering the flight of a ULA Atlas V 401 rocket with the third next generation TDRS-M. SFI's Live Show is slated to begin at 7:30 a.m. EDT (11:30 GMT) with the 40-minute launch window opening at 8:03 a.m. EDT (12:03 GMT). 

  • Spacewalk goes into overtime as cosmonauts deploy satellites, collect science

    Derek RichardsonAugust 18th The two cosmonauts on board the International Space Station donned spacesuits and stepped outside the outpost for the 43rd Russian segment-based extravehicular activity (EVA). The Aug. 17, 2017, spacewalk lasted more than an hour longer than planned for a total duration of 7 hours, 34 minutes.

  • Proton-M launches military satellite into orbit

    Tomasz NowakowskiAugust 17th A military communications satellite, known as Blagovest 11L, has been successfully launched into space by a Proton-M / Briz-M heavy-lift rocket. The launch vehicle thundered off from Site 81/24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at exactly 4:07 a.m. local time on Thursday, Aug. 17 (22:07 GMT / 6:07 p.m. EDT on Aug. 16).

  • Atlas V rolls to pad as TDRS-M is prepared for launch

    Derek RichardsonAugust 17th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is undergoing final preparations in advance of a planned Aug. 18, 2017, liftoff with NASA’s next communications relay satellite. Liftoff of the rocket is targeted for the beginning of a 40-minute window opening at 8:03 a.m. EDT (12:03 GMT).

  • SpaceX’s CRS-12 Dragon capsule arrives at space station

    Derek RichardsonAugust 16th Some 36 hours after leaving Kennedy Space Center atop a Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX's CRS-12 Dragon capsule rendezvoused with and was berthed to the International Space Station. The cargo spacecraft is carrying more than 6,400 pounds (2,900 kilograms) of supplies and science experiments.

  • Curiosity spots clouds drifting across Martian sky

    Jim SharkeyAugust 15th Wispy clouds resembling Earth's ice-crystal clouds move across the Martian sky in new images from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. The clouds are the most clearly visible so far from Curiosity, which landed on Mars in Gale Crater five years ago this month. Clouds in the Martian sky have been previously observed by Curiosity and other missions to the Martian surface, including NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

  • SpaceX’s CRS-12 mission sends experiments, crew supplies to space station

    Bart LeahyAugust 14th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Without so much as a flinch, SpaceX sent the CRS-12 Dragon cargo spacecraft off to the International Space Station. Liftoff took place at 12:31 p.m. EDT (16:31 GMT) Aug. 14, 2017, within its one-second "instantaneous" launch window. This flight is poised to deliver more than 6,400 pounds (2,900 kilograms) of equipment and supplies to the orbiting outpost in the next 36 hours.

  • Live Coverage: Launch of NASA’s CRS-12 on SpaceX Falcon 9

    Jason RhianAugust 14th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA and SpaceX are preparing to launch the 12th Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station atop one of the company's "Full Thrust" Falcon 9 rockets. Liftoff is currently scheduled for 12:31 p.m. EDT (16:31 GMT) from historic Launch Complex 39A. Tune in here for SpaceX's Live Webcast.

  • JAXA H-IIA launch of GPS satellite canceled

    Bart LeahyAugust 12th In a brief media statement, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that it has canceled today's planned launch of an H-IIA rocket, which is carrying a navigation satellite that is designed to augment the Global Positioning System (GPS) for the Japanese region.

  • Science and technology to get boost from CRS-12 mission

    Jim SiegelAugust 12th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The cargo aboard NASA’s scheduled Aug. 14, 2017, CRS mission to the ISS could help more people than just the six crew and cosmonauts currently living there. With more than three tons of experiments and materials being ferried, SpaceX's Dragon capsule could benefit people ranging from those suffering from Parkinson's disease, to those seeking bio-engineered organs, to soldiers on the battlefield.

  • RS-25 engine flight controller completes 500-second test

    Scott JohnsonAugust 10th On Wednesday, August 9, NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne conducted a 500-second test of an RS-25 developmental engine at the agency's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The test was used to validate the fourth upgraded engine controller required for the first flight of the Space Launch System.

  • Japan gearing up to launch Michibiki-3 navigation satellite

    Curt GodwinAugust 10th The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is in final preparations to launch the third of the country's Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) series atop an H-IIA rocket. The satellite, also called Michibiki-3, will augment Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation services in the island nation.

  • Independent contractor to blame for Electron rocket failure

    Bart LeahyAugust 9th An internal review of Rocket Lab's May 25, 2017, test flight of an Electron rocket from its Mahia, New Zealand, launch site determined the vehicle was terminated due to an issue with an independent contractor’s ground equipment. A statement issued by the company's investigation board announced the incident's root causes and corrective actions.

  • SLS ‘racing stripes’ replaced with photogrammetry targets

    Heather SmithAugust 8th Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital ATK has cast ten solid rocket booster (SRB) segments for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Four of those segments have been completed at the company's facilities in Promontory, Utah, and painted with photogrammetric markings. Two five-segment boosters will be used to help power the super-heavy-lift vehicle into orbit as early as 2019 – but what happened to the rocket's "racing stripes"?

  • Iridium NEXT flight 3 gets launch date

    Collin SkocikAugust 7th SpaceX is targeting Sept. 30, 2017, for the liftoff of the third set of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites for Iridium Communications. The launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket is targeted for 9:30 a.m. EDT (13:30 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

  • Hubble spots exoplanet with glowing water atmosphere

    Jim SharkeyAugust 6th Researchers working with data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found the strongest evidence to date for the existence of a stratosphere – the layer of an atmosphere in which temperature increases with altitude – on an exoplanet (a planet outside of the Solar System).

  • James Webb Space Telescope may be delayed again

    Joe LatrellAugust 5th The much delayed and over budget next-generation James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has suffered another setback prior to its journey to the launch pad: the October 2018 launch may be in conflict with Europe's BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    The Range
  • Mars 160: Crew returns to ‘Earth’

    August 21st
    The Mars Society's Mars 160 mission simulation has concluded and the six members of the international crew have started making their way home to “Earth”. The simulation in the Canadian high Arctic ended on Aug. 14, 2017, and the crew was flown out from the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) on Aug. 16.

  • Gallery: Atlas V launches TDRS-M into orbit

    August 20th

  • Astronauts showcase space art created with childhood cancer patients

    August 20th
    Patients from around the world will have the opportunity to see a spacesuit art project they helped create. Astronauts currently living and working on the International Space Station will unveil the project at 10:25 a.m. EDT (14:25 GMT) Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. The 20-minute Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

  • Cassini has uncovered a wealth of data on Saturn’s rings

    August 19th
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft, now conducting its final orbits between Saturn and its rings, is plunging further than ever into the giant planet's atmosphere. Over the last 13 years studying the Saturn system, the spacecraft has discovered a wealth of information about the planet's rings.

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to host Solar Eclipse Day 2017

    August 19th
    For the first time in almost 100 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible through the United States. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, located in the partial eclipse zone, is commemorating this historic event by hosting a viewing opportunity right at America’s spaceport. On August 21, visitors will be able to sit in the Rocket Garden and watch the moon begin to cover the sun.

  • SFI Video: Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 with CRS-12 Dragon

    August 16th
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX launched one of the company's Falcon 9 rockets with the CRS-12 Dragon spacecraft on behalf of NASA at 12:31 p.m. EDT (16:31 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. SpaceFlight Insider captured the event live and, with the help of NASA, produced this stunning video of the important resupply flight.

  • Gallery: SpaceX launches CRS-12 into space, lands Falcon 9 first stage

    August 16th

  • GOES-S, GOES-T satellites on track for launch

    August 15th
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In November 2016, the GOES-R spacecraft, part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system, was launched. It was the first in a new class of weather monitoring satellites built for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). After transitioning to a geostationary orbit, it gained a new name – GOES-16. Now two of the follow-up spacecraft, GOES-S and GOES-T, are on track to be completed and launched as scheduled.

  • Flight proven Falcon 9 booster may launch the SES-11 satellite into orbit

    August 15th
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — If rumors that have been circulating prove to be true, the SES-11 satellite launch, currently scheduled for no earlier than September 27, 2017, may fly on a flight-proven SpaceX Falcon 9 booster.

  • NASA contracts energy firm to refine nuclear thermal propulsion concepts

    August 14th
    As the U.S. government continues to pursue plans for a crewed mission to Mars, NASA has contracted with BWXT Nuclear Energy Inc. of Lynchburg, Virginia, to advance concepts in Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, which could drastically reduce travel times to Mars.

  • Mars 160: Study evaluates crew performance, EVA procedures for future missions

    August 14th
    Over the last week, a break in the weather allowed the crew of the Mars Society's Mars 160 mission to conduct multiple science extravehicular activities (EVAs). The six-person crew wrapped up its last full week in simulation, capping off a shortened "Mars" mission at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS) in the Canadian high Arctic.

  • TRAPPIST-1 could be twice the age of the Solar System

    August 13th
    The red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 and its seven known planets have been around far longer than the Solar System, according to a new study by scientists who have estimated the system's age.

  • Large, distant comets more common than previously thought

    August 13th
    Data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft has shown that large, distant comets are more common than previously thought, according to research published in the Astronomical Journal. These "long-period comets" originate from the distant Oort Cloud.

  • International Lunar Observatory to offer a new astrophysical perspective

    August 12th
    Scheduled to be sent to the south pole of the Moon sometime in 2019, the International Lunar Observatory is expected to conduct the first astrophysical observations from the lunar surface. The mission managers hope that it will offer a brand new astrophysical perspective for scientists worldwide.

  • Final five ‘Grand Finale’ orbits will explore Saturn’s upper atmosphere

    August 11th
    Set to begin the final five of its "Grand Finale" orbits next week, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will conduct unprecedented close-up studies of Saturn's upper atmosphere.