Spaceflight Insider

  • Russia claims U.S. will continue to purchase RD-180 engines

    Lloyd CampbellApril 22nd On Friday, April 14, 2017, Yuri Vlasov, CEO of the United Rocket and Space Corporation, stated that the RD-180 engines, which currently power the Atlas V booster, would be delivered to the United States until 2024–2025.

  • NASA scientists contemplate using LISA Pathfinder as ‘comet crumb’ detector

    Ocean McIntyreApril 22nd Launched on Dec. 3, 2015, from the European Spaceport in French Guiana, the European Space Agency’s Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Pathfinder mission is turning out to reveal far more than the elusive gravitational waves it was designed to detect.

  • NASA approves instruments for ESA’s ‘JUICE’ mission

    Jim SharkeyApril 21st NASA's contributions to an upcoming European Space Agency mission have been moved from preliminary design to implementation phase. The "JUICE" mission is scheduled to launch in 2022 and arrive at Jupiter in Oct. 2029. JUICE will spend nearly four years investigating Jupiter's environment and its icy Galilean moons.

  • Cassini to conduct last, closest flyby of Titan

    Laurel KornfeldApril 21st As NASA's Cassini spacecraft moves toward its Grand Finale, it will conduct its final and closest flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on April 22, 2017. This last visit is a targeted flyby, meaning Cassini will use either its rocket engine or thrusters to alter its course.

  • Where’s the Beef? NASA OA-7 mission takes a look at astronauts’ menu

    Jim SiegelApril 21st KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — One of many challenges of long-duration space travel is storing the necessary food and other supplies. Without a way to replenish supplies, a mission to Mars would have to be self-sustaining. One way of reducing the very large amount of food required for such a trip would be to grow some of that food on the way.

  • Soyuz MS-04 arrival increases ISS crew size to 5

    Derek RichardsonApril 20th The population of the International Space Station has increased to five people with the docking and hatch opening of the Soyuz MS-04 with two new Expedition 51 crew members.

  • China launches Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft on space station refueling test flight

    Curt GodwinApril 20th With the launch of the Tianzhou-1 automated cargo ship, China has taken a significant step in being able to support a long-term crewed presence in space. The spacecraft, mounted atop China's Long March 7 carrier rocket, lifted off at 7:40 a.m. EDT (11:40 GMT) April 20, 2017, from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC) on Hainan Island.

  • Soyuz MS-04 sends two-man crew on fast-track to ISS

    Curt GodwinApril 20th The two newest International Space Station (ISS) inhabitants are on their way to the orbiting outpost. Soyuz MS-04 lifted off at 3:13 a.m. EDT (07:13 GMT) April 20, 2017, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

  • SFI Video: ULA Atlas V rocket launches ‘S.S. John Glenn’ Cygnus to ISS

    Jason RhianApril 19th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — ULA, Orbital ATK, and NASA sent the OA-7 "S.S. John Glenn" Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station on Tuesday, April 18. The mission got underway at the very opening of a 30-minute launch window at 11:11 a.m. EDT (15:11 GMT). SpaceFlight Insider captured the launch from numerous angles and produced the following video.

  • Photo Gallery: ULA launches S.S. John Glenn to orbit

    Derek RichardsonApril 19th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In conditions reminiscent of American hero John Glenn's Friendship 7 flight in February 1962, Orbital ATK's OA-7 "S.S. John Glenn" Cygnus cargo ship, launching atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, soared toward orbit to resupply the International Space Station.

  • China’s Tianzhou-1 cargo ship readied for launch toward Tiangong-2

    Curt GodwinApril 18th Crucial to China's goal of sustaining and resupplying its own space stations, a Long March 7 rocket has been rolled out to the launch pad at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC) with the Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft encapsulated in its payload fairing.

  • New ISS crew set to lift off on Soyuz-FG from Baikonur on first crewed launch of 2017

    Curt GodwinApril 17th Final preparations are underway for the launch of Expedition 51/52 crew members, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, to the International Space Station. Liftoff will take place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. EDT (07:13 GMT) on April 20, 2017, and will be the first crewed Soyuz launch of 2017.

  • Cassini to conduct last, closest flyby of Titan

    Laurel KornfeldApril 21st As NASA's Cassini spacecraft moves toward its Grand Finale, it will conduct its final and closest flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on April 22, 2017. This last visit is a targeted flyby, meaning Cassini will use either its rocket engine or thrusters to alter its course.

  • Soyuz MS-04 arrival increases ISS crew size to 5

    Derek RichardsonApril 20th The population of the International Space Station has increased to five people with the docking and hatch opening of the Soyuz MS-04 with two new Expedition 51 crew members.

  • China launches Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft on space station refueling test flight

    Curt GodwinApril 20th With the launch of the Tianzhou-1 automated cargo ship, China has taken a significant step in being able to support a long-term crewed presence in space. The spacecraft, mounted atop China's Long March 7 carrier rocket, lifted off at 7:40 a.m. EDT (11:40 GMT) April 20, 2017, from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC) on Hainan Island.

  • Soyuz MS-04 sends two-man crew on fast-track to ISS

    Curt GodwinApril 20th The two newest International Space Station (ISS) inhabitants are on their way to the orbiting outpost. Soyuz MS-04 lifted off at 3:13 a.m. EDT (07:13 GMT) April 20, 2017, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

  • SFI Video: ULA Atlas V rocket launches ‘S.S. John Glenn’ Cygnus to ISS

    Jason RhianApril 19th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — ULA, Orbital ATK, and NASA sent the OA-7 "S.S. John Glenn" Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station on Tuesday, April 18. The mission got underway at the very opening of a 30-minute launch window at 11:11 a.m. EDT (15:11 GMT). SpaceFlight Insider captured the launch from numerous angles and produced the following video.

  • China’s Tianzhou-1 cargo ship readied for launch toward Tiangong-2

    Curt GodwinApril 18th Crucial to China's goal of sustaining and resupplying its own space stations, a Long March 7 rocket has been rolled out to the launch pad at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC) with the Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft encapsulated in its payload fairing.

  • New ISS crew set to lift off on Soyuz-FG from Baikonur on first crewed launch of 2017

    Curt GodwinApril 17th Final preparations are underway for the launch of Expedition 51/52 crew members, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, to the International Space Station. Liftoff will take place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. EDT (07:13 GMT) on April 20, 2017, and will be the first crewed Soyuz launch of 2017.

  • OA-7 Cygnus set to bring science and supplies to ISS

    Bart LeahyApril 16th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Orbital ATK’s OA-7 Cygnus spacecraft, named S.S. John Glenn in honor of America’s first orbital astronaut, is set to launch over 7,500 pounds of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS).

  • NASA OIG: SLS unlikely to launch in 2018

    Jason RhianApril 15th NASA.s Office of Inspector General has issued an audit detailing how the agency's Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) will likely not launch in 2018. This might be a moot point as NASA is considering flying EM-1 with a crew, which would push the launch to 2019 anyway. These are some of the issues facing the first flight of the agency's new rocket.

  • Ocean worlds Enceladus and Europa could be habitable for microbial life

    Laurel KornfeldApril 14th New data obtained by NASA's Cassini mission and by the Hubble Space Telescope indicate Saturn's moon Enceladus and Jupiter's moon Europa, both referred to as ocean worlds because they harbor subsurface oceans, could be habitable for microbial life.

  • MAVEN finds metal in Mars’ atmosphere

    Jim SharkeyApril 13th NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft has discovered electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in the atmosphere of Mars. The metal ions help provide clues about previously invisible activity with Mars' electrically charged upper atmosphere (ionosphere).

  • Problems continue to plague Russian space program

    Lloyd CampbellApril 13th Russia’s space program has encountered numerous problems in recent years that has put its reliability into doubt. While space is risky for everyone, Russia’s space program had been robust for many years until things started to decline during the past decade.

  • China successfully launches ChinaSat-16 high-speed telecom satellite

    Curt GodwinApril 12th China successfully conducted its fourth launch of 2017 with the successful deployment of the ChinaSat-16 telecommunications satellite. Liftoff took place at 7:04 p.m. local time (11:04 GMT / 7:04 a.m. EDT) on April 12, 2017, from Launch Complex 2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

  • Blue Origin looking to make a ‘Blue Moon’

    Bart LeahyApril 12th In the last year, Blue Origin pushed its New Shepard suborbital vehicle in more complex tests, unveiled a reusable orbital rocket, and broke ground on a new factory in Florida. Now the company is looking one step further, revealing a design for a lunar lander at the 33rd Space Symposium.

  • China preparing to launch Shijian-13 high-speed telecom satellite aboard Long March 3B

    Curt GodwinApril 11th China appears to be on the cusp of launching the Shijian-13 high-speed telecommunications satellite atop their heavy-lift Long March 3B rocket – possibly as soon as April 12, 2017.

  • Soyuz MS-02 trio returns to Earth

    Derek RichardsonApril 10th Three International Space Station (ISS) crew members returned to Earth in their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft on April 10, 2017, after nearly six months aboard the outpost.

  • Cassini prepares for ‘grand finale’

    Paul KnightlyApril 8th On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will conduct the first in a series of 22 dives between Saturn's atmosphere and the gas giant's rings as a part of the mission's “grand finale”. It will conclude a mission that has spent almost 13 years exploring the Saturnian system.

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne applies 21st century manufacturing technology to 20th century workhorse engine

    Curt GodwinApril 6th Additive manufacturing (3-D printing) holds the promise of greatly reducing manufacturing times for aerospace industries. In a bid to reduce costs on one of the longest-serving family of rocket engines, Aerojet Rocketdyne recently performed a test fire of a 3-D printed, full-scale thrust chamber assembly for their RL10 powerplant.

  • Peggy Whitson’s ISS stay gets 3-month extension

    Derek RichardsonApril 5th NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson’s stay aboard the International Space Station has been extended by three months, adding to her already record-breaking mission.

  • Global-IP Cayman secures launch slot with SpaceX

    Lloyd CampbellApril 5th SpaceX, on the heels of its successful launch of the SES-10 communications satellite using a previously flown Falcon 9 first stage, will add Global-IP Cayman to its list of customers needing a satellite launched.