Spaceflight Insider

  • Curiosity snaps photos of thickening haze as Martian dust storm goes global

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 25th Despite being in the worse dust storm in recent years, NASA's Curiosity rover is sticking it out - and even managed to take a 'selfie' of itself.

  • Book Review: It’s a Question of Space

    Jason RhianJune 24th There has been a wealth of books written about astronauts' experiences in space. A good many of these are accounts detailing what transpired behind the scenes. Few however have contained actual questions asked by the average citizen as well as the response. Former NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson works to address this in his latest offering - It's a Question of Space.

  • NewSpace gaining more real estate at Kennedy

    Collin SkocikJune 24th Space Florida, the aerospace economic development agency of the State of Florida, will be meeting in Tampa in the next week to provide some $18 million of state money to help Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) and Blue Origin, LLC, to develop new facilities at Kennedy Space Center.

  • It’s not Business Time: Scrub called on Rocket Lab’s first commercial flight

    Rae Botsford EndJune 23rd Rocket Lab’s first fully commercial mission, “It’s Business Time," will have to wait a little while longer before it takes to the skies.

  • Trump calls for creation of ‘Space Force’

    Jim SharkeyJune 22nd During a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House on June 18, 2018, President Donald Trump announced he was ordering the creation of a sixth branch of the U.S. military - to focus on space.

  • Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity could be just months away from 1st space flight

    Lloyd CampbellJune 21st Following a successful second supersonic test flight of the Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spacecraft could be on the verge of becoming the first privately funded spacecraft to carry humans into space since SpaceShipOne some 14 years ago.

  • NASA will monitor plants’ water usage through new instrument on ISS

    Laurel KornfeldJune 20th A new NASA instrument that will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) later this month will monitor water usage by plants on Earth through regular measurements of the plants' temperatures.

  • NASA Administrator expresses support for Space Policy Directive-3

    Jason RhianJune 19th With the threat of space debris destroying satellites, crewed spacecraft and even the International Space Station increasing, processes have been initiated to help alleviate and prevent this threat. NASA's new Administrator Jim Bridenstine made several statements about the new Space Policy Directive-3.

  • Proposed CAESAR mission could return a sample from comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 19th A proposed mission known as Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR), could greatly improve our knowledge about the origin and history of the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. If selected by NASA, it could return a sample from this comet to Earth, enabling scientists to study the leftover material from the formation of our Solar System.

  • Nick Hague set to become first member of 2013 astronaut class to fly

    Jason RhianJune 18th One of the 2013 class of astronauts is preparing himself for his flight into space. When Nick Hague takes to the skies in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft later this year, he will become the first of his class to fly.

  • China poised to orbit pair of BeiDou-3 navigation satellites

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 18th The Chinese National Space Administration is in final preparations to launch another pair of its BeiDou-3 navigation satellites, designated BeiDou-3 M5 and M6, into orbit on Wednesday, June 20.

  • GRACE-FO uses ‘Range Finder’ to see mountain effects

    Jim SharkeyJune 18th NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission has successfully completed its first mission phase and demonstrated the performance of the precise microwave ranging system that allows it to measure how mass migrates around the Earth. GRACE-FO is a successor to the original GRACE mission, which began orbiting the Earth on March 17, 2002.

  • Trump calls for creation of ‘Space Force’

    Jim SharkeyJune 22nd During a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House on June 18, 2018, President Donald Trump announced he was ordering the creation of a sixth branch of the U.S. military - to focus on space.

  • Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity could be just months away from 1st space flight

    Lloyd CampbellJune 21st Following a successful second supersonic test flight of the Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spacecraft could be on the verge of becoming the first privately funded spacecraft to carry humans into space since SpaceShipOne some 14 years ago.

  • NASA Administrator expresses support for Space Policy Directive-3

    Jason RhianJune 19th With the threat of space debris destroying satellites, crewed spacecraft and even the International Space Station increasing, processes have been initiated to help alleviate and prevent this threat. NASA's new Administrator Jim Bridenstine made several statements about the new Space Policy Directive-3.

  • Nick Hague set to become first member of 2013 astronaut class to fly

    Jason RhianJune 18th One of the 2013 class of astronauts is preparing himself for his flight into space. When Nick Hague takes to the skies in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft later this year, he will become the first of his class to fly.

  • China poised to orbit pair of BeiDou-3 navigation satellites

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 18th The Chinese National Space Administration is in final preparations to launch another pair of its BeiDou-3 navigation satellites, designated BeiDou-3 M5 and M6, into orbit on Wednesday, June 20.

  • Astronaut Peggy Whitson retires from NASA

    Derek RichardsonJune 16th Peggy Whitson retired from NASA on June 15, 2018, after 32 years with the space agency—22 as an astronaut. Between 2002 and 2017, she participated in three long-duration International Space Station expeditions, accumulating 665 days orbit—a record for any U.S. space flyer.

  • Astronauts install high-definition cameras outside International Space Station

    Derek RichardsonJune 15th Two NASA astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station to perform the sixth spacewalk of 2018 at the orbiting complex. The nearly seven-hour long outing saw the duo install new cameras in preparation for upcoming commercial crew flights.

  • NASA creates, and fills, high-level position dedicated to exploration

    Curt GodwinJune 14th One of NASA's principal functions is to provide leadership in space exploration, and now the agency has a position that is the embodiment of that responsibility. Jim Bridenstine, NASA's new Administrator, recently named Steve Clarke as the agency's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration.

  • NASA’s Opportunity rover goes silent as massive dust storm engulfs Mars

    Derek RichardsonJune 13th NASA’s long-lived Opportunity rover is currently weathering a massive dust storm—the largest the solar-powered rover has had to endure in its nearly 15 years of surface operations. The vehicle has been operating in Meridiani Planum since January 2004.

  • H-IIA takes to the skies with Japan’s IGS-Radar 6 spy satellite

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 12th An H-IIA rocket took to the skies on June 12, on a classified mission to deliver the IGS-Radar 6 (Information Gathering Satellite) reconnaissance satellite for Japan’s Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Centre.

  • International Space Station population doubles with arrival of Soyuz MS-09

    Derek RichardsonJune 8th Expedition 56 has three new crew members with the arrival of Soyuz MS-09. The two spent the last two days catching up with the International Space Station before rendezvousing and docking with the 400-metric-ton complex at 9:01 a.m. EDT (13:01 GMT) June 8, 2018.

  • Aliens discovered on Mars? Don’t believe the hype

    Laurel KornfeldJune 7th NASA's Mars Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012, has discovered organic molecules in Martian rocks and atmospheric methane levels that change seasonally, according to an announcement and a live discussion the space agency held on Thursday, June 7. Proof of alien life? Not so much.

  • Curiosity’s laboratories resume analysis of Mars surface samples

    Laurel KornfeldJune 6th After more than a year and a half of inactivity, the laboratories on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover are once again analyzing surface samples collected from the Red Planet.

  • Soyuz MS-09 on its way to ISS after textbook launch

    Derek RichardsonJune 6th BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan — Three space flyers are on their way to the International Space Station after launching to orbit inside their Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft atop a Soyuz-FG rocket. Liftoff took place at 4:12 p.m. local time (7:12 a.m. EDT / 11:12 GMT) June 6, 2018.

  • Soyuz MS-09 rolled to Baikonur launch pad for Wednesday flight

    Derek RichardsonJune 5th BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan — A Russian Soyuz-FG rocket with the encapsulated Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft sits at Pad 1/5 and is set to launch three new crew members bound for the International Space Station to join Expedition 56.

  • Elon Musk: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service meets key performance metric

    Curt GodwinJune 4th While casual followers of Elon Musk's ventures may only know of his foray into electric vehicles and space launch services, the CEO of SpaceX also has his eyes set on being a major player in providing worldwide broadband internet services via a constellation of orbiting satellites.

  • SES-12 flies to orbit in early morning SpaceX launch

    Jim SiegelJune 4th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX carried out yet another successful launch, but it didn't retrieve the rocket's first stage, nor did it use the Block 5 version of the launch vehicle. The NewSpace company did, however, work to recover one element of the booster.

  • Long March 2D launches Gaofen 6 and Luojia 1 to orbit

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 3rd A Long March 2D booster took to the skies on Saturday, June 2, to deliver the Gaofen 6 Earth-observing satellite and Luojia 1 CubeSat into space.

  • Soyuz MS-07 crew back on Earth after 168 days in orbit.

    Derek RichardsonJune 3rd Three members of the International Space Station's Expedition 54/55 crew returned to Earth inside the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft after having spent 168 days in orbit performing hundreds of science experiments and upgrading equipment outside the outpost.

  • Contact lost with China’s DSLWP-A1 lunar microsatellite

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 1st China has apparently lost contact with one of its two lunar radio astronomy microsatellites sent into space last week together with a communications relay spacecraft for Chang’e 4 lunar mission.

    The Range
  • Curiosity snaps photos of thickening haze as Martian dust storm goes global

    June 25th
    Despite being in the worse dust storm in recent years, NASA's Curiosity rover is sticking it out - and even managed to take a 'selfie' of itself.

  • Book Review: It’s a Question of Space

    June 24th
    There has been a wealth of books written about astronauts' experiences in space. A good many of these are accounts detailing what transpired behind the scenes. Few however have contained actual questions asked by the average citizen as well as the response. Former NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson works to address this in his latest offering - It's a Question of Space.

  • NewSpace gaining more real estate at Kennedy

    June 24th
    Space Florida, the aerospace economic development agency of the State of Florida, will be meeting in Tampa in the next week to provide some $18 million of state money to help Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) and Blue Origin, LLC, to develop new facilities at Kennedy Space Center.

  • It’s not Business Time: Scrub called on Rocket Lab’s first commercial flight

    June 23rd
    Rocket Lab’s first fully commercial mission, “It’s Business Time," will have to wait a little while longer before it takes to the skies.

  • NASA will monitor plants’ water usage through new instrument on ISS

    June 20th
    A new NASA instrument that will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) later this month will monitor water usage by plants on Earth through regular measurements of the plants' temperatures.

  • Proposed CAESAR mission could return a sample from comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    June 19th
    A proposed mission known as Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR), could greatly improve our knowledge about the origin and history of the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. If selected by NASA, it could return a sample from this comet to Earth, enabling scientists to study the leftover material from the formation of our Solar System.

  • GRACE-FO uses ‘Range Finder’ to see mountain effects

    June 18th
    NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission has successfully completed its first mission phase and demonstrated the performance of the precise microwave ranging system that allows it to measure how mass migrates around the Earth. GRACE-FO is a successor to the original GRACE mission, which began orbiting the Earth on March 17, 2002.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The first solar observatories in orbit

    June 17th
    As NASA prepares to launch its latest and most ambitious mission to study the Sun, it will join NASA missions launched to study Earth’s closest star. Since its creation in 1958, NASA has made the study of the Sun one of its priority. Given the importance of the Sun for all life on Earth, this mission's importance becomes clearer.

  • New data reveals supermassive black hole eating a star

    June 17th
    An international team of scientists captured the first ever images produced by a supermassive black hole devouring a star.

  • Engine for Phantom Express assembled and prepped for tests

    June 16th
    Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed the assembly of the first AR-22 rocket engine at Stennis Space Center. The engine was built for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane program. The purpose of the new spaceplane, called Phantom Express, is to demonstrate more routine and affordable access to space.

  • Juno solves lightning mystery, gets mission extension

    June 15th
    NASA's Juno probe, which has been in orbit around Jupiter since July, 2016 has provided scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) opportunities for research. One such research paper, recently published in Nature, helps explain the nature of Jupiter’s polar lightning.

  • RL-10 successfully completes hotfire tests

    June 15th
    The use of 3D printing in spaceflight took another step forward in early 2018 when Aerojet Rocketdyne completed a series of hotfire tests of a new model of the RL10 rocket engine which was built almost entirely of 3D-printed parts.

  • ISS 2018 mission patch revealed

    June 14th
    The 2018 International Space Station (ISS) mission patch, which represents all science payloads on the space station during the calendar year, has been unveiled.

  • NOAA releases first images of Sun taken by GOES 17

    June 13th
    Launched on March 1, 2018 atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket, the GOES-17 spacecraft has beamed back its first images of the Sun. 

  • Launch of NASA ICON mission postponed

    June 10th
    NASA and Northrop Grumman have decided to delay the launch of the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission due to what has been described as "off-nominal data" discovered from the mission's launch vehicle.