NASA and ISRO team up for Mars exploration and Earth-observing mission

The NISAR mission is targeted to launch in 2020, and will make global measurements of the causes and effects of land surface changes on Earth. Image Credit: NASA

TORONTO, Canada — NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden met with the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) chariman, K. Radhakrishnan on Tuesday, Sept. 30 to sign documents launching a join satellite mission to observe the Earth, as well as laying the ground work for future Martian exploration missions. The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperature Radar (NISAR ) mission will launch in […]

Sierra Nevada unveils new plan for Dream Chaser at 65th International Astronautical Congress 2014

Sierra Nevada Corporation has announced a new program to offer its Dream Chaser spacecraft to other interested parties. Photo Credit: Ken Ulbrich / NASA

Fresh off the announcement that the Dream Chaser spacecraft would not proceed to the Commercial Crew transportation Capability (CCtCap) phase of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), Dream Chaser’s manufacturer announced it will be offering up mini shuttle to other investors. The company recently unveiled its Global Project spaceflight program at the 65th […]

Life span of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission may be extended to 1 year

Image Credit: NASA

Expressing satisfaction over the success of the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), K. Sivan, director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Valiamala said on Friday, Sept. 26 that the life of the orbiter may be extended to one year from the planned six months.

Humans will walk on Mars by 2030, says former ISRO Chief

Former Indian Space Research Organization head Udupi Ramachandra Rao. Photo Credit: The Hindu

Encouraged by the successful Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM ) that reached the Red Planet this week, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists dream big of further space exploration, pondering future Mars missions. One of them is the former ISRO chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao, popularly known as U. R. Rao.

China launches clandestine Shijian satellite

Photo Credit: Xinhuanet.com

China has orbited a new satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Sunday, Sept. 28. Utilizing their Long March 2C (Chang Zheng 2C) launch vehicle, the mission involved another of the secretive Shijian-11-07 (SJ-11) series of “experimental satellites.” Liftoff took place at 0513 UTC according to Chinese reports. Little is known about this series […]

Proton rocket returns to flight with successful launch of Russian Olymp and Luch spacecraft

A Proton rocket launches from Baikonur Cosmodrone  in Kazakhstan (Archive Photo). Photo Credit: Roscosmos

Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket, which lifted off from Baikonur space launch facility in Kazakhstan early on Sunday, has put the Briz-M rocket booster and the Russian relay satellite Luch in the interim orbit, the press service of the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) reported. The rocket lifted off as scheduled on Sept. 28, 2014, at 00:23 Moscow […]

SpaceX begins major mods to LC-39A in leadup to first Falcon Heavy flights

The gaseous oxygen vent arm or "beanie cap" at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. Photo Credit: NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) has begun making changes to historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A), the site where Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission, and numerous other crewed flights got their start. These include many Space Shuttle missions, including the very first flight of one of the orbiters, STS-1 – with […]

Roscosmos boss talks new super-heavy booster rocket, Vostochny Cosmodrome, cooperation with U.S.

Photo Credit: Russian Defense Ministry / The Moscow Times

Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will not decide on a leading designer of a new super-heavy booster rocket until the end of this year, Roscosmos head Oleg Ostapenko said on Friday, September 26. A competition for the powerful launch vehicle has not been held yet, he said.

NASA continues Commercial “push” with CRS extension

Photo Credit: SpaceX

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — Just 10 days after the Sept. 16 announcement that NASA had selected Boeing’s CST-100 and Dragon V2 spacecraft to move forward on the final phase of NASA’s Commercial Crew transportation Capability contract – the U.S. Space Agency is looking to deepen its ties with commercial partners. NASA has issued a […]

SNC lays off staff, files protest over NASA CCP selections, mulls Dream Chaser’s future – UPDATE

Sierra Nevada's DreamChaser got short shrift in NASA's Commercial Crew contract selection. Photo Credit: Ken Ulbrich / NASA

According to reports appearing on Florida Today , Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC ) has laid off employees who were working on the company’s offering under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP ), the Dream Chaser space plane. SNC has also stated that it will continue to develop the spacecraft for possible use with other nations’ human-rated space […]

Our Spaceflight Heritage: STS-86

Space shuttle Atlantis prepares for its Sept. 25, 1997 flight to the Russian space station, Mir. Photo Credit: NASA

On September 26, 1997, six NASA astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut launched on Space Shuttle Atlantis from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex-39A in Florida to complete its seventh docking to the Mir space station. This mission carried SPACEHAB, the double module used for docking with Mir for cargo transfer and astronaut exchange. The previous Shuttle-Mir missions were STS-71, […]

Soyuz TMA-14M successfully launches Expedition 41 crew to ISS

The Soyuz TMA-14M launch vehicle with the Expedition 41 crew including: Soyuz Commander Alexander Samokutyaev and Flight Engineers Elena Serova (Roscosmos), and Barry Wilmore (NASA), lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrone on Friday, September 26, 2014. Photo Credit: Joel Kowsky NASA

The crew of Expedition 41 successfully launched at 4:25 p.m. EDT (2025 GMT) to the the International Space Station (ISS ) from the LC-1 launch pad located at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Soyuz Commander Alexander Samokutyaev and Flight Engineers Barry Wilmore and Elena Serova lifted off on what is planned as a six-hour, four-orbit ride […]

NASA’s Countdown Clock eyed for retirement

Photo Credit: Jim Siegel / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – The Countdown Clock located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is one of the more iconic structures located at the center. The Countdown Clock has been at the Kennedy Space Center Press Site since the Apollo era. With space flight now entering a new age, NASA is looking to replace […]

ATK suggests solid rocket alternative to Russian-made RD-180

Photo Credit: NASA

The movement to replace the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine is picking up speed. United Launch Alliance (ULA ) and Blue Origin recently announced that the BE-4 rocket engine, produced by Blue Origin LLC, will be developed to replace the RD-180. Not to be outdone, Utah-based ATK has announced that it has provided the United States […]

MAVEN returns first observation of Martian upper atmosphere

MAVEN has sent us its first observations of the Martian atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN ) spacecraft has beamed back its first observations of the red planet’s extended upper atmosphere. The spacecraft returned these findings within 24 hours of arriving in orbit above the Red Planet. The Martian satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) atop a […]

Expedition 41 set to launch from Kazakhstan

The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is rolled out to the launch pad by train on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  Launch of the Soyuz rocket is scheduled for Sept. 26 and will carry Expedition 41 Soyuz Commander Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineer Barry Wilmore of NASA, and Flight Engineer Elena Serova of Roscosmos into orbit to begin their five and a half month mission on the International Space Station. Photo Credit: Aubrey Gemignani / NASA

Beginning with the launch of SpaceX CRS-4 on Sept. 21 and the successful docking of its Dragon cargo capsule, the International Space Station is experiencing quite a busy week. The excitement is not over yet however, as the orbital laboratory is preparing for another visit. This time, the space station will welcome more than just cargo […]

International Space Station captures a Dragon

SpaceX's fourth commercial resupply mission has arrived at the International Space Station. Photo Credit: SpaceX

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) successfully launched its fourth commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station on Sunday, September 21. Following a two-day journey, the Dragon capsule successfully completed its berthing procedure. NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut manned the controls of the station’s robotic Canadarm2 and successfully grappled the Dragon […]

India’s MOM satellite is the newest member of Mars orbiter club

Image Credit: ISRO

As of 10:30 p.m. EDT (0800 Indian Standard Time), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) became the fourth space agency to successfully place a satellite in Mars’ orbit. The Mars Orbiter Mission probe launched on November 5, 2013 and has traveled 484 million miles (780 million km) to reach this milestone.

SpaceX breaks ground for Spaceport in Texas, Musk aims for first launch in 2016

SpaceX's CEO and Founder, Elon Musk (center), Texas Governor Rick Perry and other officials joined numerous others in celebrating the opening of SpaceX's newest launch facility. Photo Credit: Governor.State.Texas.US

BOCA CHICA, TX — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) broke ground on Monday Sept. 22 at the site near Boca Chica Beach in Cameron County, Texas, where it plans to build a commercial rocket launch site. As SpaceX CEO and Founder Elon Musk lifted a shovel of dirt, his ultimate goal of developing technology to enable trips to Mars took […]

New Horizons captures early image of Hydra

NASA's New Horizon spacecraft has images Pluto's moon, Hydra. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost exactly a year before its scheduled Pluto flyby, the New Horizons spacecraft, using its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, photographed Hydra, one of the planet’s four tiny moons. The mission team did not expect to detect the tiny moon until January 2015, at which point the spacecraft will be twice as close to the Pluto […]