Spaceflight Insider

  • Stellar occultations by KBO 2014 MU69 will give scientists crucial data

    Laurel KornfeldMay 28th Members of NASA's New Horizons team will have three opportunities to obtain crucial data regarding 2014 MU69 – the mission's second target – when the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) occults three different stars within the next few weeks.

  • ‘Lunar’ short film an ode to the Space Race

    Derek RichardsonMay 28th Utilizing a mix of various photography and animation techniques, Austrian artist Christian Stangl created a short film called "Lunar", which tells the story of humanity’s first voyages to another world.

  • Coalition for Deep Space Exploration welcomes FY18 NASA budget

    Press ReleaseMay 28th WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) welcomes the release of the full President’s Budget Request for NASA for Fiscal Year 2018, which builds on the information first released in March highlighting funding requests for NASA’s exploration, science, and space operations programs.

  • DARPA selects rocket engine for XS-1 experimental spaceplane

    Jason RhianMay 27th Aerojet Rocketdyne has been chosen to provide the main propulsion for the Boeing and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency reusable Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1).

  • Dream Chaser spacecraft passes 3rd integration review milestone

    Bart LeahyMay 27th Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced on May 25, 2017, that the firm's Dream Chaser spacecraft passed its third integration review under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract. This latest review evaluated whether the spacecraft's system design met NASA’s key mission requirements to send a crew to the International Space Station.

  • ULA announces payloads for its Future Heavy intern rocket

    Lloyd CampbellMay 27th United Launch Alliance has announced the student payloads that will fly on the Future Heavy intern sport rocket to be launched during the Spaceport America Cup competition held on June 20–24, 2017, at the Spaceport America facility in New Mexico.

  • Iridium-2 launch moved up by 4 days

    Derek RichardsonMay 26th The next batch of Iridium NEXT satellites is set to fly to space four days earlier than planned. On May 25, 2017, Iridium Communications announced the new launch date atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 1:24:59 p.m. PDT (20:24:59 GMT) June 25, 2017, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

  • Early science results from Juno spacecraft show ‘whole new Jupiter’

    Ocean McIntyreMay 26th During a May 25, 2017, press conference, NASA scientists released the first early results of science data gathered by the Juno spacecraft around Jupiter. Much of what has been found has scientists questioning everything they had previously believed was understood about the king of planets.

  • University students innovate at NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition

    Michael McCabeMay 26th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Students from dozens of universities across the United States gathered at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA's 2017 Robotic Mining Competition (NRMC). Students showcased and competed with their robotic concepts, which could potentially be used by NASA on actual future off-Earth mining.

  • Scientists use Kepler telescope data to uncover details about TRAPPIST-1 planet

    Laurel KornfeldMay 26th Data collected by NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has enabled scientists to uncover orbital information for the outermost planet of the unusual TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

  • Rocket Lab’s Electron takes flight

    Jerome StrachMay 25th After a few days of weather delays, Rocket Lab’s first Electron rocket finally launched from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. Liftoff of the mission, dubbed "It's a Test", took place at 4:20 p.m. New Zealand Time (12:20 a.m. EDT / 04:20 GMT), May 25, 2017. Several minutes later, the Electron rocket reached space and nearly reached orbit.

  • Soyuz rocket successfully delivers EKS-2 early-warning satellite to rare orbit

    Curt GodwinMay 25th Shortly after 2:34 a.m. EDT (06:34 GMT), May 25, 2017, a Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket lifted off from site No. 43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and delivered the second of the EKS series of early-warning satellites to a rare Tundra orbit.

  • Dream Chaser spacecraft passes 3rd integration review milestone

    Bart LeahyMay 27th Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced on May 25, 2017, that the firm's Dream Chaser spacecraft passed its third integration review under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract. This latest review evaluated whether the spacecraft's system design met NASA’s key mission requirements to send a crew to the International Space Station.

  • Iridium-2 launch moved up by 4 days

    Derek RichardsonMay 26th The next batch of Iridium NEXT satellites is set to fly to space four days earlier than planned. On May 25, 2017, Iridium Communications announced the new launch date atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 1:24:59 p.m. PDT (20:24:59 GMT) June 25, 2017, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

  • Early science results from Juno spacecraft show ‘whole new Jupiter’

    Ocean McIntyreMay 26th During a May 25, 2017, press conference, NASA scientists released the first early results of science data gathered by the Juno spacecraft around Jupiter. Much of what has been found has scientists questioning everything they had previously believed was understood about the king of planets.

  • Rocket Lab’s Electron takes flight

    Jerome StrachMay 25th After a few days of weather delays, Rocket Lab’s first Electron rocket finally launched from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. Liftoff of the mission, dubbed "It's a Test", took place at 4:20 p.m. New Zealand Time (12:20 a.m. EDT / 04:20 GMT), May 25, 2017. Several minutes later, the Electron rocket reached space and nearly reached orbit.

  • Soyuz rocket successfully delivers EKS-2 early-warning satellite to rare orbit

    Curt GodwinMay 25th Shortly after 2:34 a.m. EDT (06:34 GMT), May 25, 2017, a Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket lifted off from site No. 43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and delivered the second of the EKS series of early-warning satellites to a rare Tundra orbit.

  • Psyche mission to reach metallic asteroid 4 years earlier than planned

    Bart LeahyMay 24th NASA announced on May 24, 2017, that it would be launching the Discovery-class Psyche mission one year earlier, which will enable it to reach the nickel-iron asteroid Psyche four years earlier than previously planned. Thanks to spacecraft and trajectory redesigns, Psyche is now scheduled to launch in 2022 and will reach its destination in 2026.

  • NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne conduct 2nd RS-25 controller test

    Bart LeahyMay 24th On May 23, 2017, Aerojet Rocketdyne completed the second in a series of RS-25 engine firings, testing a new controller system. Formerly known as Space Shuttle Main Engines, the RS-25s are being upgraded to serve as the main engines for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) super-heavy-lift launch vehicle.

  • NASA officials detail FY 2018 budget proposal

    Derek RichardsonMay 24th The Trump administration released its Fiscal Year 2018 budget request for the federal government on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Much of what was proposed for NASA remains the same as what was seen in the “skinny budget” back in March, including the elimination of the agency’s Office of Education and several Earth Sciences missions.

  • Astronauts perform contingency spacewalk to replace failed data relay box

    Derek RichardsonMay 23rd Just three days after the failure of a key data relay box, a contingency spacewalk was planned by ground teams and executed by International Space Station astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer to replace the component.

  • EKS marks the spot: Russia set to launch 2nd of 6 early-warning satellites

    Curt GodwinMay 23rd Russia looks to enhance its missile detection system with the launch of the second in a series of six early-warning satellites. The EKS-2 satellite, alternately classed as a member of the 'Tundra' family of launch detection spacecraft, is designed to replace Russia's aging early-warning infrastructure and is targeting a launch at 2:33 a.m. EDT (0633 GMT) on May 25, 2017, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

  • NASA astronaut resigned in 2016 after fraud revelation, according to Gizmodo

    Jason RhianMay 22nd NASA is arguably one of the most positively viewed organizations in all of the federal government. However, over the last decade, a number of incidents have placed the space agency in a bad light. The most recent one was revealed in a Gizmodo report indicating an astronaut resigned late in 2016 after it was found they had fraudulently filed multiple travel reimbursement claims.

  • Contingency spacewalk required to replace failed relay box

    Derek RichardsonMay 21st A data relay box failure outside the International Space Station (ISS) has prompted mission managers to begin planning a contingency spacewalk. On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer will venture outside the Quest airlock to replace the failed component.

  • Rocket Lab to send Electron on maiden launch

    Jerome StrachMay 20th Rocket Lab is set to send its first Electron rocket into space. Officially labeled by the company as “It’s a Test", the launch will occur at the firm's private Launch Complex 1 in Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand. The company has a 10-day launch window starting at 9:00 a.m. local time on May 22, 2017, to get the vehicle off the ground.

  • Astronaut Hall of Fame welcomes Foale, Ochoa to its ranks

    Jason RhianMay 20th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Two NASA astronauts joined the elite ranks of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's $100 million Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. Given that both Michael Foale and Ellen Ochoa flew on OV-104 (Atlantis), the duo makes the Friday, May 19, ceremony all the more poignant.

  • Spaceflight Industries purchases dedicated Electron rocket

    Derek RichardsonMay 19th While Rocket Lab is gearing up to perform the maiden launch of its Electron rocket, SpaceFlight Industries announced that it has purchased a flight on a future Electron to increase the number of its dedicated ride-share missions.

  • Arianespace delivers all-electric SES-15 to GTO on Flight VS17

    Curt GodwinMay 18th French multinational launch provider Arianespace continues to successfully clear its mission backlog induced by the "social movement" in French Guiana earlier in 2017. The company's Europeanized Soyuz ST-A medium-class rocket took to the skies with the SES-15 communications satellite at 7:54 a.m. EDT (11:54 GMT) May 18, 2017, from the Guiana Space Center in South America.

  • Elysium Space extending memorial frontiers aboard SpaceX Falcon 9

    Bart LeahyMay 18th SpaceX has launched communications and reconnaissance satellites into Earth orbit and cargo to the International Space Station, but it'll be lofting something new on an upcoming flight. Elysium Space, a company specializing in “memorial spaceflights”, will be placing a satellite with the cremated remains of 100 people aboard a Falcon 9 rocket scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

  • SLS structural test article arrives at Marshall

    Scott JohnsonMay 17th HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — On May 15, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) core stage engine section structural test article (STA) arrived at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. The STA will soon be placed in a test stand located in MSFC's Building 4619 and subjected to extreme loads to certify the section for flight.

  • Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine test hardware suffers failure

    Derek RichardsonMay 16th In a tweet on Sunday, May 14, 2017, NewSpace company Blue Origin announced it had lost a set of powerpack test hardware for its BE-4 engine in development. No details were released as to what happened or why.

  • Good to go for GTO: Soyuz to launch SES-15 satellite from French Guiana

    Curt GodwinMay 16th Arianespace's Europeanized variant of the workhorse Russian Soyuz rocket stands ready to launch the SES-15 telecommunications satellite. The medium-class launch vehicle, known for decades of reliable launches to low-Earth orbit, is being tapped for its second mission to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) from the Guiana Space Center.

    The Range
  • Stellar occultations by KBO 2014 MU69 will give scientists crucial data

    May 28th
    Members of NASA's New Horizons team will have three opportunities to obtain crucial data regarding 2014 MU69 – the mission's second target – when the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) occults three different stars within the next few weeks.

  • ‘Lunar’ short film an ode to the Space Race

    May 28th
    Utilizing a mix of various photography and animation techniques, Austrian artist Christian Stangl created a short film called "Lunar", which tells the story of humanity’s first voyages to another world.

  • Coalition for Deep Space Exploration welcomes FY18 NASA budget

    May 28th
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) welcomes the release of the full President’s Budget Request for NASA for Fiscal Year 2018, which builds on the information first released in March highlighting funding requests for NASA’s exploration, science, and space operations programs.

  • DARPA selects rocket engine for XS-1 experimental spaceplane

    May 27th
    Aerojet Rocketdyne has been chosen to provide the main propulsion for the Boeing and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency reusable Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1).

  • ULA announces payloads for its Future Heavy intern rocket

    May 27th
    United Launch Alliance has announced the student payloads that will fly on the Future Heavy intern sport rocket to be launched during the Spaceport America Cup competition held on June 20–24, 2017, at the Spaceport America facility in New Mexico.

  • University students innovate at NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition

    May 26th
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Students from dozens of universities across the United States gathered at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA's 2017 Robotic Mining Competition (NRMC). Students showcased and competed with their robotic concepts, which could potentially be used by NASA on actual future off-Earth mining.

  • Scientists use Kepler telescope data to uncover details about TRAPPIST-1 planet

    May 26th
    Data collected by NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has enabled scientists to uncover orbital information for the outermost planet of the unusual TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

  • Cassini prepares for sixth ring-grazing orbit

    May 25th
    NASA's Cassini spacecraft is currently completing its fifth ring-grazing orbit of Saturn as it conducts its Grand Finale nearing the end of its mission. It will reach its orbital apoapsis on May 25 at 08:50 UTC (4:50 a.m. EDT), at which point its sixth ring-grazing orbit will begin. The sixth ring crossing of the Grand Finale will occur on May 28 at 14:22 UTC (10:22 a.m. EDT).

  • Juno spacecraft makes fifth science pass of Jupiter

    May 24th
    NASA's Juno mission made a close flyby of the planet Jupiter on May 19, successfully completing the spacecraft's fifth science orbit of the gas giant. JunoCam and all of the spacecraft's science instruments were operating during the flyby. Juno's next close flyby, which will take it over Jupiter's Great Red Spot, will take place on July 11, 2017.

  • Grabbe joins Astrobotic’s team

    May 24th
    Google Lunar X PRIZE contestant Astrobotic, at one time considered by many to be the frontrunner in the effort to land the first commercial rover on the surface of the Moon (they have since dropped out of the contest), has tapped Kit Grabbe to serve as the organization's Principal Systems Engineer.

  • Visitors ‘dare mighty things’ at Explore JPL event

    May 22nd
    PASADENA, Calif. — On a 177-acre campus built into a mountainside, engineers and flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) offered their time to provide an experience for the public. For many, the Explore JPL event, which occurred on May 20–21, 2017, was a rare opportunity to visit the facilities that build and control spacecraft like Cassini, Voyagers 1 and 2, and the Curiosity Mars rover.

  • NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtains ‘opposition surge’ images of Ceres

    May 22nd
    After more than two years orbiting Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft continues to tease out remarkable science from the enigmatic dwarf planet. On April 29, mission specialists were able to successfully place Dawn into opposition – a position directly between the Sun and Ceres.

  • Curt Brown tapped as Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Chairman

    May 21st
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation has a new chairman: former shuttle astronaut Curt Brown. He will be taking the reins of the organization from fellow space flight veteran Dan Brandenstein. The announcement was made during the 2017 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame induction Gala.

  • Third largest dwarf planet found to have moon

    May 21st
    Dwarf planet 2007 OR10, the third largest of nine known dwarf planets in the Solar System, is orbited by a small moon, scientists discovered using current and archival images gathered by three separate observatories.

  • Van Allen Probes detect barrier around Earth

    May 20th
    New results from NASA's Van Allen Probes have revealed the impact humans have on the environment is not limited to physical and chemical effects on the Earth's surface, but it also includes radio frequencies extending out into space.