Expedition 42 / 43 crew ready for Sunday’s launch to International Space Station

Expedition 42 Soyuz Rollout to the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrone in Kazakhstan photo credit Aubrey Gemignani / NASA posted on SpaceFlight Insider

A team of three international crewmembers are finalizing their preparations for launch from the Biakonur Cosmodrome LC-1 in Kazakhastan which will take place on Nov. 23 at 4:01 p.m. EST (2001 GMT). This journey, which started years ago for the crew and technicians involved, will ultimately see these diverse space-bound explorers joining their fellow Expedition […]

Rosetta’s Philae: The sound of a touchdown

If a robot lands on a comet and no one is around, does it make a sound? Image Credit: ESA posted on SpaceFlight Insider

We are not talking about football here, but rather the sound of everyone’s favorite little robotic probe landing on a comet. The European Space Agency’s (ESA ) plucky little lander, Philae, won the world’s heart last week as it made the first ever landing on the surface of Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko (more commonly known as […]

Curiosity takes a second look at rocks near Mount Sharp

Alpha Particle X Ray Spectrometer APXS on NASA Curiosity rover with the Martian landscape image by Mast Camera on the 32nd Martian day sol image credit NASA JPL MSSS posted on SpaceFlight Insider

After completing a reconnaissance drive around the first outcrop it encountered at the base of Mount Sharp, The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover has started a second pass to examine selected rocks more closely. Exposed layers on the lower portion of the geological feature that juts up from the center of Gale Crater may hold evidence of […]

NASA Releases Fiscal Year 2014 Financial Report

NASA meatball logo. Image Credit: NASA as posed on Spaceflight Insider

NASA has released its fiscal year (FY) 2014 Agency Financial Report (AFR), which provides details on its financial results and performance highlights. The AFR reflects several highlights of NASA’s progress toward meeting its strategic goals. It integrates financial and program performance to demonstrate stewardship and accountability and highlights FY 2014 achievements.

Countdown Clock retired, poised for move to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Countdown Clock photo credit Carleton Bailie SpaceFlight Insider

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla — The iconic Countdown Clock located at the Kennedy Space Center press site in Florida – ended its decades-long service today. The timepiece, which has provided the exact time before a mission takes flight, as well as the amount of time that missions have spent in orbit – was officially shut down […]

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Apollo 12 – Sailing The Ocean of Storms

Apollo 12 Alan Bean Ocean of Storms Intrepid NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Forty-five years ago today, Nov. 19, 1969, Apollo 12′s Commander Pete Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean set their Lunar Module, Intrepid down on the Moon’s Ocean of Storms (Oceanus Procellarum ). The mission was the culmination of the sixth crewed flight under Apollo overall and it served as confirmation that not only could […]

GAO’s pace to space

NASA-Launch-America Commercial Crew Program NASA image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO ) has made space news headlines a couple of times recently. The office released a report in July that warned of cost and schedule risks to NASA’s newly-designed Space Launch System (SLS ). That wasn’t the first time this year when NASA received criticism from GAO. In May, the […]

Expedition 42: The crew of the Titans

The crew of Expedition 42 poses for a photo with their spacesuits. Photo Credit: Samantha Cristoforetti / Twitter posted on SpaceFlight Insider

The crew of the next Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft, call-sign Astraeus, has passed pre-flight examination in Star City, outside Moscow, and departed to Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Tuesday Nov. 11. In Greek mythology, Astraeus was an astrological deity, and creator of the night sky. It is said, he took the stars and scattered them across the dark […]

NASA details Orbital’s requirements to complete CRS contract

Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket Orb-3 CRS-3 Commercial Resupply Services 3 NASA Wallops Flight Facility Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A Photo Credit JD Taylor SpaceFlight Insider.jpg

SpaceFlight Insider asked NASA to provide specifics as to what is next for Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation in terms of the $1.9 billion contract that the aerospace firm has with the space agency. It was unclear under the original phrasing of what was required of Orbital if the company still had six flights left […]

Expedition 41′s Barry Wilmore installs 3D printer in International Space Station

Expedition 41 Commander Barry Butch Wilmore installs 3D printer on ISS International Space Station NASA TV image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Wasting little time since it arrived at the International Space Station (ISS), the Expedition 41 crew has installed a Made In Space-produced 3D printer in the station’s Microgravity Science Glovebox. The space station’s current commander, NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore, spent a good portion of Monday, Nov. 17 to install the device. The U.S. Space Agency […]

NASA’s InSight lander begins to take shape

InSight-Prop-Test-RAL NASA Mars Red Planet lander spacecraft JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory Lockheed Martin photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

The next spacecraft destined to set foot on the surface of the Red Planet – is starting to come together. NASA and the primary contractor in building the InSight spacecraft, Lockheed Martin, are putting the craft’s various elements together in preparation for a planned launch date of March of 2016. If everything goes according to plan, […]

Myriad Milestones completed and underway for NASA’s commercial Partners

NASA's Commercial Crew Program update, posted on Spaceflight Insider.

One month after NASA announced that Boeing had reached its final milestone under the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) Space Act Agreement, the space agency reports broad progress among a range of industry partners. A press release from NASA notes the advancements of Blue Origin, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and SpaceX in the agency’s efforts […]

SpaceShipTwo: The Survival of a Pilot and an Industry

WhiteNightTwo carries Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo as posted on Spaceflight Insider.

Only days after the explosion of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket on Wallops Island, VA, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo experienced a catastrophic failure. The unlikely survival of a test pilot, and the tenacity of a company, provide a compelling narrative blending human interest and entrepreneurial drive.

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Lunokhod 1 and the first tire tracks on another world

lunokhod_lavochkin Moon lunar rover 1 Roscosmos Lavochkin photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Today, we take images of wheeled craft trundling on the surface of the Moon or Mars for granted. Almost a half century ago, a wheeled craft rolling around on alien worlds - was unheard of. On Nov. 17, 1970, the Soviet Union changed all of that. Luna 17, also known as Lunik 17, lifted off from the […]

Philae’s farewell

Rosetta_Philae_Artist_Impression_ESA European Space Agency image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Forty-five years ago, people all over the world gathered around their televisions to watch the first lunar landing. This past week, on Nov. 12, people huddled around laptops, sitting on the edge of their seats, watching what would be the first landing on a comet. Following a ten-year journey across the solar system, and against […]

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Skylab-4 rises and closes out U.S.’ first space station

Skylab_4_undocking photo Apollo CSM Command Service Module NASA image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – On this date in spaceflight history, Nov. 16, 1973, the crew of Skylab-4, also known as SLM-3 or SL-4, lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39B on a Saturn-1B rocket at 9:01 a.m. EST (1401 GMT). Perched atop the less-powerful cousin of the mighty Saturn V Moon rocket – […]

OPINION: ESA’s comet landing highlights a public accustomed to less

Rosetta ESA European Space Agency Philae Lander Comet 67P photo credit ESA posted on SpaceFlight Insider

On Nov. 12, 2014, history was made. The Philae lander detached from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft and landed on Comet 67P, or Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This was the culmination of a space project decades in the making. The Rosetta spacecraft was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on Mar. 2, 2004, from the Guiana Space […]

Boeing stacks ABS / Eutelsat spacecraft in preparation for 2015 launch

ABS Eutel Satellites stacked Boeing photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider - Copy

The ABS-3A and Eutelsat 115 West B spacecraft have been “stacked” in preparation for their flight atop a Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX ) Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket. The mating of these two 702SP (small platform) spacecraft will be, according to Boeing, the first-ever conjoined satellite to be launched. This mission has a potentially more-important “first” […]

Despite safe landing, Philae’s future is uncertain

Rosetta's Philae lander is safely on the surface of comet 67P as seen in the initial CIVA images. Image Credit: ESA posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Almost twenty years of hard work and dedication paid off this week for the European Space Agency (ESA ). On Wednesday, Oct. 12, ESA’s comet-chasing spacecraft, Rosetta, deployed a washing machine-sized lander and achieved the first-ever soft touchdown on the surface of a comet. The team in mission control waited on the edge of their seats for […]

Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Mariner 9, All dressed up with nothing to see

Mariner 9 spacecraft NASA image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

It was the culmination of a journey that lasted almost six months – and millions of miles. The start however, was a bit of a disappointment. Arriving above the dusty Martian terrain on Nov. 14, 1971, Mariner 9 was ready to survey the Red Planet – only to be stymied by a global dust storm […]