Spaceflight Insider

  • Long March 11 scheduled to orbit nine small satellites Friday

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 17th China is preparing to perform its fourth launch of this year, with the flight scheduled for Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. The mission will see a Long March 11 booster sending nine satellites into space.

  • Titan’s haze captured in Cassini photo

    Jason RhianJanuary 17th Downtown L.A. has got nothing on Saturn's moon Titan, at least in terms of smoggy haze that is. Imagery captured by the Cassini spacecraft prior to its plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017 shows a world blanketed in a dense mist.

  • Florida space leaders to visit capitol on February 14

    Press ReleaseJanuary 16th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (January 16, 2018) – Promoting the economic impact of the space industry, Florida’s aerospace leaders will visit Tallahassee on February 14, 2018, for Florida Space Day, sharing with legislators the opportunities the industry brings to Florida and the nation.

  • ULA readies for U.S. Air Force SBIRS GEO 4 launch

    Bart LeahyJanuary 16th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- After a slight delay from late 2017, United Launch Alliance is readying an Atlas V 411 to launch the fourth geosynchronous element of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Space Based Infrared Sensor (SBIRS) program. The launch, is currently set to take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) Space Launch Complex (SLC) 41 on January 18.

  • Steep Martian slopes reveal structure of underground ice sheets

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 15th Scientists using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have located eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath the Martian surface are exposed in the faces of steep eroding slopes known as scarps. The eight scarps, have slopes as steep as 55 degrees, provide researchers with new information about the internal structure of previously-discovered layered subsurface ice sheets in Mars's middle...

  • NASA to study weather in boundary layer between Earth and space

    Curt GodwinJanuary 14th While most people tune-in to their local weather forecasts, and there are those who keep their eyes to the sky for the latest in space weather, the region in which they interact has been largely uncharted. NASA - with the help of two satellites planned for launch in 2018 - hopes to change that.

  • NASA video simulation takes viewers on a journey through the Orion Nebula

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 14th A new 3D video simulation that uses images taken by both the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes takes viewers on a stunning simulated journey within the Orion Nebula.

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides sneak peek at new Astronaut Training Experience®

    Ryan ChylinskiJanuary 14th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Hazy with excitement, you regain your composure. Your vision clears. The sound of heavy boots on metal echos loudly despite the noise around you. The iconic orange gantry comes into view and you wave to the automated cameras. Millions around the world are watching. You are poised to travel to Mars via the Astronaut Training Experience.

  • Long March 2D lifts off with LKW-3 Earth-observing satellite

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 13th China has performed its third orbital launch of this year (2018) by sending its Long March 2D booster carrying the LKW-3 Earth observation spacecraft aloft. 

  • SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon capsule departs ISS after 4-week stay

    Derek RichardsonJanuary 13th The first visiting vehicle activity at the International Space Station in 2018 concluded Jan. 13 with the unberthing, departure and splashdown of SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon cargo ship after spending nearly a month at the orbiting outpost.

  • SpaceShipTwo conducts successful test flight

    Paul KnightlyJanuary 13th Virgin Galactic conducted a successful test flight of the SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity vehicle on Thursday, Jan. 11. The high-speed glide test marks the seventh for VSS Unity, which reached a top speed of Mach 0.9 during the flight.

  • China launches two BeiDou-3 spacecraft to replenish its homegrown satellite navigation system

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 12th China has conducted its second flight of 2018 by launching a Long March 3B rocket with a duo of BeiDou-3 spacecraft for its homegrown BieDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

  • Long March 11 scheduled to orbit nine small satellites Friday

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 17th China is preparing to perform its fourth launch of this year, with the flight scheduled for Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. The mission will see a Long March 11 booster sending nine satellites into space.

  • Steep Martian slopes reveal structure of underground ice sheets

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 15th Scientists using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have located eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath the Martian surface are exposed in the faces of steep eroding slopes known as scarps. The eight scarps, have slopes as steep as 55 degrees, provide researchers with new information about the internal structure of previously-discovered layered subsurface ice sheets in Mars's middle latitudes.

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides sneak peek at new Astronaut Training Experience®

    Ryan ChylinskiJanuary 14th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Hazy with excitement, you regain your composure. Your vision clears. The sound of heavy boots on metal echos loudly despite the noise around you. The iconic orange gantry comes into view and you wave to the automated cameras. Millions around the world are watching. You are poised to travel to Mars via the Astronaut Training Experience.

  • SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon capsule departs ISS after 4-week stay

    Derek RichardsonJanuary 13th The first visiting vehicle activity at the International Space Station in 2018 concluded Jan. 13 with the unberthing, departure and splashdown of SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon cargo ship after spending nearly a month at the orbiting outpost.

  • India returns PSLV to service with launch of Cartosat-2F

    Curt GodwinJanuary 12th Nearly four and a half months after their last launch ended in failure, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully delivered the Cartosat-2F Earth-observation satellite to on Flight PSLV-C40.

  • Ariane 5 poised to be retired

    Collin SkocikJanuary 11th After more than twenty years in service, the Ariane 5 rocket is going to stop flying. The European rocket was first flown in June of 1996, and ArianeSpace has now ordered the last ten Ariane 5 launchers.

  • Chinese expert denies claims of Tiangong-1’s uncontrolled re-entry

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 10th China’s Tiangong-1 space laboratory is not out of control and poses no danger to Earth. This is according to a leading Chinese spaceflight engineer.

  • China opens 2018 with Long March 2D flight of two SuperView-1 satellites

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 9th China’s Long March 2D booster launched into space on Tuesday, January 9, at 11:24 a.m. Beijing time (10:24 p.m. EST and 03:24 GMT on Jan. 8) sending a duo of SuperView-1 satellites into orbit.

  • Was secret Zuma mission lost? – UPDATE

    Jason RhianJanuary 8th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A report drafted by Ars Technica's Eric Berger has stated that sources have suggested that the classified Zuma mission launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket - may have been lost. 

  • SpaceX launches secretive ‘Zuma’ mission

    Jason RhianJanuary 7th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — California-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) launched a "Full Thrust" Falcon 9 rocket with the "Zuma" payload on January 7, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. EST (01:00 GMT Jan. 8).  This evening's launch was a long time in the making and signaled the start of a busy year of firsts for the NewSpace firm.

  • SFI LIVE: SpaceX Falcon 9 with ‘Zuma’

    Jason RhianJanuary 7th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is set to launch its first Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40 on Sunday, Jan. 7. The two-hour long launch window is slated to open at 8 p.m. EST (00:00 GMT on Monday, Jan. 8). Little is known about the 'Zuma' mission and SFI Live should begin its coverage from Exploration Tower at 7:30 p.m. EST (00:30 GMT). While other sites promise you "live" coverage - only SFI hosts its own Live Show from the launch site!

  • Tiangong-1 space laboratory containing hazardous substance to crash to Earth in March

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 7th According to new calculations, China’s space laboratory, Tiangong-1 will fall to Earth in March of 2018. While most parts of the spacecraft are likely to burn up in the atmosphere, there are concerns that some pieces, containing highly-toxic chemicals, may hit the ground.

  • NASA’s ‘most experienced’ astronaut, Moonwalker, John Young passes away aged 87

    Jason RhianJanuary 6th John Watts Young was one of NASA's most experienced astronauts. He served as pilot for the first manned flight of a Gemini spacecraft, Gemini 3, as commander of the Gemini 10 mission, as Command Module Pilot on Apollo 10 and the Commander of Apollo 16. Young also served as Commander of STS-1, the daring first flight of the Shuttle Era as well as another shuttle mission, STS-9. However, Young was much more and his career was filled with accomplishments, something his colleagues reflected on upon hearing of his passing.

  • Intelsat S.A. orders Mission Extension Vehicle 2 to increase life span of Intelsat spacecraft

    Jason RhianJanuary 5th Intelsat S.A. has awarded a contract for use of the second Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-2) spacecraft. Produced by Orbital ATK, the MEVs provide mission extension services to satellites already on orbit and are slated to begin undertaking their tasks within the coming months.

  • Boeing CST-100 Starliner one step closer to flight with completion of DCR

    Jason RhianJanuary 4th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The first flight of Boeing's CST-100 "Starliner" craft is one step closer to flight with the successful completion of an Atlas V Launch Segment Design Certification Review (DCR). Colorado-based United Launch Alliance announced on Thursday, Jan. 4, that the review had been completed in support of Boeing's efforts to send astronauts to the ISS via Starliner.

  • SpaceX conducts rehearsal for classified Zuma launch

    Bart LeahyJanuary 3rd After being rescheduled twice, once in late 2017 due to an issue with the Falcon 9 fairing, and once this month due to cold weather in Florida—SpaceX conducted a “wet” dress rehearsal (WDR) for the Zuma mission today (Wednesday Jan. 3), according to a report on NASASpaceflight.com.

  • Area 51? Forget it! In terms of SpaceX Crew Dragon – it’s all Area 59

    Jason RhianJanuary 2nd CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- With 2018 just taking its initial steps SpaceX is already moving forward with plans for the new year. The company's COO, Gwynne Shotwell, noted during a 2016 press conference, the "hell" they won't launch crew in 2018. That year has come and, according to Florida Today's James Dean, Crew Dragon is being readied for this mission via a recent agreement signed between SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force.

  • SpaceX Falcon Heavy raised for 1st time at Kennedy Space Center

    Bart LeahyDecember 28th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — For the first time, SpaceX used its “strongback” hydraulic mechanism to lift its three-core Falcon Heavy rocket into a vertical position at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. The vehicle will likely face more ground tests and preparations in advance of its liftoff, which is currently slated for no earlier than January 2018.

  • Progress MS-06 freighter undocks from ISS

    Derek RichardsonDecember 28th Closing out visiting vehicle comings-and-goings for 2017, the unpiloted Russian Progress MS-06 cargo spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station in preparation for an eventual deorbit into Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Zenit rocket launches AngoSat-1 but ground control loses contact

    Tomasz NowakowskiDecember 27th A Russian-Ukrainian Zenit rocket was launched on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, with the aim of delivering into orbit Angola’s first satellite, known as AngoSat-1. However, it appears that contact with the spacecraft was lost after its deployment into orbit.

    The Range
  • Titan’s haze captured in Cassini photo

    January 17th
    Downtown L.A. has got nothing on Saturn's moon Titan, at least in terms of smoggy haze that is. Imagery captured by the Cassini spacecraft prior to its plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017 shows a world blanketed in a dense mist.

  • Florida space leaders to visit capitol on February 14

    January 16th
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (January 16, 2018) – Promoting the economic impact of the space industry, Florida’s aerospace leaders will visit Tallahassee on February 14, 2018, for Florida Space Day, sharing with legislators the opportunities the industry brings to Florida and the nation.

  • ULA readies for U.S. Air Force SBIRS GEO 4 launch

    January 16th
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- After a slight delay from late 2017, United Launch Alliance is readying an Atlas V 411 to launch the fourth geosynchronous element of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Space Based Infrared Sensor (SBIRS) program. The launch, is currently set to take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) Space Launch Complex (SLC) 41 on January 18.

  • NASA to study weather in boundary layer between Earth and space

    January 14th
    While most people tune-in to their local weather forecasts, and there are those who keep their eyes to the sky for the latest in space weather, the region in which they interact has been largely uncharted. NASA - with the help of two satellites planned for launch in 2018 - hopes to change that.

  • NASA video simulation takes viewers on a journey through the Orion Nebula

    January 14th
    A new 3D video simulation that uses images taken by both the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes takes viewers on a stunning simulated journey within the Orion Nebula.

  • Long March 2D lifts off with LKW-3 Earth-observing satellite

    January 13th
    China has performed its third orbital launch of this year (2018) by sending its Long March 2D booster carrying the LKW-3 Earth observation spacecraft aloft. 

  • SpaceShipTwo conducts successful test flight

    January 13th
    Virgin Galactic conducted a successful test flight of the SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity vehicle on Thursday, Jan. 11. The high-speed glide test marks the seventh for VSS Unity, which reached a top speed of Mach 0.9 during the flight.

  • China launches two BeiDou-3 spacecraft to replenish its homegrown satellite navigation system

    January 12th
    China has conducted its second flight of 2018 by launching a Long March 3B rocket with a duo of BeiDou-3 spacecraft for its homegrown BieDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

  • Launch of Delta IV with NROL-47 scrubbed for second day in a row

    January 11th
    United Launch Alliance scrubbed the second launch attempt of a Delta IV Medium+ (5,2) with the classified NROL-47 for the National Reconnaissance Office. However, the reason for today's scrub differed from the prior day's attempt.

  • Long March 3B to deliver two BeiDou-3 satellites into orbit

    January 11th
    A Long March 3B booster is in its final stage of preparations for the delivery of two BeiDou-3 satellites for China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

  • Launch of ULA Delta IV Medium+(5,2) scrubbed

    January 10th
    Colorado-based United Launch Alliance (ULA) will have to wait a little longer to conduct its first flight of 2018. Weather at the launch site forced a scrub for the launch of a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.

  • India looks to return its workhorse PSLV rocket to service with launch of 31 satellites

    January 9th
    Nearly four and a half months after its last launch ended in failure, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is looking to return its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to service with the flight of the Cartosat-2ER Earth-observation satellite and 30 smaller, secondary payloads. ISRO is currently targeting a launch date of January 11, 2018, at 10:58 p.m. EST (January 12, 2018, at 03:58 GMT).

  • Delta IV launch of NROL-47 to be ULA’s first of 2018

    January 8th
    United launch Alliance’s (ULA) first flight of 2018 is currently scheduled for Wednesday, January 10. A Delta IV Medium+(5,2) rocket is set to carry the  classified NROL-47 payload from Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 6 at 1 p.m. PST (4 p.m. EST). The mission will be ULA’s 27th flight for the National Reconnaissance Office […]

  • Long March 2D to send a duo of SuperView-1 satellites into orbit

    January 7th
    China is gearing up to conduct its first orbital flight of 2018. The mission, scheduled for Tuesday, January 9, will employ a Long March 2D booster to send two SuperView-1 Earth-observing satellites into space.

  • New Horizons mission invites public to celebrate New Year’s KBO flyby

    January 5th
    The world may have celebrated New Year's 2018 just days ago, but NASA's New Horizons mission is already inviting the public to welcome 2019 with a visit to Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 2014 MU69.