Spaceflight Insider

  • Coolant problems found on GOES 17 satellite

    Jason RhianMay 24th The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found a performance problem with an instrument's cooling system on the GOES-17 spacecraft. The satellite was launched March 1, 2018, atop an Atlas V 541 rocket.

  • Correction maneuver puts NASA’s InSight lander on path to Mars

    Laurel KornfeldMay 24th The first and largest of six planned course correction maneuvers directing NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport (InSight) lander to Mars was successfully completed Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

  • GALLERY: Orbital ATK Antares rocket launches OA-9 Cygnus spacecraft

    Jason RhianMay 23rd WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — Launching into the early-morning skies from the central part of the U.S. East Coast, Orbital ATK's Antares rocket orbited the company's OA-9 Cygnus cargo spacecraft on a mission to resupply the International Space Station.

  • First motor segment for new OmegA rocket produced

    Jason RhianMay 23rd The first inert motor segment produced for tests of Orbital ATK's new OmegA rocket has been completed. This new segment has been designed as part of the Common Boost Segment (CBS) program. This is the latest step in efforts designed to produce new launch vehicles.

  • NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover tests new drilling method

    Jim SharkeyMay 23rd NASA's Curiosity Mars rover may soon be back to drilling rocks on the Red Planet. Engineers with the rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have been working for the past year to restore the rover's full drilling capabilities, which were hampered by a mechanical problem in 2016.

  • SpaceX launches 5 Iridium NEXT, 2 GRACE-FO satellites on Falcon 9 ride-share mission

    Derek RichardsonMay 22nd LOMPOC, Calif. — Sending the quintuple-satellite Iridium-6 mission into space for Iridium Communications along with NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) spacecraft as part of a ride-share agreement, SpaceX launched its ninth Falcon 9 of 2018.

  • Test photo taken as TESS performs lunar flyby

    Joe LatrellMay 22nd NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) took an image using one of the four cameras on board the spacecraft. The image is a two-second exposure centered on the Centaurus constellation in the southern sky.

  • 3 CubeSats flying with OA-9 Cygnus spacecraft

    Michael ColeMay 22nd WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — The launch of the OA-9 Cygnus resupply mission to the ISS carried with it supplies and experiments. Also riding with the freighter are 15 CubeSats to be deployed by the outpost's astronauts. These micro-satellites include a trio designed to greatly-enhance different areas of Earth observation.

  • SpaceX set to send Iridium-6/GRACE-FO missions spaceward

    Derek RichardsonMay 21st LOMPOC, Calif. — SpaceX is gearing up to launch another Falcon 9 rocket, this time with another set of Iridium NEXT communications satellites as well as NASA’s two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) spacecraft.

  • Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket launches OA-9 Cygnus to resupply ISS

    Lloyd CampbellMay 21st WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — Another load of supplies, science experiments and CubeSats is on its way to the International Space Station. In the early-morning hours of May 21, 2018, Orbital ATK launched its OA-9 Cygnus spacecraft atop an Antares 230 rocket.

  • Long March 4C sends Chang’e 4 relay satellite toward Moon

    Tomasz NowakowskiMay 21st Using a Long March 4C rocket, China launched the first spacecraft of its Chang’e 4 lunar mission along with two smaller satellites. The booster lifted off at 5:28 p.m. EDT (21:28 GMT) May 20, 2018, from Launch Complex 3 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the country's Sichuan Province.

  • ULA, machinists workers union agree on new contract

    Christopher PaulMay 20th The dispute between United Launch Alliance (ULA) and employees that are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has ended as of Saturday, May 19, 2018.

  • Coolant problems found on GOES 17 satellite

    Jason RhianMay 24th The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found a performance problem with an instrument's cooling system on the GOES-17 spacecraft. The satellite was launched March 1, 2018, atop an Atlas V 541 rocket.

  • SpaceX launches 5 Iridium NEXT, 2 GRACE-FO satellites on Falcon 9 ride-share mission

    Derek RichardsonMay 22nd LOMPOC, Calif. — Sending the quintuple-satellite Iridium-6 mission into space for Iridium Communications along with NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) spacecraft as part of a ride-share agreement, SpaceX launched its ninth Falcon 9 of 2018.

  • SpaceX set to send Iridium-6/GRACE-FO missions spaceward

    Derek RichardsonMay 21st LOMPOC, Calif. — SpaceX is gearing up to launch another Falcon 9 rocket, this time with another set of Iridium NEXT communications satellites as well as NASA’s two Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) spacecraft.

  • Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket launches OA-9 Cygnus to resupply ISS

    Lloyd CampbellMay 21st WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — Another load of supplies, science experiments and CubeSats is on its way to the International Space Station. In the early-morning hours of May 21, 2018, Orbital ATK launched its OA-9 Cygnus spacecraft atop an Antares 230 rocket.

  • China’s first private rocket reaches 127,000 feet on maiden flight

    Tomasz NowakowskiMay 20th OneSpace Technology Co., a Beijing-based aerospace company, has successfully launched a suborbital rocket. This was the first flight for China’s commercial launch sector.

  • OA-9 Cygnus resupply craft set for Monday morning launch to ISS

    Lloyd CampbellMay 19th WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — Orbital ATK is set to send its next Cygnus resupply freighter to the International Space Station. The company's OA-9 mission is currently aiming for a liftoff at 4:39 a.m. EDT (08:39 GMT) May 21, 2018, from Pad-0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

  • OA-9 Cygnus resupply mission postponed by 24 hours to May 21

    Lloyd CampbellMay 18th Orbital ATK's next resupply mission to the International Space Station has been postponed 24 hours, according to the company. The OA-9 Cygnus cargo spacecraft's flight into space atop an Antares rocket had originally been scheduled for May 20, 2018.

  • NASA could see windfall if FY 2019 Appropriations bill passes

    Curt GodwinMay 17th New legislation could see NASA gain a substantial increase in the agency's budget. Should the bill pass the full House and Senate, and get signed into law, NASA's science and exploration programs stand to gain the most.

  • Spacewalking astronauts swap ISS coolant pumps

    Derek RichardsonMay 17th Two NASA astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station on May 16, 2018, for a 6.5-hour-long spacewalk. They were tasked with rearranging coolant pumps and replacing external cameras and antennas.

  • SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9 another space launch game-changer

    Jim SiegelMay 16th At a media teleconference before the first flight of the Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk outlined some of the various upgrades to the Falcon 9 on the Block 5 version and revealed that, sometime next year, the company plans to launch, recover, re-fuel and re-launch a rocket within 24 hours.

  • Mark Geyer named director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center

    Derek RichardsonMay 15th NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, is getting a new director: Mark Geyer. He will be succeeding the current director, Ellen Ochoa, when she retires on May 25, 2018, after a 30-year career at the U.S. space agency.

  • Hubble, Galileo data provide more evidence of plumes over Europa

    Bart LeahyMay 15th After reviewing data from a previous mission to the Jovian system, scientists found evidence of a plume erupting from Jupiter's moon Europa, which NASA said indicates that the moon's subsurface ocean may indeed be venting water vapor through cracks in its icy surface.

  • Block 5 Falcon 9 roars spaceward with Bangabandhu-1 satellite

    Derek RichardsonMay 11th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In the sunny afternoon skies of Florida, SpaceX launched what it calls the final major upgrade of its Falcon 9—the Block 5. The rocket’s mission was to send the Bangabandhu-1 geostationary communications satellite into orbit for the country of Bangladesh.

  • SFI Live: Launch of Bangabandhu-1 on SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9

    Derek RichardsonMay 11th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is set to launch the Block 5 version of its Falcon 9 rocket today, May 11, 2018. Join Jim Siegel as he hosts SpaceFlight Insider's LIVE COVERAGE webcast leading up to the launch window, which opens at 4:14 p.m. EDT (20:14 GMT). This is the company's second attempt to get the vehicle off the ground and into space.

  • As SLS’s Block 1 design matures, its capabilities come into clearer focus

    Curt GodwinMay 10th The Block 1 version of NASA's Space Launch System - could make more than one flight and be used for some big missions on the agency's manifest.

  • Block 5 Falcon 9 debut launch set for May 10

    Derek RichardsonMay 9th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After a successful static fire test last week, SpaceX has set May 10, 2018, for the first flight of the Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 rocket. The booster is scheduled to send the Bangabandhu-1 geostationary communications satellite into orbit.

  • Long March 4C orbits Gaofen 5 high-resolution Earth-observing satellite

    Tomasz NowakowskiMay 9th One of China’s Long March 4C boosters took to the skies on Tuesday, May 8 to orbit Gaofen 5 - the country’s newest high-resolution Earth-observation satellite.

  • Hundreds strike over contract dispute with ULA

    Christopher PaulMay 8th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union employed by United Launch Alliance (ULA) voted to strike after rejecting a contract offer presented by the launch service provider.

  • Strained Mars data relay capabilities possible in 2020s

    Paul KnightlyMay 7th As its current fleet of Mars-orbiting spacecraft age with no new NASA orbiter under development, SpaceFlight Insider investigated the options available to maintain data relay capabilities with spacecraft on the surface into the 2020s.

  • SBIRS GEO Flight-4 beams back first images

    Jason RhianMay 6th The first images from the fourth of the United States Air Force's Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) have been sent back to the ground in what has been dubbed “first light" - marking a milestone for the most-recently launched SBIRS spacecraft.