Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Bart Leahy

Bart Leahy is a freelance technical writer living in Orlando, Florida. Leahy's diverse career has included work for The Walt Disney Company, NASA, the Department of Defense, Nissan, a number of commercial space companies, small businesses, nonprofits, as well as the Science Cheerleaders.

Articles By Bart Leahy

  • SpaceX gears up for a busy autumn

    September 25th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — October and November are lining up to be busy months for SpaceX. If everything goes according to plan, the NewSpace firm is poised to launch (and land) three Falcon 9 rockets, and it also hopes to carry out the first launch of a “Falcon Heavy” in November. These efforts promise a challenging autumn for Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial space company.

  • Ariane 5 to launch 2 satellites to geostationary transfer orbit

    September 4th, 2017

    For the fifth time in 2017, Arianespace will send an Ariane 5 rocket into space. The flight will orbit commercial communication satellites for two international customers: Intelsat and Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT), a leading broadcasting satellite operator in Japan.

  • NASA’s Centennial Challenges awards $400K in 3D-printed habitat challenge

    August 31st, 2017

    NASA has recently awarded two teams a combined $400,000 for their winning entries in an agency Centennial Challenge designed to test the feasibility of systems that build 3D-printed human habitats on other worlds using local materials. This was the second of a three-part Challenge to advance the ability to “live off the land” on the Moon or Mars.

  • NASA’s EM-1 Orion powers up for the first time

    August 24th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA and Lockheed Martin powered up the computer systems of the Orion spacecraft for the first time last week at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at the Kennedy Space Center. The uncrewed spacecraft will fly atop the Space Launch System (SLS) on Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) in 2019.

  • Falcon 9 set to launch Taiwanese Formosat-5 from California

    August 23rd, 2017

    As SpaceX prepares for its third Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in 2017, its customer looks forward to a payload “first”. The Formosat-5 spacecraft that will be launched on this mission is the first satellite designed and built entirely in Taiwan.

  • SpaceX’s CRS-12 mission sends experiments, crew supplies to space station

    August 14th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Without so much as a flinch, SpaceX sent the CRS-12 Dragon cargo spacecraft off to the International Space Station. Liftoff took place at 12:31 p.m. EDT (16:31 GMT) Aug. 14, 2017, within its one-second "instantaneous" launch window. This flight is poised to deliver more than 6,400 pounds (2,900 kilograms) of equipment and supplies to the orbiting outpost in the next 36 hours.

  • JAXA H-IIA launch of GPS satellite canceled

    August 12th, 2017

    In a brief media statement, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced that it has canceled today's planned launch of an H-IIA rocket, which is carrying a navigation satellite that is designed to augment the Global Positioning System (GPS) for the Japanese region.

  • Independent contractor to blame for Electron rocket failure

    August 9th, 2017

    An internal review of Rocket Lab's May 25, 2017, test flight of an Electron rocket from its Mahia, New Zealand, launch site determined the vehicle was terminated due to an issue with an independent contractor’s ground equipment. A statement issued by the company's investigation board announced the incident's root causes and corrective actions.

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne tests third SLS engine controller

    July 27th, 2017

    Propulsion hardware testing for NASA’s SLS rocket continues at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Aerojet Rocketdyne just completed its third 500-second test of the controller unit for the RS-25 main engine on July 25.

  • Sierra Nevada ground tests Dream Chaser’s steering, brakes

    July 18th, 2017

    On Monday, July 17, SNC put its full-scale Dream Chaser test vehicle through its paces on the ground at NASA’s Armstrong Research Center in California. According to a report by Spaceflight Now, the ground tests towed the vehicle fast enough to evaluate the performance of its brakes, steering, guidance, navigation, and control systems.

  • VP Pence promises return to the Moon, boots on Mars during KSC speech

    July 6th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Less than a week after being designated head of the newly revived National Space Council, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In keeping with the Trump administration’s theme of reasserting U.S. leadership worldwide, he declared: “We will return to the Moon and we will put American boots on the face of Mars.”

  • NASA’s TDRS-M satellite makes big entrance in Florida

    June 28th, 2017

    A massive U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft delivered NASA’s latest Tracking and Data Relay System (TDRS) satellite to the Space Coast Regional Airport on June 23, 2017. The spacecraft is slated to launch atop an Atlas V 401 rocket within a 30-minute window opening at 9:02 a.m. EDT (13:02 GMT) on August 3.

  • Boeing reorganizing for more agile performance

    June 22nd, 2017

    Boeing is looking to make its operations leaner and more competitive by breaking up its Defense, Space & Security (BDS) unit into smaller business units reporting directly to BDS CEO Leanne Caret.

  • Comedian Bill Dana, creator of ‘José Jiménez,’ dead at 92

    June 20th, 2017

    Comedian and comedy writer Bill Dana, who became famous through his “José Jiménez” character in the 1950s and 1960s, died June 15 at the age of 92. The Jiménez character, a stereotyped cowardly astronaut, was a favorite performer with television audiences and with the “Original Seven” Mercury astronauts.

  • Boeing/DARPA XS-1 to operate from Cape Canaveral

    June 15th, 2017

    A Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spokesman has stated that Boeing will be launching and landing the agency’s XS-1 spaceplane from Cape Canaveral, Florida, as soon as 2020.