Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Christopher Paul

Christopher Paul has had a lifelong interest in spaceflight. He began writing about his interest in the Florida Tech Crimson. His primary areas of interest are in historical space systems and present and past planetary exploration missions. He lives in Kissimmee, Florida, and also enjoys cooking and photography. Paul saw his first Space Shuttle launch in 2005 when he moved to central Florida to attend classes at the Florida Institute of Technology, studying space science, and has closely followed the space program since. Paul is especially interested in the renewed effort to land crewed missions on the Moon and to establish a permanent human presence there. He has covered several launches from NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral for space blogs before joining SpaceFlight Insider in mid-2017.

Articles By Christopher Paul

  • NASA Goddard set to celebrate 50th anniversary of Apollo 4

    October 23rd, 2017

    The NARHAMS model rocket club will join with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first launch of the Saturn V rocket. On November 5, 2017, the two organizations will meet at NASA's Goddard Visitor Center to commemorate the first Saturn V launch, the flight of Apollo 4, which took place on November 9, 1967.

  • Parker Solar Probe approved for environmental testing

    October 18th, 2017

    The Parker Solar Probe, formerly called Solar Probe Plus, has been certified ready for environmental testing. This means that engineers have inspected the spacecraft and have decided it is ready to be subjected to simulations of the conditions it will face during its launch and operations in space.

  • Parker Solar Probe gets its sunshield

    October 3rd, 2017

    The Parker Solar Probe (formerly named the Solar Probe Plus) had its revolutionary solar heat shield installed on September 21, 2017, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The Parker Solar Probe will be launched on a Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral on a mission that will take it closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history.

  • Nearly 3-mile wide asteroid to pass close by Earth Sept. 1

    August 29th, 2017

    A large rock will fly past Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers). Asteroid 3122 Florence, named after modern nursing founder Florence Nightingale, is the largest object to make a close-encounter since NASA began tracking near-Earth objects (NEO) in the 1990s.

  • Atlas V launches TDRS-M data relay satellite for NASA

    August 18th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket roared off the pad with NASA's newest communications spacecraft, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite M (TDRS-M). Liftoff took place at 8:29 a.m. EDT (12:29 GMT) Aug. 18, 2017.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Curiosity’s fifth year on Mars marked by celebration – and song

    August 7th, 2017

    NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated 5 (Earth) years on Mars on Saturday, August 6. After launching on a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket on Nov. 26, 2011, and then cruising through interplanetary space for nine months, the rover descended through the Red Planet's atmosphere to the surface via its Skycrane system. Curiosity landed on Mars at 05:17 UTC (1:17 a.m. EDT) on Aug. 6, 2012.

  • ESA launches 10th Vega rocket

    August 2nd, 2017

    A Vega rocket delivered two satellites to orbit at 9:58 p.m. EDT on Aug. 1 (01:58 GMT Aug. 2), 2017, from the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Vega launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana. This was the 10th flight of the small, solid-fueled launch vehicle, which included improvements in its payload fairing and launch pad design.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The Shuttle replacement that never was

    July 22nd, 2017

    When the Space Shuttle was first proposed it was meant to be “all things to all users” – a replacement for all U.S. launch vehicles. All the expendable launchers, Atlas, Titan, and Delta would retire and the shuttle would be responsible for all U.S. launches from its three pads: LC-39A / -39B at Kennedy Space Center, and SLC-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

  • Problems aside, NASA moves toward SLS structural testing at Marshall

    July 5th, 2017

    Moving beyond a site selection controversy and production problems that caused headlines in May, NASA is working to complete a Space Launch System (SLS) structural test article at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in Louisiana.

  • Minotaur IV launch postponed 6 weeks

    June 25th, 2017

    A Minotaur IV rocket scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in mid-July has been delayed to late August, according to the U.S. Air Force. The entirely solid-fueled Minotaur IV was scheduled to fly out of Launch Complex 46 at CCAFS in mid-July.

  • Former astronaut Rick Mastracchio joins Orbital ATK

    June 22nd, 2017

    Orbital ATK has hired former NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio as its new senior director of operations for the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program. The company made the announcement via a June 19, 2017, press release welcoming the three-time Space Shuttle astronaut to its Space Systems Group team.