Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Collin Skocik

Collin R. Skocik has been captivated by space flight since the maiden flight of space shuttle Columbia in April of 1981. He frequently attends events hosted by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, and has met many astronauts in his experiences at Kennedy Space Center. He is a prolific author of science fiction as well as science and space-related articles. In addition to the Voyage Into the Unknown series, he has also written the short story collection The Future Lives!, the science fiction novel Dreams of the Stars, and the disaster novel The Sunburst Fire. His first print sale was Asteroid Eternia in Encounters magazine. When he is not writing, he provides closed-captioning for the hearing impaired. He lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida.

Articles By Collin Skocik

  • 1 year after Falcon 9 explosion, SpaceX makes 2017 its banner year

    September 1st, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- One year ago, on Sept. 1, 2016, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Florida during a seemingly routine static fire test. The fireball destroyed not only the rocket and a large portion of the launch pad but also a satellite belonging to the Israeli company Spacecom, which was scheduled to launch just three days later. The company has come a long way since then.

  • Made In Space conducts large-scale 3-D build in space-like environment

    August 24th, 2017

    Made In Space has conducted its first successful test of its Archinaut Project in a space-like environment. The Extended Structure Additive Manufacturing Machine (ESAMM) was tested in a vacuum chamber at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Additive manufacturing is more commonly known as "3-D printing".

  • NASA contracts energy firm to refine nuclear thermal propulsion concepts

    August 14th, 2017

    As the U.S. government continues to pursue plans for a crewed mission to Mars, NASA has contracted with BWXT Nuclear Energy Inc. of Lynchburg, Virginia, to advance concepts in Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, which could drastically reduce travel times to Mars.

  • Iridium NEXT flight 3 gets launch date

    August 7th, 2017

    SpaceX is targeting Sept. 30, 2017, for the liftoff of the third set of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites for Iridium Communications. The launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket is targeted for 9:30 a.m. EDT (13:30 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: 48 years since Apollo 11 landed on the Moon

    July 20th, 2017

    On July 20, 1969 – 48 years ago today – the world was changed forever when two human beings walked on the Moon. 38-year-old Neil Armstrong stepped off the ladder of the flimsy, spidery Lunar Module "Eagle" onto the soft and pliant dust of the Moon’s Sea of Tranquillity (Mare Tranquillitatis) and spoke the immortal words: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

  • VASIMR plasma engine: Earth to Mars in 39 days?

    July 19th, 2017

    In Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science fiction novels and movies "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "2010: Odyssey Two", the spaceships Discovery and Alexei Leonov make interplanetary journeys using plasma drives. Nuclear reactors heat hydrogen or ammonia to a plasma state that’s energetic enough to provide thrust.

  • NASA scientists designing Martian dust filter

    July 7th, 2017

    One of the challenges that astronauts will face on Mars is the presence of the fine Martian dust. Not only can the dust get into equipment and cause damage, but also it is extremely toxic with perchlorates.

  • Made In Space: 3-D printing to revolutionize space construction

    July 5th, 2017

    Made In Space, Inc., the startup company out of Singularity University which, on Sept. 23, 2014, supplied the first 3-D printer to the International Space Station (ISS), has developed a program that it hopes will revolutionize construction in space, called the Archinaut Development Program.

  • Website funded by NASA enables citizens to search for objects beyond Neptune

    February 26th, 2017

    With the groundbreaking discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the red dwarf TRAPPIST-1, readers might be interested to know that NASA has a website called "Backyard Worlds: Planet 9" – which allows everyday people to participate in the search for new worlds.

  • NASA remembers three space tragedies

    January 26th, 2017

    Today, Jan. 26, 2017, NASA held its annual Day of Remembrance to honor astronauts lost on three missions, as well as other agency members who lost their lives for space exploration.

  • Boeing’s T-X prototype takes flight

    January 5th, 2017

    NASA’s famous T-38 trainer, which has been flown by astronauts for fifty years, is being replaced. Boeing’s T-X made its first flight on Tuesday, Dec. 20. It heralds what could be a new age in training aircraft for NASA.

  • Team Indus joins Google Lunar X-Prize finalists, Astrobotic drops out

    December 23rd, 2016

    One of the prerequisites of staying in the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) is securing a contract with a launch service provider. India-based Team Indus has successfully done that by contracting with the manufacturer of the country’s PSLV rocket. At the same time, Astrobotic, the first team to secure a contract back in 2011, announced that it is dropping out of the competition after losing its window with SpaceX's Falcon 9.

  • First GRACE-FO satellite complete

    November 18th, 2016

    Construction has been completed on the first of NASA’s new Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites. The two satellites, which will take precise measurements of Earth’s mass distribution, will be launched sometime in Dec. of 2017 or Jan. of 2018 as a follow-on to the GRACE mission which has been in operation since 2002.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 50 years since Gemini XII

    November 11th, 2016

    On Nov. 11, 1966 – 50 years ago – the final flight of NASA’s historic Project Gemini lifted off from Launch Complex 19 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Commander Jim Lovell and pilot Buzz Aldrin spent three days pushing the program farther than it had ever been before and conducted the first completely successful extravehicular activity.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: NASA turns 58

    October 1st, 2016

    In 1958, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act which created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a new civilian agency. NASA was a reorganization of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), formed on March 3, 1915, in response to European superiority in aircraft technology. NACA officially turned its operations over to NASA Oct. 1, 1958, and the Space Race was born.