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

  • NewSpace gaining more real estate at Kennedy

    June 24th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space Florida, the aerospace economic development agency of the State of Florida, will be meeting in Tampa in the next week to provide some $18 million of state money to help Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) and Blue Origin, LLC, to develop new facilities at Kennedy Space Center. 

  • RL-10 successfully completes hotfire tests

    June 15th, 2018

    The use of 3D printing in spaceflight took another step forward in early 2018 when Aerojet Rocketdyne completed a series of hotfire tests of a new model of the RL10 rocket engine which was built almost entirely of 3D-printed parts.

  • Lunar XPRIZE competition continuing without cash reward

    May 10th, 2018

    The Lunar XPRIZE, a competition among various teams to land a robot on the Moon, is proceeding even though Google is no longer sponsoring the project. As of April 5, 2018, it is operating as a non-cash competition.

  • Companies test spacecraft parachutes as first Commercial Crew flights near

    April 5th, 2018

    NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is working to enable private contractors to transport astronauts to the International Space Station, has taken a step closer to crewed flights. The two prime contractors have conducted the latest round of tests of their spacecraft parachute systems.

  • ICPS umbilical installed on SLS mobile launcher

    April 3rd, 2018

    The road to the first flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) took another step forward March 21, 2018, when one of the last of the big swing arms was installed on the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

  • RS-25 completes successful second test fire of 2018

    February 1st, 2018

    On Feb. 1, 2018, a team of engineers at NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Syncom Space Services engineers and operators test-fired the RS-25 engine conducted a test firing at the Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

  • Launch dates of SpaceX and Boeing Commercial Crew Program spacecraft slip

    January 20th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Hopes NASA's private partners on the agency's Commercial Crew Program would launch crewed spacecraft by the end of this year (2018) have been dashed. Reports have come in that, at the earliest, these so-called "space taxis" won't be flying until 2019, with it more likely they'll fly sometime in the 2020 time frame.

  • Ariane 5 poised to be retired

    January 11th, 2018

    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.

  • Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-6 ready for launch

    December 27th, 2017

    After years of development, the Planetary Resources-built Arkyd-6 is finally on the last leg of its journey into space. It is scheduled to be launched as a secondary payload atop India’s PSLV-C40 mission in January 2018.

  • Ariane 5 Flight VA240 launches four Galileo satellites

    December 13th, 2017

    At 3:36 p.m. local time (1:36 p.m. EST / 18:36 GMT) on December 12, 2017, an Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying four Galileo satellites, bringing the total number of spacecraft in the Galileo constellation to 22.

  • Launch of ULA Delta IV rocket with NROL-47 delayed

    December 7th, 2017

    The launch of a Delta IV rocket carrying the NROL-47 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office has been delayed until no earlier than Jan. 10, 2018, in order to perform additional validation of the software and systems associated with Common Avionics. The launch was originally scheduled for Dec. 13, 2017, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

  • NASA, Department of Energy testing ‘Kilopower’ space nuclear reactor

    November 26th, 2017

    In preparing for possible missions to the Red Planet in the near future, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) has been given the go-ahead to test a small nuclear reactor that could one day run equipment on the Martian surface.

  • 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.