Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Curt Godwin

Curt Godwin has been a fan of space exploration for as long as he can remember, keeping his eyes to the skies from an early age. Initially majoring in Nuclear Engineering, Curt later decided that computers would be a more interesting - and safer - career field. He's worked in education technology for more than 20 years, and has been published in industry and peer journals, and is a respected authority on wireless network engineering. Throughout this period of his life, he maintained his love for all things space and has written about his experiences at a variety of NASA events, both on his personal blog and as a freelance media representative.

Articles By Curt Godwin

  • Lucky 113: NASA tests RS-25 engine at highest-ever power level

    February 23rd, 2018

    Engineers at NASA's Stennis Space Center conducted a test of the Space Launch System's (SLS) RS-25 engine, pushing the design to the highest level ever recorded for the powerhouse previously used to send Space Shuttles into orbit. The Aerojet Rocketdyne-manufactured engine reached a peak output of 113 percent of rated power during the Feb. 21, 2018, firing at the coastal Mississippi site.

  • Fresh from successful Falcon Heavy launch, SpaceX prepares to fly Spain’s PAZ satellite

    February 16th, 2018

    Less than two weeks after the successful first launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket, SpaceX looks to continue its string of successful flights with the delivery of Spain's PAZ radar imaging satellite to a Sun-synchronous orbit. The satellite, the first of its kind for the European nation,  is set to lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at 6:16 a.m. PST (14:16 GMT) on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.

  • Two halves of James Webb Space Telescope come together for testing in California

    February 6th, 2018

    After years of development, and having undertaken rounds of discrete testing, the two major components of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have arrived in California for fully-integrated testing. The flagship mission is referred to as the scientific successor to the stalwart Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and is set to launch on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket in the Spring of 2019 from Kourou, French Guiana.

  • NASA to study weather in boundary layer between Earth and space

    January 14th, 2018

    While most people tune-in to their local weather forecasts, and there are those who keep their eyes to the sky for the latest in space weather, the region in which they interact has been largely uncharted. NASA - with the help of two satellites planned for launch in 2018 - hopes to change that.

  • India returns PSLV to service with launch of Cartosat-2F

    January 12th, 2018

    Nearly four and a half months after their last launch ended in failure, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully delivered the Cartosat-2F Earth-observation satellite to on Flight PSLV-C40.

  • India looks to return its workhorse PSLV rocket to service with launch of 31 satellites

    January 9th, 2018

    Nearly four and a half months after its last launch ended in failure, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is looking to return its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to service with the flight of the Cartosat-2ER Earth-observation satellite and 30 smaller, secondary payloads. ISRO is currently targeting a launch date of January 11, 2018, at 10:58 p.m. EST (January 12, 2018, at 03:58 GMT).

  • NASA selects finalists for next New Frontiers mission

    December 22nd, 2017

    Choosing from a field of twelve proposals, NASA has recently whittled the group down to two finalists for the agency's next New Frontiers mission. Receiving the nod to receive additional funding and study in 2018 were missions to Saturn's moon Titan and the recent European Space Agency (ESA) target, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

  • NASA has the angle on Opportunity’s longevity

    December 8th, 2017

    Operating long past its original mission of 90 Martian solar days – also known as "sols" – NASA's Opportunity rover has survived another passage through the deepest part of the Martian winter. Drawing on years of experience, operators positioned the stalwart robot on a northward-facing incline to give Opportunity's solar panels the best chance of generating enough electricity to survive the Martian winter.

  • Elon Musk trolls the Internet with Falcon Heavy tweets

    December 3rd, 2017

    It has been long-known that SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has a sense of humor. Indeed, Mr. Musk once quipped that the company would fund their Mars ambitions by selling underwear. Therefore, it is usually fairly easy to know when Musk is messing around.

  • Rocket Lab sets launch window for next Electron launch

    December 2nd, 2017

    Following the recent announcement about the company's preparations for the upcoming launch of its Electron rocket, Rocket Lab is now targeting a 10-day window in early December. Opening at 2:30 p.m. New Zealand Time (01:30 GMT) Dec. 8, 2017, the window will last for four hours during each of the attempts.

  • James Webb Space Telescope comes in from the cold after final cryogenic test

    November 27th, 2017

    Personnel at NASA's Johnson Space Center have recently concluded the final round of cryogenic testing for the agency's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The JWST was subjected to temperatures nearing -387 degrees Fahrenheit (-233 degrees Celsius / 40 kelvins) for nearly 100 days to ensure the operation of the JWST's instruments in space-like conditions.

  • Rocket Lab prepares Electron for its second test flight

    November 17th, 2017

    Less than six months after the maiden flight of their Electron launch vehicle, Rocket Lab is preparing for the second flight of its new rocket. With the arrival of the vehicle at the company's Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, Rocket Lab now begins the pre-flight phase of their second mission.

  • Mobile Launcher work moves forward with installation of umbilicals and arrival of crew access arm

    November 6th, 2017

    Though the maiden launch of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) is still, at the earliest, more than two years away, work on the large rocket's Mobile Launcher (ML) moves forward in support of the first flight of the agency's next crew-rated launch vehicle.

  • Spacecom selects SpaceX to launch Amos-17 using credits from loss of Amos-6

    October 30th, 2017

    Israeli satellite operator Spacecom is calling in its credit with SpaceX to launch the Amos-17 telecommunications satellite, tentatively scheduled for liftoff in 2019. The credit is from fees that the company had already paid SpaceX for the launch of Amos-6 but was "refunded" to the satellite operator after the loss of the satellite in a pad incident on September 1, 2016.

  • Iridium-4 mission slips to December, taps ‘flight-proven’ Falcon 9 for launch

    October 20th, 2017

    Though Iridium Communications is now targeting a launch date near the end of the year for the Iridium-4 mission, the company demonstrated its faith in the quality of SpaceX's hardware and refurbishing regime by opting to fly on a "flight-proven" Falcon 9 first stage.