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

  • 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.

  • Musk provides more insight on SpaceX’s Mars ambitions

    October 20th, 2017

    Less than a month after Elon Musk revealed SpaceX's updated Mars mission architecture at the 2017 International Astronautical Congress, the billionaire CEO made himself available to the public to answer further questions about the company's ambitious undertaking. In a surprise tweet on Oct. 14, 2017, the SpaceX founder gave short notice to taking part in an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) on the popular website, Reddit.

  • NASA to Bigelow: One BEAM to stay up?

    October 6th, 2017

    More than halfway through its planned two-year demonstration mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Bigelow Aerospace's Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is performing so well that NASA is considering extending the habitat's stay at the orbiting outpost.

  • NASA, Roscosmos sign statement on lunar space station cooperation

    September 28th, 2017

    Continuing a tradition of cooperative partnership in space exploration, the respective space agencies of the United States and Russia signed a joint statement to develop a space station in lunar orbit. NASA and Roscosmos made the announcement on Sept. 27, 2017, at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

  • SpaceX CRS-12 mission comes to a close with Dragon’s splashdown

    September 18th, 2017

    After spending a month berthed to the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft marked the end of its CRS-12 mission with a successful splashdown at 10:14 a.m. EDT (14:14 GMT) on Sept. 17, 2017. The spacecraft returned with an estimated 3,800 pounds (1,724 kg) of cargo and was secured and taken aboard a waiting recovery ship.

  • Launch facilities spared major damage from Hurricane Irma

    September 14th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Though damage assessments are still underway, it would appear that facilities at both Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) escaped Hurricane Irma with minimal damage. Both were subjected to winds varying from 67–94 mph (108–151 km/h) at 54 feet (16.5 meters) above sea level to 90–116 mph (145–187 km/h) at 458 feet (139.6 meters) as the storm moved through the area on Sept. 10, 2017.

  • Kacific contracts with SpaceX to orbit Kacific-1 satellite

    September 11th, 2017

    Kacific Broadband Satellites Group has selected SpaceX to launch the company's Kacific-1 broadband satellite. Tentatively scheduled for launch in 2019, the Boeing-built telecommunications spacecraft will provide services to users in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Science fiction meets real life: Lucasfilm creates mission patch for ISS National Lab

    September 8th, 2017

    Taking a modern twist on a longstanding spaceflight tradition of mission patch design, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) partnered with Lucasfilm to blend iconic images from the Star Wars franchise with a real-world space station for its latest mission patch.