Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Derek Richardson

Derek Richardson is a student studying mass media with an emphasis in contemporary journalism at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. He is currently the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also writes a blog, called Orbital Velocity, about the space station. His passion for space ignited when he watched space shuttle Discovery leap to space on Oct. 29, 1998. He saw his first in-person launch on July 8, 2011 when the space shuttle launched for the final time. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering courses in college, he soon realized that his true calling was communicating to others about space exploration and spreading that passion.

Articles By Derek Richardson

  • NASA mulls purchasing Soyuz seats—from Boeing?

    January 20th, 2017

    Despite the Commercial Crew Program being years behind schedule, NASA has said for the last number of months it has no plans to purchase additional Soyuz seats from Russia past the end of 2018. While that may technically hold true, the U.S. space agency is, however looking to buy Soyuz seats acquired by Boeing.

  • Various issues prompt 24-hour scrub of Atlas V with SBIRS GEO-3

    January 19th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — It wasn't meant to be. That's what mission teams working to get a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket with its missile-detection satellite off the ground must have been thinking. An instrumentation issue plus a fouled range caused a 24-hour scrub to be called late in the Jan. 19 launch window.

  • Next SBIRS missile detection satellite set for launch

    January 18th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — United Launch Alliance (ULA) is set to send the third Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO-3) into space for the U.S. military. The $1.2 billion satellite will be part of a system designed to spot missiles threatening the United States or its allies.

  • Smallest orbital-class rocket launch ends in failure

    January 14th, 2017

    Launching out of Japan’s Uchinoura Space Center at 8:33 a.m. Japan Standard Time Jan. 15 (23:33 GMT Jan. 14), 2017, was a rocket poised to be the smallest and lightest to ever send a payload into orbit. However, telemetry for the fin-stabilized sounding rocket, called SS-520-4, was lost after the first stage finished its 31-second burn.

  • Astronauts breeze through spacewalk, complete all get-ahead tasks

    January 13th, 2017

    In the second of two planned to spacewalks up upgrade the International Space Station’s (ISS) power system, two astronauts finished the process of replacing 12 nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion units. The spacewalking duo worked so fast, they had time to complete all of the assigned get-ahead tasks.

  • Astronauts to finish installing batteries during ISS during Friday spacewalk

    January 12th, 2017

    The International Space Station (ISS) crew is gearing up for the second of two spacewalks aimed at replacing aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion units. Two astronauts will leave the Quest airlock at around 7 a.m. EST (12:00 GMT) Jan. 13, 2017, for an estimated six-and-a-half-hour-long excursion.

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 RTF postponed to Jan. 14

    January 8th, 2017

    The return to flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will have to wait another week. According to a report appearing in NoozHawk, industry sources say the company is now working toward a launch at 9:54 a.m. PST (12:54 p.m. EST / 17:54 GMT) Jan. 14, 2017. This has been confirmed by the customer, Iridium Communications, on Twitter.

  • 1st battery-replacement spacewalk completed at ISS

    January 6th, 2017

    Two NASA astronauts on the first of two spacewalks outside the International Space Station (ISS) made swift work to help with the replacement of old batteries with new lithium-ion units. They even had enough time leftover to perform several get-ahead tasks.

  • NOAA’s JPSS-1 satellite launch delayed to July

    January 5th, 2017

    The flight of the first Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) has been postponed to a date no earlier than July 2017. According to SpaceNews, the delay was because of technical issues.

  • Robotics work clears way for Friday spacewalk

    January 4th, 2017

    On Friday, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson will venture outside the 400-metric-ton International Space Station (ISS) on the first of two spacewalks to begin a multi-year process of upgrading the outpost’s power system.

  • Cargo ships, expandables and spacewalks, oh my: ISS in 2016

    December 31st, 2016

    Between cargo ships servicing the outpost and spacewalks to maintain it, 2016 was arguably one of the busiest years for the International Space Station (ISS) since the end of the Space Shuttle era.

  • SpaceX teases with Falcon Heavy interstage photo

    December 29th, 2016

    SpaceX teased a photo of its Falcon Heavy rocket by posting a picture of the interstage of the heavy-lift booster. In addition to its backlogged manifest, the Hawthorne, California-based company hopes to launch the vehicle sometime in 2017.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Saving 1968

    December 25th, 2016

    The very first Christmas spent in space by humans was in 1968 during the mission of Apollo 8, forty-eight years ago. That flight saw the first people leave Earth’s orbit and go to another heavenly body.

  • ISS Expedition 50 crew preps for January spacewalks

    December 24th, 2016

    With the Japanese Kounotori 6 cargo craft firmly attached to the International Space Station's Harmony module, the six-person Expedition 50 crew is heading into the holiday weekend with images of spacewalk preparations dancing in their heads.

  • Photo Gallery: Ariane 5 launches Star One D1 and JCSAT-15 satellites

    December 22nd, 2016

    KOUROU, French Guiana — Riding a column of flame, Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket launched toward orbit carrying the Star One D1 and JCSAT-15 communications satellites. SpaceFlight Insider was there to photograph the event.