Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Derek Richardson

Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station, called Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the SpaceFlight Insider team during the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-4 satellite. Richardson joined our team shortly thereafter. His passion for space ignited when he watched Space Shuttle Discovery launch into space Oct. 29, 1998. 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 his true calling was communicating to others about space. Since joining SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has worked to increase the quality of our content, eventually becoming our managing editor. @TheSpaceWriter

Articles By Derek Richardson

  • Soyuz MS-08 trio set for 2-day flight to ISS

    March 20th, 2018

    Three more people are set to leave Earth to live aboard the International Space Station for about five months. They are slated to launch in their Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft at 1:44 p.m. EDT (05:44 GMT) March 21, 2018, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

  • CST-100 Starliner reentry thrusters delivered

    March 18th, 2018

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is expected to have its first test flight sometime later in 2018. To support that test, Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed the delivery of the crew module’s reentry thrusters.

  • Firefly Aerospace demos its Lightning 1 engine

    March 17th, 2018

    CEDAR PARK, Texas -- In a demo for a crowd of people from the Austin, Texas South by Southwest festival, Firefly Aerospace fired its "Lightning 1" engine at 10 percent thrust for about one minute. It is hoped the engine design will propel the second stage of the company's "Firefly Alpha" rocket into space as early as 2019.

  • Jeff Bezos tweets latest BE-4 engine test footage

    March 14th, 2018

    Blue Origin has successfully tested its BE-4 engine at its longest duration yet revealed by the secretive spaceflight company. In a video tweeted out by the company’s founder, Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, it was announced that the engine, which is capable of 550,000 pounds (2,400 kilonewtons) of thrust, was tested at 65 percent of full-power for about 114 seconds.

  • Elon Musk says 1st flight of SpaceX’s Mars spaceship may happen in 2019

    March 12th, 2018

    While at South by Southwest, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he believes the first test flights of SpaceX's "Big Falcon Rocket" (BFR) spaceship could happen in the first half of 2019, although he admits to having optimistic timelines.

  • SpaceX launches 50th Falcon 9, orbits bus-sized Hispasat 30W-6

    March 6th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In the early-morning hours of March 6, 2018, SpaceX launched its 50th Falcon 9 rocket since it debuted in 2010. This flight saw the delivery of the Spanish Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit.

  • Space station trio returns to Earth after record-setting mission

    February 28th, 2018

    Three members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 54 crew returned to Earth on Feb. 27, 2018. Riding in their Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft, the trio blazed through the atmosphere and landed on the snow-covered Kazakh Steppe in Kazakhstan.

  • Robonaut2 returning to Earth later this year

    February 23rd, 2018

    A humanoid robot designed to eventually help International Space Station astronauts with various tasks will be returning to Earth for repairs, according to an IEEE Spectrum report. Robonaut2 was launched in 2011, but ran into problems in 2014 after an upgrade revealed unforeseen problems.

  • Bigelow Aerospace spawns spinoff company to market its space stations

    February 21st, 2018

    After more than a week of teasing, Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace announced the creation of a sister company called Bigelow Space Operations (BSO). Its mission is to "market and operate space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace that are so capable, so diverse and so large that they can accommodate virtually unlimited use almost anywhere."

  • Spacewalking astronauts finish Canadarm2 work at breakneck speed

    February 16th, 2018

    Two astronauts—one American, the other Japanese—suited up to venture outside the International Space Station to finish work upgrading the outpost’s robotic Canadarm2, a process that has now involved five extravehicular activities (EVAs) over some four months.

  • Progress MS-08 cargo spacecraft arrives at ISS with food, fuel and supplies

    February 15th, 2018

    After spending two days catching up with the International Space Station, the Progress MS-08 Russian cargo freighter docked with the orbiting outpost, bringing several metric tons of supplies for Expedition 54 and future crews.

  • Progress MS-08 cargo ship launches on two-day trek to ISS

    February 13th, 2018

    After a two-day launch delay, Progress MS-08, an autonomous Russian cargo spacecraft, is on its way to the International Space Station.

  • Launch of Progress MS-08 space station cargo freighter scrubbed

    February 11th, 2018

    It was deja vu for the Russian state-run space corporation Roscosmos. Less than a minute before its planned launch to the International Space Station, the Progress MS-08 cargo mission was scrubbed. The issue appeared similar in nature to one that occurred in October 2017.

  • OPINION: Ending ISS too soon would be an Apollo-sized mistake

    February 4th, 2018

    It appears the Trump administration may look to end support for the International Space Station by 2025. This proposal, if approved by Congress, would be a huge mistake similar to that of ending the Apollo program in 1972.

  • Cosmonauts perform longest Russian spacewalk to upgrade high-gain antenna

    February 3rd, 2018

    In the second spacewalk of 2018, two Russian cosmonauts went outside the International Space Station to upgrade an electronics box on the Lira high-gain antenna at the aft end of the outpost.