Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Paul Knightly

Paul is currently a graduate student in Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Akransas in Fayetteville. He grew up in the Kansas City area and developed an interest in space at a young age at the start of the twin Mars Exploration Rover missions in 2003. He began his studies in aerospace engineering before switching over to geology at Wichita State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 2013. After working as an environmental geologist for a civil engineering firm, he began his graduate studies in 2016 and is actively working towards a PhD that will focus on the surficial processes of Mars. He also participated in a 2-week simluation at The Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station in 2014 and remains involved in analogue mission studies today. Paul has been interested in science outreach and communication over the years which in the past included maintaining a personal blog on space exploration from high school through his undergraduate career and in recent years he has given talks at schools and other organizations over the topics of geology and space. He is excited to bring his experience as a geologist and scientist to the Spaceflight Insider team writing primarily on space science topics.

Articles By Paul Knightly

  • SpaceShipTwo conducts successful test flight

    January 13th, 2018

    Virgin Galactic conducted a successful test flight of the SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity vehicle on Thursday, Jan. 11. The high-speed glide test marks the seventh for VSS Unity, which reached a top speed of Mach 0.9 during the flight.

  • Return, return, return: CRS-13 mission marks triple-play in terms of SpaceX reuse

    December 15th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. - The 13th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Service (CRS-13) mission roared into the Florida sky aboard a 'Full Thrust' Falcon 9 launch vehicle Friday morning. The flight-proven spacecraft and Falcon 9 first stage launched at 10:35 a.m. (15:35 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40.

  • SpaceX’s CRS-13 mission set for Tuesday launch

    December 11th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX is making final preparations to launch CRS-13 in what should be the company's 17th launch of the year. The flight-proven Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles are scheduled to lift off on Dec. 12 during an “instantaneous” launch window that opens at 11:46 a.m. EST (16:46 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida.

  • U.S. Navy accepts control of MUOS-5

    November 30th, 2017

    The Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC) has accepted operational control of MUOS-5 from Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy’s Communications Satellite Program Office.

  • Research suggests limited role for water in Mars recurring slope lineae

    November 25th, 2017

    Water may play a less significant role than previously thought in recurring slope lineae on Mars according to a paper published in Nature Geoscience on Nov. 20. Recurring slope lineae, or RSL, are dark seasonal slope streaks that occur on slope faces in some regions of Mars.

  • KoreaSat 5A marks 16th successful flight of 2017 for SpaceX

    October 30th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — KoreaSat 5A was lofted into orbit at 3:34 p.m. EDT (19:34 GMT) Oct. 30, 2017, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket under clear skies from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A). This marked the third SpaceX launch this month (October) alone, continuing an ambitious 2017 launch schedule for the Hawthorne, California-based company.

  • Minotaur-C scheduled for Vandenberg launch on October 31

    October 25th, 2017

    Six SkySat imaging satellites are now set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this coming Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 2:37 p.m. PDT. The launch will utilize an Orbital ATK Minotaur-C rocket.

  • SpaceX notches 15th Falcon 9 launch in 2017 with SES-11 mission

    October 11th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Hot on the heels of a Falcon 9 launch on the West Coast, SpaceX sent its 15th rocket into space in 2017. The SES-11/EchoStar-105 mission came less than 60 hours after the NewSpace company sent 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit. Liftoff occurred at 6:53 p.m. EDT (22:53 GMT) Oct. 11, 2017, from Launch Complex 39A.

  • SpaceX to launch SES-11 satellite Wednesday

    October 10th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Less than 60 hours after a Falcon 9 rocket launched 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into space from the West Coast, on the other side of the continent SpaceX is set to send the SES-11 spacecraft into orbit for a scheduled liftoff at 6:53 p.m. EDT (22:53 GMT) Oct. 11, 2017, from Launch Complex 39A.

  • JAXA launches Michibiki-4 satellite

    October 9th, 2017

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Michibiki-4 satellite aboard an H-IIA rocket at 7:01 a.m. Japan Standard Time on Oct. 10 (6:01 p.m. EDT / 22:01 GMT Oct. 9), 2017, from the Tanegashima Space Center. The satellite is the fourth in the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), which is a satellite-based positioning system similar to the U.S. operated GPS.

  • United Arab Emirates to build ‘Mars Science City’

    October 1st, 2017

    A new project to build a Mars Science City in the United Arab Emirates was unveiled during annual government meetings on Sept. 26, 2017, in Abu Dhabi. The ambitious $136 million (AED 500 million) project was launched by Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The goal is to inspire youth to pursue careers in science and engineering as the UAE continues to position itself as an emerging player in space exploration.

  • Highlights from 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention

    September 15th, 2017

    IRVINE, Calif. — The 20th Annual International Mars Society Convention happened at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), during September 7–10, 2017. A variety of presentations were made by keynote speakers regarding various aspects of the exploration of Mars.

  • Elon Musk releases image of full SpaceX spacesuit

    September 11th, 2017

    On Sept. 8, 2017, SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk teased a full body image of the current SpaceX spacesuit concept next to a Crew Dragon capsule. It was the first official image showing the entire front side of the suit. A previous post showed just the helmet and torso, but not the bottom half.

  • Cape Canaveral prepares for Hurricane Irma

    September 7th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — While Hurricane Irma continues to aim at Florida, it is not expected to have any significant impact on the Sept. 7, 2017, launch attempt of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the U.S. military's reusable X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. However, it will eventually affect operations on the Space Coast regardless of whether the OTV-5 mission gets underway on time.

  • Elon Musk teases SpaceX spacesuit concept

    August 25th, 2017

    On Aug. 23, 2017, Elon Musk released a photograph teasing the SpaceX spacesuit design that will be used on crewed flights of the Dragon 2 spacecraft. The post, which was made on both Twitter and Instagram, provided few details on the specifications of the suit beyond indicating the company has a functional design in place.