Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Scott Johnson

Scott earned both a Bachelor's Degree in public administration, and a law degree, from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He currently practices law in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood. Scott first remembers visiting Marshall Space Flight Center in 1978 to get an up-close look at the first orbiter, Enterprise, which had been transported to Huntsville for dynamic testing. More recently, in 2006, he participated in an effort at the United States Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) to restore the long-neglected Skylab 1-G Trainer. This led to a volunteer position, with the USSRC curator, where he worked for several years maintaining exhibits and archival material, including flown space hardware. Scott attended the STS - 110, 116 and 135 shuttle launches, along with Ares I-X, Atlas V MSL and Delta IV NROL-15 launches. More recently, he covered the Atlas V SBIRS GEO-2 and MAVEN launches, along with the Antares ORB-1, SpaceX CRS-3, and Orion EFT-1 launches.

Articles By Scott Johnson

  • Acting Administrator talks FY2019 NASA budget at Marshall

    February 14th, 2018

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- On Monday, February 12, the Trump administration released its 2019 fiscal year (FY19) budget request. NASA, via a presentation by its Acting Administrator, Robert Lightfoot, at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) highlighted NASA portions of the request.

  • RS-25 engine flight controller completes 500-second test

    August 10th, 2017

    On Wednesday, August 9, NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne conducted a 500-second test of an RS-25 developmental engine at the agency's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The test was used to validate the fourth upgraded engine controller required for the first flight of the Space Launch System.

  • Super Guppy transports SLS test hardware from Marshall

    July 14th, 2017

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — NASA's Super Guppy aircraft made an appearance in Huntsville earlier this week at the Redstone Arsenal airfield, adjacent to the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The aircraft was in town to retrieve the MSFC-manufactured Space Launch System Orion Stage Adapter structural test article and transport the hardware to Lockheed Martin's facilities in Colorado.

  • SLS structural test article arrives at Marshall

    May 17th, 2017

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — On May 15, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) core stage engine section structural test article (STA) arrived at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. The STA will soon be placed in a test stand located in MSFC's Building 4619 and subjected to extreme loads to certify the section for flight.

  • Space Launch System (SLS) upper stage testing begins

    May 8th, 2017

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A series of structural qualification tests on the SLS Integrated Spacecraft and Payload Element – a test version of the SLS upper / "in-space" section – is underway at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The tests began on Feb. 22 and are expected to be completed by mid-May.

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne consolidating, optimizing operations

    April 23rd, 2017

    Aerojet Rocketdyne recently announced the next phase of what it calls its Competitive Improvement Program (CIP), a plan to consolidate and optimize the company's operation. It is hoped that this will result in an annual savings of $230 million.

  • ‘Anomalous readings’ detected during James Webb Space Telescope tests

    December 19th, 2016

    Earlier this month, on Dec. 3, accelerometers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) detected "anomalous readings" in a portion of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). These "readings" took place during vibration tests being conducted to simulate anticipated launch conditions.

  • Space Launch System upper stage testing set to begin

    November 22nd, 2016

    Huntsville, Ala. — This past week, on Nov. 15, a test version of the Space Launch System's (SLS) Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) was moved to Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) historic West Test Area in preparation for early 2017 testing. SpaceFlight Insider was on hand at a media event following the move.

  • New photos emerge of SpaceX ITS LOX tank

    November 15th, 2016

    On Friday, Nov. 11, Reddit / Imgur user Death_Cog_Unit posted new photos of what is purported to be SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) – formerly Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) – liquid oxygen tank (LOX) being loaded / unloaded on a barge in Anacortes, Washington.

  • James Webb Space Telescope nears completion

    November 7th, 2016

    GREENBELT, Md. — On Nov. 2, NASA celebrated the completion of the OTIS (Optical Telescope, plus Integrated Science instrument module) portion of the James Webb Space Telescope during a "Golden Mirrors" media event in Building 29 at Goddard Space Flight Center. SpaceFlight Insider was on hand for the event.

  • Harrison Schmitt talks SLS during MSFC visit

    November 1st, 2016

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt was in Huntsville on Thursday, Oct. 27, to speak at the 28th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Dinner. The event was held in concert with the 9th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium and SFI had the chance to speak with Schmitt at a UAH media event organized by Marshall Space Flight Center.

  • Lockheed Martin receives order for additional GPS satellites

    October 3rd, 2016

    Lockheed Martin announced last week that the U.S. Air Force has exercised $395 million in contract options and ordered the construction of two additional GPS III satellites – bringing the total on order from the Maryland-based company to 10.

  • Orion heat shield arrives at Kennedy Space Center

    September 22nd, 2016

    The titanium truss structure component (along with its composite "skin") of the Exploration Mission (EM) -1 Orion crew capsule heat shield has arrived at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. With this new portion of hardware in place, NASA is one step closer to conducting the maiden flight of the SLS rocket.

  • Space Launch System (SLS) engine testing update

    August 22nd, 2016

    BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — This past week, on August 18, SpaceFlight Insider was on hand at NASA's Stennis Space Center (SSC), in south Mississippi, for the latest RS-25 engine test in preparation for its use in the agency's new super heavy-lift vehicle – the Space Launch System (SLS).

  • From double to triple: Why the landing Falcon 9 creates three sonic booms

    July 27th, 2016

    One of the iconic sounds of the Space Shuttle era has returned to the Space Coast—the sonic boom. The returning Shuttle orbiter produced a signature double sonic boom on its approach to Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. Similar sounds were heard again in the early morning hours of July 18 as SpaceX's Falcon 9 first stage returned to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's (CCAFS) Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1), formerly Launch Complex 13, creating a triple sonic boom.