Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Missions

  • Trump calls for creation of ‘Space Force’

    Jim SharkeyJune 22nd, 2018

    During a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House on June 18, 2018, President Donald Trump announced he was ordering the creation of a sixth branch of the U.S. military to focus on space.

  • NASA will monitor plants’ water usage through new instrument on ISS

    Laurel KornfeldJune 20th, 2018

    A new NASA instrument that will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) later this month will monitor water usage by plants on Earth through regular measurements of the plants' temperatures.

  • Proposed CAESAR mission could return a sample from comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 19th, 2018

    A proposed mission known as Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR), could greatly improve our knowledge about the origin and history of the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. If selected by NASA, it could return a sample from this comet to Earth, enabling scientists to study the leftover material from the formation of our Solar System.

  • Nick Hague set to become first member of 2013 astronaut class to fly

    Jason RhianJune 18th, 2018

    One of the 2013 class of astronauts is preparing himself for his flight into space. When Nick Hague takes to the skies in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft later this year, he will become the first of his class to fly.

  • GRACE-FO uses ‘Range Finder’ to see mountain effects

    Jim SharkeyJune 18th, 2018

    NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission has successfully completed its first mission phase and demonstrated the performance of the precise microwave ranging system that allows it to measure how mass migrates around the Earth. GRACE-FO is a successor to the original GRACE mission, which began orbiting the Earth on March 17, 2002.

  • New data reveals supermassive black hole eating a star

    Laurel KornfeldJune 17th, 2018

    An international team of scientists captured the first ever images produced by a supermassive black hole devouring a star.

  • Engine for Phantom Express assembled and prepped for tests

    Heather SmithJune 16th, 2018

    Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed the assembly of the first AR-22 rocket engine at Stennis Space Center. The engine was built for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane program. The purpose of the new spaceplane, called Phantom Express, is to demonstrate more routine and affordable access to space.

  • Astronaut Peggy Whitson retires from NASA

    Derek RichardsonJune 16th, 2018

    Peggy Whitson retired from NASA on June 15, 2018, after 32 years with the space agency—22 as an astronaut. Between 2002 and 2017, she participated in three long-duration International Space Station expeditions, accumulating 665 days orbit—a record for any U.S. space flyer.

  • Astronauts install high-definition cameras outside International Space Station

    Derek RichardsonJune 15th, 2018

    Two NASA astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station to perform the sixth spacewalk of 2018 at the orbiting complex. The nearly seven-hour long outing saw the duo install new cameras in preparation for upcoming commercial crew flights.

  • NASA creates, and fills, high-level position dedicated to exploration

    Curt GodwinJune 14th, 2018

    One of NASA's principal functions is to provide leadership in space exploration, and now the agency has a position that is the embodiment of that responsibility. Jim Bridenstine, NASA's new Administrator, recently named Steve Clarke as the agency's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration.

  • ISS 2018 mission patch revealed

    Laurel KornfeldJune 14th, 2018

    The 2018 International Space Station (ISS) mission patch, which represents all science payloads on the space station during the calendar year, has been unveiled.

  • NASA’s Opportunity rover goes silent as massive dust storm engulfs Mars

    Derek RichardsonJune 13th, 2018

    NASA’s long-lived Opportunity rover is currently weathering a massive dust storm—the largest the solar-powered rover has had to endure in its nearly 15 years of surface operations. The vehicle has been operating in Meridiani Planum since January 2004.

  • New Horizons exits hibernation to prepare for KBO flyby

    Laurel KornfeldJune 9th, 2018

    NASA's New Horizons probe has been awakened from nearly six months in hibernation to enable the mission team to start preparations for its flyby of Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) Ultima Thule (also known as 2014 MU69) in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2019.

  • International Space Station population doubles with arrival of Soyuz MS-09

    Derek RichardsonJune 8th, 2018

    Expedition 56 has three new crew members with the arrival of Soyuz MS-09. The two spent the last two days catching up with the International Space Station before rendezvousing and docking with the 400-metric-ton complex at 9:01 a.m. EDT (13:01 GMT) June 8, 2018.

  • Aliens discovered on Mars? Don’t believe the hype

    Laurel KornfeldJune 7th, 2018

    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012, has discovered organic molecules in Martian rocks and atmospheric methane levels that change seasonally, according to an announcement and a live discussion the space agency held on Thursday, June 7. Proof of alien life? Not so much.