Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Space Centers

  • NanoRacks airlock moving toward 2019 installation on the ISS

    Jim SiegelJuly 21st, 2017

    Five months ago,  NanoRacks, LLC announced it would partner with Boeing to build the first private airlock for the International Space Station. That initiative is progressing and recently achieved a design milestone with the successful test of a NASA-built, full-scale mockup at the Johnson Space Center in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL).

  • Curiosity eyes new ridge in exploration of the Red Planet

    Ocean McIntyreJuly 15th, 2017

    After nearly five years of its exploration of the Red Planet, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, more commonly known as the Curiosity rover, will begin its long-awaited study of a tantalizing ridge formation along a slope of Mount Sharp in the center of Gale Crater.

  • Super Guppy transports SLS test hardware from Marshall

    Scott JohnsonJuly 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.

  • Webb telescope to spend summer chilling in Houston

    Jim SharkeyJuly 13th, 2017

    While Houston, Texas, may be sweltering in 95-degree Fahrenheit (35 °C) heat this week, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will soon be chilling in a vibration-insolation "hammock", hanging from the ceiling of Chamber A – an enormous thermal vacuum testing facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

  • Advanced Electric Propulsion System successfully tested at NASA’s Glenn Research Center

    Jason RhianJuly 8th, 2017

    A new propulsion system, funded by the Space Technology Mission Directorate, underwent a series of tests at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Ohio. The tests were conducted on a Power Processing Unit, or "PPU", for an Advanced Electric Propulsion System that is hoped could be used on either NASA's deep space missions or by the space agency's commercial partners.

  • Juno approaches 6th science perijove and a peek at the Great Red Spot

    Ocean McIntyreJuly 8th, 2017

    Just a few days after the one-year anniversary of Juno's insertion into orbit above Jupiter, the spacecraft will make its sixth science pass over the planet’s cloud tops. The pass on July 10, 2017, will be one of special interest, as it will be passing over the iconic Great Red Spot.

  • Problems aside, NASA moves toward SLS structural testing at Marshall

    Christopher PaulJuly 5th, 2017

    Moving beyond a site selection controversy and production problems that caused headlines in May, NASA is working to complete a Space Launch System (SLS) structural test article at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in Louisiana.

  • New driving algorithm helps protect Curiosity rover’s wheels

    Jim SharkeyJuly 4th, 2017

    The six wheels of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover have experienced considerable wear and tear since the one-ton rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. However, a new algorithm is helping the rover drive more carefully over rocks on the Martian surface to reduce wheel wear.

  • Raytheon continues support for astronaut training at NBL

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 30th, 2017

    NASA has awarded Raytheon Company a new contract to continue mission support at the agency’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) in Houston, Texas. The new $154-million contract allows the company to provide technical and engineering support at the facility for the next seven years.

  • NASA sounding rocket releases artificial clouds above mid-Atlantic

    Jason RhianJune 29th, 2017

    On Thursday, June 29, after numerous delays, the early morning skies along the mid-Atlantic coast came alive with luminescent clouds as NASA checked out a new deployment system that supports science studies of the ionosphere and aurora.

  • Insider Q & A: From concept to reality – KSC as a Multi-User Spaceport

    Jason RhianJune 11th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Anyone who spends time in or around Florida's Space Coast has heard one phrase repeatedly used in the past few years: Multi-User Spaceport. What does that mean? To find out, SFI spoke with two NASA representatives intimately aware of the agency's efforts to expand the diverse array of organizations operating out of the center.

  • ‘Custom’ ride on the road to Mars unveiled at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    Mike HowardJune 7th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — More and more, NASA and its family of contractors are focusing their attention on the Red Planet, and an event held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Monday, June 5, showed off some sporty new wheels that any astronaut would love to use when cruising the flash-frozen plains of Mars.

  • Eyes on: Watching NASA Work on the JWST with ‘Webb-cam’

    Larry KlaesJune 5th, 2017

    NASA has continued its very popular "Webb-cam" monitoring of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) with a special Webb camera installed in NASA's Johnson Space Center clean room in front of the massive thermal vacuum testing chamber known as Chamber A.

  • University students innovate at NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition

    Michael McCabeMay 26th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Students from dozens of universities across the United States gathered at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA's 2017 Robotic Mining Competition (NRMC). Students showcased and competed with their robotic concepts, which could potentially be used by NASA on actual future off-Earth mining.

  • Psyche mission to reach metallic asteroid 4 years earlier than planned

    Bart LeahyMay 24th, 2017

    NASA announced on May 24, 2017, that it would be launching the Discovery-class Psyche mission one year earlier, which will enable it to reach the nickel-iron asteroid Psyche four years earlier than previously planned. Thanks to spacecraft and trajectory redesigns, Psyche is now scheduled to launch in 2022 and will reach its destination in 2026.