Spaceflight Insider

  • Falcon 9 launch with Telstar 18 VANTAGE postponed 24 hours

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 7th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The weekend flight of a Falcon 9 with Telstar 18 VANTAGE has slipped 24 hours. The commercial communications satellite is ultimately bound for a geostationary orbit to serve markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Chinese startup launches three CubeSats into space

    Tomasz NowakowskiSeptember 6th I-Space, a Beijing-based space startup, successfully launched on Wednesday, Sept. 5, its SQX-1Z rocket carrying three CubeSats. The flight marked the first time when a private Chinese company sends satellites into space.

  • SpaceX failures small in comparison to its successes

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 6th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- 2018 is turning out to be the biggest year in SpaceX’s history. However, this success wasn’t always guaranteed as the company has had two high-profile failures between 2015 and 2016, costing customers and U.S. taxpayers millions. However, the losses should be weighed with the innovations and launch tempo that have become a hallmark of the company's activities.

  • Pressure mounts on Commercial Crew as Russia plans to stop flying U.S. astronauts to ISS

    Jason RhianSeptember 5th Amidst worsening conditions between the United States and Russia, the contract that provides U.S. astronauts with transportation to and from the International Space Station - is a few months away from expiring. The close of this agreement coincides with the time that NASA and its commercial partners hope to conduct the first test flights of so-called "space taxis" to the orbiting lab.

  • Coalition for Deep Space Exploration remembers Paul Spudis

    Jason RhianSeptember 4th WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) and its member companies were deeply saddened to learn last week of the passing of Dr. Paul Spudis – scientist, visionary, and tireless advocate for lunar science, exploration and development.

  • InSight 3 months from checking Mars’ temperature

    Jason RhianSeptember 4th While former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski might have scaled Mount Everest, there are mountains on Mars that far outstrip even Everest's staggering 29,029-foot (8,848-meter) height. NASA has a spacecraft on its way to the Red Planet to try and find out why these peaks reach such heights.

  • Roscosmos boss: Soyuz pressure leak caused by ‘technological error’ – pledges to find who is responsible

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 3rd Last week’s depressurization event at the International Space Station may have been caused by human error, not a micrometeoroid impact, Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin told Russian media. The handling of the problem suggests a lack of proper oversight by the Russian space agency.

  • Construction of 2nd launch pad at Vostochny Cosmodrome underway

    Tomasz NowakowskiSeptember 3rd Russian media outlets have reported that construction of a second launch pad at Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country’s Far East is underway. The new pad, designated Site 1A and dedicated for Angara rocket launches, is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

  • SpaceX 7 months away from 1st crewed test flight

    Jason RhianSeptember 2nd KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — SpaceX continues to take breathtaking leaps in terms of returning the United States' ability to launch astronauts from American soil. Plans to finalize launch day operations are underway and the NewSpace company is working with NASA to ensure key launch systems are ready to support flight.

  • Mobile Launcher test drive inches SLS one step closer to Exploration Mission-1

    Curt GodwinSeptember 1st A Chinese proverb roughly states: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." While this adage rings true for those undertaking Earthly ventures, it is also fitting for the launch of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS).

  • Inside Opportunity: Oppy still silent as dust storm begins to settle

    James RiceSeptember 1st It has been a long 80 days. We last heard from our rover on the slopes of Perseverance Valley back on June 10. However, we are continuing to listen diligently every day during our programmed fault communication windows, as well as through the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. So far however - nothing.

  • Capsule for first Orion spacecraft designed to carry crew built and delivered to KSC

    Jason RhianAugust 31st KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- NASA and Lockheed Martin are preparing for the first crewed flight of the agency's "exploration-class" spacecraft, Orion, on a mission that should see astronauts return to a trajectory their colleagues have not ventured to in more than 45 years. This latest milestone saw components that will comprise the spacecraft assembled and shipped to Kennedy Space Center.

  • InSight lander passes halfway mark on journey to Mars

    Derek RichardsonAugust 21st NASA’s InSight spacecraft passed the halfway mark Aug. 6, 2018, on its journey to Mars. In that time, the lander has performed two trajectory correction maneuvers and verified all of its instruments are working properly.

  • India aims to send its first crewed mission to space by 2022

    Tomasz NowakowskiAugust 20th India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled on Wednesday, August 15, an ambitious plan to send the first Indian to space by 2022. The announcement was made when he was addressing the nation during Independence Day celebrations at the historic Red Fort in Delhi.

  • Angara rocket family to replace Proton launchers NET 2024

    Tomasz NowakowskiAugust 17th Angara rockets could fully replace Russia’s long-serving Soviet-era Proton launch vehicles as early as 2024. This is according to an industry official, who made the remark at an aerospace conference in the city of Kazan.

  • Russian spacewalk runs into overtime during ‘Icarus’ experiment installation

    Derek RichardsonAugust 16th Two Russian cosmonauts stepped outside the International Space Station for more than 7.5 hours to deploy several small satellites and install an experiment designed to monitor animal migration.

  • Ultrahot Jupiters destroy water

    Jim SharkeyAugust 15th "Ultrahot Jupiters" are a class of incredibly hot giant exoplanets that orbit their star more closely than Mercury orbits the Sun. These worlds, such as Wasp-121b, are tidally locked, meaning one side of the planet permanently faces its star. But what separates this world from others?

  • NASA astronauts stand behind SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft

    Matthew KuhnsAugust 14th HAWTHORNE, Calif. -- SpaceX has made strides in having their Crew Dragon spacecraft transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). One of the crown jewels in the NewSpace firm's efforts was highlighted on Monday Aug. 13. However, the company was not alone in marking the progress SpaceX has made toward sending crews to low-Earth orbit.

  • Thundering toward light: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe begins journey to Sun

    Michael ColeAugust 12th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA's long-awaited Parker Solar Probe launched thunderously into the night sky atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket in the early morning hours of Aug. 12. Its goal? To unlock the secrets of Earth's parent star.

  • Technical issues plague 1st launch attempt of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

    Derek RichardsonAugust 11th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s mission to touch the Sun, the Parker Solar Probe, will have to wait at least one more day as various technical issues with the Delta IV Heavy rocket ultimately led to a scrub of the Aug. 11, 2018, attempt.

  • SpaceFlight Insider Live: To touch the Sun – Launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

    Jason RhianAugust 11th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- NASA and United Launch Alliance have a Delta IV Heavy rocket all set to launch the space agency's Parker Solar Probe spacecraft on its way to touch the Sun. SpaceFlight Insider's live webcast of this pivotal launch will begin at 3 a.m. EDT (07:00 GMT) Saturday. Aug. 7. Tune in as we bring you exclusive interviews, photos and more - live!

  • Parker Solar Probe stands ready to be propelled into the face of the Sun

    Michael ColeAugust 9th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- NASA's Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is edging closer to its long-awaited launch, scheduled no earlier than (NET) 3:33 a.m. EDT (19:33 GMT) on Saturday, August 11. The spacecraft will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37B (SLC-37B) atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket on its mission to study the Sun's corona and the solar wind.

  • 1st reflown Block 5 Falcon 9 sends ‘Merah Putih’ into orbit

    Jason RhianAugust 7th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — With five months still left in 2018, SpaceX is continuing its rapid-fire launch rate. The flight of the Merah Putih satellite, using a previously-flown Block 5 Falcon 9, means the company is one step closer to redefining the notion of how frequently flights to space can be carried out.

  • First major piece of NASA’s Space Launch System assembled

    Lloyd CampbellAugust 5th NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) has completed a major milestone with the first major piece of the rocket's core stage being fully assembled and ready for integration into other hardware in advance of the vehicle’s first test flight—Exploration Mission-1.

  • SpaceX’s CRS-15 Dragon splashes down in Pacific

    Derek RichardsonAugust 4th SpaceX’s CRS-15 Dragon returned to Earth on Aug. 3, 2018, after a month-long stay at the International Space Station. The capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean with cargo and research samples that were returned for further analysis.

  • And the winners are… NASA announces first astronauts to fly under Commercial Crew Program

    Joe LatrellAugust 3rd HOUSTON — The race to develop new U.S. spacecraft to ferry astronauts to space reached another milestone with the announcement of the first crews that will fly on commercially-produced spacecraft. On Aug. 3, 2018, NASA selected the astronauts who will fly on the first Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crewed Dragon capsules.

  • TESS primed and ready to discover distant worlds

    Jason RhianAugust 2nd NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has successfully reached its desired orbit and has begun science operations. The spacecraft was constructed by Northrop Grumman, who will operate the vehicle. This milestone sets the spacecraft on a path to continue the search for alien worlds.

  • NASA Administrator visits Langley Research Center

    Steve HammerAugust 1st LANGLEY, Va. -- NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine made his second stop on a tour of NASA research facilities Tuesday, July 31 at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.