Spaceflight Insider

  • Gallery: GOES-S Launch

    Mike DeepMarch 2nd Our team captured photos of the latest GOES launch from multiple perspectives, including remote cameras placed at the launch pad.

  • Curiosity rover tests new drilling technique

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 2nd NASA's Curiosity rover conducted its first drilling in over a year on Feb. 26, 2018, to test a new technique developed by mission team members on Earth after the motor powering the drill's feed mechanism malfunctioned in December 2016.

  • ULA Atlas V lofts GOES-S satellite for NASA and NOAA

    Jason RhianMarch 1st CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Powered aloft by its lone RD-180 rocket engine and four Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ60A solid rocket boosters, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 launched the GOES-S weather satellite into orbit on behalf of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The mission saw the second in this series of next-generation weather satellites roar spaceward from Spa...

  • Former Vostochny Cosmodrome construction boss sentenced to jail for mass fraud

    Tomasz NowakowskiMarch 1st Yury Khrizman, the former head of Dalspetsstroy, a major state contractor responsible for the construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for mass corruption.

  • What are some of the obstacles to NASA’s efforts to find life on Mars?

    Press ReleaseMarch 1st The possibility of life on Mars has grabbed the imagination for centuries, inspiring books, films, records, and Earthbound dreamers to gaze into the sky and wonder what could really be out there. NASA is now looking at ways to see of Mars was ever habitable and if it contains life today. The agency is working to overcome an array of hurdles to achieve this long-held dream.

  • Space station trio returns to Earth after record-setting mission

    Derek RichardsonFebruary 28th Three members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 54 crew returned to Earth on Feb. 27, 2018. Riding in their Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft, the trio blazed through the atmosphere and landed on the snow-covered Kazakh Steppe in Kazakhstan.

  • United Launch Alliance set to launch GOES S weather satellite

    Curt GodwinFebruary 28th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Looking to join its GOES-16 sibling in providing enhanced weather coverage for the Western Hemisphere, workers at Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) are in the final stages of readying the latest in Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite spacecraft for launch.

  • H-IIA rocket soars into the sky with IGS-Optical 6 reconnaissance satellite

    Tomasz NowakowskiFebruary 27th An H-IIA rocket soared into the skies above Japan carrying the country's IGS-Optical 6 reconnaissance satellite aloft. The booster thundered off at 11:34 p.m. EST Feb. 26 (04:34 GMT Feb. 27), 2018, from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center.

  • How is NASA’s InSight Mars lander different from the Phoenix Mars lander?

    Jason RhianFebruary 26th In 2008, NASA's Phoenix Mars lander touched down in the Red Planet's polar region. Now InSight, which is based on the Phoenix lander, is being prepped for flight. The two probes are very similar in design, but what does InSight have that Phoenix didn't?

  • What was a SpaceX Crew Dragon doing in Port Canaveral?

    Jason RhianFebruary 25th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- It appears a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft had come to Port Canaveral. Affixed to the back of Go Searcher vessel that had arrived in port on Saturday, Feb. 24. The "capsule" appeared to sport the side-mounted SuperDraco thrusters - but what was it really?

  • Payload fairing issues resurface to delay Hispasat 30W-6 launch

    Jason RhianFebruary 24th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX's had hoped to conduct the fifth launch of 2018 on Feb. 25 with the launch of the Hispasat 30W-6 satellite - when it appears an old nemesis reared its head - the Falcon 9's Payload Fairing. Will this issue delay other SpaceX flights as well?

  • Japan to launch IGS-Optical 6 reconnaissance satellite into space

    Tomasz NowakowskiFebruary 24th Japan is set to launch its flagship H-IIA rocket with the country's latest Intelligence Gather Satellite: IGS-Optical 6. Liftoff is currently scheduled to take place between 11:34 and 11:48 p.m. EST Feb. 25 (04:34 and 04:48 GMT Feb. 26), 2018.

  • OPINION: Ending ISS too soon would be an Apollo-sized mistake

    Derek RichardsonFebruary 4th It appears the Trump administration may look to end support for the International Space Station by 2025. This proposal, if approved by Congress, would be a huge mistake similar to that of ending the Apollo program in 1972.

  • Cosmonauts perform longest Russian spacewalk to upgrade high-gain antenna

    Derek RichardsonFebruary 3rd In the second spacewalk of 2018, two Russian cosmonauts went outside the International Space Station to upgrade an electronics box on the Lira high-gain antenna at the aft end of the outpost.

  • Soyuz-2.1a launches from Vostochny with 11 satellites

    Tomasz NowakowskiFebruary 2nd Russia conducted its first orbital mission of 2018 on Thursday, February 1, by launching a Soyuz-2.1a rocket with 11 satellites into space. The mission got underway under mostly clear skies and carried payloads from Germany as well as the U.S.

  • RS-25 completes successful second test fire of 2018

    Collin SkocikFebruary 1st On Feb. 1, 2018, a team of engineers at NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Syncom Space Services engineers and operators test-fired the RS-25 engine conducted a test firing at the Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

  • Launch of GovSat-1 clears the way for first flight of Falcon Heavy

    Jason RhianJanuary 31st CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The tiny European nation of Luxembourg was able to honor some of its commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization by having the GovSat-1 communications satellite sent to orbit today. SpaceX successfully sent the spacecraft aloft via a ‘Full Thrust’ Falcon 9 rocket at 4:25 p.m. EST (21:25 GMT) on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The flight helped set the stage for one of the most anticipated missions of 2018.

  • SFI LIVE: SpaceX Falcon 9 with GovSat-1

    Jason RhianJanuary 31st CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is preparing to launch its first Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC 40 in Florida on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The two-hour long launch window is set to open at 4:25 p.m. EST (21:25 GMT). SFI Live should begin its coverage at 4 p.m. EST (21:00 GMT). While other sites promise you "live" coverage they only share the work of others. Only SFI hosts its own Live Show from the launch site!

  • Long March 2D to launch Zhangheng-1 and six small satellites to orbit

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 31st A Long March 2D rocket is poised to send the Zhangheng-1 Earth-observing spacecraft into space on Friday, February 2, along with six other small satellites.

  • Second Falcon 9 of 2018 readied to loft Luxembourg’s GovSat-1

    Jason RhianJanuary 29th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — While the world might be waiting with breathless anticipation for the first test flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket, SpaceX is pressing forward with its 2018 launch manifest. The next mission the Hawthorne, California-based company is working to send aloft is the GovSat-1 satellite for Luxembourg.

  • Software patch fixes Canadarm2 anomaly, US EVA-48 postponed

    Derek RichardsonJanuary 28th NASA has postponed its planned Jan. 29, 2018, spacewalk to swap a latching end effector (LEE) on the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2 after robotics specialists devised a software patch to fix a communications anomaly with the recently-installed mechanism.

  • NASA reports problem with newly installed robotic arm ‘hand’

    Derek RichardsonJanuary 27th Just days after installing a new grapple fixture on the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2, NASA is working on a plan to re-install the old latching end effector (LEE) on an upcoming spacewalk after a problem was found with the new mechanism.

  • Astronaut Jack Fischer shares “Awesome” ISS experiences during visit to NASA Glenn

    Michael ColeJanuary 27th GLENN RESEARCH CENTER, Ohio -- Astronaut Jack Fischer's favorite word is Awesome. And why not? If your job consists of rocketing into orbit aboard a Soyuz spacecraft and spending 136 days on the International Space Station, the word awesome is probably an accurate descriptor.

  • Dust storms linked to gas escaping Martian atmosphere

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 26th A new study using data gathered by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) during the Red Planet's most recent global dust storm in 2007, suggests that such storms play a role in the escaping of gases from the planet's atmosphere. That process transformed the warmer, wetter climate of ancient Mars into the arid, frozen conditions found on the surface of the Red Planet today.

  • Long March 2C soars into the sky with Yaogan-30 triplet

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 25th A Long March 2C rocket soared into the sky Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, sending a trio of Yaogan-30 satellites into orbit. It was the fifth orbital mission for China in just 17 days. The vehicle thundered off at 12:39 a.m. EST (5:39 GMT) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) in China’s Sichuan Province.

  • Ariane 5 rocket places 2 satellites into orbit despite telemetry anomaly

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 25th Arianespace conducted its first mission of 2018 by launching its workhorse Ariane 5 booster with the SES-14 and Al Yah 3 communications satellites. However, the outcome of the flight remained a mystery for several hours as telemetry cut off just after ignition of the upper stage of the rocket.

  • SpaceX Falcon Heavy warms up LC-39A during static test fire

    Bart LeahyJanuary 24th KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- This afternoon, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time, SpaceX static-fired all 27 of the engines on its Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. Live video on shows that the rocket fired for at least 10 seconds. This test indicates SpaceX is moving closer to a launch date for its new heavy-lift vehicle.

  • First Ariane 5 flight of 2018 to deliver SES-14 and Al Yah 3 communications satellites into orbit

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 24th On Thursday, January 25, Europe’s flagship Ariane 5 booster is scheduled to fly for the first time this year. The rocket is being prepared to orbit the SES-14 and Al Yah 3 communications satellites.

  • Astronauts replace Canadarm2 ‘hand’ on ISS in first spacewalk of 2018

    Derek RichardsonJanuary 23rd The first spacewalk of 2018, U.S. EVA 47, is now in the history books after two NASA astronauts completed a nearly 7.5 hour extravehicular activity to replace an aging latching end effector on the International Space Station’s robotic Canadarm2.

  • Google Lunar X-PRIZE competition ending without winners

    Lloyd CampbellJanuary 23rd Google has made its last extension to the 10-year-old Google Lunar XPRIZE competition, where different teams are building landers and rovers to go to the Moon. The prize for the winner is $20 million if they complete the landing, travel at least 1,640 feet (500 meters) across the surface and transmit back video and photographs.

  • With end of Atlas V planned, ULA assumes responsibility for marketing and sales of Atlas V

    Jason RhianJanuary 22nd Colorado-based United Launch Alliance (ULA) is preparing to move from its Atlas V and Delta IV rocket lines and toward the new "Vulcan" launch system. With some estimates only giving two years left on the rocket's launch manifest - the company has announced on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 that it had assumed responsibility for the marketing and sales of Atlas V rocket.

  • Electron soars to orbit on Rocket Lab’s “Still Testing” flight

    Rae Botsford EndJanuary 21st On Sunday, January 21, at 2:43 p.m. NZDT (01:43 GMT), Rocket Lab successfully completed the second test flight of the company's Electron rocket from their own Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand.

    The Range
  • Newly discovered house-sized asteroid 2018 CB to zip close by Earth

    February 9th
    A newly detected house-sized asteroid, designated 2018 CB, is slated to fly by Earth on Friday, February 9, at around 22:30 UTC, with a velocity estimated at being some 26,000 mph (58,000 km/h).

  • Gallery: Falcon Heavy Demonstration Flight

    February 7th

  • New study shows TRAPPIST-1 planets are rocky and could have water

    February 7th
    A new study has revealed the compositions of the seven TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets in unprecedented detail, showing them to be rocky worlds that could potentially have water.

  • Two halves of James Webb Space Telescope come together for testing in California

    February 6th
    After years of development, and having undertaken rounds of discrete testing, the two major components of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have arrived in California for fully-integrated testing. The flagship mission is referred to as the scientific successor to the stalwart Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and is set to launch on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket in the Spring of 2019 from Kourou, French Guiana.

  • OPINION: Space – An economic engine for Florida

    February 4th
    Florida has been at the leading edge of our Nation’s space program, dating back to 1950 when Cape Canaveral became the location from which America’s space flights began with the launch of a Bumper 2 rocket. History was also written when Alan Shepard became the first American in space as his Freedom 7 spacecraft launched from Florida in 1961.

  • Curiosity Mars rover ‘photobombed’ by Mount Sharp

    February 3rd
    A recent self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the robot on Vera Rubin Ridge, which it has been exploring for several months. Directly behind the rover is the foot of a clay-rich slope Curiosity will begin climbing in the coming weeks. North is on the left of the image and west is on the right, with the rim of Gale Crater on the horizon of both edges.

  • Long March 2D sends Zhangheng-1 seismo-electromagnetic spacecraft and six small satellites into space

    February 2nd
    China launched its first seismo-electromagnetic satellite, known as Zhangheng-1 on Friday, Feb. 2, atop a Long March 2D rocket. Six other smaller satellites also piggybacked on the mission. The flight highlighted China's growing space ambitions.

  • Panoramic images show Curiosity’s route on Mars since 2012 landing

    February 1st
    Members of NASA's Curiosity team combined individual photos taken by the rover's Mast Camera (Mastcam) on the northern flank of Mount Sharp to create a panorama that overlooks the many sites the six-wheeled geologist has visited since landing on Mars in 2012.

  • Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 with GovSat-1 delayed 24 hours

    January 30th
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- With about an hour to go before the launch window opened at 4:25 p.m. EST (21:25 GMT) on Jan. 30, SpaceX scrubbed its attempt to send aloft a Falcon 9 rocket with a communications satellite named GovSat-1, due to a second-stage sensor issue. 

  • Plasma technology could help produce sustainable oxygen supply for human colonies on Mars

    January 30th
    A future human colony on Mars will need a sustainable oxygen supply for its operations in the harsh Martian environment. A new research conducted by a team of Portuguese-French scientists suggests that plasma technology could be the key to producing the necessary amount of oxygen for crew activities on the Red Planet.

  • Shutdown, accusations of racism and launch delays – 2018 starting out rough for NASA

    January 28th
    So far 2018 is not starting out very well for NASA. With a government shutdown that started on Jan. 20, slowing work, announcements that its Commercial Crew Program has suffered yet another delay and accusations of racism - the space agency has had years start better than 2018.

  • Large solar arrays deployed during tests of new Mars lander

    January 26th
    The large solar arrays built to power NASA's new Mars InSight lander were unfurled for testing by engineers and technicians at Lockheed Martin Space's facilities in Littleton, Colorado, on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

  • NASA honors those lost during 2018 Day of Remembrance ceremony

    January 25th
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Once a year, generally on the last Thursday of January, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation welcomes the public to join assembled astronauts, family members and space program workers to remember the U.S. astronauts who lost their lives while serving on active duty. On Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 those lost were remembered and their sacrifice honored.

  • Long March 2C set to launch Yaogan-30 trio into orbit

    January 24th
    China is preparing to conduct its fifth orbital mission this month by launching a Long March 2C rocket with three Yaogan-30 satellites.

  • Juno spacecraft captures stunning images of Jupiter’s cloud tops, storms

    January 23rd
    During its recent close flybys of Jupiter, NASA's Juno spacecraft captured incredible images of the giant planet's cloud tops, storms, and atmosphere that some have compared to Vincent Van Gogh's famous "Starry Night" painting.