Spaceflight Insider

  • Video Feature: SpaceX Falcon 9 creates thunder and light on CRS-15 mission

    Jason RhianJune 30th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX launched the final Block 4 Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40 on Friday, June 29, 2018. The fifteenth Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-15) mission, conducted on behalf of NASA, lifted off at 5:42 EDT (09:42 GMT). SpaceFlight Insider set several video recorders captured the early-morning flight in spectacular detail.

  • Gallery: Final Block 4 Falcon 9 Launches CRS-15

    Mike DeepJune 30th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.  — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the final Block 4 version of the launch vehicle to be launched, lifted of from the Cape's Space Launch Complex 40 on a mission to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, June 29, 2018.

  • Hayabusa 2 arrives at asteroid Ryugu

    Jim SharkeyJune 29th After a journey of about 2 million miles (3.2 billion kilometers), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA)  Haybusa 2 spacecraft rendezvoused with its target, the asteroid Ryugu. This latest milestone marked a critical point in a mission designed to investigate these tiny remnants of the formation of our solar system.

  • Swan song: Final SpaceX Block 4 Falcon 9 launches CRS-15 cargo mission

    Curt GodwinJune 29th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla -- Clear weather and a Moonlit pre-dawn sky provided perfect conditions as SpaceX launched its final Block 4 Falcon 9 on its fifteenth cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The rocket lifted off at 5:42 a.m. EDT (9:42 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40).

  • SFI Live: Launch of CRS-15 atop SpaceX Falcon 9

    Jason RhianJune 29th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is set to launch its last Block 4 Falcon 9 rocket on June 29, 2018. Join Jim Siegel as he hosts SpaceFlight Insider's live webcast leading up to the opening of the launch window at 5:41 a.m. EDT (09:41 GMT). The mission is poised to get under way from Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida, SpaceFlight Insider's live coverage is slated to open at 5:11 a.m. ED...

  • Business Time Postponed: Rocket Lab planning for new launch window

    Rae Botsford EndJune 28th Due to a motor controller issue discovered during pre-launch checks on June 27 (NZST), Rocket Lab is standing down from this launch window for 'It’s Business Time,' the company’s first fully commercial mission.

  • Record-setting Mars dust storm was overdue

    Paul KnightlyJune 28th As a global dust storm imperils the Opportunity rover and encircles Mars, scientists are getting their best look yet into the rare phenomenon. Data gleaned from this rare atmospheric event could also help provide important clues as NASA develops plans for crewed landings on the surface of the Red Planet.

  • JWST exceeds cost cap, launch delayed to 2021

    Jason RhianJune 28th The James Webb Space Telescope, in development for the past 22 years, is now scheduled to take flight on March 30, 2021. Known for its numerous delays and cost overruns, the JWST appears to be in the final stages for its flight atop an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

  • China launches technology demonstration satellites atop Long March 2C – spent stage falls on town

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 27th China launched a Long March 2C rocket carrying two technology demonstration satellites designated XJSW A and XJSW B on Wednesday, June 27.

  • Buzz Aldrin’s children accuse astronaut’s handlers of ‘spin’

    Jason RhianJune 27th The Buzz Aldrin Foundation has released a statement regarding the recent announcement of a lawsuit allegedly filed by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The following statement was issued on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Aldrin's children, Andrew and Jan, have made less-than flattering statements about those they feel are responsible for this current situation.

  • CRS-15 resupply mission sending artificial intelligence, diverse science to ISS

    Curt GodwinJune 27th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — With the booster's static fire successfully concluded, SpaceX appears to be on track for an early-morning launch of the company's 15th operational mission to resupply the International Space Station—CRS-15.

  • Vita ignotum: How will NASA recognize life as we do not know it?

    Jason RhianJune 26th Since humanity realized that other worlds orbited distant stars, we have wondered what life on these far-flung planets might look like. While Star Trek and other series have depicted the life of these planets as, essentially, humans with bumpy heads - NASA is considering all the possibilities of what alien life might actually be like.

  • OA-9 Cygnus resupply mission postponed by 24 hours to May 21

    Lloyd CampbellMay 18th Orbital ATK's next resupply mission to the International Space Station has been postponed 24 hours, according to the company. The OA-9 Cygnus cargo spacecraft's flight into space atop an Antares rocket had originally been scheduled for May 20, 2018.

  • NASA could see windfall if FY 2019 Appropriations bill passes

    Curt GodwinMay 17th New legislation could see NASA gain a substantial increase in the agency's budget. Should the bill pass the full House and Senate, and get signed into law, NASA's science and exploration programs stand to gain the most.

  • Spacewalking astronauts swap ISS coolant pumps

    Derek RichardsonMay 17th Two NASA astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station on May 16, 2018, for a 6.5-hour-long spacewalk. They were tasked with rearranging coolant pumps and replacing external cameras and antennas.

  • SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9 another space launch game-changer

    Jim SiegelMay 16th At a media teleconference before the first flight of the Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk outlined some of the various upgrades to the Falcon 9 on the Block 5 version and revealed that, sometime next year, the company plans to launch, recover, re-fuel and re-launch a rocket within 24 hours.

  • Mark Geyer named director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center

    Derek RichardsonMay 15th NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, is getting a new director: Mark Geyer. He will be succeeding the current director, Ellen Ochoa, when she retires on May 25, 2018, after a 30-year career at the U.S. space agency.

  • Hubble, Galileo data provide more evidence of plumes over Europa

    Bart LeahyMay 15th After reviewing data from a previous mission to the Jovian system, scientists found evidence of a plume erupting from Jupiter's moon Europa, which NASA said indicates that the moon's subsurface ocean may indeed be venting water vapor through cracks in its icy surface.

  • Block 5 Falcon 9 roars spaceward with Bangabandhu-1 satellite

    Derek RichardsonMay 11th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In the sunny afternoon skies of Florida, SpaceX launched what it calls the final major upgrade of its Falcon 9—the Block 5. The rocket’s mission was to send the Bangabandhu-1 geostationary communications satellite into orbit for the country of Bangladesh.

  • SFI Live: Launch of Bangabandhu-1 on SpaceX’s Block 5 Falcon 9

    Derek RichardsonMay 11th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX is set to launch the Block 5 version of its Falcon 9 rocket today, May 11, 2018. Join Jim Siegel as he hosts SpaceFlight Insider's LIVE COVERAGE webcast leading up to the launch window, which opens at 4:14 p.m. EDT (20:14 GMT). This is the company's second attempt to get the vehicle off the ground and into space.

  • As SLS’s Block 1 design matures, its capabilities come into clearer focus

    Curt GodwinMay 10th The Block 1 version of NASA's Space Launch System - could make more than one flight and be used for some big missions on the agency's manifest.

  • Block 5 Falcon 9 debut launch set for May 10

    Derek RichardsonMay 9th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After a successful static fire test last week, SpaceX has set May 10, 2018, for the first flight of the Block 5 version of the Falcon 9 rocket. The booster is scheduled to send the Bangabandhu-1 geostationary communications satellite into orbit.

  • Long March 4C orbits Gaofen 5 high-resolution Earth-observing satellite

    Tomasz NowakowskiMay 9th One of China’s Long March 4C boosters took to the skies on Tuesday, May 8 to orbit Gaofen 5 - the country’s newest high-resolution Earth-observation satellite.

  • Hundreds strike over contract dispute with ULA

    Christopher PaulMay 8th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union employed by United Launch Alliance (ULA) voted to strike after rejecting a contract offer presented by the launch service provider.

  • Strained Mars data relay capabilities possible in 2020s

    Paul KnightlyMay 7th As its current fleet of Mars-orbiting spacecraft age with no new NASA orbiter under development, SpaceFlight Insider investigated the options available to maintain data relay capabilities with spacecraft on the surface into the 2020s.

  • SBIRS GEO Flight-4 beams back first images

    Jason RhianMay 6th The first images from the fourth of the United States Air Force's Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) have been sent back to the ground in what has been dubbed “first light" - marking a milestone for the most-recently launched SBIRS spacecraft.

  • CRS-14 Dragon returns experiments, hardware to Earth

    Derek RichardsonMay 5th Wrapping up a one-month stay at the International Space Station, SpaceX’s CRS-14 Dragon cargo ship returned to Earth with several thousand pounds of equipment for repair and experiments for further analysis.

  • Marsbound!: NASA InSight lander launches toward Red Planet

    Jim SharkeyMay 5th LOMPOC, Calif. — Initially flying through early-morning fog, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air force Base's Space Launch Complex 3 to send NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander on a six-month journey to Mars.

  • Block 5 Falcon 9 rolled to launch pad for static fire test

    Derek RichardsonMay 4th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The first Block 5 variant of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has been rolled up the ramp at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A in preparation for a static fire test as part of the launch campaign for the Bangabandhu-1 mission.

  • NASA’s InSight Mars spacecraft ready for launch

    Jim SharkeyMay 3rd LOMPOC, Calif. — NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are set to fly the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) Mars lander atop an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base to begin a 6.5-month journey to the Red Planet.

  • It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s a payload fairing?

    Curt GodwinMay 3rd SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made it no secret that his goal is to reuse as much of a launch vehicle as possible in order to drastically reduce the cost of spaceflight. While the company has been recovering and reusing Falcon 9 first stages, recovering rocket's upstream components has been a more-challenging problem.

  • BepiColombo spacecraft arrives at Kourou launch site

    Christopher PaulMay 2nd Europe’s first mission to Mercury is making the first steps on its long journey. The three spacecraft that make up BepiColombo mission are being shipped from their assembly facility to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana.

    The Range
  • Long March 3A lifts off with Fengyun 2H weather satellite

    June 5th
    A Long March 3A booster was launched June 5, 2018, by China to deliver the Fengyun 2H meteorological spacecraft into space. The rocket lifted off the pad at 9:07 a.m. EDT (13:07 GMT) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center situated in the country's Sichuan Province.

  • ExoMars rover will search for evidence of life on Mars

    June 4th
    Could the Red Planet be a bastion for life (either now or in the past)? ESA and NASA are preparing to send a mission to find out.

  • Pluto’s surface may have dunes of methane ice

    June 2nd
    A new study of Pluto surface images captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft suggests the dwarf planet has dunes likely composed of methane ice.

  • Dawn will enter lowest ever orbit around Ceres

    June 2nd
    NASA's Dawn spacecraft has begun maneuvers that should bring it to its lowest and final orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres.

  • KBO could be evidence for a giant planet in the outer solar system

    May 31st
    The discovery of a distant Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) with an extremely eccentric orbit could be evidence that a giant planet is waiting to be discovered in the outer solar system.

  • International Space Development Conference truly is international

    May 30th
    LOS ANGELES — Attendees from over a dozen countries including Japan, Romania, Turkey, India, and the United States descended on Los Angeles to discuss the latest in space developments at the National Space Society's 2018 International Space Development Conference (ISDC).

  • Max Polyakov’s Firefly Aerospace opens R&D center in Dnipro City, Ukraine

    May 29th
    President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, joined the opening of a branch of the American company Firefly Aerospace, relaunched by Max Polyakov - in Dnipro, Ukraine. It is designed to develop lightweight rockets for launching cargo into space. The restart of the enterprise could help make advances to the aerospace industry in the country.

  • Dmitry Rogozin appointed Roscosmos head

    May 29th
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Dmitry Rogozin as general director of the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities effective May 24, 2018. An executive order that changes the leadership of Russia’s space agency was signed during a meeting at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • New appointees fill top NASA positions

    May 27th
    Signaling an era of new leadership, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has appointed Steve Jurczyk to serve as the agency's associate administrator and Melanie W. Saunders to the position of acting deputy associate administrator, succeeding Deputy Associate Administrator Krista Paquin, who is resigning June 10.

  • 2 new JPSS spacecraft to be produced under NASA’s Rapid III contract

    May 26th
    Two additional Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) spacecraft are now set to be constructed by Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital ATK for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

  • “Pale Blue Dot” imaged by MarCO CubeSat

    May 25th
    Reminiscent of the famous Voyager 1 “Pale Blue Dot” photo, an image returned by one of NASA’s Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats on May 9, 2018, shows a distant Earth and Moon as it speeds off toward the Red Planet.

  • Correction maneuver puts NASA’s InSight lander on path to Mars

    May 24th
    The first and largest of six planned course correction maneuvers directing NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport (InSight) lander to Mars was successfully completed Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

  • GALLERY: Orbital ATK Antares rocket launches OA-9 Cygnus spacecraft

    May 23rd

  • First motor segment for new OmegA rocket produced

    May 23rd
    The first inert motor segment produced for tests of Orbital ATK's new OmegA rocket has been completed. This new segment has been designed as part of the Common Boost Segment (CBS) program. This is the latest step in efforts designed to produce new launch vehicles.

  • NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover tests new drilling method

    May 23rd
    NASA's Curiosity Mars rover may soon be back to drilling rocks on the Red Planet. Engineers with the rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have been working for the past year to restore the rover's full drilling capabilities, which were hampered by a mechanical problem in 2016.