Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: The Range

  • LISA Pathfinder mission terminated

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 27th, 2017

    The European Space Agency's (ESA) LISA Pathfinder, a probe that tested technologies for their capability to detect the ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves, has been shut down.

  • Opportunity rover takes ‘Sprained Ankle’ Panorama

    Jim SharkeyJuly 26th, 2017

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" recently recorded a panoramic view before entering the "Perseverance Valley", which descends the inner slope of Endeavour Crater's rim. The valley is a major destination for the rover's extended mission.

  • Newly developed Nanotube Technology could revolutionize spaceflight

    Michael ColeJuly 26th, 2017

    A cold-gas thruster system, partially made from carbon nanotube material, was recently tested aboard a Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket. Part of the thruster system was a Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel (COPV).

  • First-ever laser communications terminal to be tested on the Moon

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 25th, 2017

    ATLAS Space Operations Inc., a company specializing in cloud-based satellite management and control services, has announced that it will test the first-ever laser communications terminal on the lunar surface. The company has recently signed a contract with Astrobotic Technology Inc., which could see their system fly to the Moon in late 2019.

  • Giant asteroid crashed into Mars billions of years ago, study suggests

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 24th, 2017

    The complex geology of Mars and the origin of its two small irregular moons has mystified planetary scientists for some time. A new study, published in June in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, reveals that the Red Planet had suffered a giant asteroid collision nearly four-and-a-half billion years ago which could account for some of Mars' geological oddities.

  • New Horizons team obtains wealth of data from 2014 MU69 occultation

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 24th, 2017

    NASA's New Horizons team captured crucial data on Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 2014 MU69 – the spacecraft's second target – during a third organized observation of the KBO occulting a star on Monday, July 17, 2017.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The Shuttle replacement that never was

    Christopher PaulJuly 22nd, 2017

    When the Space Shuttle was first proposed it was meant to be “all things to all users” – a replacement for all U.S. launch vehicles. All the expendable launchers, Atlas, Titan, and Delta would retire and the shuttle would be responsible for all U.S. launches from its three pads: LC-39A / -39B at Kennedy Space Center, and SLC-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

  • Brown dwarf discovered with the help of citizen scientists

    Ocean McIntyreJuly 20th, 2017

    Sometimes in science, when you search for one thing, you end up finding something completely different. Such is the case with the search for the thus far elusive Planet Nine and the citizen scientists who ended up finding a brown dwarf instead.

  • Contract brings Dream Chaser flights closer to reality

    Joe LatrellJuly 20th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In development for more than ten years, the Dream Chaser space plane is one step closer to flight. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has signed a contract with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to send the spacecraft into orbit. 

  • Cassini images Enceladus’ south polar jets

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 20th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini orbiter has captured a distant view of the mysterious jets emanating from the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus, a world that likely harbors a subsurface ocean. The jets are believed to be liquid water being vented from the ocean underneath the moon's icy crust.

  • VASIMR plasma engine: Earth to Mars in 39 days?

    Collin SkocikJuly 19th, 2017

    In Arthur C. Clarke’s classic science fiction novels and movies "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "2010: Odyssey Two", the spaceships Discovery and Alexei Leonov make interplanetary journeys using plasma drives. Nuclear reactors heat hydrogen or ammonia to a plasma state that’s energetic enough to provide thrust.

  • AIDA mission to validate crucial asteroid deflection technology

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 16th, 2017

    NASA and ESA are developing the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission; its main goal is to demonstrate the kinetic impact technique that could change the motion of a potentially hazardous asteroid.

  • ShareSpace Apollo 11 Gala held under KSCVC’s Saturn V

    SpaceFlight InsiderJuly 16th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Under one of the three surviving Saturn V Moon rockets, Buzz Aldrin's ShareSpace Foundation hosted a gala and auction in honor of mankind's first footsteps on another world on Saturday, July 15, 2017. 

  • NASA releases New Horizons flyover video

    NASAJuly 15th, 2017

    Using actual New Horizons data and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, mission scientists have created flyover movies that offer spectacular new perspectives of the many unusual features that were discovered and which have reshaped our views of the Pluto system – from a vantage point even closer than the spacecraft itself.

  • 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.