Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Heather Smith

Heather Smith's fascination for space exploration – started at the tender age of twelve while she was on a sixth-grade field trip in Kenner, Louisiana, walking through a mock-up of the International Space Station and seeing the “space potty” (her terminology has progressed considerably since that time) – she realized at this point that her future lay in the stars. Smith has come to realize that very few people have noticed how much spaceflight technology has improved their lives. She has since dedicated herself to correcting this problem. Inspired by such classic literature as Anne Frank’s Diary, she has honed her writing skills and has signed on as The Spaceflight Group’s coordinator for the organization’s social media efforts.

Articles By Heather Smith

  • There (almost) and back again: Crew of aborted Soyuz mission reassigned

    December 6th, 2018

    NASA has announced that Nick Hague will join Aleksey Ovchinin again for a launch on Feb 28, 2019, after their mission was aborted in October 2018.

  • Final ASPIRE test certifies Mars 2020 parachute

    November 6th, 2018

    NASA's Mars 2020 rover is one step closer to exploring the dusty plains of the Red Planet. A recent test has not only demonstrated the viability of a key system - it has also made history.

  • 4 Galileo navigation satellites sent aloft by Ariane 5

    July 25th, 2018

    After a nearly four-month-long mission gap, Arianespace launched an Ariane 5 ES rocket from its South American spaceport in French Guiana to send four Galileo navigation satellites into orbit for Europe’s global navigation satellite system.

  • Rocket Lab’s Electron getting US-based launch site

    July 24th, 2018

    Rocket Lab recently announced plans to build a launch complex in the United States for its small Electron rocket. The site, to be announced in August 2018, is expected to complement its current facility in New Zealand.

  • Lockheed Martin 3D prints fuel tank components

    July 13th, 2018

    Lockheed Martin has announced the creation of a 3-D printed titanium dome for satellite fuel tanks. The 46-inch diameter vessel completed final rounds of quality testing this month. The program was instituted to create a high-pressure tank that can carry fuel on board satellites and marks a significant step toward streamlining the deployment of spacecraft on orbit.

  • Engine for Phantom Express assembled and prepped for tests

    June 16th, 2018

    Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed the assembly of the first AR-22 rocket engine at Stennis Space Center. The engine was built for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane program. The purpose of the new spaceplane, called Phantom Express, is to demonstrate more routine and affordable access to space.

  • Fabrication for commercial ISS airlock ‘Bishop’ underway

    April 29th, 2018

    Houston-based NanoRacks recently announced that its airlock module named “Bishop” completed its critical design review, allowing engineers to begin building the commercial airlock, which is bound for the International Space Station.

  • ‘It’s Business Time’: Rocket Lab sets April 20 for next Electron launch

    April 7th, 2018

    Rocket Lab announced a launch date for the first fully-commercial flight of its Electron rocket. The mission named "It's Business Time" is expected to host payloads for Spire Global and GeoOptics that are built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, according to a news release from the launch service provider.

  • SLS one step closer to flight with successful completion of USA design review

    March 21st, 2018

    Dynetics has announced the completion of the universal stage adapter's (USA) preliminary design review for NASA’s new SLS rocket designed to send humans to the Moon and possible Mars. The adapter is critical for carrying additional cargo during Exploration Mission 2, the first planned crewed flight of SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

  • Cygnus OA-8 cargo spacecraft departs ISS

    December 6th, 2017

    The Orbital ATK Cygnus OA-8 cargo spacecraft departed from the International Space Station at 8:11 a.m. EST (13:11 GMT) on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, after delivering almost 7,400 pounds (3,356 kg) of cargo to support science experiments.

  • Major core stage hardware completed for first SLS flight

    October 4th, 2017

    NASA has completed major work for all five parts of the core stage for the first flight of the massive Space Launch System (SLS). Additionally, manufacturing has been completed for all four core stage test articles with evaluation underway on the engine section structural test article at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

  • NASA conducts 5th test of RS-25 engine flight controller unit

    September 1st, 2017

    The final test of the RS-25 engine for the new Space Launch System (SLS) took place on August 30, 2017, at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The 500-second hot-fire test is the fifth of the RS-25 engine flight controller unit on the A-1 test stand.

  • SLS ‘racing stripes’ replaced with photogrammetry targets

    August 8th, 2017

    Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital ATK has cast ten solid rocket booster (SRB) segments for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Four of those segments have been completed at the company's facilities in Promontory, Utah, and painted with photogrammetric markings. Two five-segment boosters will be used to help power the super-heavy-lift vehicle into orbit as early as 2019 – but what happened to the rocket's "racing stripes"?

  • Dynetics to build SLS universal stage adapter

    June 14th, 2017

    NASA has announced that the applied science and information technology company Dynetics, Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama, has been awarded a $221.7 million prime contract to develop and build a universal stage adapter (USA) for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

  • Stratolaunch rolls out of hangar, conducts fueling test

    June 1st, 2017

    The Stratolaunch aircraft was revealed for the first time on May 31 for a fueling test after completing the key milestone of its construction phase; the company rolled the vehicle from its hangar and will now begin the aircraft's next stage of development.