News Archive / Author: Paul Knightly
Paul is currently a graduate student in Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Akransas in Fayetteville. He grew up in the Kansas City area and developed an interest in space at a young age at the start of the twin Mars Exploration Rover missions in 2003. He began his studies in aerospace engineering before switching over to geology at Wichita State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 2013. After working as an environmental geologist for a civil engineering firm, he began his graduate studies in 2016 and is actively working towards a PhD that will focus on the surficial processes of Mars. He also participated in a 2-week simluation at The Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station in 2014 and remains involved in analogue mission studies today. Paul has been interested in science outreach and communication over the years which in the past included maintaining a personal blog on space exploration from high school through his undergraduate career and in recent years he has given talks at schools and other organizations over the topics of geology and space. He is excited to bring his experience as a geologist and scientist to the Spaceflight Insider team writing primarily on space science topics.
Articles By Paul Knightly
Inside the SIRIUS-19 lunar mission simulation: preparing for the next leapJuly 19th, 2019
As the world prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, a 4-month long international lunar mission simulation is preparing to conclude in Russia. SIRIUS, which stands for Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station, aims to study human psychology and performance under a simulated lunar mission scenario in order to […]
Book Review: “The Case For Space”June 19th, 2019
Title: The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility Author: Dr. Robert Zubrin Publisher: Prometheus Books, 2019 Format: Hardcover Pages: 395 ISBN: 978-1-63388-534-9 Retail Price: $25.00 The past decade of space travel has witnessed massive leaps in the viability of new commercial spaceflight ventures and the realignment […]
InSight lander deploys seismometer on MarsJanuary 15th, 2019
NASA's InSight Mars lander has been busy getting its suite of instruments prepared for regular use to explore the interior of the Red Planet.
Martian storm chasers: Spacecraft observe dust stormJuly 30th, 2018
A fleet of spacecraft are diligently studying the global dust storm currently encircling Mars. Much as storm chasers would do on Earth, they are collecting valuable data so that scientists can better understand how these storms form and evolve.
Record-setting Mars dust storm was overdueJune 28th, 2018
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.
“Pale Blue Dot” imaged by MarCO CubeSatMay 25th, 2018
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.
Strained Mars data relay capabilities possible in 2020sMay 7th, 2018
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.
SpaceShipTwo conducts successful test flightJanuary 13th, 2018
Virgin Galactic conducted a successful test flight of the SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity vehicle on Thursday, Jan. 11. The high-speed glide test marks the seventh for VSS Unity, which reached a top speed of Mach 0.9 during the flight.
Return, return, return: CRS-13 mission marks triple-play in terms of SpaceX reuseDecember 15th, 2017
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. - The 13th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Service (CRS-13) mission roared into the Florida sky aboard a 'Full Thrust' Falcon 9 launch vehicle Friday morning. The flight-proven spacecraft and Falcon 9 first stage launched at 10:35 a.m. (15:35 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40.
SpaceX’s CRS-13 mission set for Tuesday launchDecember 11th, 2017
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX is making final preparations to launch CRS-13 in what should be the company's 17th launch of the year. The flight-proven Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles are scheduled to lift off on Dec. 12 during an “instantaneous” launch window that opens at 11:46 a.m. EST (16:46 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida.
U.S. Navy accepts control of MUOS-5November 30th, 2017
The Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC) has accepted operational control of MUOS-5 from Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy’s Communications Satellite Program Office.
Research suggests limited role for water in Mars recurring slope lineaeNovember 25th, 2017
Water may play a less significant role than previously thought in recurring slope lineae on Mars according to a paper published in Nature Geoscience on Nov. 20. Recurring slope lineae, or RSL, are dark seasonal slope streaks that occur on slope faces in some regions of Mars.
KoreaSat 5A marks 16th successful flight of 2017 for SpaceXOctober 30th, 2017
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — KoreaSat 5A was lofted into orbit at 3:34 p.m. EDT (19:34 GMT) Oct. 30, 2017, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket under clear skies from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A). This marked the third SpaceX launch this month (October) alone, continuing an ambitious 2017 launch schedule for the Hawthorne, California-based company.
Minotaur-C scheduled for Vandenberg launch on October 31October 25th, 2017
Six SkySat imaging satellites are now set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this coming Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 2:37 p.m. PDT. The launch will utilize an Orbital ATK Minotaur-C rocket.
SpaceX notches 15th Falcon 9 launch in 2017 with SES-11 missionOctober 11th, 2017
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Hot on the heels of a Falcon 9 launch on the West Coast, SpaceX sent its 15th rocket into space in 2017. The SES-11/EchoStar-105 mission came less than 60 hours after the NewSpace company sent 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit. Liftoff occurred at 6:53 p.m. EDT (22:53 GMT) Oct. 11, 2017, from Launch Complex 39A.