Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Scott Johnson

Scott earned both a Bachelor's Degree in public administration, and a law degree, from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He currently practices law in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood. Scott first remembers visiting Marshall Space Flight Center in 1978 to get an up-close look at the first orbiter, Enterprise, which had been transported to Huntsville for dynamic testing. More recently, in 2006, he participated in an effort at the United States Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) to restore the long-neglected Skylab 1-G Trainer. This led to a volunteer position, with the USSRC curator, where he worked for several years maintaining exhibits and archival material, including flown space hardware. Scott attended the STS - 110, 116 and 135 shuttle launches, along with Ares I-X, Atlas V MSL and Delta IV NROL-15 launches. More recently, he covered the Atlas V SBIRS GEO-2 and MAVEN launches, along with the Antares ORB-1, SpaceX CRS-3, and Orion EFT-1 launches.

Articles By Scott Johnson

  • From double to triple: Why the landing Falcon 9 creates three sonic booms

    July 27th, 2016

    One of the iconic sounds of the Space Shuttle era has returned to the Space Coast—the sonic boom. The returning Shuttle orbiter produced a signature double sonic boom on its approach to Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. Similar sounds were heard again in the early morning hours of July 18 as SpaceX's Falcon 9 first stage returned to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's (CCAFS) Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1), formerly Launch Complex 13, creating a triple sonic boom.

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne tests AR1 engine component

    June 21st, 2016

    Aerojet Rocketdyne (Rocketdyne) announced on June 17 that its AR1 engine preburner had achieved full-power—verifying injector design parameters—during a series of tests earlier this month at NASA’s Stennis Space Center (SSC) in Mississippi.

  • After hiatus, ULA to launch two rockets in June

    May 25th, 2016

    After a two month hiatus, United Launch Alliance (ULA) is ready to resume launches from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) with a Delta IV mission on June 4 from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 37, followed by an Atlas V 551 three weeks later.

  • SpaceX awarded $82.7 million USAF GPS III launch contract

    May 2nd, 2016

    This past week, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) announced that Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) has been awarded the launch services contract for the GPS-III-2 satellite – scheduled for launch in May 2018.

  • Orbital ATK, ULA mark 500th composite structure’s production

    April 25th, 2016

    IUKA, Miss. — When you think of Mississippi aerospace, NASA's Stennis Space Center probably first comes to mind. However, another aerospace "outpost" is located in the northeast corner of the state – Orbital ATK's Large Structures Center of Excellence. It is at this location that an important milestone had been reached.

  • Todd May named director of Marshall Space Flight Center

    February 2nd, 2016

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Earlier this week, NASA announced that Todd May has been named director of the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center. May was appointed as MSFC's deputy director in August 2015 and has served as acting director since former director Patrick Scheuermann retired in November of last year.

  • NASA’s EM-1 Orion spacecraft ready to ship to Florida

    January 30th, 2016

    NEW ORLEANS, La. — On Jan. 26, NASA and Lockheed Martin hosted members of the media at the agency's MAF, to view the recently completed EM-1 Orion pressure vessel – the underlying structure on which all of the spacecraft’s systems and subsystems will be built and integrated.

  • NASA’s Bill Hill talks SLS scheduling and Exploration Upper Stage

    January 29th, 2016

    NEW ORLEANS, La. — On Jan. 26, while at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, SpaceFlight Insider had the chance to speak with Bill Hill, the agency's deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development, and Steve Doering, SLS' Core Stage manager. During our conversation, we gained an update on key SLS issues.

  • NASA Administrator views progress of new Marshall Center test stand

    December 15th, 2015

    On Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, astronaut Butch Wilmore, members of the media, and others gathered at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center to view progress on the new SLS core stage liquid hydrogen tank test stand.

  • NASA signs new Space Launch System RS-25 engine contract

    November 26th, 2015

    On Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne announced a $1.16 billion contract for Aerojet Rocketdyne to resume production of the RS-25 engines that helped power the Shuttle to orbit for 30 years.

  • 8th Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium

    November 4th, 2015

    Last week, SpaceFlight Insider had the opportunity to attend the American Astronautical Society's (AAS) 8th Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium at The University of Alabama, Huntsville.

  • ULA delivers SLS upper stage test article to Boeing

    October 28th, 2015

    DECATUR, Ala. — On Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, United Launch Alliance (ULA) symbolically handed over the first test version of the Space Launch System's (SLS) upper stage to Boeing, the primary contractor for the SLS first (core) stage and avionics. This marked just one more step on the road to the booster taking flight as soon as 2018.

  • Marshall Space Flight Center Center Director announces retirement

    October 22nd, 2015

    On Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Director, Patrick Scheuermann, in an e-mail to MSFC employees, announced his retirement – effective Nov. 13. A replacement has yet to be named; however, the front-runner for the position is someone very familiar with one of MSFC's lead programs.

  • George Mueller, ‘Father’ of the Space Shuttle, passes away

    October 18th, 2015

    Dr. George E. Mueller, the leader of NASA's human spaceflight programs in the 1960s, died of congestive heart failure on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, at his home in Irvine, Cal. He was 97 and is survived by his second wife, Darla; two children from his first marriage, Jean Porter and Karen Hyvonen; two stepchildren, Wendy Schwartzman and Bill Schwartzman; 13 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

  • NASA names John Honeycutt new SLS Program Manager

    October 12th, 2015

    This past week, NASA named John Honeycutt as the manager for the U.S. space agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) Program. Honeycutt succeeds Todd May, who in August was promoted to deputy director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) located in Huntsville, Alabama.