Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Missions

  • This Bud’s for you! SpaceX sends ‘King of Beers’ to orbit on CRS-19

    Jim SiegelDecember 5th, 2019

    Propellant? Check. Science experiments? Check. Hardware? Check. Budweiser? Checkity-check!

  • Two centaur missions proposed to NASA’s Discovery program

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 22nd, 2019

    NASA is considering two Discovery Program missions that would head to the deepest regions of our solar system to study far flung bodies that reside there.

  • Virgin Galactic begins Astronaut Readiness Program

    Cullen DesforgesNovember 21st, 2019

    The commercial space industry is one step closer toward achieving its goal of sending paying customers to suborbit.

  • New Horizons’ second target is formally named Arrokoth

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 15th, 2019

    The double-lobed Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) located one billion miles beyond Pluto and visited by the New Horizons spacecraft on January 1, 2019, has been officially named Arrokoth, which means sky in the Native American Powhatan/Algonquian language.

  • Boeing completes test of hyper-critical pad abort system

    Jim SiegelNovember 4th, 2019

    With SpaceX steamrolling ahead toward achieving the goal of sending U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station, Boeing took a step of its own today toward accomplishing the same feat.

  • NASA funds study of possible Pluto orbiter

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 4th, 2019

    There's no doubt that NASA's New Horizons mission crushed it. This has emboldened the space agency to take their exploration of the far reaches of our solar system to the next level.

  • Critical tests for Boeing and SpaceX’s crewed efforts slated for next week

    Jason RhianNovember 1st, 2019

    If things go according to plan next week, NASA, Boeing and SpaceX will check key systems that are required to keep astronauts safe on their way to orbit. If these last checks can be completed, the agency could finally regain a capability it lost almost a decade ago.

  • New Horizons team releases images of Pluto’s far side

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 30th, 2019

    More than four years after New Horizons' historic July 2015 Pluto flyby, mission scientists have released detailed images of Pluto's far side, which the spacecraft was able to image only in low resolution on approach and following departure.

  • U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B shuttle returns under cover of night

    Cullen DesforgesOctober 28th, 2019

    MERRITT ISLAND, FL – After a record-breaking 780 days on orbit the United States Air Force’s secretive space plane, the X-37B, touched down on Runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center on Oct. 27, 2019.

  • NASA to send VIPER to prowl Moon’s South Pole

    Jason RhianOctober 28th, 2019

    If humanity is going to establish a long-term presence on the Moon, it's going to need water. This precious substance can be found on the lunar surface and a newly-announced robotic explorer is being readied to seek out significant concentrations of ice. If all goes according to plan, this mission marka critical first step for planned crewed missions.

  • Passengers on upcoming VG flights will get pins for spiffy new uniforms

    Jason RhianOctober 27th, 2019

    When Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo takes to the skies with paying customers, those flying onboard the will be awarded pins by the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) upon their return. This, however, will not be the apparel that will mark their voyage. Recent events suggest that Virgin Galactic is about to open its operational doors.

  • ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this…’ Space Wars might be just around the corner

    Jim SiegelOctober 26th, 2019

    Excitement is building as Star Wars aficionados are already rushing the virtual box office to buy tickets for the Dec. 20 release of the long-anticipated final episode of the Star Wars saga, The Rise of Skywalker. But how close are those not in a galaxy "far, far away" away from experiencing actual wars in space?

  • Second group of names approved for features on Pluto

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 24th, 2019

    A second set of names for features on Pluto, already used informally by members of NASA's New Horizons mission, has received formal approval by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the organization that names celestial objects and their features.

  • Motel Rooms and Gas Stations: How to Leave Mars

    Jay GallentineOctober 24th, 2019

    One day in the future, humans might actually land on the surface of Mars. After collecting rock samples, taking photos and performing all the other tasks demanded by this mission, the intrepid explorers will then face a daunting challenge, one often overlooked by most - leaving.

  • Cameras on Mars 2020 rover confirmed to have perfect vision

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 7th, 2019

    Tests conducted on several of the cameras that have been installed on the Mars 2020 rover have confirmed that they have perfect, 20/20 This is one of the more critical aspects of the mission as it will help guide the vision.

  • NG-11 Cygnus released to begin multi-month post-ISS mission

    Derek RichardsonAugust 6th, 2019

    Northrop Grumman’s NG-11 Cygnus departed the ISS after a 109-day stay aboard the outpost to begin a multi-month free-flying secondary mission.

  • Installation of MEDLI2 on Mars 2020 entry vehicle begins

    Jim SharkeyAugust 5th, 2019

    Entry, landing and decent (EDL) is one of the most challenging phases of any Mars mission. Engineers recently began installing hardware on the entry vehicle of NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission that will help increase the safety of future missions to the Red Planet.

  • NASA teaming up with commercial companies for return to the Moon

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 5th, 2019

    To achieve the goal of returning humans to the Moon by 2024, NASA announced it is teaming up with commercial companies to develop new technologies for landing on and taking off from the lunar surface.

  • Progress MS-12 makes fast-track flight to ISS

    Derek RichardsonJuly 31st, 2019

    Two orbits after launching from Kazakhstan, Russia’s Progress MS-12 cargo spacecraft rendezvoused and docked with the International Space Station.

  • I have the power! Mars 2020 rover completes critical milestone

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 29th, 2019

    With just one year to go before the Mars 2020 rover's scheduled launch, work is commencing on the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) that will serve as the rover's power source.