Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Space Centers

  • Titan’s haze captured in Cassini photo

    Jason RhianJanuary 17th, 2018

    Downtown L.A. has got nothing on Saturn's moon Titan, at least in terms of smoggy haze that is. Imagery captured by the Cassini spacecraft prior to its plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017 shows a world blanketed in a dense mist.

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides sneak peek at new Astronaut Training Experience®

    Ryan ChylinskiJanuary 14th, 2018

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Hazy with excitement, you regain your composure. Your vision clears. The sound of heavy boots on metal echos loudly despite the noise around you. The iconic orange gantry comes into view and you wave to the automated cameras. Millions around the world are watching. You are poised to travel to Mars via the Astronaut Training Experience.

  • NASA’s MAVEN mission providing insights into life on distant worlds

    Jason RhianDecember 31st, 2017

    Mars. Long a destination dreamed of by the public in general and space enthusiasts in particular, is providing insights about the length of time that other planets can support life. How long would a planet like Mars, orbiting a distant red dwarf star be habitable? One of NASA's Scout Program missions is helping to develop an answer.

  • Astronomy satellite deployed by JPL

    Jason RhianDecember 30th, 2017

    With research dollars and room on launch vehicles at a premium, the miniaturization of payloads has become an ever-more used means in which researchers and those seeking to prove out their technologies can fly in space. The ASTERIA CubeSat that was recently deployed from the International Space Station could serve to further validate the emerging technology for astronomy purposes.

  • Fueling operations for SBIRS GEO-4 mission begin

    Jason RhianDecember 21st, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The flight of the fourth Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite is getting closer to its targeted January 2018 launch date.

  • SLS launch pad undergoes water tests in preparation for EM-1

    Jason RhianDecember 21st, 2017

    NASA conducted a wet flow test at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39B on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. The test helped validate a system designed to protect NASA's new super-heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System. It also served to confirm it is ready to support the launch vehicle's first flight, Exploration Mission 1, currently slated to take place in 2019.

  • Three companies tapped to produce prototypes for NASA’s ‘FabLab’ initiative

    Jason RhianDecember 14th, 2017

    NASA's Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) program has selected three companies to produce "FabLab" prototypes of machines that can be used for space-based, on-demand fabrication.

  • NASA has the angle on Opportunity’s longevity

    Curt GodwinDecember 8th, 2017

    Operating long past its original mission of 90 Martian solar days – also known as "sols" – NASA's Opportunity rover has survived another passage through the deepest part of the Martian winter. Drawing on years of experience, operators positioned the stalwart robot on a northward-facing incline to give Opportunity's solar panels the best chance of generating enough electricity to survive the Ma...

  • NASA Glenn reinventing the wheel to aid future Mars rovers

    Michael ColeDecember 8th, 2017

    GLENN RESEARCH CENTER, Ohio — One of the most important high-tech components of future Mars rovers may be, of all things, its wheels.

  • NASA plans ‘souped-up’ rover for Mars 2020 mission

    Jim SharkeyDecember 1st, 2017

    The rover for NASA's Mars 2020 mission bears a strong resemblance to the Curiosity rover currently exploring the surface of Mars. However, it will have a number of improvements and instruments to carry out its search for signs of past microbial life on the Red Planet. A recent NASA press release described the rover as a "souped-up science machine".

  • NASA, Department of Energy testing ‘Kilopower’ space nuclear reactor

    Collin SkocikNovember 26th, 2017

    In preparing for possible missions to the Red Planet in the near future, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) has been given the go-ahead to test a small nuclear reactor that could one day run equipment on the Martian surface.

  • Insider Exclusive: America’s ‘Booster Belt’ Part Three (conclusion) – Marshall

    Jason RhianNovember 24th, 2017

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- We were headed out to the final stop of our tour of Marshall Space Flight Center where we would be shown the test stands that are being prepared to validate the various components that will comprise NASA's new crew-rated rocket - the Space Launch System.

  • Insider Exclusive: America’s ‘Booster Belt’ Part Three (continued) – Marshall

    Jason RhianNovember 23rd, 2017

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- SpaceFlight Insider continued its tour of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center with a stop to speak with Heather Haney, NASA's SLS (Space Launch System) Stages Element Test Manager. She detailed the work being done to ready the massive new rocket's core stage ready for its inaugural flight.

  • Insider Exclusive: America’s ‘Booster Belt’ Part Three – Marshall

    Jason RhianNovember 22nd, 2017

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Named after General of the Army George Marshall, Marshall Space Flight Center is where NASA develops its rocket propulsion and other space flight systems. Used during the heady days of Apollo to check out the powerful F-1 engines used on the Saturn V Moon rockets, the site was later utilized to start the Space Shuttles' 30 year legacy. We wondered though, would the folks who...

  • Delta II rocket successfully launches NOAA’s JPSS-1 satellite

    Ocean McIntyreNovember 18th, 2017

    VANDENBERG, Calif. — In a spectacular nighttime launch from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United Launch Alliance’s penultimate Delta II rocket successfully lofted the newest and most advanced weather satellite in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)’s fleet into polar orbit early this morning on November 18, 2017.

  • Launch of JPSS-1 scrubbed again, high upper-level winds to blame

    Jason RhianNovember 15th, 2017

    The flight of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket with its payload of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Joint Polar Satellite System 1 (JPSS-1) spacecraft has been delayed for a second time. However, whereas yesterday's (Nov. 14) scrub was caused by wayward boaters, issues with the atmosphere were to blame for today's delay.

  • Launch of NOAA’s JPSS-1 slips 24 hours

    Ocean McIntyreNovember 14th, 2017

    The launch of the first of NOAA’s planned four Joint Polar Satellite System satellites, JPSS-1, was scrubbed early in the morning of Nov. 14, 2017, due to a combination of wayward boats that had crossed into restricted space as well as a couple of positions that reported technical “no-goes” during the countdown and system checks.

  • X3 Hall thruster sets records at NASA Glenn

    Michael ColeNovember 10th, 2017

    GLENN RESEARCH CENTER,  Ohio — Researchers at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, and the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, have completed a round of important tests on a new ion thruster system that may one day provide propulsion for materials and crews on future missions to Mars.

  • NASA’s Mars 2020 rover to be equipped with 23 ‘eyes’

    Ocean McIntyreNovember 4th, 2017

    One of the key instruments that has accompanied every rover since Pathfinder became the first rover to land on the surface of Mars in 1997 are imagers – cameras. NASA’s newest rover continues this trend. In addition, it continues the trend of increased visible acuity that accompanies the increased instrument performance and improved technology.

  • Century-old data holds earliest evidence for existence of exoplanets

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 3rd, 2017

    Exoplanets, or planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, were first discovered in the 1990s, but old photographic plates taken nearly 100 years ago and recently found in storerooms at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, contain the first evidence of their existence.