Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Space Centers

  • Lucky 113: NASA tests RS-25 engine at highest-ever power level

    Curt GodwinFebruary 23rd, 2018

    Engineers at NASA's Stennis Space Center conducted a test of the Space Launch System's (SLS) RS-25 engine, pushing the design to the highest level ever recorded for the powerhouse previously used to send Space Shuttles into orbit. The Aerojet Rocketdyne-manufactured engine reached a peak output of 113 percent of rated power during the Feb. 21, 2018, firing at the coastal Mississippi site.

  • NASA’s Opportunity rover still finding surprises on Mars

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 19th, 2018

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover continues to make surprising discoveries during its fourteenth year exploring the red Planet. Most recently, the rover has observed evidence of possible "rock strips." In recent images from the rover, the texture of the ground looks like a smudged version of distinctive stone strips on some mountain slopes on Earth that are the result of reoccurring cycles of freezing...

  • NASA prepares Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to support future missions

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 11th, 2018

    Since arriving in orbit above the Red Planet in 2006, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has observed Mars with it scientific instruments and provided a vital communications link for mission on the Martian surface. The spacecraft has already operated for more than twice its planned mission lifetime. NASA is planning to keep using it well into the 2020's to support upcoming missions. The spac...

  • Astronaut Jack Fischer shares “Awesome” ISS experiences during visit to NASA Glenn

    Michael ColeJanuary 27th, 2018

    GLENN RESEARCH CENTER, Ohio -- Astronaut Jack Fischer's favorite word is Awesome. And why not? If your job consists of rocketing into orbit aboard a Soyuz spacecraft and spending 136 days on the International Space Station, the word awesome is probably an accurate descriptor.

  • SFI LIVE: ULA launch of SBIRS GEO 4

    Jason RhianJanuary 18th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- ULA is planning on sending the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 4 mission for the U.S. Air Force to orbit. The flight is currently scheduled to begin as early as 7:48 p.m. EST (00:48 GMT on Friday, Jan. 20) atop an Atlas V 411 rocket from Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. SpaceFlight Insider's Live Show is slated to begin at 7:20 p.m. EST.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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.