Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Space Centers

  • Advanced Electric Propulsion System successfully tested at NASA’s Glenn Research Center

    Jason RhianJuly 8th, 2017

    A new propulsion system, funded by the Space Technology Mission Directorate, underwent a series of tests at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Ohio. The tests were conducted on a Power Processing Unit, or "PPU", for an Advanced Electric Propulsion System that is hoped could be used on either NASA's deep space missions or by the space agency's commercial partners.

  • New driving algorithm helps protect Curiosity rover’s wheels

    Jim SharkeyJuly 4th, 2017

    The six wheels of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover have experienced considerable wear and tear since the one-ton rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. However, a new algorithm is helping the rover drive more carefully over rocks on the Martian surface to reduce wheel wear.

  • Raytheon continues support for astronaut training at NBL

    Tomasz NowakowskiJune 30th, 2017

    NASA has awarded Raytheon Company a new contract to continue mission support at the agency’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) in Houston, Texas. The new $154-million contract allows the company to provide technical and engineering support at the facility for the next seven years.

  • NASA sounding rocket releases artificial clouds above mid-Atlantic

    Jason RhianJune 29th, 2017

    On Thursday, June 29, after numerous delays, the early morning skies along the mid-Atlantic coast came alive with luminescent clouds as NASA checked out a new deployment system that supports science studies of the ionosphere and aurora.

  • Insider Q & A: From concept to reality – KSC as a Multi-User Spaceport

    Jason RhianJune 11th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Anyone who spends time in or around Florida's Space Coast has heard one phrase repeatedly used in the past few years: Multi-User Spaceport. What does that mean? To find out, SFI spoke with two NASA representatives intimately aware of the agency's efforts to expand the diverse array of organizations operating out of the center.

  • ‘Custom’ ride on the road to Mars unveiled at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

    Mike HowardJune 7th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — More and more, NASA and its family of contractors are focusing their attention on the Red Planet, and an event held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Monday, June 5, showed off some sporty new wheels that any astronaut would love to use when cruising the flash-frozen plains of Mars.

  • Eyes on: Watching NASA Work on the JWST with ‘Webb-cam’

    Larry KlaesJune 5th, 2017

    NASA has continued its very popular "Webb-cam" monitoring of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) with a special Webb camera installed in NASA's Johnson Space Center clean room in front of the massive thermal vacuum testing chamber known as Chamber A.

  • University students innovate at NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition

    Michael McCabeMay 26th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Students from dozens of universities across the United States gathered at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA's 2017 Robotic Mining Competition (NRMC). Students showcased and competed with their robotic concepts, which could potentially be used by NASA on actual future off-Earth mining.

  • Psyche mission to reach metallic asteroid 4 years earlier than planned

    Bart LeahyMay 24th, 2017

    NASA announced on May 24, 2017, that it would be launching the Discovery-class Psyche mission one year earlier, which will enable it to reach the nickel-iron asteroid Psyche four years earlier than previously planned. Thanks to spacecraft and trajectory redesigns, Psyche is now scheduled to launch in 2022 and will reach its destination in 2026.

  • Juno spacecraft makes fifth science pass of Jupiter

    Jim SharkeyMay 24th, 2017

    NASA's Juno mission made a close flyby of the planet Jupiter on May 19, successfully completing the spacecraft's fifth science orbit of the gas giant. JunoCam and all of the spacecraft's science instruments were operating during the flyby. Juno's next close flyby, which will take it over Jupiter's Great Red Spot, will take place on July 11, 2017.

  • SLS structural test article arrives at Marshall

    Scott JohnsonMay 17th, 2017

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — On May 15, NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) core stage engine section structural test article (STA) arrived at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. The STA will soon be placed in a test stand located in MSFC's Building 4619 and subjected to extreme loads to certify the section for flight.

  • James Webb Space Telescope prepares for deep freeze

    SpaceFlight InsiderMay 15th, 2017

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) continued its long and meandering journey to space with a stop in Houston, Texas. The telescope has been moved to Johnson Space Center so it can undergo the last cryogenic test before the massive observatory is launched into space in 2018.

  • Space Launch System test hardware damaged in incident

    Derek RichardsonMay 11th, 2017

    The aft dome of a liquid oxygen tank test article for the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage was damaged in an incident at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, according to a Marshall Space Flight Center public affairs officer.

  • Where’s the Beef? NASA OA-7 mission takes a look at astronauts’ menu

    Jim SiegelApril 21st, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — One of many challenges of long-duration space travel is storing the necessary food and other supplies. Without a way to replenish supplies, a mission to Mars would have to be self-sustaining. One way of reducing the very large amount of food required for such a trip would be to grow some of that food on the way.

  • Planets orbiting double-star systems could support life, study suggests

    Jim SharkeyApril 16th, 2017

    When NASA's Kepler spacecraft first discovered a planet that orbited two stars, comparisons were made to Luke Skywalker's desert home planet Tatooine in the "Star Wars" movies.

  • Strikes in French Guiana halt launches at Guiana Space Centre

    Bart LeahyMarch 29th, 2017

    KOUROU, French Guiana — Mass protests, driven by unions and public outcry over crime rates and unemployment issues, have shut down operations at France’s Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. While space exploration is not a central issue in the protests, union members have gone on strike at the spaceport to call attention to the problems facing the French department.

  • PUFFER: An origami-inspired robot may go places rovers can’t

    Jim SharkeyMarch 24th, 2017

    JPL is developing a small, origami-inspired robot that may serve as a scout for the next rovers to explore another planet. The new design could revolutionize the manner in which future space exploration missions are carried out.

  • OneWeb and Airbus break ground on new satellite manufacturing facility

    Jason RhianMarch 17th, 2017

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Ground was broken for a new high-volume satellite manufacturing facility where OneWeb plans to produce the spacecraft at Exploration Park, located near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. While the Cape is known for rockets, this new venture will underscore Canaveral's connection to the spacecraft that fly on them.

  • Traffic Jam: Space Coast could see 3 launches in 8 days

    Bart LeahyMarch 12th, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Three different rockets are expected to take to the skies from the Space Coast in as little as eight days. March 2017 is expected to be a busy month in a year that could see as many as 30 rockets lift off from one of the busiest spaceports in the world.

  • Automated flight safety improving space access

    Bart LeahyMarch 2nd, 2017

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After supporting over 3,500 launches in the past 70 years, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) faces a busy 2017. With a scheduled flight manifest of some 30 launches, the Eastern Range is changing the way it handles flight safety to satisfy a wider array of customers.