Spaceflight Insider

  • No delay expected for SAOCOM 1B, Starlink missions

    Matt HaskellAugust 29th With less than 25 hours remaining until the second planned lift off of a possible double-header flight day, SpaceX is marching forward with plans to launch and recover two Falcon 9 rockets, just 9 hours apart.

  • Update from ULA on abort event, status of NROL-44 payload

    Sean CostelloAugust 29th   United Launch Alliance (ULA) provided SpaceFlight Insider with additional insight and detail regarding the current status of the NROL-44 payload, launch vehicle and the efficacy of their Delta IV Heavy auto-launch system.

  • Hot Fire Abort safely keeps Delta IV Heavy, NROL-44 on the ground

    Sean CostelloAugust 29th A hot fire abort was called at T-3 seconds, after ignition of engines aboard the Delta IV Heavy but prior to the vehicle being released for flight.

  • SpaceX aiming for first polar launch from Florida in 60 years

    Cullen DesforgesAugust 28th On August 30, SpaceX is planning to make another entry in the modern-day history books, flying a launch trajectory not seen from Florida’s Space Coast in over 60 years. The mission to launch the SAOCOM-1B payload into a sun-synchronous polar orbit is also part of a rare, two-launch day on the Eastern Range.

  • SpaceX confirms back-to-back Sunday launch plans.

    Theresa CrossAugust 28th SpaceX has confirmed their intent to proceed with back-to-back Falcon 9 launches on Sunday, August 30, from each of their two launch facilities on Florida’s Space Coast.

  • NROL-44 slips to Saturday, weather remains 80% go

    Sean CostelloAugust 27th The launch of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy NROL-44 mission is now set for Sat., Aug. 29.

  • 24-hour scrub leaves Delta IV and NROL-44 on the pad at SLC-37

    Theresa CrossAugust 27th This morning’s planned launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta lV Heavy rocket, set to carry the NROL-44 mission, was scrubbed while the countdown was in a planned hold at T-minus 4 hours and 15 minutes.

  • ULA set to launch mission for National Reconnaissance Office

    Matt HaskellAugust 26th United Launch Alliance is preparing to launch the NROL-44 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office atop their Delta IV Heavy rocket early Thursday morning. 

  • Pluto’s glaciers change with its seasons

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 26th Using data returned by NASA’s New Horizons mission’s July 2015 Pluto flyby, a group of researchers discovered evidence that the dwarf planet’s glaciers expand and grow in response to seasonal changes.

  • A busy week planned for the Space Coast, 3 launches in 3 days

    Theresa CrossAugust 25th The countdown is on for three planned launches from Cape Canaveral this week, beginning with an early morning United Launch Alliance flight scheduled for 06:12 GMT (2:21 a.m. EDT), Thursday August 27. Launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 37B, the triple body Delta-lV Heavy rocket (the largest of the Delta lV family) […]

  • SpaceX successfully launches Booster for the sixth time

    Theresa CrossAugust 18th On August 18 at 10:31 a.m. EDT, SpaceX successfully launched the latest batch of 58 corporate satellites from Cape Canaveral Florida, destined to become part of their growing Starlink constellation.

  • Final Kounotori cargo spacecraft leaves ISS

    Derek RichardsonAugust 18th After more than a decade of service, Japan’s final first-generation HTV cargo resupply spacecraft has departed the International Space Station, setting the stage for a new HTV-X vehicle capable of service in low Earth orbit and beyond.

  • SpaceX successfully launches Booster for the sixth time

    Theresa CrossAugust 18th On August 18 at 10:31 a.m. EDT, SpaceX successfully launched the latest batch of 58 corporate satellites from Cape Canaveral Florida, destined to become part of their growing Starlink constellation.

  • Final Kounotori cargo spacecraft leaves ISS

    Derek RichardsonAugust 18th After more than a decade of service, Japan’s final first-generation HTV cargo resupply spacecraft has departed the International Space Station, setting the stage for a new HTV-X vehicle capable of service in low Earth orbit and beyond.

  • SpaceX set to launch its 100th Mission with Starlink and SkySat

    Cullen DesforgesAugust 18th SpaceX is on the cusp of launching its 100th mission, due to loft the eleventh batch of Starlink satellites on Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, atop their Falcon 9 rocket.

  • Fourth GPS satellite arrives safely in Florida

    Cullen DesforgesAugust 10th On July 14, the fourth satellite in the Global Positioning System III (GPS III) system arrived at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, for processing in preparation of its launch in September.

  • Demo-2 Crew Dragon Capsule returns to Space Coast

    Sean CostelloAugust 7th “Endeavour”, the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft which made history as the first commercial vehicle to ferry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, has returned to the Space Coast.

  • SES awards launch contracts to ULA & SpaceX

    Matt HaskellAugust 7th SES has contracted both United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX to fly its newest four C-band satellites into orbit in 2022.

  • Starship ‘SN5’ takes flight as SpaceX marches forward

    Cullen DesforgesAugust 4th For the second time in just three days, SpaceX has succeeded in showcasing their team’s capabilities and readiness to redefine the future of commercial space travel. Earlier today, August 4, 2020, the company completed a test flight of its Starship prototype vehicle, dubbed SN5, ‘hopping’ to an altitude of 150 meters above its rocket development […]

  • Demo-2 Crew Dragon splashes down after 2-month mission

    Derek RichardsonAugust 2nd After two months aboard the International Space Station, Dragonship Endeavour with its two-person astronaut crew is back on Earth, having splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

  • Weather being watched ahead of Demo-2 return

    Theresa CrossJuly 31st SpaceX and NASA, in preparation for the upcoming undocking of the DEMO-2 Crew Dragon from the International Space Station, are continuing to monitor weather patterns in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

  • Perseverance rover launches on its journey to explore Mars

    Matt HaskellJuly 30th CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – At 7:50 a.m. EDT, the ULA Atlas V rocket lifted off on its journey to Mars with NASA’s Perseverance rover, and Ingenuity helicopter.

  • NASA, ULA on the eve of launch of Perseverance Mars rover

    Matt HaskellJuly 29th Years of hard work and preparation have culminated in NASA’s newest Mars rover, Perseverance, sitting  atop its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral, set to leave Earth as early as 7:50 a.m. EDT (11:50 UTC) Thursday morning.

  • Mars 2020 Flight Readiness Review complete, Launch Readiness Review tomorrow

    Theresa CrossJuly 26th Preparations continue at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the upcoming Mars 2020 launch, currently scheduled to liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 on Thursday, July 30, 2020. Most recently completed was the Flight Readiness Review, the critical review step which confirmed the readiness of the equipment, teams and resources required […]

  • First GEM 63 solid motors delivered to Cape Canaveral

    Matt HaskellJuly 24th Northrop Grumman has delivered the first 3 of their new 63-inch Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM 63) rocket motors to Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in preparation for their first launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

  • Progress MS-15 cargo ship takes ‘express lane’ to ISS

    Derek RichardsonJuly 23rd The Russian Progress MS-15 cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station in a reported record time to deliver supplies and experiments to the Expedition 63 crew, despite a last-second misalignment.

  • Spacewalkers set the stage for future ISS additions

    Derek RichardsonJuly 21st NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken completed their fourth spacewalk in less than a month to upgrade the International Space Station, setting the stage for future additions to the 20-year-old outpost.

  • SpaceX successfully catches both Anasis-2 fairing halves

    Matt HaskellJuly 21st For the very first time in the history of the storied spaceflight provider SpaceX, both Falcon 9 payload fairing halves have been successfully caught mid-flight by the companies twin recovery ships.

    The Range
  • Astronaut Douglas Hurley to serve as Demo-2 spacecraft commander

    May 8th
      NASA astronaut Douglas Gerald Hurley flew on the last crewed mission to launch from American soil 11 years ago, and fittingly, will serve as spacecraft commander of Crew Dragon Demo-2, the first crewed flight to resume launches from the US.

  • James Webb Space Telescope to unlock wonders of the Universe.

    May 8th
    The James Webb Space Telescope will work to further uncover the mysteries of the Universe after it launches in 2021 from the Guiana Space Center aboard an Ariane 5 rocket

  • Astronaut Bob Behnken will be one of two-person crew on Crew Dragon Demo-2 launch

    May 6th
    When NASA’s Crew Dragon Demo-2 launches astronauts from American soil for the first time since 2011, astronaut Robert L. “Bob” Behnken will ride on the spacecraft as the mission’s joint operations commander.

  • SpaceX completes final testing milestone before first crewed launch

    May 3rd
    SpaceX successfully completed its 27th test of the Mark 3 Parachute for the Crew Dragon capsule, fulfilling the final testing requirement for NASA certification and review of the parachute system. The test comes following several successful milestones, including January’s in flight Abort test.

  • Booster B1051 in port following Starlink-6 flight

    April 26th
    Booster B1051.4 returned to Port Canaveral on April 26, sailing into port slightly delayed relative to previous returns but looking good on the deck of the autonomous drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY).

  • 30 years since the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope

    April 24th
    Thirty years ago today, the Hubble Space Telescope took to the skies aboard STS-31 and Space Shuttle Discovery.

  • New Horizons conducts parallax experiment; team searches for KBOs

    April 24th
    More than five billion miles from Earth and over 14 years past launch, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is conducting an experiment measuring the distance to two nearby stars while mission scientists are using Earth-based telescopes to search for new Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) for the spacecraft to study.

  • Kepler data reveals Earth-like planet in star’s habitable zone

    April 21st
    Scientists who took a second look at data returned by NASA’s Kepler space telescope have discovered an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star.

  • Pluto may have deep, ancient underground ocean

    April 14th
    Two new studies of data collected by the New Horizons spacecraft during its 2015 Pluto flyby suggest the dwarf planet has a deep subsurface ocean that may have been present all 4.5 billion years of Pluto’s existence.

  • Mars’ magnetic field is 10 times stronger than previously thought

    April 14th
    Data collected by NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander on Mars has surprised scientists by indicating the Red Planet has a magnetic field 10 times stronger than previously suspected.

  • NASA adds crew member to first operational Crew Dragon mission

    April 5th
    HOUSTON, TX – On March 31, NASA announced that astronaut Shannon Walker will join fellow astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover on the first operation flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. A native of Houston, Walker began her NASA journey as a Flight Controller on behalf of Rockwell Collins during the […]

  • Voyager 2 will be on its own while DSN antenna is upgraded

    March 23rd
    The only radio telescope capable of communicating with NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft will undergo nearly 11 months of upgrades to its 230-foot- (70-meter-) wide antenna, during which it will be unable to transmit commands to the 42-year-old spacecraft, which is now traveling in interstellar space.

  • Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden passes away

    March 19th
    Alfred M. Worden, a former astronaut who served as the command module pilot of NASA’s Apollo 15 Moon mission, died in his sleep on Wednesday, March 18, at a Sugar Land, Texas, assisted living center, at the age of 88.

  • Sun is rising on launch day for SpaceX Starlink-5 mission

    March 15th
    It’s launch day! With under an hour to go before the scheduled liftoff of SpaceX’s sixth batch of 60 Starlink satellites, SpaceFlight Insider correspondent Theresa Cross is stationed along the river’s edge at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s (KSCVC) Saturn V viewing site.

  • New Horizons parallax project seeks public participation

    February 21st
    NASA’s New Horizons mission is seeking public participation in a project aimed at imaging the two closest stars, Proxima Centauri and Wolf 359, from Earth on April 22 and 23, the same day the spacecraft will photograph them from almost five billion miles (eight billion km) away.