Spaceflight Insider

  • SpaceX starts 2020 with Starlink launch

    Patrick AttwellJanuary 6th SpaceX's Starlink constellation just got a major boost.

  • OPINION: 2019 – Numbers and Names

    Jason RhianJanuary 1st Well that happened. 2019 was a roller-coaster of ups and downs that will have far-reaching consequences for future space exploration efforts.

  • SpaceX prepares for first of many Starlink launches in 2020

    Jim SiegelDecember 31st 2020 looks to be a big year for space. The next twelve months could see the U.S. regain a long-lost capability and another rover should be sent on its way to the Red Planet. SpaceX is planning to kick off 2020 with the launch of the next batch of Starlink satellites.

  • What’s in a name? Mars 2020 wouldn’t know, it doesn’t have one – yet

    James RiceDecember 30th NASA's Mars 2020 rover is on the verge of traveling to the Red Planet and beginning its search for evidence of Martian life. But it's missing something very important.

  • Launch of Shijian 20 lights up Chinese skies and exploration ambitions

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 28th China has big plans for its space program. But before it can achieve them, it needed to make sure a key launch vehicle was up to the task. A recent mission suggests that it is.

  • NASA Mars 2020 rover passes driving test

    Jim SharkeyDecember 27th Remember how stressful it was taking your first driver's test? Now imagine driving a car that's worth $2.5 billion.

  • Russia launches final Rockot with trio of communications satellites

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 27th Russia launched its final mission on the nation's 2019 manifest when it sent three communications satellites to orbit on Friday, Dec. 27. The flight marked the close of a vehicle designed for violence.

  • ULA gets the nod to launch GOES-T satellite

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 23rd NASA has selected a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket to ferry the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-T to orbit.

  • Starliner makes history in redefined ‘victory’

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 22nd Boeing's Orbital Flight Test concluded today (Sunday Dec. 22) when the Starliner capsule touched down at White Sands Missile Range. Launched Friday, the mission saw the first U.S.-built crew-rated capsule land on soil rather than splashing down in the ocean.

  • OFT: What went wrong?

    Jim SiegelDecember 21st NASA and Boeing don't seem to know what exactly prevented the OFT Starliner from completing its primary mission objective.

  • Gallery: ULA launches OFT-1 Starliner

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 20th While Boeing's Starliner spacecraft might not have made a very good first showing under its first Commercial Crew Program (CCP) flight - United Launch Alliance's Atlas V N422 was a complete success.

  • Boeing Blunder! Starliner timing failure prevents ISS rendezvous

    SpaceFlight InsiderDecember 20th "Unplanned but stable." That's how Boeing referred to the first flight of its Starliner "space taxi." In layman's terms, the spacecraft was placed in the wrong orbit and won't be going to the International Space Station.

  • Launch of CRS-19 cargo freighter to ISS delayed

    Patrick AttwellDecember 4th Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. -- Beautifully clear skies do not necessarily ensure a launch. SpaceX, no stranger to the precise requirements for launch ran afoul of an old foe on Wednesday Dec. 4.

  • Virgin Galactic begins Astronaut Readiness Program

    Cullen DesforgesNovember 21st The commercial space industry is one step closer toward achieving its goal of sending paying customers to suborbit.

  • Report suggests NASA made a $1.6B Boeing mistake

    Patrick AttwellNovember 15th A damning new report released by NASA’s Office of Inspector General paints a dismal picture of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The report suggests one of the two participants attempted to extort the space agency for more money.

  • Boeing completes test of hyper-critical pad abort system

    Jim SiegelNovember 4th 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.

  • OPINION: SpaceX’s upcoming Starlink mission means more than ending Florida’s launch drought

    Curt GodwinNovember 3rd The Space Coast has not seen a liftoff since Aug. 22. SpaceX is set to launch the second group of its Starlink satellites on Nov. 11, ending a two-month "drought" of ground launches from Florida. This upcoming mission has a lot more riding on it other than just alleviating that.

  • Northrop Grumman’s NG 12 paints the sky in honor of an American legend

    Patrick AttwellNovember 2nd WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. – NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program continues to send payloads arcing across the sky. Today Northrop Grumman did it again, this one's orbital trajectory was marked - with a paintbrush.

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

    Jason RhianNovember 1st 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.

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

    Cullen DesforgesOctober 28th 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.

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

    Jason RhianOctober 27th 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 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?

  • Blue Origin leads consortium of space stalwarts to develop Human Landing System

    Curt GodwinOctober 25th Although the company has yet to launch a single human into suborbital space, much less into orbit, Blue Origin plans to be a key player in NASA's return to the Moon. At present, it's unclear if a recent announcement will join others in the lunar regolith or ignite a new era of human lunar exploration.

  • Motel Rooms and Gas Stations: How to Leave Mars

    Jay GallentineOctober 24th 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.

  • Delta IV Medium ends 17-Year run with 100% success

    Jim SiegelAugust 25th ULA's Delta IV Medium rocket, which made its debut flight in 2002, finished its 17-year career by propelling a GPS III satellite into medium Earth orbit.

  • AEHF 5 lights up the sky atop ULA Atlas V 551

    Patrick AttwellAugust 8th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- United Launch Alliance completed its third flight of the year on Thursday, Aug. 8. The flight got off the pad and soared into the early morning sky a little later than planned.

  • Cameras on Mars 2020 rover confirmed to have perfect vision

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 7th 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.

  • SpaceX breaks AMOS jinx with flight of AMOS-17

    Patrick AttwellAugust 6th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — It can be said that SpaceX hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to AMOS payloads. That unlucky streak was broken today with the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and its passenger, the AMOS-17 spacecraft.