Spaceflight Insider

  • 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.

  • NASA funds study of possible Pluto orbiter

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 4th There's no doubt that NASA's New Horizons mission crushed it. This has emboldened the space agency to take their exploration of the far reaches of our solar system to the next level.

  • 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.

  • GALLERY: Alan Bean makes art – one more time

    Jason RhianNovember 2nd WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket successfully launched the "Alan Bean" Cygnus spacecraft at 9:59 a.m. EST (13:59 GMT) on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. The NG-12 Cygnus spacecraft and the 8,200 pounds (3,719 kg) worth of crew supplies, cargo, experiments and hardware was launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A in Virginia.

  • 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.

  • Northrop Grumman NG-12 launch could be visible four states away

    Jason RhianNovember 1st WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- Whenever a rocket lifts off it's a pretty dramatic event. The scheduled launch of a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket should be no exception. A NASA map suggests that the NG-12 flight could be visible from up to four states away.

  • New Horizons team releases images of Pluto’s far side

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 30th More than four years after New Horizons' historic July 2015 Pluto flyby, mission scientists have released detailed images of Pluto's far side, which the spacecraft was able to image only in low resolution on approach and following departure.

  • 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.

  • NASA to send VIPER to prowl Moon’s South Pole

    Jason RhianOctober 28th If humanity is going to establish a long-term presence on the Moon, it's going to need water. This precious substance can be found on the lunar surface and a newly-announced robotic explorer is being readied to seek out significant concentrations of ice. If all goes according to plan, this mission marka critical first step for planned crewed missions.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • NG-11 Cygnus released to begin multi-month post-ISS mission

    Derek RichardsonAugust 6th Northrop Grumman’s NG-11 Cygnus departed the ISS after a 109-day stay aboard the outpost to begin a multi-month free-flying secondary mission.

  • NASA teaming up with commercial companies for return to the Moon

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 5th To achieve the goal of returning humans to the Moon by 2024, NASA announced it is teaming up with commercial companies to develop new technologies for landing on and taking off from the lunar surface.

  • NASA releases report on weather satellite failure

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 2nd A NASA board assigned to investigate the April 2018 failure of an infrared-detecting instrument on board a next-generation weather satellite has released its report. The malfunction has been attributed to a pipe blockage that prevented the flow of needed coolant.

  • Bridenstine selects new director of Goddard Space Flight Center

    Joe LatrellAugust 1st Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has been assigned a new acting director by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as the previous head of the Center has opted to move on.

  • Progress MS-12 makes fast-track flight to ISS

    Derek RichardsonJuly 31st Two orbits after launching from Kazakhstan, Russia’s Progress MS-12 cargo spacecraft rendezvoused and docked with the International Space Station.

  • Here’s looking at Euclid: NASA provides crucial parts for ESA dark energy mission

    Jim SharkeyJuly 31st Dark energy and dark matter are two of the biggest mysteries facing modern astronomy. Scheduled to launch in 2022, the European Space Agency's Euclid spacecraft has been designed investigate these invisible phenomena that scientist think make up a majority of our universe. A team of NASA engineers recently delivered crucial components for one on the spacecraft's science instruments.

  • CRS-18 Dragon arrives at ISS with new docking adapter

    Derek RichardsonJuly 27th Days after threading the needle with weather to launch, SpaceX’s CRS-18 Dragon spacecraft rendezvoused and berthed with the International Space Station.

  • CRS-18 Falcon and Dragon brave storms to begin 18th ISS flight

    Cullen DesforgesJuly 25th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The Expedition 60 crew on board the International Space Station can expect to get some fresh supplies, needed hardware and - slime - in the next few days. This odd payload mix was sent on its way thanks to two venerable pieces of space hardware which were brought to bear by the NewSpace titan - SpaceX.

  • SpaceX’s 18th CRS mission delayed due to bad weather

    Cullen DesforgesJuly 24th CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX’s eighteenth flight to the International Space Station, CRS-18, which was originally scheduled to fly tonight has been delayed due to weather violations caused by Invest 94L as it made its way over the Florida peninsula.

  • Christopher Kraft leaves behind powerful legacy with passing

    Steve HammerJuly 22nd JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Texas -- Although his name isn't as well-known as Alan Shepard, John Glenn or Neil Armstrong, without the efforts of Christopher C. Kraft, NASA would likely never have left orbit let alone sent men to the Moon. Kraft passed away on Monday, July 22 at the age of 95.

  • ISRO joins exclusive club with launch of Chandrayaan-2 mission

    Jason RhianJuly 22nd A GSLV Mk III rocket lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SLP today, carrying the Chandrayaan-2. It places the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) into the 'big leagues' of space flight organizations.

  • From Lunar to LEO, MS-13 trio blasts off toward ISS

    Jason RhianJuly 20th Fifty years is a long time. In the past half-century NASA has gone from launching men to the Moon to being dependent on the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, for access to low-Earth orbit. The latest flight under the agreement took place 50 years to the day NASA achieved what was once believed to be impossible.

  • Inside the SIRIUS-19 lunar mission simulation: preparing for the next leap

    Paul KnightlyJuly 19th As the world prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, a 4-month long international lunar mission simulation is preparing to conclude in Russia. SIRIUS, which stands for Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station, aims to study human psychology and performance under a simulated lunar mission scenario in order to […]

    The Range
  • ULA preparing for third launch of 2019

    August 7th
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- United Launch Alliance (ULA) is set to conduct its first Atlas V launch in nearly 10 months with the AEHF-5 mission. The flight marks a rare flight for a venerable rocket.

  • Gallery: SpaceX completes second flight in less than two weeks with AMOS-17

    August 6th

  • Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C launched from French Guiana

    August 6th
    KOUROU, FRENCH GUIANA -- On Aug. 6, 2019 Arianespace’s third Ariane 5 ECA launch of 2019 lifted the VA249 mission off the pad located at Ariane Launch Complex Number 3 (ELA-3) in Kourou, French Guiana.

  • Installation of MEDLI2 on Mars 2020 entry vehicle begins

    August 5th
    Entry, landing and decent (EDL) is one of the most challenging phases of any Mars mission. Engineers recently began installing hardware on the entry vehicle of NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission that will help increase the safety of future missions to the Red Planet.

  • AMOS-17 flight atop SpaceX Falcon 9 delayed indefinitely

    August 4th
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The flight of Spacecom's AMOS-17 telecommunications satellite has been postponed indefinitely according to a tweet posted by the Air Force Space Command on Aug. 3. This delay comes shortly after SpaceX, the launch service provider, had announced an issue with the rocket and the need for additional testing.

  • Suspect valve delays AMOS-17 launch

    August 1st
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- With several tropical disturbances bearing down on the Sunshine State, an issue with the AMOS-17 Falcon 9 has caused the satellite's launch to be delayed.

  • Spacecom’s faith in SpaceX remains solid in lead up to AMOS-17 launch

    August 1st
    CAPE CANAVERAL, FLa. -- SpaceX might be based out of California, but the NewSpace company is making its presence known in Florida. An upcoming flight could serve as a renewal of sorts for a relationship with one of the company's clients.

  • Challenges and triumphs mark TESS’ first year on orbit

    July 30th
    NASA’S Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) recently celebrated one year of operational status with the discovery of one of the smallest exoplanets found to date. For those working on the project, its discoveries are just a small part of the mission's success.

  • I have the power! Mars 2020 rover completes critical milestone

    July 29th
    With just one year to go before the Mars 2020 rover's scheduled launch, work is commencing on the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) that will serve as the rover's power source.

  • Gallery: CRS-18 another check in the ‘Win Box’ for SpaceX

    July 25th

  • Conference keeps focus on Pluto following New Horizons flyby

    July 23rd
    LAUREL, MD. -- A four-day science conference organized by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), Universities Space Research Association (USRA), and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) held July 14-18 focused on findings obtained by the New Horizons spacecraft as it flew by the Pluto system in 2015 and Kuiper Belt Object Ultima Thule in 2019.

  • OneWeb and Airbus open facility for mass production of communication satellites

    July 23rd
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- OneWeb Satellites, a joint-venture company started by OneWeb and Airbus in 2016, has opened the first facility that will mass produce communication satellites, with the goal of providing broadband Internet access worldwide.

  • VP Pence reinforces lunar convictions at Apollo 11 celebration

    July 21st
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday, July 19 at the center’s Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. His appearance came at a time when the agency both remembered past achievements and worked toward restoring along-lost capability.

  • Mars 2020 rover makes ‘pit stop’ at JPL

    July 19th
    The launch window for NASA's Mars 2020 rover opens in just under a year, and engineers at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have been hard at work assembling the vehicle in the clean room of JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility. As one might imagine getting a vehicle prepped for such a massive undertaking - is a group effort.

  • Virginia Tech celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

    July 17th
    BLACKSBURG, Va. -- “The Real McCoy”, that’s what astronaut Michael Collins wrote on the cover of the Apollo 11 flight plan on display at the "Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 presentation at Virginia Tech." That is a great way to describe this collection of memorabilia and artifacts. The flight plan, which outlined all aspects of the mission, was just a small part of the presentation however.