Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Atlas V

  • GEM 63 completes 2nd static fire test

    Jason RhianApril 4th, 2019

    Northrop Grumman's new 63-inch Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63) solid rocket booster has completed another landmark in the booster's progression toward flight.

  • NG engineer details what it is like to develop GEM 63 booster

    Jason RhianDecember 20th, 2018

    PROMONTORY, Utah -- Each component of a rocket is individual, yet it must function as one on the day of launch. The GEM 63 solid rocket motor has begun taking its first steps toward being integrated into one of the most successful rockets ever flown. What were those first steps like?

  • Notes on the Run: What is it like to see a rocket launch?

    Jason RhianDecember 15th, 2018

    One of the questions I'm often asked is “What’s it like attending a rocket launch?” Perhaps the best way to answer the question is by detailing some of our recent experiences during the launch of Northrop Grumman's S.S. John Young to the International Space Station.

  • Gallery: Desolate Utah plains rumble with GEM 63’s fury

    Jason RhianSeptember 21st, 2018

    PROMONTORY, Utah — Northrop Grumman’s GEM 63 solid rocket motor conducted its first test fire at 1 p.m. MDT (3 p.m. EDT / 19:00 GMT) on Thursday, Sept. 20. The motor was tested under “cold conditions” of approximately 40 °F. The GEM 63 series is being developed for use on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V […]

  • Northrop Grumman’s GEM 63 undergoes 1st test fire

    Jason RhianSeptember 20th, 2018

    The desolate, remote deserts of Utah came alive in fire and smoke during a test that heralded the introduction of powerful new launch vehicles onto the world stage.

  • Launched in January, SBIRS GEO-3 reaches operational status

    Joe LatrellSeptember 17th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — GEO-3, the latest Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite in the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) constellation, has achieved operational acceptance from the U.S. Air Force Space Command.

  • And the winners are… NASA announces first astronauts to fly under Commercial Crew Program

    Joe LatrellAugust 3rd, 2018

    HOUSTON — The race to develop new U.S. spacecraft to ferry astronauts to space reached another milestone with the announcement of the first crews that will fly on commercially-produced spacecraft. On Aug. 3, 2018, NASA selected the astronauts who will fly on the first Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Crewed Dragon capsules.

  • Marsbound!: NASA InSight lander launches toward Red Planet

    Jim SharkeyMay 5th, 2018

    LOMPOC, Calif. — Initially flying through early-morning fog, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air force Base's Space Launch Complex 3 to send NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander on a six-month journey to Mars.

  • NASA’s InSight Mars spacecraft ready for launch

    Jim SharkeyMay 3rd, 2018

    LOMPOC, Calif. — NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are set to fly the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) Mars lander atop an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base to begin a 6.5-month journey to the Red Planet.

  • Twin MarCO CubeSats launching alongside NASA’s InSight Mars mission

    Jim SharkeyApril 28th, 2018

    When the InSight Mars mission launches atop an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, two mini-satellites will be riding on the same rocket. The twin spacecraft, called Mars Cube One (MarCO), are the first NASA CubeSats designed to operate in deep space.

  • Gallery: AFSPC-11 mission soars skyward

    Derek RichardsonApril 15th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Lifting off during the "golden hour" of photography, United Launch Alliance flew its Atlas V rocket with the AFSPC-11 mission into space. SpaceFlight Insider was able to capture vivid imagery via remote cameras on the pad and from team members on a causeway several miles away.

  • ULA notches another successful mission with flight of USAF payloads on AFSPC-11

    Curt GodwinApril 14th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Amidst scattered clouds, United Launch Alliance (ULA) notched its fourth successful flight of 2018. The April 14, 2018, AFSPC-11 mission was a classified one, however, carried out on behalf of the United States Air Force.

  • SFI LIVE: Launch of AFSPC-11 on ULA Atlas V

    Jason RhianApril 14th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket is poised to send the United States Air Force's AFSPC-11 mission with the launch window slated to open at 7:13 p.m. ET. The flight is set to get underway from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41. SpaceFlight Insider's live show is currently scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. ET.

  • Turning it up to 11: Atlas V to launch pair of AFSPC-11 satellites for US Air Force

    Curt GodwinApril 13th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Ground crews are making ready a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket to loft two primary U.S. Air Force payloads into geosynchronous orbit for the Air Force Space Command 11 (AFSPC-11) mission.

  • SFI Launch Highlights: Flight of GOES S on ULA Atlas V 541

    Jason RhianMarch 2nd, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Colorado-based United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched an Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 at 5:02 p.m. EST (22:02 GMT) on Thursday, March 1, 2018. The rocket's took place at the very opening of the launch window and saw the launch vehicle arc above the partly-cloudy Florida skies on its way to space. The following video was captured entirely by SpaceFlight Insider's fleet of remotes and our personnel who covered this important flight.