Archive: Space

Falcon Heavy (SpaceX photo)

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy For First Time

SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy launch vehicle lifted off for the first time Feb. 6 during a flight test from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The three-booster, 230-foot-tall rocket smoothly cleared the launch pad and soared into space at about 3:45 p.m. Eastern time. Minutes later, the two side boosters returned safely to Earth, landing  simultaneously […]

Falcon Heavy (SpaceX photo)

SpaceX’s Musk Says Falcon Heavy ‘Looking Good’ For First Launch Tuesday

SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy rocket remains on track for its first flight test Feb. 6 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to company founder Elon Musk. “The weather’s looking good, the rocket’s looking good,” Musk told reporters by phone late Feb. 5. “It’s either going to be an exciting success or an exciting […]

Lockheed Martin employees encapsulate the Air Force's SBIRS GEO 3 satellite before its launch. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

Air Force Issues Final RFP For Five Launches

The U.S. Air Force released a final request for proposals Jan. 31 to launch five Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) spacecraft in the early 2020s. According to the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in California, which announced the RFP, the solicitation includes the fiscal year 2021 launches of two Air […]

Falcon Heavy (SpaceX photo)

SpaceX To Conduct Falcon Heavy’s First Flight On Feb. 6

SpaceX plans to conduct the first flight test of its Falcon Heavy rocket on Feb. 6, company founder Elon Musk tweeted Jan. 27. The rocket, which SpaceX has been developing for years to carry large payloads, is poised to lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  SpaceX conducted a static fire test of the […]

The future NISAR satellite. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Astro Aerospace Completes Review Of Radar Antenna Reflector For Future NASA-ISRO Satellite

Northrop Grumman’s [NOC] Astro Aerospace successfully completed a critical design review of its AstroMesh radar antenna reflector for use on a future satellite project between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Northrop Grumman said on Monday. Astro Aerospace will now begin the build phase of its radar antenna reflector […]

Falcon Heavy (SpaceX photo)

SpaceX Conducts Falcon Heavy’s First Static Fire Test

SpaceX fired the Falcon Heavy’s engines on a launch pad for the first time Jan. 24, moving the new rocket closer to its long-awaited first flight test.  The company tweeted a 22-second video showing a huge white cloud of exhaust gushing from the base of the launch vehicle during the static fire test at NASA’s Kennedy […]

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket lifts off Jan. 21, 2018, in New Zealand. (Photo courtesy of Rocket Lab)

Rocket Lab Tests New Kick Stage On Electron Rocket

Rocket Lab, whose new Electron launch vehicle recently reached orbit for the first time, revealed Jan. 23 that the rocket included a previously undisclosed kick stage designed to increase orbital options for small satellites. During its Jan. 21 mission, the Electron lifted off from New Zealand and deployed three small satellites: a Planet Dove Pioneer […]

The Air Force's SBIRS GEO-4 missile-warning satellite lifts off on an Atlas 5 rocket. (Photo courtesy of United Launch Alliance)

ULA Launches Air Force’s Fourth SBIRS Missile-Warning Satellite

The U.S. Air Force’s fourth Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO-4) missile-warning satellite lifted off late Jan. 19 on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Later that evening, SBIRS GEO-4 began responding to commands from operators with the 460th Space Wing at […]

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket lifts off Jan. 21, 2018, in New Zealand. (Photo courtesy of Rocket Lab)

Rocket Lab’s Electron Rocket Reaches Orbit For First Time

Rocket Lab, one of several firms vying for a share of the burgeoning small-satellite launcher business, reached orbit and unleashed small satellites for the first time with its Electron rocket Jan. 21. Minutes after its afternoon liftoff from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula, the “Still Testing” Electron deployed a Planet Dove Pioneer satellite for Earth imaging and […]

SpaceX's Dragon space capsule awaits its launch as part of an uncrewed pad abort test. Photo: SpaceX.

SpaceX Delays Crew Dragon’s First Flight To August

SpaceX has delayed the first two flights of its new Crew Dragon spacecraft by several months because the company’s development work needs more time, a NASA official said Jan. 17. Crew Dragon, which SpaceX is developing to transport astronauts to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, will now have its first unmanned […]