Archive: Space

Concept of Stratolaunch's carrier aircraft. Photo: Stratolaunch.

Stratolaunch Begins Engine Tests On Satellite-Launching Airplane

Stratolaunch Systems, which is developing an extra-large airplane to launch small satellites into space, has begun engine testing on the aircraft, the company announced Sept. 19. During the initial tests, the company started all six engines, first with auxiliary power, then with fuel. Made by Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp. (UTX), the […]

Lockheed Martin's family of solutions—all now featuring common components—include four series of satellites from nanosatellites to powerful geostationary platforms. (PRNewsfoto/Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin Launches New Satellite Bus Family In Response To Customer Needs

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.–Responding to customer demands for more affordable, flexible and responsive products, Lockheed Martin [LMT] on Tuesday introduced a new family of satellite busses with hundreds of common features able to carry payloads weighing from 22 pounds to more than 5,000 pounds for commercial, civil and military missions. The company invested $300 million over […]

Northrop Grumman Chairman, President and CEO Wes Bush. Photo: Northrop Grumman

Bush Touts Improved Affordability, Enhanced Competitiveness As Drivers In Orbital ATK Deal

Northrop Grumman’s [NOC] proposed $7.8 billion acquisition of Orbital ATK [OA] will drive improved affordability for its customers, strengthen its competitiveness in a number of areas such as space and missile defense systems, and help spur innovation, Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman’s chairman, president and CEO, said Monday on an investor call. Bush said that the […]

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Senate Rejects House Plan To Form Space Corps

The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment to its fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill that would block a controversial House proposal to create a space corps. The Senate language, offered by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, would ban the use of FY 2018 […]

An artist's rendering of Orbital ATK's Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) servicing a satellite in space. (Orbital ATK photo)

Orbital ATK, SSL Tout Progress In Robotic Space Efforts

Orbital ATK [OA] announced Sept. 11 that it has begun assembling its first robotic satellite-servicing spacecraft, which it plans to launch next year. Orbital ATK conducted a critical design review of the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) earlier this year, and its satellite manufacturing plant in Dulles, Va., has taken delivery of about 75 percent of […]

Artist's illustration of a potential base on the moon. Photo: NexGen Space LLC.

NASA To Seek Industry Bids For Landing Small Lunar Payloads

NASA is gearing up to request industry proposals for using robotic landers to place small payloads on the moon, an agency official said Sept. 7. “We’re preparing for the solicitation as we speak,” said Jason Crusan, director of NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division, who testified at a lunar-exploration hearing before the House Science, Space and […]

The Air Force's X-37B unmanned spaceplane (Photo courtesy of Air Force)

Air Force’s X-37B Spaceplane Starts Fifth Mission

The U.S. Air Force launched the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on its fifth mission Sept. 7. Dodging Hurricane Irma, the Boeing [BA]-built unmanned reusable spaceplane lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at about 10 a.m. Eastern time from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The X-37B hosts the Air Force Research Laboratory’s second […]

Former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James (Photo courtesy of Air Force)

Ex-Air Force Secretary James Opposes Proposed Space Corps

Former U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James expressed opposition Sept. 6 to a House-passed proposal to create a space corps within the Air Force Department, saying the new organization would cause upheaval, erect new bureaucratic barriers and fail to fix the problems it is supposed to resolve. James, whose three-year tenure at the Air […]

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.). (Photo courtesy of office of Rep. Bridenstine.)

Rep. Bridenstine Tapped To Lead NASA

President Trump plans to nominate Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a leading space advocate in Congress, to be NASA’s 13th administrator, the White House announced late Sept. 1. Analysts said that Bridenstine’s selection could be a boost for commercial space and returning astronauts to the moon, both of which he has advocated in the House. “While in […]

Artist's illustration of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Photo: NASA.

NASA Tests New Rocket’s Engine Controller

NASA has completed a series of five hot-fire tests with the engine controller for the new Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket, the agency announced Aug. 31. The testing, which began in March, wrapped up Aug. 30 with a 500-second firing of an RS-25 engine and its flight controller on a test stand at NASA’s […]