Archive: Space

The Dream Chaser spaceplane touches down during a free-flight test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corp.)

SNC’s Dream Chaser Spaceplane Flies, Lands In Key Test

The Dream Chaser reusable spaceplane, which Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) is developing to carry cargo to the International Space Station, successfully completed a free-flight test for the first time in California, the company said Nov. 13. During the Nov. 11 test, a Columbia Helicopters Model 234-UT Chinook helicopter lifted the unmanned Dream Chaser with a 200-foot-long […]

Surrey-US' products include earth observation payloads. Photo: Surrey-US

General Atomics Acquires U.S.-Based Operation Of Surrey Satellite Technology

General Atomics (GA) on Monday said it has acquired the majority of assets of the Colorado-based operation of Britain’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to support the growth plans of its Electromagnetic Systems Group (EMS) in the development and delivery of small satellite and advanced payload systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. SSTL […]

Rocket Lab's Electron launch vehicle. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

Rocket Lab’s Second Electron Rocket Reaches Launch Site

Rocket Lab’s second Electron rocket has arrived at its launch site on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula, the company said Nov. 14. Potential dates for the rocket’s flight will be announced in the coming weeks, the company said. Besides being a test vehicle, the rocket will carry a Planet Earth-imaging Dove satellite and Spire Lemur-2 satellites […]

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

NASA Delays First SLS Launch By Over A Year

NASA has delayed the first flight of its Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket and Orion crew capsule by over a year, to December 2019, an agency official said Nov. 9. While a recent NASA review made the case for an even longer delay, to June 2020, “the agency has chosen to manage to a […]


Lawmakers Agree To Space Revamp Without Space Corps

House and Senate negotiators have crafted a final version of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill that overhauls military space management but stops short of accepting a controversial House proposal to create a space corps in the Air Force Department. In a joint statement Nov. 8, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), the […]

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

Senate Panel Backs Bridenstine To Head NASA

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Nov. 8 narrowly approved Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) to be NASA administrator. By a party-line 14-13 vote, the panel sent Bridenstine’s nomination to the full Senate for its consideration. Before the committee vote, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the panel’s top Democrat, reiterated his opposition to having a […]

A rocket motor case for Orbital ATK's new Next Generation Launch system. (Photo courtesy of Orbital ATK)

Orbital ATK Tests Motor Case For New Rocket

Orbital ATK [OA], which is developing a new space launch vehicle to compete for U.S. Air Force business, announced Nov. 7 that the rocket’s first motor case has passed a key test. The structural acceptance test, which occurred Oct. 27 in Promontory, Utah, showed that the 12-foot-diameter motor case could withstand the internal pressure it […]

Artist's rendering of a GPS III satellite. Image: Lockheed Martin.

Air Force ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About New GPS Ground System

The U.S. Air Force’s troubled Global Positioning System (GPS) Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) has made progress in its development recently, but the ground-control system still has major hurdles to overcome to become fully capable, according to a key general. The progress was highlighted by the Nov. 2 announcement that the Air Force has […]

Air Force Lt. Gen. John Thompson (Air Force photo)

Air Force Space And Missile Systems Center Eyes Faster Acquisition

The U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) is engaged in a multi-pronged effort to speed up its acquisition of satellites and other equipment, the center’s leader said Nov. 2. One step involves giving leaders of SMC’s directorates more responsibility for the smaller programs they manage, said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, who became […]