Archive: Space

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 […]

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

Air Force’s X-37B Spaceplane To Launch Next Week

The U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office is making final preparations to launch the fifth mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) on Sept. 7, the service said Aug. 31. The Boeing [BA]-built unmanned reusable spaceplane, which will lift off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will […]

The Dream Chaser spaceplane undergoes a captive-carry flight test. (NASA photo)

Dream Chaser Spaceplane Undergoes Captive-Carry Flight Test

The Dream Chaser reusable spaceplane, which Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) is developing to ship cargo to the International Space Station, has completed the first of two captive-carry flight tests that are supposed to lead to a free-flight test later this year. During the Aug. 30 captive-carry test, which lasted 1 hour and 41 minutes and […]

Orbital ATK's Minotaur IV launch vehicle. Photo: Air Force.

DARPA, SOCOM Providing Secondary Payloads For Air Force ORS-5 Satellite Launch

The Orbital ATK [OA] Minotaur IV rocket that will launch the Air Force Operationally Responsive Space 5 (ORS-5) space-tracking satellite is also carrying two secondary payloads from Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and one from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), government and industry officials said Aug. 24. The Minotaur, whose lower stages use three […]

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

SpaceX’s Musk Unveils New Spacesuit

SpaceX founder Elon Musk posted the “first picture” of his company’s new spacesuit on social media Aug. 23. The photograph shows a sleek, mostly white suit buckled into what seems to be a spacecraft. A man’s face appears in the helmet behind a tinted shield. The spacesuit, which vaguely resembles the uniform of a Star […]