RD-180 Engine Procurement Ban Overturned, Revealing Sharp Space Policy Differences

Twin nozzle RD-180 engines, which power ULA's Atlas-V rocket and many of the nation's national security payloads into space, await shipment to the U.S. from Energomash in Khimky Russia. Photo Credit: Energomash

Twin nozzle RD-180 engines, which power ULA’s Atlas-V rocket and many of the nation’s national security payloads into space, await shipment to the U.S. from Energomash in Khimky Russia. Photo Credit: Energomash

In a major military space policy shift, United Launch Alliance (ULA) will be allowed to procure more Russian RD-180 engines for the […]

Gov't Officials Pummel ULA and Raytheon for Poor Atlas-V Judgement and GPS III Ground Segment Performance

Like the OA-4 mission in December 2015, tomorrow's OA-6 will ride an Atlas V booster to orbit. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

A ULA Atlas-V rocket, powered by a Russian RD-180 engine, lofts Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo freighter to the International Space Station Dec 6, 2015. ULA and Raytheon were pummeled by Sen. McCain and USAF Gen. Hyten this week over poor Atlas-V judgement and GPS-III ground segment performance. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

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Falcon-9 Aiming for Dec. 19 RTF with Orbcomm Satellites, Booster Landing Plans Still Unclear

Elon Musk announced today the updated Return to Flight date for their next Falcon-9 launch, which is now scheduled for nighttime on December 19 to deliver 11 satellites to orbit for Orbcomm. File Photo, Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

Elon Musk announced today the updated Return to Flight date for their next Falcon-9 launch, which is now scheduled for nighttime on Dec. 19 to deliver 11 satellites to orbit for Orbcomm. File Photo, Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

Six months after its 19th mission ended in pieces of falling debris offshore of Cape […]

XPRIZE Gives Moon Express a GO for 2017 Launch to Land First Private Spacecraft on Moon

An artist illustration of the Moon Express MX-1 lunar lander on its mission to the moon. On December 8, 2015, Google Lunar XPRIZE officially verified the company's launch contract, paving the way for a moonshot by the end of 2017. Image Credit: Moon Express

An artist illustration of the Moon Express MX-1 lunar lander on its mission to the moon. On Dec. 8, 2015, Google Lunar XPRIZE officially verified the company’s launch contract, paving the way for a moonshot by the end of 2017. Image Credit: Moon Express

Teams from around the world have been competing to win […]

PHOTOS: Cygnus Ready to Spread Its Wings Again for Thursday Return to Space Station

ULA's Atlas-V rocket standing by to launch Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft on a supply flight to the International Space Station, packed full with over 7,000 pounds of good for the crew onboard. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo / AmericaSpace

ULA’s Atlas-V rocket standing by to launch Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft on a supply flight to the International Space Station, packed full with over 7,000 pounds of good for the crew onboard. Photo Credit: Michael Galindo / AmericaSpace

Operations are progressing smoothly at Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., where a 196-foot-tall […]

PHOTOS: New Improved Cygnus Hoisted Atop ULA's Atlas-V for Dec. 3 Return to Space Station

On Friday, November 20, the Orbital ATK's Cygnus "Deke Slayton II" spacecraft for the OA-4 International Space Station cargo resupply mission was mated to its Atlas V rocket. Launch of the OA-4 mission is scheduled for December 3, 2015 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex-41. Photo Credit: NASA / Dmitri Gerondidakis

On Friday, Nov. 20, the Orbital ATK’s Cygnus “Deke Slayton II” spacecraft for the OA-4 International Space Station cargo resupply mission was mated to its Atlas V rocket. Launch of the OA-4 mission is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2015, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex-41. Photo Credit: NASA / Dmitri Gerondidakis

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ULA Offers Universities Free CubeSat Rides on Future Launches, First Slot Goes To CU Boulder

A ULA Atlas-V 401 rocket launching the GPS 2F-11 satellite for the USAF from SLC-41. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced today it is taking CubeSat rideshares to the next level by launching a new, innovative program offering universities the chance to compete for at least six CubeSat launch slots on two Atlas V missions, with a goal to eventually add university CubeSat slots to nearly every Atlas and Vulcan […]

ULA Firm On No Bid Face-off With USAF on RD-180 and GPS-III Launch Procurement Policy

A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket launching with the U.S. Air Force GPS 2F-11 satellite Oct. 31, 2015. The USAF believes that ULA had options that would have allowed it to bid on the initial GPS III launch in 2018, but given ULA’s RD-180 engine supply, the company decided instead to cede that launch to SpaceX. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket launching with the U.S. Air Force GPS 2F-11 satellite Oct. 31, 2015. The USAF believes that ULA had options that would have allowed it to bid on the initial GPS III launch in 2018, but given ULA’s RD-180 engine supply, the company decided instead to cede that launch […]

Development of Freeform Optics Technology May Revolutionize Space Telescopes

A young astronomer observes Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) during a public outreach program at the Seminole State College Planetarium in central Florida March 16, 2013. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

A young astronomer observes Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) during a public outreach program at the Seminole State College Planetarium in central Florida March 16, 2013. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

In the world of telescopes, light gathering power is dictated by the physical size of the first mirror or lens exposed to the […]

Cygnus Loaded With Nearly 4 Tons of Supplies for December Return to Space Station

Engineers this week completed connecting the Pressurized Cargo Module with the Service Module to form the Cygnus spacecraft that will ferry more than 7,000 pounds of supplies, equipment and experiments to the International Space Station for NASA in December. The OA-4 mission is scheduled to launch atop a ULA Atlas-V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. NET Dec. 3, 2015. Photo Credit: NASA

Engineers this week completed connecting the Pressurized Cargo Module with the Service Module to form the Cygnus spacecraft that will ferry more than 7,000 pounds of supplies, equipment, and experiments to the International Space Station for NASA in December. The OA-4 mission is scheduled to launch atop a ULA Atlas-V rocket from Cape Canaveral, […]