PHOTOS: Final SLS Work Platform Installed in KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building

High up in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an overhead crane has lowered the final work platform, A north, into place for installation in High Bay 3. The platform is being installed and secured on its rail beam high up on the north wall of the high bay. In view below the A platforms are the nine previously installed platform levels. The installation of the final topmost level completes the 10 levels of work platforms, 20 platform halves altogether, that will surround NASA's Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft and allow access during processing for missions, including the first uncrewed flight test of Orion atop the SLS rocket in 2018. The A-level platforms will provide access to the Orion spacecraft's Launch Abort System for Orion lifting sling removal and installation of the closeout panels. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, with support from the center's Engineering Directorate, is overseeing upgrades and modifications to the VAB, including installation of the new work platforms. Photo Credit: NASA / Frank Michaux

Staring up High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 10 work platform levels that will surround NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to allow access during processing for missions. Photo Credit: NASA / Frank Michaux

The final of 10 giant steel work platforms to support […]

Russian Techs in ASOC to Monitor SBIRS GEO 3 Launch Jan. 19

A ULA Atlas V rocket launching SBIRS GEO 2. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

A ULA Atlas V rocket launching SBIRS GEO 2. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

As U.S./Russian intelligence controversies swirl between the two countries, a team of Russian rocket technicians will be at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Jan. 19 to monitor real-time engine data from a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V rocket […]

SpaceX Closes AMOS-6 Investigation, Aims to Launch 10 Satellites Next Sunday

The first ten IridiumNEXT satellites are stacked and encapsulated in the Falcon 9 fairing for a Jan. 8 launch attempt from Vandenberg AFB, CA. Photo Credit: Iridium

The first ten IridiumNEXT satellites are stacked and encapsulated in the Falcon 9 fairing for a Jan. 8 launch attempt from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Photo Credit: Iridium

SpaceX is aiming to return their workhorse Falcon-9 rocket to flight next Sunday with a fleet of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites (launch is still pending FAA approval). The […]

Ancient Water World: Tectonics on Pluto's Moon Charon Point to Frozen Subsurface Ocean

Charon (upper left) and Pluto as seen by New Horizons on July 14, 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Charon (upper left) and Pluto as seen by New Horizons on July 14, 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Charon is Pluto’s largest moon and, despite being so cold and remote from the Sun, has been revealed to be a fascinating and active world, just like Pluto itself. Residing in the far outskirts of the Solar […]

Leading Planetary Scientists Discuss Prospect of Missions to Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune: the Solar System's unique ice giant planets, of which we only got brief glimpses during the Voyager 2 flybys in the 1980's, beckon for further, more detailed exploration. Image Credit: NASA

Uranus and Neptune: the Solar System’s unique ice giant planets, of which we only got brief glimpses during the Voyager 2 flybys in the 1980s, beckon for further, more detailed exploration. Image Credit: NASA

Last year’s historic close flyby of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft put the outer Solar System firmly back in […]

Delta IV Propels WGS-8 Toward Secret GEO Location

United Launch Alliance successfully launched their Delta-IV rocket with the eighth U.S. Air Force / Boeing Wideband Global Satcom satellite #WGS8 Dec. 7 from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. The 13,000 pound military communications satellite is now en-route to a 22,300-mile geosynchronous orbit. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

Picture-perfect liftoff last night for United Launch Alliance and their Delta-IV rocket with the eighth U.S. Air Force / Boeing Wideband Global Satcom satellite (WGS-8), now en-route to a 22,300-mile geosynchronous orbit. Photo Credit: John Kraus / AmericaSpace

The most powerful Boeing/Air Force military communications spacecraft ever launched—the WGS 8 Wideband Global Satcom—is climbing in […]

SpaceX Pushes Return to Flight to January with Iridium NEXT Satellites

File photo of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching 11 satellites for ORBCOMM Dec. 21, 2015. Their next scheduled launch will be the first following the loss of AMOS-6 last Sep., flying 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg AFB, CA as soon as early Jan., 2017. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

File photo of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching 11 satellites for ORBCOMM Dec. 21, 2015. Their next scheduled launch will be the first following the loss of AMOS-6 last September, flying 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., as soon as early January 2017. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

SpaceX is pushing […]

Delta-IV WGS-8 Rocket Launch Tonight, WATCH LIVE Starting at 6:33pm EST

U.S. Air Force WGS-7 launch atop a ULA Delta-IV. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

U.S. Air Force WGS-7 launch atop a ULA Delta-IV. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is poised to fly the eighth U.S. Air Force / Boeing Wideband Global Satcom satellite (WGS-8) to a 22,300-mile geosynchronous orbit tonight atop a Delta-IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Liftoff is scheduled […]

Most Powerful USAF Satcom Readied for Delta IV Launch Wednesday Night

File photo of a ULA Delta IV rocket standing by to deliver the sixth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-6) satellite to geosynchronous orbit for the U.S. Air Force. The WGS satellites are an important element of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capabilities to our troops in the field for the next decade and beyond. WGS-8 is scheduled to fly from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. as soon as this Wed., Dec 7. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

File photo of a ULA Delta IV rocket standing by to deliver the sixth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-6) satellite to geosynchronous orbit for the U.S. Air Force. The WGS satellites are an important element of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capabilities to our troops in the field for the next […]

'Cracked and Tipped Over' Pluto Has a Subsurface Ocean: New Evidence From New Horizons

View of Sputnik Planitia on Pluto. This vast region of nitrogen ice provides clues that a subsurface ocean of liquid water exists on Pluto. Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

View of Sputnik Planitia on Pluto. This vast region of nitrogen ice provides clues that a subsurface ocean of liquid water exists on Pluto. Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Pluto, a tiny frigid world in the distant outskirts of the Solar System, has been full of surprises, as first revealed by the New Horizons spacecraft back […]