Last Falcon 9 v1.1 Successfully Boosts Jason-3 to Orbit, Reportedly Suffers Landing Leg Breakage During Oceanic Touchdown

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen as it launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East with the Jason-3 spacecraft onboard, , Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Jason-3, an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will help continue U.S.-European satellite measurements […]

SpaceX Primed for Final Falcon 9 v1.1 Launch on Sunday

Sunday's launch of Jason-3 marked the final flight of the Falcon 9 in its v1.1 configuration. Future missions will utilize the Upgraded Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. Photo Credit: SpaceX

Sunday’s launch of Jason-3 marks the final flight of the Falcon 9 in its v1.1 configuration. Future missions will utilize the Upgraded Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. Photo Credit: SpaceX

Less than 28 months since its maiden voyage—which delivered Canada’s low-Earth orbiting Cascade, SmallSat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) aloft, back in September 2013—SpaceX […]

SpaceX Going for Offshore Barge Landings for Next Few Falcon-9 Launches

A SpaceX Falcon-9 v1.1 rocket conducted a successful full-duration 7-second static test fire at Vandenberg AFB on Jan. 11, paving the way for the Jason-3 satellite to be launched Jan. 17 at 10:42 a.m. PST (1:42 p.m. EST), at the opening of a 30-second launch window. The booster will then attempt to land on an offshore autonomous barge, and the company intends to do so for their next several missions. Photo Credit: SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon-9 v1.1 rocket conducted a successful full-duration, 7-second static test fire at Vandenberg AFB on Jan. 11, paving the way for the Jason-3 satellite to be launched Jan. 17 at 10:42 a.m. PST (1:42 p.m. EST), at the opening of a 30-second launch window. The booster will then attempt to land on […]

NASA's InSight Mission to Mars Suspended Due to Vacuum Leak in Critical Seismometer Instrument

Artist’s conception of the InSight lander on Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s conception of the InSight lander on Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA officially announced at a media teleconference yesterday that the InSight mission to Mars has now been postponed, for at least two years, due to a leak in a seismometer instrument which cannot be repaired in time for the planned launch in March 2016. The […]

NASA's InSight Lander Arrives at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Prepares for Launch to Mars

A crate containing the InSight lander is loaded onto a C-17 cargo aircraft at Buckley Air Force Base, Denver. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

A crate containing the InSight lander is loaded onto a C-17 cargo aircraft at Buckley Air Force Base, Denver. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

Update: Just after this article was published, it was announced that there may be a launch delay due to the problem with a vacuum leak in the seismometer instrument. Today, NASA […]

Atlas-V Flies NROL-55's Twin Ocean Surveillance Satellites as Air Force Declares Situational Awareness Spacecraft Operational

A successful pre-dawn launch for NRO-55 atop ULA's 58th Atlas-V rocket from Vandenberg AFB, CA this morning at 5:48 a.m. PDT. A pair of 4-ton NRO ocean surveillance satellites are onboard, along with several NRO and NASA Cubesats. Photo Credit: Robert Fisher / AmericaSpace

A successful pre-dawn launch for NRO-55 atop ULA’s 58th Atlas-V rocket from Vandenberg AFB, CA this morning at 5:48 a.m. PDT. A pair of 4-ton NRO ocean surveillance satellites are onboard, along with several NRO and NASA Cubesats. Photo Credit: Robert Fisher / AmericaSpace

Critical U.S. military situational awareness in space and on the […]

Thursday's Atlas-V NRO-55 Launch to Revitalize Ocean Surveillance Assets and Multiple Space Technologies

Two secret National Reconnaissance Office/U.S. Navy ocean surveillance satellites are set for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Ca. Oct. 8 on the NROL-55 flight that will also deploy 13 advanced technology CubeSats. The military space mission is planned for liftoff from Space Launch Complex 3E at 5:49 a.m. PDT (8:49 a.m. EDT) on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V 401 launch vehicle with no solid rocket boosters. The launch window is expected to run until 6:30 a.m. PDT. Image Credit: ULA

Two secret National Reconnaissance Office/U.S. Navy ocean surveillance satellites are set for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Ca. Oct. 8 on the NROL-55 flight that will also deploy 13 advanced technology CubeSats. The military space mission is planned for liftoff from Space Launch Complex 3E at 5:49 a.m. PDT (8:49 a.m. EDT) on […]

The Eyes of SMAP: Interview With NASA JPL’s SMAP Project Manager Kent Kellogg (Part 1)

NASA/JPL’s SMAP Project Manager Kent Kellogg with the SMAP spacecraft, now in orbit above the Earth. Photo Courtesy: Kent Kellogg

A behind-the-scenes look into the birth of a spacecraft; the research, development, fabrication, and mission objectives of NASA/JPL’s Earth science observatory, SMAP, and the challenges met in creating a new technology. Part One: An […]

Landing Region Chosen for InSight at T-Minus One Year to Red Planet Launch

In the weeks after NASA’s InSight mission reaches Mars in September 2016, the lander’s arm will lift two science instruments off the deck and place them onto the ground. This image shows testing of InSight’s robotic arm at JPL about two years before it will perform these tasks on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

At T-minus […]

The Coming of SMAP, Part Two: SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle

The launch of NASA’s latest Earth Science mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, atop a United Launch Alliance Delta-II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Jan. 31, 2015. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Story and Interviews by Chris Howell, with: Dr. Simon Yueh, JPL SMAP Senior Research Scientist Dr. […]