ULA & USAF Dazzle West Coast with Delta-IV Night Launch of NRO-45 Topaz-4 Satellite

A top secret 8-ton National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)/Boeing Topaz imaging radar satellite was successfully launched into a retrograde polar orbit before dawn Feb. 10 from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. atop a ULA Delta-IV Medium. Mission NROL-45. Photo Credit: Robert Fisher / AmericaSpace

A top secret 8-ton National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)/Boeing Topaz imaging radar satellite was successfully launched into a retrograde polar orbit before dawn Feb. 10 from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., atop a ULA Delta-IV Medium. Mission NROL-45. Photo Credit: Robert Fisher / AmericaSpace

A top secret, 8-ton National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)/Boeing Topaz imaging radar satellite was […]

Vandenberg Readies Secret NRO Topaz Imaging Radar Satellite for ULA Delta-IV Launch Feb. 10

Image Credit: ULA

ULA is set to launch NROL45 on a Delta-IV from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 3:39 a.m. PST Feb. 10. The mission will deliver the NRO/Boeing Topaz imaging radar reconnaissance satellite to orbit. Image Credit: ULA

A top secret, 8-ton National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)/Boeing Topaz imaging radar reconnaissance satellite is poised for liftoff […]

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 […]