PHOTOS: Atlas-V Delivers Lightsail and Air Force X-37B to Orbit Packed With Cubesats and Experiments

The Air Force AFSPC-5 mission launched into clear blue skies from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today. Onboard is the secretive X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (its fourth mission) and a variety of cubists and experiments for the NAVY, NRO, USAF and NASA, including the Lightsail test article from The Planetary Society. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The Air Force AFSPC-5 mission launched into clear blue skies from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today. Onboard is the secretive X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (its fourth mission) and a variety of cubists and experiments for the NAVY, NRO, USAF and NASA, including the Lightsail test article from The Planetary Society. Photo Credit: Alan […]

PHOTOS: Atlas-V Ready to Launch AFSPC-5 Mission With X-37B Spaceplane and Lightsail Wednesday

A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V 501 rocket stands tall atop Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral AFS on May 19, 2015. The Air Force X-37B OTV-4 spaceplane is onboard, as well as the Planetary Society's Lightsail test article, several small satellites for the NAVY and NRO, and a NASA materials science experiment. Liftoff is scheduled for May 20 between 11:05 a.m. EDT and 1:30 p.m. EDT. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V 501 rocket stands tall atop Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral AFS on May 19, 2015. The Air Force X-37B OTV-4 spaceplane is onboard, as well as the Planetary Society’s Lightsail test article, several small satellites for the NAVY and NRO, and a NASA materials science experiment. Liftoff is […]

Fourth Atlas-V Spaceplane Launch Heralds X-37B Program Shift As Centaur to Deploy Naval Satellites at Higher Inclination

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) at Vandenberg Air Force Base after completing 674 days in space. A total of three X-37B missions have been completed, totaling 1,367 days on orbit. OTV-4, launching on the AFSPC-5 mission May 20, is more focused on military spaceplane payload development instead of X-37B flight testing of its […]

The Planetary Society's LightSail to Launch Aboard Atlas-V May 20

From The Planetary Society: “The Planetary Society’s LightSail solar sailing spacecraft is scheduled to ride a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket to orbit in 2016 with its parent satellite, Prox-1.” Image Credit: Josh Spradling /The Planetary Society (http://sail.planetary.org/gallery/lightsail.html)

The idea of solar sails carrying satellites and humans into space has been something bandied about for […]

PHOTOS: X-37B Spaceplane and Lightsail Stacked Atop Atlas-V for May 20 AFSPC-5 Launch

The Air Force’s AFSPC-5 payload, encapsulated inside a 5-meter diameter payload fairing, is mated to an Atlas V booster inside the Vertical Integration Facility or VIF at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41. Photo Credit: ULA

The rocket tasked with launching the next mission from Cape Canaveral, Fla., is well into its […]

First GPS III Satellite Fully Integrated, Being Readied for Testing

An artist’s rendering of Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellite in operation. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

The development of the most advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite ever built reached an important milestone within the last month. Lockheed Martin announced that the system module of its first next-generation GPS III satellite (Space Vehicle One, or […]

US Warns China to Halt ASAT Threats as Defense Dept. Reorganizes for Improved Space Warfare Capability

China’s first solid propellant launcher, the Long March-11 rocket, is a likely ASAT booster. Photo Credit: CALT

Significant changes are underway in U.S. military space operations due to the growing threat from Chinese anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons and the exponential growth in lightsats and CubeSats that threaten to “darken the sky,” consuming huge bandwidth while […]

Air Force Weather Satellite Space Debris Hazard a Concern

DMSP Air Force weather satellite is depicted in polar orbit near Alaska. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., is monitoring a cloud of new space debris in polar orbit to notify operational satellite controllers about potential collision hazards for critical military and civilian […]

'Third Time Lucky': SpaceX Successfully Launches DSCOVR on Three-Month, Million-Mile Trek to L1

After more than a decade of delay and disappointment, Triana has risen again as the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), rocketing into space atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 booster at 6:03 p.m. EST Wednesday. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

Following two scrubs in three days, caused by a combination of problematic high-level winds and […]