Air Force Funds Both AR1 and BE-4 Rocket Engine Development to Replace ULA's Russian RD-180

BE-4 methane engine components undergo  hot fire test at the Bezos west Texas test site. Photo Credit Blue Origin

BE-4 methane engine components undergo hot-fire test at the Bezos West Texas test site. Photo Credit: Blue Origin

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) decision to continue funding both the Aerojet Rocketdyne AR1 and the Blue Origin BE-4 engines will end United Launch Alliance (ULA) dependance on the Russian RD-180 for the Atlas-V rocket and […]

SpaceX Prepares to Deliver Heavyweight SES-9 Satellite to Orbit on Wednesday

Encapsulated within its two-piece (or "bisector") Payload Fairing (PLF), the SES-9 satellite is readied for integration with the Upgraded Falcon 9 booster. Photo Credit: SES/Twitter

Tomorrow’s opening launch attempt will be the Upgraded Falcon 9’s first foray toward Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). Photo Credit: 45th Space Wing

For the first time, SpaceX’s Upgraded Falcon 9 booster—which delivered 11 Orbcomm Generation-2 (OG-2) satellites into low-Earth orbit, just before Christmas—will transport its first payload from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-40 at Cape […]

A Year of DSCOVR-y: Joint NASA/NOAA Earth-Watcher Celebrates 12 Months of Operations

The lunar farside begins its transit of the sunlit Earth, as seen by the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) in July 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA

 

The lunar farside begins its transit of the sunlit Earth, as seen by the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) in July 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA

At first glance, it appeared to be an impressive PhotoShop image. The view of the Moon, passing in front of the sunlit face of Earth in July 2015—and […]

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 […]

ULA Atlas-V Launch of GPS IIF-12 Ends Series with 7 GPS Satellites Launched in 21 Months

A United Lainch Alliance Atlas-V booster lofting GPS 2F-12 to orbit for the U.S. Air Force this morning, kicking off a busy 2016 space launch manifest for Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V booster lofting GPS 2F-12 to orbit for the U.S. Air Force this morning, kicking off a busy 2016 space launch manifest for Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

The successful Feb. 5 United Launch Alliance (ULA) launch of the USAF/Boeing GPS IIF-12 satellite commemorates the […]

Cape/KSC Spaceport Faces Fantastic 2016 with Especially Significant GPS Kickoff Feb. 5

Propelled by its three 'cores', the Falcon Heavy is now expected to make its maiden voyage no earlier than December 2016. This behemoth will cement its credentials as the most powerful rocket in current operational status, overtaking the Delta IV Heavy. Image Credit: SpaceX

Propelled by its three “cores,” the Falcon Heavy is expected to make its maiden voyage in fall 2016. This behemoth will cement its credentials as the most powerful rocket in current operational status, overtaking the Delta IV Heavy. Image Credit: SpaceX

The planned Feb. 5 launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V carrying […]

NASA Announces Payloads for First SLS Mission

An SLS in its Block 1 configuration goes up, up, and away in this artist’s rendering. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

It may still be almost three years into the future, but the maiden voyage of NASA’s gigantic Space Launch System (SLS) booster—destined to carry humans beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time in five decades—drew […]

'To Touch the Face of God': 30 Years Since the Loss of Challenger (Part 2)

Challenger's final crew, as they should be remembered: Positive and brilliant individuals, happily striving to explore space and further humanity's reach into the Universe. In the back row (left to right) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judy Resnik. In the front row (left to right) Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair. Image Credit: NASA

Challenger’s final crew, as they should be remembered: Positive and brilliant individuals, happily striving to explore space and further humanity’s reach into the Universe. In the back row (left to right) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judy Resnik. In the front row (left to right) Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair. […]

'Obviously A Major Malfunction': 30 Years Since the Loss of Challenger (Part 1)

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger's tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years. Photo Credit: NASA

The infamous image, flashed around the world on 28 January 1986, immediately after Challenger’s tragic destruction. The disaster stalled the shuttle program for almost three years. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, on 28 January 1986, one of the worst and most public disasters in U.S. space history unfolded with horrifying suddenness in the […]