Through the Lens: OSIRIS-REX Begins Epic 7-Year Mission to Asteroid Bennu and Back

Just a half-hour before the Sun set over the Space Coast on Thursday, 8 September, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has successfully delivered NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft on its seven-year voyage to explore the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Liftoff of the highly reliable Atlas V—flying in its rarely-used “411” configuration, and is now in the process of being delivered out of Earth’s gravitational clutches as it begins a two-year journey to reach Bennu. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / AmericaSpace

Just a half-hour before the Sun set over the Space Coast on Thursday, 8 September, United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully delivered NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft on its seven-year voyage to explore the near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / AmericaSpace

Earlier this week, ULA successfully […]

Successful NRO/ULA NRO-61 Launch Bolsters Secret Relay

A ULA Atlas-V 421 rocket launching the classified NRO-61 satellite from Cape Canaveral, FL July 28, 2016. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

A ULA Atlas-V 421 rocket launching the classified NRO-61 satellite from Cape Canaveral, Fla., July 28, 2016. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The successful launch today of the 11,000-lb National Reconnaissance Office NRO 61 geosynchronous orbit, real-time relay spacecraft has given the U.S. a major new capability to speedily forward high-resolution imagery and […]

Top-Secret NRO-61 Relay Set for Liftoff Thursday as MUOS-5 Finally Climbing to Orbit

An Atlas-V 421 rocket, carrying the NROL-61 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), is transported from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 for a Thursday morning launch attempt. Photo Credit: ULA

An Atlas-V 421 rocket, carrying the NROL-61 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), is transported from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 for a Thursday morning launch attempt. Photo Credit: ULA

Two major military space and intelligence operations vital to U.S. national security and future combat operations […]

Atlas-V Returns with MUOS-5 June 24, Senate Says No More Russian Engines by 2022

Each Atlas V is powered by a single oxygen/kerosene Russian RD-180 with two engine nozzles. By 2019 ULA hopes to instead power the launcher with two BE-4 methane/oxygen engines. Photo Credit: NASA / ULA

ULA’s workhorse booster has been grounded since an engine anomaly occurred on the OA-6 launch, but it is now cleared to return to flight, starting with MUOS-5 as soon as June 24, 2016. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

 

 

 

Being grounded for the last several months due to an investigation into an […]

Next Cygnus Cargo Ship 'SS Rick Husband' Ready for March 22 Night Launch to Space Station

The Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship "S.S. Rick Husband", packed with 7,700 pounds of supplies, hardware and experiments, undergoing final processing in the KSC clean room March 8, ahead of its scheduled launch to the ISS atop a ULA Atlas-V booster from nearby Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41 on the night of March 22. Photo Credit: Talia Landman / AmericaSpace

The Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply ship “S.S. Rick Husband,” packed with 7,700 pounds of supplies, hardware, and experiments, undergoing final processing in the KSC clean room March 8, ahead of its scheduled launch to the ISS atop a ULA Atlas-V booster from nearby Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41 on the night of March 22. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dream Chaser's First Launch Will Fly to ISS, SNC Outlines Testing and Development Plans Ahead

SNC technicians inspect the Dream Chaser engineering test article (ETA ahead of its second flight test program, expected to begin soon at Edwards AFB in California soon. The first Dream Chaser launch to the ISS will be in 2019, SNC's new flight test program eliminates the need for an orbital flight test before the first CRS-2 flight for NASA. Photo Credit: SNC

SNC technicians inspect the Dream Chaser engineering test article (ETA ahead of its second flight test program, expected to begin soon at Edwards AFB in California soon. The first Dream Chaser launch to the ISS will be in 2019, SNC’s new flight test program eliminates the need for an orbital flight test before the […]

RD-180 Engine Procurement Ban Overturned, Revealing Sharp Space Policy Differences

Twin nozzle RD-180 engines, which power ULA's Atlas-V rocket and many of the nation's national security payloads into space, await shipment to the U.S. from Energomash in Khimky Russia. Photo Credit: Energomash

Twin nozzle RD-180 engines, which power ULA’s Atlas-V rocket and many of the nation’s national security payloads into space, await shipment to the U.S. from Energomash in Khimky Russia. Photo Credit: Energomash

In a major military space policy shift, United Launch Alliance (ULA) will be allowed to procure more Russian RD-180 engines for the […]