Gov't Officials Pummel ULA and Raytheon for Poor Atlas-V Judgement and GPS III Ground Segment Performance

A ULA Atlas-V rocket, powered by a Russian RD-180 engine, lofts Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo freighter to the International Space Station Dec 6, 2015. ULA and Raytheon were pummeled by Sen. McCain and USAF Gen. Hyten this week over poor Atlas-V judgement and GPS-III ground segment performance. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

A ULA Atlas-V rocket, powered by a Russian RD-180 engine, lofts Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo freighter to the International Space Station Dec 6, 2015. ULA and Raytheon were pummeled by Sen. McCain and USAF Gen. Hyten this week over poor Atlas-V judgement and GPS-III ground segment performance. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

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MUOS-4 Completes On-Orbit Testing Ahead of Operational Acceptance Next Spring

File photo of the U.S. Navy's MUOS-4 satellite, which this week completed on-orbit testing and was officially accepted by the Navy to go operational next spring. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

File photo of the U.S. Navy’s MUOS-4 satellite, which this week completed on-orbit testing and was officially accepted by the Navy to go operational next spring. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

The fourth in a Lockheed Martin-built five-ship fleet for a next-generation, narrowband tactical military satellite communications system was officially accepted by the U.S. Navy this […]

ULA Firm On No Bid Face-off With USAF on RD-180 and GPS-III Launch Procurement Policy

A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket launching with the U.S. Air Force GPS 2F-11 satellite Oct. 31, 2015. The USAF believes that ULA had options that would have allowed it to bid on the initial GPS III launch in 2018, but given ULA’s RD-180 engine supply, the company decided instead to cede that launch to SpaceX. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket launching with the U.S. Air Force GPS 2F-11 satellite Oct. 31, 2015. The USAF believes that ULA had options that would have allowed it to bid on the initial GPS III launch in 2018, but given ULA’s RD-180 engine supply, the company decided instead to cede that launch […]

Astronauts Practice Orion Crew Recovery as Aerojet Completes Major Subsystems Review for EM-1 Spacecraft

Engineers participate in testing to evaluate procedures to recover crews from Orion after splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on future missions. The training took place at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Caption and Credit: NASA

Engineers participate in testing to evaluate procedures to recover crews from Orion after splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on future missions. The training took place at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Caption and Credit: NASA

After spending a long period of time traveling in the vacuum of space, […]

Fourth Navy MUOS Launch Readied for Wednesday Amid GAO Concerns About Project

ULA's most powerful Atlas-V rocket, the Atlas 551, standing tall atop SLC-41 for a Wednesday morning launch attempt. Photo Credit: ULA

ULA’s most powerful Atlas-V rocket, the Atlas 551, standing tall atop SLC-41 for a Wednesday morning launch attempt. Photo Credit: ULA

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V rocket is poised to fire the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., as early as […]

SALVO Cubesat Rocket Debuts Stealth Launch Vehicle Era

Artist concept depicts SALVO Cubesat launcher on belly of F-15. The liquid oxygen/kerosene powered rocket may already have begun secret launches off Cape Canaveral. Image Credit: DARPA

Artist concept depicts SALVO Cubesat launcher on belly of F-15. The liquid oxygen/kerosene powered rocket may already have begun secret launches off Cape Canaveral. Image Credit: DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force are poised to begin the Cape Canaveral launch of Cubesats on a new advanced technology […]

Air Force Certifies SpaceX to Fly National Security Missions, Ending ULA Monopoly as DOD Launch Provider

Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket to deliver the company’s sixth dedicated Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station on April 14, 2015, at 4:10 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Today, it was announced that SpaceX is certified to compete for U.S. military and spy satellite missions. Photo Credit: John Studwell / […]

Precious Cargo: McCollister's Transportation Group Supports Orion on Journey to Mars

McCollister’s Transportation Group transported pre-flight Orion to various testing centers around the country and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for assembly. Photo Credit: McCollister’s Transportation Group

McCollister’s Transportation Group transported pre-flight Orion to various testing centers around the country and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for assembly. Photo Credit: McCollister’s Transportation Group

The “Journey to Mars” began when NASA’s Orion capsule lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex (SLC) -37B atop a roaring Delta IV […]

The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 2)

Since the conception of the Manned Spaceflight Engineer (MSE) program, the intent was to fly a dedicated officer aboard each classified flight. For Mission 51C, it would be Air Force Major Gary Payton (back left). The other NASA crew members were Loren Shriver (front left) and Ken Mattingly (front right), with Jim Buchli and […]

The Lunacy of Secrecy: 30 Years Since Mission 51C (Part 1)

Mission 51C roars into orbit on 24 January 1985, kicking off the shuttle program’s first dedicated Department of Defense assignment. Photo Credit: NASA

“Miracle” is a term which is often applied to many aspects of the space program: to Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering flight to the accomplishment of the first manned lunar landing or to […]