AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AsiaSat-6 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
27 Aug 14 4:50:00 GMT
27 Aug 14 0:50:00 EDT

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ATK Awarded Contract, Will Provide Solar Arrays for 2016 InSight Mission to Mars

From NASA: “This artist’s concept depicts the stationary NASA Mars lander known by the acronym InSight at work studying the interior of Mars.” The lander will be powered by ATK’s UltraFlex solar arrays. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On Tuesday, June 24, Alliant Techsystems (ATK) announced that it received a contract from Lockheed Martin Space Systems [...]

PHOTOS: ATK Validates New MegaFlex Solar Array Technology for NASA's Future Solar Electric Propulsion Missions

ATK’s MegaFlex™ is an innovative solar array design that includes a unique circular architecture, revolutionary unfurling mechanism, and cutting-edge materials, which provide high power, low mass, and small stowed volume—all critical performance metrics for achieving a wide variety of challenging space exploration missions. ATK completed testing at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in March 2014, [...]

NASA Tests Limits of 3-D Printing With Powerful Rocket Engine Check

NASA has repeatedly tested out 3-D-printed components. The most recent of these took place on Aug. 22. Photo Credit: NASA

With several smaller, successful tests completed using the technology, NASA conducted another test firing of an engine that had a fuel injector produced by 3-D printing. The process, known as additive manufacturing, has made [...]

Q-and-A: Engineer Talks Future of 3D-Printed Rocket Engines

Just last month, Aerojet Rocketdyne tested out a rocket engine fuel injector that was produced by 3D printing. AmericaSpace spoke with Jeff Haynes, a program manager working to develop this technology for space flight purposes. He talked about the first test, what the limitations are for 3D-printed parts, as well as the ramifications for [...]

Dragon Spacecraft Passes Another Milestone Toward Crewed Flight

An unmanned Dragon spacecraft conducting the Commercial Resupply Services mission is seen here (CRS-2) grappled by the International Space Station. Photo Credit: NASA

Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has just passed the seventh of 15 development milestones set by NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative. Along with Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corporation, [...]

NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne Test 3D Printed Rocket Engine Component

NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne have successfully conducted a hot-fire test of a component they constructed using additive manufacturing technology, more commonly known as “3D printing.” Photo Credit: NASA / Glenn

NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne have recently completed a series of “hot-fire” tests on a rocket engine that utilized additive manufacturing,  or “3D printing,” parts. [...]

NEXT Establishes New Test Duration for Xenon Engine

NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) has completed 48,000 hours—or 5.5 years—of operation, marking the longest duration of any space propulsion test in history. Photo Credit: NASA/Astronautix.com

NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) has established a new record for the longest test duration of any type of space propulsion system in history, having successfully operated for [...]

Experiments Begin With SCaN Test Bed on ISS

The SCaN test bed will conduct an experiment with TDRS-K, which was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in January. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / AmericaSpace

Experiments using NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) experiments have begun after completing its checkout on the International Space Station (ISS).

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Falcon Heavy: Uncertain Case for Lunar Exploration

Illustration of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. Image Credit: SpaceX

There have been occasional suggestions that NASA should scrap its Space Launch System (SLS) in favor of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy for fulfilling its beyond low-Earth orbit needs [1]. The claim forwarded by some is that the as-yet-untested-and-unflown 53 mt low-Earth orbit (LEO) (200 km @ [...]

SpaceX's Musk Talks Preparing to Recover Falcon 9 First Stage, Crewed Efforts, and More

During a recent teleconference, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that his company will try to recover the first stage from the ocean and then will attempt to have the first stage return to the landing site under its own power. Photo Credit: SpaceX

During a teleconference detailing the return of Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX) [...]