Mars Cube One: New Deep-Space CubeSats Will Travel to Mars Along With InSight Lander

Artist's conception of the MarCO CubeSats flying past Mars as the InSight lander descends to the surface. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist’s conception of the MarCO CubeSats flying past Mars as the InSight lander descends to the surface. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The next NASA mission to Mars, the InSight lander, will include some additional experimental technology: the first deep-space CubeSats. Two small CubeSats will fly past the planet as the lander is descending through the […]

NASA Begins Testing of InSight Mars Lander for Launch in 2016

Testing of the solar arrays on the InSight lander at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

Testing of the solar arrays on the InSight lander at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

While Curiosity and Opportunity are still busy roving Mars, NASA has begun testing its next lander, InSight, scheduled to launch in March 2016. It will be the first mission devoted to studying the interior of […]

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 […]

The Eyes of SMAP: Interview With Astro Aerospace, Makers of SMAP’s Spinning Antenna (Part 2)

Members of the AstroAerospace team who worked closely with NASA JPL throughout the reflector development process for the SMAP spacecraft. From left to Right: Peter Laraway, Lead Reflector Project Engineer Ed Keay, SMAP Program Manager/Director of Business Development Mark Gralewski, Lead Systems Engineer Mehran Mobrem, Chief Analyst Mike Fedyk, Lead Thermal Engineer. Photo Credit: […]

The Eyes of SMAP: Interview With NASA JPL’s SMAP Project Manager Kent Kellogg (Part 1)

NASA/JPL’s SMAP Project Manager Kent Kellogg with the SMAP spacecraft, now in orbit above the Earth. Photo Courtesy: Kent Kellogg

A behind-the-scenes look into the birth of a spacecraft; the research, development, fabrication, and mission objectives of NASA/JPL’s Earth science observatory, SMAP, and the challenges met in creating a new technology. Part One: An […]

Reusable Rocket Systems Eyed For ULA’s Next Generation Launchers

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta-IV Heavy will be totally phased out by the BE-4 methane powered Next Generation Launch System (NGLS). Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Reusable rocket elements will likely be part of the Next Generation Launch System (NGLS) being unveiled by United Launch Alliance (ULA) at the 31st National Space […]

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 […]

Landing Region Chosen for InSight at T-Minus One Year to Red Planet Launch

In the weeks after NASA’s InSight mission reaches Mars in September 2016, the lander’s arm will lift two science instruments off the deck and place them onto the ground. This image shows testing of InSight’s robotic arm at JPL about two years before it will perform these tasks on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

At T-minus […]

The Coming of SMAP, Part Two: SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle

The launch of NASA’s latest Earth Science mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, atop a United Launch Alliance Delta-II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Jan. 31, 2015. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Story and Interviews by Chris Howell, with: Dr. Simon Yueh, JPL SMAP Senior Research Scientist Dr. […]

AmericaSpace Imagery Team Capture Rare Launch of Venerable Delta II

With only two more NASA missions ahead of it, in the 2017-18 timeframe, the curtain appears to be falling on the Delta II. Photo Credit: Robert C. Fisher/AmericaSpace

Last Saturday morning, AmericaSpace’s imagery team witnessed a rare pre-dawn liftoff of the highly reliable Delta II booster, carrying the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite […]