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
An Atlas V, in its “501” configuration with a 5.4-meter-wide (18-foot) payload fairing, no strap-on boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage, roars aloft with the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-41 payload. The RL-10 engine used by the Centaur has been the primary cause of more than a month of delays. Photo Credit: ULA
Quality control technician checks Long March 2F set to launch the Shenzhou 9 astronauts in mid June at the Jiuquan launch site.
China’s aggressive satellite production and launch pace is threatening launch vehicle failures and the malfunction in orbit of important spacecraft, according to a largely classified Defense Dept. report to Congress.