Atlas V & Falcon 9 Set to Launch X-37B & Starlink Missions This Weekend

The “America Strong” livery hangs in pride of place as the Atlas V for Saturday’s USSF-7 mission arrives at the pad early Thursday, 14 May. The America Strong banner is dedicated to the memory of COVID-19 victims and as a tribute to first-responders, front-line workers and healthcare personnel. Photo Credit: ULA

A United Launch […]

Atlas Rocket Stacked for May 16 Launch with X-37B Spaceplane

The X-37B mini-shuttle (left) has flown five missions since April 2010. Its sixth flight, which kicks off NET Saturday, 16 May, promises to be its most ambitious yet. At right, the Common Core Booster (CCB) is raised to the vertical in the doorway of the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex (SLC)-41. […]

SpaceX Launches OTV-5, Lands Another Falcon as Hurricane Approaches

OTV-5 launch. Photo: SpaceX

This morning SpaceX launched the Air Force’s reusable X-37B ‘mini shuttle” Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) from KSC launch pad 39A, putting the vehicle on orbit and bringing the rocket’s first stage booster back to Earth for another successful landing on “Landing Zone 1” just a few miles south of […]

AFSPC-6 Launch Helps Form Extraordinary New US Space Defense Foundation

The successful launch Aug. 19, 2016, of two new U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) spacecraft on a ULA Delta- IV 4,2 rocket joins two sister satellites in forming an extraordinary new U. S. space defense foundation in geosynchronous orbit. Photo Credit: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace

The successful launch Aug. […]

LightSail A Success: Planetary Society Reviews Data and Plans for 2016 Mission

LightSail captured this image of its deployed solar sails in Earth orbit on June 8, 2015. Photo Credit and Caption: The Planetary Society

It’s not a true space mission without a little bit of drama, and The Planetary Society had just that. Unforeseen software glitches, spacecraft falling silent, and periods of no contact […]

PHOTOS: Atlas-V Delivers Lightsail and Air Force X-37B to Orbit Packed With Cubesats and Experiments

The Air Force AFSPC-5 mission launched into clear blue skies from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today. Onboard is the secretive X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (its fourth mission) and a variety of cubists and experiments for the NAVY, NRO, USAF and NASA, including the Lightsail test article from The Planetary Society. Photo Credit: […]

PHOTOS: Atlas-V Ready to Launch AFSPC-5 Mission With X-37B Spaceplane and Lightsail Wednesday

A United Launch Alliance Atlas-V 501 rocket stands tall atop Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral AFS on May 19, 2015. The Air Force X-37B OTV-4 spaceplane is onboard, as well as the Planetary Society’s Lightsail test article, several small satellites for the NAVY and NRO, and a NASA materials science experiment. Liftoff […]

Fourth Atlas-V Spaceplane Launch Heralds X-37B Program Shift As Centaur to Deploy Naval Satellites at Higher Inclination

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) at Vandenberg Air Force Base after completing 674 days in space. A total of three X-37B missions have been completed, totaling 1,367 days on orbit. OTV-4, launching on the AFSPC-5 mission May 20, is more focused on military spaceplane payload development instead of X-37B flight testing of […]

The Planetary Society's LightSail to Launch Aboard Atlas-V May 20

From The Planetary Society: “The Planetary Society’s LightSail solar sailing spacecraft is scheduled to ride a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket to orbit in 2016 with its parent satellite, Prox-1.” Image Credit: Josh Spradling /The Planetary Society (http://sail.planetary.org/gallery/lightsail.html)

The idea of solar sails carrying satellites and humans into space has been something bandied about […]