Orion EM-1 Taking Shape at KSC, Spacecraft's LAS Jettison Motors Continue Testing

From NASA: “The Orion crew module for Exploration Mission 1 was transferred into the clean room inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy Space Center in late July to begin installation of the spacecraft’s critical systems, including propellant lines.” Photo Credit: NASA

Nearly two years after NASA successfully completed […]

First SLS Flight Engine Roars to Life for Testing at Stennis Space Center

The first SLS flight engine roared to life for testing at Stennis Space Center on March 10, 2016. Intended for the first crewed SLS mission, EM-2, the engine last saw action powering Space Shuttle Endeavor into orbit in 2011 on STS-134. Photo Credit: NASA

The first of 14 former space shuttle main engines, […]

Air Force Funds Both AR1 and BE-4 Rocket Engine Development to Replace ULA's Russian RD-180

BE-4 methane engine components undergo hot-fire test at the Bezos West Texas test site. Photo Credit: Blue Origin

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) decision to continue funding both the Aerojet Rocketdyne AR1 and the Blue Origin BE-4 engines will end United Launch Alliance (ULA) dependance on the Russian RD-180 for the Atlas-V rocket […]

RD-180 Engine Procurement Ban Overturned, Revealing Sharp Space Policy Differences

Twin nozzle RD-180 engines, which power ULA’s Atlas-V rocket and many of the nation’s national security payloads into space, await shipment to the U.S. from Energomash in Khimky Russia. Photo Credit: Energomash

In a major military space policy shift, United Launch Alliance (ULA) will be allowed to procure more Russian RD-180 engines for […]

One Year After EFT-1: What's Been Learned, What's Ahead for NASA's Orion in 2016

It’s been one year since the successful Orion Exploration Flight Test-1, and in the time since NASA and Lockheed Martin have learned quite a bit about how their capsule flies in space and have begun applying those lessons to the actual spacecraft that will fly beyond the moon in 2018 on the first […]

NASA Contracts With Aerojet Rocketdyne to Restart RS-25 Engine Production for SLS

The opening salvo of four Space Launch System (SLS) flights, beginning with Exploration Mission (EM)-1 in November 2018, will contain a core stage powered by four clustered RS-25D engines. Image Credit: NASA

More than four years since three of its kind were last fired in anger, on 8 July 2011, to deliver Atlantis’ […]

NASA Concludes Antares Orb-3 Investigation as Cygnus Prepares for Return to Space Station on Atlas-V

Antares exploding just seconds after liftoff with the Orb-3 mission for NASA. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn

One year after Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket suffered a launch failure that destroyed their third commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station, NASA’s Independent Review Team has published their official accident investigation report. Over the last […]

Capping A Milestone Year, NASA Announces Completion of SLS Critical Design Review

From NASA: “For the first time in almost 40 years, a NASA human-rated rocket has completed all steps needed to clear a critical design review (CDR). The agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) is the first vehicle designed to meet the challenges of the journey to Mars and the first exploration class rocket since […]

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

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

Seventh RS-25 Test Fire of 2015 Closes Out First SLS Main Engine Test Series

The RS-25 engine fires up for a 535-second test Aug. 27, 2015 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. This is the final in a series of seven tests for the development engine, which will provide NASA engineers critical data on the engine controller unit and inlet pressure conditions. Credits: […]