Venus Beckons Part 2: A New NASA Collaborative Mission With Russia?

Artist’s conception of the Venera-D spacecraft in orbit around Venus. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Last week, AmericaSpace reported on why NASA should return to Venus, and new technology being developed to help make that happen, especially as in longer-lived landers or rovers. With its extremely hostile conditions, Venus has been much less of a […]

Like Superman: ESA's IXV Spaceplane Makes Successful Research Flight

AND IT’S OFF: A Vega launch vehicle lofts ESA’s IXV spaceplane to its suborbital mission. Photo Credit: ESA–S. Corvaja

It wasn’t Superman, but a spaceplane; however, it sure appeared to travel “faster than a speeding bullet,” as it cleared the pad in four seconds.

At 13:40 GMT (8:40 EST) today, the flight of […]

'Ready to Fly': Europe's IXV Spaceplane Geared Up for Feb. 11 Launch

Fueling IXV: “The IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle is being prepared for launch at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. IXV will be launched 320 km into space on top of a Vega rocket, climbing up to 420 km before beginning a long glide back through the atmosphere. In the process, IXV will gather […]

ESA's IXV Spaceplane Readied for November Flight, While US Spaceplanes Pass Milestones

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “[The IXV] will be launched by ESA in 2014 on Vega, Europe’s new small launcher, into a suborbital path, from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. After being launched into space, IXV will return to Earth as if from a low-orbit mission, testing brand-new European atmospheric reentry technologies […]

Europe's Gaia Billion-Object Astronomy Mission Primed for Thursday Launch

Artist’s concept of the Gaia mission. Image Credit: ESA

After many delays, the European Space Agency (ESA) is ready to launch its ambitious Gaia mission to observe and catalog around 1 billion astronomical objects—or approximately 1 percent of the entire population of our Milky Way Galaxy—on Thursday, 19 December. Liftoff of the $1.2 […]

Processing Begins in French Guiana for Mid-December Ariane 5 Mission

The cryotechnic main stage and its French-built Vulcain-2 engine are raised to the vertical in the Launcher Integration Building (BIL) at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. Launch of Flight VA-216 is scheduled for mid-December. Photo Credit: CNES/Arianespace

It has been a busy year for Arianespace—the French-led launch services organization, which […]

Vega Rocket Launches Three Satellites into Different Orbits

Arianespace’s Vega VV-02 mission launches into steady rain at 11:06 p.m. Kourou time, Monday (2:06 a.m. UTC Tuesday). Photo Credit: Arianespace

Following Friday’s scrubbed launch attempt, due to high winds at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, Arianespace has successfully launched its second Vega lightweight booster to deploy three satellites into […]

Vega’s Ambitious Second Launch Scrubbed by High Winds

Arianespace’s Vega VV-02 stands ready at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, primed for liftoff. Friday night’s opening attempt was scrubbed due to high winds. Photo Credit: ESA/Arianespace

High winds put paid to an attempt last night to launch Arianespace’s second Vega lightweight booster from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, […]

Arianespace Readies Vega Rocket for Second Launch

Arianespace’s Vega VV-02 stands ready at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, primed for Friday night’s scheduled liftoff. Photo Credit: ESA/Arianespace

The European Arianespace organization is ready to launch its second Vega lightweight rocket from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, late Friday evening. The 98-foot-tall, four-stage vehicle will carry three payloads—including Estonia’s […]

Spitzer and Hershel Space Telescopes Detect Debris Belt(s) Around Vega

This is an artist’s rendering of the debris belt around the star Vega. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists working with data from both NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory have confirmed the detection of an asteroid-belt-like debris belt around the nearby star Vega.