Archive for June, 2013

NASA Ion Engine Shutting Down After Marathon 5 and Half Year Test Run

NASA Ion Engine Shutting Down After Marathon 5 and Half Year Test Run

NASA is shutting down its NEXT (NASA’s Evolutionary Zenon Thruster) ion engine which has been running continuously at the Glenn Research Center for over five years. From the Glenn Press Release: “The NEXT thruster operated for more than 48,000 hours,” said Michael J. Patterson, principal investigator for NEXT at Glenn. “We will voluntarily terminate this test at […]

NASA, Space Florida Begin Partnership for Shuttle Landing Strip

NASA, Space Florida Begin Partnership for Shuttle Landing Strip

   The week ended on a high note for the Kennedy Space Center with the announcement today that NASA and Space Florida are hammering out a partnership agreement which would see the State of Florida development agency assume responsibility for the Shuttle Landing Facility.The agreement which is still being worked out could see Space Florida ease the entry of a number […]

Posted in: NASA, Space Tourism
Russia Launches Kondor Satellite From Doomsday Bunker

Russia Launches Kondor Satellite From Doomsday Bunker

In a setting straight out of a Bond movie, or Star Trek : First Contact,  in  a remote setting, a long dormant missile silo opened its massive protective steel door yesterday, making way for the launch of a missile designed to carry nuclear destruction on  global scale.  Moments later, it was on the way to its destination.  On […]

Posted in: Russian Space
Pegasus Delivers IRIS to Orbit

Pegasus Delivers IRIS to Orbit

Orbital Sciences Press Release: Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that its Pegasus® rocket successfully launched the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) satellite for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The IRIS spacecraft was deployed into its targeted orbit approximately 400 miles above the Earth and early results confirm that the satellite is […]

Is Pegasus Nearing its Last Ride?

Is Pegasus Nearing its Last Ride?

Following a one day delay due to a power outage in the area around Vandenberg AFB.  Orbital Sciences is preparing to launch  NASA’s IRIS satellite aboard the air launched Pegasus XL booster.  IRIS, which stands for Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, is designed to study the behavior of a little understood region of the sun’s atmosphere, the “interface”  region […]

Two Continents, Two Launches, Two Hours

Two Continents, Two Launches, Two Hours

The Soyuz Booster recorded its 1807th and 1808th successful launches in short order yesterday.   At 1:28 p.m. EDT, (9:28 p.m. local) a Soyuz 2-1b blasted off from Baikonur carrying the Resource-P  Russian remote sensing satellite.  Two hours later, at 3:27 p.m. EDT, and half a world away, another Soyuz, this one equipped with a Fregat restartable upper stage, lifted off from the […]

ESO Finds 3 Planets in Habitable Zone Only 22 Light Years Away

ESO Finds 3 Planets in Habitable Zone Only 22 Light Years Away

Researchers with the European Southern Observatory have taken a new look at Gliese 667C,  part of a trinary system in the constellation Scorpius. Gliese 667C is already something of a phenomenon, with the total planet count now standing at 7. Using imaging from several different telescopes, astronomers have determined that the small star has three large rocky planets or “super earths” orbiting within […]

Commercial Soyuz Ready for Liftoff

Commercial Soyuz Ready for Liftoff

Update: Today’s launch has been scrubbed due to high winds.   A commercial Soyuz booster is ready for liftoff today out of the Guiana Space Center in South America at 2:53 p.m.  (3:53)  local carrying four 03b communications satellites.  Today’s launch marks the inauguration  of a new network of satellites built by Thales Alenia,   operating out of medium Earth orbit at an altitude of […]

SpaceX Completes First Development for Falcon V 1.1

SpaceX Completes First Development for Falcon V 1.1

Wacotrib.com reports via its Joe Science blog, the following notification from  SpaceX received Thursday evening. “SpaceX completed first-stage development testing on June 19 with a test fire.  This test achieved all verifications needed following earlier stage testing, and with this test we have achieved the equivalent of nearly two full mission duty cycles on the integrated stage.  […]

Roundup: SpaceX Adds Launch Orders,  Lots in Texas

Roundup: SpaceX Adds Launch Orders, Lots in Texas

Two week ending notes for SpaceX.  In a report in Space News, SpaceX has received orders for two launches, one of which dates back to the last time the Falcon 1(e) was on the manifest. As observers may recall, the company had listed a Falcon 1E launch for Astrium for some period of time, only to […]

Posted in: NASA, SpaceX
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