Archive for April, 2015

CRS-6 Lifts Off, Falcon Lands, but Too Hard

CRS-6 Lifts Off, Falcon Lands, but Too Hard

Liftoff of CRS-6 / Image Credit: Stewart Money After a Monday scrub, the second launch attempt for NASA /SpaceX’s CRS-6 resupply mission to the International Space Station found brilliant blue skies punctuated by occasional clouds and absolutely no technical problems as it counted down to T-0. Lifting off the pad at SLC-40, the Falcon 9 […]

Meet ULA’s Vulcan Rocket

Meet ULA’s Vulcan Rocket

Vulcan Booster / Image Credit United Launch Alliance United Launch Alliance formally introduced its new booster on Monday. Intended to replace both the Atlas and Delta product lines over time, the new rocket’s name is Vulcan., although ULA also refers to the booster as the Next Generation Launch System. The name was chosen in an […]

Weather Forces SpaceX CRS-6 Scrub

Weather Forces SpaceX CRS-6 Scrub

For most of the afternoon, it looked as if a steady breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean would keep a series of storms away from Cape Canaveral and the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sitting on the pad at SLC-40. And for a while, they did, as SpaceX made it to three minutes remaining in an […]

Posted in: NASA, SpaceX
SpaceX Predicts 75-80% Chance of Landing Success: Updated

SpaceX Predicts 75-80% Chance of Landing Success: Updated

Update: Whether he is sandbagging, or really just wanted to clarify, SpaceX founder Elon Musk used Twitter to correct media reports (including this one) that cited the odds of successful first stage landing at 75-80%. \ Odds of rocket landing successfully today are still less than 50%. The 80% figure by end of year is […]

Posted in: NASA, SpaceX
Dueling Events for SpaceX and ULA Make for a Major Monday

Dueling Events for SpaceX and ULA Make for a Major Monday

As NASA and SpaceX are counting down to the planned 4:33 PM EDT CRS-6 cargo flight to the International Space Station on Monday, April 13th., United Launch Alliance is counting down to a press conference introducing its new rocket which will be held at nearly the same time. The ULA press conference at which President […]

Mars Has Glaciers, “Thousands” of Them

Mars Has Glaciers, “Thousands” of Them

According to Reuters, new research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letter indicates that while Mars may have lost up to 87% of the water it once possessed, there is still an enormous amount of water ice to be found on the Red Planet. In addition to the known deposits found at Mars’ polar caps, […]

Posted in: Mars
Turning Up the Power on Solar Electric Propulsion

Turning Up the Power on Solar Electric Propulsion

NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion thruster. /  Image Credit NASA. After arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres one month ago, NASA’s ion powered Dawn spacecraft entered an initial capture orbit which took it to a maximum altitude of more than 46,000 miles above the icy body. Firing steadily, a 2.6 kw ion engine, one […]

Posted in: Advanced propulsion
Blue Origin Completes Acceptance Testing of BE-3 Engine

Blue Origin Completes Acceptance Testing of BE-3 Engine

BE-3 Undergoing Testing / Image Credit Blue Origin Long silent Blue Origin announced today that it has completed acceptance testing of its BE-3 cryogenic rocket engine. The complete press release is included below. Comments follow the release. KENT, Wash. – Blue Origin recently completed acceptance testing of its BE‑3 rocket engine, the first new hydrogen […]

NASA May, (or May Not) Be Considering a Lunar Return After All

NASA May, (or May Not) Be Considering a Lunar Return After All

April 15th, 2015 will mark the fifth anniversary of one of the most significant, and controversial policy changes in the history of the U.S. space program, the decision to cancel Project Constellation and NASA’s planned return to the Moon. Now, according to a story by veteran reporter Eric Berger in the Houston Chronicle, with less […]

Posted in: Mars, Moon, NASA
The Plantary Society’s Orbiting Mars Workshop: Secrecy, But No Falcons

The Plantary Society’s Orbiting Mars Workshop: Secrecy, But No Falcons

Fact, followed by Editorial Opinion. Beginning in 2012, after NASA somewhat reluctantly adopted the Space Launch System architecture dictated by Congress the previous year, America’s space agency has been pushing the the narrative that it is on “A Journey to Mars.” For anyone looking beyond the hype however, it is has been rather clear that […]

Posted in: Mars, NASA
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