June 23, 2021
  • Photos: Surplus missile motor from 1960s launches classified NRO satellites

    June 20, 2021

    A Cold War-era missile motor cast with solid propellant in 1966 fired up for the first time Wednesday to catapult a Northrop Grumman Minotaur 1 rocket off a launch pad in Virginia with three small spacecraft for the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency.

  • Spacewalkers unfurl first of six new space station solar arrays

    June 20, 2021

    Astronauts Thomas Pesquet and Shane Kimbrough floated outside the International Space Station Sunday to deploy and unroll a new solar array blanket after encountering spacesuit glitches and an interference issue during a previous excursion Wednesday.

  • SpaceX launches first national security mission on reused commercial rocket

    June 17, 2021

    A fresh GPS navigation beacon destined to replace a nearly 17-year-old satellite rode into orbit from Cape Canaveral on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Thursday, marking the first time risk-averse U.S. military space officials have agreed to launch a national security mission on a reused commercial booster.

  • Chinese astronauts enter Tiangong space station for first time

    June 17, 2021

    Three Chinese astronauts floated into the country’s new Tiangong space station Thursday, becoming the first people to board China’s outpost in orbit after a successful launch from a military base in the Gobi Desert to start a three-month mission.

  • Live coverage: SpaceX launches GPS satellite for U.S. Space Force

    June 17, 2021

    SpaceX launched a national security payload for the U.S. military Thursday for the first time using a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket booster. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with a GPS navigation satellite at 12:09 p.m. EDT (1609 GMT).

  • Live coverage: China launches first crew to new space station

    June 16, 2021

    Three Chinese astronauts launched at 9:22 p.m. EDT Wednesday (0122 GMT Thursday) aboard the Shenzhou 12 spacecraft. A Long March 2F rocket blasted off from northwest China and successfully carried the astronauts into orbit, setting the stage for their docking at the Tiangong space station about six hours later.

  • U.S. Space Force clears reused SpaceX rocket for launch with GPS satellite

    June 16, 2021

    Following years of planning, a GPS navigation satellite built by Lockheed Martin will be the first operational U.S. military payload to ride a reused SpaceX booster on a launch from Florida Thursday, laying the groundwork for future national security missions to save money by incorporating recycled rocket parts.

  • Three astronauts will be first to board new Chinese space station

    June 16, 2021

    Two veteran Chinese astronauts and a first-time space flier will be the first crew members to live and work aboard China’s new space station after launching Wednesday from a remote spaceport in the Gobi Desert.

  • NASA bolts Space Launch System core stage to solid rocket boosters

    June 16, 2021

    The core stage for NASA’s first Space Launch System, the heavy-lift rocket designed to carry astronauts back to the moon, has been installed between two solid-fueled boosters on a mobile launch platform at the Kennedy Space Center for an unpiloted lunar test flight.

  • Spacewalkers run out of time before unrolling new space station solar array

    June 16, 2021

    Two astronauts floated outside the International Space Station Wednesday and attached a rolled-up solar array, the first of six intended to boost the lab’s power back to factory fresh levels. But a spacesuit glitch and then an interference issue with the array mechanism prevented them from extending the new panel as planned.

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