January 16, 2021
Mission Reports

Live coverage: SLS core stage fueled up before hot fire test

January 16, 2021

NASA managers gave the “go” to begin filling the Space Launch System’s core stage with more than 700,000 gallons of super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen Saturday at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, aiming for the first firing of all four of the huge rocket’s main engines later in the day. NASA TV’s live coverage of the test-firing begins at 3:20 p.m. EST (2020 GMT), around 40 minutes before the start of the eight-minute hot fire.

  • Live coverage: Rocket Lab scrubs launch from New Zealand

    January 16, 2021

    Rocket Lab scrubbed a launch attempt Saturday for its first mission of 2021 to review sensor data. Officials did not immediately set a new target launch date. The company’s light-class Electron rocket is set for launch from New Zealand with a small clandestine satellite for OHB, a German aerospace company.

  • Rocket Lab set to launch super-secret satellite for German company

    January 15, 2021

    A small communications satellite built by the German company OHB — a payload so secret that no one has officially disclosed its name or end user — is set to ride a Rocket Lab Electron launcher into orbit Saturday from New Zealand.

  • Officials forecast than 50 launches from Florida’s Space Coast this year

    January 15, 2021

    Military officials in charge of the Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral project more than 50 launches from Florida’s Space Coast this year, with SpaceX responsible for most of the launch activity, the vice commander of the 45th Space Wing said this week.

  • Blue Origin tests passenger accommodations on suborbital launch

    January 14, 2021

    Blue Origin says it is “very, very close” to flying humans on suborbital launches to the edge of space after a successful test flight of a human-capable rocket and capsule Thursday.

  • French wine, live rodents among 2 tons of cargo returned from space station

    January 14, 2021

    A SpaceX Cargo Dragon capsule parachuted to an on-target splashdown Wednesday night west of Tampa, returning more than two tons of experiment specimens from the International Space Station, including live rodents and a dozen bottles of space-aged French wine.

  • Boeing says assembly complete on first set of new space station solar arrays

    January 13, 2021

    Engineers from Boeing and a team of subcontractors have finished building the first pair of six new solar arrays to bolster the International Space Station’s aging electrical system ahead of their launch to the orbiting outpost as soon as May aboard SpaceX’s next Cargo Dragon mission.

  • Cargo Dragon heads for splashdown off Florida’s west coast

    January 12, 2021

    SpaceX’s first upgraded Cargo Dragon spaceship departed the International Space Station Tuesday morning with more than 4,400 pounds of research specimens and other equipment, heading for splashdown Wednesday night in the Gulf of Mexico off the west coast of Florida.

  • James Webb, OneWeb highlight Arianespace’s 2021 launch schedule

    January 11, 2021

    The planned Halloween launch of the James Webb Space Telescope — one of eight Ariane 5 launches left before the rocket’s retirement — and a series of flights to build out OneWeb’s satellite internet network highlight Arianespace’s schedule this year.

  • NASA mission extension enables first flybys of Jupiter’s moons in 20 years

    January 11, 2021

    In a pair of mission extensions, NASA has cleared the way for more seismic observations on Mars with the robotic InSight lander and approved plans for the Juno spacecraft to alter its orbit and perform close flybys of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, Ganymede, and the volcanic moon Io.

  • Cargo Dragon return delayed by poor weather

    January 11, 2021

    Poor weather in the offshore recovery zone east of Florida forced SpaceX and NASA to delay the departure of an upgraded Cargo Dragon spaceship from International Space Station Monday. The capsule is bringing home several tons of research equipment, specimens, and other equipment.

  • China to begin construction of space station this year

    January 10, 2021

    The core section of China’s space station is scheduled to launch in the next several months, the first of 11 missions carrying lab elements, cargo, and astronauts to the fledgling outpost over the next two years, according to Chinese space program officials.

  • Smallsat launch providers readying for first missions of 2021

    January 10, 2021

    Virgin Orbit and Rocket Lab teams are gearing up for their first missions of the year in the coming days, with Virgin’s air-launched rocket set for its second demonstration flight and Rocket Lab’s Electron booster poised to launch a small German-owned communications satellite.

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