December 10, 2019

U.S. Air Force certifies Falcon Heavy rocket, awards launch contract

June 26, 2018

The successful maiden flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket in February was enough for the U.S. Air Force to certify the huge booster to carry the military’s most precious cargo into orbit, beginning with the mid-2020 launch of a classified payload under a $130 million contract awarded last week.

Ground antenna problem scrubs Rocket Lab’s first commercial launch

June 23, 2018

Problems with a downrange tracking station kept Rocket Lab’s Electron launcher on the ground in New Zealand Friday, U.S. time, and the company ordered a two-day delay to resolve the issues and wait for improved weather. Rocket Lab pushed back the launch again to Tuesday because of unfavorable weather.

Live coverage: Rocket Lab launch attempt scrubbed

June 22, 2018

Rocket Lab called off a launch attempt Tuesday, U.S. time, in New Zealand after encountering a technical problem during the countdown for the company’s first commercial satellite launch. Tuesday’s countdown came after a four-day delay to resolve problems with a downrange tracking station and wait for improved weather.

Growing dust storm encircles Mars, rover remains silent

June 21, 2018

The effects of a global dust storm on Mars have been observed by NASA’s plutonium-powered Curiosity rover, which continues its scientific campaign as the thick veil of dust continues starving the aging Opportunity rover of solar energy on the other side of the planet.

Asteroid Ryugu revealed by approaching Japanese spacecraft

June 20, 2018

In the final days of a three-and-a-half year pursuit, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sample return spacecraft is beaming back clearer images of asteroid Ryugu, an unexplored object that scientists say resembles a spinning top or dumpling nearly 180 million miles from Earth.

Government study looks to improve planning for possible asteroid impact

June 20, 2018

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is spearheading a 10-year plan to improve detection of near-Earth asteroids and comets that could crash into Earth and to expand research into possible countermeasures to deflect an incoming body if detected in time, officials said Wednesday.

Trump calls for establishment of U.S. “space force”

June 18, 2018

Catching observers off guard, President Trump, in remarks before a National Space Council Meeting at the White House Monday, officially directed to Pentagon to establish a sixth branch of the military, a “space force,” to ensure American dominance on the high frontier.

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