December 8, 2021

Photos: Minotaur 1 rocket stands on launch pad in Virginia

June 14, 2021

Clad in a yellow thermal blanket that will peel away at liftoff, a 69-foot-tall Minotaur 1 rocket is standing on a launch pad at Wallops Island, Virginia, ready to deliver three small National Reconnaissance Office spacecraft to orbit.

Minotaur rocket set to launch top secret satellites from Virginia

June 14, 2021

A Minotaur 1 rocket powered by a surplus Cold War-era missile stage more than 54 years old is poised to blast off from the Eastern Shore of Virginia Tuesday morning, heading to orbit with three top secret spacecraft for the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency.

Pegasus rocket successful in responsive launch demonstration

June 13, 2021

A Northrop Grumman Pegasus rocket dropped from the belly of a carrier jet over the Pacific Ocean early Sunday and streaked into orbit with a small U.S. military space surveillance satellite named Odyssey, demonstrating a rapid launch capability in partnership with a secretive new Space Force special projects unit.

ESA selects radar probe to join armada of Venus missions

June 13, 2021

A week after NASA selected two robotic missions for launch to Venus in the late 2020s, the European Space Agency has announced its own orbiter will launch to Venus as soon as 2031 with two radars and three spectrometer instruments to comprehensively study the planet from its core to the atmosphere.

NASA spacecraft spots Chinese rover on Martian surface

June 11, 2021

The sharp-eyed camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted China’s Zhurong rover on the Red Planet, showing the craft next so its landing platform, with pieces of its heat shield and parachute nearby.

ULA delays Atlas 5 launch to study unexpected engine vibrations

June 10, 2021

United Launch Alliance’s next Atlas 5 launch will carry Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule into orbit July 30 on its second unpiloted test fight, officials confirmed Thursday. An Atlas 5 rocket for the U.S. military previously scheduled for June 23 has been postponed as engineers analyze unexpected vibrations of a new upper stage engine nozzle on a mission last month.

Ground teams begin process to hoist SLS core stage onto its launch platform

June 10, 2021

Technicians inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center began a delicate, multi-day task Thursday to lift the 94-ton core stage of the first Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket for mounting between two solid-fueled boosters already stacked for a test flight to the moon.

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