January 18, 2020
Mission Reports

SpaceX will trigger an intentional rocket failure to prove crew capsule’s safety

January 18, 2020

SpaceX will sacrifice a Falcon 9 rocket Sunday in a fiery test a minute-and-a-half after liftoff from Florida’s Space Coast to prove the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft can safely push astronauts away from a failing launch vehicle, simulating a daring maneuver that would only be attempted on a piloted mission during an in-flight emergency.

  • Photos: Ariane 5 rocket rolled out for first launch of 2020

    January 16, 2020

    A nearly 180-foot-tall (54.8-meter) Ariane 5 rocket rolled out of its integration hangar to the ELA-3 launch zone Wednesday at the Guiana Space Center in South America, moving into position for liftoff Thursday with two geostationary communications satellites.

  • Live coverage: Ariane 5 launches telecom satellites for Eutelsat, ISRO

    January 16, 2020

    Arianespace’s first launch of 2020 lifted off at 4:05 p.m. EST (2105 GMT; 6:05 p.m. French Guiana time) Thursday from the Guiana Space Center on the northeastern shore of South America. An Ariane 5 rocket launched the Eutelsat Konnect and GSAT 30 communications satellite for Eutelsat and the Indian Space Research Organization.

  • Kuaizhou 1A rocket lofts Chinese broadband test satellite

    January 16, 2020

    A solid-fueled Kuaizhou 1A launcher carried a commercial broadband communications satellite into orbit Thursday for Galaxy Space, a Chinese company that says it plans to launch up to 144 spacecraft for a space-based 5G network in the next few years.

  • New European satellite design to debut on Ariane 5 launch Thursday

    January 16, 2020

    A broadband communications satellite for Paris-based Eutelsat — built on a new Thales Alenia Space all-electric design with xenon plasma thrusters — and an Indian broadcasting spacecraft are fastened to the top of an Ariane 5 launcher for liftoff Thursday from French Guiana.

  • Boeing releases in-cabin video from Starliner’s orbital test flight

    January 15, 2020

    Boeing has released a highlights reel video from in-cabin cameras on the December orbital test flight of an unpiloted Starliner crew capsule, showing views astronauts might experience on future missions.

  • Argentine smallsats hitch ride with Chinese payloads on Long March rocket

    January 15, 2020

    Two Earth-imaging microsatellites built and owned by the Argentine company Satellogic launched on a Long March 2D rocket from China Wednesday, sharing a ride into orbit with two Chinese spacecraft.

  • Boeing expects ‘minimal refurbishment’ on reusable Starliner crew capsule

    January 15, 2020

    While NASA and Boeing engineers investigate the cause of a software error that cut short the first orbital test flight of the Starliner crew capsule last month, ground teams have returned the spaceship from its landing site in New Mexico back to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Preliminary inspections indicate the reusable spacecraft weathered its first trip into orbit better than expected, and Boeing teams are confident the ship will need only “minimal refurbishment” before its next launch with astronauts.

  • Koch, Meir continue space station battery replacements on successful spacewalk

    January 15, 2020

    Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir floated back outside the International Space Station Wednesday for history’s second all-female spacewalk, installing two powerful new lithium-ion batteries on the far left end of the lab’s solar power truss.

  • ESA’s Huygens probe landed on Saturn’s moon Titan 15 years ago

    January 14, 2020

    Fifteen years after accomplishing the first-ever landing on Saturn’s moon Titan, lessons learned from the European Space Agency’s Huygens spacecraft continue aiding designers of future planetary probes, according to new results from a study looking at why the landing craft spun the wrong way as it descended through Titan’s thick, hazy atmosphere.

  • Dynetics, Sierra Nevada partnering on human-rated lunar lander proposal

    January 13, 2020

    Dynetics, an Alabama-based company with broad experience as a supplier of aerospace components and systems, is seeking a major role in NASA’s Artemis moon program with a proposal for a human-rated lunar lander developed in partnership with Sierra Nevada Corp. and other companies.

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