September 20, 2019
Mission Reports

NASA still looking for new human spaceflight chief

September 19, 2019

NASA hopes to have a new leader for the agency’s human spaceflight directorate by the end of the year to replace Bill Gerstenmaier, who held the post for nearly 14 years before his reassignment in July amid the Trump administration’s push to land humans on the moon by 2024, a NASA official said Wednesday.

  • Japanese cargo launch reset for Monday after fire

    September 20, 2019

    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the prime contractor for Japan’s H-2B rocket, said Friday that engineers concluded a fire on the launch pad during a countdown earlier this month was most likely sparked by static electricity and stimulated by oxygen. The H-2B rocket launch has been rescheduled for Monday to start a resupply mission to the International Space Station.

  • Five Chinese smallsats launched by Long March 11 rocket

    September 19, 2019

    Five commercial Earth-imaging satellites rode a Long March 11 rocket into orbit Thursday from the Jiuquan space base in northwestern China.

  • NASA’s Juno spacecraft sees moon’s otherworldly shadow on Jupiter

    September 18, 2019

    Fresh images from NASA’s Juno spacecraft show an ethereal shadow cast by Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io on the planet’s swirling cloud tops.

  • Starlink to fill lion’s share of SpaceX near-term launch manifest

    September 18, 2019

    SpaceX plans as many as 24 launches next year to build out the company’s Starlink network to provide broadband Internet service from space, following up to four more Starlink missions before the end of this year, according to SpaceX’s chief operating officer.

  • Hayabusa 2 completes practice run for deployment of last asteroid lander

    September 17, 2019

    Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft deployed two target markers Monday above asteroid Ryugu in a rehearsal for the release of the mission’s final landing robot next month.

  • NASA, ESA officials seek formal approvals for Mars sample return mission

    September 16, 2019

    After crystallizing a partnership to retrieve samples from the surface of Mars and return them to Earth, NASA and European Space Agency officials are seeking government funding commitments before the end of this year to carry out a multibillion-dollar robotic mission that could depart Earth with a pair of rocket launches as soon as 2026.

  • NASA lunar orbiter to image Chandrayaan 2 landing site

    September 12, 2019

    NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will try to locate India’s Vikram lander on the moon during a flyover of the landing site Tuesday. Indian space officials said they found the disabled spacecraft on the moon using the country’s own Chandrayaan 2 orbiter, but declined to release any images.

  • SES selects SpaceX for two Falcon 9 launches

    September 12, 2019

    Two SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches will loft seven high-throughput broadband satellites for SES’s O3b mPower constellation in 2021, SES announced this week.

  • China launches Earth-observing satellites, solar sail experiment

    September 12, 2019

    Two Earth-imaging satellites and an experimental solar sail payload rocketed into orbit Thursday aboard a Chinese Long March 4B launcher, the first flight for China’s Long March 4 rocket family since an upper stage failure in May.

  • Space station cargo mission grounded by launch pad fire

    September 10, 2019

    Japanese officials called off the launch of an H-2B rocket and HTV space station cargo ship Tuesday after a fire broke out on the launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center.

  • Live coverage: H-2B rocket launch scrubbed after fire

    September 10, 2019

    The launch of a Japanese H-2B rocket was called off Tuesday after a fire broke out on the launch pad a few hours before liftoff. A new target launch date has not been confirmed. The mission will carry an HTV cargo ship into orbit on a resupply run to the International Space Station.

  • Investigators narrow cause of Vega launch failure to second stage

    September 10, 2019

    Engineers believe super-hot gas from burning solid propellant impinged on the structure of the second stage on a European Vega launcher during a failed flight in July, causing the vehicle to break apart minutes after liftoff from French Guiana with a reconnaissance satellite for the United Arab Emirates, the CEO of Italian rocket-maker Avio said Monday.

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