September 21, 2017
Atlas 5

Live coverage: Atlas 5 countdown and launch journal

September 19, 2017

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will fly from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Thursday night to place a classified surveillance satellite into space for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

News Headlines

  • Six firm launch contracts booked with Arianespace

    September 20, 2017

    Arianespace has received its first two confirmed launch contracts for Europe’s new Ariane 6 rocket, and the company recently announced four more launch bookings to loft communications and weather satellites into orbit aboard Ariane 5 and Soyuz boosters from French Guiana.

  • Japan’s MHI wins deal to launch satellite for Inmarsat

    September 19, 2017

    Inmarsat has selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch the first of two planned sixth-generation communications satellites on an H-2A rocket in 2020, giving the Japanese launcher its second commercial win in the global market to loft large geostationary telecom craft.

  • Northrop Grumman to purchase Orbital ATK for $9.2 billion

    September 19, 2017

    Northrop Grumman announced Monday plans to acquire Orbital ATK, a company with a portfolio ranging from satellite manufacturing and orbital servicing to launch vehicles, missile defense and munitions, for approximately $9.2 billion, a combination officials promised will lead to better products at lower prices.

  • Dragon capsule splashes down in Pacific with space station cargo

    September 17, 2017

    Returning home from more than a month in orbit, a SpaceX Dragon supply ship departed the International Space Station and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday with nearly two tons of research specimens and hardware, including mice sent up to investigate how spaceflight affects eyesight and locomotion.

  • Chinese space station freighter concludes refueling demo mission

    September 17, 2017

    China’s Tianzhou 1 freighter, a pathfinder for regular resupply and refueling trips to the country’s planned space station, wrapped up a series of successful propellant transfer tests with the orbiting Tiangong 2 space lab Saturday and detached from the module for more standalone experiments and a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Live coverage: SpaceX cargo capsule returns to Earth

    September 17, 2017

    SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship returned to to Earth on Sunday with more than 3,800 pounds of NASA cargo, research specimens and other hardware. The commercial capsule was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT), and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California occurred at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT).

  • Cassini crashes into Saturn, ending 20-year mission

    September 15, 2017

    Dutifully beaming back data to the very end, NASA’s long-lived Cassini probe slammed into Saturn’s atmosphere at some 77,000 mph Friday, blazing like a shooting star as it was ripped apart and incinerated in the final chapter of an enormously successful mission.

  • Cassini races toward fiery mission-ending plunge into Saturn

    September 14, 2017

    Thirteen years after reaching Saturn, NASA’s nuclear-powered Cassini spacecraft raced through its 294th and final orbit Thursday, collecting priceless data while hurtling toward a kamikaze-like plunge into the ringed planet’s atmosphere Friday, going out in a blaze of glory to wrap up an “insanely” successful mission.

  • Launch operators expect minimal delays from Hurricane Irma

    September 13, 2017

    SpaceX and United Launch Alliance expect to resume launches with little or no delay after Hurricane Irma veered west of Cape Canaveral last weekend, sparing the launch base from the storm’s most extreme damage.

  • Soyuz docks with space station, adding three to lab’s crew

    September 13, 2017

    Lighting up the pre-dawn sky, a Soyuz rocket roared to life and streaked into orbit Tuesday carrying a Russian cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, boosting the lab’s crew back to six and the U.S. complement to four NASA-sponsored astronauts.

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