A powerful European Ariane 5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana late Friday and boosted a pair of satellites into space for a seven-year plunge into the inner solar system, a voyage requiring seven planetary flybys to slow down enough in the sun’s gravitational clutches to slip into orbit around hellish Mercury.
A normally reliable Soyuz FG rocket malfunctioned two minutes after liftoff from Kazakhstan Thursday, forcing a Russian cosmonaut and his NASA crewmate to execute an emergency abort and a steep-but-safe return to Earth a few hundred miles from the launch site. Russian recovery crews reported the crew came through the ordeal in good shape.
NASA has suspended science operations with the Hubble Space Telescope and put the observatory into protective “safe mode” while engineers troubleshoot problems with one of the spacecraft’s three remaining gyroscopes, used to help aim the telescope and keep it locked on target, officials said Monday.
A Russian Soyuz ferry ship carrying a Russian cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts undocked from the International Space Station early Thursday, flew a lap around the 20-year-old outpost for a photo survey and then plunged back to Earth, making a pinpoint landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan to wrap up a 197-day stay in space.
A cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts finished packing up their Soyuz ferry ship Wednesday and prepared to undock from the International Space Station early Thursday for a fiery descent to touchdown on the steppe of Kazakhstan to close out a 197-day mission that included four spacewalks, a full slate of research and an emergency leak repair.
Ending months of speculation, Blue Origin, a company owned by Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos, has won a milestone contract to provide first-stage rocket engines for a powerful new booster being designed by United Launch Alliance to replace its current fleet of Atlas and Delta launchers, the companies announced Thursday.
A year-and-a-half after announcing plans to launch two private citizens on a flight around the moon using the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket and Dragon capsule, SpaceX posted a tweet late Thursday announcing apparently revised plans to launch a “private passenger” on a moon flight using SpaceX’s new BFR rocket.