May 29, 2020

Zenit rocket raised on launch pad for possible final flight

December 9, 2015

In the run up to what may be the final flight of a Zenit launcher, a Russian-Ukrainian creation that ushered in a new era of Soviet-era rocketry, ground crews transferred the powerful booster to a launch pad Wednesday at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Long March lofts communications craft for Chinese government

December 9, 2015

A Long March 3B rocket driven by four strap-on boosters blasted off Wednesday from the Xichang space base in southwestern China, delivering a communications payload to orbit a half-hour later to likely begin service for the Chinese military.

Q&A with Alvaro Gimenez, ESA’s director of science

December 9, 2015

Alvaro Giménez Cañete manages the European Space Agency’s science program, a portfolio with a budget of nearly $600 million this year, and he recently spoke with Spaceflight Now about Europe’s hopes to build a gravitational wave observatory, the ExoMars mission to Mars, and tagging along with NASA’s probe to Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Akatsuki probe relays its first images from Venus orbit

December 9, 2015

Japanese scientists released Wednesday the first views of Venus captured by the Akatsuki spacecraft after arriving in orbit this week, setting the stage for regular observations of the planet’s blistering atmosphere over the next few years.

New Russian military satellite declared lost

December 7, 2015

A Russian defense payload built to monitor maritime activity, and possibly track the movements of submarines, is stuck to the upper stage of its rocket after launching Saturday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, multiple Russian news agencies reported.

Japanese probe fires rockets to steer into orbit at Venus

December 6, 2015

Five years after missing a shot to enter orbit at Venus, Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft completed a critical rocket burn late Sunday in a bid to salvage the research mission and become the only space probe operating around Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor.

Russian military satellites orbited by stripped-down Soyuz rocket

December 6, 2015

A Russian satellite reportedly designed to track enemy submarines and a spacecraft to help calibrate ground-based military radars lifted off Saturday aboard a modified Soyuz rocket, but one of the payloads apparently failed to deploy from the launcher’s upper stage, according to Russian media.

Take a last look at the Vega rocket’s middle-of-the-night liftoff

December 4, 2015

Videos and photos help tell the story of Thursday’s launch of Europe’s LISA Pathfinder spacecraft, carrying high-tech thrusters and ultra-sensitive motion sensors to be used in a future gravitational wave detection mission, from French Guiana aboard a nearly 100-foot-tall (30-meter) Vega rocket.

See the highest-resolution snapshots from July’s Pluto flyby

December 4, 2015

Scientists are marveling at some of the best views of Pluto recorded by the New Horizons spacecraft during its July 14 flyby of the unexplored icy dwarf in a set of photos released Friday showing Pluto’s icy, rugged topography in eye-popping detail.

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