September 20, 2019

Japanese satellites launched on Soviet-era missile

November 6, 2014

A decommissioned Soviet-era ballistic missile — adapted for space launches instead of nuclear war — rocketed out of an underground silo and sent five Japanese Earth observing satellites into orbit.

Engineers recommend changes to Orion heat shield

November 5, 2014

Lessons learned during preparations leading up to the first orbital test flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft in December have prompted engineers to recommend changing the design of the crew capsule’s heat shield for future missions to the moon, Mars, or an asteroid, according to Lockheed Martin officials.

Engine turbopump eyed in Antares launch failure

November 5, 2014

With investigators zeroing in on a decades-old rocket engine as the cause of a catastrophic launch mishap, Orbital Sciences officials said the company plans to use other launchers to send cargo to the International Space Station while modifying its Antares rocket with a new propulsion system.

Virgin Galactic rocket plane deployed braking system prematurely

November 3, 2014

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane disintegrated in mid-air after two tail stabilizers prematurely extended, federal investigators said, a discovery that could shift the focus of the probe into the fatal crash away from the craft’s rocket motor.

SpaceShipTwo crash inquiry could take a year

November 2, 2014

Investigators have plenty of evidence to sift through as they look into the cause of the fatal crash of a Virgin Galactic rocket plane, but the acting chair of the National Transportation Safety Board said the inquiry may take up to a year to complete.

Chinese probe returns from flight around the moon

November 1, 2014

Completing an eight-day test flight around the moon to verify technologies for a planned lunar sample return mission, an unpiloted Chinese space capsule re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at blazing speed and parachuted to a successful landing.

Initial damage assessment shows Antares pad intact

October 31, 2014

Initial inspections of the Antares rocket’s launch pad in Virginia revealed the facility escape major damage after sustaining nearly a direct hit from the booster as it fell to the ground in flames seconds after liftoff.

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