October 13, 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.

NTSB provides timeline of SpaceShipTwo mishap

November 4, 2014

Just 13 seconds after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo began a rocket-powered test flight — and just five seconds after its innovative aero-braking system was inadvertently deployed at supersonic speeds — the spaceplane apparently broke up, killing one pilot and injuring another, according to a National Transportation Safety Board timeline.

Station astronaut calls private spaceflight ‘next breakthrough’

November 3, 2014

Space station astronaut Reid Wiseman, preparing to return to Earth this weekend after 165 days in orbit, said commercial spaceflight represents the “next breakthrough” in aerospace technology, and that he hopes Virgin Galactic can ultimately turn that dream into reality despite the fatal crash of the company’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane.

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.

Branson vows to press ahead, NTSB investigation begins

November 2, 2014

Richard Branson, the charismatic leader of Virgin Galactic and a driving force in the push to commercialize space travel, vowed to find out what caused the fatal crash of his company’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, to learn from the tragedy and to press ahead with plans to carry paying customers into space.

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