October 20, 2018

Virgin Orbit nears first test flights with air-launched rocket

August 31, 2018

The attachment of a mounting bracket for Virgin Orbit’s smallsat launcher under the wing of a modified passenger jetliner portends the start of a series of captive carry tests with a full-scale model of the rocket, culminating in a drop of the vehicle before the first orbital launch attempt.

Spaceflight preps for first launch of unique orbiting satellite deployers

August 23, 2018

Engineers working for Spaceflight, a Seattle-based launch services company, are in the final steps of preparing for the first launch of new robotic free flyers carrying more than 70 small government and commercial satellites into polar orbit later this year aboard a dedicated flight of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Weather-monitoring and tech demo CubeSats deployed in orbit

July 21, 2018

Fifteen CubeSats owned by NASA, Spire Global, and U.S. research institutions launched aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship in May have been released into orbit, beginning missions to demonstrate miniaturized, low-cost Earth science instruments and join a commercial network of weather-monitoring nanosatellites.

Scotland site selected as launch base for Lockheed Martin, Orbex

July 16, 2018

Two companies — U.S. aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and British start-up Orbex — seeking to carve out a share of the burgeoning small satellite launch market plan to fly their rockets from a remote site on the northern shore of Scotland, British government and industry officials announced Monday.

Cygnus cargo ship released from space station, heads for extended mission

July 15, 2018

Closing out 52 days at the International Space Station, an automated Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft left the research outpost Sunday to climb into a higher orbit for deployment of six CubeSats and further engineering experiments, before de-orbiting over Pacific Ocean later this month.

Live coverage: Cygnus supply ship departs space station

July 15, 2018

A commercial Cygnus resupply craft that received a new corporate owner while berthed at the International Space Station — thanks to Northrop Grumman’s acquisition of Orbital ATK in June — departed the research complex Sunday. The supply ship was released by Canadarm 2 on the space station at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT).

Rocket Lab’s first commercial launch scrubbed again

June 27, 2018

The liftoff of a Rocket Lab Electron booster from New Zealand with five U.S.- and German-built nanosatellites was grounded Tuesday, U.S. time, after engineers identified a problem with a motor controller on the two-stage launcher.

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