January 21, 2022

Hawaii’s first satellite launch set for Tuesday

November 3, 2015

U.S. military authorities have granted approval for liftoff Tuesday of a simplified satellite launcher from Hawaii on a test flight officials say will help drive down the costs of sending small spacecraft into orbit.

Inaugural launch of small-class rocket on hold in Hawaii

October 29, 2015

The maiden test flight of a new rail-guided launcher from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, which was scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed while engineers resolve issues encountered in pre-launch preparations, a U.S. Air Force spokesperson said.

NASA to fly CubeSats on three new commercial launchers

October 16, 2015

NASA announced Wednesday it is joining a chorus of companies pushing for easier access to space, awarding $17.1 million in contracts to three firms developing new launchers tailored for lifting lightweight satellites into orbit.

Seattle company buys big rocket for little satellites

September 30, 2015

Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries has purchased a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for launch in 2017 with a mash-up of satellites in the first such commercial arrangement for a rideshare mission on a U.S. launcher, the company announced Wednesday.

Q&A with Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight Industries (members only)

September 30, 2015

Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight Industries, spoke with Spaceflight Now’s Stephen Clark on Sept. 29 about the Seattle-based company’s purchase of a dedicated rideshare mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and various trends and strategies in play in the small satellite launch market.

Debut launch of Long March 6 deploys 20 satellites

September 20, 2015

China’s Long March 6 rocket, fueled by a mixture of kerosene and liquid oxygen, successfully shot into orbit on its first mission Saturday with 20 small satellites, signaling a revolution in Chinese rocketry as the country prepares to test bigger boosters in the coming months.

NASA: Tracking CubeSats is easy, but many stay in orbit too long

July 30, 2015

U.S. military radars have little trouble tracking the flux of CubeSats filling orbital traffic lanes, diminishing worries that new commercial CubeSat constellations could generate collision hazards in space, according to a report issued by NASA last week.

Two ‘microprobes’ to accompany InSight lander to Mars

June 14, 2015

NASA managers have formally approved the launch of two small CubeSat-based satellites with the InSight Mars lander next year, adding an experimental data relay capability to give ground controllers news about the landing’s outcome.

LightSail hailed as precursor for low-cost planetary missions

June 10, 2015

Managers in charge of the privately-funded LightSail solar sail in Earth orbit said Wednesday the success of the experiment is a step toward opening up the solar system to scores of modest science probes that could explore space at a fraction of the cost of traditional government-backed missions.

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