October 31, 2020

Photos: Solar Orbiter encapsulated inside launch shroud

January 24, 2020

The Airbus-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft has been closed up inside the payload fairing of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in preparation for liftoff from Cape Canaveral in February on a joint mission between the European Space Agency and NASA.

Atlas 5 for Solar Orbiter launch returns to assembly building for inspections

January 22, 2020

United Launch Alliance moved its next Atlas 5 rocket off its Florida launch pad Wednesday for inspections after a cooling duct unexpectedly disconnected before a planned countdown rehearsal to prepare for liftoff next month with the joint U.S.-European Solar Orbiter mission. The roll back to the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad could delay Solar Orbiter’s liftoff, which was scheduled for Feb. 5

Stacking of ULA’s next Atlas 5 rocket begins at Cape Canaveral

January 6, 2020

United Launch Alliance teams began stacking an Atlas 5 rocket inside a vertical hangar at Cape Canaveral Monday in preparation for an early February launch with the Solar Orbiter spacecraft, a joint U.S.-European probe that will take the first pictures of the sun’s poles.

Solar Orbiter arrives at Kennedy Space Center for launch preps

November 2, 2019

The European-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft arrived in Florida late Friday after a trans-Atlantic journey from a test center in Germany, ready to begin preparations for a liftoff from Cape Canaveral in February aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

British-built solar probe shipping to Florida launch site before Brexit deadline

October 22, 2019

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft — assembled in Britain and set for liftoff in February — has completed environmental testing in Germany and is scheduled to ride a cargo plane to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin launch preparations Oct. 31, several weeks earlier than planned to avoid complications stemming from Brexit.

NASA’s resilient Van Allen Probes shut down

October 20, 2019

Ground controllers transmitted commands to shut down the second of NASA’s Van Allen Probes on Friday, three months after turning off an identical satellite to conclude a seven-year mission that explored the donut-shaped radiation belts surrounding Earth.

NASA satellite to study ionosphere launches after two-year delay

October 11, 2019

A refrigerator-sized satellite soared into orbit aboard an air-launched Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket Thursday night over the Atlantic Ocean, finally setting off on a $252 million mission to probe the dynamic boundary region where space and Earth’s atmosphere meet.

Live coverage: NASA’s ICON satellite successfully launched

October 9, 2019

After a 24-hour delay due to poor weather, an air-launched Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket fired into orbit at 9:59 p.m. EDT Thursday (0159 GMT Friday) after release from a carrier jet at an altitude of 39,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral. The Pegasus rocket carried NASA’s ICON satellite into orbit to collect measurements of the ionosphere.

Pegasus rocket ready for airborne launch with NASA scientific satellite

October 8, 2019

After a year-long delay to troubleshoot recurring erroneous data signatures from the rudder of Northrop Grumman’s air-launched Pegasus XL rocket, NASA is eager to send a $252 million research satellite into orbit as soon as Thursday night off Florida’s east coast on a mission to probe the ionosphere, a region near the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.

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