February 18, 2020

Decades in the making, Solar Orbiter finally meets launcher at Cape Canaveral

February 1, 2020

The European-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft was installed on top of its United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 launcher Friday at Cape Canaveral, ready for final charging and checkouts before liftoff Feb. 9 to finally begin a more than $1.5 billion science mission first approved by the European Space Agency nearly 20 years ago.

Axiom wins NASA approval to attach commercial habitat to space station

January 28, 2020

NASA has selected Axiom Space, a Houston-based startup partnering with Boeing and other aerospace contractors, to attach a commercial habitat to the International Space Station and begin constructing an orbiting complex that the company says could ultimately replace the international research outpost.

Solar Orbiter launch delayed to Feb. 7

January 26, 2020

Officials have delayed the launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket with the European-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft from Cape Canaveral by two days to Feb. 7, a ripple effect from time spent fixing a minor issue last week during a launch vehicle countdown dress rehearsal.

Astronauts finish repairs to space station cosmic ray detector

January 25, 2020

During a fourth spacewalk Saturday to wrap up repairs of the coolant system in a $2 billion cosmic ray detector, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and Drew Morgan discovered a leak in one of eight coolant lines that were spliced into a new pump module during three earlier excursions. But Parmitano was able to tighten a fitting on the line and the astronauts were able to complete the repair work, setting the stage for the instrument to resume science operations.

ULA team completes countdown practice run before Solar Orbiter launch

January 24, 2020

United Launch Alliance teams loaded super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into an Atlas 5 rocket Friday at Cape Canaveral during a countdown dress rehearsal for a planned launch next month with the Solar Orbiter mission, a robotic spacecraft to study the origins of the solar wind and image the sun’s poles for the first time.

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.

SpaceX releases preliminary results from Crew Dragon abort test

January 23, 2020

Data from the Jan. 19 in-flight launch escape demonstration of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft indicate the performance of the capsule’s SuperDraco abort engines was “flawless” as the thrusters boosted the ship away from the top of a Falcon 9 rocket with a peak acceleration of about 3.3Gs, officials said Thursday.

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