July 9, 2020

Relativity books up to six launches for Iridium, reveals plans for Vandenberg pad

June 24, 2020

Relativity Space, a small launch startup aiming to fly its orbital rocket from Cape Canaveral for the first time next year, announced Wednesday it has signed a contract with Iridium for up to six launches of the company’s spare communications satellites. Relativity also announced it plans to develop a second launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to allow for missions to polar orbits.

Facing pandemic, NASA shutters rocket factory, halts SLS and Orion testing

March 20, 2020

NASA announced Thursday that work on the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket and Orion crew capsule at facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi is being halted due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic, a stoppage that could force further delays on the already behind-schedule and over-budget programs. Meanwhile, NASA officials are making plans to continue working on the agency’s next Mars rover to keep it on schedule for launch later this year, even if the virus forces further closures.

First SLS core stage installed on test stand in Mississippi

February 3, 2020

Weeks after leaving its factory in New Orleans, the core stage for NASA’s first Space Launch System flight has been raised into a test stand at the Stennis Space Center to begin a series of checkouts culminating in an eight-minute engine-firing later this year.

First SLS core stage departs factory

January 8, 2020

The heart of NASA’s first flight-ready Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket emerged from its factory in New Orleans Wednesday morning for a barge trip to the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for an eight-minute test-firing of its space shuttle-era hydrogen-fueled engines.

NASA opts to go ahead with full-duration SLS core stage test-firing

July 27, 2019

After considering canceling a planned full-duration test-firing of the Space Launch System’s core stage in Mississippi ahead of the heavy-lift rocket’s first flight, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced this week that the agency will press ahead with the test next year, citing safety and reliability benefits for future astronauts riding on the launcher on missions to the moon.

Rapid-fire engine tests raise hopes for DARPA’s planned reusable spaceplane

July 18, 2018

A series of unprecedented back-to-back test-firings of a rocket engine originally developed for NASA’s space shuttle concluded earlier this month, giving engineers data crucial to achieving rapid 24-hour turnarounds planned for a U.S. military-funded reusable winged booster under construction at Boeing, government and industry officials said.

New SLS engine controller tested in hold-down firing

March 23, 2017

A shuttle-era RS-25 rocket engine was fired at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Thursday in the first test of a new engine control computer that will launch on the first flight of the agency’s Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket as soon as late next year.

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