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Orion's Ride to Space is at the Launch Site. Why So Early?

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/10/03 03:28 CDT | 9 comments

On Tuesday, Orion's massive Delta IV Heavy rocket rolled from its Horizontal Integration Facility out to the launch site. Launch is still eight weeks away. Why so early?

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The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative
But we need to know the cost

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/27 01:02 CDT | 22 comments

The Planetary Society strongly supports NASA's asteroid initiative, including the goal of redirecting an asteroid to the vicinity of the Moon. But an independent cost estimate is needed, and needed soon.

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No, Russia Did Not Just Kick the U.S. Out of the Space Station
A top Russian official announced several unexpected policy changes in a response to U.S. sanctions.

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/05/20 06:43 CDT | 8 comments

A top Russian official announced a ban on Russian engines in U.S. military launches and questioned Russia's long-term commitment to the International Space Station. We cut through the hype and try to understand what was actually said and the immediate consequences facing NASA.

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India keeps up the momentum, returning troubled GSLV to flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/01/06 11:20 CST | 4 comments

India returned its troubled GSLV to flight Sunday, marking the first successful outing of the country's Cryogenic Upper Stage.

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Chang'e 3 departs for the Moon, with amazing images and video

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/12/02 12:18 CST | 3 comments

On December 1 at 17:30 UTC, Chang'e 3 launched atop a Long March 3B rocket on a direct lunar transfer trajectory. It is scheduled to enter orbit December 6 and land December 14. The rocket was equipped with cameras that recorded thrilling video of the launch and final departure of the probe.

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Why are MAVEN and Mars Orbiter Mission taking such different paths to Mars?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/11/22 12:15 CST | 20 comments

Two spacecraft launched for Mars this month: Mars Orbiter Mission on November 5, and MAVEN on November 18. MAVEN is now on an interplanetary trajectory, while Mars Orbiter Mission is still in Earth orbit and will not depart for Mars until the end of the month. A lot of people are asking me: why the difference? Here's your answer, with input from Dave Doody.

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MAVEN is on the way to Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/11/18 04:17 CST | 8 comments

A perfect launch on an Atlas V rocket has sent MAVEN on her way to Mars today at 10:28 PT (18:38 UT). Today's on-time launch puts the mission on course for a September 22, 2014 arrival at Mars.

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MAVEN has arrived at the launch pad

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/11/08 12:14 CST | 3 comments

As India's Mars Orbiter Mission continues to pump up the altitude of its orbit around Earth, NASA's MAVEN is making final preparations for its direct-to-Mars launch. All is proceeding acccording to schedule toward its November 18 launch at 1:28 EST / 10:28 PST / 18:28 UTC.

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A picture-perfect launch for ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/11/05 04:11 CST | 14 comments

The PSLV carrying ISRO's Mars Orbiter mission shot like a firework off the launch pad today, placing the spacecraft precisely into its planned elliptical orbit of Earth. Now the 10-month cruise phase begins. Congratulations to ISRO!

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India prepares to take flight to Mars with the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/31 02:38 CDT | 11 comments

The excitement is really building toward India's first-ever attempt at an interplanetary spacecraft! Launch day is quickly approaching for the Mars Orbiter Mission. In this lengthy post, I provide answers to frequently asked questions about the mission and its goals.

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India prepares to return troubled rocket to flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/30 06:00 CDT | 15 comments

India is preparing for the return-to-flight of their Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, which has suffered back-to-back failures.

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Pretty picture: An Atlas launch and a very surprised bird

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/07/19 12:30 CDT

If you take hundreds of photos of every single spacecraft launch you can get to, you will eventually get lucky shots like this one. It was taken by Ben Cooper at today's launch of the U.S. Navy satellite MUOS-2 and features a very surprised turkey vulture in a striking pose in front of the American flag.

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J-2X: A Distant Dot Lights Up the Night

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/18 09:51 CDT | 3 comments

On Tuesday, NASA released new high-definition video of a June 26 nighttime J-2X engine test at Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi.

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In-flight entertainment: cameras aboard the Space Launch System

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/09 06:04 CDT | 1 comment

When the Space Launch System lifts off on its inaugural flight in 2017, eight engineering cameras will collect crucial in-flight data while providing breathtaking views for the public.

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Russian rocket crashes in spectacular explosion

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/02 07:11 CDT | 2 comments

A Russian Proton-M rocket veered off course and crashed in a nearby field shortly after liftoff from Baikonur, Kazahkstan.

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Ten years since Spirit's launch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/06/10 04:10 CDT | 1 comment

Ten years ago, Spirit launched on a Delta II rocket toward Mars, and I was there to see it.

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Antares sails test payload into orbit

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/04/22 11:12 CDT | 3 comments

Orbital Sciences Corporation completed a major milestone for NASA's COTS program as their Antares rocket sent a test payload into orbit.

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Antares ready for inaugural flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/04/11 09:48 CDT | 5 comments

Orbital Sciences Corporation is ready to send their Antares rocket system on its inaugural flight.

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SpaceX's Grasshopper makes leap toward reusability

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/12/26 01:18 CST | 14 comments

SpaceX's Grasshopper rocket passed its most ambitious test flight yet, rising 12 stories before hovering and settling gently back down onto its landing pad.

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North Korea launches first satellite

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/12/12 05:04 CST

North Korea successfully launched their first satellite from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at 9:49 a.m. local time Wednesday.

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