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United Launch Alliance Pulls Back Curtain on New Rocket

Jason Davis • April 13, 2015

ULA revealed its new Vulcan rocket system today, an Atlas and Delta mashup the company says will increase power, lower costs and broaden mission capabilities.

NASA and Orbital ATK Complete SLS Booster Test (Updated)

Jason Davis • March 11, 2015

A blast of fire and smoke lit up the hills of Promontory, Utah this morning as NASA and Orbital ATK completed a test firing of a Space Launch System solid rocket booster.

Interview with an SLS Engineer: How Booster Test May Help Drive Golden Spike for Interplanetary Railroad

Jason Davis • March 10, 2015

With NASA and Orbital ATK preparing for an important test tomorrow in Utah, an SLS engineer describes the inner workings of the vehicle's new solid rocket boosters.

Europe's Experimental Spaceplane Completes Successful Test Flight

Jason Davis • February 11, 2015

The IXV spaceplane, designed to demonstrate reentry technologies, splashed down in the Pacific Ocean this morning after a successful, 100-minute test flight.

Commercial Crew Rivalries: Fun to Watch, Everybody Wins

Jason Davis • January 28, 2015

Now that Boeing and SpaceX have won the high-profile privilege of carrying astronauts to the ISS, they must start making public appearances as reluctant equals.

Watch the Incredible 'Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly' of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket

Jason Davis • January 16, 2015

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has released four images of the company's Falcon 9 rocket impacting its drone ship landing pad in the Atlantic Ocean.

Reconstructing What Happened at Sea, as Dragon Arrives at Station

Jason Davis • January 12, 2015

Following a routine two-day voyage, SpaceX's Dragon capsule pulled in to port at the International Space Station. Meanwhile, tweets from CEO Elon Musk give clues on what happened at sea.

NASA Completes First Test Firing of SLS Core Stage Engine (Updated)

Jason Davis • January 09, 2015

NASA completed a 500-second test firing of the RS-25 engine, which will power the core stage of the Space Launch System.

SpaceX to Attempt First-Ever Ocean Barge Rocket Landing

Jason Davis • December 17, 2014

Early next year, SpaceX will attempt what no agency or company has done before: land a used rocket stage on a floating ocean platform.

Orion L-2 Report: The Old Gives Way to the New

Jason Davis • December 02, 2014

With less than two days before Orion's maiden voyage, NASA and United Launch Alliance are cautiously optimistic the flight will launch Thursday as scheduled.

United Launch Alliance Answers Burning Questions about Orion's Rocket

Jason Davis • November 26, 2014

When Orion launches next week, you may notice something alarming: The spacecraft's rocket sort of catches itself on fire. But not to worry, says United Launch Alliance.

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

Jason Davis • October 03, 2014

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?

The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative

Casey Dreier • May 27, 2014

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.

No, Russia Did Not Just Kick the U.S. Out of the Space Station

Casey Dreier • May 20, 2014

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.

India keeps up the momentum, returning troubled GSLV to flight

Jason Davis • January 06, 2014

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • December 02, 2013

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • November 22, 2013

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.

MAVEN is on the way to Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2013

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.

MAVEN has arrived at the launch pad

Emily Lakdawalla • November 08, 2013

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • November 05, 2013

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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