Japan’s ispace now aims for a lunar landing in 2021, and a Moon rover deployment in 2023

Japan’s ispace now aims for a lunar landing in 2021, and a Moon rover deployment in 2023

One of the private companies aiming to deliver a commercial lunar lander to the Moon has adjusted the timing for its planned mission, which isn’t all that surprising given the enormity of the task. Japanese startup ispace is now targeting 2021 for their first lunar landing, and 2023 for a Read more…

Second docking adapter for commercial crew vehicles installed on International Space Station

Second docking adapter for commercial crew vehicles installed on International Space Station

The International Space Station is now more than ready for crew-carrying spacecraft flown by commercial companies to pay it a visit: The second planned International Dock Adapter (IDA) was installed on the Space Station during a spacewalk by NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan earlier today. The dock adapter, Read more…

Watch live as NASA astronauts spacewalk to install a new automated docking ring on the ISS

Watch live as NASA astronauts spacewalk to install a new automated docking ring on the ISS

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan are setting out today to perform the installation of a new International Docking Adapter (IDA) on the International Space Station that will provide another way for futuer crew craft flown by commercial providers to bring astronauts to the orbital research platform. This is Read more…

SpaceX’s spacefaring Tesla Roadster has made a full trip around the Sun

SpaceX’s spacefaring Tesla Roadster has made a full trip around the Sun

Somewhere in space, a mannequin wearing a SpaceX spacesuit and driving a cherry red original Tesla Roadster that once belonged to Elon Musk is celebrating its first trip around the sun. The absurd ‘Starman’ and Roadster combo was launched last year aboard the first Falcon Heavy test flight from Kennedy Read more…

NASA and SpaceX practice Crew Dragon evacuation procedure with astronaut recovery vessel

NASA and SpaceX practice Crew Dragon evacuation procedure with astronaut recovery vessel

NASA and SpaceX continue their joint preparations for the eventually astronaut crew missions that SpaceX will fly for the agency, with a test of the emergency evacuation procedure for SpaceX’s GO Searcher seaborne ship. The ship is intended to be used to recover spacecraft and astronauts in an actual mission Read more…

Northrop Grumman to build its OmegA rocket at NASA’s VAB as first commercial tenant

Northrop Grumman to build its OmegA rocket at NASA’s VAB as first commercial tenant

NASA is celebrating alongside Northrop Grumman at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as the latter becomes the first commercial partner to make use of the Vehicle Assembly Building on-site at the base. The VAB, as its more commonly known, is a cavernous building that’s used to build and test rockets Read more…

SpaceX, Blue Origin, ULA and Northrop Grumman bid for U.S. national security launch contract

SpaceX, Blue Origin, ULA and Northrop Grumman bid for U.S. national security launch contract

The U.S. Air Force is looking to lock in its launch providers for national security satellite missions to take place between 2022 and 2026, and the bids for this so-called “Phase 2” procurement contract are now in. The field of competitors looking to become one of the two companies chosen Read more…

ULA successfully launches fifth US Air Force-protected communications satellite

ULA successfully launches fifth US Air Force-protected communications satellite

The United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint-effort commercial launch service provider set up by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, succeeded in launching a U.S. Air Force communications satellite to orbit today, the fifth in a series of launches to form a constellation. The satellite, code-named AEHF-5 (for the fifth “Advanced Extremely Read more…

SpaceX successfully launches twice re-flown Falcon 9 for AMOS-17 mission

SpaceX successfully launches twice re-flown Falcon 9 for AMOS-17 mission

SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 first-stage that had previously served two missions in July and November of 2018, today carrying its final payload, the AMOS-17 satellite for Spacecomm. SpaceX had configured the Falcon 9 in its ‘expendable mode’ for this mission, which means it made use of all available Read more…

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket will go reusable, with the company aiming for mid-air helicopter recovery

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket will go reusable, with the company aiming for mid-air helicopter recovery

Private rocket launch startup and SpaceX competitor Rocket Lab made a big announcement today: It’ll be looking to re-use the first stage of its Electron rockets, returning them to Earth with a controlled landing after they make their initial trip to orbit with the payload on board. The landing sequence Read more…