Oct 24, 2021
How SpaceX Ignited a Raptor Engine Without an Explosion
SpaceX took another step on Thursday evening toward validating the rocket engine technology that will power its Starship rocket. For the first time, engineers at the company ignited...
Oct 20, 2021
Supporters and Opponents of SpaceX Launch Site Speak Out
The Federal Aviation Administration convened the first of two virtual public hearings on Monday evening to solicit public comments on SpaceX's plan to launch its Starship rocket from...
Sep 23, 2021
Boeing's Starliner: No Launch Date in Sight
Nearly six weeks have passed since Boeing said it would de-stack its Starliner spacecraft from an Atlas V rocket and return the vehicle to its factory for "deeper-level"...
Sep 8, 2021
Space Force Leaning Into Innovative Launch Concepts
In June, a previously flown Falcon 9 booster lofted a new-generation Global Positioning Satellite for the US Space Force. This marked a watershed moment for the US military and the...
Sep 5, 2021
The FAA Grounds Virgin Galactic's Spaceship
The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday said it has grounded Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo vehicle until the agency completes an investigation into the vehicle's flight...
Sep 1, 2021
NASA's Big Rocket Misses Another Deadline
Publicly, NASA is still holding on to the possibility of a 2021 launch date for the debut flight of its Space Launch System rocket. This week, an agency spokesperson told Ars that...
Aug 31, 2021
Why Didn't Hurricane Ida Weaken Like Usual?
Hurricane Ida roared into the southern US state of Louisiana on Sunday at 11:55 am local time (16:55 UTC) with sustained winds of 150 mph. The storm's distinct eye moved into the...
Aug 24, 2021
U.S. May Declassify Secret Space Weapon
US military officials are debating whether to publicly demonstrate a new space weapon capability, according to the online publication Breaking Defense. Senior military leaders,...
Aug 17, 2021
Why Blue Origin Is Continuing to Protest NASA
Blue Origin has chosen to continue fighting NASA's selection of SpaceX to build a Human Landing System as part of the Artemis Moon Program. The company filed suit in the US Court of...
Aug 15, 2021
Boeing to Ground Starliner Indefinitely
Boeing said Friday that its Starliner spacecraft will be grounded indefinitely while it continues to investigate problems with the valves in the propulsion system. In the 10 days...
Aug 13, 2021
Roscosmos Throws a NASA Astronaut Under the Bus
Russia's state-owned news service, TASS, has published an extraordinarily defamatory article about NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor. The publication claims that...
Aug 12, 2021
Why Blue Origin Keeps Protesting SpaceX's Moon Lander Win
On Wednesday, the US Government Accountability Office released its full-but-redacted decision that ruled in favor of NASA's selection of a Human Landing System contractor. The...
Aug 3, 2021
Nauka's Near Miss Raises Concerns About ISS Future
Last Thursday the large new Russian space station module, Nauka, finally docked with the International Space Station after several technical issues en route to the orbiting...
Jul 22, 2021
Jeff Bezos Is Running Out of Time to Save Blue Origin
Jeff Bezos burst from his spacecraft with a smile on his face as wide as the brim of the cowboy hat atop his head. The founder of Amazon fulfilled a lifelong dream of flying into...
Jul 11, 2021
Bezos Seems Very Mad About Branson's Sunday Flight
Virgin Galactic is continuing to make final preparations for the historic flight of its VSS Unity vehicle on Sunday morning, carrying the company's founder, Richard Branson, and...
Jul 2, 2021
What a Falcon 9 Looks Like After 8 Flights to Space
SpaceX launched its 20th Falcon 9 rocket of the year on Wednesday, and the booster lofting the Transporter-2 mission completed yet another successful flight to orbit. This...
Jun 29, 2021
Why Is Russia Launching New ISS Module If It's Pulling Out?
The Russian space corporation, Roscosmos, released photos on Monday showing the much-anticipated Nauka space station module enclosed in its payload fairing. This will be Russia's...
Jun 23, 2021
Congress Isn't Happy About SpaceX's Lunar Lander
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will appear at a committee meeting of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on Wednesday, and the meeting could be full of intrigue when...
Jun 11, 2021
NASA Doesn't Need to Test SLS, But Senate Mandates It
After spending more than 15 months at the Stennis Space Center in Southern Mississippi, the core stage of NASA's large Space Launch System rocket departed for Florida in late April....
Jun 9, 2021
Relativity's Bold Plan to Take On SpaceX
Relativity Space announced Tuesday morning that it has raised an additional $650 million in private capital and that this money will fuel an ambitious agenda of 3D printing large,...
Jun 2, 2021
U.S. Military Starting to Get Very Interested in Starship
As part of last week's federal budget rollout, a process during which the White House proposes funding levels for fiscal year 2022, the US Air Force released its "justification book"...
May 14, 2021
Congress Fires Warning Shot at NASA Over SpaceX
On Wednesday, a US senator added an amendment to unrelated science legislation that would impose significant restrictions on NASA and its plans to return to the Moon. The amendment...
May 12, 2021
New Book Reveals Jeff Bezos' Envy of SpaceX
By as early as the fall of 2016, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had already started to worry deeply about the progress—or lack thereof—being made by his rocket company, Blue...
May 3, 2021
Will Virgin Galactic Ever Be Successful?
I have always struggled with what to think about Virgin Galactic, the brilliantly marketed space-tourism company founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2004. Certainly, Branson founded...
Apr 25, 2021
NASA's Bet on SpaceX for Moon Is Transformational
When NASA astronauts return to the Moon in a few years, they will do so inside a lander that dwarfs that of the Apollo era. SpaceX's Starship vehicle measures 50 meters from its nose...
Apr 7, 2021
NASA Mission Will Test New Electric Thrusters
A satellite company named Maxar recently delivered a passenger van-sized chunk of spacecraft to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. This chassis will serve as the...
Mar 10, 2021
Russia Says It Will Work With China on Moon Base
The heads of the Chinese and Russian space agencies signed an agreement on Tuesday to work together to build a "scientific" station on the Moon. Under terms of a memorandum of...
Mar 2, 2021
Bezos' Massive Rocket Delayed for Years. What Went Wrong?
In the fall of 2017, shortly after he became chief executive officer of Blue Origin, Bob Smith received an extensive briefing on the state of the New Glenn rocket program. The...
Feb 14, 2021
NASA's Only Path for Humans on Mars Is Nuclear Propulsion
Getting humans to Mars and back is rather hard. Insanely difficult, in fact. Many challenges confront NASA and other would-be Mars pioneers when planning missions to the red planet,...
Jan 18, 2021
NASA's Big Rocket Fails Its First Real Test
For a few moments, it seemed like the Space Launch System saga might have a happy ending. Beneath brilliant blue skies late on Saturday afternoon, NASA’s huge rocket roared to...
Jan 7, 2021
Reusable Rockets Set to Become the Norm
The notion of reusing rockets finally went mainstream in 2020. As the year progressed, it became clear that SpaceX launch customers have gotten a lot more comfortable with flying on...
Jan 5, 2021
SpaceX May Try to Catch a Falling Rocket With a Tower
To build a fully reusable launch system for its interplanetary Starship vehicle, SpaceX has had to solve myriad technical challenges, such as slowing the massive spacecraft down as...
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