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Space

Faulty instrument delays Mars lander launch

NASA's next big Mars mission will have to wait a couple of years due to a faulty piece of equipment that won't stay fixed. The space agency announced today that the launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander mission scheduled for next March has been scrubbed due to a persistent vacuum leak in the lander's primary science instrument. A new launch date has yet to be determined.Read More

Space

SpaceX static firing test of Falcon 9

SpaceX has announced that its Falcon 9 rocket may head back into space on Sunday after being grounded for nearly six months due to a mid-air explosion. The improved version of the booster carried out a static test firing on Friday at Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in preparation for the mission to send 11 Orbcomm OG-2 communication satellites into low Earth orbit. If the results of the test prove positive, the launch will go forward on December 20.Read More

Space

Elon Musk announces December 19 launch date for next Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX is heading back into orbit with founder and CEO Elon Musk announcing that a Falcon 9 rocket launch is scheduled for December 19. The improved version of the rocket is set to lift off from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and will carry 11 Orbcomm OG-2 communication satellites into low Earth orbit. This marks the first flight of the Falcon 9 since the June 28 mid-air explosion of the CRS-7 mission shortly after launch.Read More

Cygnus cargo ship launch scrubbed due to bad weather

Today's launch of Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) has been scrubbed. According to NASA, thick cloud and disturbed weather at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida prohibited the liftoff of the unmanned Orbital Sciences/ATK Cygnus CRS-4 mission and launch control ordered a 24-hr postponement at 6:11 pm EST. Read More

Space

First commercial launch for Japan's H-IIA rocket platform

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have announced that the Telesat Telstar 12 VANTAGE satellite today made a successful launch from the Yoshinobu launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center. The broadcast and telecommunication satellite lifted off at 3:50 pm JST atop the upgraded H-IIA Launch vehicle No. 29 (H-IIA F29). The launch was the first using the H-IIA upgraded second stage and the first commercial launch for the platform.Read More

Space

Soyuz spacecraft docks with ISS despite failing to deploy solar panel

A Russian-made Soyuz TMA-17M blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome last night, as it undertook a journey to the International Space Station. Aboard the spacecraft was NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui. The initial launch proceeded without incident, with the rocket successfully reaching preliminary staging orbit. However, soon after reaching space it became apparent that the spacecraft's port solar array had failed to open. Read More

Space

NASA testing MRAP armored vehicles for launch pad evacuations

Earlier this month, SpaceX carried out a successful test of the Crew Dragon's Launch Abort System (LAS), which would carry the capsule to safety in the event of an emergency. This is no doubt a great comfort to future space travelers, but what about the ground crew or if the astronauts aren't inside the capsule when an emergency occurs? To help protect them and speed them away from danger, NASA is testing a 45,000-pound MRAP armored vehicle as an evacuation carrier for upcoming manned missions.Read More

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