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Tuesday's launch may make India an interplanetary space-faring nation

Today at 2:38 PM IST, India made its bid to join the elite rank of interplanetary space-faring nations with the successful launch of its unmanned Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) from the First Launch Pad at the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (IRSO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) on the island of Sriharikota, atop a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25).  Read More

Final launch of SpaceX Grasshopper v1.0 test bed for reusable Falcon 9 first stage (Photo:...

SpaceX made another successful Grasshopper flight last week, which was also the last flight for Grasshopper v1.0. Its swan song lasted some 80 seconds, during which time Grasshopper reached an altitude of 744 meters (nearly half a mile), more than twice the previous record. Grasshopper v1.1 is well along the road to flight tests.  Read More

The Falcon 9 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California

If you saw a UFO over South Africa on Sunday, it was (probably) SpaceX’s improved Falcon 9 going into orbit. The commercial launch vehicle lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California at 9:00 AM CDT on a demonstration flight of the upgraded booster and a new engine cluster configuration.  Read More

Scramspace crashed into the North Sea

The University of Queensland’s Scramspace hypersonic experiment ended in failure today as the unmanned spacecraft plummeted into the North Sea off the coast of Norway. After a successful launch atop a rocket from the Andøya Rocket Range at 3 PM CEDT, Scramspace failed to reach the required altitude to begin the hypersonic flight experiment.  Read More

The Swarm constellation will provide the most accurate survey of the Earth's magnetic fiel...

The first of three satellites designed to undertake a comprehensive study the Earth’s magnetic field left Munich airport on Tuesday aboard an Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft bound for Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. This first Swarm satellite will be followed by two identical craft and more than 60 tons of support equipment before all three are launched into polar orbit in November.  Read More

LADEE suffered a minor malfunction shortly after launch (Image: NASA)

On Friday, NASA made a historic launch that sent an unmanned probe to the Moon to study something you could be forgiven for thinking doesn't exist: the Moon's atmosphere. At 11:27 PM EDT, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia atop a US Air Force Minotaur V launch vehicle provided by Orbital Sciences Corp. The unmanned probe is now on a 30-day journey to the Moon, where it will study the all but non-existent atmosphere of the satellite.  Read More

The SpaceX Grashopper on its most recent test flight

Back in June, SpaceX's Grasshopper reusable VTOL rocket was flown to an altitude of 325 meters (1,066 feet) before landing on its original launch pad. The video of the flight (taken by a hexacopter drone hovering at 325 meters) has now been made available. The purpose of the flight was to test Grasshopper's full navigation sensor suite with the F9-R closed loop control flight algorithms to improve the precision of its landings. Grasshopper is designed to develop and test the technologies needed to return a reusable rocket from space missions. (There is no word on whether the cowboy mannequin was carried along by Grasshopper on this flight.)  Read More

Stratolaunch Systems has announced new developments in its air launch system for spacecraf...

Back in December of 2011, Stratolaunch Systems announced that it was designing a new air launch system for both manned and unmanned spacecraft. Among other things, that system would require the construction of what would be the world’s largest aircraft. While some people might understandably be skeptical of such grand plans ever seeing the light of day, the company recently announced that a couple of important milestones have been reached that bring the project closer to fruition.  Read More

Kevin Moore's successful drive with a rocket-assisted golf club head – notice the ball (th...

"FORE!! Three - Two - One - Fire!" called Doug Frost, inventor of Rocketry Golf and Manager of the Rocketry Golf Organization. Then he launched his ball (on the nosecone of a model rocket) from the tee of the par-five 433-yard first hole at the Ridge Golf Club in Auburn, California. Not fazed by the uphill approach shot to the green, he placed his tee shot...err...launch... only 23 feet from the hole. Unfortunately, Doug isn't much of a regular golfer, and two-putted in for a birdie. Frost's rocketry golf replaces your golf clubs with a selection of rockets and a putter. The rockets are used to launch the ball onto the green, where the traditional putter comes back into play.  Read More

The STRaND-1 is a smartphone-based nanosat that is set to become the U.K.'s first CubeSat ...

The University of Surrey’s Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) are set to launch the world’s first smartphone-based satellite. Built around a Google Nexus One smartphone running on the Android operating system, the STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) satellite will also be the U.K.’s first CubeSat to go into space.  Read More

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