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Artist's concept of the bloostar upper stages firiing

Reaching space in a balloon may sound like something out of a children’s book, but Spain’s zero2infinity company doesn't think so. The Barcelona-based company specializes in near-space balloon flights for scientific and engineering clients, and is working on a nanosatellite launch vehicle called bloostar, which uses a high-altitude balloon as a first stage and rockets for reaching orbit.  Read More

Artist's impression of the Orion spacecraft in orbit, having separated from the Delta IV l...

Progress is continuing apace as NASA readies its next-generation Orion spacecraft for her maiden flight, dubbed Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1), set to blast off Dec. 4 atop a Delta IV heavy launch vehicle. Once operational, Orion will be the first spacecraft built with the capacity to carry out a manned flight beyond low-Earth orbit since the Apollo era, when man first walked on the moon. NASA boasts that Orion will represent the safest and most advanced spacecraft ever created, allowing man to capture an asteroid and in time, even put a man on Mars.  Read More

Patrick Priebe's rocket-launching Iron Man gauntlet

By now, many regular Gizmag readers will be familiar with German cyberpunk weapons-hobbyist Patrick Priebe. We've featured a number of his one-off DIY creations before, including an Iron Man-inspired laser gauntlet. Well, now he's created another Iron Man gauntlet, although instead of just a burning laser, this one launches real rockets – and Priebe has already managed to hurt himself with the thing.  Read More

Artist's concept of the new SpaceX Dragon, which may one day fly from Brownsville, Texas (...

The office of Texas Governor Rick Perry has revealed that SpaceX has selected Brownsville, Texas as the site of a new launch facility for sending commercial satellites into orbit. The plans were revealed as part of an announcement by the Governor’s office that the Texas state government is providing US$2.3 million to provide infrastructure for the project, which is expected to create 300 jobs and generate $85 million in capital investments.  Read More

A video has recorded the successful landing of the Falcon 9

During the recent Orbcomm OG2 launch, SpaceX attempted its second powered landing during a commercial mission, but this time you don’t have to take the company’s word for it. As the first stage made a controlled touchdown on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, a video camera recorded the event. SpaceX has released the video for the public to see – give or take a few ice crystals.  Read More

A Kholod rocket is going up for auction at London-based RM Auctions

If speed is your thing and you have some loose change to spare, then an upcoming auction may have just the item for you. UK-based RM Auctions is offering a Kholod hypersonic rocket as an upcoming lot. The Kholod is the fastest machine to have ever flown within the Earth's atmosphere.  Read More

The Firefly Alpha uses methane fuel and a plug-aerospike engine

The signs of a healthy industry isn't just growth or innovation, but a tendency to reach out and fill niche markets. A case in point is the small satellite launch company Firefly Space Systems, which recently unveiled its planned Alpha launcher. Aimed at the small satellite launch market, it's designed to launch satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO) at very low cost with an unconventional aerospike engine. It is also the first orbital launcher to use methane as fuel.  Read More

The Bloodhound's cockpit (Photo: Stefan Marjoram)

Unveiled at a special event in Bristol, UK, the Bloodhound land speed team showed off the cockpit that will be driver Andy Green’s "office" for his record attempt run in 2015 and 2016. Although Green holds the current world land speed record of 763 mph (1,227 km/h), the challenges in attempting to break the 1,000 mph (1,600 km/h) barrier will be significant for both pilot and the design team.  Read More

The CHESS Sounding rocket (Photo:  NASA/WSMR)

In an experiment designed to look for the fundamental building blocks of matter in the dust clouds of interstellar space, NASA recently launched a high-altitude sounding rocket containing the Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS) payload. Enabling scientists to carry out the most comprehensive single instrument study of its type ever conducted, the research promises to give new insights into the formation of stars.  Read More

The SuperDraco engine test firing

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is set for an upgrade with the company announcing the successful qualification testing of its SuperDraco rocket engine. Designed to replace the Draco engines used for attitude control on the Dragon orbital spacecraft, the SuperDraco will act as the Dragon’s launch emergency escape system, as well as giving it the ability to make a powered landing on Earth and other worlds.  Read More

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