Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Rocket

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

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, shown here on a test flight, will be fueled by a thermoset...

As the still-to-be-announced date of the first commercial flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo approaches, more and more of the technology involved is getting nailed down. A case in point is the company's announcement that it has decided which fuel will be used in the first passenger-carrying flights of the suborbital spacecraft. The solid fuel grains that will fuel the world’s largest operational hybrid rocket will be a thermoset plastic similar to nylon.  Read More

The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket has made a controlled power landing on the surface ...

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that boosted the CRS-3 Dragon spacecraft into orbit made a controlled power landing on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The historic first controlled landing of a liquid booster was tracked by telemetry and recorded on video. Unfortunately, heavy seas destroyed the rocket before recovery operations could retrieve it.  Read More

The Sentinel 1A satellite was launched from Europe's Kourou Spaceport, French Guiana, on A...

ESA has released compelling video footage displaying the ascent of its Sentinel 1A satellite as viewed from external cameras mounted on the Soyuz Fregat launch vehicle which carried it into orbit.  Read More

CRS-3 undergoing static firing tests prior to launch

SpaceX’s Dragon CRS-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has once again been scrubbed. On Friday, NASA confirmed that the launch of the unmanned cargo ship has been delayed due to the failure of a tracking radar, which meant that the launch could not meet the minimum public safety requirements.  Read More

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