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Rocket

SpaceShipTwo broke the altitude and speed record that it set in April

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) broke its own speed and altitude records on Thursday as it successfully completed its second rocket-powered, supersonic flight. At 8:00 AM PDT, SS2 took off slung beneath the WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft from Virgin Galactic’s Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California. According to the company, the tourism spacecraft went through its full technical mission profile in a single flight for the first time, including the deployment of its “feathering” re-entry mechanism at high altitude.  Read More

Hot-fire test of a 3D printed rocket part (Image: NASA/MSFC/NASA/David Olive)

NASA has shown a keen interest in 3D printed rocket components lately with a series of tests that have had considerable success, with printed parts in test firings working as well as those made by conventional methods. In the latest test firing on August 22, the largest 3-D printed rocket engine component yet tested by NASA withstood ten times the thrust previously generated by an engine using printed components.  Read More

The BLOODHOUND SSC hopes to reach speeds of more than 1,000 mph (1,610 km/h) in 2015 with ...

The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) team from the UK is continuing its journey towards claiming the world land speed record. After testing its rocket engine last year, the team has turned to 3D printing technology for another critical part of the high speed vehicle – a tip that, if all goes well, will be the first part of the car to break through the 1,000 mph (1,610 km/h) mark in 2015.  Read More

A nuclear-powered spacecraft is one winning concept of NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts...

A dozen inventors have received a chance to demonstrate the potential for their pet space projects as winners of NASA's 2013 Innovative Advanced Concepts Program Phase I awards. The award winners were chosen based on their potential to transform future aerospace missions by enabling either breakthroughs in aerospace capabilities or entirely new missions. Read on for a closer look at some of the most promising proposals with a view to how they would work, and where the tricky bits might be hiding.  Read More

Marshall engineers hot-fire tested 3D-printed injectors at 6,000° F (Image: NASA/MSFC)

3D printing technology has already made the move from engineering workshop to the home, and now it's set to make its mark in space. NASA has hot-fire tested 3D-printed rocket engine components, which have managed to withstand incredibly high temperatures and pressures to the same standard as traditionally manufactured parts. Being cheaper and faster to produce, 3D-printed parts have the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing of rocket engine components and save the space agency considerable time and money.  Read More

Serial numbers on engine recovered from the Atlantic

A lost bit of the Moon landing era isn't lost anymore. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos announced on Friday that one of the F-1 rocket engines found by his deep-sea expedition was indeed part of the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket that sent the first astronauts to land on the Moon in 1969. A conservator at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas, where the engine was being restored, was removing corrosion from the engine when he discovered evidence confirming the significant find.  Read More

The liquid oxygen/gaseous hydrogen rocket injector assembly, built using additive manufact...

Star Trek's Mr. Scott will have fewer reasons to panic as the day comes closer when even rocket engines can be cranked out on 3D printers. In recent tests, NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne fired a rocket engine injector at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio that was made using a 3D printer. The project, done in collaboration between NASA and private industry, aims at speeding up the manufacture of rocket components while reducing costs as well as eventually printing them in space.  Read More

A Proton-M rocket (Photo: Oleg Golovnev/Shutterstock)

A Proton-M rocket crashed headlong into the ground shortly after take off on July 2. According to independent website Russian Space Web, which has been monitoring Russian media since the crash, reports that crash investigators examining the wreckage had found the angular velocity sensors had been installed the wrong way up.  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

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