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For 14 years, Spaceflight Now has been providing unrivaled coverage of U.S. space launches. Comprehensive reports and voluminous amounts of video are available in our archives.
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Space station spacewalk on tap for Wednesday

Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson are preparing to head outside the International Space Station on Wednesday to replace a failed computer on the outpost's power truss.

   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live coverage!
Orbital Sciences resupply mission slips to June
The second space station resupply run by Orbital Sciences Corp. has been reset for June after NASA officials juggled the outpost's visiting vehicle manifest to accommodate delays in launching a SpaceX cargo craft, the company announced Monday.
   FULL STORY
NASA's relationship with Russia mostly unchanged
A U.S. government directive for NASA to curtail cooperation with Russia will have little impact on the space agency's existing engagements with Russian space institutions, with the International Space Station and a few minor partnerships on robotic science missions exempt from the policy.
   FULL STORY
Launch unlocks manifest for Orbcomm, AsiaSat
Friday's liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket cleared a bottleneck in SpaceX's Florida launch schedule that forced two commercial customers, Orbcomm and AsiaSat, to keep their completed satellites at their factories to wait out launch delays.
   FULL STORY
Dragon spaceship delivers science and supplies
A Dragon cargo craft stuffed with science and supplies approached the International Space Station for an automated laser-guided final rendezvous Sunday, culminating with grapple by the outpost's robotic arm.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY
   IMAGES: DRAGON RENDEZVOUS WITH ISS
   CARGO MANIFEST - (.pdf download)
   DRAGON FACT SHEET
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SpaceX achieves controlled landing of Falcon first stage
SpaceX says it made two key strides toward the eventual reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket this week with the controlled splashdown of the rocket's first stage in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday and the successful first flight of a booster prototype from the company's Central Texas test facility.
   FULL STORY
   EARLIER STORY ON REUSABILITY
LADEE ends mission with planned impact on the moon
Closing out a trailblazing six-month mission at the moon, NASA's LADEE spacecraft impacted the lunar surface early Friday as designed after surveying the moon's tenuous atmosphere, measuring dust particles and demonstrating a breakthrough laser communications system.
   FULL STORY
SpaceX supply ship begins journey to space station
SpaceX's commercial Dragon supply ship thundered into orbit Friday to begin a two-day pursuit of the International Space Station, setting up the delivery of 2.4 tons of fresh supplies and experimental cargo to the 450-ton research complex Sunday.
   FULL STORY
   COUNTDOWN TIMELINE
   LAUNCH TIMELINE
   OUR FALCON ARCHIVE
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Power system failure detected on Amazonas 4A
Engineers are studying an unspecified power subsystem anomaly on the recently-launched Amazonas 4A communications satellite that will likely reduce the spacecraft's transponder capacity unless it can be fixed, officials said this week.
   FULL STORY
Earth's 'cousin' planet lies 500 light-years away
Astronomers using NASA's Kepler space telescope have found the first Earth-sized planet around another star that might harbor life-sustaining liquid water, raising hopes for detecting more rocky Earth-like worlds closer to home.
   FULL STORY
Space station's Robonaut awaits delivery of legs
A humanoid "Robonaut" launched to the International Space Station in 2011 will finally receive its space legs when SpaceX's Dragon cargo carrier arrives at the complex, allowing engineers to experiment with the full breadth of the robot's capabilities.
   FULL STORY
SpaceX's mega-rocket to debut next year at pad 39A
SpaceX signed a 20-year lease Monday to operate and maintain one of Kennedy Space Center's historic launch pads, and the California-based company plans to debut the world's most powerful rocket at the facility next year.
   FULL STORY
Egyptian reconnaissance satellite launched by Soyuz
A Russian-built imaging satellite launched Wednesday aboard a Soyuz rocket to supply Egyptian authorities with high-resolution views of Earth for environmental, scientific and military applications.
   FULL STORY
   VIDEO: WATCH A LAUNCH REPLAY
SpaceX presses ahead for Friday launch attempt
SpaceX is pressing ahead for another attempt Friday to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a commercial cargo craft bound for the International Space Station, setting up an Easter Sunday rendezvous and berthing.
   FULL STORY
Curiosity's priority switches from driving to science
Beginning its most extensive scientific survey in a year, the Curiosity Mars rover is employing cameras, mineral-sniffing spectrometers, a rock-zapping laser and potentially its impact drill at a study site named "the Kimberley" on the robot's trek toward Mount Sharp.
   FULL STORY
SpaceX resupply launch scrubbed by helium leak
The launch of a SpaceX's Dragon supply ship from Cape Canaveral was scrubbed Monday due to a helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage. The next launch attempt will be no earlier than Friday.
   FULL STORY
   PREVIEW STORY
Crowd-funded stowaway to deploy 104 tiny satellites
In a self-admitted act of desperation, Cornell University graduate student Zac Manchester in 2011 turned to Kickstarter, the online crowd-funding platform, to finance his money-starved project to deploy more than 100 thumbnail-sized satellites in orbit hundreds of miles above Earth.
   FULL STORY
NASA clears SpaceX for Monday cargo launch
NASA managers Sunday cleared SpaceX to press ahead with launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship Monday on a two-day flight to the International Space Station, concluding the lab can be safely operated until a faulty computer can be replaced during a contingency spacewalk next week.
   FULL STORY
   SATURDAY STORY
   FRIDAY STORY
History flashback: The first space shuttle mission
This video retrospective captures the first space shuttle flight from Columbia's delivery to Kennedy Space Center in 1979, assembly and rollout to the launch pad, its safe ascent to orbit in 1981 and return to Earth two days later.
   VIDEO REPORT
Sentinel craft's first day in space was unusually tense
Europe's newest Earth-watching satellite had to dodge an uncontrolled NASA spacecraft just after reaching orbit last week, putting engineers on edge until they could safely maneuver the nearly $400 million Sentinel 1A satellite out of the way.
   FULL STORY
Solar array issue will have little impact on DMSP 19
U.S. Air Force officials say a partially deployed solar array boom on a new military weather satellite will have "negligible" impact on the $518 million spacecraft's planned five-year mission.
   FULL STORY


This is the United Launch Alliance highlights film from Thursday's Atlas 5 rocket flight from Florida.

Hush-hush payload rides Atlas 5 rocket into orbit
Setting sail at mid-day on a marathon trip to orbit, an Atlas 5 rocket launched a classified spacecraft for the National Reconnaissance Office on Thursday.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates!
   IMAGES: MORE LAUNCH PHOTOS
   IMAGES: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY
   IMAGES: LAUNCH FROM VIEWING SITE
   IMAGES: ROCKET ON EVE OF LAUNCH
   IMAGES: ROLLOUT PHOTOS
   IMAGES: SECOND ROLLOUT TO PAD
   PREVIEW STORY
   IMAGES: ROLLOUT PHOTO GALLERY
   IMAGES: PAYLOAD PREPARATION
   LAUNCH INFORMATION
   PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
   VIEWING DIRECTIONS
All-weather surveillance satellite orbited by Israel
Israel launched a reconnaissance satellite Wednesday, adding a radar-equipped imaging platform to the country's intelligence-gathering network to monitor Iran's nuclear program and neighboring territories.
   FULL STORY - with video!
A look back to last week's California Atlas launch
Took a look back to last week's launch of an Atlas 5 rocket from California through the camera lenses of United Launch Alliance photographer Bill Hartenstein.
   IMAGES: TOWER ROLLBACK PHOTO GALLERY
   IMAGES: LAUNCH PHOTO PAGE
Russian Progress cargo craft docks at space station
A Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday with a Russian Progress resupply spacecraft, kicking off a expedited flight to the International Space Station with 2.9 tons of fuel, water and supplies. The Progress completed a smooth docking with the outpost six hours after liftoff.
   FULL STORY
   PREVIEW STORY - with images!
Sporty sendoff planned for NASA's LADEE moon mission
NASA's LADEE space probe is in the final weeks of its $280 million lunar research mission as engineers put the diminutive spacecraft through a series of tricky maneuvers to test its limits and maximize its scientific return.
   FULL STORY
NASA eyes June launch for next Cygnus cargo mission
Preparations for the next Orbital Sciences Corp. cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station are on track for launch in early May, but NASA plans to ask the company to reschedule its resupply run for some time in mid-June after delays in launching a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the complex, sources said.
   FULL STORY
Solar array snag on Air Force weather satellite
Engineers are studying a problem that caused the power-generating solar array on a newly-launched U.S. military weather satellite to only partially deploy, but officials said Friday the anomaly has so far not affected operations of the polar-orbiting spacecraft.
   FULL STORY
Arianespace's Soyuz order to cover market until 2019
Arianespace has finalized an agreement to order a batch of seven Soyuz rockets from Russia, covering the French launch service provider's demand for medium-lift missions until 2019, the company's chief executive announced last week.
   FULL STORY
Rocketcams trace Soyuz launch from French Guiana
A suite of on-board cameras recorded dazzling views of Thursday's successful Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center, supplying an unprecedented look at the workings of the venerable Russian rocket in flight.
   VIDEO: DAZZLING ROCKETCAM FOOTAGE
   IMAGES: SOYUZ LAUNCH PHOTOS
Sea Launch mission for Eutelsat delayed
Sea Launch has delayed its next mission after a rocket component was damaged during preflight testing at the company's home port in Southern California, officials announced last week.
   FULL STORY
ULA, SpaceX reschedule launches after radar outage
After a two-week delay to wait for the U.S. Air Force to restore a critical radar tracker, United Launch Alliance and SpaceX have rescheduled their next rocket missions from Cape Canaveral for April 10 and April 14.
   FULL STORY
   ATLAS 5 MISSION STATUS CENTER
   FALCON 9 MISSION STATUS CENTER
First Sentinel in orbit after successful Soyuz launch
Europe's first Sentinel satellite blasted off Thursday and deployed its radar antenna and solar panels overnight, inaugurating a multi-billion dollar series of satellites to take the pulse of Earth's land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere with unmatched regularity.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   PREVIEW STORY
   IMAGES: SOYUZ ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD
   IMAGES: SPACECRAFT PREPARED FOR LAUNCH
   IMAGE: SENTINEL INFOGRAPHIC FROM AIRBUS
   COUNTDOWN TIMELINE
   LAUNCH TIMELINE
   OUR ARCHIVE OF SOYUZ IN FRENCH GUIANA
Indian navigation satellite launched on PSLV
India launched its second navigation spacecraft aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on Friday to continue building an independent space-based system to provide positioning services over Indian territory.
   FULL STORY
NASA space assets detect ocean inside Saturn moon
NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes.
   FULL STORY


This is the United Launch Alliance highlights film from Thursday's Atlas 5 rocket flight from California.

U.S. military weather observatory fires into orbit
A new global weather observatory for the U.S. armed forces was lofted into orbit aboard its Atlas 5 booster rocket from California on Thursday to provide tactical forecasts to military operations.
   FULL STORY
   IMAGES: PHOTOS FROM REMOTE CAMERAS
   IMAGES: LAUNCH VIEW FROM PRESS SITE
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   PREVIEW STORY
   IMAGES: PAYLOAD PREPARATION
   LAUNCH INFORMATION
   PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
   OUR ATLAS ARCHIVE
Station exempt from policy to limit contact with Russia
NASA has been told to suspend contact with Russian government officials because of Russia's "ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," according to an agency memo circulated Wednesday. The International Space Station, which is jointly operated by NASA, Russia, the European Space Agency, Japan and Canada, is exempt and not directly impacted by the new guidelines.
   FULL STORY
Rosetta's pioneering Philae comet lander reactivated
Europe's Rosetta spacecraft has returned an image of its distant comet target as ground controllers received the first signals from probe's piggyback Philae lander Friday after hibernating nearly three years in a power-saving sleep mode.
   FULL STORY
Pegasus selected for launch of cyclone forecasting fleet
NASA has awarded Orbital Sciences Corp. a contract to boost eight small tropical cyclone research satellites into orbit on an air-launched Pegasus XL rocket in 2016.
   FULL STORY
NASA officials to disclose space shuttle orbiter mix-up
NASA will later today admit to an embarrassing paperwork error in the 1990s that led the agency to fly two of its space shuttle orbiters with the wrong names for almost two decades.
   READ OUR APRIL FOOLS' PRANK
Florida launches grounded for up to three weeks
Rocket launches from Cape Canaveral are grounded until at least mid-April after an electrical short damaged an Air Force radar at the Kennedy Space Center, officials said Friday.
   FULL STORY
Long March rocket boosts Chinese satellite to orbit
China launched an experimental satellite Monday aboard a Long March 2C rocket from the Jiuquan space base in northwest China, according to official media reports.
   FULL STORY
Soyuz crew arrives at the International Space Station
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut glided to a smooth linkup with the International Space Station Thursday, two days after a technical snag blocked a fast-track rendezvous and docking shortly after launch Tuesday.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: SOYUZ LAUNCH PHOTOS
California Atlas 5 launch on track for this week
After the Range outage that postponed two Cape Canaveral launches indefinitely in Florida, focus now turns to California and the planned launching next Thursday of an Atlas 5 rocket with a military weather satellite.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER- live updates!
   IMAGES: PAYLOAD PREPARATION
   LAUNCH INFORMATION
   PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
Germany calls for redesign of next-generation Ariane
Less than a year after selecting the design of Europe's future Ariane 6 launcher, government ministers will meet in Geneva on Friday to iron out lingering questions over the rocket after Germany's top space official last week called for the current form of the Ariane 6 to be ditched in favor of another configuration.
   FULL STORY
Radar outage prompts delay of Falcon 9 launch
SpaceX's launch of a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station has been delayed from Sunday after a critical U.S. Air Force rocket tracking radar was knocked offline, officials said late Wednesday.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   FALCON ARCHIVE
New discovery may redefine solar system's outer frontier
One of the most distant icy bodies ever seen in the solar system has been found, but its strange orbit hints at something even more extraordinary: an undiscovered planet larger than Earth even further away from the sun, corralling objects within the inner Oort Cloud into looping, elongated orbits.
   FULL STORY
Soyuz on trajectory to reach space station Thursday
Russian flight controllers troubleshooting a glitch aboard the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft that interrupted a planned four-orbit rendezvous with the International Space Station Tuesday successfully uploaded a revised 34-orbit trajectory overnight, setting up a delayed docking Thursday.
   FULL STORY
Atlas 5 rocket launch from Florida delayed to April
The Atlas 5 rocket will be rolled back from the launch pad to its assembly hangar to wait out the Range troubles that have scuttled the planned flight this week with the classified NROL-67 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   PREVIEW STORY
   IMAGES: ROLLOUT PHOTO GALLERY
   IMAGES: PAYLOAD PREPARATION
   LAUNCH INFORMATION
   PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
   VIEWING DIRECTIONS
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Soyuz rendezvous aborted after successful launch
A veteran Russian space station commander, a rookie cosmonaut and a NASA shuttle flier rocketed smoothly into space aboard a Russian Soyuz ferry craft Tuesday, but the crew ran into problems executing a required rendezvous rocket firing, delaying docking with the International Space Station until Thursday at the earliest.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live coverage!
   PREVIEW STORY
   IMAGES: SOYUZ ROLLS TO LAUNCH PAD
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Inmarsat points to Indian Ocean as MH370 crash site
Engineers from Inmarsat, a London-based communications satellite operator, pioneered a 'peer-reviewed' data analysis technique using simple electronic signals from the lost Malaysian airliner that disappeared earlier this month to determine the jet crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, officials said Monday.
   FULL STORY
Fresh Glonass navigation satellite launched by Russia
Russia launched a Soyuz rocket Sunday with a fresh satellite for the country's Glonass navigation system, which broadcasts positioning and timing signals to Russian military forces and civilian users worldwide.
   FULL STORY
Ariane 5 launches on dual-payload commercial mission
Kicking off a busy sequence of launches from the Europe's spaceport in the jungle of French Guiana, an Ariane 5 rocket lifted off Saturday and put two satellites in perfect orbits to expand direct-to-home television programming in Eastern Europe and broadcast football matches at this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: LAUNCH VIDEO AND PHOTOS
   IMAGES: ARIANE 5 REACHES LAUNCH PAD
   PREVIEW STORY
   LAUNCH TIMELINE
   ARIANE 5 DIAGRAM
   ARIANESPACE PRESS KIT - (.pdf download)
   ARIANE ARCHIVE
SpaceX confirms March 30 date for resupply launch
Engineers have determined SpaceX's Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft can launch March 30 without repairs after an analysis showed contaminants inside the ship's unpressurized trunk pose no additional risk to optical communications and imaging payloads heading for the International Space Station, according to a statement released Friday.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   FALCON ARCHIVE
NASA to study commercial role in asteroid mission
NASA plans to award $6 million to industry this summer to refine technologies and examine opportunities for an expanded commercial role in the agency's proposed mission to redirect an asteroid into Earth's vicinity for close-up inspection by astronauts in the mid-2020s, officials said Friday.
   FULL STORY
Next Atlas 5 rocket cleared for rollout and launch
The Launch Readiness Review was held Friday and reported all systems are "go" for liftoff of the Atlas 5 rocket on Tuesday.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   LAUNCH INFORMATION
   PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
   VIEWING DIRECTIONS
Orbital Sciences agrees to dismiss lawsuit against ULA
Orbital Sciences Corp. is withdrawing an antitrust lawsuit against United Launch Alliance and will privately negotiate for the right to purchase Russian-made RD-180 engines, one of several engine options under evaluation as a long-term propulsion solution for Orbital's Antares rocket, according to a regulatory filing released Thursday.
   FULL STORY
One-on-one with the chief executive of Arianespace
Stéphane Israël took over as chief executive of Arianespace last year at a time of change for the 34-year-old French launch service provider, which faces fresh challenges from competitors and an evolving commercial satellite market while maintaining an unprecedented cadence of launches from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana.
   PART 1: ARIANESPACE'S OUTLOOK FOR 2014
   PART 2: RESPONDING TO COMPETITION
Tough choices ahead for NASA's planetary program
There is little question some long-lived NASA planetary exploration missions will be at risk of cutbacks or cancellation later this year, but the agency's top planetary science official this week cautioned the science community not to presume which projects, if any, will see funding cuts.
   FULL STORY
Military weather satellite mounted atop Atlas rocket
A new global weather observatory for the U.S. military was hoisted aboard its Atlas 5 rocket booster in California on Wednesday, two weeks before it is shot into space to track the world's storms.
   FULL STORY
   ATLAS ARCHIVE
Atlas 5 rocket selected for Solar Orbiter launch
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will launch the European-built Solar Orbiter mission from Cape Canaveral in July 2017, NASA announced Tuesday.
   FULL STORY
Gravitational waves provide strong evidence for inflation
The first direct evidence for not only the inflation of the universe when it was a mere fraction of a second old, but also the presence of gravitational waves rippling through space, has come to light following observations made by the BICEP2 telescope located at the South Pole.
   FULL STORY
Planet Labs plans 100-satellite Earth imaging fleet
Fueled by venture capital financing, Planet Labs Inc. announced Monday it plans to launch 100 satellites in the next year from the United States and Russia, joining a growing fleet of miniature Earth imaging spacecraft to observe the entire planet every 24 hours.
   FULL STORY
Sea Launch chief responds to talk of Russian takeover
With ground crews at Sea Launch's California home port preparing for liftoff of a Eutelsat communications spacecraft in April, the company's chief executive says he would be open to a Russian government takeover of Sea Launch if it yielded greater access to the market for launching Russian satellites.
   FULL STORY
Proton rocket blasts off with Russian Express satellites
A Proton rocket ascended into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Saturday and delivered a pair of Russian broadcasting satellites to orbit nine hours later to begin a streak of Proton launches for the Russian government.
   FULL STORY
   PREVIEW STORY
Swiss startup considering space launches from Florida
A Swiss aerospace company plans to begin zero gravity flights from the Kennedy Space Center next year and may use the spaceport's former space shuttle landing strip as a home base for small satellite launches beginning in 2018, officials announced Friday.
   FULL STORY
Launch schedule shakeup delays Orion to December
The first test flight of NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle has been delayed to early December to accommodate a U.S. military payload in United Launch Alliance's Delta 4 launch manifest, officials announced late Friday.
   FULL STORY
Hagel says crisis demands review of Russian engine
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday the crisis between Russia and Ukraine should prompt a review of the use of Russian engines on Atlas 5 rockets, which power the launches of multibillion-dollar U.S. government national security satellites.
   FULL STORY
Economics, water plumes to drive Europa mission study
NASA plans to use funding proposed by the Obama administration to narrow concepts for a billion-dollar mission to Jupiter's icy moon Europa, according to NASA officials eyeing a launch of the long-awaited probe in the mid-2020s.
   FULL STORY
Next Atlas 5 payload
hoisted for launch

The build up of the next United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket to fly is being completed at Cape Canaveral Friday, as the payload is being mated to the Centaur upper stage.
   FULL STORY
   LAUNCH INFORMATION
SpaceX delays weekend Falcon 9 rocket launch
Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an unmanned cargo ship bound for the International Space Station has been delayed from Sunday to no earlier than March 30, because of what sources described as apparent contamination that could pose problems for research hardware carried by the Dragon cargo craft.
   FULL STORY
Boeing says government purchases electric satellites
A U.S. government customer last year ordered three light-class geostationary satellite platforms from Boeing with all-electric propulsion, an innovative design feature to reduce spacecraft mass and launch costs, industry officials disclosed for the first time Tuesday.
   FULL STORY
Lockheed Martin backs Atlas 5 launches with warranty
Seeking to improve the Atlas 5 rocket's position on the commercial launch marketplace, the head of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services announced Tuesday non-governmental customers purchasing a flight on the workhorse booster would get a money-back guarantee or a reflight in the event of a launch failure.
   FULL STORY
MUOS launch sequence rearranged after test failure
Lockheed Martin has adjusted the production schedule for the U.S. Navy's third Mobile User Objective System satellite, shuffling it behind a fourth spacecraft in the five-member fleet after testing uncovered a workmanship issue with the satellite's UHF communications payload, a company official said Wednesday.
   FULL STORY
Soyuz crew lands after 166-day station expedition
Despite strained relations over Russian actions in Ukraine, superpower cooperation in space continued unabated Monday with two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut departing the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz ferry craft and plunging to a landing on the snowy steppe of Kazakhstan to close out a 166-day mission.
   FULL STORY
   PREVIEW STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: SOYUZ TMA-10M UNDOCKS DOWNLOAD
VIDEO: FAREWELL AND HATCH CLOSURE DOWNLOAD
VIDEO: EXPEDITION 38-39 CHANGE OF COMMAND DOWNLOAD
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Wakata becomes Japan's first station commander
Koichi Wakata took command of the International Space Station on Sunday to become the first Japanese astronaut to lead an expedition crew aboard the orbiting complex.
   FULL STORY
SpaceX fires Falcon 9 rocket engines for prelaunch check
SpaceX fired up the nine-engine first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket Saturday in a major preflight rehearsal before the March 16 launch of nearly 5,000 pounds of experiments and supplies to the International Space Station.
   FULL STORY
A chat with Bob Twiggs, father of the CubeSat
Two university professors never expected their idea to expand aerospace engineering education outside of the classroom would help democratize access to space, but the CubeSat revolution shows no signs of stopping, with everyone from Silicon Valley start-ups to intelligence agencies taking notice. Professor Bob Twiggs, one of the CubeSat co-founders, shares his thoughts on the past and future of the miniature satellites.
   READ MORE
Teams deploy to Kazakhstan for Soyuz landing
As diplomatic tensions flare over Russia's armed incursion into Ukraine, preparations for Monday's landing of two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut continue unabated as recovery crews converge on the Kazakhstan touchdown zone.
   FULL STORY
Astronomers surprised SOFIA fell under budget axe
NASA's proposed budget for 2015 would slash funding for a U.S.-German airborne infrared observatory unless international partners or other institutions supply money to keep the sophisticated astronomy platform in the sky.
   FULL STORY
SpaceX, ULA spar over military contracting
In the latest skirmish in an escalating debate over sky rocketing military launch costs, SpaceX founder and rocket builder Elon Musk told lawmakers Wednesday that allowing his company to launch high-priority military payloads would save taxpayers billions of dollars by opening the national security launch market to competition and innovation.
   FULL STORY
Cassini continues pulling back Titan's hazy veil
NASA's Cassini spacecraft, in the final months of its first decade spiraling around Saturn, zipped past the moon Titan on Thursday for the 100th time, continuing an unbroken string of flybys of one of the most Earth-like worlds in the known universe.
   FULL STORY
Bolden downplays impact of Ukraine crisis on NASA
The Obama administration's $17.5 billion budget request for NASA in fiscal 2015 will maintain American leadership on the high frontier, agency Administrator Charles Bolden said Tuesday, urging Congress to fully fund development of commercial manned spacecraft to end U.S. reliance on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
   FULL STORY
Japan moves forward with replacement for H-2A rocket
Armed with an initial tranche of government funding for a next-generation rocket, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to partner with a private company to lead development of a launcher to replace Japan's H-2A rocket by the early 2020s.
   FULL STORY
Proposed NASA budget keeps funding flat in 2015
The White House's 2015 budget request for NASA submitted to Congress on Tuesday would keep the agency's human spaceflight programs, the James Webb Space Telescope and Mars exploration on track while investing in future missions to Jupiter's moon Europa and a flagship infrared space telescope.
   FULL STORY
Earth observation satellites deployed from space station
A record release of 33 CubeSats from the International Space Station ended Friday after a methodical series of deployments of miniature Earth imaging satellites for San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc.
   FULL STORY
Falcon 9 moves closer to certification by Air Force
The first launch of SpaceX's upgraded Falcon 9 rocket in September will count as one of the three successful flights to certify the launcher to carry the U.S. military's most valuable payloads into orbit, despite a glitch with the rocket's upper stage engine during a demonstration maneuver after deployment of a Canadian research payload, the Air Force announced last week.
   FULL STORY
ExoMars contractor pressing on despite funding gap
The lead builder of Europe's ExoMars rover, the British division of Airbus Defence and Space, has started procuring critical components for the Mars mission as the European Space Agency culls the continent to close a funding gap.
   FULL STORY
Landmark weather satellite blasts off from Japan
Japan launched a $1.2 billion joint satellite mission with NASA on Thursday to measure global rain and snowfall, filling coverage gaps and anchoring an international orbital network to supply scientists and forecasters a radar-like snapshot of global precipitation every three hours.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: LAUNCH PHOTOS
   IMAGES: H-2A ROLLOUT
   PREVIEW STORY
   LAUNCH TIMELINE
   H-2A ROCKET CUTAWAY
   NASA PRESS KIT - (.pdf download)
NASA vows to fix problems that led to spacesuit leak
A fundamental misunderstanding of how water behaves in the cooling system of a spacesuit operating in weightlessness, combined with institutional complacency and a perceived pressure to avoid delays, resulted in a frightening, potentially fatal close call last summer when water flooded a spacewalker's helmet outside the International Space Station, NASA managers said Wednesday.
   FULL STORY
Scientists announce 715 planets found by Kepler
A statistical analysis of data collected by NASA's Kepler space telescope has confirmed the discovery of 715 newly-found planets orbiting 305 stars, pushing to total number of known planets beyond Earth's solar system to nearly 1,700, researchers announced Wednesday.
   FULL STORY
Air Force general reveals space surveillance program
The U.S. Air Force plans to launch two space surveillance spacecraft into high-altitude orbits later this year to monitor satellite traffic in the congested geosynchronous belt 22,300 miles above Earth, the head of Space Command has announced.
   FULL STORY
Europe's first Sentinel satellite shipped to Kourou
The first satellite in the European Union's long-awaited Copernicus Earth observation program arrived in French Guiana on Monday to prepare for liftoff on top of a Soyuz rocket in early April.
   FULL STORY
Taurus rocket on the market with new name, upgrades
Orbital Sciences Corp. is revamping its Taurus rocket with expertise and technology from the company's Minotaur launcher to deliver six high-resolution Earth observation satellites to orbit for start-up Skybox Imaging in late 2015.
   FULL STORY
Curiosity adds backward driving to repertoire
Engineers have started driving the Curiosity rover in reverse on Mars in a bid to reduce wear on the robot's six wheels, which show damage from climbing over sharp rocks on its trek across the red planet.
   FULL STORY
Landing legs to fly aboard next Falcon 9 rocket
The next Falcon 9 rocket, scheduled to blast off in March on a space station resupply flight, will sport a landing gear to take the next leap in making the commercial launcher reusable, according to SpaceX officials.
   FULL STORY
Europe to build planet-hunting observatory
The European Space Agency has selected an observatory for launch in the next decade to stare at up to a million nearby stars for signs of habitable worlds and probe their size, mass and composition.
   FULL STORY
Launch photo gallery of the 25th Delta 4 rocket
Check out our photo gallery from Thursday night's successful United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket flight that delivered a a Global Positioning System satellite into space.
   IMAGES: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY


This is the United Launch Alliance highlights film from Thursday's Delta 4 rocket flight from Cape Canaveral that deployed a GPS satellite.

New GPS satellite put into orbit by Delta 4 rocket
Igniting a surge of three Global Positioning System satellite launches in the next five months, a Delta 4 rocket blazed a trail of fire and light into the Florida sky Thursday night.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live coverage!
   IMAGES: LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY
   IMAGES: PRESS SITE VIEW OF LAUNCH
   IMAGES: ULA PHOTO GALLERY
   IMAGES: GANTRY ROLLBACK
   PREVIEW STORY
   LAUNCH INFORMATION - (.pdf download)
   DELTA 4 FACT SHEET - (.pdf download)
   PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS - (.pdf download)
   IMAGES: MISSION PATCHES
   OUR DELTA ARCHIVE
Cygnus resupply mission ends over South Pacific
One day after its release from the International Space Station, the first operational Orbital Sciences Corp. Cygnus resupply craft re-entered the atmosphere Wednesday and burned up over the South Pacific Ocean.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: CYGNUS DEPARTS SPACE STATION
LADEE star trackers record glimpse of the moon
The LADEE lunar atmospheric probe has returned its first views of the moon's surface as it enters the second half of its research mission, NASA announced last week.
   FULL STORY - with images!
Commercial cargo carrier departs space station
A commercial Cygnus cargo-carrying spacecraft departed the International Space Station on Tuesday, heading for a fiery finale over the Pacific Ocean to help clear the outpost of trash at the conclusion of the first operational resupply run by Orbital Sciences Corp.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Wheel concerns prompt new route for Mars rover
Planners in charge of plotting the course of NASA's Curiosity rover, which is trekking toward a massive mountain on the red planet, have selected a route with fewer rock hazards in lieu of alternate paths that could exacerbate damage to the robot's wheels.
   FULL STORY
Take a virtual tour of the Chang'e 3 lunar landing site
China's robotic moon landing mission, which arrived there two months ago, has produced the digital era's first high-resolution images from the lunar surface. Take a look around China's robotic lunar outpost in this set of panoramas and mosaics provided to Spaceflight Now.
   IMAGES: PAN AROUND THE LANDING SITE
Lunar rover awake after near-death experience
China's Yutu moon rover woke up this week and radioed Earth after worries the mobile research platform would succumb to frigid temperatures during the two-week lunar night, but officials say the robot is still malfunctioning.
   FULL STORY
Proton rocket boosts Turkish satellite to orbit
A Turkish telecommunications satellite launched aboard an International Launch Services Proton rocket Friday to begin several decades of service for government and commercial users.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: PROTON ROLLS OUT AT BAIKONUR
   LAUNCH TIMELINE
   OUR COMMERCIAL PROTON ARCHIVE
New GPS satellite scheduled for launch Feb. 20
The final reviews are underway ahead of next week's Delta 4 rocket launch carrying a replacement satellite for the Global Positioning System. Liftoff is planned for Thursday night at 8:40 p.m. EST.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Mars rover sees Earth as brilliant evening star
Reminiscent of the iconic pale blue dot photograph from the Voyager 1 space probe, the Curiosity Mars rover has sent home another cosmic postcard showing the Earth hanging over the rugged Martian horizon as an evening star.
   FULL STORY - with images!
Return of the workhorse
A quarter-century since its first launch Friday, preparations are underway to end a mini-hiatus and return to the business of launching Delta 2 rockets, if only for a little while longer.
   FULL STORY
Sochi snapshots from space
As the Winter Olympics ramp up in Sochi, satellites and astronauts have glimpsed at the Russian resort city and detected the unmistakable mark left by the games.
   IMAGES: SOCHI FROM SPACE
SpaceX on pace for March launch to space station
Juggling flight delays and busy skies with the skill of seasoned air traffic controllers, International Space Station managers have approved the launch date for SpaceX's next cargo resupply mission for March 16.
   FULL STORY
Ariane 5's evening blastoff in video and photos
Thursday night's successful weather-delayed launch of the European Ariane 5 rocket put two communications satellites in orbit. Review the flight with a video replay and photos from around the French Guiana space base and a remarkable sighting from the International Space Station.
   IMAGES: ARIANE 5 BLASTS OFF
Critical climate sensor activated on new satellite
Scientists are happy with observations from a fresh sensor swiftly prepared for launch aboard a U.S. Air Force satellite last year to fill a gap in data on the sun's brightness, a crucial kernel of information for climate change research.
   FULL STORY
United Launch Alliance preparing for next Atlas 5
Assembly of a Atlas 5 rocket kicked off Friday morning at Cape Canaveral to stack a powerful version of the vehicle launching next month.
   FULL STORY
Lucid and Ross selected for U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
Two distinguished former NASA astronauts -- Shannon Lucid and Jerry Ross -- will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame as the 2014 class, officials announced Friday.
   FULL STORY
Ariane 5 rocket blasts off after weather delay
Dual payloads to broadcast television and broadband signals for Asia Broadcast Satellite and French and Italian security forces rocketed into orbit on an Ariane 5 rocket Thursday on Arianespace's landmark 250th launch.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   PREVIEW STORY
   IMAGES: ARIANE 5 ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD
   LAUNCH TIMELINE
   ARIANE 5 DIAGRAM
   ARIANESPACE PRESS KIT - (.pdf download)
   OUR ARIANE ARCHIVE
Fresh crater caught on camera aboard Mars orbiter
The high-resolution mapping telescope on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has monitored the changing Martian landscape for more nearly eight years, but a fresh impact crater seen in an image released Wednesday is one of the most dramatic scientists have ever discovered.
   FULL STORY
GPS satellite mounted atop booster for Feb. 20 launch
Beginning a slate of three launches in five months to fortify the Global Positioning System, the first craft was mounted atop its Delta 4 booster rocket Wednesday for liftoff Feb. 20.
   FULL STORY
   LAUNCH INFORMATION - (.pdf download)
   DELTA 4 FACT SHEET - (.pdf download)
   IMAGES: MISSION PATCHES
   OUR DELTA ARCHIVE
Tracking and Data Relay Satellite arrives in orbit
NASA's newest communications relay satellite, launched from Cape Canaveral last month, has maneuvered itself to geosynchronous orbit and deployed its antennas and power-generating solar arrays as planned.
   FULL STORY
Russian cargo craft delivers supplies to space station
Russia launched a Progress resupply freighter Wednesday on a six-hour journey to the International Space Station, delivering nearly 3 tons of fuel and supplies to the orbiting scientific research laboratory after a smooth automated rendezvous.
   FULL STORY
   IMAGES: LAUNCH AND DOCKING GALLERY
   PREVIEW STORY - with images!
Exoplanet probe leads pack of ESA mission candidates
A space-based observatory to hunt for habitable planets around other stars is the leading candidate to win the financial backing of the European Space Agency later this month.
   FULL STORY
SpaceX-launched telecom payload enters service
After gambling on SpaceX's first launch beyond low Earth orbit, Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES is reaping the rewards with a newly-operational television broadcasting satellite shot into space from Cape Canaveral in December.
   FULL STORY

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