Spaceflight Now Home

Spaceflight Now +

Premium video content for our Spaceflight Now Plus subscribers.

Joining tank and SRBs
The space shuttle Discovery is hoisted high into the Vehicle Assembly Building and mated with its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters.

 Hoisted | Attached

Discovery moves to VAB
Space shuttle Discovery makes an evening move October 31 from its processing hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building for mating with an external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters in preparation for the STS-116 mission.


Final Hubble servicing
The objectives of the just-approved final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission are detailed and the anticipated science from the new instruments to be installed are detailed in this briefing from Goddard Space Flight Center.

 Full Coverage

Meet Hubble astronauts
The crew for the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission will be led by Scott Altman, with pilot Greg C. Johnson, robot arm operator Megan McArthur and spacewalkers Andrew Feustel, Mike Good, John Grunsfeld and Mike Massimino. The astronauts meet the press in this news briefing from Johnson Space Center.

 Full Coverage

STEREO launch
The twin STEREO space observatories designed to change the way we view the sun launch from Cape Canaveral aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket.

 Full Coverage

STS-48: Atmosphere research satellite
With launch of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite from space shuttle Discovery in September 1991, a new era in studying Earth's environment from space began. The crew of STS-48 describes the mission in this post-flight film, which includes an beautiful nighttime flyover of the United States.

 Small | Large

STS-40: Medical lab
Astronauts, rodents and jellyfish were the subjects during extensive medical tests performed aboard the first Spacelab Life Sciences mission launched in June 1991 aboard shuttle Columbia. A space laboratory module riding in the payload bay housed the experiment facilities. The crew of STS-40 explain the mission in this post-flight film.

 Small | Large

Exploration update
A progress report on development of the Orion crew exploration spacecraft and the Ares launch vehicle is given during this briefing held October 18 at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.


MRO early images
Some of the initial pictures and data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter since the craft entered its mapping orbit around the Red Planet are presented in this news briefing held October 16 from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Become a subscriber
More video

Multi-national agreement to advance high-speed flight
Posted: November 14, 2006

The U.S. Air Force and Australian Department of Defence signed a multi-national research partnership Nov. 10 in Canberra, Australia, which will explore and develop fundamental hypersonic technologies, and experimental methodologies that could enable the next generation of weapon systems.

The $54 million agreement represents one of the largest collaborations of its kind between the two nations. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation are leading the effort, including coordination of research tasks to be performed with NASA, U.S. industry, the Australian Hypersonics Consortium, and the Hypersonics Research Group at the University of Queensland.

Air Force chief scientist Dr. Mark Lewis, and Australian chief defence scientist Dr. Roger Lough, signed the agreement Nov. 10 at a joint meeting in Canberra, which officially kicks off the project. The research effort has been established under a new bi-lateral agreement, secured under the existing Deutch-Ayers Memorandum of Understanding.

Called HiFIRE, or Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation, the program will span six years of basic and applied research, with the goal to observe and understand hypersonic phenomena. The program also includes up to 10 flight experiments using an experimental payload, launched to realistic hypersonic flight conditions. Hypersonic speeds are reached at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound.

Hypersonic capability is of interest to the Air Force for its ability to enable "game changing" operations that exploit speed and responsiveness in both near and far-term applications.

"We envision air-breathing powered hypersonic cruise missiles in the near-term, which are able to deliver prompt, precision strike of time critical targets from safe, standoff distances," said Air Force program manager Mr. Douglas Dolvin, with the lab's Air Vehicles Directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB. "In the far-term, these air-breathing hypersonic vehicles may enable operationally responsive space access."

Both countries see hypersonic flight as a revolutionary advancement that will work to transform both air and space defense operations.

Senator Sandy Macdonald, Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, said hypersonic flight promises to have a significant impact on defence as well as on international transport and future access to space.

"The Australian Defence Force is developing a high-technology, network-enabled force and its reliance on space is increasing for intelligence gathering, communications and a range of support operations, said Senator Macdonald. "Hypersonics offers low cost methods of transporting payloads into space, using reusable air breathing propulsion systems."

Scientists from AFRL and DSTO will conduct computational and ground test research at numerous government facilities, according to Mr. Dolvin. Each research task will culminate with a rocket-boosted flight experiment, to be conducted at the Woomera Prohibited Test Range in South Australia, the largest land weapons test and evaluation facility in the world covering 127,000 square kilometers.