Falcon 9 hot fire test today (updated)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 sits on the pad at Cape Canaveral in advance of Monday's hot fire test. (Credit: SpaceX)

Update 8:30 pm: It took a couple of tries, but SpaceX did carry out the static fire test successfully on Monday. The countdown to the original T-0 time of 3 pm EDT stopped with [...]

SpaceX reschedules launch for May 7

A day after announcing they wouldn’t make their previously scheduled launch date of April 30, SpaceX announced it has set a new launch date of May 7 for its Dragon demonstration mission to the International Space Station. “NASA and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station have approved SpaceX’s request to set May 7th as the [...]

Planetary Resources seeks to mine asteroids—and develop propellant depots

Illustration of Planetary Resources Inc.'s initial spacecraft, the Arkyd-101 space telescope in Earth orbit. (credit: Planetary Resources, Inc.)

Science-fiction authors and space commercialization advocate alike have dreamed for decades of mining asteroids. So when Seattle-based Planetary Resources, Inc. announced last week it will unveil on Tuesday “a new space venture with a mission to [...]

SpaceX pushes Dragon launch back

When SpaceX got the green light from NASA to proceed with a planned April 30 launch to the ISS last week, that go-ahead was a provisional one: NASA officials said more software testing was planned, and that there would check again a week later, April 23, on whether the mission was still on track for [...]

SpaceX tentatively cleared for April 30 launch attempt

On Monday, NASA and SpaceX officials met for a Flight Readiness Review (FRR) for SpaceX’s upcoming Dragon mission to the International Space Station (ISS). After the FRR, NASA announced at a press conference that they had given tentative approval for that April 30 launch, pending some final tests and simulations.

“Everything looks good as we [...]

Suborbital vehicle development updates from Space Access ’12

On Friday three of the companies actively developing commercial suborbital vehicles—Armadillo Aerospace, Masten Space Systems, and XCOR Aerospace—gave presentations about their companies’ vehicle development work at the Space Access ’12 conference in Phoenix. Since it’s only been a month and a half since these companies, plus Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic (who are not presenting [...]

SSI plans a “Great Enterprise” featuring an orbital lab module

An illustration of SSI's proposed G-Lab module, along with the scientific question that it hopes to answer.

The Space Studies Institute (SSI) dates back about 35 years, founded by Gerard K. O’Neill in 1977 to support research on efforts to create a permanent human presence in space, such as through the space colonies that [...]

Space Access ’12 preview

This morning Space Access ’12, a long-running annual conference about amateur and entrepreneurial spaceflight, kicks off in Phoenix. This conference, dating back now nearly 20 years, brings together companies and individuals working on various suborbital and orbital space projects, as well as enthusiasts wanting to learn more. This year the conference has expanded to three [...]

SpaceX moving ahead with Texas spaceport plan

Map of the coast of South Texas, with the approximate location of the proposed SpaceX launch site marked with the blue circle on the coast. The city of Brownsville is in the lower left.

Last summer there was a flurry of speculation about an unnamed company interested in a spaceport in south Texas, on [...]