SpaceX scrubs again Thursday; will try again in a “few days” (updated: Monday, er, Tuesday next launch attempt)

The SpaceX Falcon 9 on the pad shortly after aborting a launch attempt Thursday at the T-0 mark (T+2 seconds according to the countdown clock) because of an engine issue. (credit: SpaceX)

Three days after technical glitches scrubbed a launch attempt of its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, SpaceX tried again Thursday—and almost […]

Mars One planning December 10 announcement about robotic Mars mission

Mars One, the Dutch organization that has proposed sending humans to Mars on commercially-funded one-way trips, announced yesterday that it will be holding a press conference in Washington on December 10 to make an announcement “regarding the first private robotic mission to Mars.” That announcement will be made jointly with Lockheed Martin and “Surrey Satellite […]

With two more satellites in orbit, Planet Labs prepares a “flock” for launch next month

The 28 satellites of Flock 1, the first constellation of remote sensing satellites built by Planet Labs. The satellites will be launched on a Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station in mid-December. (credit: Planet Labs)

Planet Labs, the San Francisco-based commercial remote sensing company that launched its first two satellites in April […]

Series of technical glitches ground Falcon until Thanksgiving

Falcon 9 on the pad shortly before the final hold that scrubbed Monday’s launch.

The first launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload to geosynchronous orbit will have to wait until Thanksgiving, after a series of relatively minor glitches kept the rocket on the ground during Monday evening’s launch window.

SpaceX had […]

SpaceX ready for its next launch; its customer, even more so

Mission patch for Monday’s scheduled launch of the SES-8 satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket.

There’s a certain degree of confidence that one comes to expect from SpaceX as they discuss their upcoming launches and future plans, and understandably so: they consider themselves the upstart launch vehicle company that is disrupting an existing industry. […]

Bitcoins, space tourism, and the benefits and perils of exclusivity

On Friday, Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic found yet another way to get into the news. Friday morning, Branson announced that his commercial space company would accept payment in the form of bitcoins, a cryptocurrency that has attracted increasing attention in recent months as its value has skyrocketed. A single bitcoin is worth […]

Inspiration Mars seeks closer ties with NASA for its human Mars flyby mission

Illustration of the Inspiration Mars Vehicle Stack, the spacecraft that would take two people on a Mars flyby mission. It makes use of a modified Cygnus spacecraft as the habitat module and a Orion spacecraft with enhanced heat shield to return the crew to Earth. (credit: Inspiration Mars)

Inspiration Mars, the private effort announced […]

Bigelow report calls for use of COTS model for cislunar transportation

Cutaway illustration of a BA 330-DS module included in the Bigelow Aerospace report to NASA. The company proposes to use this module to support commercial activities in cislunar space in partnership with NASA. (credit: Bigelow Aerospace)

A report prepared by Bigelow Aerospace for NASA concludes that the commercial approach that the space agency used […]

Lady Gaga joins the ranks of musicians who want to perform in space

Another music star is interested in going to space. US Weekly reported Wednesday that pop singer Lady Gaga, perhaps known as much for her creative wardrobe as for her music, would be flying on Virgin Galactic in 2015 to perform a song. The singer—legally known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta—would fly as part of festival […]

Blue Origin and planetary defense

Blue Origin is best known for its work developing suborbital and orbital reusable spacecraft (well, that, and its infamous secrecy about that work.) But the company at least once had interest in a different topic, according to an unusual source: planetary defense.

That’s the claim of the obituary of William Wright Kuhn, a mathematician and […]