SpaceX resets for Friday, but further delays could mean losing its place in line

As expected, SpaceX and NASA announced Wednesday that they have rescheduled Monday’s scrubbed launch of a Falcon 9 v1.1 carrying a Dragon cargo spacecraft to Friday, with the launch scheduled for 3:25 pm EDT (1925 GMT). A backup launch date is Saturday at 3:02 pm EDT (1902 GMT). As of Wednesday, forecasts still called for [...]

NASA to extend ISS commercial cargo contracts

An Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus spacecraft departs from the ISS in February at the end of the first of that company’s eight CRS cargo missions to the station. (credit: NASA)

As NASA begins to plan for a follow-on contract to transport cargo to the ISS, the agency announced plans Monday to extend its current [...]

NASA and companies prepare for next round of commercial cargo contracts

An Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus spacecraft departs the ISS on February 18, ending the first of eight such cargo transportation missions for the company. It and SpaceX are likely to compete for a new round of contracts that NASA is beginning the planning for.

NASA’s current contracts with Orbital Sciences Corporation and SpaceX for [...]

Skybox Imaging ramps up its satellite fleet with new partners

An image of the Crown Perth entertainment complex in Perth, Australia, taken by the SkySat-1 spacecraft in December, among the first images released by Skybox Imaging’s first satellite. That satellite will be joined by a fleet thanks to contracts with two major aerospace companies announced this month. (credit: Skybox Imaging)

Skybox Imaging, the commercial [...]

SpaceX sets date for next CRS mission as Orbital makes long-term plans

The Falcon 9 carrying the Dragon spacecraft for the CRS-2 (aka SpX-2) mission during an engine test last year. The next SpaceX cargo mission to the ISS, CRS-3/SpX-3, is now scheduled for launch March 17. (credit: SpaceX)

The long-awaited third SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) finally [...]

Antares launch a success for Orbital, Planet Labs, and others

An Antares rocket lifts off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia, on January 9, 2014. The rocket placed a Cygnus cargo spacecraft into orbit on the first of eight such missions Orbital is under contract to perform for NASA. (credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

On Thursday afternoon, Orbital Sciences Corporation successfully launched [...]

Year in PReview: after achieving major milestones in 2013, commercial launch companies plan a fast start to 2014

A long exposure time photo of the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch of the SES-8 satellite from Cape Canaveral on December 3, 2013. (credit: SpaceX)

[Editor's Note: this is the first in a series of articles that will both review major events in commercial spaceflight in 2013 and preview what to expect to 2014.]

The [...]

Cygnus captured by the ISS

Cygnus captured by the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. (credit: NASA TV)

While it was a week later than planned, Sunday morning’s arrival of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s first Cygnus spacecraft went even better than planned. The spacecraft smoothly passed through a series of demonstrations as it maneuvered ever closer to the station. In fact, the [...]

Super (September Space) Sunday

Sunday is shaping up to be a particularly big milestone for commercial spaceflight. On Thursday, Orbital Sciences announced it is now planning a second attempt to berth its Cygnus cargo spacecraft with the International Space Station in the early morning hours of Sunday. Assuming its plans are approved by NASA, Orbital will command Cygnus to [...]

Cygnus arrival delayed until this weekend

All had been going well for Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft since its launch Wednesday on the company’s Antares rocket. The mission, though, hit a snag Sunday, when Cygnus made contact with the ISS and received data from it. There was a “data format discrepancy,” in the words of an Orbital statement, between the data [...]