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 […]

Cygnus is on its way to the ISS

An Antares rocket, carrying a Cygnus cargo spacecraft, lifts off Wednesday from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia, en route to the ISS. (credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is now on its way to becoming the second commercial cargo vehicle to service the International Space Station. The Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus […]

Antares/Cygnus launch slips a day

An Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus cargo spacecraft is raised into position on the launch pad in Virginia on Friday. (credit: Orbital Sciences Corp.)

While many have been keeping a close eye on SpaceX’s upcoming Falcon 9 v1.1 launch, it’s not the only significant impending commercial launch. On the opposite coast from Vandenberg, Orbital […]

Stratolaunch Systems shows off its new partnership with Orbital

Earlier this month Stratolaunch Systems confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in the space industry: its new partnership with Orbital Sciences Corporation to develop the launch vehicle for its air-launch system. Since late last year, after Stratolaunch ended its original partnership with SpaceX, Stratolaunch was rumored to be in discussions with Orbital. Earlier this […]

Third time’s the charm for Antares?

The Antares launch vehicle on the pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia, earlier this week. (credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The launch of any rocket requires a large number of things to fall into place: all the various components and subsystems of the rocket itself, the weather, and the range. Getting […]