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Posts Tagged "constellation"

Observations

NASA’s New Rocket: Will Congress’s Pet Project Fly?

An artist

NASA’s plans for human spaceflight, the subject of much hand-wringing since the curtains closed on the agency’s space shuttle program in July, took a big step this week when the agency announced plans for a powerful new rocket to take astronauts into deep space. But is the mammoth Space Launch System a step forward or [...]

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Observations

Truckin’ Up to Low Earth Orbit, Part 2: Deadly Reality-Check: Challenger and Columbia

This is the second of a three-part series that looks back at the 30-year history of the U.S. space shuttle program. Any summary of the shuttle program cannot go on without mentioning 14 lost astronauts and two doomed vehicles—Challenger on launch in 1986 and Columbia on reentry in 17 years later. Both events punctuated periods [...]

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Observations

NASA’s scrapped Ares 1 rocket could be resurrected for commercial spaceflight

Conception of the Liberty rocket

When President Obama proposed in 2010 that NASA abandon the line of Ares rockets it was developing to return astronauts to the moon, many feared that U.S. manned spaceflight was going back to square one. It now appears that some of the groundwork laid in planning and testing one of those canceled rockets may be [...]

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Observations

SpaceX completes successful first test launch of Falcon 9 rocket

Falcon 9

Private access to space took a giant leap forward Friday with a successful test launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, developed and built by SpaceX, a venture headed by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk. The two-stage Falcon 9, which stands about 48 meters tall*, lifted off from a Cape Canaveral launchpad at 2:45 P.M. Eastern Daylight [...]

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Observations

NASA successfully tests escape system for capsule that may never launch

Orion Pad Abort 1

At a test in the New Mexico desert this morning, NASA carried off what it called a successful test of a launch abort system for Orion, the crew capsule designed to return astronauts to orbit and beyond after the space shuttle retires this year or next. The system, which would rocket the crew to safety [...]

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Observations

Parachute failure before splashdown left Ares 1-X booster badly dinged

Damaged Ares I-X booster

NASA’s launch of the Ares 1-X test rocket Wednesday was a success—but, as it turns out, a qualified one. The rocket’s first booster stage, which splashed down in the ocean as planned six minutes after launch, was found to be significantly dented when divers reached the mammoth cylinder to prep it for retrieval. Ares 1-X [...]

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Observations

NASA’s Ares 1-X test rocket lifts off successfully

Ares I-X test launch

A prototype NASA rocket for a planned crew launcher lifted off into the Florida sky Wednesday morning, providing an unmanned flight demonstration of the new technology. The 100-meter-tall Ares 1-X, powered by a solid rocket booster, flew from Kennedy Space Center to an altitude of 45 kilometers before splashing down six minutes later in the [...]

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Observations

Weather, stray cargo ship and stuck cover conspire to postpone NASA’s Ares 1-X test launch

Ares I-X

NASA’s towering Ares 1-X rocket, a test vehicle for a planned crew launcher to replace the space shuttle, remains on the ground at Kennedy Space Center in Florida after the space agency scrubbed its Tuesday launch attempt. The launch team will try again Wednesday in a four-hour launch window that begins at 8:00 A.M. (Eastern [...]

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