Aerospace

Russian rocket manufacturer insists it is not to blame for failed Antares launch

The launch phase of the Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket relied on two AJ-26 engines that were originally produced in the 1970s for a failed Soviet moon programme and later modernised for US space flights. Speculation quickly centred on the Soviet-based engines, which have failed in tests, when the rocket exploded in a giant fireball after takeoff on Tuesday night.

Forum highlights technology tested on Space Station for deep space exploration

The forum, the second in a new series of public discussions dedicated to research on board the station, emphasized current and future technology research that will prepare astronauts for long-duration missions farther into the solar system than ever before and provide lasting benefits on Earth.

Unmanned Antares rocket explodes after liftoff

Orbital Sciences' executive vice president Frank Culbertson said things began to go wrong 10 to 12 seconds into the flight and it was all over in 20 seconds when what was left of the rocket came crashing down. He said he believes the range-safety staff sent a destruct signal before it hit the ground. The company said everyone at the site had been accounted for, and the damage appeared to be limited to the facilities.

SpaceX to attempt Falcon 9 booster landing on floating platform

As soon as December, SpaceX will attempt to land a Falcon 9 rocket booster on a floating ocean platform the size of a football field, CEO Elon Musk said today. The new infrastructure is SpaceX's next step in trying to recover a Falcon 9 booster so it can be flown again, a breakthrough Musk believes is critical to lowering launch costs.

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, mission complete, returns home

Dragon carried an estimated 3,276 lbs (1,486 kg) cargo and science samples which will be returned to NASA. Dragon is a unique asset as it is the only spacecraft that currently travels to the International Space Station that is capable of returning an appreciable amount of cargo to Earth.

Astronaut-turned-professor Massimino leads new STEM student recruitment

When mechanical engineering professor Michael Massimino was applying to colleges, he wanted more than just an education in engineering. Though he never planned to take classes in law, business, or journalism, he loved the idea of being surrounded by students who did. Thirty years—and two trips to space—later, Massimino, SEAS ’84, is working with Columbia’s admissions office to attract science and engineering students to the University who think just like he thought.

Critical NASA Science Returns to Earth aboard SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft

SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 3:39 p.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 25, in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 300 miles west of Baja California, returning 3,276 pounds of NASA cargo and science samples from the International Space Station (ISS).

Newman Reportedly Expects To Advocate For STEM As NASA Deputy

President Obama has nominated Dana Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to become the next deputy administrator of NASA. Newman, who was born and raised in Helena MT, must be confirmed by the Senate before she can take the position.

NASA eyes SpaceX soft-landing technology for future Mars missions

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX ) has been working to develop technologies to increase capabilities in terms of spaceflight – while keeping related costs down. One such effort, the use of descent capabilities on the first stage of the company’s Falcon 9 v1.1 booster – has caught NASA’s attention.

NASA Begins Sixth Year of Airborne Antarctic Ice Change Study

NASA is carrying out its sixth consecutive year of Operation IceBridge research flights over Antarctica to study changes in the continent’s ice sheet, glaciers and sea ice. This year’s airborne campaign, which began its first flight Thursday morning, will revisit a section of the Antarctic ice sheet that recently was found to be in irreversible decline.

8 inspiring girls making an impact on STEM and education

US teen Alyssa Carson is determined to be on NASA’s first mission to bring humans to Mars, currently planned for 2033. By that time, 13-year-old Carson will be in her early thirties, with almost three decades of preparation under her belt.

Sleeper spaceship could carry first humans to Mars in hibernation state

Sleeper spacecraft with crews in suspended animation have been flying through futuristic science fiction movies like "Avatar," "Alien," "Pandorum" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" for decades. Now science reality is catching up, as medical advances have made stasis possible via a method called therapeutic hypothermia.

Sikorsky reveals first S-97 Raider helicopter prototype

Sikorsky's record-breaking X2 Demonstrator helicopter may be a museum piece these days, but the technology that went into it is still alive and kicking as the United Technologies subsidiary takes the wraps off the first of its two S-97 Raider helicopter prototypes. According to Sikorsky, this event marks the beginning of the armed reconnaissance ‘copter’s flight tests aimed at providing the US Army with its next generation of combat rotorcraft.

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft, Rocket Move Closer to First Flight

Orion was moved Sunday out of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Delta IV Heavy rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, made its move Tuesday night, to nearby Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was raised Wednesday from the horizontal position into its vertical launch configuration.

What's keeping America's private drone industry grounded?

Regulators try to crack the riddle of how to integrate drones into America’s skies without jeopardizing record for air safety – but pioneers describe a ‘frustratingly long wait’ for a solution.

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