Mission Reports

Japan successfully launches replacement for decade-old navigation satellite

A Japanese H-2A rocket blasts off from Tanegashima Space Center with the QZS 1R navigation satellite. Credit: MHI A replacement for an aging satellite in Japan’s regional navigation network successfully launched Monday from Tanegashima Space Center aboard an H-2A rocket, heading to an orbit more than 20,000 miles above Earth. The launch keeps Japan on …

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NASA clears next SpaceX crew mission for launch, pending review of toilet system

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft moved over the weekend to the hangar near pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where ground teams will mate it to a Falcon 9 rocket for liftoff Oct. 31. Credit: SpaceX NASA managers at Kennedy Space Center gave the go-ahead Monday to continue preparations for a Halloween launch of …

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Blue Origin and Sierra Space team up for commercial space station

Artist’s illustration of the Orbital Reef space station. Credit: Blue Origin/Sierra Space Blue Origin and Sierra Space announced Monday they are leading development of a commercial space complex named Orbital Reef that officials said will be operational by the time NASA and its partners retire International Space Station. The two privately-owned aerospace companies said they …

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Japanese H-2A rocket ready for launch with navigation satellite

A Japanese H-2A rocket rolls out to its launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center with the QZS 1R satellite. Credit: MHI Japan is set to launch a replacement satellite Monday for a navigation spacecraft that has been in space since 2010, augmenting the U.S. military’s GPS network to provide more precise positioning and timing …

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China says it has launched a space debris mitigation tech demo satellite

A Long March 3B rocket lifts off with China’s Shijian 21 satellite. Credit: CASC China launched the classified Shijian 21 satellite Saturday on what government officials described as an experimental “space debris mitigation” mission. The Shijian 21 satellite lifted off aboard a Long March 3B rocket at 9:27 p.m. EDT Saturday (0127 GMT Sunday) from …

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Arianespace breaks payload mass record on final Ariane 5 launch before Webb

An Ariane 5 rocket lifts off from the Guiana Space Center with the SES 17 and Syracuse 4A communications satellites. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/S. Martin A European Ariane 5 rocket fired into space Saturday night from French Guiana with a commercial broadband satellite for SES and a French military telecom craft, setting a new payload mass record …

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Under watchful eye of NASA, teams prep for final Ariane 5 flight before Webb

An Ariane 5 rocket on its launch pad Thursday in Kourou, French Guiana. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/JM Guillon Arianespace is counting down to the blastoff of an Ariane 5 rocket Saturday night from French Guiana, the final flight of Europe’s workhorse launcher before NASA and the European Space Agency entrust it to launch the $10 billion James …

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Musk says Starship may be ready for orbital launch next month, but FAA review continues

Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, said Friday the company’s huge new Starship rocket could be ready for its first orbital test launch from South Texas as soon as November, but the schedule comes with two big uncertainties that may push the launch to next year. “If all goes well, Starship will be ready …

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NASA targets February launch for Artemis 1 moon mission

The 74,000-pound Orion spacecraft was lifted inside the Vehicle Assembly Building this week, and mounted to the top of the Space Launch System. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux With NASA’s powerful new 322-foot-tall moon rocket fully stacked at Kennedy Space Center, managers said Friday that Feb. 12 is the soonest the unpiloted Artemis 1 mission could blast …

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Images: Atlas 5 blasts off with NASA’s Lucy asteroid mission

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket streaked into space from Cape Canaveral before dawn Oct. 16 with NASA’s Lucy asteroid mission, a robotic probe to explore a group of enigmatic asteroids leading and trailing Jupiter in its orbit around the sun. The Atlas 5 launcher, powered by a Russian RD-180 main engine, lifted off …

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