RocketsA vehicle or craft propelled through air or space by exhaust from a rocket engine
Quick: What’s the strangest way to deliver mail that you can think of? By mule? On foot? By ship? By airplane? How about by missile? That’s right. More than one person thought delivering packages by rocket was an excellent idea. Our neighbor, the National Postal Museum, notes that Austria and Germany were the first countries [...]
July 01, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Wallops Island and I don’t get along. Twice in the last two years I’ve made the long drive from my home in ex-urban Washington D.C., hoping to finally see an orbital launch from this quaint and historic launch site on Virginia’s eastern shore. Twice I’ve come away empty-handed. It happened for the second time Tuesday [...]
June 30, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
We’re still not sure whether to take the folks at Copenhagen Suborbitals seriously in their quest (eventually) to launch people into space. But they plan to test-launch their HEAT-1X rocket from the Baltic Sea tomorrow. The last attempt, in September, was ruined by a liquid oxygen valve failure. Now they’ve regrouped for another try, with [...]
June 02, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Since 1963, hundreds of artists (and musicians, poets—even one fashion designer) have interpreted NASA’s aeronautic and space projects. The artists were given carte blanche to create what they wanted, in any medium, on any subject. In celebration of NASA’s 50th anniversary in 2008, more than 70 diverse artworks from the program began touring the country [...]
May 27, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Who can forget billionaire ex-spaceman Jeff Tracy and his five sons (Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon, and John), each named after a Mercury astronaut? Remember how they—through their organization (International Rescue)—um...rescued people...internationally? Ok, so they were puppets. Deal with it, peop...
May 05, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Late in 2014, a radically different type of rocket propulsion is set to show up on the International Space station for a period of experimentation.The technology is called the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). It's a rocket engine that uses electricity to ionize a gas such as...
May 02, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
A community of alternative rocketeers who may one day dominate the space biz.
May 2011 | By Stephen Joiner
On May 5, 2011, Bonhams auction house will hold its annual space history sale. (The date commemorates the 50th anniversary of Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard's suborbital flight in Freedom 7.) Some 250 items are up for grabs, a few coming from the Forbes Collection, others from the personal collect...
April 28, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Each year, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) organize an art contest meant to encourage young people to become familiar with (and participate in) aeronautics, engineering, and science."The quality of the art we see is unbeliev...
April 25, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
Most histories of space travel credit the first use of the rocket countdown to a work of fiction: Fritz Lang's 1929 science fiction film, "Frau im Mond" (Woman in the Moon).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaVLaD4vfBcMaybe not, though. British science fiction writer George Griffith used the same dram...
February 26, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
It's a very cool animation, and the idea is certainly sensible: use existing shuttle external tank, four-segment boosters, and space shuttle main engines, without the expense of a reusable orbiter. But with Orion riding beside and below the external tank, doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of go...
January 21, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
There's some justice in the fact that the worst rocket accident in history, which happened 50 years ago today, is remembered by the name of the man who caused it.Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin was an ambitious military leader who rose to command the Soviet Union's Strategic Missile Forces during the Cold...
October 22, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Two years ago, we ran a web article about a small band of software developers, model rocket builders, and anonymous NASA space shuttle engineers who were pitting a pair of alternative launch vehicle ideas against NASA's Ares rockets developed for the now-canceled Constellation program. These altern...
October 18, 2010 | By Mike Klesius
How 30 years changed the world's most complex flying machine.
July 2010 | By Michael Klesius
Most of the credit for Friday's near-perfect launch of the new Falcon 9 rocket rightly goes to Elon Musk, whose unusual blend of vision, competence, and almost compulsive candor (what other aerospace executive has the nerve to a) publish fixed launch prices, and b) openly criticize a U.S. Senator?)...
June 05, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
SpaceX CEO and chief designer Elon Musk could be forgiven if he feels a little under-appreciated on the eve of his Falcon 9 rocket's first launch (liftoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow from Cape Canaveral).The guy has been trying his damnedest for several years to bring down the cost of reac...
June 03, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
For the Memorial Day weekend, an assortment of news from the world of air and space:► The field of hypersonic flight has a new record: The Air Force's X-51A Waverider reached Mach 5 in a 200-second scramjet engine burn over the Pacific on Wednesday. Video below:► What looked at first like a sma...
May 28, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
A team of photographers captures Discovery's long journey to the launch pad.
May 17, 2010 | By The Editors
NASA has released better video of the recent launch abort system test in New Mexico. Some spectacular views here.
May 12, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
The space shuttle's exhaust trail makes for a lovely sight on an April morning.
May 11, 2010 | By Michael Klesius