RocketsA vehicle or craft propelled through air or space by exhaust from a rocket engine
NASA’s new launch abort system just passed a major test. But what booster and capsule will use it?
May 06, 2010 | By Michael Klesius
May 2010 | By Robert M. White as told to Al Hallonquist
As opponents and advocates square off in Congress this year over the future of NASA's human spaceflight program, expect fireworks. But don't expect anything to happen too quickly. Kind of like this super-slo-mo video, which should bring out the pyro in you: the seven-seconds that the space shuttle ...
April 14, 2010 | By Mike Klesius
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket—which the company hopes will usher in a new era of lower-cost commercial space travel—has arrived at its launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida.Engineers are checking out the vehicle's fuel, liquid oxygen, and gas pressure systems. Once they pass muster, the launch team will...
February 22, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Russian rocket engineers do things a little differently from their American counterparts. They assemble the rocket with the vehicle lying on its side, then hoist it into launch position at the pad (watch a video here).That practice will continue when Soyuz rockets begin launching from the European ...
December 01, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Check out how good the camera technology has gotten for tracking a rocket booster all the way to 150,000 feet and back to the ocean. This high-definition video was taken during NASA's Ares 1-X launch on October 28, 2009, with a gyro-stabilized camera on board a Cessna Skymaster purring along at 12,...
November 10, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
What we still have to learn about the Northern Lights.
November 2009 | By Tim Wright
Score one for the rocket engineers.To quote Ed Mango, the launch director for today’s Ares I-X rocket test, his team at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center did a “frickin’ fantastic” job on their first outing, which gathered data for the designers of NASA’s proposed Ares 1 crew launcher. It appears the eng...
October 28, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
When it’s not the journey but the destination that counts.
September 2009 | By Michael Klesius
...But not necessarily in that order, when you're dealing with the world's largest solid rocket motor. In fact, engineers who tried last Thursday to light the ATK five-segment motor planned for NASA's Ares I rocket, were in an underground bunker half a mile away when ignition was to occur at a quar...
August 31, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
Is the Saturn V's F-1, first-stage engine more power than you need? Then consider the NK-33, the smaller first-stage engine from the only other moon rocket ever built by the human race.The Soviet N1 lunar rocket, which experienced four failed launches from 1969 to 1972, was a firebreathing behemoth...
August 19, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
It's probably premature to declare SpaceX an established launch company on the basis of yesterday's successful orbiting of Malaysia's Razaksat satellite (see video below). I doubt they'll want to gloat too long, given the technical and financial risks inherent in the rocket business, and the diffic...
July 14, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
I'm already kicking myself. A Minotaur rocket is launching from Wallops Island, Virginia tonight, with the Air Force Tacsat-3 spacecraft onboard, and I won't be there. I drove four and a half hours for the first launch attempt on May 5, but got rained out, and alas, can't make it back down for this...
May 19, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
The first company with a plan—and a rocket—to send humans to orbit answers the existential question.
May 2009 | By Michael Milstein
Yesterday, the California Space Authority kicked off California Space Week Washington, D.C., when representatives from the Golden State's space industry head east for an annual business trip to the nation's capital for face time with all the right people. As their web site says, "It's that time aga...
April 21, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
At 37 years old, Elon Musk is poised to become either the Henry Ford or the Howard Hughes of his generation. If his Falcon rockets and Tesla electric cars succeed, he'll revolutionize 21st century transportation. If they don't, he'll likely be remembered as a colorful, clever, but ultimately irrele...
April 20, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
In this case, a belly laugh. A recent issue of Rockets Magazine featured several stories on amateur rocketry conventions, one of which, "Balls-17," held last September in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, included the launch of a 322-pound homebuilt rocket named "Hold My Beer, Watch This."Just before lau...
March 04, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
A small band of rogue rocketeers takes on the NASA establishment.
September 29, 2008 | By Michael Klesius
Elon Musk tries again to reach orbit, with hopes for low-cost spaceflight riding on the outcome.
July 17, 2008 | By Geoffrey Little
This little known Apollo artifact caused astronauts to rest a little easier.
June 13, 2008 | By Bob Craddock