Commercial Space

Orbital accelerates plan to re-engine Antares in wake of failure

Orbital Sciences is accelerating development of a replacement engine for its Antares rocket in the wake of a spectacular Oct. 28 launch disaster that apparently was triggered by the failure of a Russian-built first-stage engine.
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NTSB provides timeline of SS2 mishap

Just 13 seconds after Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo began a rocket-powered test flight last Friday -- and just five seconds after its innovative aero-braking system was inadvertently deployed at supersonic speeds -- the spaceplane apparently broke up. Read More...

Station astronaut says commercial space 'next breakthrough'

Space station astronaut Reid Wiseman, preparing to return to Earth this weekend after 165 days in orbit, said Monday commercial spaceflight represents the "next breakthrough" in aerospace technology.
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NTSB says SS2 'feather' braking system deployed early

Investigators looking into the fatal crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane said Sunday twin tail booms that rotate away from the fuselage to increase drag during atmospheric re-entry deployed earlier than expected during a fatal test flight Friday. Read More...

Branson vows to press ahead with commercial spaceflight

Richard Branson, the charismatic leader of Virgin Galactic and a driving force in the push to commercialize space travel, vowed Saturday to find out what caused the fatal crash of his company's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane Friday. Read More...

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashes during test flight

Virgin Galactic's futuristic SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, built to carry adventurous tourists on sub-orbital spaceflights, suffered a catastrophic failure Friday during a rocket-powered test flight high above the Mojave Desert, killing one pilot and injuring another.
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Orbital Sciences assesses Antares failure

A day after an explosion that destroyed an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket carrying a space station cargo ship, company officials said Wednesday they hope to zero in on the likely cause of the mishap within a week or so. Read More...

Atlas 5 boosts GPS navsat into space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Wednesday and boosted a $245 million Air Force navigation satellite into space, a welcome development after another rocket, also powered by Russian first-stage engines, exploded Tuesday. Read More...

Antares rocket explodes, destroys station cargo ship

An Orbital Sciences Antares rocket exploded seconds after launch from the Virginia coast Tuesday, erupting in a spectacular fireball and destroying an uncrewed Cygnus cargo ship in a disheartening failure for NASA's commercial space station resupply program.
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NASA clears Boeing, SpaceX to resume commercial crew work

Rescinding a work stoppage in the wake of a bid protest by losing competitor Sierra Nevada, NASA has told Boeing and SpaceX to resume work on commercial crew spacecraft to avoid possible delays ferrying astronauts to and from the space station. Read More...

NASA announces second round of commercial cargo contracts

In the wake of new contracts for commercial space taxis, NASA Friday announced a new competition for a second round of contracts to build and launch unpiloted spacecraft to deliver cargo and supplies to the International Space Station.
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SpaceX cargo ship attached to space station

Two days after launch from Cape Canaveral, a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship loaded with 2.5 tons of equipment and supplies pulled up to the International Space Station early Tuesday and was captured by the lab's robot arm to complete a smooth rendezvous.
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SpaceX station resupply mission takes off

Running a day late because of stormy weather, a SpaceX cargo ship packed with more than 5,100 pounds of equipment and supplies blasted off early Sunday on a two-day flight to the International Space Station.
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SpaceX station resupply flight scrubbed by weather

Thick clouds and rain over central Florida early Saturday forced SpaceX to order a 24-hour delay for launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon supply ship bound for the International Space Station.
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SpaceX readies cargo ship for flight to space station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands poised to launch a Dragon cargo ship on a two-day flight to the International Space Station. Read More...

Atlas 5 boosts classified satellite to space

After waiting out bad weather, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off Tuesday and boosted a classified satellite into space, putting on a brief but spectacular show as it streak away through low clouds. Read More...

Boeing, SpaceX share contracts to build commercial space taxis

Aerospace giant Boeing and newcomer SpaceX will share $6.8 billion in NASA contracts to build commercial space taxis to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Read More...

SpaceX launches AsiaSat 6 relay station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered to life and vaulted into space early Sunday, boosting a commercial communications satellite into orbit for the Hong Kong-based Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Read More...

SpaceX delays AsiaSat 6 launch for additional troubleshooting

Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the AsiaSat 6 communications satellite is on hold pending additional work to make sure the booster is not susceptible to even extremely unlikely malfunctions in the wake of a failure that destroyed an experimental rocket .
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Atlas 5 boosts WorldView-3 remote sensing satellite to orbit

An Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from California and streaked into orbit Wednesday carrying the most powerful remote sensing satellite ever built for the commercial market, a spacecraft capable of zooming in on a baseball field and detecting home plate from 400 miles. Read More...

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat 8 relay station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket boosted a powerful communications satellite into orbit early Tuesday after a sky-lighting liftoff from Cape Canaveral, the first of two commercial relay stations the company plans to launch this month.
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Cygnus cargo ship berthed at station

A Cygnus cargo ship loaded with more than 1.5 tons of supplies and equipment was plucked out of open space by the International Space Station's robot arm early Wednesday and pulled in for berthing to wrap up a three-day rendezvous.
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SpaceX Falcon 9 boosts Orbcomm data sats to orbit

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket boosted six lightweight Orbcomm data relay satellites into space Monday in a commercial launch marking the 10th apparent success in a row for the California rocket builder. (UPDATED)
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Antares rocket boosts commercial Cygnus cargo ship into orbit

An Orbital Sciences Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus cargo capsule thundered away from the Virginia coast Sunday and streaked into orbit, kicking off a three-day flight to deliver more than 1.5 tons of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.
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Antares rocket readied for launch on station resupply flight

After a string of delays cause by stormy weather, conflicts with other flights and an engine test failure, Orbital Sciences Corp. is readying an Antares rocket for launch Sunday to carry 1.7 tons of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station. Read More...

Government seeks dismissal of SpaceX contract challenge

The U.S. government has filed a motion with the Court of Federal Claims to dismiss a key element in a lawsuit by SpaceX challenging a sole-source multi-rocket contract awarded to United Launch Alliance last December. Read More...

Third SpaceX launch try scrubbed, flight delayed to early July

A third attempt to launch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying six ORBCOMM data relay satellites was called off Sunday because of an unspecified technical problem. The company announced Monday a fourth launch try would be delayed to early July. (UPDATED) Read More...

SpaceX Falcon 9 grounded by weather (UPDATED)

Running a day late because of a technical glitch, bad weather Saturday forced SpaceX to call off a second attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on a commercial mission to deploy six Orbcomm data relay satellites.
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SpaceX/Orbcomm launch delayed

Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying six Orbcomm commercial data relay satellites was delayed Friday for at least 24 hours because of telemetry indicating a possible pressurization problem in the rocket's second stage. Read More...

ULA details engine initiative, unveils ads to counter 'misinformation'

United Launch Alliance, criticized by competitor SpaceX for high costs and use of Russian rocket engines, ratcheted up its counter offensive Wednesday, detailing a new initiative to explore U.S. engine replacement options and unveiling new ads to counter 'misinformation.' (UPDATED) Read More...

SpaceX unveils futuristic crew ferry craft

With a showman's flair for the dramatic, rocket designer Elon Musk unveiled a futuristic space capsule Thursday, a sleek reusable ferry craft that could carry astronauts to the International Space Station and bring them home to a pinpoint, rocket-powered landing.
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Rogozin threatens engine restrictions, ISS lifetime extension

Russian-built RD-180 engines that power the first stage of United Launch Alliance's Atlas 5 rocket will no longer be sold for use in U.S. military missions, Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's deputy prime minister for space and defense, said Tuesday.
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Court lifts unjunction barring payments for Russian engine

A federal judge Thursday lifted an injunction barring United Launch Alliance from buying Russian engines for the company's Atlas 5 rocket, concluding such transactions do not violate U.S. sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia's actions in Ukraine.
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SpaceX wins temporary injunction on ULA-Russian engine buys

The U.S. Court of Federal Appeals has issued a temporary injunction barring United Launch Alliance from purchasing Russian engines and hardware for its venerable Atlas 5 rocket following a complaint by SpaceX alleging such sales violate U.S. sanctions. Read More...

ULA defends 27-rocket 'block buy' contract

Responding to complaints from SpaceX, United Launch Alliance said it won a sole-source military launch contract because it was the only company that fully met Pentagon requirements.
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SpaceX challenges Air Force launch contracts

SpaceX founder and chief designer Elon Musk said Friday his company is filing a lawsuit to protest what he said were unjustified, sole-source Air Force launch contracts. Read More...

Dragon cargo ship attached to space station

Wrapping up a smooth two-day rendezvous, a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship was successfully attached to the International Space Station early Sunday, bringing nearly 5,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to the lab complex.
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SpaceX Falcon 9 boost Dragon/CRS-3 into orbit (UPDATED)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket boosted a Dragon cargo capsule into orbit Friday, the first step in a two-day rendezvous with the International Space Station, the company's third commercial resupply mission.
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SpaceX aims for second launch try Friday

SpaceX is pressing ahead for another attempt Friday to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a commercial cargo craft bound for the International Space Station, setting up an Easter Sunday rendezvous and berthing.
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SpaceX delays Falcon 9/Dragon launch to station

Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station has been delayed to no earlier than March 30 because of what sources described as apparent contamination that could pose problems for station-bound research hardware. Read More...

Cygnus cargo ship berthed at space station

A commercial cargo ship loaded with nearly 1.5 tons of supplies and equipment was captured by the International Space Station's robot arm early Sunday and attached to a docking port, wrapping up a complex but problem-free two-and-a-half-day rendezvous.
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Orbital Sciences Antares rocket blasts off on station cargo flight

Delayed one day by cold weather and another day by concern about space radiation, an Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket carrying a commercially developed cargo ship blasted off Thursday and set off after the International Space Station.
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Station cargo mission delayed one day by space weather

Launch of an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus cargo ship bound for the International Space Station was scrubbed Wednesday because of high space radiation levels after a solar flare. Based on a detailed analysis, the flight was retargeted for Thursday.
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SpaceX Falcon 9 boosts commercial relay station into orbit

An upgraded SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket boosted a commercial communications satellite into orbit Monday, kicking off the new year with the company's second commercial success in a row. Read More...

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches first commercial comsat

SpaceX sucessfully launched an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket carrying an SES communications satellite Tuesday, the opening salvo in a closely watched bid to win a share of the commercial launch market with low-cost assembly-line boosters.
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SpaceX retargets commercial comsat launch

Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a commercial communications satellite is now targeted for Tuesday evening, company officials said Monday, giving engineers more time to review data in the wake of a Thanksgiving Day launch abort .
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SpaceX launch on hold after launch abort

Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's first commercial communications satellite payload is on hold pending a data review and engine inspections after two launch tries Thursday, including a dramatic engine start and shut down. Read More...

SpaceX launch delayed by technical snags

Launch of an upgraded SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a commercial communications satellite was delayed Monday by unexplained technical snags late in the countdown. Launch was retargeted for Thursday. Read More...

SpaceX poised for high-stakes comsat launch

SpaceX, the upstart rocket company owned by tech maverick Elon Musk, faces what might be its biggest challenge Monday with the launch of a costly commercial communications satellite aboard an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket. Read More...

Sierra Nevada investigates Dream Chaser landing mishap

A landing gear malfunction that caused a small commercial spacecraft to skid off the runway after its first unmanned flight Saturday caused relatively minor damage, an official with builder Sierra Nevada said. Read More...

SpaceX launches upgraded Falcon 9 rocket

In a dramatic California test flight, SpaceX launched an upgraded, more powerful version of its Falcon 9 rocket Sunday -- a booster the company hopes will someday carry astronauts to the space station. Read More...

Cygnus cargo ship completes rendezvous, station capture

A commercial cargo ship making its maiden flight was successfully captured by the International Space Station's robot arm early Sunday in a major milestone for NASA.
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Commercial cargo ship aborts initial approach to station

An Orbital Sciences Corp. Cygnus cargo ship making its maiden flight to the International Space Station aborted its initial approach to the lab complex early Sunday because of suspect navigation data.
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Orbital Sciences launches Cygnus cargo ship on maiden flight

In a critical test flight for NASA's space station program, an Orbital Sciences Corp. Antares rocket blasted off Wednesday, lofting a Cygnus cargo ship on its maiden flight to the international lab complex. Read More...

Orbital Sciences preps Cygnus cargo ship for station flight

In a major milestone for NASA, Orbital Sciences Corp. is readying an Antares rocket for launch Wednesday to boost an unmanned Cygnus cargo ship on a maiden flight to the International Space Station.
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Delta 4 boosts military comsat into orbit

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket vaulted away from Cape Canaveral Friday and lofted a $342 million military communications satellite into orbit after a picture-perfect climb to space.
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Orbital Sciences launches Antares rocket on successful test flight

A commercially developed rocket blasted off from the Virginia coast and streaked into space Sunday, chalking up a picture-perfect maiden flight that sets the stage for space station cargo flights later this year. Read More...

Antares launch delayed by high winds

For the second time in four days, the maiden flight of a powerful new rocket designed to boost space station cargo ships into orbit was called off Saturday, this time because high upper-level winds, officials said.
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Antares launch delayed to Saturday to avoid bad weather

Running two days late, Orbital Sciences managers decided Thursday to delay the maiden flight of the company's new Antares rocket one more day to Saturday because of expected bad weather. Read More...

Antares launch delayed 48 hours by last-minute glitch

The maiden flight of a new rocket designed to loft space station cargo ships into orbit was called off 12 minutes before liftoff Wednesday when an umbilical unexpectedly pulled away from the second stage. Read More...

Orbital Sciences Antares rocket cleared for maiden flight

Orbital Sciences Corp. made final preparations Tuesday for the first flight of its Antares rocket, a commercially-built booster designed to launch cargo ships to the International Space Station. Read More...

SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth

A commercial cargo capsule plunged back to Earth Tuesday, wrapping up a month-long space station resupply mission with an on-target splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. Read More...

Dragon cargo ship captured, berthed at station (UPDATED)

After a flawless rendezvous, a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule was captured by the International Space Station's robot arm early Sunday, bringing more than a ton of supplies and equipment to the outpost. Read More...

Dragon cargo ship cleared for Sunday capture (UPDATED)

With its propulsion system working flawlessly, a SpaceX cargo ship loaded with supplies and equipment was cleared by NASA Saturday to press ahead for a day-late capture by the lab complex early Sunday.
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SpaceX restores Dragon thrusters (UPDATED)

A SpaceX cargo ship bound for the International Space Station thundered into orbit Friday, but trouble with maneuvering thrusters triggered extensive analysis and a delayed rendezvous. Read More...

SpaceX set for second Dragon resupply mission

SpaceX readied a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship for launch Friday to deliver more than 2,300 pounds of science gear, spare parts and crew supplies to the International Space Station. Read More...

Atlas 5 boosts NASA comsat into space

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket rumbled to life and blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Wednesday evening, boosting a powerful NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite into orbit. Read More...

Sierra Nevada welcomes Lockheed Martin to Dream Chaser project

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. is joining Sierra Nevada Corp.'s Dream Chaser commercial manned spacecraft program to help with flight certification and composites manufacturing, officials say. Read More...

Company envisions asteroid mining

A second company has jumped into what the founders hope will be a lucrative emerging market, prospecting for raw materials among near-Earth asteroids using fleets of low-cost robotic spacecraft. Read More...

Bigelow inflatable module bound for space station

An inflatable module developed by a Las Vegas hotel entrepreneur will be attached to the International Space Station in 2015 for a two-year test run to evaluate the technology's performance in space. Read More...

Company test pilots to make first commercial spaceflights

The first American manned spacecraft to reach orbit in the wake of the shuttle's retirement will be crewed by company test pilots -- not NASA astronauts -- as early as mid 2015, company officials say.
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SpaceX cargo capsule leaves station, returns to Earth (UPDATED)

In a major milestone for the space station program, a commercial cargo capsule loaded with experiment samples returned to Earth Sunday, plunging back through the atmosphere to a Pacific Ocean splashdown.
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SpaceX Dragon capsule attached to space station (UPDATED)

A commercial cargo capsule loaded with a half-ton of supplies and equipment was captured by the International Space Station's robot arm early Wednesday after a flawless final rendezvous.
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SpaceX studies Falcon 9 engine failure

SpaceX engineers are reviewing telemetry to figure out what caused a dramatic first stage engine failure Sunday night during launch of a commercial cargo ship bound for the International Space Station. Read More...

SpaceX rocket boosts Dragon cargo ship into orbit (UPDATED)

An unmanned cargo capsule built by SpaceX under a $1.6 billion commercial contract with NASA was boosted into orbit Sunday on its first operational flight to the International Space Station. Read More...

Despite low thrust, Delta 4 boosts GPS satellite into orbit (UPDATED)

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket boosted a Global Positioning System satellite into space Thursday to replace a navigation station that has operated twice as long as expected. Read More...

Boeing, SpaceX, Sierra Nevada win manned spacecraft contracts

NASA announced contracts Friday totaling up to $900 million to be divvied up between three companies -- SpaceX, Boeing and Sierra Nevada -- to continue development of commercial manned spacecraft. Read More...

SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth to close out historic mission (UPDATED)

In the final chapter of a history-making space drama, a commercial cargo ship completed a near-flawless test flight to the International Space Station with an on-target splashdown off the Baja California peninsula Thursday. Read More...

Dragon unberthing-to-splashdown timeline

Updated Dragon unberthing-to-splashdown timeline. Read More...

Astronauts open Dragon cargo ship, float inside

Running well ahead of schedule,the International Space Station's crew opened hatches between the Harmony module and the newly arrived SpaceX Dragon cargo ship early Saturday.
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SpaceX cargo ship captured by space station (UPDATED)

In a moment of high drama on the high frontier, flight engineer Donald Pettit, operating the International Space Station's robot arm, reached out and captured a commercial cargo ship to complete a complex rendezvous. Read More...

Dragon capsule breezes through station flyby (UPDATED)

A commercial cargo ship carried out a close flyby of the International Space Station early Thursday, successfully completing a series of tests to set the stage for berthing at the lab complex Friday. Read More...

SpaceX rocket takes off on commercial flight to space station (UPDATED)

Three days after a last-second launch abort, an unmanned cargo ship bound for the International Space Station blasted off early Tuesday and streaked into orbit to kick off the first commercial flight to the lab complex.
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SpaceX gears up for second launch try Tuesday

SpaceX engineers replaced a suspect valve in an engine that triggered a last-second launch abort Saturday and cleared the company's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo capsule for a second try Tuesday. Read More...

SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon launch-to-docking timeline (UPDATED)

Updated SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon launch to-docking timeline (May 22 launch target). Read More...

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch aborted after last-second glitch (UPDATED)

Launch of a commercial cargo ship bound for the International Space Station was aborted at the last instant early Saturday because of trouble with an engine valve. Repairs were ordered in hopes of making a Tuesday launch. Read More...

SpaceX commercial cargo ship prepped for launch to space station

In what proponents hail as the dawn of a new era in commercial spaceflight, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship are being prepped for an inaugural flight to the International Space Station (mission preview). Read More...

SpaceX launch to station slips to May 19

Work to validate critical navigation and control software has forced SpaceX to again delay the maiden flight of a commercial cargo ship bound for the International Space Station. Launch is now targeted for May 19. Read More...

SpaceX launch to station faces delay

Launch of a commercial cargo ship bound for the International Space Station almost certainly will be delayed from May 7 to at least May 10 and possibly longer to allow time for additional pre-flight analysis, sources say. Read More...

SpaceX test fires Falcon 9 engines in prelude to May 7 station flight

SpaceX test fired the nine first stage engines powering the company's Falcon 9 rocket Monday, a key milestone before launch May 7 on the first commercial cargo flight to the International Space Station. Read More...

Planetary Resources Inc. unveils plans for asteroid mining

Planetary Resources Inc. hopes to turn science fiction into reality with plans to identify near-Earth asteroids loaded with ice, precious metals and other raw materials for eventual mining operations, company officials say.
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SpaceX delays station cargo flight for on-going data review

Launch of a commercial cargo ship making its first flight to the International Space Station is expected to slip a week or so to give engineers more time to complete pre-flight testing and analysis, officials said Monday.
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SpaceX Falcon 9 tentatively cleared for April 30 launch to space station

Pending the completion of last-minute work and a final review, a commercial cargo ship making its maiden flight to the International Space Station should be ready for launch April 30, officials said Monday. Read More...

NASA hopes to avoid major budget shortfalls in commercial space initiative

NASA managers are hopeful Congress will support the Obama administration's request for more than $800 million in 2013 to fund development of commercial manned spacecraft. The alternative, they say, is additional delay. Read More...

SpaceX cargo delivery test flight slips another month to late April

Launch of the first commercial cargo ship bound for the International Space Station will slip from late March to late April at the earliest to give SpaceX engineers time to fully test complex flight software, officials say. Read More...

SpaceX cargo launch on hold until at least late March

Launch of a SpaceX commercial cargo ship on an initial test flight to the International Space Station, originally planned for Feb. 7, is expected to slip to at least the end of March, officials said Friday Read More...

Budget uncertainty forces NASA to revise contracting strategy

Faced with uncertain budgets, NASA is giving up fixed-price contracts and moving back to more flexible, but less comprehensive, Space Act Agreements to continue design work on a new commercial manned spacecraft. Read More...

Paul Allen, Burt Rutan unveil new air-launch rocket system

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan have teamed up for a new rocket that would be carried aloft by a huge twin-fuselage mothership and launched at 30,000 feet. Read More...

SpaceX shoots for Feb. 7 launch to space station

NASA has agreed to let Space Exploration Technologies combine two test flights of the company's unmanned Dragon cargo ship into a single mission, aiming for a launch Feb. 7 to the International Space Station. Read More...

Boeing leases shuttle processing facility for commercial CST-100 capsule

The Boeing Co. will process its proposed CST-100 commercial manned spacecraft in a now-vacant space shuttle processing hangar in a first-of-a-kind deal valued at up to $50 million. Read More...

SpaceX unveils innovative rocket recovery plan

SpaceX has unveiled plans to make its Falcon 9 rocket fully reusable, using the engines of the first and second stages for powered descents to vertical landings in a bid to dramatically lower launch costs. Read More...

NASA will evaluate ATK's Liberty rocket as possible manned launcher

NASA will evaluate ATK's proposed two-stage Liberty rocket as a possible manned launcher for future commercial flights to the space station under an unfunded Space Act Agreement, officials said Tuesday. Read More...

Boeing selects Atlas 5 rockets for CST-100 test flights

Boeing will use United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets for initial test flights of the company's planned CST-100 spacecraft, a manned capsule being developed as a commercial venture in a NASA competition. Read More...

Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada win NASA CCDev contracts

Four companies won contracts totaling $270 million Monday to continue work on commercial manned spacecraft technology that NASA hopes will result in one or more operational space taxis by around 2015. Read More...

Musk unveils plans for low-cost heavy lift rocket

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled details of a new commercial heavy lift rocket Tuesday -- the Falcon Heavy -- that he said will deliver twice the cargo to orbit at one third the cost of competing rockets. Read More...

Space Adventures plans additional trips to space station

The Russian space agency and the Rocket Space Corporation Energia have agreed to build additional Soyuz spacecraft to carry paying customers to the International Space Station starting in 2013 in a deal arranged by Space Adventures.
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SpaceX hails 'mind-blowingly awesome' test flight

The maiden orbital flight of the SpaceX Dragon cargo carrier met virtually all of the company's objectives, demonstrating an ability to maneuver to the International Space Station and making a pinpoint splashdown in a first for a commercial rocket program (REPOSTING original story to correct duplicate filing/time stamp problem). Read More...

SpaceX Falcon 9 set for first NASA demonstration flight

After cutting away two cracks in a second stage engine nozzle extension, SpaceX engineers late Tuesday pressed ahead with work to ready a Falcon 9 rocket for launch Wednesday on a long-awaited NASA-sponsored demonstration flight. Read More...

SpaceShipTwo makes first gliding free flight (UPDATED)

In a long-awaited milestone, Virgin Galactic's commercial sub-orbital rocketplane, the VSS Enterprise, completed its first piloted glide-to-landing test flight Sunday in California (Updated at 6:30 PM EDT with Branson interview). Read More...

House passes Senate version of 2011 NASA funding bill (UPDATED)

The House of Representatives voted late Wednesday to approve the Senate version of NASA's fiscal 2011 budget proposal, which would kick start development of new heavy lift rockets, fund an additional shuttle flight and support new commercial launchers. Read More...

Boeing, Space Adventures announce plans for commercial space launch

Space Adventures Ltd. will work with Boeing to launch wealthy tourists and other non-NASA fliers aboard a capsule under development by the U.S. aerospace giant. Read More...

ATK test fires five-segment booster in Utah

ATK Aerospace Systems successfully test fires a five-segment solid-fuel booster near Promontory, Utah, as part of the Constellation moon program the Obama administration wants to cancel. Read More...

SpaceX launches initial Falcon 9

Powered by 10 engines and the vision of an internet entrepreneur, an untried Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Friday and successfully boosted a dummy payload into orbit on a maiden voyage intended to help pave the way for commercial missions to the International Space Station.
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Falcon 9 countdown aborted

Running two-and-a-half hours late because of technical problems and a sailboat in the launch danger zone, SpaceX attempted to launch its new Falcon 9 rocket on its maiden flight Friday, but the countdown was interrupted with less than five seconds to go by an unspecified problem.
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Falcon 9 set for maiden launch

Downplaying expectations, the founder of SpaceX, one of the companies NASA is counting on to help resupply the International Space Station after the shuttle's retirement, said Thursday he believes the maiden flight of the new Falcon 9 rocket Friday has a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of succeeding.
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Armstrong, Cernan question shift to commercial launch ops

Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon, told lawmakers Wednesday the Obama administration's plan to shift near-term manned spaceflight from NASA to private industry could result in a 10-year gap between the end of the shuttle program and the debut of reliable commercial rockets. Read More...