Ten Years Ago Today

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today, a former Navy pilot climbed into a homebuilt spaceship, was carried to a high altitude by a mothership in the skies over Mojave, California, dropped into free fall, and fired the spaceship’s hybrid rocket motor to blast out of the atmosphere. It...
PopMech: MAVEN Mars

PopMech: MAVEN Mars

NASA’s MAVEN Mars orbiter is set for Mars orbital insertion this weekend. The unmanned probe will fire its engines on Sunday at 9:37pm Eastern Time. And then mission controllers will have to white-knuckle it for 12.5 minutes to find out whether the maneuver was...
PopMech: NASA’s New Private Space Contracts

PopMech: NASA’s New Private Space Contracts

NASA announced a pair of contracts worth a total of $6.8 billion to Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station in a press conference today. The mission for each company: build a ship capable of sending at least four astronauts at...
RUD at SpaceX

RUD at SpaceX

In the trade they call it a rapid unplanned disassembly, or a RUD. That’s an explosion, to us lay people. It happened in the sky over the SpaceX proving ground in McGregor, Texas, when a flight computer detected a problem in an unmanned reusable booster...
MPR: space for the masses

MPR: space for the masses

Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk about commercial spaceflight on Minnesota Public Radio. Joining me was Will Pomerantz, VP of Special Projects at Virgin Galactic. Our host was Kerri Miller. While Pomerantz talked up the Virgin spaceflight experience, I...
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