One rocket launch is a good time, but five rocket launches is a party. And at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the party is on. This month, NASA will launch five sounding rockets within about five minutes from Wallops on a mission to test the winds in the high-altitude jet stream some 60 miles up.
NASA's Project M, an awesome concept to use vertical launch systems to send robonauts to the moon, is still moving forward despite Robonaut's one-way trip to the International Space Station. It's now called Project Morpheus, and it's a test bed for autonomous, environmentally friendly vertical launch systems. Watch below as Morpheus fires its new engine for the first time.
Here, a two-stage suborbital rocket rips across the auroras over Alaska. The small rocket was launched by scientists Saturday as part of a NASA-backed study into how auroras can affect signals coming to and from satellites and spacecraft. Scientists hope to better understand the way space weather impacts our electrical systems on Earth and in orbit in order to possibly mitigate those effects as the sun builds toward its solar maximum in 2013.
There’s more than one way to stick it to The Man. There’s civil disobedience, subversive propaganda, political art, outright violent revolt--each possessing its own degree of difficulty and consequence. In a decidedly 21st-century twist, team of German hackers bent on fighting the powers that be has chosen a rather ambitious means of taking the power back: building a hacker-owned and -operated space program, complete with a constellation of communications satellites beaming uncensored Internet to users on the ground.
in 2012, two large, well-funded companies, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, will begin making regular journeys to suborbital and orbital space, commencing the post-NASA era of commercial space travel. But those companies will not be alone in their efforts.
Commercial spaceflight venture SpaceX has been talking for a while now about reusing every part of its space launch system, from the optionally manned Dragon capsule (which is already reusable) to the rocket stages that it discards on its way to orbit.
Have you, like us, been missing the rumble and hiss of a good old-fashioned NASA launch? Since the space shuttle retired this summer, there have been a few space payload deliveries, sure — but it's just not the same when it's not a human launch system we're talking about. There was always something special about that guttural roar and plume of white steam streaming from the launchpad.
A while back, John Carmack (of "Doom" and "Quake" fame, as well as the founder of Armadillo Aerospace) issued a challenge: launch a rocket to more than 100,000 feet, get a GPS reading from up there, and recover the launch vehicle, and $5,000 is yours. Some additional benefactors pushed the Carmack prize to roughly $10,000.
Today, NASA officially announced the design of its forthcoming Space Launch System--a heavy-lift rocket capable of taking humans into deep space. It will be the primary vehicle to replace the Space Shuttle, but with significantly more power—enough to reach Mars.