Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Year in Review (Part III) – SLS development, mission possibilities take shape


2012: The year when the Space Launch System rocket began to take shape. For NASA, 2012 saw tremendous progress toward the development of the SLS rocket – the…

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Year in review (Part II) – Through the solar system and beyond


For NASA’s unmanned explorers, 2012 was an astonishing year filled with discoveries and observations inside our solar system, at the outer reaches of our solar system, and in…

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Year in Review (Part I) – Mars exploration dominates a year of redefinition


The year 2012 was a year like none other for NASA, one dominated not by human spaceflight activities but by redefinition. That redefinition saw the prominent rise of…

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SpaceX’s Grasshopper successfully conducts a 40 meter leap


SpaceX’s ambitions of creating a full reusable launch vehicle have taken another step forward via the third – and most ambitious to date – test of their Grasshopper…

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The Soyuz TMA-07M Santa Sleigh docks with ISS


The Russian Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft - known by its NASA designation as 33S – followed up its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday, by docking with the ISS…

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Shuttle Scrubber: SLS working to avoid GUCP leaks


With a deep heritage between the Shuttle’s External Tank and the Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage, a NASA team recently evaluated recommendations to mitigate against leaks of…

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Ariane 5 ECA launches Skynet 5D and Mexsat 3/Bicentenario


Arianespace launched their final Ariane 5 launch of the year by successfully lofting two satellites into orbit – Skynet 5D and Mexsat 3/Bicentenario – from the European Spaceport…

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China end 2012 with Long March 2D launch of Göktürk-2


China’s closing act on the orbital launch theatre for 2012 took place today at 04:12 UTC with the launching of the second Turkish made satellite, Göktürk-2, from the…

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GRAIL mission ends with Lunar impact and the honoring of a hero


NASA’s two Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft have successfully ended their missions by crashing into the side of a Lunar mountain near its north pole. Ebb…

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VAB integration between SLS and Orion outlined by SPIO


NASA’s Spacecraft and Payload Integration Office (SPIO) has outlined the complex process of integrating Orion on to the Space Launch System (SLS) stack during processing inside the Vehicle…

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J-2X powerpack completes 2012 testing ahead of SLS role


The powerpack assembly for the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) J-2X engine has completed its year of testing at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The engine is…

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Atlantis’ legacy continues as healthy Hubble finds primitive galaxies


One of the jewels in NASA’s crown – the Hubble Space Telescope – is continuing to expand our understanding of the universe, with new findings uncovering a previously…

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ULA Atlas V launches X-37B on OTV-3 mission


United Launch Alliance have launched the third X-37B mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Liftoff of the spaceplane, aboard an Atlas V 501 from Space Launch Complex 41,…

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SNC building test schedule for Dream Chaser – Dryden Drop Tests upcoming


Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) are in the process of creating a test flight schedule that will reach through to a debut mission for Dream Chaser’s arrival at the…

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ILS Proton-M launch with Yamal-402 suffers Briz-M anomaly


International Launch Services (ILS) launched their Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday (13:12 GMT). However, the Proton’s Briz-M (Breeze-M) Upper Stage suffered an anomaly…

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Atlas V green light after RL-10 is exonerated during Delta IV anomaly review


The United Launch Alliance (ULA) are clear to resume launches of their Atlas V rocket, after a review into an anomaly with their Delta IV Upper Stage, during…

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Golden Spike announce Phase A for commercial lunar landing missions


The Golden Spike Company team have revealed their initial work to create commercial lunar expeditions to the surface of the Moon. Led by a heavyweight board of directors,…

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SpaceX get their foot in the EELV door with double launch contract win


The United States Air Force (USAF) have awarded SpaceX with two Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-class missions to ride on their Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets in…

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NASA announce another Mars Rover mission to the Red Planet in 2020


NASA’s associate administrator for science, John Grunsfeld, has announced NASA’s forward path for robotic exploration of Mars, including the confirmation of a new Rover, to be launched in…

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Sea Launch Zenit 3SL successfully lofts Eutelsat 70B


The Sea Launch company launched their Zenit-3SL rocket from the Odyssey Launch Platform in the Pacific Ocean on Monday. The payload for this mission was the Eutelsat 70B…