Launch

  • New Zealand officially joined the ranks of spacefaring nations today as Rocket Lab's Electron booster reached orbit in the first successful commercial space launch in the southern hemisphere.
  • Rocket Lab has announced a launch date for its next Electron rocket test. The 10-day launch window opens on December 8 in what will be the first flight of the commercial booster since its not entirely successful inaugural launch in May.
  • The ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite has arrived in northern Russia ahead of its scheduled launch in October. Once in orbit, the satellite will monitor air pollution over the entire planet every day, gathering environmental data and helping authorities make more accurate air-quality forecasts.
  • Look upwards tonight and you might just see a new “star” streaking across the sky. A Russian CubeSat called Mayak (meaning "lighthouse") was successfully launched on Friday, and is set to be one of the brightest objects in the night sky.
  • Scotland: the land of mist and mountains long associated with kilts, bagpipes, haggis ... and now space launches. British startup Orbex announced that it will build a rocket production facility in Scotland and is scouting for a launch site in the country to send small payloads into low Earth orbit.
  • Rocket Lab's Electron booster went on its maiden flight, but failed to reach orbit. This Thursday at 4:20 pm NZST (04:20 GMT), the unmanned rocket lifted off from New Zealand and achieved space altitude, but failed to reach orbital velocity and plummeted back to Earth over the Pacific Ocean.
  • SpaceX's Falcon 9 blasted off for the International Space Station from the same launch pad used by the Apollo 11 mission. At 9:38 am EST, the CRS-10 mission lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center carrying an unmanned Dragon cargo ship.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set a new record for the number of satellites delivered into orbit from a single rocket. The PSLV C37/Cartosat-2 Series Mission delivered 104 satellites into orbit, beating the previous record of 37 satellites set by Russia in 2014.
  • As part of NASA's CYGNSS mission, a three-stage booster fired its engines in midair before soaring into orbit with its payload of eight microsatellites designed to monitor hurricanes with a new generation of remote sensors.
  • ​With a pretty crowded launch manifesto and plans for deep space exploration, there are a few interested parties eyeing SpaceX's next move following the recent launchpad explosion that took out its Falcon 9 rocket. We've just gotten our clearest indication yet of what that will be.
  • NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sampling mission is on its way. At 7:05 pm EDT, the unmanned probe lifted off atop an Atlas/Centaur booster from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
  • Amidst swirling iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2 rumors, Apple announced its next big event with a minimal invitation, remarking only "See you on the 7th."