SpaceX Was Not The First Private Rocket Company

Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk must be pretty happy right now. His other major venture, SpaceX, has just succeeded in a monumental first: the first docking of a private spacecraft, the Dragon, to the International Space Station. Up to now, docking a craft, even an unmanned one, has only been accomplished by some big… » 5/29/12 4:00pm 5/29/12 4:00pm

Test Inches Mach 5.5 UK Spaceplane Closer To Reality

Skylon, in development by the British company Reaction Engines, would be the Holy-Grail-meets-cold-fusion of space travel, a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane powered by the Sabre engine, which is both a jet and a rocket. While typical Skylon spaceports still belong to a hazy future, a recent test of the Sabre engine » 5/01/12 10:00am 5/01/12 10:00am

Watch Space Shuttle Discovery's Final Flight As America Records It

Today, the Space Shuttle Discovery flies over the Capitol of the great nation that birthed it on the way to its very last home — the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum annex in Northern Virginia. Here's what the shuttle's final flight looked like — both through the camera lens of professional photographer… » 4/17/12 10:59am 4/17/12 10:59am

This Is What It Looks Like To Jump From 13.6 Miles Above Earth

Our planet never seems more beautiful than from a distance. Extreme jumper Felix Baumgartner brought back this amazingly distant view — from 71,580 feet above the surface — before jumping out of his space capsule and hurtling home at 365 mph in his quest to hit supersonic speeds without an aircraft. » 3/16/12 10:00am 3/16/12 10:00am

The Forgotten Female Cosmonauts Who Beat Sally Ride Into Space

Today is International Women's Day, and yesterday was the birthday of Valentina Tereshkova. It's ok to admit you don't know who that is. Despite beating Sally K. Ride (and many men) into space by 20 years, Tereshkova and her comrade Svetlana Savitskaya are probably most notably remembered in a souvenir apron bearing… » 3/08/12 2:45pm 3/08/12 2:45pm

This Swiss Satellite Is Like A Roomba For Space

Space junk is a serious if little-appreciated problem. Dead satellites, spent booster rockets, and other orbiting technical garbage place active satellites and manned craft in significant peril. In a culturally appropriate effort, the Swiss Space Center is launching the CleanSpace program to tidy up low-earth orbit. » 2/15/12 4:30pm 2/15/12 4:30pm