Latest Space launches News

Virgin Orbit Boeing 747-400 rocket launch platform, named Cosmic Girl, takes off from Mojave Air and Space Port, Mojave (MHV) on its second orbital launch demonstration in the Mojave Desert, north of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try

Jan. 17, 2021 6:39 PM EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit reached space on Sunday, eight months after the first demonstration flight of its air-launched rocket system failed, the company said. A 70-foot-long (21.34-meter-long) LauncherOne rocket was released from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747 carrier aircraft...

In this image from video made available by Blue Origin, the company's New Shepard rocket lands after a test flight in West Texas on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Blue Origin via AP)

Blue Origin launches capsule to space with astronaut perks

Jan. 15, 2021 11:46 AM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company launched a new capsule into space Thursday to test all the astronaut perks before people strap in. Thursday’s flight with a dummy named Mannequin Skywalker lasted 10 minutes and reached 66 miles (106 kilometers) above West Texas....

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, recovery crew members film the capsule of the Chang'e 5 probe after its successful landed in Siziwang district, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. (Ren Junchuan/Xinhua via AP)

Chinese capsule returns to Earth carrying moon rocks

Dec. 17, 2020 12:32 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh rock samples from the moon in more than 40 years, offering the possibility of new insights into the history of the solar system and marking a new landmark for China's rapidly advancing space program. The capsule of...

FILE - In this May 30, 2020, file photo, a SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts blasted towards orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

World's space achievements a bright spot in stressful 2020

Dec. 16, 2020 3:07 PM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts blasted into orbit from the U.S. for the first time in nearly a decade, three countries sent spacecraft hurtling toward Mars, and robotic explorers grabbed rocks from the moon and gravel from an asteroid for return to Earth. Space provided moments of hope and glory...

This photo taken on Dec. 14, 2020, and distributed by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service shows, a test launch of a heavy-class carrier rocket Angara-A5 from the launch pad of site No. 35 of the State Test Cosmodrome of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation at Plesetsk launch facility in the Arkhangelsk Region of northwestern Russia. The Angara-A5 is the prospective heavy-lift rocket that is expected to enter service in the following years. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

Russia test-launches Angara A5 heavy lift space rocket

Dec. 14, 2020 7:53 AM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Monday successfully test-launched its heavy lift Angara A5 space rocket for the second time, the country's military and space officials said. The rocket lifted off Monday morning from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northwest Russia. “It flies, damn it!” Dmitry Rogozin,...

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a U.S.-European satellite lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020.   The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was expected to deploy its solar panels and later make first contact with controllers. (David Middlecamp/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

European-US sea level tracking satellite sends 1st readings

Dec. 10, 2020 11:32 AM EST

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A newly launched European-U.S. satellite designed to continue a decades-long record of tracking global sea levels has sent back its first measurements, NASA said Thursday. The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched Nov. 21 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California and...

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a resupply mission to the International Space Station lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Double Dragons: SpaceX launches space station supplies

Dec. 6, 2020 1:50 PM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX launched a newer, bigger version of its Dragon supply ship to the International Space Station on Sunday, marking the first time the company has two capsules in orbit at the same time. The Dragon — packed with Christmas treats and presents — should reach the...

In this China National Space Administration (CNSA) photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a simulated image of the ascender of Chang'e-5 spacecraft blasting off from the lunar surface at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) in Beijing on Dec. 3, 2020. The Chinese lunar probe lifted off from the moon Thursday night with a cargo of lunar samples on the first stage of its return to Earth, state media reported. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua via AP)

Chinese spacecraft carrying lunar rocks lifts off from moon

Dec. 3, 2020 7:31 PM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese spacecraft lifted off from the moon Thursday night with a load of lunar rocks, the first stage of its return to Earth, the government space agency reported. Chang’e 5, the third Chinese spacecraft to land on the moon and the first to take off from it again, is the latest in...

State media report Chinese probe has lifted off from moon with cargo of lunar rocks on first stage of return to Earth

Dec. 3, 2020 10:46 AM EST
BEIJING (AP) — State media report Chinese probe has lifted off from moon with cargo of lunar rocks on first stage of return to Earth.
FILE - This artist's rendering provided to China's Xinhua News Agency on Aug. 23, 2016, by the lunar probe and space project center of Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, shows a concept design for the Chinese Mars 2020 rover and lander. China's landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and plans to put humans back on the lunar surface. (Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense via Xinhua via AP, File)

China's space ambitions: Robot on Mars, a human on the moon

Dec. 2, 2020 8:26 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — China’s landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and is planning to put humans back on the lunar surface. The Chang’e 5, the first effort to bring...