Lia Rovira

The fiery fate of China’s Long March 5B rocket

The core stage of China’s Long March 5B rocket – which launched the Tianhe space station module – plummeted into the Indian Ocean on May 8, 2021. In a statement issued that day, new NASA administrator Bill Nelson criticized China’s handling of the re-entry.

A rocket body, seen from cameras carried higher up on the rocket, with the curve of Earth below.

SpaceX Starship prototype soars 6 miles up, then lands upright

SpaceX’s test flight of Starship SN15 went off without a hitch today, May 5, 2021. Following 4 Starship prototypes that exploded upon landing after their high-altitude flight tests, the SN15 landed safely.

A hexagonal white panel is displayed, battered and worn, with the writing SpaceX faintly visible.

Florida bill says companies like SpaceX retain ownership of fallen hardware

In and around Florida, at least, no more “finders keepers” once a new bill becomes law on July 1. The Spaceflight Assets bill affirmed by the Florida legislature in late April 2021 requires that anyone who finds “reasonably identifiable” spacecraft parts make a “reasonable effort” to notify the hardware’s owner.

A distant shot of the brightly glowing arc of a launching rocket, against orange-pink dawn clouds.

Lift off! 4 astronauts in Crew-2 mission blast off to ISS

The launch of Crew-2, the 2nd flight of this particular Crew Dragon, went off without a hitch Friday morning, after being postponed due to weather.

Dark gray shadow of small box with four rotors and four thin legs on light gray rocky surface.

It flew! Mars helicopter takes to the air

The Mars helicopter – named Ingenuity – successfully flew in the thin air of Mars early in the day on Monday, April 19. Images here.

A satellite is pictured in grayscale, floating in space with Earth in the background.

For the 2nd time, Northrop Grumman catches a satellite in Earth orbit

Northrop Grumman said last week that its Mission Extension Vehicle 2 – a robot spacecraft designed to help prolong the life of satellites in space – successfully docked to a commercial communications satellite. “We are now the only provider of life extension services for satellites,” a company spokesperson said.

An artist's concept of a wheel-shaped base on the moon.

China and Russia will be building a moon base together

China and Russia are cooperating in plans to build a lunar research outpost on the moon. The China National Space Administration and Roscosmos – Russia’s space agency – made the announcement in a memorandum dated March 9, 2021.

A cylinder-shaped, silver spacecraft is pictured floating above the blue and cloud-covered surface of Earth.

Hubble Space Telescope back out of safe mode, working to resume normal operations

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope went into a protective safe mode early March 7, after on onboard software program failed during a guide star acquisition. NASA has now announced that spacecraft was moved out of safe mode, into a pre-science state with the plan of returning to normal operations.

The Webb telescope in a white room with various electrical components exposed while yellow machinery surrounds it.

James Webb Space Telescope – Hubble’s successor – passed final testing

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s most complex infrared telescope. In February 2021, It successfully passed its final functional performance tests, moving it closer to its launch in October.

The surface of Mars through a circular lens, with the rover's shadow visible.

Touchdown! Perseverance lands successfully on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance mission conducted a picture-perfect landing on Mars today and has already sent back several images.