Why The Sky Isn't Falling On SpaceX After Yesterday's Rocket Explosion

Yesterday morning, an unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 v. 1.1 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) exploded shortly after launch. While this is a setback to SpaceX, we have to view it in the context of a series of failures that have plagued commercial spaceflight in the last year. »6/29/15 3:59pm6/29/15 3:59pm

Orbital Sciences: Yep, That Old Soviet Engine Probably Blew Up Antares

When the Antares rocket exploded on the launchpad last week, a lot fingers pointed toward its 70s-era Soviet engine. Indeed, Orbital Sciences now confirms a malfunctioning turbopump in the engine was the likely cause of the explosion. The company remains committed to fulfilling its space station resupply contract with… »11/05/14 12:09pm11/05/14 12:09pm

Why Space Travel Matters More Than Ever

Yesterday, somewhere in the Mojave desert, investigators began the long process of understanding the events that led to the tragic accident that killed one pilot and left another injured. And even after they finish, plenty of questions about the future of the commercial space industry will remain. But the one we'll… »11/01/14 10:26am11/01/14 10:26am

The Surprisingly Low-Tech Way NASA Decides When to Blow Up a Rocket

When the Antares rocket exploded seconds after launch on Tuesday night, NASA was able to account for all its employees very quickly after the failure thanks to a clearly very well-practiced protocol. The launch gave us a peek into the processes that dictate every rocket launch, and one of them was particularly… »10/30/14 5:15pm10/30/14 5:15pm