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At Last Minute, SpaceX Aborts Rocket Launch

Experiment now postponed until Friday morning

(Newser) - With just one minute to go before SpaceX's 6:20am ET launch of a Falcon 9 rocket in what would be a rather remarkable test of reusing rocket components , the space agency called off the mission at Cape Canaveral. The Los Angeles Times reports that a problem with the... More »

SpaceX Wants to Land a Rocket —on a Barge

Tomorrow's launch hopes to move toward reusable rockets with dicey landing

(Newser) - There's not much that's terribly environmentally friendly, efficient, or inexpensive about rockets—they're single-use, sometimes explode , and even when they don't they usually end up as ocean junk. SpaceX is looking to tweak that calculus with tomorrow's Falcon 9 launch in Cape Canaveral, reports the... More »

Doomed Rocket's Engine Was Ancient, a 'Joke'

Leftover from Soviet program in '60s, '70s; crabcakes aboard tragically burnt

(Newser) - The cause of yesterday's rocket explosion over Wallops Island, Va., remains under investigation: While a tweet from Orbital Sciences refers to a "vehicle anomaly," other reports have focused on aging rocket engines. They were built in the 1960s and 1970s to send Soviet cosmonauts to the moon,... More »

Unmanned Rocket Explodes After Liftoff at NASA Site

It was on its way to the International Space Station

(Newser) - A rocket that was supposed to deliver supplies to the crew aboard the International Space Station exploded in spectacular fashion just six seconds after liftoff this evening, reports CNN . The good news is that nobody was aboard, and NASA says nobody appears to have been killed on the ground at... More »

NASA Plans to Test World's Biggest Rocket in 2018

Someday, it might take humans to Mars

(Newser) - NASA is moving ahead with plans to build a massive rocket designed to explore deep space and culminate in human trips to Mars, the agency announced yesterday. The Space Launch System has passed from design phase to construction, reports the Houston Chronicle , and an unmanned test mission (not to Mars,... More »

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Anomaly in flight triggers automatic self-destruction

(Newser) - Private spaceflight company SpaceX lost a rocket in Texas yesterday when an unmanned Falcon 9 exploded shortly after liftoff. The company says the flight self-destructed after an anomaly of some sort was detected soon into the flight. No injuries were reported. The abortive test does appear to be the exception... More »

Japan's New 'Smart Rocket' Fails to Blast Off

Launch of self-monitoring Epsilon delayed

(Newser) - Japan's new era of "smart rockets" got off to a less than auspicious start today when the launch of its new Epsilon rocket was canceled seconds before blast-off. The Epsilon, the country's first new rocket in 12 years, is capable of running its own status checks using... More »

Israel Shoots Down Rocket Headed for Resort Town

'Iron Dome' protects Eilat for first time

(Newser) - The Israeli military shot down a rocket launched toward a Red Sea resort town near the border with Egypt today, the army said. It was the first time Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted a rocket attack on the resort of Eilat, the military said. The incident... More »

Report: New Launch Site Isn't What Iran Claims

It was likely designed to support ballistic missile testing, say experts

(Newser) - A new launch site in Iran could be used to expand the country's space program ... or something more nefarious. Jane's Intelligence Review has reviewed satellite photos that it says reveal construction of a launch tower and pad and supporting structures about 60 miles northeast of Tehran, Reuters reports.... More »

Images Reveal North Korea Construction Mystery

Why has work been halted for 8 months at long-range rocket site?

(Newser) - It's not too often that growing grass features big in international spying efforts, but that's exactly the case with this story. The AP reports that an analysis of recent satellite imagery taken over North Korea indicates that construction has been halted for the last eight months at a... More »

Russian Rocket Crashes in Kazakhstan

Unmanned Proton-M kaput seconds after lift-off

(Newser) - A Russian rocket carrying three satellites fell apart and crashed in a huge ball of flame seconds after lift-off this morning, spilling 170 tons of toxic fuel near Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch facility. The Proton-M rocket was unmanned and although it crashed near the launch pad, where personnel were in... More »

Story Behind Iconic Gaza-Clash Photo Unravels

Israel likely not responsible for strike that killed reporter's baby: UN

(Newser) - An errant Palestinian rocket, not an Israeli airstrike, likely killed the baby of a BBC reporter during fighting in the Hamas-ruled territory last November, a UN report indicated, challenging the widely believed story behind an image that became a symbol of what Palestinians said was Israeli aggression. Omar al-Masharawi, an... More »

North Korea: US 'Well Within' Nuclear Range

Pyongyang propaganda also warns Korean peninsula near 'explosion'

(Newser) - Pyongyang has a message for the US: North Korea has become a "fully-independent rocket and nuclear weapons state," according to an official website—and America "should be acutely aware that the US mainland is now well within the range of our strategic rockets and nuclear weapons."... More »

South Korea Strikes Back, Launches Rocket

Officials say satellite is in orbit, a first for country

(Newser) - In the wake of North Korea's successful rocket launch , South Korea has a success of its own. Officials say that a rocket that blasted off at 4pm local time today from Goheung did indeed put a satellite into orbit, reports the Los Angeles Times . They'll know by tomorrow... More »

North Korea: Next Nuke Test Will Target US

Country 'technically ready' for test: South Korea

(Newser) - After threatening new nuclear tests amid heightened sanctions yesterday, North Korea is getting more specific: Those tests will target the US, its "sworn enemy," the country says. "We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level... More »

Uh-oh: Maker of N. Korea's Rocket Was ... N. Korea

UN considers tightening sanctions

(Newser) - The rocket that North Korea successfully launched last month was mostly homemade, South Korea says, fueling concerns about Pyongyang's ability to produce weapons despite international sanctions. "North Korea is believed to have made a majority of components itself, although it used commercially available products imported from overseas,"... More »

North Korean Rocket Debris Shows 'Iran Connection'

But analysts see little evidence of nuclear capability

(Newser) - Judging by the remains of North Korea's new long-range rocket , Pyongyang was aided by Iran but isn't much closer to launching a nuclear missile, the New York Times reports. South Korean officials and intelligence officers described what they learned by following the rocket's flight data and combing... More »

N. Korea Marks 1st Anniversary of Kim's Death

Missile launch leaves Pyongyang in upbeat mood

(Newser) - North Koreans across the country stopped in their tracks at midday today to silently honor former ruler Kim Jong Il, whose death one year ago swept his untested 20-something son to power. The son, Kim Jong Un, presided over a solemn ceremony in Pyongyang to reopen the sprawling granite mausoleum... More »

North Korea Eyes Nuke Test as Satellite Orbits Normally

Pyongyang unveils photos of launch as world slams the move

(Newser) - Despite initial reports that North Korea's successfully launched rocket was "tumbling out of control," South Korea now says that it's orbiting normally, though what the space vehicle's purpose is or if it's functioning remains unclear, reports Fox News . Meanwhile, the world is lining up... More »

North Korea Rocket Launch a Success

Pyongyang defies warnings to launch long-range rocket

(Newser) - So much for that delay . North Korea successfully fired a long-range rocket today, defying international warnings as the regime of Kim Jong Un took a giant step forward in its quest to develop the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead. The United States, South Korea, and Japan quickly condemned the... More »

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