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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 »

North Korea Taking Rocket Apart, but Launch Still On

Technical problem needs to be fixed

(Newser) - North Korea is taking apart its long-range rocket to fix a technical problem, but it still plans on moving forward with the controversial launch, according to South Korean news reports and experts. Its initial moves to deconstruct the rocket fueled speculation that the launch was to be abandoned, but it... More »

N. Korea Delays Rocket Launch

'Technical deficiency' hits controversial launch

(Newser) - North Korea has extended the launch period for a controversial long-range rocket by another week until December 29, citing technical problems. A spokesman for the North's Korean Committee of Space Technology told state media that scientists found a "technical deficiency in the first-stage control engine module of the... More »

Japan Ready to Destroy N. Korea Rocket

Patriot missiles prepared in Tokyo, on coasts

(Newser) - If, after its firing, any piece of North Korea's rocket appears likely to fall in Japanese territory, Tokyo is ready to shoot it from the sky. Patriot missiles are at the ready in Tokyo, Okinawa, and elsewhere on Japan's north and west coasts, the Telegraph reports. Japan has... More »

North Korea Warns It May Retaliate

Because US cut food aid, all deals are off, says Pyongyang

(Newser) - North Korea says it may retaliate after its failed rocket test prompted the US to cut off food aid . Pyongyang holds that the launch was peaceful, and that Washington's move invalidated a deal requiring the North to halt nuclear and missile tests. "We have thus become able to... More »

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