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SNORT Is Where NASA Engineers Destroy Next-Generation Parachutes

The fantastically-named Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track, or SNORT, is a naval facility in the heart of the Californian desert. It’s also where NASA engineers let their evil side run free by wreacking havoc on innocent objects, using a rocket sled to destroy prototype parachutes destined for Mars

A Tiny Satellite With Enormous Solar Sails Is Orbiting Our Planet

It’s a good day for innovative space technology. The Planetary Society’s technology demonstration of solar sails to propel microsatellites hitched a ride into orbit with the launch of the secretive X-37B space plane. The LightSail project is testing solar sail technology for a mission in 2016.

Watch The Crew Dragon Practice Saving Astronauts From Calamity [UPDATED]

Today marks an important step in NASA’s commercial crew program: the first pad abort test for SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon vehicle. The 2-minute test will run the capsule through emergency procedures that would fling astronauts free from harm’s way in case a launch goes catastrophically amiss.

The Emergency Escape Rockets For The Crew Dragon Are Surprisingly Quiet

A pair of SuperDraco engines firing at the same time is far quieter than I thought it would be. The dual firing is part of SpaceX pad abort testing for the rocket engines, ensuring both engines can simultaneously ignite and throttle if they need to carry the Crew Dragon to safety.

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Here's What Happened With The Scrubbed Orion Launch Attempt

The Orion spacecraft toyed with our hearts this morning, three times reaching the terminal countdown before the launch attempt was ultimately scrubbed. Twice, gusts of wind were to blame; the third time, a sticky valve refused to close. Here's what went down and what needs to happen before the next attempt.

Join Us For Orion's First Test Flight! [LIVE COVERAGE] [UPDATED]

It's almost time for the first-ever test flight of the Orion spacecraft, NASA's human deep space exploration vehicle. Watch the live feed and follow along with us as we work through the countdown, launch, test flight, and landing! Update: The launch is scrubbed; next attempt Friday 7:05 am EST.

Here's What To Expect During The First Orion Test Flight

The very first test flight for NASA's Orion spacecraft is Thursday December 4th. Here's the nitty-gritty details of how the 4.5 hour test flight will put the service module, launch abort system, heat shield, and parachutes through their paces as the craft launches, completes two orbits, and returns to Earth.