Each month during 2018, a previous month's postings to New Mexico Space News will be moved to this page. Please use the links on the lower left to access postings from previous years.

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August 25: Exos Aerospace conducted a successful first launch of its reusable, suborbital SARGE rocket at Spaceport America. The sounding rocket carried an experimental hands-free camera designed to monitor astronauts' vital signs continuously from a distance of several feet. It also carried a student-designed and built 3-D printed container filled with experiments.

August 13: NASA has awarded Los Alamos-based UbiQD a grant to further develop its quantum dots technology to manipulate sunlight for optimized crop growth during space and planetary exploration missions.

August 10: Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, NM, received one of seven NASA grants to minority-serving institutions. NTU will develop a robotics academy in partnership with the newly established Bond Wilson Center for Technologies in Kirtland, New Mexico, to provide high school students from tribal reservation communities advanced classes in aerospace manufacturing, unmanned aircraft systems, conceptual design and planning, and employee skills development. NTU will also Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute's training faculty and interns at their year-round robotics center in Albuquerque.

August 7: A doctoral student at the University of New Mexico has identified the oldest known igneous meteorite ever found. The 4.565 billion-year-old object. The student, Poorna Srinivasan, said, "This rock ... stands out as something completely different from any of the over 40,000 meteorites that have been found on Earth."

August 6: Astronomers using the VLA west of Socorro, NM, have detected the first radio emissions from a possible planetary mass object outside our Solar System. They also found that the object, which may be a rogue planet, has a magnetic field more than 200 times as strong as Jupiter's. At 12.7 times the mass and a radius 1.22 times that of Jupiter, the object is near the boundary between a brown dwarf and a planet.

August 1: Up Aerospace, a suborbital rocket manufacturer that launches at Spaceport America, received one of four 5-year contracts awarded by NASA for integration and flight services.

July 26: The third powered test of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Unity took the vehicle beyond the stratosphere to an altitude of 170,800 feet. It was the vehicle's third powered flight in less than four months. The spacecraft was released by the mothership at an altitude of 46,500 feet. Its rocket engine fired for 42 seconds, and the craft reached a speed of Mach 2.47. It landed about 15 minutes after release from the mothership.

July 31: The City of Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science in New Mexico will host children and adults for a community discussion with astronaut Ricky Arnold aboard the ISS at 10:55 a.m. Tuesday, July 31. The event will be broadcast on NASA television and streamed on https://www.nasa.gov/live.

July 18: Santa Fe-based Solstar Space Company achieved a second successful test of its privately developed spacecraft wi-fi service aboard a Blue Origin test flight. The second-ever commercial Tweet from space was transmitted during an unmanned suborbital flight. Testing of the high-altitude crew-escape system gave the automated Schmitt Space Communicator an extra jolt, but it performed perfectly.

July 17: Doña Ana County officials reported that paving of the southern road to Spaceport America is "98 percent complete." The road gives improved access to the Las Cruces community.

June 23: The second annual Spaceport America Cup concluded with 124 teams from 10 countries competing. During the event, 95 rocket launches took place. A total of 18 teams won awards in six categories involving rockets with different propulsion systems aiming for apogees of 10,000 or 30,000 feet.

June 20: Albuquerque-based SolAero Technologies Corp. won its first major contract for a new, powerful but low-weight solar cell for spacecraft. Already a prominent supplier for spacecraft solar cells, the company has developed a cell that generates 10 times the power of current technology at less than 60 percent of the weight.

June 19: An Albuquerque Journal article highlighted the Los Alamos National Laboratory's successful test of a small version of a nuclear reactor that will ultimately be capable of providing power for long-term space missions. A full-size Kilopower reactor could generate enough electricity to support a four-person crew on Mars or the Moon. Five months of tests concluded with a series full-power, normal operations interrupted by power-downs.

June 8: Base 11 announced its Space Challenge, a competition fo encourage student-led university teams to design, build, and launch a single-stage, liquid-fueled rocket to an altitude of 62 miles by December 30, 2021. The first team to succeed will win a $1 million prize. Launches will take place at Spaceport America.

May 29: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Unity completed its second powered test flight. Its hybrid engine fired for 31 seconds, propelling the craft to an altitude of 114,500 feet (21.7 miles) at a maximum speed of  Mach 1.9.

May 27: A team of Rocketry Club students from Princeton University launched their two-stage, solid-fuel from Spaceport America. It was the 102nd vertical launch at the facility since 2006. The rocket, which was designed to be the smallest rocket ever built that is capable of crossing the Karman line into space. However, a second-stage ignition failure kept the rocket from reaching the desired altitude of at least 62 miles.

May 2: NASA announced a successful series of tests of the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY), a nuclear reactor being developed to provide power for long-duration space missions. Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is the lead designer of the reactor.

April 29: Congratulations to Solstar Space Company of Santa Fe for sending the first tweet from space via its Schmitt Space Communicator commercial wi-fi system! The system was one of eight payloads on Blue Origin's New Shepard flight today.

April 15: The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology's Rocket Team launched a Mustang VI-B rocket at Spaceport America. The reusable rocket reached an altitude of 24,127 feet and a speed of Mach 1.27 before landing successfully.

April 6: Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, completed its first powered test flight. After release from the mothership at 46,500 feet, its hybrid rocket motor propelled it to Mach 1.87 during its 30-second burn. The ship reached an altitude of 84,271 feet (16 miles) before completing its glide landing.

April 4: NASA contracted with an Albuquerque firm for logistics support services at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. For one year beginning May 1, L&M Technologies will provide services for equipment; motor pool and transportation; flight hardware support operations; shipping and receiving; mail; moves and furniture; property disposal and material, property and warehouse management.

March 27: The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that a planned city visitor center in downtown will also function as a departure point for Spaceport America tours. Currently, all tours depart from Truth or Consequences, but the road approaching the spaceport from the south is being improved.

March 23: Exos Aerospace announced it has completed a hover test of its SARGE (Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE) rocket and has a launch license for the first flight of the reusable suborbital rocket at Spaceport America in April.

January 11: Virgin Galactic conducted its seventh (and perhaps final) glide test flight of SpaceShipTwo in California. Powered test flights using its onboard hybrid rocket engine will begin soon.
New Mexico
Space News Archives

New Mexico Space  News Archives
Each month during 2018, a previous month's postings to New Mexico Space News will be moved to this page. Please use the links on the left to access postings from previous years.

======
August 25
: Exos Aerospace conducted a successful first launch of its reusable, suborbital SARGE rocket at Spaceport America. The sounding rocket carried an experimental hands-free camera designed to monitor astronauts' vital signs continuously from a distance of several feet. It also carried a student-designed and built 3-D printed container filled with experiments.

August 13
: NASA has awarded Los Alamos-based UbiQD a grant to further develop its quantum dots technology to manipulate sunlight for optimized crop growth during space and planetary exploration missions.

August 10
: Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, NM, received one of seven NASA grants to minority-serving institutions. NTU will develop a robotics academy in partnership with the newly established Bond Wilson Center for Technologies in Kirtland, New Mexico, to provide high school students from tribal reservation communities advanced classes in aerospace manufacturing, unmanned aircraft systems, conceptual design and planning, and employee skills development. NTU will also Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute's training faculty and interns at their year-round robotics center in Albuquerque.

August 7
: A doctoral student at the University of New Mexico has identified the oldest known igneous meteorite ever found. The 4.565 billion-year-old object. The student, Poorna Srinivasan, said, "This rock ... stands out as something completely different from any of the over 40,000 meteorites that have been found on Earth."

August 6
: Astronomers using the VLA west of Socorro, NM, have detected the first radio emissions from a possible planetary mass object outside our Solar System. They also found that the object, which may be a rogue planet, has a magnetic field more than 200 times as strong as Jupiter's. At 12.7 times the mass and a radius 1.22 times that of Jupiter, the object is near the boundary between a brown dwarf and a planet.

August 1
: Up Aerospace, a suborbital rocket manufacturer that launches at Spaceport America, received one of four 5-year contracts awarded by NASA for integration and flight services.

July 31
: The City of Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science in New Mexico will host children and adults for a community discussion with astronaut Ricky Arnold aboard the ISS at 10:55 a.m. Tuesday, July 31. The event will be broadcast on NASA television and streamed on https://www.nasa.gov/live.

July 26
: The third powered test of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Unity took the vehicle beyond the stratosphere to an altitude of 170,800 feet. It was the vehicle's third powered flight in less than four months. The spacecraft was released by the mothership at an altitude of 46,500 feet. Its rocket engine fired for 42 seconds, and the craft reached a speed of Mach 2.47. It landed about 15 minutes after release from the mothership.

July 18
: Santa Fe-based Solstar Space Company achieved a second successful test of its privately developed spacecraft wi-fi service aboard a Blue Origin test flight. The second-ever commercial Tweet from space was transmitted during an unmanned suborbital flight. Testing of the high-altitude crew-escape system gave the automated Schmitt Space Communicator an extra jolt, but it performed perfectly.

July 17
: Doña Ana County officials reported that paving of the southern road to Spaceport America is "98 percent complete." The road gives improved access to the Las Cruces community.

June 23: The second annual Spaceport America Cup concluded with 124 teams from 10 countries competing. During the event, 95 rocket launches took place. A total of 18 teams won awards in six categories involving rockets with different propulsion systems aiming for apogees of 10,000 or 30,000 feet.

June 20
: Albuquerque-based SolAero Technologies Corp. won its first major contract for a new, powerful but low-weight solar cell for spacecraft. Already a prominent supplier for spacecraft solar cells, the company has developed a cell that generates 10 times the power of current technology at less than 60 percent of the weight.

June 19
: An Albuquerque Journal article highlighted the Los Alamos National Laboratory's successful test of a small version of a nuclear reactor that will ultimately be capable of providing power for long-term space missions. A full-size Kilopower reactor could generate enough electricity to support a four-person crew on Mars or the Moon. Five months of tests concluded with a series full-power, normal operations interrupted by power-downs.

June 21-23
: Here's a special opportunity at Spaceport America! The second annual Spaceport America Cup competition begins tomorrow. Thursday through Saturday you can drive yourself to the spaceport and watch 130 college teams from around the world launch the rockets they have designed and built. Adult tickets are $20 for a three-day pass or $10 for one day. For details and to purchase tickets, go to https://www.spaceportamericacup.com.

June 8
: Base 11 announced its Space Challenge, a competition fo encourage student-led university teams to design, build, and launch a single-stage, liquid-fueled rocket to an altitude of 62 miles by December 30, 2021. The first team to succeed will win a $1 million prize. Launches will take place at Spaceport America.

May 29
: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Unity completed its second powered test flight. Its hybrid engine fired for 31 seconds, propelling the craft to an altitude of 114,500 feet (21.7 miles) at a maximum speed of  Mach 1.9.

May 27
: A team of Rocketry Club students from Princeton University launched their two-stage, solid-fuel from Spaceport America. It was the 102nd vertical launch at the facility since 2006. The rocket, which was designed to be the smallest rocket ever built that is capable of crossing the Karman line into space. However, a second-stage ignition failure kept the rocket from reaching the desired altitude of at least 62 miles.

May 2:
NASA announced a successful series of tests of the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY), a nuclear reactor being developed to provide power for long-duration space missions. Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is the lead designer of the reactor.

April 29
: Congratulations to Solstar Space Company of Santa Fe for sending the first tweet from space via its Schmitt Space Communicator commercial wi-fi system! The system was one of eight payloads on Blue Origin's New Shepard flight today.

April 15
: The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology's Rocket Team launched a Mustang VI-B rocket at Spaceport America. The reusable rocket reached an altitude of 24,127 feet and a speed of Mach 1.27 before landing successfully.

April 6
: Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, completed its first powered test flight. After release from the mothership at 46,500 feet, its hybrid rocket motor propelled it to Mach 1.87 during its 30-second burn. The ship reached an altitude of 84,271 feet (16 miles) before completing its glide landing.

April 4
: NASA contracted with an Albuquerque firm for logistics support services at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. For one year beginning May 1, L&M Technologies will provide services for equipment; motor pool and transportation; flight hardware support operations; shipping and receiving; mail; moves and furniture; property disposal and material, property and warehouse management.

March 27
: The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that a planned city visitor center in downtown will also function as a departure point for Spaceport America tours. Currently, all tours depart from Truth or Consequences, but the road approaching the spaceport from the south is being improved.

March 23
: Exos Aerospace announced it has completed a hover test of its SARGE (Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE) rocket and has a launch license for the first flight of the reusable suborbital rocket at Spaceport America in April.


January 11
: Virgin Galactic conducted its seventh (and perhaps final) glide test flight of SpaceShipTwo in California. Powered test flights using its onboard hybrid rocket engine will begin soon.
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2017
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2014
2013
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2011
Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.
Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.

Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is © Loretta Hall 2010-2017.
Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is © Loretta Hall 2010-2018.