NASA announces new James Webb Space Telescope target launch date

The observatory is expected to launch Oct. 31, 2021, a change resulting from technical challenges and the impact of the pandemic.


NASA rocket motors arrive at Kennedy Space Center for Artemis program

The rocket motors are the next step toward NASA’s Artemis I space launch in 2021. 


Northrop Grumman awarded first crew module contract

The HALO module design is adapted from the Cygnus spacecraft designed by Northrop Grumman, and will serve as both crew habitat and docking hub for cislunar spacecraft.

Carbon Fibers

Successful tower extension test for James Webb space telescope

The test ensured the tower extensions on NASA’s composites-intensive telescope would keep the structure cool enough to detect infrared light. 


People in Composites: November 2019

Albany Engineered Composites, GKN Aerospace, Michelman and Sirrus Inc. announce new hires in the composites manufacturing industry.

Composites 2020: A Multitude of Markets

The manufacturing world likes to think of composites fabrication as a single, global entity that operates to serve its customers’ needs with a variety of highly engineered parts and structures.


Blue Origin to team up with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper on lunar lander

Proposed lunar landing system to be considered for NASA’s Artemis program, which seeks to return humans to the moon by 2024.


California high school adds composites fabrication to curriculum

A STEM academy recently opened the doors to a brand-new composites fabrication lab, to prepare students for the local aerospace workforce after graduation.

Carbon Fibers

NASA assembles James Webb Telescope

NASA has successfully connected the two halves — the Optical Telescope Element (OTE) and the Space Craft Element (SCE) — of the composites intensive James Webb Telescope for the first time, marking a major milestone for the program.


Merger mania, part II?

Columnist Dale Brosius considers the surges of company mergers that have affected the composites industry over the years.


Highlights: Composites Convention 2019

Highlights from the Composites Convention 2019, June 12-13, in Stade, Germany, organized by CFK Valley e.V. and Carbon Composites e.V, and the German Aerospace Center’s 5th Colloquium on Production Technology, on May 15, in Augsburg.


NASA funds Made In Space project to 3D print spacecraft components in orbit

Made In Space’s Archinaut One spacecraft will demonstrate the ability to manufacture and assemble spacecraft components in low-Earth orbit.


Orion spacecraft completes launch abort tests

The successful test of the composites-intensive abort system moves NASA’s Orion crew capsule a step further toward travel to the Moon and beyond.  

Carbon Fibers

2019 Paris Air Show: Highlights

The 2019 Paris Air Show may have lacked the glamour of a new aircraft program announcement, but the composites industry represented is clearly gearing up for next-generation aerospace manufacturing.


Large, high-volume, infused composite structures on the aerospace horizon

Infused carbon fiber composite structures are not new, but they have never been built at the rates anticipated for next-generation, single-aisle aircraft. It is a daunting prospect — but a feasible one.


NASA selects American companies for lunar landers, propulsion element

NASA has announced the companies that will conduct research and build prototypes, and build the PPE spacecraft for its Artemis missions.

Composites industry leaders recognized at SME's AeroDef 2019

SME recently recognized Douglas D. Decker, technical fellow, Northrop Grumman and two prominent composites manufacturing companies with the 2019 Composites Manufacturing Awards.


Space: The next frontier and battleground

CW Editor-in-Chief Jeff Sloan reflects on the goals outlined leaders for space travel at the 35th Space Symposium – exploration, commercial travel and military defense among them – and the role of composites in the vehicles under development to reach them.


35th Space Symposium puts emphasis on collaboration, U.S. leadership in space

High-profile speakers at the 35th Space Symposium emphasized the need to increase collaboration with commercial entities and foreign partners to maintain U.S. dominance in space.

Carbon Fibers

Stratolaunch aircraft completes first flight

On April 13, the world’s largest composite aircraft flew for 149 minutes in its initial flight test.


United Launch Alliance progresses manufacture of Vulcan Centaur

Updates on the progress of the new launch vehicle, scheduled for launch in 2021, were announced at the 35th Space Symposium.


Spar forming simplified

Adapting its Automated Stiffener Forming (ASF) technology to build spars directly in female molds, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems anticipates dramatic drops in cycle time and manufacturing cost.

Carbon Fibers

Stratolaunch cuts launch vehicle and rocket engine programs

Stratolaunch has reportedly backed off of development of a family of launch vehicles that were intended to use the company’s all composite carrier aircraft as a launch platform.


Aerospace outlook: A dynamic, evolving supply chain and market

With major new aircraft programs on the horizon, the aerospace industry is looking to reduce costs and increase efficiencies.