For a while, not even Nasa knew about the test, but later it became clear what had happened, and that it had badly affected Ariel-1's ability to generate its own electrical power from the solar generators.
Today, we still send humans into space, but the next big challenge will likely have to do without the big bucks of the first space race: whether the mission is to send people to Mars or perhaps to reconnoitre an asteroid.
This year's World Space Week is perhaps the most exciting yet. Manned space exploration speaks to something deep within us as humans - it remains the purest, most tangible expression of the question, why are we here? And the greatest daily reminder of the mystery of life is the night sky.
I consider myself a strong woman and lately have met other women just like me, mamas who are trying to continue their development whilst doing a million other things. It's hard. I know I chose to have a child but I did not know how all consuming it would be and that part of me would grieve the freedom I used to have in abundance.
Kevin is bold. Immediately I get the sense he is telling me his story. The real one. Not the image-conscious one covered in a veneer of glossy hindsight bias. Kevin tells me straight - "I don't think the story behind the clothes has to be important". He doesn't feel the need to make anything up - verbally or sartorially.
Lunar Mission One also aims to investigate the prospects for a permanent lunar base. The Moon is expected to become an important part in the future logistics of the human exploration of Mars, and to help reduce its huge expense.
I love the fact that NASA have discovered flowing water on Mars. All these Sci-Fi fantasies we've had about an arid, brutal desert planet, are complet...
Lunar Mission One will provide invaluable support to the current international effort to return to the Moon by drilling deep into the lunar South Pole for geological samples, and testing the polar region for its suitability for a crewed base.
That's why Kepler 452 b has hit the headlines this week. It is the most Earthlike in these respects of the thousands of planets Kepler has identified. Its discovery strengthens the claim that there are literally billions of earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy with the size and temperature of our Earth.
Today the International Space Station continues to host astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world. The vital agreement between the Russian and US space agencies for its operation has now been extended to run until 2024, despite political differences between the two nations.
As I arrive at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, I spot the full-size mock-up of a space shuttle looking ready to launch. It has the orange twin solid rocket boosters on either side of it and is 184 ft. tall. During the tour I find out that Atlantis flew 125,935,769 miles in space. Wow!
Sometimes astronomers release images that most people wouldn't look at twice. This saddens me because the science behind these images is usually mind-blowing. So with that in mind, here are my top five unimpressive images from space, and why they're actually amazing.
To get the project off the ground (pardon the pun) we will be sending 2kg of rocket seeds to the International Space Station as part of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake's six-month mission. After several months on board, orbiting the planet at 17,000mph, the seeds will be returned to Earth and sent to thousands of UK schools...
In one experiment, using a single particle of light, scientists for the first time linked thousands of atoms in quantum entanglement, where the behavior of the atoms would stay connected even if they were at opposite ends of the universe.
It is no secret that this very moment is perhaps the most fortunate time to start a business in recent times, in Britain.
Astronomers have just found nothing. Hold the front page! Actually, they have found so much nothing that it made the news. This nothing is in space, w...