On a launch pad in Florida, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is ready for the first flight test of its new space capsule designed to carry astronauts into space.
The Falcon 9 is scheduled to take to the skies over Florida
Saturday morning. The rocket’s payload is the new Dragon capsule, the company’s
very first vehicle designed to take people to the International Space Station. Even
though the Crew Dragon capsule is meant for passengers, it will not carry
any people on board when Falcon 9 rocket blasts off.
The mission is called Demonstration-1 or DM-1 and the flight is
a test. It is only meant to show NASA that the Crew Dragon is space-worthy and
safe for future human crew members.NASA is particularly concerned
about this, because the very first people who will fly on the Crew Dragon capsule
will be the space agency’s astronauts. The Crew Dragon is a critical part of NASA
Commercial Crew Program, which has been developed by using privately-made spacecraft
to transport NASA astronauts to and from the space station.
The white, bell-shaped Dragon
capsule can carry up to seven astronauts and it is basically a more powerful
version of the SpaceX robotic cargo ship. When the capsule blasts off as, it
will travel to the International Space Station and dock there. The three
astronauts currently living in the space station will be able go
inside the hatch to load and unload cargo before the Dragon returns to Earth
and splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX plans new facilities at KSC to support more launches and landings.
SpaceX is planning to expand its presence at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, including a state-of-the-art launch control center, rocket refurbishment center and a Falcon 9, Dragon rocket garden, according to environmental impact documents filed to NASA a month ago.
The California-based company and its founder the billionaire Elon Musk, is currently well-established on the Space Coast with two launch pads, one at Kennedy Space Center and one at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and also a hangar at Port Canaveral.
Environmental impact documents reveal a proposal for a launch control tower up to 300 feet tall for launches and landings, a rocket garden to show off the company’s historic space vehicles, a new security office, a 280,000 square foot utility yard, and a 133,000 square foot rocket processing and storage facility. The proposed buildings and the associated lot would all be on a piece of land nearly one mile long by a half mile wide. Continue reading “SpaceX Seeks Expansion at KSC”
After more than a month of delay, SpaceX successfully sends the secretive Zuma satellite to space.
The company completes its first launch of the year with its secretive mission and also manages to recover the Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX’s first successful Falcon 9 rocket launch of the year was probably the most secretive mission in the company’s history ever. The company also managed to recover the Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket was rolled out on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center Thursday morning. SpaceX is preparing for the rocket’s maiden flight, which is scheduled for next month.
NASA confirmed that the mega rocket has been moved to Launchpad 39A and it will undergo various tests before it takes off. However, Musk’s company has not confirmed a launch date yet.
The first images of SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket were released Wednesday, showing the Falcon Heavy’s 27 Merlin 1D engines mounted on the back of three modified first stages from Falcon 9 rocket. The massive triple-core booster looked almost fully assembled inside the hangar at the Kennedy Space Center’s pad 39A. Continue reading “SpaceX First Falcon Mega-rocket is at Launchpad 39A Ahead of Maiden Flight”
A reused Falcon 9 booster carried 10 satellites into orbit from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base north of Los Angeles on Friday, leaving behind a trail of mystery and wonder as it soared into orbit.