SpaceX Successfully Launches 18th Cargo Mission to International Space Station

SpaceX successfully launched its 18th cargo flight to the space station Thursday evening.

The Space-X Dragon Capsule lifted off at 6:01 p.m., from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Thunderstorms moving across Florida delayed a launch attempt on Wednesday and the weather predictions indicated a low chance for launch Thursday as more stormy weather was expected. However, clouds thinned out and right on time the Falcon 9 roared to life and lifted off.

Continue reading “SpaceX Successfully Launches 18th Cargo Mission to International Space Station”

SpaceX Ready For Key Test Of Historic Dragon Capsule This Weekend

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.

According to The Verge.

SpaceX Launches Final Record-Breaking Rocket оf 2018

SpaceX has successfully launched its 21st rocket of the year – smashing its previous record, which is its first national security mission in the process.

At 8.51a.m. Eastern Time, December 23, a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral with a new GPS 3 satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force. The launch had been delayed several times the last week, but finally took off on Sunday.

This was the 20th Falcon 9 rocket flight this year, and SpaceX’s 21st flight in total, including the Falcon Heavy launch in February. The previous record was last year- 18 launches.

This launch does not aim a landing, unlike SpaceX’s recent launches. The full performance of the rocket will take the satellite on board to its intended orbit about 1,200 miles above the Earth.

In 2016 SpaceX were awarded an $83 million contract to launch this satellite, which is worth half a billion dollars. This is the first of a class of new GPS satellites that are being built by Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin developed and manufactured GPS 3 at its advanced $128-million GPS 3 Processing Facility near Denver. In September 2017, the Air Force declared the satellite “Available for Launch”, AFL, and had the company place it into storage. Last Summer the Air Force ordered the satellite for launch and Lockheed Martin delivered it to Florida on August 20. The satellite is nicknamed the Vespucci after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci and has a lifespan of 15 years .

The launch was originally scheduled for May 2018, however, it was delayed as tests of new Block 5 rocket had being continuing. SpaceX is currently contracted to fly four more GPS satellites, worth more than $380 million in total.

The goal of Vespucci will be to replace an existing old GPS satellite that has been in orbit since 1997. The new satellite, GPS 3, known as SV01, boasts some advanced capabilities over its predecessor, including three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities.

According to Forbes.

SpaceX Seeks Expansion at KSC

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”

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Set for Sunday Now Delayed

SpaceX postpones Falcon 9 launch to conduct nose cone checks.

SpaceX has delayed its weekend launch of the Spanish communications satellite Hispasat 30W-6 to allow time for extra tests on the Falcon 9 rocket.

The Falcon 9 was scheduled to launch the satellite Sunday (Feb. 25) at 12:35 a.m. EST (0535 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. But on Saturday, SpaceX said it needed extra time to test the rocket’s payload fairing, the nose cone that protects satellites during flight. A new launch date has not been officially announced yet.

A SpaceX spokesman said they will try to land the rocket on their “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Continue reading “SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Set for Sunday Now Delayed”

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Successful. Boosters Land

SpaceX finally blasted off the Falcon Heavy from Florida’s Space Coast in a historic launch.

The Falcon Heavy sent a next-generation, heavy-lift rocket toward space from Cape Canaveral Tuesday afternoon.

The three rocket boosters fired up and sent the craft into the sky at 3:45 p.m., about 2 hours and 15 minutes after the company had originally planned.

 

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SpaceX to Launch Korean Satellite on Monday

SpaceX is getting ready to launch a Koreasat 5A into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket.
The 2-hour, 24-minute launch window for the South Korean communications satellite opens at 3:34 p.m. This is the 16th flight that the Hawthorne, California-based company will perform in 2017.
If the liftoff from seaside Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral goes off without a hitch, it will mark the third time this month that SpaceX launches a rocket, twice from Florida.
According to the 45th Weather Squadron, which is based at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the probability of weather causing a delay is almost nonexistent with less than a 10 percent chance of violating mission rules and primary concern for strong winds at liftoff. Continue reading “SpaceX to Launch Korean Satellite on Monday”

NASA Tests to Rumble Space Coast in August

NASA’s research to advance supersonic flight will produce loud booms along Canaveral National Seashore on Space Coast. Residents near the area around Kennedy and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station could hear more than 30 booms during flights next month, NASA officials said Monday.
Researchers from Langley Research Center in Virginia and Armstrong Flight Research Center, NASA’s primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations, are planning to conduct a series of tests. The two-week investigation is starting in August at Kennedy Space Center. The tests are part of the Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence flights, called SonicBAT. They will help researchers understand how atmospheric turbulence affects the sonic booms residents hear when aircraft fly faster than the speed of sound. Continue reading “NASA Tests to Rumble Space Coast in August”

SpaceX Launches Once-Used Cargo Spacecraft

The company is making history again- for the first time, SpaceX reuses one of its Dragon cargo capsules.
This evening, SpaceX is launching another one of its Falcon 9 rockets. It is the 100th launch from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida and the spacecraft is sending cargo and supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.
However, this will be the first time that SpaceX will send a once-used cargo spacecraft. The Dragon cargo capsule launching tonight was first used to deliver supplies to the International Space Station in 2014. The Dragon stayed about a month at the station then landed with the help of parachutes in the Pacific Ocean. Afterward, it was inspected and refurbished by Space X. A few components have been swapped out, mostly those that came in contact with sea water when the spacecraft splashed down into the ocean. Moreover, a new heat shield was added.
Continue reading “SpaceX Launches Once-Used Cargo Spacecraft”