SpaceX Adds New Astronaut Walkway to Historic NASA Launch Pad

SpaceX is another step closer to crewed flight.

The private spaceflight company SpaceX installed an astronaut walkway at Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida last Monday. The walkway will allow astronauts to get from the launch tower to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship, which will sit atop SpaceX’s 230-foot-tall (70 meters) Falcon 9 rocket.

The 85-foot-long arm was delivered to the base of the Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on August 15. Five days later, it was raised by crane 265 feet above sea level, and there it was mounted to the space shuttle tower. Continue reading “SpaceX Adds New Astronaut Walkway to Historic NASA Launch Pad”

SpaceX Successfully Launches Air Force’s Space Plane on Secret Mission

SpaceX launched a mysterious Air Force X-37B space plane ahead of Irma’s arrival
Elon Musk’s space company can add another first to its ever-increasing list. Only two days ago, it successfully launched the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B experimental space plane. This is the first time for SpaceX to launch the X-37B, which has run four missions previously but the launch vehicle was always United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.
The launch was scheduled for September 7 at Cape Canaveral, just days ahead of the potential landfall of Hurricane Irma and there is a chance to be postponed due to weather. Continue reading “SpaceX Successfully Launches Air Force’s Space Plane on Secret Mission”

The Kennedy Space Center May Soon Be Underwater

571px-Spaceship_one2NASA’s Kennedy Space Center could soon be under water due to global warming.
Sea levels are rising and the multi-billion dollar complex is already seeing the effects of climate change. It appears, the land under the center is slowly sinking into the ocean. The Space Center in Florida may have to abandon some of its launchpads and facilities within a decade.
NASA partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey has been doing research on erosion happening along a 6-mile stretch of beach between the iconic launch pads 39A and 39B which have been used for the Apollo missions to the moon and many space shuttle flights.
The majority of NASA’s facilities are located at the edge of the sea for logistical reasons. If failures happened, they would be less dangerous to the public when launching rockets or testing spacecrafts over water. Continue reading “The Kennedy Space Center May Soon Be Underwater”

SpaceX to Launch Facebook’s Internet Satellite This Week

800px-Launch_pad_40_ready_for_Falcon_9_rocketFacebook’s first satellite, which would beam Internet service from space is scheduled to blast into orbit from Cape Canaveral September 3.

Facebook’s first satellite which aims to beam Internet service from Space to rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa is scheduled to blast off September 3 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The spacecraft will be launched by Space X, Elon Musk’s space launch company. Continue reading “SpaceX to Launch Facebook’s Internet Satellite This Week”

SpaceX Planning Rocket Storage at Port Canaveral

400px-Launch_of_JunoSpaceX plans to store and refurbish rockets at Port Canaveral.

SpaceX is planning to lease a building at Port Canaveral and may build another facility.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket made its way through Cape Canaveral on June 6 from Port Canaveral and it was the fourth reusable rocket that was brought back to the Cape and is moving into storage now. The private space flight company has successfully recovered a launched rocket three times on an ocean barge floting in the Atlantic Ocean Continue reading “SpaceX Planning Rocket Storage at Port Canaveral”

Boeing to be Title Sponsor of New Astronaut Hall of Fame

571px-Spaceship_one2The Boeing Company is the title sponsor of the upcoming Heroes & Legends, a renewed, interactive attraction featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, announced Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during an official ceremony on Friday.  It will be the first time in more than 50 years that the complex has entered into an agreement with a corporate sponsor. Protze said that Boeing “as a leader in the human exploration of space” will bring “a rich history and exciting future” to the new attraction. He added that the two parts of the agreement are so passionate to “share the stories of the heroic men and women who have sacrificed so much and inspired so many.”  Continue reading “Boeing to be Title Sponsor of New Astronaut Hall of Fame”

Orion’s journey has just begun

600px-Mars-SchiaparelliNASA has successfully launched its next-generation spacecraft Orion atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center on the east coast of the US state of Florida. At 7:05 am local time on Friday the launch pad in Cape Canaveral was shrouded in a bloom of fire and dense smoke.

After delayed several times, the lift-off of the unmanned space capsule had been scheduled for 7:05 am Thursday but the first attempt had failed due to a number of technical issues: gusty winds forced automatic aborts and the launch window was extended to 14:44 GMT; two valves failed to close properly, and an unauthorized boat entered the launch area.

This is the first launch of a US spacecraft in more than 40 years to take humans further than the Moon. After the last American spacecraft had transported a group of astronauts to the ISS (International Space Station), the US human spaceflight program had been on hold for about three years and American astronauts had to use Russian shuttles to be transported to the ISS; and Russia was paid $71 million per passage.

The first phase of the flight will be conducted with a Delta 4 Heavy rocket which is known as the biggest booster rocket in the US fleet. The rocket is built by the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The next Orion missions will be powered by the Space Launch System.

This first test flight will test the guidance systems, onboard computers and other electronic systems during a passage through a dangerous radiation zone, the heat shield, as well as the parachute systems of the craft when landing in the Pacific Ocean. Orion is loaded with 1,200 sensors to record and measure the data during the flight the flight in every detail; its computers can handle 400 million instructions per second.

A second unmanned flight has been planned for 2018. In the 2020s and 2030s NASA is planning to send humans to Mars.

As you can see, Mars will no longer be just the Red Planet from the science fiction movies but maybe a new holiday destination in the not too distant future.

See the video

The first test launch of Orion: one step closer to Mars

Orion at the Vehicle Assembly Building as it is transported to Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral

NASA officials are getting ready to launch their new spacecraft Orion atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The mission, called Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) is set for December 4. Continue reading “The first test launch of Orion: one step closer to Mars”