Items tagged with SpaceX

  All eyes were on SpaceX yesterday as the private space firm attempted to return to flight following a high-profile explosion in September. The September incident saw a Falcon 9 rocket explode while being fueled on the launch pad, burning Facebook’s first satellite project to a crisp. However, the space gods were definitely with SpaceX yesterday, as the Falcon 9 successfully put 10 Iridium satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO). This was the first of a seven-launch contract that SpaceX has with Iridium to deploy a “constellation” of at least 70 satellites into LEO, forming the Iridium Next... Read more...
  SpaceX was riding high on a string of near-perfect launches and increasingly successful powered landings with its Falcon rocket family. However, the high-fives all around came to a screeching halt in September when a Falcon rocket exploded on the launchpad while refueling. The company has since been able to determine the root cause for the failure. Now, SpaceX is ready to return to space for the first time in months with the Iridium-1 mission. SpaceX’s revised Falcon rocket will deliver 10 satellites to LEO (low-Earth orbit) for mobile voice/data communications company Iridium. This initial... Read more...
When SpaceX wants to do something, you best believe it's going to be huge. Its latest task? Trying to convince the Federal Communications Commission to let it launch over 4,400 internet-beaming satellites into orbit. To put that into perspective, that's more satellites than the total number in use today. As it stands today, there are 1,419 satellites in orbit hard at work, and some other 2,600 that are inactive and just hogging a piece of space. Even combined, all those satellites still fall short of the number SpaceX wants to deploy, so to call this ambitious is a huge understatement. The goal... Read more...
SpaceX has been flying so high in 2016 that its spectacular Falcon 9 explosion came as quite a shock to many in the space industry. There has been much conjecture regarding the explosion, including several conspiracy theories. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently stated that his company has discovered the root cause of the failure, solving the “toughest puzzle” it has ever encountered. The explosion occurred on September 1st in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket was supposed to launch Facebook's first satellite for use with its Internet.org initiative. Although the craft was destroyed, thankfully no... Read more...
A SpaceX Falcon 9 static fire test went horribly wrong earlier this week -- what was supposed to be a routine test run before today's scheduled launch ended in a massive fireball. The explosion, which occurred while fueling the liquid oxygen tanks, resulted in the destruction of Facebook's first satellite for use with its Internet.org initiative. Luckily for SpaceX, it has a lot of data to pore over this weekend. In a blog post, SpaceX says that the anomaly occurred eight minutes prior to the expected test fire at Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral. Fortunately, the launch pad was... Read more...
SpaceX may have had plenty of successes sending its Falcon 9 rockets into orbit with expensive payloads and then returning the booster stage to earth intact, but the company’s string of victories came up short this morning. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded while sitting on its launchpad during a static fire test. The test was a routine procedure leading up to the scheduled September 3rd launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. According to eyewitness accounts, multiple explosions were heard, with the force of the blasts shaking buildings located miles away from the launch pad. Not... Read more...
We think it’s pretty safe to say that SpaceX has pretty much gotten this whole “let’s land a multi-million-dollar rocket back on earth after blasting it into space” thing mastered by now. After some rather spectacular failures and some extremely close calls, SpaceX completed its first successful powered Dragon 9 recovery in late December 2015. Early this morning, the company accomplished its fourth successful Falcon 9 landing in the Atlantic Ocean on the “Of Course I Still Love” drone ship. This was the sixth successful landing overall if you count the two previous landings on solid ground. Of... Read more...
SpaceX has done it again. Earlier this morning the company achieved a successful launch and landing of its Falcon 9 main stage booster. This is the second time SpaceX has landed its rocket on land and the the fifth booster the company has [successfully] returned from space. The Dragon capsule that sat on top of the Falcon 9 safely made it into Earth orbit at around 1AM ET. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams will use the International Space Station's robotic arm to capture the spacecraft on Wednesday morning. You can check out the launch and landing in the below video (landing happens around the 25 minute... Read more...
We can’t fault SpaceX for attempting to push the envelope with every single rocket launch, but when you’re innovating at such a rapid pace, accidents are bound to happen. Luckily for SpaceX, the primary mission of its most recent Falcon 9 launch went off without a hitch. SpaceX was able to put the EUTELSAT 117 West B and ABS-2A satellites into a geostationary transfer orbit shortly after it blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force station this morning in Florida. If this were any other company, that would have meant “mission accomplished” and on to the next rocket launch. But this is SpaceX we’re... Read more...
SpaceX is just making this look way too easy now. Yesterday, the company landed yet another Falcon 9 rocket successfully on its floating “drone ship” in the Atlantic Ocean. This was the third straight “at sea” landing and the fourth overall successful landing for SpaceX (the first occurred on a landing pad at Cape Canaveral back in December). The primary mission of SpaceX’s launch was to deliver the THAICOM 8 commercial satellite into a supersynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite will eventually be “reduced” to a circular geostationary orbit of about 35,800 kilometers. THAICOM 8 weighs approximately... Read more...
SpaceX has made three successful landings of its Falcon 9 boosters in the past six months — one via land and two at sea. The first landing occurred on December 21st, when a Falcon 9 touched down on its landing pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida after launching 11 ORBCOMM satellites into orbit. Its second and third successful landings occurred in early April and early May respectively, with each landing on an autonomous drone ship at sea. Now SpaceX has a problem — it’s soon going be running out of space to store its returned Falcon 9 boosters. The company just delivered the third Falcon 9 to its Cape... Read more...
Reusability is the name of game with rockets from Blue Origin and SpaceX. Back in early April, the Blue Origin New Shepard reusable rocket booster made its third suborbital flight (reaching a height of 339,138 feet) and successfully touched down on its landing pad at the end of the mission. At the time, we were presented with an external chase view of the New Shepard landing on its pad, which is impressive enough. However, Blue Origin decided this week to give space geeks another more impressive view of that same landing to peruse via YouTube: a view from the vent camera that is mounted just below... Read more...
Elon Musk is going to need a bigger rocket hangar. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket stuck its second at-sea drone ship landing early this morning after launching at 1:21am EST. This the third time the company has recovered the vehicle post-launch, and the second time the rocket has landed intact on the drone ship. The primary mission was to send a Japanese JCSAT-14 communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit high above the Earth and SpaceX delivered as promised.  Like every good space nerd I stayed up until 1:21am in order to watch the rocket launch (ok, I watched... Read more...
It’s safe to say that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is grinning ear to ear, waiting for the perfect opportunity to throw some shade on his competitors with the confirmation that his company’s first-stage Falcon 9 rocket landed successfully on an off-shore drone ship. This is the fourth time that SpaceX has attempted to land a Falcon 9 off-shore, with all three previous attempts ending in spectacular failure. But the rocket gods were with SpaceX today and the Falcon 9 touched down just slightly off center on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship. There was no drama, just a picturesque landing that... Read more...
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