Items tagged with SpaceX

A company called Space Adventures today announced that it has signed an agreement with SpaceX that will allow it to send private citizens into space aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft. The agreement will allow up to four individuals the opportunity to break the world altitude record for private citizen space flight and to see the Earth in a way that only an elite few have experienced. Space Adventures says that if it's able to find interested parties, the mission will be the first orbital space tourism experience provided entirely using American technology. The mission will see private citizens fly aboard the fully autonomous Crew Dragon spacecraft that will be put in orbit by the Falcon 9 rocket.... Read more...
Image via SpaceX livestream  SpaceX lost a rocket today and they could not be happier. The company just successfully tested out its emergency escape system and its ability to keep astronauts safe. The test is an important step to take before NASA will allow SpaceX to carry astronauts into space. It is important to note that the test was unmanned. SpaceX launched the Crew Dragon capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket from the historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch window opened at 8am EST, but the launch itself was postponed due to weather conditions. The rocket was successfully launched at 10:30am EST. The Dragon Crew capsule... Read more...
Astronomers aren't happy with SpaceX because the Starlink satellites that it is launching into orbit at a blistering pace are much brighter than anyone ever expected. Astronomers were aware that SpaceX was launching the satellites, and the plan was well documented going as far back as 2015. The ultimate intention of SpaceX is to place about 4,000 satellites into low Earth orbit to blanket the globe in broadband internet access at a low price. While the initial plans called for about 4,000 satellites, SpaceX has since received approval to put 12,000 satellites into orbit and is seeking permission to put up to 30,000 into orbit. As of now, SpaceX expects to launch its broadband service sometime... Read more...
Image from Padre Labs The amount of pressure that SpaceX is under is enough to make anyone blow their top. This is exactly what happened to a Starship prototype. An upper stage for SpaceX’s Starship MK-1 prototype erupted during a pressurization test. The pressurization test occurred on Wednesday in Boca Chica, Texas. The upper portion of the rocket blew its top 500 feet into the air, while smoke from a ruptured tank of cryogenic propellants dissipated. According to a statement from SpaceX, “The purpose of [the] test was to pressurize systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected.” Footage of the explosion was caught on a webcam situated on South Padre Island.... Read more...
60 Starlink satellites prior to deployment. (Image courtesy SpaceX) SpaceX has announced that it is confident that it will be able to start offering broadband service in the United States by mid-2020 using a constellation of laser-connected Starlink mesh satellites. Reaching that goal will require the company to launch another six to eight batches of satellites into Earth's orbit to provide continuous service in upper and lower latitude bands. SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell says that the company will need 24 launches to get global coverage and that every launch after that would add more capacity to the system. SpaceX asked the International Telecommunication Union to approve spectrum... Read more...
The U.S. has been unable to send astronauts into orbit on its own since the space shuttle fleet was decommissioned 8 years ago. Rather than develop a new government program for putting Americans into space, NASA has been buying seats on Russian rockets. America is going to regain its ability to put men and women into space in part thanks to civilian companies like SpaceX, whose Crew Dragon capsule is almost ready for primetime. NASA developed the Commercial Crew Program and has been looking to private companies to take astronauts into space. It did the same thing with plans to get supplies to and from the ISS, and SpaceX has been a major part of that program. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and NASA... Read more...
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are back at work when it comes to building the next generation rocket to get humans off the third rock from the sun. One of the most grandiose plans that Musk and SpaceX have dreamed up and are working to make a reality is the massive orbital-class Starship that has been under construction for a while. Musk tweeted this week that the two halves of the Starship are being joined for the first time. The halves are seen in a single image that Musk tweeted being connected as a giant crane holds the top section of the Starship in place. There were no details shared in the tweet, but SpaceX will host an update on the latest design of the Starship tonight at 7 pm CDT from... Read more...
SpaceX excited fans and upset scientists at the same time when it launched the first Falcon Heavy rocket over a year ago. The launch itself was spectacular as the company used the Falcon Heavy launch to push Elon Musk's own Tesla Roadster into space with a stuffed SpaceX spacesuit behind the wheel that was dubbed Starman. Keeping with true Elon Musk style, the Roadster had "Don't Panic" written on the navigation screen as a nod to the iconic "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" book. We have now learned that the duo has completed their first orbit around the Sun. It has been about 557 days since the launch of Starman and his Roadster into space, and so far it has traveled about 762 million... Read more...
SpaceX has been doing very well with its contract missions to send satellites into Earth orbit and supplies to the International Space Station. This week SpaceX tested its strange-looking stainless-steel starship prototype called StarHopper. The test was the first time that StarHopper had flown without tethers holding it to the ground. StarHopper fired up its Raptor engine and slowly lifted into the air during the hover test. The test was a success and proved that the Raptor engine was able to climb, hover, move a short distance horizontally and then safely land. Another interesting aspect of this flight was that the test took place at SpaceX's facility in South Texas. This flight test marks... Read more...
When will human beings once again walk on the moon? According to Elon Musk, humans could be on the moon within three to four years. Musk recently sat down with Time to discuss the origins of SpaceX, reusability, along with moon and Mars colonies. Elon Musk argued in the interview that SpaceX could land uncrewed vehicles moon within two years and crewed vehicles within a year or two after that. He insisted that the ultimate goal is to establish a lunar base that would be similar to the base in Antarctica. Although it would be easier to send people to the moon like the Apollo 11 mission, Musk remarked that the, “the remake’s never as good as the original.” SpaceX is therefore... Read more...
If you were alive 50 years ago, and old enough to cast your eyes on a television, you no doubt remember the launch of Apollo 11. On July 16th, 1969 at 9:32am ET, the Apollo 11 Saturn V lifted off from Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral, FL, sending astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin on their journey towards the Moon. Apollo 11 made one and a half orbits around the Earth after liftoff before performing a burn to put in a trajectory to intercept the Moon. The Columbia command module and Eagle lander carrying the three astronauts entered lunar orbit on July 19th, and on July 20th, Aldrin and Armstrong detached from Columbia and descended towards the lunar surface. On July... Read more...
SpaceX has been very busy. In April it launched the second Falcon Heavy mission to push the Arabsat 6A satellite into orbit. In May another rocket sent 60 SpaceX Starlink microsatellites into orbit. And SpaceX is set to launch its next Falcon Heavy mission soon, and this one will be carrying a wide range of payloads. The mission is called Space Test Program-2 and is set to lift off between 11:30 p.m. ET on June 24 and 2:30 a.m. June 25 depending on the weather. The oddest thing that the Falcon Heavy will be pushing into orbit is for a company called Celestis. Celestis makes arrangements for cremated remains of deceased loved ones to be sent into space. Families can decide to send capsules with... Read more...
Elon Musk loves a good Twitter tease. The CEO of SpaceX recently posted a few photos of their Starlink satellites that have been loaded into a Falcon fairing. Musk remarked that the first 60 satellites are expected to launch on Wednesday.  Starlink is a satellite constellation project that is intended to bring 1 Gbps speeds to users. Musk hopes to launch a total of 12,000 satellites. The satellites will be launched into three different orbital shells. Some of the satellites will form network that will use the V band or a band of frequencies ranging between 40 to 75 GHz. Other satellites will access the Ka band (26.5- 40 GHz) and Ku band (12-18 GHz). Musk noted on Twitter that SpaceX will... Read more...
Stratolaunch is a company founded by the late Paul G. Allen that is trying to make it easier and less costly to put satellites into orbit. Sadly the late Paul Allen didn't live to see his dream take flight, however. Unlike Elon Musk's SpaceX , the way Stratolaunch plans to put satellites into orbit has nothing to do with rockets launched from the ground; rather the company will use what it calls the "world's largest aircraft" to carry satellites as high into the atmosphere as possible, before launching them into orbit. The aircraft that will heft those satellites off the ground is called Roc, and it had its maiden flight recently. The massive aircraft sports a dual fuselage design with a large... Read more...
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