Items tagged with SpaceX

SpaceX hit another milestone this week with an early prototype of its Starship rocket taking flight for the first time. The company posted a short clip to YouTube that shows the unfinished rocket light its Raptor engine and take to the sky. Eventually, later versions of the spacecraft will use multiple Raptor engines, but a single engine was all that was necessary for this test flight. The video shows ignition with smoke, flame, and dust billowing around the rocket and obscuring it shortly before the top of the shiny metal rocket emerged from the cloud and lifted upward. The rocket attained an altitude of roughly 150 meters before firing a thruster out of its right side to move it towards a landing... Read more...
Today is a historic day for NASA and SpaceX. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will return to Earth aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule. Here is how you can watch the Crew Dragon Endeavor splash down off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.  The Endeavor capsule undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday at 7:35 p.m. EDT. The capsule is scheduled splash down off the west coast of Florida today at 2:41 p.m. EDT. The entire event is currently being streamed on both NASA’s and SpaceX’s YouTube channels and NASA’s website. You can check out the stream below. The stream is currently live on both YouTube channels and experts are providing commentary and... Read more...
NASA has set a date for when its two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will return to Earth after their extended stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS). According to the NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that they rode aboard to reach the ISS will undock around 8pm EST on August 1st. If all goes according to plan, the Crew Dragon will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean at 3pm EST on August 2nd. A successful landing will mark the completion of the Demo-2 mission, which commenced on May 30th when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket put Behnken and Hurly into orbit. It marked the first time that SpaceX had sent a manned crew into space after years of performing unmanned... Read more...
SpaceX has been on a roll in 2020 with its Falcon 9 rocket launches, which the most high-profile one sending NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley into space to dock with the ISS via a Crew Dragon capsule. Perhaps one of the most important things for the general population that the company is doing is with the Starlink system that will use a massive constellation of low Earth orbit satellites to provide internet connectivity to users all around the world. SpaceX recently began inviting users to signup for the satellite internet service by sharing their email address and service location details. Asking for service addresses on the Starlink website is a change. Previously, the... Read more...
For many months, the most important thing that SpaceX has been working on has been its Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Crew Dragon capsule. CEO Elon Musk is now pushing employees by stating that the Starship rocket is now the company's top priority. Musk sent out a company-wide email on Saturday urging employees to accelerate progress on the next-generation launch vehicle. In the email that was seen by CNBC, Musk urged SpaceX employees to "dramatically and immediately" accelerate progress on the massive Starship rocket. However, Musk was clear that anything that could reduce the Dragon return risk would continue to be a top priority. The last few months have been critically important for Elon Musk... Read more...
The United States rejoined the space race this week as SpaceX successfully launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft with a pair of NASA astronauts aboard heading to the International Space Station (ISS). The successful launch marked the first time since the space shuttle fleet was retired that the US hasn't had to hitch a ride with another country to get astronauts into orbit. The Crew Dragon capsule is highly automated compared to the space capsules used during the Apollo era. And fortunately, fans of SpaceX that wonder what the control systems inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft are like can try their hand at the helm using a very cool SpaceX ISS Docking Simulator. The simulator requires no downloads... Read more...
After the first “window” for launch was scrubbed due to weather on Wednesday, SpaceX and NASA were today able to successfully launch the Demo-2 crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Onboard the Crew Dragon capsule that lifted off from the historic Launch Complex 39 at Cape Canaveral via a Falcon 9 rocket are NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. Today’s launch was once again threatened by clouds and bad weather, but SpaceX was able to “thread the needle”, so to speak, and pull off a picture-perfect launch. This is strictly a demonstration mission for the astronauts to test out the rigors of launch, vehicle life support, and various... Read more...
It has been several decades since the first rocket was launched into space, but most would agree that each rocket launch is still fascinating, awe-inspiring, and just plain fun to watch. Today’s launch is a particularly major milestone for the American space program. Here is how you can watch NASA and SpaceX’s historic astronaut launch. Both NASA and SpaceX will stream the launch on their respective YouTube channels. You can also find the livestreams on both of their websites. The stream began today at 12:15pm EST, but the launch will hopefully occur at 4:33pm. The stream right now features information about the astronauts as well as a stream of what is going on at the Kennedy Space... Read more...
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a decade since the Space Shuttle was officially retired, effectively putting an end to a 50-year-long streak in which the United States ferried its own astronauts into orbit around the Earth and Moon. Starting with the Mercury program, and then advancing through Gemini, Apollo, and finally the Space Shuttle, NASA was at the forefront of manned spaceflight. However, budgetary considerations and a redirection of resources for the future of NASA’s manned spaceflight program meant that U.S. astronauts had to hitch a ride to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Russian rockets for the past 9 years. That all ends next month, however.... Read more...
Are you stuck in the house and absolutely going insane from dealing with family members, pets that are sick of you being at home instead of at work, and kids that at this point would rather be at school than at home? Well, the folks at NASA have quite a few "virtual" tours that you can partake in for a change of scenery during this COVID-19 pandemic. And as you might expect from NASA, these tours are out of this world. We have a roundup below of some great 3D and virtual experiences that you can experience courtesy of NASA to help break up the monotony of life that many are experiencing right now: Commercial Crew Program 360-Degree VR Tour Ever since the Space Shuttle was retired early in... Read more...
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...
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