Items tagged with SpaceX

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...
The scientists and engineers of SpaceX love to smash records. Their list of “firsts” is impressive and includes the first ever propulsive landing for an orbital rocket. Now, not only did SpaceX land three rocket boosters yesterday after their Falcon Heavy launch, but they have also received a NASA contract for an asteroid redirect mission. Footage of the landing the Falcon Heavy side boosters SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket was launched yesterday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida shortly after 6pm EST. This was the first time SpaceX landed all three of the Falcon Heavy rocket boosters. The two side boosters landed simultaneously and the center core booster... Read more...
SpaceX is currently preparing for the second launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. After the spectacular success of the first Falcon Heavy launch, there is quite a bit of pressure for SpaceX to perform just as well again. The Falcon Heavy rocket is currently set to launch on April 7th, but some fear that its launch will be delayed. This delay could be terribly inconvenient for both SpaceX and the 100,000 spectators that are expected to flock to Cape Canaveral this weekend. The Falcon Heavy is expected to launch between 6:36 p.m. through 8:35 p.m. EST on April 7th. It will blast off from the historic Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket will... Read more...
SpaceX has performing admirably in its efforts to move the U.S. one step closer to being able to put its own astronauts into orbit again. The company was able to successfully launch its Crew Dragon capsule early this month, and the capsule later splashed down safely on return from the ISS. SpaceX and its CEO, Elon Musk, have a future that sees SpaceX doing more than putting astronauts into low Earth orbit; and that future includes interplanetary missions. Before those missions can be considered, the spacecraft that will be used has to be built and tested; SpaceX is into that testing process with Musk offering up a video of the critical heat shield tiles in testing. Heat shield tiles are the difference... Read more...
At this point, we tend to take it for granted that SpaceX will stick its landings. However, the company's latest landing is one for the books. SpaceX's unmanned Crew Dragon capsule landed off the coast Florida after a trip to the International Space Station. This was the first time in fifty years that an astronaut capsule landed in the Atlantic Ocean and SpaceX’s first orbital test mission. The Crew Dragon capsule successfully detached from the International Space Station (ISS) at 2:30 am EST. It burned its thrusters several times before its final descent. The capsule deployed several parachutes before successfully landing 200 miles off of the coast of Florida at 8:45am EST. SpaceX’s... Read more...
SpaceX has hit a milestone for its Crew Dragon capsule, with an unmanned version of the capsule blasting off to meet up with the International Space Station (ISS). If testing goes well, the goal is to enable the U.S. to send its astronauts into orbit for the first time since the Space Shuttle fleet was retired. SpaceX sent the Crew Dragon capsule into orbit mounted atop one of its own Falcon 9 rockets. No humans were aboard the Crew Dragon capsule for this test launch; the only passenger was a test dummy called Ripley, a reference to the classic sci-fi/horror film Aliens. The launch went off without a hitch and the rocket separated from the capsule about 11 minutes after liftoff. The capsule... Read more...
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