Items tagged with SpaceX

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...
Elon Musk and the crew over at SpaceX have announced that the company will be shedding about 10% of its workforce, which currently totals over 6,000 employees. SpaceX said that it was going to "part ways" with some workers noting that it had "extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead." The cuts came despite a successful 2018 for the company. A SpaceX spokesman said in an email Reuters obtained, "To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company. Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations." SpaceX was granted FCC approval last... Read more...
Elon Musk and SpaceX have been doing some very cool things over the past decade with rockets. While the rockets SpaceX has been sending into space aren’t the sort capable of flying to the moon or Mars, they are capable of ferrying cargo safely to the ISS in Earth orbit and mostly returning to Earth in one piece. The big news this week was the unveiling of the SpaceX BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) spacecraft that can fly to the moon and beyond. During the unveiling of the rocket, Musk said that the BFR already has its first passenger booked, but during the event, no names were offered. When Musk was asked if he was going to be the first passenger to fly around the moon, he simply tweeted a Japanese... Read more...
One lucky person is about to “boldly go where no [private passenger] has gone before”. SpaceX recently announced that they have booked the world’s first private flight to the moon. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk promised in early 2017 that two tourists would take to the stars by the end of of 2018. Musk hinted that the potential passengers had already paid significant deposits and would begin training for their flights later that year. The passengers were originally supposed to be aboard the Falcon Heavy carrying a Dragon capsule and take off from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral. It now appears that the promised passenger will fly in SpaceX’s to-be-revealed... Read more...
Facebook has been embroiled in an almost obscene amount of controversy this past week, as governments begin to ask the social networking giant how a third-party firm managed to acquire comprehensive details on 50 million of its users. A year ago, the idea that Facebook was abused to steer the US election could have been considered a conspiracy, but now, it's widely believed to be likely. Not long after this story originally broke, there was an immediate uptick in the number of people deciding to close or delete their Facebook account. Before long, #DeleteFacebook became a trending hashtag, and it's growing momentum. For a regular user to delete their Facebook account, it may not seem very dramatic.... Read more...
Fresh off the historic launch of Falcon Heavy earlier this year, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is once again making big claims about what he wants to do next with his company. While speaking at the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas over the weekend, Musk claimed that SpaceX will launch a spacecraft towards Mars as soon as next year. “I can tell you what I know currently is the case is that we are building the first ship, the first Mars interplanetary ship right now,” said Musk. “And I think we’ll be able to do short flights, sort of up-and-down flights, probably some time in the first half of next year." Musk is known for his wildly optimistic projections with regards to launches... Read more...
Just a little over a week after making history with the successful launch of Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is once again in the news. This time around, the company has gained FCC approval to lay the groundwork for a satellite-based internet service called Starlink. When we think of satellite internet, problems with latency often crop into our minds. This is because traditional satellites that are capable of delivering internet and TV service operate in a geostationary orbit (GEO) at an altitude of around 36,000 kilometers. However, the satellites that will form the backbone off Starlink will orbit the earth at an altitude of around 1,200 kilometers. This will drastically cut the latency measured from... Read more...
Well, SpaceX has done it! The company's monstrous Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off from the LC-39A launchpad at Cape Canaveral this afternoon, sending CEO Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster on an elliptical orbit around the Sun and Mars. There were many unanswered questions before the launch and skepticism, with Murk especially worried about vibrations and the interplay between the three boosters at launch. However, things apparently went off without a hitch. As scheduled, two of the Falcon 9 boosters performed boost back burns once separated from the central booster, and made perfect simultaneous landings back at Cape Canaveral Air Force based on the Landing Zone 1 and Landing Zone 2 pads. The... Read more...
All eyes will be on Cape Canaveral early Tuesday afternoon when SpaceX will attempt to launch its long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket. The company's existing Falcon 9 rocket is pretty much a known quantity at this point, and had a stellar record in 2017. However, strapping together what are essentially three Falcon 9 cores and launching the whole shebang into space is an incredible engineering feat that even SpaceX CEO Elon Musk isn't certain that his company can pull off tomorrow. However, if everything does go according to plan, SpaceX will attempt another first -- it will try to recover all three boosters after successfully pushing its payload into orbit. According to SpaceX, the two side boosters... Read more...
We finally have an official launch date, and if all goes according to plan, Falcon Heavy will [hopefully] blast off from the LC-39A launchpad on February 6th, 2018. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed the exciting news earlier today via Twitter. The first launch of Falcon Heavy has been in the works for years. SpaceX had originally hoped to get the heavy-lift vehicle off the ground in 2013, which was then later pushed to 2014. And now here we are in 2018 with the first flight less than two weeks away. Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy. Easy viewing from the public causeway. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 27, 2018 This past Wednesday,... Read more...
Falcon Heavy has passed another critical milestone on the way to its maiden flight. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter this afternoon that Falcon Heavy the static fire "was good" and that it generated "quite a thunderhead of steam" in the process. Falcon Heavy hold-down firing this morning was good. Generated quite a thunderhead of steam. Launching in a week or so. pic.twitter.com/npaqatbNir— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 24, 2018 The Falcon Heavy is a towering presence, sitting in all its monstrous glory on the LC-39A launchpad -- the very same launchpad that was used to send astronauts to the moon courtesy of Saturn V rockets. Falcon Heavy consists of three primary Falcon 9 cores, each... Read more...
SpaceX was sent into defense mode last week after the Zuma spy satellite, which blasted off from Cape Canaveral aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, failed to achieve orbit. The satellite reportedly tumbled back to earth, breaking apart during re-entry. However, the U.S. Air Force this week is giving a vote of confidence to SpaceX, seemingly backing up the company's claims of not being at fault. Lieutenant General John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, providing the following statement to Bloomberg. “Based on the data available, our team did not identify any information that would change SpaceX’s Falcon 9 certification status” following a “preliminary review... Read more...
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