Items tagged with SpaceX

SpaceX swung for the fences this weekend, and it came up with a homerun -- twice. The company successfully launched and recovered two rockets within a 48-hour period span of time. The first launch occurred on Friday, when SpaceX’s second ever recycled Falcon 9 booster was used to put a satellite into orbit for Bulgarian TV service provider Bulsatcom. This particular booster was first used in January to put 10 Iridium satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO). Considering that the initial launch occurred in January and we are now in June, SpaceX is getting much better at its refurbishment process for the Falcon 9 booster (there was roughly a year between the first and second launches of the... Read more...
SpaceX just hit another milestone. SpaceX yesterday launched its first recycled Dragon capsule with the Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). This was also the eleventh successful Falcon 9 booster landing. The spacecraft was launched June 3rd after a two-day delay due to thunderstorms. SpaceX launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This was the 100th launch from 39A, the launch site of the Apollo moon missions as well as NASA’s last shuttle. The Falcon rocket was brand new, but will be reused. It returned to Kennedy Space Center with a stellar vertical touchdown. SpaceX launched its first recycled booster two months ago and... Read more...
SpaceX has pulled it off again. The company had another successful rocket launch as part of its NROL-76 mission. The Falcon 9 blasted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with a top-secret spy satellite in its payload compartment that was commissioned by the National Reconnaissance Office. Given the classified nature of the launch, we were denied access to many specific details relating to the launch, and the feed of the second stage was cut shortly after it separated from the Falcon 9 first stage. We should also note that this was first big U.S. Department of Defense contract for SpaceX, and given the successful launch, we expect that SpaceX’s launch schedule will... Read more...
Elon Musk and SpaceX continue to defy the odds and give us all hope for the future of manned space travel. Back in early April 2016, a Falcon 9 booster rocket was used for CRS-8, a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The Falcon 9 used in that mission was the second successful recovery of a booster rocket by SpaceX, as it landed without incident on a floating drone ship recently. Over the past year, SpaceX has been refurbishing the booster, preparing it for a return-to-flight. The booster rocket was stress tested and its engines were test-fired on a number of occasions to ensure that it could successfully launch cargo into space (again). Today, SpaceX made us all believers... Read more...
SpaceX is taking the concept of “reduce-reuse-recycle” to another level. The aerospace manufacturer plans to reuse one of its previously-flown Falcon 9 stage one boosters for an upcoming launch. SpaceX has so far returned seven boosters to Earth, but has yet to reuse any of them in a subsequent mission. Elon Musk stated last April that, “In order for us to really open up access to space, we’ve got to achieve full and rapid reusability. And being able to do that for the primary rocket booster is going to be a huge impact on cost.” SpaceX’s latest customer is Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES. The plan is to launch its geostationary satellite, the SES-10. It has taken SpaceX eleven months... Read more...
“Fly me to the moon / Let me play among the stars.” Those famous lyrics from Frank Sinatra’s song “Fly Me To The Moon” have only been applicable to a select few astronauts during the 1960s and 70s. But SpaceX is looking to send two paying tourists in a trajectory around the moon as early as next year. “Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration,” explained SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. According to Musk, these two [unnamed] individuals have “already paid a significant deposit” to partake on the voyage. Initial training for the mission will begin later in 2017, during... Read more...
After a scuttled attempt on Saturday, SpaceX just successfully launched and landed the Falcon 9 at NASA’s historic Launch Complex 39A. Their current mission is to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). This was SpaceX’s first Florida launch since its rocket explosion last summer. The launch and landing were textbook perfect. The company's Dragon spacecraft was deployed from the rocket right on schedule and will arrive at the ISS on February 22nd around 9am EST. Musk excitedly posted a photo of the Falcon 9’s landing on Instagram with the caption, “Baby came back”. Footage of Falcon 9 launch on February 19th, 2017; Courtesy of NASA SpaceX halted their countdown yesterday with a mere thirteen... Read more...
Elon Musk is boring. No, he really is. The brilliant business magnate just released a first glimpse of his boring machine that he intends to use to tunnel under the streets of Los Angeles. Late last night Musk tweeted an image of a large boring machine with the cutting head unattached with the caption “Minecraft”. Last week workers were spotted excavating a test trench 30 feet wide, 50 feet long, and 15 feet deep in front of SpaceX’s Los Angeles headquarters. The excavation's current location corresponds with Musk’s wish of developing a seven mile tunnel between the 105 freeway and the entrance of SpaceX’s headquarters. It is unclear whether Musk constructed the boring machine or is retrofitting... Read more...
  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 network. Not only did SpaceX complete its primary mission for Iridium, but its secondary goal of successfully... 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 batch of satellites will grow to encompass a “constellation” of at least 70 satellites that will... 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 here is to use these satellites to provide internet to all sorts of users - home and business... 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 one was injured. SpaceX has sifted through 3,000 different channels of telemetry and video data in order... 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 clear of all personnel, so while the craft was destroyed, there were absolutely no injuries to report.... 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 surprisingly, those in close proximity to the launch facilities took to Twitter to not only post pictures,... Read more...
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