SpaceX aces 27th Falcon 9 rocket flight of the year, a new record – Spaceflight Now

A Falcon 9 rocket streaks into the sky over Florida’s Space Coast on Thursday night. Credit: Michael Cain / Spaceflight Now SpaceX set a new record Thursday for the most missions by the company’s Falcon rocket family in a year, successfully sending a cargo of 48 Starlink internet satellites and two BlackSky optical Earth-imaging spacecraft … Read more

SpaceX ready for first launch with NASA interplanetary mission – Spaceflight Now

NASA’s DART spacecraft was encapsulated inside the payload fairing of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Nov. 16. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman A small NASA spacecraft set to launch on a collision course with an asteroid has been encapsulated inside the payload fairing of its Falcon 9 rocket for blastoff from California this week, … Read more

Two trajectories to Mars by the 2030s

In a Nov. 8, 2021 op-ed, “When will we finally set foot on Mars?” we argued that NASA should provide greater clarity and definition concerning how humanity will return to the Moon by the mid-2020s and then go to Mars by the mid-2030s. Since then, NASA Administrator Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonWhy science and religion … Read more

Cygnus cargo freighter ends mission at International Space Station – Spaceflight Now

In this view from a camera on the space station’s robotic arm, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo ship departs after a three-month stay at the complex. Credit: NASA TV / Spaceflight Now A Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship departed the International Space Station Saturday after a three-month stay, heading off on the final phase of its … Read more

SpaceX is about to break its own annual launch record – Spaceflight Now

File photo showing Falcon 9 rockets on pad 40 and pad 39A on Florida’s Space Coast. Credit: SpaceX After a lull in launch activity the last few months, SpaceX plans to close out 2021 with a spurt of missions from all three of the company’s active launch pads in Florida and California, with five or … Read more

Japanese Epsilon rocket launches nine small satellites – Spaceflight Now

The fifth Epsilon rocket blasts off from the Uchinoura Space Center on Nov. 9 (Japanese time). Credit: JAXA A Japanese Epsilon rocket launched nine small satellites into orbit Nov. 8, deploying technology to prove out ways to eliminate space debris, a miniature lab for biological experiments, and a potpourri of pathfinder probes to test new … Read more

NASA clears next SpaceX crew mission for launch, pending review of toilet system – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft moved over the weekend to the hangar near pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where ground teams will mate it to a Falcon 9 rocket for liftoff Oct. 31. Credit: SpaceX NASA managers at Kennedy Space Center gave the go-ahead Monday to continue preparations for a Halloween launch of … Read more

NASA targets February launch for Artemis 1 moon mission – Spaceflight Now

The 74,000-pound Orion spacecraft was lifted inside the Vehicle Assembly Building this week, and mounted to the top of the Space Launch System. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux With NASA’s powerful new 322-foot-tall moon rocket fully stacked at Kennedy Space Center, managers said Friday that Feb. 12 is the soonest the unpiloted Artemis 1 mission could blast … Read more

SpaceX is adding two more Crew Dragons to its fleet – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft docked at the International Space Station on May 1, 2021. Credit: NASA SpaceX is about to double the size of its fleet of Crew Dragon spaceships. The company is debuting a new spacecraft for a NASA launch later this month, and is building a fourth human-rated capsule that should be … Read more

Stacking of Orion spacecraft caps assembly of first Artemis moon rocket – Spaceflight Now

The Orion spacecraft for the Artemis 1 mission is lowered on top of its Space Launch System rocket Oct. 20 inside High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux Technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center worked overnight Wednesday to tighten 360 bolts connecting the Orion spacecraft for the Artemis 1 moon mission … Read more