July 21, 2018
Falcon 9

Record-setting commercial satellite awaits blastoff from Cape Canaveral

July 21, 2018

A huge U.S.-built, Canadian-owned communications satellite weighing 15,600 pounds, the heaviest spacecraft of its kind ever launched, is mounted to a Falcon 9 rocket for liftoff early Sunday from Cape Canaveral on a heavy-lifting mission that previously would have required SpaceX to throw away the launcher’s first stage booster.

  • Live coverage: SpaceX prepares to launch heavyweight Canadian telecom satellite

    July 21, 2018

    SpaceX’s launch team at Cape Canaveral is preparing for liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket at 1:50 a.m. EDT (0550 GMT) Sunday with the Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite, a powerhouse spacecraft designed to beam broadband and in-flight WiFi signals across the Americas and the North Atlantic.

  • Launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe rescheduled for Aug. 6

    July 20, 2018

    The launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, on the verge of kicking off a seven-year mission culminating in passages through the sun’s atmosphere, has been delayed to Aug. 6 to resolve a technical snag encountered during encapsulation of the spacecraft inside the nose shroud of its United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket.

  • Video: SpaceX rocket lights engines in pre-flight test

    July 19, 2018

    Passing a major pre-flight milestone ahead of a launch and landing planned early Sunday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ignited its main engines Wednesday for a hold-down firing at Cape Canaveral.

  • Falcon 9 rocket test-fired for weekend launch

    July 18, 2018

    Nine Merlin engines on the first stage of SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 rocket briefly fired up on a Cape Canaveral launch pad Wednesday, and the launcher cleared a customary pre-flight checkout in preparation for liftoff early Sunday with a Canadian-owned communications satellite.

  • Rapid-fire engine tests raise hopes for DARPA’s planned reusable spaceplane

    July 18, 2018

    A series of unprecedented back-to-back test-firings of a rocket engine originally developed for NASA’s space shuttle concluded earlier this month, giving engineers data crucial to achieving rapid 24-hour turnarounds planned for a U.S. military-funded reusable winged booster under construction at Boeing, government and industry officials said.

  • Blue Origin performs high-altitude test of crew escape motor

    July 18, 2018

    Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard booster launched Wednesday on an uncrewed test flight, sending a capsule on a brief jaunt into space over West Texas to demonstrate a key safety feature for space tourists and scientists riding on the company’s future rockets.

  • Live coverage: SpaceX’s second upgraded “Block 5” booster test-fired in Florida

    July 18, 2018

    SpaceX is preparing this week for the second flight of the upgraded “Block 5” version of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, and a hold-down firing of the booster was accomplished Wednesday at Cape Canaveral ahead of a middle-of-the-night launch this weekend with a Canadian-owned commercial communications satellite. The static fire test occurred at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) Wednesday.

  • Powerful new European solid-fueled rocket motor aces first test-firing

    July 16, 2018

    European engineers test-fired the world’s most powerful present-day single-segment solid rocket booster Monday in French Guiana, clearing a major development hurdle for the Vega-C and Ariane 6 launchers set for debuts in 2019 and 2020.

  • Scotland site selected as launch base for Lockheed Martin, Orbex

    July 16, 2018

    Two companies — U.S. aerospace giant Lockheed Martin and British start-up Orbex — seeking to carve out a share of the burgeoning small satellite launch market plan to fly their rockets from a remote site on the northern shore of Scotland, British government and industry officials announced Monday.

  • Cygnus cargo ship released from space station, heads for extended mission

    July 15, 2018

    Closing out 52 days at the International Space Station, an automated Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft left the research outpost Sunday to climb into a higher orbit for deployment of six CubeSats and further engineering experiments, before de-orbiting over Pacific Ocean later this month.

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