Returning to port late Thursday under the cover of darkness, SpaceX’s rocket recovery platform has moored at a dock in Jacksonville, Florida, for unloading of charred debris from Tuesday’s crash landing of a Falcon 9 booster.
Packed with an array of experiments and provisions, including a custom-made Italian espresso maker, SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo capsule reached the International Space Station on Friday after a precise laser-guided rendezvous more than 250 miles above Earth.
Barreling toward a July 14 flyby of Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has returned its first color image of the distant world and its moon Charon, whetting the appetites of scientists as the probe prepares to begin taking the best-ever photos of the Pluto system beginning next month.
The heavy-lift version of the United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan rocket will sell for half the price of today’s Delta 4-Heavy and a third of the price tag for the previous Titan 4, while offering a substantial increase in performance for nation’s largest defense spacecraft.
Hours after launching a batch of cargo and provisions to the International Space Station on Tuesday, SpaceX ground teams wheeled another Falcon 9 rocket into the hangar at Cape Canaveral for a commercial satellite launch set for April 27.
United Launch Alliance revealed its visionary approach to space exploration in the next decade courtesy of the Vulcan rocket’s new, long-duration upper stage that can be fitted with as many as four engines to perform cargo resupply and astronaut transportation to far-flung destinations.