May 15, 2021

Live coverage: SpaceX counting down to launch from Kennedy Space Center

May 15, 2021

SpaceX will try to launch its fifth Falcon 9 rocket in 22 days on Saturday on a mission to deploy 52 more Starlink internet satellites and two rideshare payloads for Capella Space and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems. Liftoff from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is set for 6:56 p.m. EDT (2256 GMT), but SpaceX is monitoring conditions in the booster recovery area in the Atlantic Ocean.

Two BlackSky satellites lost on Rocket Lab launch failure

May 15, 2021

A Rocket Lab Electron launcher malfunctioned about two-and-a-half minutes after liftoff from New Zealand Saturday, destroying two BlackSky optical Earth-imaging satellites in the launch company’s second failed flight in less than a year.

Live coverage: Rocket Lab’s upper stage runs into trouble soon after launch

May 15, 2021

The 20th flight of a Rocket Lab Electron launcher appeared to run into trouble a few minutes after liftoff at 7:11 a.m. EDT (1111 GMT) Saturday from New Zealand, when video showed the rocket’s upper stage tumbling and shutting off its engine prematurely. The rocket was carrying two commercial BlackSky Earth observation satellites into orbit.

China lands its first probe on Mars

May 15, 2021

China’s space agency said Friday the country’s first Mars rover safely touched down and began sending data back to Earth, joining the United States as the only two nations to successfully land and operate a spacecraft on the surface of the Red Planet.

Rocket Lab ready for second booster recovery attempt

May 14, 2021

The scheduled launch Saturday of two commercial BlackSky Earth-imaging satellites from New Zealand will double as an opportunity for Rocket Lab to test an enhanced heat shield on its Electron booster, an upgrade that should allow the company to recover rockets in better condition for eventual reuse.

Chinese rover heads for landing on Mars

May 14, 2021

A Chinese rover outfitted with cameras, a weather station, and a sophisticated laser spectrometer could touch down on Mars as soon as Friday, a feat that would make China the second nation to successfully land and operate a spacecraft on the surface of the Red Planet.

SpaceX outlines plans for Starship orbital test flight

May 13, 2021

SpaceX has revealed the flight plan for the first orbital test launch of the company’s huge stainless steel Starship rocket, a 90-minute, around-the-world mission that will originate from South Texas and culminate with a controlled re-entry and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

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