October 24, 2021

SpaceX launches first national security mission on reused commercial rocket

June 17, 2021

A fresh GPS navigation beacon destined to replace a nearly 17-year-old satellite rode into orbit from Cape Canaveral on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Thursday, marking the first time risk-averse U.S. military space officials have agreed to launch a national security mission on a reused commercial booster.

Chinese astronauts enter Tiangong space station for first time

June 17, 2021

Three Chinese astronauts floated into the country’s new Tiangong space station Thursday, becoming the first people to board China’s outpost in orbit after a successful launch from a military base in the Gobi Desert to start a three-month mission.

Live coverage: SpaceX launches GPS satellite for U.S. Space Force

June 17, 2021

SpaceX launched a national security payload for the U.S. military Thursday for the first time using a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket booster. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with a GPS navigation satellite at 12:09 p.m. EDT (1609 GMT).

Live coverage: China launches first crew to new space station

June 16, 2021

Three Chinese astronauts launched at 9:22 p.m. EDT Wednesday (0122 GMT Thursday) aboard the Shenzhou 12 spacecraft. A Long March 2F rocket blasted off from northwest China and successfully carried the astronauts into orbit, setting the stage for their docking at the Tiangong space station about six hours later.

U.S. Space Force clears reused SpaceX rocket for launch with GPS satellite

June 16, 2021

Following years of planning, a GPS navigation satellite built by Lockheed Martin will be the first operational U.S. military payload to ride a reused SpaceX booster on a launch from Florida Thursday, laying the groundwork for future national security missions to save money by incorporating recycled rocket parts.

NASA bolts Space Launch System core stage to solid rocket boosters

June 16, 2021

The core stage for NASA’s first Space Launch System, the heavy-lift rocket designed to carry astronauts back to the moon, has been installed between two solid-fueled boosters on a mobile launch platform at the Kennedy Space Center for an unpiloted lunar test flight.

Spacewalkers run out of time before unrolling new space station solar array

June 16, 2021

Two astronauts floated outside the International Space Station Wednesday and attached a rolled-up solar array, the first of six intended to boost the lab’s power back to factory fresh levels. But a spacesuit glitch and then an interference issue with the array mechanism prevented them from extending the new panel as planned.

NRO satellites launched by Minotaur rocket with surplus missile parts

June 15, 2021

Three classified small satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office fired into orbit from the Eastern Shore of Virginia Tuesday, riding a Northrop Grumman Minotaur 1 booster with a surplus military missile first stage made in 1966, likely the oldest rocket part ever used on a space launch.

Live coverage: Minotaur 1 rocket launches from Virginia

June 15, 2021

A Minotaur 1 rocket derived from a decommissioned ballistic missile took off at 9:35 a.m. EDT (1335 GMT) Tuesday from Wallops Island, Virginia, after a weather delay of more than two-and-a-half hours. The four-stage, solid-fueled rocket carried three payloads into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office.

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