April 16, 2021
Falcon 9

NASA, SpaceX clear crew capsule for launch next week

April 15, 2021

NASA and SpaceX officials are moving forward with preparations to launch the next commercial Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station next week after a Flight Readiness Review Thursday, pending a final evaluation of a discovery by SpaceX that it has potentially been loading slightly more propellant than expected into its Falcon 9 rockets.

  • Blue Origin practices crew operations on suborbital test flight

    April 14, 2021

    Blue Origin, the space company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, took another step toward launching people to the edge of space Wednesday with a test flight of its New Shepard booster and crew capsule over West Texas. “It’s time,” Bezos wrote on Instagram after the flight, suggesting Blue Origin plans to move forward with suborbital launches carrying human passengers above the atmosphere.

  • Arianespace announces competition for free nanosatellite launch

    April 14, 2021

    Arianespace announced this week it is organizing a contest open to startups, labs, and universities for a free launch of a nanosatellite on a future rideshare mission, likely on an Ariane 6 or Vega rocket.

  • Astrobotic selects SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch robotic lunar lander

    April 13, 2021

    A commercial lunar lander built by Astrobotic will launch from the Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in late 2023 to deliver a water-hunting NASA rover to the moon’s south pole, officials announced Tuesday.

  • Blue Origin to rehearse for human passengers on suborbital flight

    April 13, 2021

    Finally on the cusp of launching people to the edge of space, Blue Origin plans to use a suborbital test flight of its New Shepard booster and crew capsule Wednesday to rehearse boarding and recovery procedures for future missions with paying passengers.

  • Northrop Grumman servicer docks with active satellite in geosynchronous orbit

    April 13, 2021

    Northrop Grumman’s second robotic life extension spacecraft docked with an Intelsat satellite in geosynchronous orbit Monday, the first link-up between a commercial servicing mission and an operational communications craft.

  • China launches experimental Shiyan satellite

    April 13, 2021

    China launched the third in a series of experimental Shiyan 6 satellites April 8 aboard a Long March 4B rocket, beginning a mission to test new space technologies, including a new super-black coating to absorb stray light and improve the sensitivity of on-board optics.

  • Mars helicopter needs a software update before attempting first flight

    April 12, 2021

    NASA said Monday the Ingenuity helicopter needs a software update to resolve a problem that cut short the drone’s rotor startup sequence on Mars last week, postponing the craft’s first flight in the Red Planet’s atmosphere until later this month.

  • April 12 marks 60 years since Gagarin’s spaceflight, 40 years since shuttle debut

    April 12, 2021

    Sixty years ago Monday, a 27-year-old Russian test pilot named Yuri Gagarin strapped into a Vostok capsule in Central Asia and rode into orbit atop a launcher derived from a Soviet nuclear missile, becoming the first human to travel into the void of space. Twenty years later, in 1981, the era of reusable spacecraft dawned with the first launch of NASA’s space shuttle.

  • Soyuz crew welcomed aboard International Space Station

    April 9, 2021

    NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two cosmonauts blasted off from Kazakhstan Friday and docked with the International Space Station after a two-orbit chase, the first step in a record crew rotation requiring two launches and two landings with four different spacecraft in just three weeks.

  • Live coverage: Soyuz launches with next space station crew

    April 9, 2021

    Veteran Russian commander Oleg Novitskiy, rookie flight engineer Pyotr Dubrov, and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei launched into orbit Friday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:42 a.m. EDT (0742 GMT). The crew members rode a Soyuz capsule in pursuit of the International Space Station, where docking occurred at 7:05 a.m. EDT (1105 GMT).

  • NASA astronaut, two cosmonauts set for launch to space station

    April 8, 2021

    NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two Russian cosmonauts will ride a Soyuz ferry ship to the International Space Station early Friday, the first step in a record crew rotation requiring two launches and two landings with four different spacecraft in just three weeks.

  • SpaceX launches its 100th mission from Florida’s Space Coast

    April 7, 2021

    A Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Wednesday with another batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites, achieving success on SpaceX’s 100th mission to launch from Florida’s Space Coast and clearing the way for liftoff of a NASA crew mission to the International Space Station later this month.

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