March 6, 2021
Mission Reports

Perseverance rover aces first test drive on Mars

March 5, 2021

Two weeks into its mission of exploration on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover is doing an “exceptional job” and has completed its first test drive, mission managers said Friday.

  • Next Crew Dragon launch set for April 22

    March 5, 2021

    NASA and SpaceX have set April 22 as the target launch date for the next Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station. The four-person crew will be the first to ride a previously-flown Falcon 9 booster and a reused Dragon spacecraft, and a NASA official said this week that the launcher and capsule are in “really good shape” as refurbishment wraps up at Cape Canaveral.

  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter camera spots Perseverance rover after landing

    March 5, 2021

    A high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted the Perseverance rover after landing on the Red Planet last month, showing the nuclear-powered robot sitting on the Martian surface with its supersonic parachute and other landing system components scattered nearby.

  • Rubins and Noguchi assemble solar array support fixtures outside space station

    March 5, 2021

    NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi, a Japanese astronaut who last walked in space more than 15 years ago, ventured outside the International Space Station Friday and completed assembly of two solar array support fixtures, part of a $100 million power system upgrade.

  • SpaceX sticks 75th Falcon rocket landing after launching 60 more Starlink satellites

    March 4, 2021

    Launching through a blanket of low-hanging clouds and light mist, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered into the sky over Florida’s Space Coast early Thursday and delivered 60 more Starlink internet satellites to orbit. The rocket’s first stage touched down on SpaceX’s floating landing platform in the Atlantic Ocean to complete its eighth trip to space and back.

  • Live coverage: SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites

    March 4, 2021

    After a terminal countdown abort Sunday night, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with the next 60 Starlink internet satellites Thursday at 3:24 a.m. EST (0824 GMT). The Falcon 9 took off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, and its first stage booster successfully landed on SpaceX’s offshore drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Launch companies, range teams reassessing Cape Canaveral weather rules

    March 3, 2021

    Launch companies and U.S. Space Force range officials at Cape Canaveral are reassessing long-standing weather rules, looking at beefing up rocket defenses against lightning, and considering strategies to prepare for two different launch windows on a given day to guard against weather delays, something SpaceX may demonstrate with a Falcon 9 launch early Thursday.

  • SpaceX nails Starship landing, but rocket explodes minutes later

    March 3, 2021

    The latest prototype of SpaceX’s  Starship launch vehicle — Starship SN10 — took off from the company’s South Texas test site and flew to an altitude of more than 30,000 feet Wednesday, then descended to a controlled vertical landing after two previous test vehicles crashed at touchdown. Minutes later, the 16-story test rocket exploded in a fireball, but the test flight appeared to be a major step forward in the early stages of the Starship program.

  • Boeing’s next Starliner test flight delayed after SpaceX crew rotation

    March 2, 2021

    An unpiloted test flight of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule to the International Space Station will be delayed from its previous target launch date of April 2 until at least May, after the arrivals of Russian Soyuz and SpaceX Crew Dragon ships bringing fresh crew members to the orbiting complex, NASA officials said Monday.

  • Component fatigue caused early shutdown of Merlin engine on last SpaceX launch

    March 1, 2021

    SpaceX has concluded fatigue on an engine cover caused one of the nine Merlin 1D first stage engines on the company’s most recent launch to shut down early during ascent, leading to the loss of the booster during an offshore landing attempt in the Atlantic Ocean, an official said Monday.

  • Parker Solar Probe pulls back the veil on Venus’s night side

    February 28, 2021

    An ultra-sensitive camera on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe caught an ethereal glimpse of the night side of Venus during a flyby last year, revealing terrain seen through the thick haze of the planet’s atmosphere.

  • Live coverage: SpaceX delays Falcon 9 launch to Thursday morning

    February 28, 2021

    SpaceX will not be making a Falcon 9 launch attempt Tuesday night. The next opportunities to launch the Falcon 9 with 60 Starlink satellites from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center will come at 3:24 a.m. EST (0824 GMT) or 5:42 a.m. EST (0942 GMT) Thursday. This change in launch time suggests SpaceX will target a different orbital plane within the Starlink constellation.

  • Astronauts complete spacewalk to prep for station power system upgrades

    February 28, 2021

    Two astronauts floated outside the International Space Station Sunday for the first in a series of spacewalks to upgrade the lab’s aging solar power system, assembling a support fixture that eventually will hold a new solar blanket.

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