May 15, 2021
Falcon 9

Live coverage: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center

May 15, 2021

SpaceX launched its fifth Falcon 9 rocket in 22 days on Saturday, beginning 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 occurred at 6:56 p.m. EDT (2256 GMT), and SpaceX successfully landed the first stage on a drone ship 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.

  • Watch our interview with two International Space Station astronauts

    May 14, 2021

    Spaceflight Now editor Stephen Clark spoke live to International Space Station astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur about their mission Friday.

  • 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.

  • Russian actress, Japanese entrepreneur cleared for space station visits

    May 13, 2021

    Russian actress Yulia Peresild and filmmaker Klim Shipenko will join cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov for a Soyuz flight to the International Space Station on Oct. 5 to shoot scenes for an upcoming movie, the Russian space agency announced Thursday.

  • Long-time Kennedy Space Center director to take job at NASA Headquarters

    May 12, 2021

    Former space shuttle commander Bob Cabana, who has led NASA’s Kennedy Space Center since 2008, will take a new job in Washington as the space agency’s No. 3 official next week.

  • U.S. military warning sentinel attached to Atlas 5 rocket at Cape Canaveral

    May 12, 2021

    United Launch Alliance crews at Cape Canaveral have topped off an Atlas 5 rocket for liftoff Monday with the U.S. military’s next infrared sentinel to join a satellite fleet designed detect missile launches around the world.

  • NASA, Axiom sign agreements moving ahead with first commercial station visit

    May 10, 2021

    NASA and Houston-based Axiom Space have signed a “mission order” setting the stage for four civilians to visit to the International Space Station early next year, the first fully commercial flight to the orbiting lab complex, agency managers said Monday.

  • NASA chief criticizes China for uncontrolled rocket re-entry

    May 10, 2021

    NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Saturday that China is failing to meet “responsible standards” on space debris after a massive Long March rocket stage fell back to Earth over the Indian Ocean in an uncontrolled re-entry that is likely to be repeated with additional launches next year.

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