A commercial moon craft developed by the Japanese company ispace is awaiting launch from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will send it on a five-month trajectory culminating in a lunar landing attempt next year, an achievement that could make ispace the first private company to accomplish the feat.
After a launch attempt earlier in the week was scrubbed due to bad weather, SpaceX sent a Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station Saturday with nearly four tons of supplies and experiments. Liftoff on a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center occurred at 2:20 p.m. EST (1920 GMT).
Despite a bleak weather forecast, SpaceX took advantage of a break in cloud cover over Cape Canaveral Tuesday night to launch a Falcon 9 rocket with the Eutelsat 10B satellite, a high-throughput relay platform to beam in-flight WiFi signals and maritime data services across a coverage zone from the North Atlantic to the Middle East. SpaceX did not attempt to recover the Falcon 9’s first stage booster.
SpaceX’s oldest active Falcon 9 rocket booster, in service since 2018, made its final flight at 9:57 p.m. EST Tuesday (0257 GMT Wednesday) to deliver a Eutelsat broadband communications satellite into orbit on a mission to provide internet services to airplanes and ships across the North Atlantic, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. A launch attempt Monday night was scrubbed a couple of hours before liftoff.
A 12,000-pound European broadband communications satellite designed to beam internet signals to airplanes and ships is ready to rocket into a high-altitude orbit from Cape Canaveral Monday night, marking the 11th and final flight for SpaceX’s oldest active Falcon 9 booster. The rocket will devote all of its lift capability to deploying the Eutelsat 10B satellite into as high of an orbit as possible.
SpaceX launched one of its reusable Falcon 9 rocket boosters for the last time Saturday on a rare expendable mission for Intelsat, devoting all of the launcher’s propellant toward placing a pair of television broadcasting satellites into orbit. Intelsat says it paid SpaceX an additional fee for the expendable mission.