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.
A Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral early Sunday with a high-power digital radio satellite for SiriusXM, marking SpaceX’s 18th Falcon 9 flight since Jan. 1, but just the third dedicated to external commercial customers in a year dominated by missions building out the company’s own Starlink internet network.
A SpaceX Cargo Dragon capsule wrapped up a two-day trip to the International Space Station Saturday with more than 7,300 pounds of hardware and supplies, including two upgraded solar arrays to augment the lab’s power system. The automated supply ship docked with the orbiting outpost at 5:09 a.m. EDT (0909 GMT).
In what’s become a rarity for SpaceX and its workhorse fleet of “flight-proven” hardware, a brand new Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo capsule are scheduled to launch Thursday on a NASA-contracted flight to deliver more than 7,300 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.