NASA has formally certified SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to launch all but the space agency’s most costly robotic science missions, beginning with a a U.S.-French oceanography satellite set for liftoff from California in July.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral on Monday after a 49-minute weather hold to wait for clouds to thin out overhead. The rocket finally lifted off into an overcast sky with a communications satellite built for Turkmenistan.
A communications satellite for Turkmenistan soared into orbit Monday, climbing through gloomy skies over Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to give the Central Asian nation its first foothold in space.
SpaceX engineers have narrowed the cause of last week’s unsuccessful landing of a Falcon 9 rocket booster on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean on a commanding issue with an engine throttle valve, according to Elon Musk, the company’s founder and chief executive.
Returning to port late Thursday under the cover of darkness, SpaceX’s rocket recovery platform has moored at a dock in Jacksonville, Florida, for unloading of charred debris from Tuesday’s crash landing of a Falcon 9 booster.
Packed with an array of experiments and provisions, including a custom-made Italian espresso maker, SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo capsule reached the International Space Station on Friday after a precise laser-guided rendezvous more than 250 miles above Earth.