January 21, 2022

Live coverage: Virgin Orbit’s air-launched rocket to deploy seven smallsats in orbit

January 13, 2022

Virgin Orbit aims to build on two successful small satellite launches last year with another flight of its air-dropped rocket Thursday off the coast of California, this time carrying seven mini-payloads into low Earth orbit. The company’s Boeing 747 carrier aircraft departed Mojave Air and Space Port and released the LauncherOne rocket to begin its climb into orbit at 2:52 p.m. PST (5:52 p.m. EST; 2252 GMT).

Live coverage: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket with 105 satellites

January 13, 2022

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Thursday from Cape Canaveral with 105 satellites ranging from the size of a soda can to a washing machine. Liftoff occurred at 10:25 a.m. EST (1525 GMT), and the Falcon 9’s first stage booster returned to Florida’s Space Coast for a propulsive landing about eight-and-a-half minutes later.

Astronomers relieved with final Webb telescope deployment milestone

January 10, 2022

Still cruising toward its operating orbit nearly a million miles from Earth, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope completed a transformation into its final dimension Saturday with the last of some 50 post-launch deployments, the unfolding of the observatory’s 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror. Many engineers considered it the most complicated series of spacecraft deployments ever attempted.

First wing of Webb telescope’s primary mirror folds into place

January 7, 2022

One of the two wings holding three of the James Webb Space Telescope’s gold-coated mirror segments folded into place Friday, setting the stage for positioning of the other wing Saturday to complete the nearly $10 billion observatory’s major deployments.

Live coverage: SpaceX launches first mission of 2022

January 6, 2022

SpaceX’s first launch of 2022 took off Thursday afternoon, when a Falcon 9 rocket carried 49 more Starlink internet satellites into orbit. Launch from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center occurred at 4:49 p.m. EST (2149 GMT), and the Falcon 9 tracked southeast from Florida’s Space Coast just north of the Bahamas, rather than the more typical northeasterly route to orbit.

Webb’s secondary mirror successfully deployed

January 5, 2022

In another major milestone for the James Webb Space Telescope, a motor-driven tripod unfolded as planned Wednesday, moving a 2.4-foot-wide secondary mirror into position to reflect collected starlight back down to the instruments that will study it.

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