Days after launching astronauts for the first time, SpaceX is set to resume a speedy cadence of satellite launches Wednesday night with liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s next batch of Starlink broadband relay stations.
Two launches of Chinese rockets Friday and Sunday successfully placed Earth-imaging and technology demonstration satellites into orbit. The two missions, which took off from different spaceports, flew board Long March 11 and Long March 2D rockets.
SpaceX’s first human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft took off Saturday from historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, launching NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on the first piloted orbital space mission from a U.S. spaceport in nearly a decade.
A Crew Dragon spaceship built and owned by SpaceX glided to an automated docking with the International Space Station Sunday, delivering NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the orbiting research complex after a trouble-free 19-hour flight from the Kennedy Space Center.
Hours after arriving in orbit, Dragon astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken completed their first manual flight test using touchscreen controls on the SpaceX’s new crew capsule, and revealed “Endeavour” as the name of their ship.
These photos show the 215-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft on pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, ready for launch on a test flight to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken when weather cooperates.
Mission managers are weighing a motley mix of weather models, safety criteria and astronaut workload considerations as they decide when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft might have the best chance to launch from the Kennedy Space Center.
A full-size prototype of SpaceX’s Starship violently exploded in South Texas moments after a test-firing of its Raptor engine Friday, dealing a setback to the company’s next-generation reusable rocket program.