SpaceX is gearing up this week for a hold-down test-firing in Florida of a Falcon 9 rocket set to launch the company’s Crew Dragon capsule on a test flight in February to the International Space Station. The Crew Dragon test flight is a precursor to the spaceship’s first mission with astronauts later this year.
United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4-Heavy rocket lifted off at 11:10 a.m. PST (2:10 p.m. EST; 1910 GMT) Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, after a month-long delay to troubleshoot a hydrogen leak in one of its boosters. The heavy-lifter was on a mission to send a U.S. government spy satellite into orbit.
The first of up to seven missions planned on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas and Delta rocket fleets this year is scheduled for Saturday from California’s Central Coast, when a Delta 4-Heavy is set for blastoff on a spy satellite delivery flight delayed a month to troubleshoot a hydrogen fuel leak in a booster.