Northrop Grumman announced Monday plans to acquire Orbital ATK, a company with a portfolio ranging from satellite manufacturing and orbital servicing to launch vehicles, missile defense and munitions, for approximately $9.2 billion, a combination officials promised will lead to better products at lower prices.
Returning home from more than a month in orbit, a SpaceX Dragon supply ship departed the International Space Station and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday with nearly two tons of research specimens and hardware, including mice sent up to investigate how spaceflight affects eyesight and locomotion.
China’s Tianzhou 1 freighter, a pathfinder for regular resupply and refueling trips to the country’s planned space station, wrapped up a series of successful propellant transfer tests with the orbiting Tiangong 2 space lab Saturday and detached from the module for more standalone experiments and a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship returned to to Earth on Sunday with more than 3,800 pounds of NASA cargo, research specimens and other hardware. The commercial capsule was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT), and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California occurred at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT).
This photo gallery shows the classified National Reconnaissance Office payload, already encapsulated in the 18-foot-diameter nose cone, being lifted atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas-Centaur rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 3-East pad. This milestone was achieved on Aug. 27.