A senior SpaceX official said this week that “heat damage” led to the failure of a Falcon 9 booster during a landing attempt Feb. 15, but the company will press on with more launches and will likely surpass the 10-flight threshold on one of its reusable rockets soon. The next Falcon 9 launch, using a booster flying on its eighth mission, is scheduled for liftoff from Florida with 60 more Starlink internet satellites Sunday night.
A 29-year-old cancer survivor, now a physician’s assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will blast off aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule later this year for a flight dedicated to raising money for the Memphis medical center. It will be the first orbital spaceflight with no professional astronauts on board.
An Antares launcher rocketed into orbit Saturday from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, deploying a Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship carrying nearly 8,400 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station, the the most massive collection of payloads ever flown to the research outpost on a U.S. commercial freighter.