SpaceX is preparing this week for the second flight of the upgraded “Block 5” version of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, and a hold-down firing of the booster was accomplished Wednesday at Cape Canaveral ahead of a middle-of-the-night launch this weekend with a Canadian-owned commercial communications satellite. The static fire test occurred at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) Wednesday.
A commercial Cygnus resupply craft that received a new corporate owner while berthed at the International Space Station — thanks to Northrop Grumman’s acquisition of Orbital ATK in June — departed the research complex Sunday. The supply ship was released by Canadarm 2 on the space station at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT).
Russia’s Progress MS-09 cargo craft made a 3-hour, 40-minute trip from a launch pad in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on Monday, setting a record for the quickest journey to the orbiting research laboratory. Look back on the mission’s predawn launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and radar-guided docking at the space station with these images and videos.