Bill Gerstenmaier, former director of spaceflight at NASA Headquarters and a widely respected aerospace engineer and manager, has taken a consulting position at SpaceX, the California rocket company NASA helped save in 2008 with the award of a $1.6 billion contract to build and launch space station cargo ships.
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SpaceX continues to launch Falcon 9 rockets from Launch Complex 39A in Florida as construction work advances on the nearby tower for the company’s next-generation Starship rocket. Overnight Tuesday, SpaceX rolled another Falcon 9 to pad 39A for liftoff with the next batch of Starlink internet satellites, just hours after another section of the Starship gantry tower arrived at the pad.
The departure at dawn of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Thursday sent aloft the U.S. military’s last Space Based Infrared System missile warning satellite, a $1.2 billion mission billed by the Space Force as a stepping stone to a new generation of more sensitive sentinels in the sky.