Two days after blasting off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX’s refurbished Dragon supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Monday with nearly 6,000 pounds of experiments and equipment. Grapple of Dragon by the station’s robot arm occurred at 9:52 a.m. EDT (1352 GMT).
A powerhouse communications satellite owned by Inmarsat has been fueled for liftoff on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Monday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to provide broadband links for passengers and crews aboard ships and airplanes, while technicians are loading space station-bound supplies into a commercial Dragon cargo capsule and preparing a Bulgarian telecom for launch on two other SpaceX boosters by mid-June.
In the final months of Europe’s LISA Pathfinder mission, scientists have found an unexpected use for the trailblazing testbed for a future gravitational wave observatory by tracking the tiny dings made by microscopic particles that strike the spacecraft in deep space, exploiting the impacts to learn about the population of dust grains cast off by comets and asteroids across the solar system.
NASA managers say the WFIRST mission, the next in the agency’s line of powerful observatories after the Hubble and James Webb telescopes, could cost around $3.2 billion after budgeting for a novel first-of-its-kind instrument to probe the make-up of planets around nearby stars and a bigger-than-expected launch vehicle.