Teams working in Northrop Grumman’s spacecraft factory in Southern California have connected the spacecraft and science modules of the James Webb Space Telescope for the first time, a major milestone as engineers prepare to verify a fix to tears in the observatory’s sunshield, and begin launch vibration and acoustic testing in the coming months.
Russian commander Oleg Kononenko, Canadian co-pilot David Saint-Jacques and NASA flight engineer Anne McClain closed out a 204-day mission in orbit Monday with an undocking from the International Space Station at 7:25 p.m. EDT (2325 GMT), followed by landing in Kazakhstan aboard their Soyuz MS-11 capsule at 10:47 p.m. EDT (0247 GMT Tuesday).
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fired through a dense shroud of coastal fog and climbed into orbit Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, deploying a trio of radar observation satellites to begin a $900 million mission surveying the Arctic, maritime waters, forests and farmland for the Canadian government.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 10:17:10 a.m. EDT (7:17:10 a.m. PDT; 1417:10 GMT) Wednesday with the Radarsat Constellation Mission for the Canadian government. The Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed back at Vandenberg around eight minutes later.