NASA has formally certified SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to launch all but the space agency’s most costly robotic science missions, beginning with a a U.S.-French oceanography satellite set for liftoff from California in July.
The U.S. Air Force has identified the launch of a next-generation GPS navigation satellite for the first in a series of competitive rocket procurements between United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, service officials announced Wednesday.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral on Monday after a 49-minute weather hold to wait for clouds to thin out overhead. The rocket finally lifted off into an overcast sky with a communications satellite built for Turkmenistan.
A communications satellite for Turkmenistan soared into orbit Monday, climbing through gloomy skies over Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to give the Central Asian nation its first foothold in space.
SpaceX engineers have narrowed the cause of last week’s unsuccessful landing of a Falcon 9 rocket booster on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean on a commanding issue with an engine throttle valve, according to Elon Musk, the company’s founder and chief executive.
Returning to port late Thursday under the cover of darkness, SpaceX’s rocket recovery platform has moored at a dock in Jacksonville, Florida, for unloading of charred debris from Tuesday’s crash landing of a Falcon 9 booster.
Hours after launching a batch of cargo and provisions to the International Space Station on Tuesday, SpaceX ground teams wheeled another Falcon 9 rocket into the hangar at Cape Canaveral for a commercial satellite launch set for April 27.