Rocket Lab’s first commercial flight of its privately-developed Electron satellite booster was planned Friday, U.S. time, from the company’s launch base in New Zealand, carrying a suite of satellites for U.S. and German companies and educational institutions. But problems with a downrange ground station forced officials to scrub the launch, and Rocket Lab has decided to wait for improved weather. Liftoff is set for no earlier than 8:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday (0030 GMT Wednesday).
SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket with a previously-flown first stage booster carrying the SES 12 communications satellite, an all-electric, multi-band video and data relay platform to serve the Asia-Pacific region. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral occurred at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 GMT), and SpaceX did not plan to recover the first stage.
A three-man crew departed the International Space Station on Sunday, concluding more than five months aboard the orbiting research complex and heading for landing in Kazakhstan. Undocking of the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft occurred at 0916 GMT (5:16 a.m. EDT), and the trio landed on the Kazakh steppe at 1239 GMT (8:39 a.m. EDT).
SpaceX has delayed the launch of the SES 12 communications satellite until shortly after midnight Friday at Cape Canaveral, allowing teams additional time to complete pre-launch vehicle checks and wait for improved weather conditions. The launch, which was previously set for Thursday, is expected around 12:29 a.m. EDT (0429 GMT) Friday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Tuesday with five communications satellites for Iridium’s commercial voice, data relay, and tracking network, and a pair of U.S.-German research craft to probe Earth’s climate and water cycle. Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, occurred at 12:47 p.m. PDT (3:47 p.m. EDT; 1947 GMT).
Three days after launching from the Virginia coastline, an Orbital ATK Cygnus supply ship completed its final approach to the International Space Station on Thursday with more than 7,000 pounds of cargo and experiments. The automated freighter was captured by the station’s robotic arm at 5:26 a.m. EDT (0926 GMT).
SpaceX launched the first of the company’s upgraded generation of Falcon 9 launchers, known as Block 5, from the Kennedy Space Center on Friday at 4:14 p.m. EDT (2014 GMT). The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off with Bangladesh’s first communications satellite, and SpaceX recovered the rocket’s first stage on a vessel in the Atlantic Ocean.
A SpaceX Dragon capsule is wrapping up a month-long mission Saturday. The spaceship departed the International Space Station at 9:23 a.m. EDT (1323 GMT), and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at approximately 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) with nearly two tons of experiment specimens and hardware, including a habitat of mice and Robonaut 2, an experimental humanoid robot in need of repairs.