A modified Russian missile built for nuclear war blasted off on a peaceful mission Friday, targeting placement of a European Earth observation satellite in orbit to measure atmospheric chemistry and global air quality. Liftoff from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia occurred at 0927 GMT (5:27 a.m. EDT).
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:37 a.m. PDT (8:37 a.m. EDT; 1237 GMT) Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with the third set of 10 new-generation satellites for Iridium’s voice and data relay network. The Falcon 9’s first stage booster successfully landed on a platform in the Pacific Ocean a few minutes after liftoff.
A Russian Proton rocket lifted off Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with the AsiaSat 9 satellite destined to provide television broadcast, video networking and data delivery services over the Asia-Pacific region. Launch occurred at 1852:16 GMT (2:52:16 p.m. EDT), beginning a series of maneuvers expected to last nine hours before AsiaSat 9 is deployed from the rocket.
SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship returned to to Earth on Sunday with more than 3,800 pounds of NASA cargo, research specimens and other hardware. The commercial capsule was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT), and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California occurred at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT).