After a 24-hour delay due to poor weather, an air-launched Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket fired into orbit at 9:59 p.m. EDT Thursday (0159 GMT Friday) after release from a carrier jet at an altitude of 39,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral. The Pegasus rocket carried NASA’s ICON satellite into orbit to collect measurements of the ionosphere.
A Russian Proton rocket lifted off at 1017 GMT (6:17 a.m. EDT) Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodorme in Kazakhstan. After a marathon 16-hour-long launch sequence, the Proton and its Breeze M upper stage will deploy the Eutelsat 5 West B video broadcast satellite and a robotic satellite servicing payload aiming to attempt the first-ever docking in geosynchronous orbit.
A Russian commander, his NASA co-pilot and the first Emirati to fly in space returned to Earth Thursday with a fiery re-entry inside the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft on the way to an on-target parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan at 6:59 a.m. EDT (1059 GMT), a few hours after undocking from the International Space Station.
A Soyuz rocket with a three-person crew heading for the International Space Station lifted off at 1357 GMT (9:57 a.m. EDT) Wednesday in the final launch currently scheduled from Gagarin’s Start, a historic site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan from where Yuri Gagarin departed on the first human spaceflight in 1961. Beginning next year, Soyuz crews will blast off from a different pad at Baikonur.
Two weeks after a launch pad fire forced a delay, a Japanese H-2B rocket lifted off Tuesday with an HTV cargo freighter to deliver upgraded batteries, experiments and provisions to the International Space Station. Liftoff from the Tanegashima Space Center occurred at 1605 GMT (12:05 p.m. EDT) Tuesday.
Russia’s unpiloted Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft departed the International Space Station at 2:14 p.m. EDT (1814 GMT) and landed in Kazakhstan at 5:32 p.m. EDT (2132 GMT) Friday to conclude a nearly 16-day test flight. The spacecraft carried Russia’s Skybot F-850 robot back to Earth after completing a series of tests with Russian cosmonauts on the station.
After assessing any damage to the spaceport caused by Hurricane Dorian as it narrowly missed Florida’s east coast, NASA says the Kennedy Space Center will reopen for normal operations Friday. Teams rolled the Space Launch System’s mobile launch platform from pad 39B back into the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building last week for safekeeping during the storm.
A commercial Dragon cargo capsule is heading back to Earth Tuesday to conclude a 31-day stay at the International Space Station. The SpaceX-owned spacecraft was released from the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm at 10:59 a.m. EDT (1459 GMT), and the Dragon supply ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean with nearly 3,400 pounds of cargo at 4:21 p.m. EDT (2021 GMT).