A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4:39 a.m. PDT (7:39 a.m. EDT; 1139 GMT) Wednesday, and SpaceX successfully landed the rocket’s first stage on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. The mission’s primary objective is the deployment of 10 Iridium Next communications satellites into low Earth orbit.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 1:50 a.m. EDT (0550 GMT) Sunday with the Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite, a powerhouse spacecraft designed to beam broadband and in-flight WiFi signals across the Americas and the North Atlantic. The rocket’s first stage successfully landed at sea aboard SpaceX’s drone ship.
SpaceX is preparing this week for the second flight of the upgraded “Block 5” version of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, and a hold-down firing of the booster was accomplished Wednesday at Cape Canaveral ahead of a middle-of-the-night launch this weekend with a Canadian-owned commercial communications satellite. The static fire test occurred at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) Wednesday.
A commercial Cygnus resupply craft that received a new corporate owner while berthed at the International Space Station — thanks to Northrop Grumman’s acquisition of Orbital ATK in June — departed the research complex Sunday. The supply ship was released by Canadarm 2 on the space station at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT).
Rocket Lab called off a launch attempt Tuesday, U.S. time, in New Zealand after encountering a technical problem during the countdown for the company’s first commercial satellite launch. Tuesday’s countdown came after a four-day delay to resolve problems with a downrange tracking station and wait for improved weather.
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).