A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B mini-shuttle, an unpiloted orbiting military laboratory. Liftoff occurred at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), and the Falcon 9’s first stage booster successfully landed at Cape Canaveral a few minutes later.
The launch of a European Ariane 5 rocket was aborted moments after its main engine ignited Tuesday. The dramatic last-second hold was the first time an Ariane rocket launch was aborted after engine start since March 2011. Arianespace has not set a new target launch date for the mission, which will loft two U.S.-built communications satellites for Intelsat and B-SAT.
A Russian Soyuz crew ferry craft departed the International Space Station and descended to an on-target landing in Kazakhstan on Saturday with a record-setting NASA astronaut, a veteran Russian cosmonaut and a former U.S. Air Force test pilot on-board. Undocking from the orbiting research complex occurred at 2158 GMT (5:58 p.m. EDT), with touchdown at 0121 GMT (9:21 p.m. EDT).
An Orbital ATK Minotaur 4 rocket partially powered by modified motors from a Cold War-era nuclear missile lifted off early Saturday from Cape Canaveral with a small U.S. military satellite to help track other objects in space. The solid-fueled launcher took off at 2:04 a.m. EDT (0604 GMT) after a weather delay.
SpaceX launched its 12th Falcon 9 rocket of the year Thursday from California with Taiwan’s Formosat 5 Earth observation satellite. The two-stage rocket lifted off at 11:51 a.m. PDT (2:51 p.m. EDT; 1851 GMT) and deployed the Taiwanese-built spacecraft into polar orbit. The Falcon 9’s first stage booster successfully landed on a drone ship downrange in the Pacific Ocean.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 8:29 a.m. EDT (1229 GMT) today to place NASA’s new tracking station into the sky. The data router will relay video, telemetry and science information from the space station and dozens of research satellites to a central ground terminal. Follow the ascent in our live journal.
Two days after lifting off from Florida’s Space Coast, a Dragon cargo capsule packed with more than 6,400 pounds of research experiments and crew supplies arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday. Astronaut Jack Fischer used the station’s robotic arm to grapple the supply ship at 6:52 a.m. EDT (1052 GMT).