Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket took off at 1:12 a.m. EDT (0512 GMT) Saturday carrying five payloads for the National Reconnaissance Office, NASA and the University of New South Wales at Canberra in Australia. The launch was the first for Rocket Lab since January due to delays related to the coronavirus pandemic.
SpaceX launched the next group of satellites for the company’s Starlink broadband network Wednesday at 9:25 p.m. EDT (0125 GMT Thursday) from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The satellites rode into orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket with a first stage flown on four previous missions, and the booster made a successful fifth landing on a SpaceX drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX conducted a final Launch Readiness Review on Monday ahead of the scheduled liftoff Wednesday of NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a test flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. Launch remains set for 4:33:33 p.m. EDT (2033:33 GMT) Wednesday, weather permitting.
Five days after launching from Japan, an HTV supply ship arrived Monday at the International Space Station. Capture of the HTV with the station’s robotic arm occurred at 8:13 a.m. EDT (1213 GMT). It’s the last cargo mission to the space station before the arrival of two NASA astronauts on the first crewed U.S. flight to the orbiting research facility since 2011.
United Launch Alliance fired an Atlas 5 rocket into space from Cape Canaveral at 9:14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT) Sunday with the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane, an automated reusable mini-space shuttle designed to host experiments for years in orbit, then return to Earth and land on a runway. A launch attempt Saturday was scrubbed by bad weather.
A Soyuz spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Thursday to bring home NASA flight engineer Jessica Meir, astronaut Andrew Morgan and Russian commander Oleg Skripochka. The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft departed the station at 9:53 p.m. Thursday (0153 GMT Friday) and landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 1:16 a.m. EDT (0516 GMT).