NASA expects to select commercial contractors to resupply the International Space Station in September, three months later than the agency’s previous timetable under a competition for cargo deliveries beginning in 2018.
A major test of the system that would shoot SpaceX astronaut crews away from a failing rocket is scheduled for no earlier than May 5 from a specially-built mount at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad, NASA announced Tuesday.
SpaceX engineers have narrowed the cause of last week’s unsuccessful landing of a Falcon 9 rocket booster on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean on a commanding issue with an engine throttle valve, according to Elon Musk, the company’s founder and chief executive.
Returning to port late Thursday under the cover of darkness, SpaceX’s rocket recovery platform has moored at a dock in Jacksonville, Florida, for unloading of charred debris from Tuesday’s crash landing of a Falcon 9 booster.
Packed with an array of experiments and provisions, including a custom-made Italian espresso maker, SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo capsule reached the International Space Station on Friday after a precise laser-guided rendezvous more than 250 miles above Earth.
Hours after launching a batch of cargo and provisions to the International Space Station on Tuesday, SpaceX ground teams wheeled another Falcon 9 rocket into the hangar at Cape Canaveral for a commercial satellite launch set for April 27.
A sun-splashed Florida afternoon was the setting for Tuesday’s liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket, which fired its nine-engine booster stage and climbed into space with a commercial cargo spacecraft en route to the International Space Station.