Tag Archives: SpaceX

SpaceX boat tries to catch pricey rocket nosecone in the Pacific Ocean, but misses

SpaceX boat tries to catch pricey rocket nosecone in the Pacific Ocean, but missesAfter SpaceX successfully blasted three satellites into space early Thursday morning, the company tried to catch the Falcon 9 rocket's expensive nosecone, also known as a fairing, on a ship in the Pacific Ocean. The vessel, named "Mr. Steven," was outfitted with a giant net. According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the boat missed catching the fairing by "a few hundred meters," but he thinks there's a simple fix: Bigger parachutes to better control the parachuting fairing. Missed by a few hundred meters, but fairing landed intact in water. Should be able catch it with slightly bigger chutes to slow down descent. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2018 The fairing, which sheltered and released the payload during the rocket launch, parachuted down to the Pacific Ocean. A GPS guidance system helped guide the parachute close to the long, outstretched metallic arms of the awaiting ship. Assuming the nosecone is in good shape, SpaceX may still try and retrieve it from the water.  Falcon fairing half as seen from our catcher’s mitt in boat form, Mr. Steven. No apparent damage from reentry and splashdown. A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Feb 22, 2018 at 7:36am PST Recovery of the rocket fairing is aimed at bringing down the cost of access to space, since this particular part of the rocket costs between $ 5 and $ 6 million dollars.  SpaceX famously lands its rocket boosters back on Earth and reuses them in subsequent launches, but it never before attempted to catch a rocket's fairing. SpaceX plans to outcompete its rocket rivals by reusing most of its rockets, as opposing to building new components for each launch.  SEE ALSO: Elon Musk's 'Starman' Tesla Roadster isn't your typical piece of space junk This launch, for example, featured a Falcon 9 rocket booster that had previously been to space in August 2017. SpaceX decided not to recover the rocket for a potential third launch, however.   Going to try to catch the giant fairing (nosecone) of Falcon 9 as it falls back from space at about eight times the speed of sound. It has onboard thrusters and a guidance system to bring it through the atmosphere intact, then releases a parafoil and our ship, named Mr. Steven, with basically a giant catcher’s mitt welded on, tries to catch it. A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Feb 22, 2018 at 6:07am PST Instead, the rocket fell back to Earth and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. According to SpaceX firmware engineer Tom Praderio, "SpaceX is making room for its next iteration of Falcon 9 rockets," so it had no reason to land and reuse the rocket for a third launch.  A screenshot of the Falcon 9 rocket second stage heading towards low-Earth orbit. The curvature of the Earth can be seen in the background.Image: spacexThe Falcon 9 rockets have proven to be quite reliable, as SpaceX launched them into space 18 times last year, with no failures. The company plans to surpass these launch numbers this year.  Besides the primary payload — a Spanish satellite that can capture extremely high-resolution images of Earth — SpaceX launched two of its own microsatellites. These satellites are a test, but likely the first of thousands of internet-beaming satellites called Starlink, which is intended to provide high-speed internet access to the web-deprived corners of the world, sometime in the early to mid 2020s. Today’s Falcon launch carries 2 SpaceX test satellites for global broadband. If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2018 The Federal Communications Commission has yet to approve the SpaceX Starlink constellation, but last week FCC chairmen Ajit Pai urged commissioners to approve the bold space internet project.  The PAZ satellite successfully separating from the Falcon 9 rocket.Image: spacex WATCH: Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains what 'shoot for the moon' actually means



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SpaceX rocket now on a trajectory toward asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter

SpaceX rocket now on a trajectory toward asteroid belt between Mars and JupiterAt mission control, 6,000 workers cheered the launch Tuesday.



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Liftoff! SpaceX successfully launched world’s most powerful rocket

Liftoff! SpaceX successfully launched world’s most powerful rocketOn Tuesday, February 6, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.



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SpaceX Has Launched the U.S. Government's Secretive 'Zuma' Spacecraft Into Orbit

SpaceX Has Launched the U.S. Government's Secretive 'Zuma' Spacecraft Into OrbitSpaceX successfully completed its first launch of 2018 Sunday night, sending a highly secretive U.S. government spacecraft into orbit before carrying out an upright landing of the rocket’s first stage.



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SpaceX launch lights up the night sky

SpaceX launch lights up the night skyThe launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket created a shining, billowing streak that was widely seen throughout Southern California and as far away as Phoenix, and had some wondering if they’d just seen a UFO.



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Mysterious SpaceX launch confounds LA residents

Mysterious SpaceX launch confounds LA residentsElon Musk's SpaceX satellite launch created an unsettling display in the sky over California.



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Watch today’s SpaceX launch live right here at 12:30 PM

Watch today’s SpaceX launch live right here at 12:30 PM

SpaceX might have some seriously grand plans for the near future of its rocket program, but until the "world's most powerful rocket" is ready to head skyward, it's business as usual at the commercial spaceflight firm. Today, SpaceX will launch its Dragon cargo spacecraft on an unmanned supply run to the International Space Station, and you can watch the launch and recovery live right here, thanks to SpaceX's always fantastic live stream.

The launch is scheduled to take place at 12:31 pm ET, and the SpaceX craft will be taking off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Once the first stage of the rocket separates, it will head back to Earth where, if everything goes according to plan, it will land upright and be recovered and refurbished for continued use.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLxWsYx8dbo

One of the things that makes today's launch particularly special is that it will be the last time NASA sends a brand new Dragon cargo craft to the ISS. From now on, the company plans on only sending its "flight proven" hardware on those missions. SpaceX still has more resupply launches left in its contract with NASA, which was extended from 12 flights to 20 after the partnership proved successful.

Today's mission will provide some 6,400 pounds of supplies including scientific hardware to the crew of the ISS. The vast majority of the gear being delivered is needed for experiments and research being conducted on the craft, but the astronauts will also be getting a bit of ice cream to make their stay in space a tiny bit more enjoyable.



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SpaceX launches super-computer to space station

SpaceX launches super-computer to space stationSpaceX on Monday blasted off its unmanned Dragon cargo ship toward the International Space Station, carrying a host of science experiments and the most powerful computer ever sent into orbit. Three minutes after launch, the rocket separated as planned, with the long, tall portion — known as the first stage — arcing back toward Earth and the second stage continuing to propel the cargo ship to space. The first stage of the rocket then powered its thrusters and operated its grid fins to set itself down on solid ground at Cape Canaveral for a controlled, upright landing at Landing Zone 1.



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SpaceX just landed a rocket back on Earth after flying it to space. How's your Monday?

SpaceX just landed a rocket back on Earth after flying it to space. How's your Monday?This isn't getting old yet. The first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket built by Elon Musk's SpaceX came in for a dusty and impressive landing at the company's landing zone in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Monday. The landing occurred about 10 minutes after the rocket launched a Dragon cargo craft carrying supplies to the International Space Station. SEE ALSO: Elon Musk's SpaceX starts off its week with an impressive rocket launch and landing This marks the company's 14th successful landing and its 6th successful one on land, with the rest of them taking place on drone ships in the ocean. SpaceX founder Elon Musk has long said that he hopes this kind of feat can become routine, and the company is well on its way toward making that happen.  Quick video recap of Falcon 9 launch of Dragon for its twelfth @ISS resupply mission. A post shared by SpaceX (@spacex) on Aug 14, 2017 at 12:04pm PDT The rocket landings are a critical component of SpaceX's business plan, which calls for lowering the cost of spaceflight through the reuse of rockets. At this point it's a surprise when a landing doesn't work perfectly, not when it does.  The Dragon is now working its way to the Space Station, loaded down with thousands of pounds of supplies for the crew onboard. It should arrive at the orbiting lab in about two days.  This marks SpaceX's 12th official cargo run to the station for NASA.  Kicking up some dust during landing.Image: spacexIn the future, the company is expected to start launching people to the station for NASA as part of the agency's commercial crew program, designed to end reliance on Russian rockets to get astronauts to outer space.  WATCH: Here's how Virgin's space program is different than SpaceX



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SpaceX to launch super-computer to space

SpaceX to launch super-computer to spaceSpaceX is poised to launch an unmanned cargo ship toward the International Space Station Monday, including a super-computer that could direct astronauts on future deep-space missions. The liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon cargo ship, is planned for 12:31 pm (1631 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The weather forecast is 70 percent favorable for launch.



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