Tag: Falcon 9

Video New Report on Spaceport America

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SES Selects SpaceX for Two Satellite Launches

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Falcon 9 static fire. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 static fire. (Credit: SpaceX)

LUXEMBOURG/HAWTHORNE, CA, 25 February 2015 (SES/SpaceX PR) – SES (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) announced today an agreement with SpaceX to launch two new satellites in 2017 – SES-14 and SES-16/ GovSat – using the Falcon 9 rocket.

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SES to Fly Satellite on Upgraded Falcon 9 as SpaceX Plans Barge Upgrade

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Falcon 9's Merlin 1D engines in an octoweb structure. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9’s Merlin 1D engines in an octoweb structure. (Credit: SpaceX)

Satellite operator SES has agreed to be the guinea pig for SpaceX’s upgraded Falcon 9 rocket later this year. Meanwhile, SpaceX is upgrading its barge where first stages will land to handle rough seas.

The decision comes after a review of the risks of launching the SES 9 satellite with rocket engines operating at higher thrust for the first time….

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SpaceX Busy on Both Coasts

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Falcon Heavy. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon Heavy. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX is busy on both coasts preparing Pad 39-A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for an upcoming Falcon Heavy launch and signing leases to develop landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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Arianespace Beats Out SpaceX for 2 Launch Contracts

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An Ariane 5 rocket soars into orbit on Dec. 29, 2010. Credits: ESA / CNES / Arianespace / Photo Optique vidéo du CSG

An Ariane 5 rocket soars into orbit on Dec. 29, 2010. Credits: ESA / CNES / Arianespace / Photo Optique vidéo du CSG

Arianespace seems to be holding its own in the competition with SpaceX, winning two new launch contracts this week.

The South Korean government has selected Europe’s Arianespace to launch two geostationary-orbit meteorological and environment-monitoring satellites in 2018 and 2019, Arianespace and the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced.

The contract bidding featured a head-to-head competition between Evry, France-based Arianespace and its Ariane 5 rocket and its principal rival, SpaceX of Hawthorne, California and the Falcon 9 rocket….

While it did not explicitly say what tipped its decision for Ariane 5, the ministry’s Feb. 11 statement ahead of the contract’s signature – Arianespace announced the contract Feb. 13 – suggested that Ariane 5’s reliability record of 47 consecutive successes of the current vehicle configuration since 2005 was a factor.

Arianespace and SpaceX equally divided about all the commercial satellite launch contracts in 2014, each with nine wins for the year.

Read the full story.

DSCOVR Headed for L-1

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Artist's rendition of NOAA's DSCOVR: Deep Space Climate Observatory. (Credit:  NOAA/NASA)

Artist’s rendition of NOAA’s DSCOVR: Deep Space Climate Observatory. (Credit:
NOAA/NASA)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket sent Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft on its way into deep space this evening from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The launch appears to have gone flawlessly, with the spacecraft separating as scheduled and heading off to the sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point located 1.500 million kilometers (930,000 miles) from Earth.

The mission has one of the longest gestation periods in history. Back in 1998, then Vice President Al Gore proposed NASA build an environmental satellite called Triana designed to provide nearly continuous coverage of the Earth from L-1.

Triana, which critics dubbed GoreSat, proved to be controversial. Originally set for deployment from the space shuttle in 2003, the incoming Bush Administration put the satellite in storage in 2001. It was removed for refurbishment at the behest of NOAA in 2008.

In addition to monitoring conditions on Earth, DSCOVR will monitor solar wind conditions and provide early warning of coronal mass ejections.

DSCOVR marks the first deep space mission ever flown by SpaceX. Previously, the Falcon 9 had launched communications satellites to geosynchronous orbits.

SpaceX elected not to land the Falcon 9 first stage on a barge, citing rough seas. The plan was changed to a controlled landing on the ocean.

USAF Signs Agreement for SpaceX Landing Pad at Cape Canaveral

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Proposed SpaceX landing facility (Credit: Gator Engineering & Aquifer Restoration, Inc.)

Planned SpaceX landing facility (Credit: Gator Engineering & Aquifer Restoration, Inc.)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., Feb. 10, 2015 (USAF PR)  — Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, commander, 45th Space Wing, recently signed a five-year leasing agreement with SpaceX that will allow for the creation of the first-ever “Landing Pad” at Launch Complex 13 at historic Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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SpaceX Has Launch, Dragon Recovery Today

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Artist's rendition of NOAA's DSCOVR: Deep Space Climate Observatory. (Credit:  NOAA/NASA)

Artist’s rendition of NOAA’s DSCOVR: Deep Space Climate Observatory. (Credit:
NOAA/NASA)


UPDATE: Dragon splashed down safely at 7:44 p.m. EST.

UPDATE: The Falcon 9 launch was scrubbed for Tuesday due to high upper level winds. The next launch attempt will be Wednesday at 6:03 p.m. EST.

Today is a busy one for SpaceX with Falcon 9 set to launch the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft from Cape Canaveral and the landing of a Dragon spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean less than two hours later. NASA will broadcast most of the activities live.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of Dragon’s departure from the International Space Station beginning at 1:45 p.m. EST. Dragon will conduct its deorbit burn at around 7:00 p.m. EST, with splashdown set for approximately 7:44 p.m. EST. NASA Television will not broadcast the deorbit burn and splashdown.

The DSCOVR launch is set for 6:05 p.m. EST. NASA Television coverage of Tuesday’s launch will begin at 5 p.m.

There is a backup launch opportunity at 6:03 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

DSCOVR Launch Set for Tonight

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Artist's rendition of NOAA's DSCOVR: Deep Space Climate Observatory. (Credit:  NOAA/NASA)

Artist’s rendition of NOAA’s DSCOVR: Deep Space Climate Observatory. (Credit:
NOAA/NASA)

UPDATE: The launch was scrubbed for Sunday after an Air Force range radar went down. SpaceX was also working a problem with the first stage during the final minutes of the count; unclear whether that issue was resolved. The next launch window is Monday at 6:07 p.m. EST.

UPDATE NO. 2:  The launch has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. due to weather.

Everything is looking good for tonight’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) launch. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle is set to lift off at 6:10 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral. NASA TV will begin coverage at 3:30 p.m. EST.

ASAP Says SpaceX, Orbital Need to Up Their Games on ISS Resupply

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SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corporation will now have to deliver the majority of supplies needed to maintain the U.S. segment of the International Space Station (ISS) given ESA’s decision to retire its ATV freighter and JAXA limiting HTV cargo ship flights to one per year, NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) said in a report this week.

The increased responsibilities come amid a 16-month gap in Orbital Science’s Cygnus flights to the space station that resulted from the explosion of the company’s Antares rocket on Oct. 28. The loss puts much more pressure on SpaceX, which has an aggressive schedule of five Dragon resupply flights to the space station this year.

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