Tag: Falcon 9

SpaceX Looks to Expand Operations at Port Canaveral

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Credit: SpaceX

Credit: SpaceX

With a hangar full of used Falcon 9 first stages, SpaceX is looking to expand its operations along Florida’s Space Coast.

The space launch company plans to lease the now-vacant former Spacehab building on the north side of the port, and is looking at constructing a second building on vacant land adjacent to that site, [Port Canaveral CEO John] Murray told port commissioners.

SpaceX is expected to process and refurbish rockets, as well as potentially perform other functions, at the port, Murray said.

“We’re happy to announce that they’re onboard,” he said. “It’s good for the port, it’s good for the community, and it’s a high-visibility project. So we’re really excited about that. They’re a great client to have on our port. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

A formal lease agreement with SpaceX could come before port commissioners for approval as early as next month. In the meantime, Murray said SpaceX plans to move into the 52,000-square-foot former Spacehab building through a temporary property-use permit between the company and the port.

Read the full story.

SpaceX Launches Communications Satellite, Lands Boosters

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Falcon 9 first stage landed nearly dead center. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 first stage landed nearly dead center. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 placed the Japanese JCSAT-16 communications satellite into orbit in a spectacular early-morning launch on Sunday. The first stage of the booster also landed also successfully landed on an off-shore drone ship.

The flight was the eighth successful launch of a Falcon 9 this year. It also was the sixth time the company has landed a first stage booster for later use.

During the Small Satellite Conference in Utah last week, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said the company could reuse two of recovered boosters for satellite launches by the end of the year.

SpaceX has a crowded manifest for the rest of 2016, with at least eight more flights planned. The launch is scheduled for late this month from Cape Canaveral, with the Amos 6 satellite as the payload.

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NASA Q&A on Commercial Crew Program

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Bob Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director, from left, Kathy Lueders, Commercial Crew Program manager, astronauts Eric Boe and Suni Williams discuss talk about the development of a new generation of human-rated spacecraft. (Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

Bob Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director, from left, Kathy Lueders, Commercial Crew Program manager, astronauts Eric Boe and Suni Williams discuss talk about the development of a new generation of human-rated spacecraft. (Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

There are few days that are the same for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program astronauts as they train for flight tests aboard the next generation of human-rated spacecraft, astronauts Eric Boe and Suni Williams told an audience at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Thursday.

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SpaceX, ULA Launches Set for Next Week

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deltaiv_nrol45_l3

Delta IV launch (Credit: ULA)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully completed a pre-flight static engine test on Thursday. The launcher is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base with the JCSAT 16 communications satellite on Sunday morning at 1:26 a.m. EDT (0526 GMT). The launch attempt has a two-hour window. SpaceX will attempt to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean.

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket is scheduled to launch the U.S. Air Force’s AFSPC 6 mission from Cape Canaveral on Friday, Aug. 19. The launch period is listed as being from 12:00-4:00 a.m. EDT. (0400-0800 GMT).

Links to Parabolic Arc’s Coverage of Small Satellite 2016 Conference

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SkyFire’s new infrared technology will help NASA enhance its knowledge of the lunar surface. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

SkyFire’s new infrared technology will help NASA enhance its knowledge of the lunar surface. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

The Small Satellite 2016 Conference is now over. Below are links to Parabolic Arc’s coverage of the conference and the CubeSat Workshop that preceded it last weekend. There are also links to announcements made during the conference and in recent weeks.

Small Satellite Conference Coverage

Recent Smallsat News & Announcements

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Smallsat 2016: Video of SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell’s Keynote

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SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell spoke at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah on Tuesday.

Smallsat 2016: Spaceflight Looks Forward to SHERPA Launch

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spaceflight_logoSpaceflight CEO Jason Andrews gave at talk this week at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah. Below is a summary of his address derived from Tweets by Jeff Foust (‏@jeff_foust) and David Hurst ‏(@OrbitalDave).

Spaceflight
Jason Andrews, CEO

  • Spaceflight scheduled to launch its SHERPA spacecraft carrier aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in late October
  • SHERPA is secondary payload to Formosat-5 spacecraft
  • SHERPA will deploy 89 satellites ranging from 2U CubeSats to 150-kg spacecraft
  • Launch will set a new world record for the number of spacecraft on a single launch vehicle
  • At Spaceflights’s request, Falcon 9 will drop perigee before deploying SHERPA to ensure spacecraft will de-orbit within 25 years
  • Spacecraft will be placed in sun-synchronous orbit
  • There’s a lot of demand for SSO launches
  • Lately there has been increasing demand for launching spacecraft to mid-inclination orbits
  • Spaceflight has flown 93 satellites on various launch vehicles to date
  • Company has 150 satellite launches on order that will fly on five launch vehicles
  • Spaceflight wants to make buying a space launch as easy as purchasing an airline ticket

Smallsat 2016: Trends, Policies & Science

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Eight small-sized satellites total a big bonus for science. The Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN) mission was to have used a swarm of small spacecraft to carry out scientific measurements. (Credit: NASA Ames Research Center)

Eight small-sized satellites total a big bonus for science. The Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN) mission was to have used a swarm of small spacecraft to carry out scientific measurements. (Credit: NASA Ames Research Center)

While the smallsat market is forecast to experience double digit growth over the next five years, U.S. government policy continues to lag behind the rapid developments in the field. Meanwhile, a recent National Academies report has found that smallsats can be return high-quality scientific data if missions are designed correctly.

Those are the conclusions of three presentations made this week at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah. Below are summaries of the talks drawn from Tweets by the following attendees:

  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust
  • David Hurst ‏@OrbitalDave
  • Hanna Steplewska ‏@spacesurfingirl

Enjoy!
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Smallsat 2016: Shotwell Discusses Launch Plans

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Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell spoke at the Small Satellite 2016 Conference in Utah on Tuesday.

Shotwell talked about the importance of fully reusing the Falcon boosters, SpaceX’s Red Dragon mission to Mars, and about how SpaceX could open up Earth orbit and beyond to the smallsat community. She also defended the company’s decision to abandon development of its Falcon 1e small satellite launcher.

Although I wasn’t able to attend this year, I have pulled a summary of her talk off Twitter. Information came from the following Tweeters:

  • C. G. Niederstrasser ‏@RocketScient1st
  • Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust
  • David Hurst ‏@OrbitalDave
  • RITSpaceExploration ‏@RITSPEX

Enjoy!
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SpaceX Test Fires Used First Stage Booster

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NASA Advisory Council Receives Updates on NASA Programs

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NASA LOGOThe NASA Advisory Council has been meeting in Cleveland this week, receiving program updates from top agency officials. Below is a summary of the first two days based on Tweets by Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) and Marcia Smith (@SpcPlcyOnline). There are updates below on:

  • Commercial crew
  • Commercial cargo
  • International Space Station
  • SLS/Orion
  • NextSTEP
  • Deep-space human mission planning
  • SpaceX’s Red Dragon
  • Mars 2020
  • Blue Origin

Enjoy!
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Commission Approves Airbus Safran Launchers Acquisition of Arianespace

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Ariane 6 variants (Credit: Airbus Defense and Space)

Ariane 6 variants (Credit: Airbus Defense and Space)

BRUSSELS (EU PR) — Following an in-depth review, the European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Arianespace by Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL), a joint venture between Airbus and Safran. This approval is subject to conditions.

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SpaceX Eyes Reusing Dragons, Additional Landing Pads

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Cameras on the Canadarm2 show the SpaceX Dragon as it departs the vicinity of the space station just after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)

Cameras on the Canadarm2 show the SpaceX Dragon as it departs the vicinity of the space station just after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)

With SpaceX planning to relaunch a Falcon 9 first stage later this year, the age of reusing rockets is upon us. But, the company isn’t stopping there.

SpaceX is planning to launch a reused Dragon supply ship on a cargo mission next year. Officials discussed the planned flight during a post-launch press conference on Monday morning.

“I think we’re looking at SpaceX-11,” said Joel Montalbano, NASA’s deputy manager of ISS utilization, referring to the 11th resupply mission the company will fly with Dragon and the Falcon 9. (Monday’s launch kicked off SpaceX-9.)

“I thought it was 11 or 12 — something like that,” replied Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of flight reliability at SpaceX. “So, not too far from now.”

SpaceX-11 is currently scheduled to lift off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in February 2017, and SpaceX-12 is slated to launch two months later, according to Spaceflight Now.

The Orlando Sentinel also reports that SpaceX is requesting permission from the federal government to establish two additional first-stage landing facilities on Cape Canaveral. The pads would be for landing the three Falcon 9 first stages that are used on the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.

Cool Video of Falcon 9 First Stage Landing

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SpaceX to Attempt First Stage Landing at Cape Canaveral

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Falcon 9 launch and landing. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 launch and landing. (Credit: SpaceX)

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (SpaceX PR) — Today SpaceX confirmed that the company is targeting the launch of its ninth NASA Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-9) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on Monday, Jul. 18 at 12:45 a.m. EDT.
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