Tag: SpaceX

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.

Dragon & Progress Supply Ships Arrive at Space Station

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Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was bolted into place on the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 10:03 a.m. EDT on Wednesday as the station flew about 252 statute miles over the California and Oregon border.

The spacecraft is delivering nearly 5,000 pounds of science, hardware and supplies, including instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space, and the first of two identical international docking adapters (IDA). The IDAs will provide a means for commercial spacecraft to dock to the station in the near future as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Dragon is the second cargo spacecraft to arrive on station this week. On Monday, July 18, a Russian ISS Progress 64 cargo craft docked to the Pirs docking compartment of the space station at 8:22 p.m., where it will remain for about six months.

The Progress spacecraft has more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 48 crew.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station Aug. 29 when it will return critical science research back to Earth.

For more information on the SpaceX CRS-9 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex.

For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.

Cool Video of Falcon 9 First Stage Landing

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TangoLab-1 Headed for International Space Station

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Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Space Tango PR) — Space Tango today announced that TangoLab-1 is now successfully on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the SpaceX CRS-9 mission launched early this morning from Kennedy Space Center.

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SpaceX Launches Dragon Supply Ship, Lands First Stage at Cape

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Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (NASA PR) — Instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space, and the first international docking adapter for commercial spacecraft, are among the cargo scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station after Monday’s launch of the SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services-9 (CRS-9) mission.

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Parabolic Arcers Keen to Live on Mars

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Musk_Mars_Colony_PollThe results are in on our poll about Elon Musk’s Mars plans. And it seems the majority of Parabolic Arc readers would consider living in the SpaceX founder’s martian colony.

Thirty-three percent of voters want to be in the first wave of settlers on the Red Planet. An additional 40 percent of voters said they might go later once the colony was up and running.

Other readers were less enthused. Twenty-two percent said they really like the big blue marble that is Earth and had no desire to live on a frozen planet.

Another 6 percent of voters already understand what it is like to live and work in a desert and had no desire to live in a Martian one. This group is composed of present and past residents and workers of Mojave, Calif.

A big thank you to everyone who voted in the poll. Please take a moment and vote in our latest poll about former shuttle commander Eileen Collins’ decision to speak at this week’s Republican National Convention.

As I always say. Vote early. Vote often. Just vote, dammit! Vote! And no wagering.

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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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NanoRacks Advancing Space Station Utilization

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nano_racks_logoCape Canaveral, Florida, 15 July 2016 (NanoRacks PR)– NanoRacks is proudly advancing International Space Station (ISS) utilization across a wide range of users – from education to international organizations to professional researchers – both inside and outside of Station – all on one mission. On SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Mission-9 (SpaceX-9), scheduled for the early hours of Monday July 18, are over 25 payloads that will utilize NanoRacks commercial research facilities both in the U.S. National Lab and external to Station.

“NanoRacks is more than just a satellite deployment company,” says NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “We offer a full scope of in-space opportunities, and we are watching the customer base grow larger and broader. NanoRacks will continue to offer the best research accommodations both inside and outside of the International Space Station, and beyond.”

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SpaceX Pressure Tests Crew Dragon Spacecraft

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SpaceX Crew Dragon Weldment Structure (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX Crew Dragon Weldment Structure (Credit: SpaceX)

Editor’s Note: This update is from June 24; apparently missed I it while traveling.  For those who are wondering where this test is on the CCtCap milestone schedule, it isn’t. This is actually the second half of Milestone 12: Dragon Primary Structure Qualifications from the earlier CCiCap contract. The planned completion date was January 2014. However, they split the $30 million milestone into two parts. The other outstanding CCiCap milestone is the in-flight abort test.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Pressure vessels built by SpaceX to test its Crew Dragon designs are going through structural testing so engineers can analyze the spacecraft’s ability to withstand the harsh conditions of launch and spaceflight. A pressure vessel is the area of the spacecraft where astronauts will sit during their ride into orbit. It makes up the majority of the Crew Dragon’s structure but does not include the outer shell, heat shield, thrusters or other systems.

Even without those systems in place, however, the company and NASA can learn enormous amounts about the design’s strength by placing the pressure vessel in special fixtures that stress the structure. SpaceX completed two pressure vessels that will be used for ground tests and two more are in manufacturing right now to fly in space during demonstration missions for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

After the ground testing, the pressure vessels will be outfitted with all the systems they would need to be fully functional spacecraft.

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NASA to Televise SpaceX Dragon Launch on Monday

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HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA provider SpaceX is scheduled to deliver scientific research, crew supplies and hardware on its ninth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station Monday, July 18. Coverage of this mission will begin with a prelaunch news briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 16, on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

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Getting to Upmass: A Dragon’s Tale

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A Station that Needs Everything
A Scrappy Startup Contracted to Ship 35.4 Metric Tons of It
Ought to be Easy Enough, Right?

SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The International Space Station (ISS) is not exactly a self-sufficient outpost. The station’s occupants can’t jump into a Soyuz and pop over to an orbiting Wal-Mart when they run out of food, water or toothpaste. Everything the six astronauts need to survive — save for the random plastic wrench or replacement part they can now 3-D print — must be shipped up from the majestic blue planet 400 km below them.

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Historic Booster to Go on Display at SpaceX HQ

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Falcon 9 launch and landing. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 launch and landing. (Credit: SpaceX)

The first-stage Falcon 9 booster that landed back at Cape Canaveral last December will be placed on display outside of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.

The FAA has granted the company permission to display the booster, which will tower up to 160 feet. The agency’s approval was required because it will be located near a local airport.

The landing was the first return of a booster for reuse. SpaceX refired the stage’s engines, but it had decided not to relaunch the vehicle.

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RiskIt: NASA’s High Risk Commercial Cargo Strategy

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A massive explosion occurred right after the Antares rocket hit the ground.

A massive explosion occurred right after the Antares rocket hit the ground.

Commercial Cargo’s Lower Costs Brought Higher Risks

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

In October 2014, NASA engineers were deeply worried about Orbital Sciences Corporation’s upcoming Orb-3 commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

An Antares booster was set to send a Cygnus cargo ship loaded with 2,215 kg (4,883 lb) of supplies to astronauts aboard the orbiting laboratory. It would be the third of eight Cygnus flights to the station under a Commercial Resupply Services-1 (CRS-1) contract worth $1.9 billion.

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Summary of NASA IG Report into Agency Response to SpaceX Falcon 9 Failure

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Dragon capsule separated from Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Dragon capsule separated from Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

SUMMARY

NASA’s Response to SpaceX’s June 2015 Launch Failure: Impacts on Commercial Resupply of the International Space Station
[Full Report]

NASA Office of the Inspector General
June 28, 2016

Why We Performed This Audit

On June 28, 2015, just 2 minutes after liftoff, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s (SpaceX) seventh cargo resupply mission (SPX-7) to the International Space Station (ISS or Station) failed, destroying $118 million of NASA cargo,
including an International Docking Adapter (Adapter) the Agency planned to use when it begins flying astronauts to the Station on commercial vehicles. In the aftermath of the failure, SpaceX suspended resupply missions pending completion of an investigation into its cause, relicensing of its launch vehicle by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and acceptance by NASA of the company’s corrective actions.

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