SpaceX Completes Hat Trick with 3 Launches in 36 Hours

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on June 17, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

SpaceX completed a hat trick over the weekend with three satellite launches from different coasts in 36 hours.

Elon Musk’s company wrapped up a busy weekend when a Falcon 9 booster launched the Globalstar FM15 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The rocket lifted off at 12:27 a.m. EDT.

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SpaceX Conducts Second Launch in Less Than 24 Hours, Third Scheduled for Sunday Morning

SpaceX conducted its second launch in less than 24 hours on Saturday morning when a Falcon 9 carried a German reconnaissance satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The rocket lifted off at 7:19 a.m. PDT (10:19 a.m. EDT) with the Airbus-built SARah synthetic aperture radar satellite for the German military from a fog-shrouded launch pad. SpaceX ended its webcast early prior to satellite deployment at the request of the customer.

The Falcon 9’s first stage booster, launching for the third time, touched down at Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg. It was SpaceX’s 125th recovery of an orbital class booster.

It was the second Falcon 9 flight in just over 22 hours. On Friday, SpaceX launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket lifted off at 12:08 p.m. EDT (9:08 a.m. PDT).

It was a record 13th flight for the Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and now 10 Starlink missions. The stage landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX will wrap up a busy weekend on Sunday morning with a Falcon 9 launch of the Globalstar FM15 communications satellite at 12:27 a.m. EDT (04:27 UTC) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. It will be the 26th launch of the year for SpaceX.

You can watch the live launch webcast for the launch starting about 10 minutes before liftoff.

SpaceX Fires At Least 5 Employees Over Open Letter Condemning Elon Musk’s Behavior

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Loren Grush at The Verge reports that SpaceX has fired at least five employees who were involved in circulating an open letter condemning founder Elon Musk’s behavior on Twitter, calling for the company to immediately disassociate itself from what they view as Musk’s increasingly toxic brand, and demanding equal enforcement of the company’s professed “No Assholes” and “Zero Tolerance” policies regarding sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.

Grush also reports that the open letter was signed by 404 employees in the day and half before it was removed from an internal company chat board. A separate story by The Verge raises the question of whether the firings were illegal under labor laws.

You can read Grush’s original story here.

Our story, which examines the controversy as well as allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination at another Musk company, Tesla Motors, can be read here.

The Verge also obtained a copy of an email sent to employees to SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell. It is reproduced below.

The Verge quotes two employees as saying there was no undue pressure applied on co-workers to sign the letter.

However, two of those involved with writing it, speaking on the condition of anonymity, dispute that claim. They say they simply posted the letter to the Teams channels, pointing people to it and asking for support.

“There was no pressure applied to anyone to collect signatures,” one employee who helped craft the letter said, who also wanted to remain anonymous. “The open letter either stands on its own or it doesn’t.”

Rogozin Lays Out Options for Roscosmos Post ISS; Russia Agrees to Seat Swap with NASA

Video Caption: Russia will look to wind down its cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS) while stepping up cooperation with China on the creation of a lunar station in the coming years, the head of Russia’s space agency said in an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Friday.

Editor’s Note: In brief, Russia will honor commitments to ISS through the current end date of 2024. Rogozin thinks negotiations to extend station operations — NASA wants a 2030 end date — would be difficult with current tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said Russia plans to launch its own space station in 2027-28, on which it might work with China.

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SpaceX Plans 3 Launches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday From Opposite Coasts

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on May 14, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has launches planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday from the East and West coasts.

A Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch 53 Starlink broadband satellites from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:08 p.m. EDT (16:08 UTC). The launch window is instantaneous. A backup launch window is Saturday at 11:47 a.m. EDT (15:47 UTC).

The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and nine Starlink missions. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth and land on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

On Saturday, a Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch the Airbus-built SARah synthetic aperture radar satellite for the German military from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The launch window opens at approximately 7:00 a.m. PDT (10 a.m. EDT, 14:00 UTC). The Falcon 9’s first stage booster will return to Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg.

On Sunday, a Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch the Globalstar FM15 communications satellite at 12:27 a.m. EDT (04:27 UTC) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

You can watch the live launch webcast for each launch starting about 10 minutes before liftoff.

Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla Hit with $285 Billion Lawsuit Alleging Pump and Dump Dogecoin Cryptocurrency Scheme

Lt Gen Ellen Pawlikowski, Space and Missile Systems Center commander, signed agreements with Space-X CEO Elon Musk, Jun 7, 2013 at the Space-X facility in Hawthorne, Calif.U.S. Air Force photoby Joe Juarez

With the federal government investigating Tesla’s full-self driving program over crashes, a muck racking website claiming to have evidence the car company has padded sales numbers, and SpaceX employees asking management to condemn Elon Musk’s behavior, the wealthiest man in the world is certainly seeing his problems stack up.

And now the billionaire has got another one. Decrypt reports on a lawsuit filed against Musk, SpaceX and Tesla seeking $285 billion in damages:

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NASA Updates Astronaut Assignments for Boeing Starliner Test Flight

Boeing’s Starliner crew ship is seen moments after docking to the International Space Station’s forward port on the Harmony module. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA Mission Update

NASA will fly two astronaut test pilots aboard the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission to the International Space Station, where they will live and work off the Earth for about two weeks.

CFT commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore, whom NASA assigned to the prime crew in October 2020, will join NASA astronaut Suni Williams, who will serve as pilot. Williams previously served as the backup test pilot for CFT while assigned as commander of NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, Starliner’s first post-certification mission. As CFT pilot, Williams takes the place of NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, originally assigned to the mission in 2018. NASA reassigned Mann to the agency’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission in 2021.

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SpaceX Employees Say They’re Fed Up with Elon Musk’s Behavior, Call for Company to Equally Enforce “Zero Tolerance” Policy on Sexual Harassment

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Loren Grush at The Verge reports on an open letter being circulated within SpaceX that calls upon the company to “publicly address and condemn” CEO and Founder Elon Musk’s “harmful Twitter behavior. SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand.”

“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks. As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX—every Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company. It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values,” the letter said.

The letter calls for equal enforcement of SpaceX’s “zero tolerance” policy on sexual harassment. The call comes amid claims made by a former employee that sexual harassment is rife within the company, and a published report by Insider that alleged SpaceX paid a $250,000 severance to a company flight attendant after a naked Musk exposed his erect penis to her during a flight on a corporate jet. Musk and SpaceX officials denied the billionaire exposed himself.

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Kleos’ Fourth Cluster Manifest to Launch on the Next SpaceX Transporter Mission

Kleos mission satellites (Credit: Kleos Space)
  • Kleos’ fourth satellite cluster; Observer, is scheduled to launch on the Transporter-6 SpaceX mission
  • Launch expected in September-November timeframe, approximately six months after the launch of Kleos’ third cluster
  • Agreement signed with US Navy Naval Surface Warfare Center for joint data experimentation

LUXEMBOURG (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space S.A (ASX:KSS, Frankfurt:KS1), a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Mission-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider, confirms its Observer Mission (KSF3) satellites is manifested to launch on the Transporter-6 SpaceX mission NET October 2022.

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FAA Stresses Required Environmental Mitigation Actions in Finding No Significant Impact From SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Launches

Starship/Super Heavy on the launch pad at Boca Chica, Texas. (Credit: SpaceX)

WASHINGTON (FAA PR) — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will require SpaceX to take more than 75 actions to mitigate environmental impacts from its proposed plan to launch the Starship/Super Heavy vehicle from Boca Chica, Texas. 

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FAA Finds No Significant Impact From SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Launches From Boca Chica, Order Mitigation Steps

Jets fly by SpaceX’s Super Heavy/Starship launch system. (Credit: Jared Isaacman)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The FAA issued a mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) decision on Monday that will SpaceX to launch its massive Starship/Super Heavy booster combination from its Starbase facility at Boca Chica, Texas. In order to launch, however, SpaceX must take a series of more than 75 actions to mitigate the impact on a sensitive wildlife areas that adjoin the launch base and the endangered and threatened species that live there.

FAA’s decision is a major step forward for SpaceX’s plans for a maiden flight of the booster combination from the Gulf Coast facility located just north of the Mexican border. It might also lead to litigation by a coalition of the environmental groups who believe the launch base is incompatible with the surrounding area.

FAA still needs to issue a launch license to SpaceX. The company plans to conduct a suborbital flight of the boosters that would see Starship crash into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii.

FAA’s decision is also good news for NASA. The space agency awarded a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX to develop the Human Landing System (HLS) that will return U.S. astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in more than half a century. The company is adapting Starship to be the lander; Super Heavy would launch it into space.

Starship/Super Heavy is the foundation of Elon Musk’s plan to colonize Mars. It is designed to launch 100 to 150 metric tons into Earth orbit.

Record-Setting Aviator, Astronaut, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist Receives 2022 UP.Summit Inspiration Award

Isaacman receives humanitarian award. (Image Credit: UP.Partners)

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (UP.Partners PR) — UP.Partners is proud to announce Jared Isaacman as the recipient of the 2022 UP.Summit Inspiration Award. The award is presented by UP.Partners to an individual who has inspired others to think bigger and has created a positive impact on mankind.

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Satellite Vu Partners with Landmark to Provide Vital Climate Change Data to the UK Land and Property Sector

LONDON (Satellite Vu PR) – Satellite Vu, the UK satellite firm set to become the world’s thermometer from space, have partnered with Landmark Information Group to provide vital climate data to the real estate market. 

The partnership will see Satellite Vu provide data from their thermal infrared satellites to Landmark, a leading provider of data to the UK land and property sector, to distribute to businesses as part of the global push towards Net Zero. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report re-affirmed the global aim to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve Net Zero by 2050, serving as a call to action for governments and businesses across the world.   

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches NILESAT Communications Satellite

NILESAT 301 (Credit: Thales Alenia Space)

CANNES, France, June 9, 2022 (Thales Alenia Space PR) – The NILESAT 301 communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) for the Egyptian operator NILESAT was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral launch pad, Florida (USA), on board of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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