Tag: SpaceXPage 2 of 78

Crucial Commercial Crew Milestones Lie Ahead in 2016

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Launch_America_Commercial_Crew
By Steven Siceloff,

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and its aerospace industry partners Boeing and SpaceX are on the eve of America’s return to human spaceflight launches. By the time the year closes, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will be poised for the flight tests that allow our astronauts to travel to the International Space Station lifting off from Florida’s Space Coast.

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Russians Say N(ot)yet to Reusable Rockets

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Roscosmos_logoIt looks as if Roscosmos will not be following Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos down the road of reusable rockets. Instead, the newly privatized company will spend the next decade developing a new medium-lift launch vehicle that will serve as the foundation of a super-heavy booster.

That’s the word on the latest draft of Russia’s incredibly shrinking space budget. With its revenues battered by low oil prices, the government has cut back planned spending for 2016-2025 from 2 trillion rubles ($24.4 billion) to 1.4 trillion rubles ($17.1 billion). The government might allocate an additional 115 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) after 2021, TASS reports.

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SpaceX Gets an Air Force Funding Infusion for Raptor Engine

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Operators at the E-2 Test Stand at Stennis conduct a test of the oxygen preburner component being developed by SpaceX for its Raptor rocket engine, which is being built to power flights to Mars. (Credit: NASA)

Operators at the E-2 Test Stand at Stennis conduct a test of the oxygen preburner component being developed by SpaceX for its Raptor rocket engine, which is being built to power flights to Mars. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX’s plans for its high-performance Raptor engine got a boost last week when it received a $33.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force.

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Jason-3 Launches to Monitor Global Sea Level Rise

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen as it launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East with the Jason-3 spacecraft onboard, , Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Jason-3, an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will help continue U.S.-European satellite measurements of global ocean height changes. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen as it launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East with the Jason-3 spacecraft onboard, , Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Jason-3, an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will help continue U.S.-European satellite measurements of global ocean height changes. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (NASA PR) — Jason-3, a U.S.-European oceanography satellite mission with NASA participation that will continue a nearly quarter-century record of tracking global sea level rise, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Sunday at 10:42 a.m. PST (1:42 p.m. EST) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Jason-3 Satellite

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen as it launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East with the Jason-3 spacecraft onboard, , Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Jason-3, an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will help continue U.S.-European satellite measurements of global ocean height changes. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen as it launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East with the Jason-3 spacecraft onboard, , Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Jason-3, an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will help continue U.S.-European satellite measurements of global ocean height changes. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

SpaceX successfully launched the Jason-3 environmental satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base this morning. The second stage and the satellite are now in a coast phase in a nominal orbit.

SpaceX says the first stage landing on an off-shore barge failed. The stage landed hard and might have broken one of its landing legs.

UPDATE: The second burn of Falcon 9 stage went as expected. The satellite has been successfully deployed into the planned orbit.

UPDATE No. 2: Elon Musk says that one of the landing legs was not fully hinged into position and collapsed after landing.

SpaceX Fires Returned Falcon 9 First Stage Engines

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NOAA’s Jason-3 Spacecraft Ready for Launch on Sunday

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Jason-3 satellite (Credit: NASA)

Jason-3 satellite (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The launch of Jason-3, an international mission led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to continue U.S.- European satellite measurements of the topography of the ocean surfaces, is scheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016.

Liftoff aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4 East is targeted for 10:42:18 a.m. PST (1:42:18 p.m. EST) at the opening of a 30-second launch window.

NASA TV launch commentary coverage of the countdown will begin at 8 a.m. PST (11 a.m. EST).  Spacecraft separation from the rocket occurs 55 minutes after launch.

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NASA Selects Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada & SpaceX for ISS Cargo Delivery

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Dream Chaser cargo ship docking with International Space Station. (Credit: SNC)

Dream Chaser cargo ship docking with International Space Station. (Credit: SNC)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded three cargo contracts to ensure the critical science, research and technology demonstrations that are informing the agency’s journey to Mars are delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) from 2019 through 2024. The agency unveiled its selection of Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia; Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada; and SpaceX of Hawthorne, California to continue building on the initial resupply partnerships with two American companies.

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Air Force Awards Rocket Contracts to SpaceX, Orbital ATK

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USAF_Space_Missile_Systems_CenterLOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Jan. 13, 2016 (SMSC PR) — Today the Space and Missile Systems Center awarded the first two Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) for shared public-private investments in Rocket Propulsion System (RPS) prototypes to SpaceX for development testing of the Raptor upper stage engine and Orbital ATK for development of the Common Booster Segment main stage, the Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM) 63XL strap-on booster, and an extendable nozzle for Blue Origin’s BE-3U/EN upper stage engine.

The initial government contribution to the SpaceX OTA is $33.6 million. The initial government contribution to the Orbital ATK OTA is $46.9 million. The Air Force is still in negotiations with the remaining offerors and subsequent awards, if any, will occur over the next few months.

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New Video Shows SpaceX Falcon 9 First Stage Landing

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Video Caption: On December 21, 2015, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 delivered 11 satellites to low-Earth orbit and landed the first stage of the rocket back on land.

SpaceX Falcon 9 to Launch Jason-3 on Sunday, Attempt Barge Landing

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Jason-3 satellite (Credit: NASA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (NASA PR) — Preparations are proceeding smoothly at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for the planned Sunday launch of the Jason-3 environmental satellite. The 30-second launch window on Jan. 17 opens at 10:42:18 a.m. PST.

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Photos of Falcon 9 First Stage Back in Hangar

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Upgraded Merlin engines up close and personal

A photo posted by SpaceX (@spacex) on

Falcon 9 back in the hangar at Cape Canaveral. No damage found, ready to fire again.

A photo posted by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

U.S. Launch Providers Plan Busy Year in 2016

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Falcon Heavy. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon Heavy. (Credit: SpaceX)

The United States has a very busy launch year ahead if all 33 flights currently on the manifest go off as planned. Given the tendency of launches to slip and rockets to occasionally go boom, that is a very big “if”.

United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX each have 15 launches penciled in this year, according to the latest update to Spaceflight Now’s Launch Schedule page. Orbital ATK has plans for three launches during 2016. Continue reading ‘U.S. Launch Providers Plan Busy Year in 2016’

SpaceX’s Musk: No Damage Seen on Returned Falcon 9 First Stage

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SpaceX plans to test fire the engines but will not launch the first stage again. The stage will be put on display somewhere after engineers finish with it.

NASA Year in Review

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2015, NASA explored the expanse of our solar system and beyond, and the complex processes of our home planet, while also advancing the technologies for our journey to Mars, and new aviation systems as the agency reached new milestones aboard the International Space Station.

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