Starhopper just lifted off & hit tether limits! pic.twitter.com/eByJsq2jiw
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 6, 2019
by Douglas Messier
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has jumped into a crowded field of companies seeking to provide high-speed broadband, data and other communications services to the entire globe.
Amazon’s Kuiper constellation of 3,236 satellites brings the total number of spacecraft in the 16 announced systems to 20,241 spacecraft. The competition includes SpaceX, Boeing, Telesat, SES and government-backed companies in China and Russia.
A Crew Dragon with two astronauts aboard will then conduct a flight test to the space station. The planning date for that flight is July.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA is working with SpaceX to return human spaceflight launches to American soil. The company completed an uncrewed flight test, known as Demo-1, to the space station in March.
SpaceX now is processing the same Crew Dragon spacececraft for an in-flight abort test. The company then will fly a test flight with a crew, known as Demo-2, to the station.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and SpaceX are expected to reevaluate its target test dates in the next couple weeks.
Editor’s Note: Current target test dates are June for the in-flight abort test and July for the crew test to the space station.
by Douglas Messier
Brazil’s decades-long effort to launch satellites from its underused Alcântara Launch Center could finally be bearing fruit.
On Monday, Brazil and the United States signed a Technology Safeguards Agreement that will allow American companies to launch orbital rockets from Alcântara.
After a day worth of hard work, the workers at #SpaceX have finally installed the first raptor on #StarHopper . Congratulations to Elon musk and all the hard workers at SpaceX. It’s almost time for StarHopper to purr like a kitten🐱🔥🚀. pic.twitter.com/YIhbNhqJEk
— Austin Barnard🚀 (@austinbarnard45) March 16, 2019
The Monitor reports on SpaceX’s plans to test its Starship Hopper this week at Boca Chica near Brownsville, Texas:
Cameron County has posted public notice that it will close Highway 4 to Boca Chica Beach for space flight activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
In the alternative, the public notice said Highway 4 to Boca Chica Beach will be closed for the same time duration on either Thursday or Friday.
by Douglas Messier
The splashdown of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft this morning after a successful automated flight to the International Space Station (ISS) kicks off a busy period for NASA’s Commercial Crew program.
#Roscosmos‘ @Rogozin congratulating @elonmusk on the success of the Dragon-2 flight is like Apple’s Steve Jobs congratulating Bill Gates on the success of Microsoft Windows. pic.twitter.com/xn8CXzF8iV
— Anatoly Zak (@RussianSpaceWeb) March 8, 2019
Editor’s Note: Rogozin’s Twitter account is limited to approved followers, not the general public. The Kremlin has appointed a minder over at Roscosmos to tamp down on the general director’s public comments.
My guess is that after the dust up over Roscosmos’ tweet after Crew Dragon docked, someone (Putin?) talked to (yelled at?) Rogozin and made sure he (his political minder?) made sure something nice was tweeted for the landing.
Video Caption: SpaceX Demo-1 Crew Dragon performed the 15-minute, 25-second deorbit burn on 8 March 2019, at 12:52 UTC (07:52 EST). The spacecraft splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean occurred at 13:45 UTC (08:45 EST). SpaceX’s recovery ship GO Searcher will recover it and return it to Port Canaveral, Florida to conclude its mission. Demo-1 was SpaceX’s first uncrewed test flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a mission to the ISS.
— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) March 8, 2019
Crew Dragon is on SpaceX’s recovery vessel—completing the spacecraft’s first test mission! pic.twitter.com/6K0qgnHd4O
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 8, 2019
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) March 8, 2019
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA passed a major milestone Friday in its goal to restore America’s human spaceflight capability when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon returned to Earth after a five-day mission docked to the International Space Station.
About 6 hours after departing the space station, Crew Dragon splashed down at 8:45 a.m. EST approximately 230 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX retrieved the spacecraft from the Atlantic Ocean and is transporting it back to port on the company’s recovery ship.
Elon Musk’s top secret federal security clearance is under review by the Pentagon, after his pot-smoking appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast last September, according to a U.S. official pic.twitter.com/55zNpffqcC
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) March 7, 2019
Editor’s Note: The investigation might not be only about the pot smoking. Investigators could be examining unconfirmed published reports that say Musk has used cocaine, LSD and ecstasy. I stress these stories are unconfirmed, but they have been circulating for many months now. And Musk’s behavior over the past year has been erratic and even bizarre.
— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) March 7, 2019
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The SpaceX Crew Dragon’s hatch is closed and the stage is set for the Commercial Crew Program’s first undocking and return to Earth Friday. As NASA and SpaceX get ready for Friday’s splashdown, the Expedition 58 crew continued exploring a variety of space physics phenomena aboard the International Space Station.
The uncrewed SpaceX DM-1 mission has one final milestone and that is the safe return to Earth with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean around 8:45 a.m. EST Friday. The Crew Dragon will undock Friday at 2:31 a.m. from the Harmony module’s international docking adapter. NASA TV will broadcast the departure and return activities live.
The first commercial crew vehicle from SpaceX will be bringing back over 330 pounds of science gear, crew supplies and station hardware. It delivered almost 450 pounds of materials to resupply the station crew on March 3.
Friday, March 8
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“Hope comes in many forms.”
— Dr. Jennifer Melfi, The Sopranos
by Douglas Messier
So far, so good.
Crew Dragon automatically docked at the International Space Station (ISS) this morning. Although it lacked astronauts, it is was a milestone in NASA’s Commercial Crew program that has funded SpaceX and Boeing to produce vehicle to replace the space shuttle the agency retired in 2011.
Demo-1 is SpaceX’s first uncrewed test flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a mission to the ISS and was launched by a Falcon 9 rocket (Block 5 B1051) from the Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 2 March 2019, at 07:49 UTC (02:49 EST). The Crew Dragon transports roughly 180 kg (400 pounds) of crew supplies and equipment, as well as an anthropomorphic test device (ATD) fitted with sensors and nicknamed Ripley.
Video Caption: NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, and Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 58 commander Oleg Kononenko welcomed SpaceX Demo-1 Crew Dragon on 3 March 2019. The spacecraft autonomously docked to the International Space Station’s Harmony module forward International Docking Adapter (IDA) on 3 March 2019, at 10:51 UTC (05:51 EST) and the hatch was opened at 13:07 UTC (08:07 EST).