SpaceX is planning to launch its fifth rocket of the year this Thursday at 5:40 p.m.The Falcon 9 rocket will be launching out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying a communications satellite called that weighs nearly 7,000 lbs.As of Tuesday afternoon, weather conditions look good for the launch.Once up, the satellite, which was built by aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK for Thailand s first satellite operator Thaicom PLC, will provide TV and internet services to Southeast Asia.SpaceX's track record for launches has been nearly flawless this year, with four successful launches and three successful landings and retrievals!One of those successes took place on land in December; two more happened in April and May at sea.SpaceX will once again attempt to land the first stage of the rocket on a drone ship in the Atlantic.If it succeeds, it'll be:The fourth successful retrieval of the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket The third successful at-sea landing The second successful landing after launching to the extremely high geostationary orbit, more than 22,000 miles above Earth s equatorDuring SpaceX s last launch, Elon Musk admitted he wasn't sure if they'd stick the landing, citing the extreme heat and velocity the rocket faced upon reentry into Earth s atmosphere.And although it was a hugely surprising success, the re-landed first stage suffered "maximum damage," meaning it's not going back to space again anytime soon.
SpaceX is planning to launch its fifth rocket of the year this Thursday at 5:40 p.m.The Falcon 9 rocket will be launching out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying a communications satellite called that weighs nearly 7,000 lbs.As of Tuesday afternoon, weather conditions look good for the launch.Once up, the satellite, which was built by aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK for Thailand s first satellite operator Thaicom PLC, will provide TV and internet services to Southeast Asia.SpaceX's track record for launches has been nearly flawless this year, with four successful launches and three successful landings and retrievals!If it succeeds, it'll be:The fourth successful retrieval of the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket The third successful at-sea landing The second successful landing after launching to the extremely high geostationary orbit, more than 22,000 miles above Earth s equatorDuring SpaceX s last launch, Elon Musk admitted he wasn't sure if they'd stick the landing, citing the extreme heat and velocity the rocket faced upon reentry into Earth s atmosphere.And although it was a hugely surprising success, the re-landed first stage suffered "maximum damage," meaning it's not going back to space again anytime soon.This launch will give it yet another opportunity to prove that it can achieve this.A report in Florida Today states that the weather conditions for the flight are looking to be near-perfect, with US Air Force meteorologists predicting a 90% chance of favorable conditions for launch.Check out the SpaceX's webcast of the launch below:NOW WATCH: A SpaceX rocket just did something not even its engineers thought was possibleLoading video...
SpaceX just successfully launched its fifth rocket of the year today at 5:40 p.m.The Falcon 9 rocket launched out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at twice the speed of a speeding bullet, carrying a communications satellite called Thaicom 8 that weighs nearly 7,000 lbs and is the size of a rhinoceros.Once up, the satellite, which was built by aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK for Thailand s first satellite operator Thaicom PLC, will provide TV and internet services to Southeast Asia.The satellite will be running for 15 years, which is a long lifetime for a satellite.It will stay powered using solar wings that extend out, each holding four panels.Take a look at that beautiful launch: via GIPHYAnd the landing:SpaceX's track record for launches has been nearly flawless this year, with four successful launches and three successful landings and retrievals!If it succeeds, it'll be:The fourth successful retrieval of the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket The third successful at-sea landing The second successful landing after launching to the extremely high geostationary orbit, more than 22,000 miles above Earth s equatorDuring SpaceX s last launch, Elon Musk admitted he wasn't sure if they'd stick the landing, citing the extreme heat and velocity the rocket faced upon reentry into Earth s atmosphere.And although it was a hugely surprising success, the re-landed first stage suffered "maximum damage," meaning it's not going back to space again anytime soon.
GIFWe usually see rocket launches and landings from above.But there s something about seeing the whole thing happen from the ground-up that s just so much better.SpaceX just put up a little video clip showing its latest rocket landing from the perspective of the Of Course I Still Love You drone barge.It s a solid landing, and the rocket doesn t seem to be in any danger of tipping, either in the video footage or the high-resolution photo sequence that you can see below.But, check out this alternate view of the rocket as it comes into port yesterday:Yep, there s a definite tilt to the rocket.SpaceX s Falcon rocket series uses a crush core inside the landing legs to absorb extra energy when the rocket touches down—and the geostationary orbit this rocket was returning from left it with plenty of extra energy to burn.
SpaceX s last launch, just a single satellite this time Image: SpaceX A pair of satellites is going up this morning on one of SpaceX s Falcon 9s.Will the rocket pull off a double-satellite launch and ocean landing as neatly as it pulled off its singles?Let s watch and find out!That means the rocket is coming back to the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship hot, fast, and with not a lot of extra fuel to spare.Elon Musk has suggested instead that we could finally see a Falcon 9 re-launch sometime in September or October, but no firm date is set as of yet.Watch along with us right here at 10:29 am EDT, when the Falcon 9 and its two satellites blast off.
After a string of successful ocean landings, SpaceX s latest Falcon 9 crashed hard right into its drone ship.SpaceX s feed cut out just as the Falcon 9 touched the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship, leaving both those of us watching and the company equally confused for nearly fifteen minutes about whether the rocket had made it or not.The rocket was visible upright on the pad for a moment between the smoke clouds, but something happened — perhaps it tipped or simply landed too hard — that destroyed the rocket.SpaceX had chalked up a streak of successful drone ship landings — including a few from tough geostationary orbits — so this crash seems like a step backwards, but that s not quite the case.Every geostationary orbit it has attempted has been a new, experimental one, including this latest one.Musk estimates that the fix should be ready before the end of the year.
Musk reports Rapid Unscheduled DisassemblySpaceX's winning streak came to an explosive end with one of its rockets blowing up during its attempted landing.Despite it being fourth time unlucky, the main mission was successful however: SpaceX successfully delivered two satellites into geostationary orbit.Ascent phase & satellites look good, but booster rocket had a RUD on droneship— Elon Musk @elonmusk June 15, 2016A RUD, Rapid Unscheduled Delivery, is a geeky way of saying it is currently in pieces in the North Atlantic.Musk explained one of them had developed low thrust during the landing, causing the rocket to crunch down hard on the drone ship, fall over, and undergo RUD.Landing video will be posted when we gain access to cameras on the droneship later today.Deliveries to low-Earth orbit – like space station missions – are easier because less fuel is needed and, in many cases, the rocket can carry enough fuel to make it back to land and SpaceX's facilities.
The latest SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has landed with a sickening crunch.However, its latest effort has ended in failure.Musk appears to be in positive mood about SpaceX's year so far, though.It's also worth mentioning that this latest flight was successful in its primary mission, which was to launch two satellites into geostationary orbit around the Earth.Indeed, it's the nature of this mission that likely accounts for the failed landing.This means that they require more fuel to attain, which means there's less wriggle room during a hotter-than-normal landing.
Watch Now: SpaceX Rocket CrashSpaceX s attempt earlier this week to once again land a rocket on a drone ship didn t go well.But the difference between success and a broken rocket falling into the sea really isn t big, as the video of the landing shows.We re still waiting on the close-up video from the camera on board the drone ship, which should give a better view of what happened, but the long-range camera gives some idea of what went wrong.DON T MISS: There s a secret symbol on money that prevents you from copying itAccording to Elon Musk, the engine shut down slightly too early, thanks to early liquid oxygen depletion, which is fancy space-man way of saying we ran out of gas.As a result, the rocket was going faster, and it had less fuel to slow down than on previous attempts.SpaceX knew it would be right up against the line of running out of fuel, but I don t think anyone expected it to be quite this close.
Explosion ... What the failed SpaceX landing may have looked likeVideo SpaceX supremo Elon Musk's hopes of adding a fifth rocket to his collection of pre-used space hardware were dashed on Wednesday when the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket suffered a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly.The SpaceX team had been hoping to make it four successful landings of the lower stage in a row.Looks like early liquid oxygen depletion caused engine shutdown just above the deck pic.twitter.com/Sa6uCkpknY— Elon Musk @elonmusk June 17, 2016Fuel is always an issue with geostationary orbital deliveries – satellites need to be boosted up to 35,786 kilometers 22,236 miles above sea level, which leaves very little fuel for a landing – thus the need for a floating landing pad, as the rocket can't make it back to land.SpaceX has already redesigned its fuel tanks once since beginning commercial deliveries to allow more propellant to be carried, and the oxygen it uses is super-chilled to allow more to be fit on board.— Elon Musk @elonmusk June 17, 2016SpaceX's next scheduled delivery is a resupply mission to the International Space Station next month.As that's in low-earth orbit, fuel won't be such a pressing concern.
The Long March 7 rocket lifted off at 8:01am ET on Saturday morning.China's developing space program took another major step forward on Saturday with the launch of its Long March 7 rocket, a new class of booster capable of lifting up to 13.5 metric tons to low-Earth orbit LEO .The launch highlighted several key advances for the rapidly modernizing Chinese rocket program.The new 53-meter rocket is the medium-class version of a new launch family that will also include the heavy lift Long March 5 vehicle with similar capabilities to the Delta IV Heavy rocket , and Long March 6 rocket that will launch small satellites into space.Developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the new fleet of vehicles will allow China to build and service a new space station, which may debut as early as 2022.The engine has a thrust of about 270,000 pounds at sea level, which is less than one of the space shuttle's main engines 418,000 lbf but more than one of the Merlin 1D engines 190,000 lbf used by SpaceX in its Falcon 9 rocket.
Vid A SpaceX video posted late last week is as boring as it gets: the Falcon 9 rocket doesn't even lift off.It is, however, special for this: it's the first time a rocket's first stage has ever been fuelled up and fired after it's been to space.The nine Merlin engines were dosed up with kerosene and given their full burn time, as part of the Elon Musk company's preparation for a future launch that will be the first time in history a booster will lift a second cargo.Thursday's test firing was the booster that launched a Japanese communications satellite in May.It's had something of a hard life, which is why it was used for the test firing: to get the satellite into geostationary orbit demanded a high-velocity launch.Spaceflight Now notes the JCSAT 2B launch exposed this booster to a 6,300 km/h re-entry before it successfully dropped on its barge in the Atlantic Ocean.
Luxembourg based satellite company SES announced today that they ve made an agreement with SpaceX to be the first company to launch a payload on a used Falcon 9 rocket.The re-flight, scheduled to take place late this year, will mark the next big milestone on SpaceX s path toward rocket reusability.To date, Elon Musk s rocket company has recovered six Falcon 9 boosters, but hasn t re-flown any of them.Since the beginning of the year, SES, the world s largest commercial operator of geostationary satellites, had expressed their strong desire to be the first company to fly a payload on a SpaceX used rocket.They were the first commercial satellite operator to launch with SpaceX in 2013 on a launch that was the company s first mission to geostationary orbit.On that particular mission, SpaceX attempted to return their first stage to a drone ship, but was unsuccessful.
If you didn t already know it, SpaceX has an ambitious plan to create a reusable rocket system in a bid to drastically reduce the cost of future space missions.While it s already been busy successfully landing rockets on land and at sea, it hasn t actually gotten around to sending any of them skyward for a second time.Intent on proving its reusable rockets really are reusable, Elon Musk s private space company has teamed up with satellite operator SES for a mission that ll see the SES-10 satellite sent into orbit on a used Falcon 9 rocket.Plenty of choice – SpaceX s hangar of used rockets.Scheduled for launch some time between October and the end of the year, the SES-10 will be the first-ever satellite to launch on a SpaceX flight-proven rocket booster, Luxembourg-based SES said in a release.If all goes according to plan, the satellite will be placed in a geostationary orbit and serve to expand SES s capabilities across Latin America.
Today a SpaceX rocket has exploded during a static fire test at Cape Canaveral, destroying $200 million in payload alone.This explosion destroyed an Amos-6 satellite which was its payload as it were - this all having taken place at SLC40 Cape Canaveral specifically at 1307 UTC September 1st, 2016.The explosion happened to a SpaceX Falcon 9 No.Back on October 5th, 2015, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced via Facebook, obviously , that their first project to deliver internet from space was underway."As part of our collaboration with Eutelsat, a new satellite called AMOS-6 is going to provide internet coverage to large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.The AMOS-6 satellite is under construction now and will launch in 2016 into a geostationary orbit that will cover large parts of West, East and Southern Africa."
The traditional methods include strapping on an extra rocket or rocket stage to kick them into high orbit, or using a lightweight electric thruster on the spacecraft that slowly pushes the satellite to the right spot.Surprisingly, an answer to this dilemma could come from an asteroid mining concept.Joel Sercel, who heads startup mining company TransAstra, and Phil Metzger, a planetary physicist at the Florida Space Institute, are among the advocates for a spacecraft that would fly back and forth, from Earth and then out to a propellant depot.This so-called "space tug" could not only provide a ride for satellites, but also extract valuable resources from asteroids."You can recover the capital investment and deliver the spacecraft at a cost savings and make a profit."While the exact locations of the spacecraft network are being worked out, this is the bare bones of the proposal: Deep in space on a mission in a few decades' time, a mining spacecraft would head out to an asteroid and extract water from it along with other materials and precious metals .
The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency's DARPA Space Surveillance Telescope SST is on track for its transfer to a site in Australia later this year.Late last week, DARPA handed the SST over to the US Air Force, which will operate the space junk and comet hunter from a site in Western Australia in conjunction with the Royal Australian Air Force RAAF .Its next destination is the Harold E Holt naval communication station near Exmouth, WA.The SST is a 3.5 metre telescope able to survey the entire geostationary belt within its field of view multiple times each night, spotting the very faint light coming from space debris 36,000 km away.With DARPA-developed charge-coupled devices and a steeply curved primary mirror that gives it a large field of view, the SST is an order of magnitude more sensitive than the existing Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Telescope GEODSS , DARPA's SST program manager Lindsay Millard told Space News.She said the geostationary orbit contains volume of tens of thousands of oceans.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation s satellite smartphone on display at Airshow China in Zhuhai.One of China s top aerospace technology companies unveiled the first satellite smartphone designed for use with the country s a first mobile communications satellite, Tiantong-1 TT-1 , at the six-day Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong, which wraps up on Sunday.The new smartphone, developed by state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation CASC , is scheduled to go on sale in two to three months, where it will compete in a global market dominated by the British Inmarsat system.We are going to expand our coverage to the whole world by launching a network TT satellites in the next five yearsCASC launched TT-1 into an equator-hugging, geostationary orbit about 35,000km above the earth on August 6.Satellite experts said the new satellite smartphone was a product of the space-based Silk Road , a long-term strategy proposed by Chinese aerospace companies, institutions and scholars to support the country s One Belt, One Road initiative.
Or maybe you used to feel electric discussing things like warm fronts and lightning strikes, but lately your weather conversations lack, shall we say, thermal convection.But talking about the weather is just like other interpersonal activities: You can spice it up by looking at nice pictures.It is called GOES-R, and comes equipped with a 16 channel multispectral imager capable of delivering the hottest, high-resolution cloud-on-cloud action.Since 1975, the US has kept a trio of weather satellites in geostationary orbit—22,3000 miles up.The cast gets rotated as technology improves, but one is always parked over the west side of the country, another over the east, and a third between the other two as backup.But, courtesy of the Japanese Meteorological Administration, you can get a sneak peep show.
GOES-R is on its way to a geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth.In two weeks, it ll reach its destination, becoming the first of a new generation of Earth-observing spacecraft that will extend NOAA s ability to monitor weather in the western hemisphere out to the year 2036.Capable of scanning the planet five times faster, at four times the spatial resolution, and in three times more spectral bands than current geostationary weather satellites, GOES-R is going to be a game changer for forecasting.The newly-launched GOES-R satellite offers much higher-resolution imaging capabilities.NOAA s current GOES satellites were built with 1990s hardware, and if you want an analogy for the technological leap GOES-R represents, just think about your first computer 20 years ago compared with what s sitting on your desk today.The Advanced Baseline Imager ABI , GOES-R s primary weather-monitoring instrument suite, is speedier, higher resolution, and overall far more capable than its predecessors.