SpaceX launches their last Block 4 rocket, sending Dragon to the ISS

At 5:41am EDT, SpaceX launched their final Block 4 first stage, making all future launches the new Block 5 rocket. They launched their Dragon spacecraft en-route to the International Space Station carrying 5,900 pounds of cargo and science experiments. The Falcon 9 launched from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) and lit up the sky as the 9 Merlin engines ignited. The rocket ascended into the Florida skies and entered the sunlight just before first stage separation, causing the plume of the engines to be illuminated. The plume greatly expanded across the sky bringing an amazing view and even more spectacular images to the state of Florida. Now, Dragon will be performing a series of maneuvers t

Early morning spectacular tomorrow as the Falcon 9 will ascend into the skies just before sunrise

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is ready on the pad for an early morning launch of 5:42am EDT. While the skies were gloomy and rainy during remote camera setup, weather is still 90% go for launch for on on-time liftoff tomorrow morning. This is the fifteenth resupply mission for SpaceX and Dragon under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. The Falcon 9 will be launching from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) with a first stage that was previously used for the TESS mission in April, and a Dragon spacecraft that was previously used for the CRS-9 mission in July 2016. The first stage of this Falcon 9 will not be attempted to recovered, as it is the last Block 4 booster. All launches from

It's business time for Rocket Lab

Tonight at 10:27pm EDT, Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is launching from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand carrying 3 satellites as well as 2 more small satellites into an elliptical orbit. The satellites will be brought up to 500km and then circularized by Rocket Lab's Curie engine powered kick stage, completing the mission. The launch of Electron was originally scheduled for between April 20th through May 3rd, but was delayed due to unusual behavior with a motor controller during a wet dress rehearsal. The main mission is the deployment of Two lemur-2 satellites from Spire Global and a GeoOptics Inc satellite built by Tyvak nano-Satellite Systems. The secondary payloads are the IRVINE01 and

Ancient Organic Material found on the Red Planet

New evidence found by NASA's Curiosity rover suggests that Mars could have supported life in the past. The organic molecules were found in sedimentary rockets near the surface which date to about 3 billion years old and there is variations in the levels of methane in the atmosphere. These organic materials, while normally associated with life, can be made by non-biological processes and don't always mean there was once or currently life. Jen Eigenbrode of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbeld, Marlyand said " matter in Martian materials holds chemical clues to planetary conditions and processes". These new findings are very exciting for the scientists analyzing the data f

Block 5 Falcon Heavy is targeting this fall for the next launch

SpaceX's next Falcon Heavy is planned to launch from LC-39a with a payload for the Air Force - this time with more power. The next Falcon Heavy launch will use all Block 5 boosters instead of the mixed Block 2/3 boosters like the one that launched in February. The launch is targeted for no earlier than late October with a payload for the Air Force and its Space Technology Program-2 (STP-2) mission which includes dozens of spacecraft. NASA is also having a rideshare on this mission of their Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC), which is "the most precise atomic clock ever flown in space", states by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. SpaceX's new Block 5 Falcon 9 features an increased thrust of the rock

New Horizons spacecraft has woken up for hibernation ahead of its historic Kuiper Belt flyby

The New Horizons spacecraft has woken up from hibernation that started on December 21st and is preparing for its flyby of Ultima Thule, a Kuiber Belt object. The Mission Operations Manager (MOM), Alice Bowman, has reported that the spacecraft is operating nominally and is in good health after coming out of hibernation at 2:12am EDT. The New Horizons cruised through deep space more than 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) away from Earth during its almost 6 month hibernation period. This period of hibernation helped the spacecraft reserve its resources for it to last longer and have individual systems stay in optimal condition. The team will be collecting navigation data from the spacecr

SES-12 will be launching on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket tonight

Tonight at 12:29am EDT, the 4-hour launch window opens for the launch of SES-12 on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. The Falcon 9 will launch from Space launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) and ascend into Florida's night sky. The SES-12 satellite will separate from the second stage approximately 32 minutes after liftoff. The Falcon 9 that is launching SES-12 tonight is being launched on a flight-proven first stage that previously supported the OTV-5 mission that launched back in September. No recovery hardware has been installed on the first stage and no attempt will be made to recover this booster. This should be the second to last block 4 booster to launch from SpaceX. The second stage on this Falcon 9 is

©2016 by Spaceflight News.