SpaceX and NASA pass huge milestone ahead of Crew Dragon launch

SpaceX and NASA passed a critical milestone yesterday getting us one step close to launching SpaceX's Crew Dragon. During the Flight Readiness Review (FRR), they've come to the decision that Crew Dragon, Falcon 9, and all ground support system at LC-39A are ready to support the launch of Demo Mission 1. The launch of DM-1 is currently targeting March 2nd at 2:48am EST with 2 separate backup windows of March 5th, and March 8th if a scrub due to weather or technical issues occur before launch. Falcon 9 will roll out to the launchpad at February 28th ahead of liftoff the day after. #NASA #SpaceX #Falcon9 #Block5 #CrewDragon

SpaceX successfully delivers the Nusantara Satu satellite and Israeli Moon lander into orbit

At 8:48pm EST, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lit up the Cape Florida skies carrying 2 satellites and a lander into orbit around the Earth. After first stage separation, the second stage ignited its engine and continued on toward orbit while the first stage coasted on its trajectory. This was the highest heating from reentry by far for a first stage booster and it successfully entered the atmosphere and landed on the droneship Of Course I Still Love You stationed in the Atlantic Ocean in one piece. Both the Nusantara Satu satellite and the SpaceIL Lunar Lander were both successfully inserted into the proper Geostationary Transfer Orbit for them to continue on the rest of their missions. Photo: Ri

Don't miss SpaceX launching a historic Moon mission this evening

Tonight at 8:45pm EST, SpaceX will be launching their Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Falcon 9 will be delivering the SSL-built Nusantara Satu satellite for the Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), a leading Asian provider of satellite communications. On top of that, SpaceX is carrying the Israeli SpaceIL Lunar Lander, which will become the world's first privately funded spacecraft to reach the Moon. The first stage of this mission will perform a landing on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. A fairing recovery attempt does not seem to be occurring for this mission due to rough seas. SpaceIL's Lunar Lander comp

Opportunity Rover mission comes to an end

After 8 months of no contact and thousands of commons sent, the Opportunity Rover has been considered gone. on June 10th, there was a dust storm on the surface of Mars that covered the solar panels of the Opportunity Rover and blocking any sunlight from reaching the surface for Opportunity to recharge its batteries. Last night the Mars Rover team sent out the final commands to try and receive a signal of life from the rover, but no signal came back. What was meant to be a 90 Day mission on the surface of Mars, turned into 14.5 years of exploration for the small rover. Opportunity helped the teams learn how to explore the surface of Mars and the challenges along the way to help make later mis

SpaceX breaks records with new Raptor engine

On February 3rd, SpaceX fired up their new Raptor engine for the first time for roughly 3 seconds at the McGregor, Texas testing facility. Raptor uses spark plugs that ignite Methalox torches to start the engines, which allow easy restarts without reloading any ignition fluids like the Merlin Engines use. A few days later, Raptor fired up again and met the power level needed to launch Starship and Super Heavy and reached 257 bar of chamber pressure using warm propellants. Just yesterday, the SpaceX team had the Raptor engine reach 268.9 bar, which surpasses the current chamber pressure held by the RL-180 engine from Russia. Only 250 bar is needed for nominal operation of Starship and Super H

©2016 by Spaceflight News.