Monday, April 22

Tag: Blue Origin

Virgin Galactic launches fifth commercial flight to sub-orbital space and back
Science

Virgin Galactic launches fifth commercial flight to sub-orbital space and back

Planetary scientist Alan Stern, who spearheaded NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, enjoyed a spaceflight of his own Thursday, soaring to the edge of space and back aboard Virgin Galactic's winged spaceplane, chalking up the company's fifth commercial sub-orbital flight.Stern, researcher and STEM "influencer" Kellie Gerardi, Italian investment manager Ketty Maisonrouge, two Virgin Galactic pilots and a company trainer were carried aloft by a carrier jet that released the Unity spaceplane at an altitude of about 44,700 feet above the New Mexico desert. The hybrid motor powering Virgin Galactic's Unity spaceplane ignites high above New Mexico Thursday, propelling the craft to the lower edge of space in the company's tenth sub-orbital flight out of the discernible atmosphe...
SpaceX launches powerful Indonesian communications satellite
Science

SpaceX launches powerful Indonesian communications satellite

SpaceX launched a powerful Indonesian communications satellite Sunday, the linchpin in a $550 million project to provide high-speed internet access to schools, medical centers and thousands of public and government facilities across the island nation.Using a first stage making its 12th flight, the Falcon 9 rocket roared to life at 6:21 p.m. EDT and shot away from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, arcing to the east over the Atlantic Ocean and quickly disappearing from view. A SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off on a Father's Day flight to put a powerful Indonesian communications satellite into orbit, boosting broadband access across thousands of islands in the vast archipelago. William Harwood/CBS New...
Rocket Lab launches two small NASA satellites to monitor tropical storms
Science

Rocket Lab launches two small NASA satellites to monitor tropical storms

Rocket Lab launched two toaster-size satellites for NASA on Sunday, the first of four "cubesats" designed to provide hourly updates of typhoon and hurricane development in a bid to improve forecasting and provide new insights into how tropical storms evolve and intensify. An Electron rocket blasts off from Rocket Lab's picturesque Mahia, New Zealand, launch site, carrying two small NASA satellites designed to monitor tropical storm development. Rocket Lab "The threat to our friends and neighbors is real and repeats every year," said Ben Kim, a program executive with NASA's Earth Science Division. The TROPICS mission, he said, "aims to improve our scientific understanding by ob...
SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches powerful ViaSat internet relay satellite
Science

SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches powerful ViaSat internet relay satellite

After multiple delays for weather and technical issues, SpaceX finally launched a Falcon Heavy rocket Sunday carrying a competitor's internet satellite, the first of three next-generation data relay stations capable of terabyte-per-second performance.After a final hour-long delay because of gusty winds, SpaceX's most powerful operational rocket flashed to life at 8:26 p.m. EDT and climbed away from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center atop more than 5 million pounds of thrust. SpaceX launched its sixth Falcon Heavy rocket Sunday, using the company's most powerful operational booster to put a third-generation ViaSat internet satellite into orbit along with two smaller hitchhiker satellites. William Harwood/...
3D-printed rocket blasts off, withstands rigors of launch but fails to reach orbit
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3D-printed rocket blasts off, withstands rigors of launch but fails to reach orbit

A new rocket, the world's first made up of mostly 3D-printed components and fueled by liquid natural gas, blasted off on its maiden flight Wednesday night and climbed out of the lower atmosphere only to suffer a second stage malfunction that prevented it from reaching orbit.It was a disappointing setback for Relativity Space, a California start-up vying to become a major player in the emerging commercial launch market, but such anomalies are not unusual when flight testing a new rocket, and the company vowed a thorough investigation to find and fix what went wrong. A time exposure captures the brilliant exhaust plume of the methane-burning Terran 1 rocket as it thundered away from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. ...
Science

Rocket Lab launches two radar imaging satellites from Virgina’s Eastern Shore

A Rocket Lab Electron booster blasted off from Virginia's Eastern Shore on Thursday evening, boosting a pair of commercial radar imaging satellites into orbit that are capable of "seeing" through clouds, in daylight or darkness, to monitor the planet below.Making Rocket Lab's 34th flight, the Electron's nine Rutherford first-stage engines thundered to life at 6:38 p.m. EDT, smoothly pushing the 59-foot-tall rocket away from launch complex 2 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia, flight test facility.Climbing away to the southeast over the Atlantic Ocean, the Electron raced past the speed of sound one minute after liftoff, rapidly accelerating out of the thick lower atmosphere and disappearing from view. ...
Science

SpaceX follows Crew Dragon launch scrub with successful Starlink flight

While working to fix a problem that derailed an attempt to launch a four-man crew to the International Space Station, SpaceX pressed ahead with the launch of another Falcon 9 rocket Monday, this one carrying 21 next-generation Starlink internet satellites.The last-minute scrub of a Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon capsule at the Kennedy Space Center was caused by trouble with the rocket's first-stage engine ignition system. To allow time to fix the problem, and to avoid expected bad weather Tuesday, another attempt to send the Crew Dragon fliers on their way was delayed to Thursday.But that didn't affect work at the nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station where a different SpaceX team counted down to launch of another Falcon 9 from pad 40. This time around, after a delay due to high leve...
Science

SpaceX launches high-power Spanish communications satellite

SpaceX launched a high-power Spanish communications satellite Monday that will serve government and corporate users in the Americas, Greenland and along Atlantic Ocean air and maritime shipping corridors."One of the main target markets for this satellite is mobility, in particular in-flight connectivity and maritime (services)," Ignacio Sanchis, chief commercial officer of satellite owner Hispasat, told Spaceflight Now."We will also be providing connectivity services for governments and corporations in the fields of energy, oil and gas, etc., as well as telcos and mobile network operators in extending their cellular networks," Sanchis added. A time exposure captures the launch of Hispasat's Amazonas Nexus communications satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, arcin...
Science

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket suffers in-flight failure in Britain’s first orbital flight

Virgin Orbit launched nine small satellites atop a rocket dropped from a 747 jumbo jet south of Ireland on Monday, but the booster suffered a failure during the climb to space and the payloads were lost, the company said.The 747 "Cosmic Girl" jet took off from Cornwall Airport Newquay near Britain's southwest coast in what had been billed as the first orbital launch from the United Kingdom and western Europe.The repurposed Virgin Atlantic passenger jet, with the 70-foot-long 57,000-pound LauncherOne rocket tucked under its left wing, took off just after 5 p.m. EST, cheered on by airport workers, area residents and government officials as it slowly climbed away to the west and disappeared from view over the Atlantic Ocean. Virgin Orbit's "Cosmic Girl" 747 jumbo jet u...