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Dragon CRS-10 cargo craft is unhooked from ISS to re-enter and splash down in the Pacific

Having been unloaded in late February, the SpaceX Dragon CRS-10 (CRS1-10) spacecraft was unberthed from the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2145 GMT on 18 March after its NASA delivery mission. At 0911 GMT on 19 March DRAGON CRS-10 …

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After battling high wind delays Falcon 9 manages to launch telecomms satellite EchoStar 23

A SpaceX Falcon 9v1.2FT expendable rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center, at 0600 GMT on 16 March. The launch marks the third launch of the year for SpaceX who are still trying to get back on

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SpaceX wins second GPS IIIA launch contract

On 14 March, SpaceX announced they had won a US$96.5 million contract, to use its Falcon 9 rocket for the launch of the third US Air Force GPS IIIA spacecraft in February 2019. These “Batch A” spacecraft are currently in

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Satellite 2017: Connectivity to the “Internet of Things” is seen as driver for future satellite traffic

While many have concerns over the Orwellian prospect of being spied on by our own appliances, the “Internet of Things” was viewed as a positive development by the leaders of satellite operators at the Satellite 2017 conference held in Washington …

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SpaceX to launch manned mission around the Moon next year with two paying tourists aboard

SpaceX has agreed to carry two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year, probably with a SpaceX pilot astronaut accompanying them. The unnamed pair have already paid a significant deposit do this moon mission which will …

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Falcon 9 launch from former Space Shuttle Pad 39A starts KSC’s “commercial” career but Dragon CRS-10 rendezvous was delayed (Updated)

While its Cape Canaveral Air Station neighbour moved into commercial launches decades ago, the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) was previously solely used for NASA launches, albeit that some Shuttle launches did occasionally carry paying passengers in spacecraft or human form.  …

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Cracks in their turbopump blades: SpaceX plans a redesign but will fly them as is for now

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US GAO (Government Accounting Office) has disclosed that SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets are suffering from a serious cracking issue to its LOx (liquid oxygen)/kerosene burning Merlin engine turbopump turbine blades. This has …

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SpaceX Falcon 9 comes back in style with Iridium launch success but doubts remain

 

Elon Musk and his SpaceX team scored a successful return for the Falcon 9 rocket with the launch of 10 Iridium Next communications satellites. The launch took place at 1754 GMT on 14 January 2016, from the Vandenberg site …

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Boeing and SpaceX get four more crew delivery missions each

While neither has yet had their manned capsule designs fly, and while both have had their test flight programmes delayed, both Boeing and SpaceX have been awarded contracts by NASA for four more manned commercial flights each to add to …

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SpaceX moves back to slower loading of LOx after Falcon 9 on pad failure investigation

While various theories involving sniper rifles and mystery flying objects abounded, the on-pad pre-launch test failure on 1 September 2016 which destroyed a Falcon 9v1.2 FT-R rocket and the Amos-6 satellite, has been confirmed as likely to have been caused …

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GRACE Follow-on mission signed to Falcon 9 Iridium launch

While the Iridium low Earth orbit communications satellites have had their deployment plans put into disarray by the on-pad failure-induced delays to the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch programme, NASA has not been put off. While the start of the Iridium …

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After Boeing said its commercial crew craft would be late…now it is SpaceX’s turn

In what is rapidly becoming a farcical situation within the NASA commercial crew programme, SpaceX has now admitted that its commercial crew capsule, “Crew Dragon” (aka Dragon V2), will have its first flight delayed from May 2017 until November. This …

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By order of Inmarsat: Hellas-Sat 3/Europasat jumps ship from Falcon Heavy to Ariane 5

The Hellas-Sat 3/Europasat spacecraft which is co-owned by Inmarsat and the Arabsat subsidiary, Hellas-Sat, had previously been booked on-board a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, it will now be lifted into orbit by an Arianespace-operated Ariane 5 rocket. Inmarsat, which was in …

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SpaceX wins US$112 million SWOT launch contract from NASA

The launch contract to launch the Surface Water & Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission has been awarded by NASA to SpaceX. The launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 will fly from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in April 2021. …

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Space Industry News: Multiple non-GEO coms network proposals submitted to FCC

On 15 November 2016, the deadline passed for “additional applications” to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for the use of multiple frequencies over the US by new Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit (NGSO) satellite networks. These applications hope to join the likes …

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WSRF 2016 Dubai: Insurers worry about low premiums, new launch vehicles and hackers

 

Held every two years, albeit now with an additional “half time” conference in London in between the intervening years, the World Space Risk Forum (WSRF) conference in Dubai has become the premier event for space insurers and their clients …

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Terra Bella to co-lead Spaceflight Industries’ Sun Synch Express mission

It was announced on 11 October, that Spaceflight Industries had signed Google-owned Terra Bella as the co-lead on their “2017 Sun Synch Express” (SSO-A) mission. The SSO-A mission will utilise one of Spaceflight’s SHERPA Tugs to transport over 20 payloads …

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Falcon 9 on-pad explosion: Musk accepts that a sniper might have been able to do it

Following our “On a Lighter Note” story that the “smoking gun” cause of the Falcon 9 on-pad failure might really have been a smoking gun, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has accepted the possibility of such an event – even if …

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President Obama calls for Public-Private cooperation on manned Mars mission

While not a noted proponent of long range space exploration (he often stood in its way), President Barack Obama has seen fit to characterise the last days of his US Presidency by strongly advocating a manned mission to orbit Mars …

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SpaceX announces possible cause of 1 September, Falcon 9 explosion, and conducts test of future Mars rocket engine

On 23 September, SpaceX released a statement explaining the progress they had made in the investigation into the cause of the Falcon 9 “anomaly” in the run-up to the AMOS-6 mission. It stated that “…the Accident Investigation Team (AIT), composed …

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