The SpaceX Dragon MK 2 is coming, and will be unveiled in full next week. Via Twitter, SpaceX guru Elon Musk confirmed May 29 would be the day we get our first look at their new craft. Though he was light on details of the new craft, there are suggestions it will be a massive improvement over the original.
Russia, who we rely on to get up to the ISS, is currently entertaining a ban on allowing the US use of their rocket engines. NASA, having hamstrung their rocket program not long ago, has no recourse for that action. SpaceX, which seems the only other option, isn’t quite ready for prime time. The fallout may cost the US $5 billion and delay up to 31 planned missions, The Pentagon says in a new report.
Speaking at the 33rd annual International Space Development Conference last Friday, SpaceX’s Elon Musk spoke about the company’s plan to make commercial exploration of space possible. He touched on Mars as well, saying the progress they’ve made at SpaceX is aimed at getting a colony of humans on Mars, and the company is “making some progress in that direction”, but noted “not as fast as I'd like”.
The Expedition 39 crew is back from their recent mission, having spent 188 days in orbit. They’ve completed 3,00 orbits of Earth since November, when they departed Earth for the International Space Station. Their Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft touched down in Kazakhstan at 7:58am Kazakh time.
Those of you familiar with the internet - and how removing things from the internet go - will understand how odd the following bit of news will sound. Back a year ago, NASA and/or Chris Hadfield himself received permission from David Bowie and his labels - Philips, Mercury, RCA - to play and record the song Space Oddity. This resulted in a YouTube video sensation.
This afternoon, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed that they’ve had a successful soft-landing of their Booster rocket for their most recently launched Falcon 9 craft. Musk went on to note that "if all goes well, we’ll be able to land a stage at Cape Canaveral back by the end of the year. The landing of the booster rocket took place in the Atlantic - it was successful, but a storm has destroyed it.
A relatively short spacewalk outside the International Space Station earlier today resulted in NASA astronauts repairing a dead computer. This particular computer system was critical to future missions, and the mission took less than an hour while original projections suggested it’d take between an hour and three hours.
With Earth Day round the bend, you’d expect to hear some positive news regarding our planet and the celestial bodies that surround it; instead we have some not-so-good-news. According to former NASA astronauts, we're depending on "blind luck" when it comes to the asteroids avoiding our planet. Apparently we get hit three to ten times more by large-scale asteroids than what is being officially declared by the authorities, this information being brought forward by this trio of space-fairing fellows this week.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has just posted video of a successful F9R launch, their re-usable rocket concept. The shuttle (pronounced “f-niner”, incidentally) is shown taking off, rising to 250 meters, then landing right next to the launch pad. Though this flight took place in Texas, SpaceX hopes moving venues will let them show off a bit more.