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.
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.
If Sandra Bullock in Gravity proved anything, it's that George Clooney is smug even in space and that having an emergency exit back to Earth is probably a good thing. NASA is now working on the latter, with plans to equip the International Space Station (ISS) with a dedicated lifeboat for the first time in forty years, giving the orbiting crew there a place to not only shelter from incidents on the platform, but a way to escape it should something go seriously wrong.
SpaceX has shared new footage of its Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rocket being tested only for the second time, carefully blasting up to 1,000m and then safely returning back to the ground. The rocket quadrupled the height that it reached before descending over the first trial, making a landing that was a whole lot more successful than that of the SpaceX Falcon 9 last week.
SpaceX, following its successful ISS mission, has filed a legal challenge against the United Launch Alliance (ULA) contract with the US Air Force, a bid to get a piece of the government business pie. The move aims to open up competition for the Air Force's space missions, and could benefit tax payers at the same time.
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.
SpaceX has successfully launched its CRS-3 Mission, the second attempt to send the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station and further demonstrate the effectiveness of its reusable technology. The launch - scratched earlier in the week - will take a number of specialist devices and equipment to the ISS, including a new laser communication array, and high-resolution cameras which will give viewers new glimpse of Earth from orbit.
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.
SpaceX has been working towards a milestone mission to the International Space Station, where it would deposit cargo including, among other things, a pair of robotic legs. Unfortunately, a last minute issue with the rocket caused the launch to be cancelled and rescheduled for later this week.