rocket

ESA’s Vega rocket demonstration reports success after months of delays

ESA’s Vega rocket demonstration reports success after months of delays

Last Wednesday, the European Space Agency successfully launched its Vega rocket from French Guiana after around a year of delays. The launch took place from Europe's Spaceport and involved deploying 53 small satellites into orbit -- a mission that ended up a complete success, according to the ESA. The space agency says this mission demonstrated that Vega and the wider Small Spacecraft Mission Service dispenser is capable of offering launch services to customers.

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Rocket Lab reveals that its last Electron launch included a secret satellite

Rocket Lab reveals that its last Electron launch included a secret satellite

Rocket Lab, the private space company that is launching rockets every handful of weeks, has revealed that its most recent launch included a secret payload developed by the company itself. Called 'Photon,' this payload was a demonstration of Rocket Lab's latest business initiative, one that will enable the company to offer 'end-to-end space solutions' for customers who need them. The Photon satellite is the first that was designed and built in-house by Rocket Lab.

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SpaceX bags first polar mission from Florida in 50 years

SpaceX bags first polar mission from Florida in 50 years

Just when you thought the company couldn't make history anymore, SpaceX just launched yet another one. Although it had to cancel the first of its two planned launches on Sunday due to unfavorable weather conditions, luck seemed to still smile on it as it launched what may be the more historic one. Not only that, but it was also able to safely land the Falcon 9 rocket that has now flown four times and is now also the first rocket to be launched from Florida on a polar corridor mission since 1969.

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The huge rocket for the ULA Vulcan just passed a fiery milestone

The huge rocket for the ULA Vulcan just passed a fiery milestone

The new rocket motor for the huge ULA Vulcan is one step closer to launching into space, with Northrop Grumman successfully putting one of the beastly motors through its paces this week. The ground test of the extended length 63-inch-diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor, known as GEM 63XL, is a key milestone on the way to giving the rocket its next-generation engines.

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Rocket Lab will resume launches in August despite recent failure

Rocket Lab will resume launches in August despite recent failure

Despite its launch failure in July, Rocket Lab has confirmed that it will still conduct a new launch in August, taking another shot at launching one of its Electron rockets. The company says that its team is 'confident' that they found the cause of the launch failure that occurred last month, one that resulted in the loss of various payloads, including a satellite that was being launched on behalf of camera company Canon.

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Watch SpaceX dramatically catch both halves of its Falcon fairing

Watch SpaceX dramatically catch both halves of its Falcon fairing

On Monday, July 20, SpaceX added another milestone to its list of 'firsts,' this time announcing that it had successfully caught both halves of its Falcon 9 fairings. The achievement was first revealed by Elon Musk; SpaceX is back today with two videos that let the public watch this success for itself. As anticipated, SpaceX also successfully landed the Falcon 9 first stage on the 'Just Read the Instructions' droneship.

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SpaceX makes history again by catching both Falcon 9 fairing halves

SpaceX makes history again by catching both Falcon 9 fairing halves

Many of SpaceX's rocket launches of late have almost become unexciting and normal, which is actually a good thing for the company's goals. Just as each and every plane flight has become almost banal, so too will space flight become in SpaceX's and Elon Musk's vision. That said, there are still some things that the company has to check off its list and it has just reached not just one but two milestones in what would have normally been an uneventful 90th Falcon 9 launch.

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UAE Hope successfully launches first Mars mission

UAE Hope successfully launches first Mars mission

The US and sometimes China and Europe often get the lion's share of space-faring news but they are hardly the only ones with their eyes set on the heavens above. Like the New Frontier of old, outer space and the heavenly bodies are pretty much fair game for anyone that can reach them. The problem, of course, is the last part, and the United Arab Emirates has just proven to the world that it indeed can with the successful launch of its first-ever space mission, the Martian probe Al-Amal, or Hope.

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Rocket Lab’s Electron mission failure takes out seven satellites

Rocket Lab’s Electron mission failure takes out seven satellites

Rocket Lab experienced a mission failure on July 4th for reasons that remain unclear, resulting in the loss of both the launch vehicle and the seven satellites carried as payload. The company aims to offer rapid launches for small payloads like CubeSats; it has already had a dozen successful missions and had several launches planned for later this year.

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Rocket Lab prepares to launch a Canon camera microsatellite into orbit

Rocket Lab prepares to launch a Canon camera microsatellite into orbit

You're probably familiar with Canon's consumer camera products -- its fixed-lens models and DSLRs, for example -- but lesser-known is the company's work on micro-satellites. Back in 2017, Canon tapped India to launch one of its own small satellites, something that paved the way for two more satellite launches that will happen in 2020. The first launch, which involves Canon's CE-SAT-IB satellite, will take place in early July.

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SpaceX to now make Starship its top priority

SpaceX to now make Starship its top priority

SpaceX has made history twice last week in launching two NASA astronauts and docking the Crew Dragon capsule with the International Space Station, a first for a commercial spacecraft. Although it was just the first of many planned crewed missions, CEO Elon Musk seems intent on making sure the company remembers what it's really all about, launching 100 or more people into space aboard the Starship and its future kin.

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SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites with sun-blocking visors

SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites with sun-blocking visors

It hasn't even been a week yet and SpaceX already made its second rocket launch. Of course, such frequent launches will be the norm if the company ever achieves its goal of economic commercial rocket launches. While last week's historic launch brought two astronauts to the International Space Station, this latest catapults non-living satellites into orbit. While comparatively less exciting, it still makes a few first for Elon Musk's highest-profile company after Tesla.

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