Rockets

Inspiration4 crew returned safely to Earth

Inspiration4 crew returned safely to Earth

SpaceX launched a mission with a fully civilian crew a few days ago called Inspiration4. It was a milestone trip into orbit as the first mission to feature an entirely civilian crew. Crew members launched into orbit last Wednesday and orbited the Earth at an altitude of 363 miles above the surface.

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SpaceX Tweets a video showing Inspiration4’s cupola in orbit

SpaceX Tweets a video showing Inspiration4’s cupola in orbit

One of the coolest things about the Crew Dragon capsule used for the Inspiration4 mission that put an all civilian crew in orbit happened due to being able to remove the docking connector from the nose of the capsule. Typically, in the nose of a Crew Dragon capsule is the docking apparatus for connecting the capsule to the ISS. Since Inspiration4 isn't docking with the ISS, that apparatus was removed, and in its place was put a cupola to give crewmembers an incredible view of space and Earth while in orbit.

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How to watch the groundbreaking SpaceX Inspiration4 launch today

How to watch the groundbreaking SpaceX Inspiration4 launch today

SpaceX and Inspiration4 are on track for a launch of the groundbreaking first all-civilian crew into space, with blast-off currently scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, September 15 in the US. If all goes to plan, the four-strong crew will ride a SpaceX Crew Dragon into orbit around Earth, for the start of a three day mission.

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Firefly Aerospace orbital rocket fails to reach orbit

Firefly Aerospace orbital rocket fails to reach orbit

This week was a big one for Firefly Aerospace. The company is a small private space firm that was trying to reach orbit using its Alpha orbital vehicle. Its first orbital attempt happened on September 2 with liftoff from Vandenberg Space Force Base. The goal was to deploy multiple payloads in a low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 300 kilometers.

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Astra’s third rocket launch failed

Astra’s third rocket launch failed

Astra recently attempted its third rocket launch aimed to put a simulated military payload into orbit. The third launch attempt happened on August 28 from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island in Alaska. Unfortunately for Astra, its launch failed about two and a half minutes into liftoff.

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Virgin Orbit reveals $3.2bn plan to go public: What Branson is counting on

Virgin Orbit reveals $3.2bn plan to go public: What Branson is counting on

Virgin Orbit may not be as well known as Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, but it could end up just as lucrative as the satellite-launching company plans to go public with a multi-billion-dollar valuation. Spun out of the private spaceflight company in 2017, Virgin Orbit uses an air-launched rocket to deliver more affordable satellite deployments.

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Blue Origin reportedly lost a significant number of key employees

Blue Origin reportedly lost a significant number of key employees

There are significant amounts of money to be made in the commercial spaceflight program with NASA. With significant amounts of money to be made, multiple companies compete to land contracts with NASA for various missions and to place payloads into space. SpaceX seems to be the darling of NASA right now, winning more contracts and handling more missions than other competing companies. Recently, SpaceX was given the contract worth billions of dollars to place a lunar lander on the moon's surface.

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34 new OneWeb satellites have been launched into orbit

34 new OneWeb satellites have been launched into orbit

There are numerous companies worldwide working to put small satellites into orbit capable of delivering broadband to any location on the globe. While the most well-known of these satellites is the SpaceX Starlink network, it's far from the only satellite constellation being placed in orbit specifically for broadband connectivity.

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Rocket Lab will supply multiple rockets to Varda Space Industries

Rocket Lab will supply multiple rockets to Varda Space Industries

Rocket Lab has announced that it has inked a deal with a company called Varda Space Industries. Varda is an in-space manufacturing company, and the deal will see Rocket Lab produce three Photon spacecraft to be integrated into the Varda space factories. The goal is to enable products to be manufactured in zero gravity and then returned to Earth using the Varda re-entry capsule.

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SpaceX’s massive booster and Starship will return to the launchpad

SpaceX’s massive booster and Starship will return to the launchpad

Recently, SpaceX has been working hard to join its massive Starship spacecraft and the gigantic Super Heavy Booster and placed them on the launchpad. However, not long after the two were joined together for the first time, Starship was removed from the launchpad and taken back to a facility known as high bay. Speculation swirled about the reasoning for removing the spacecraft from the launchpad so quickly after it was assembled there.

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Boeing’s latest Starliner glitch sounds more serious than first reported

Boeing’s latest Starliner glitch sounds more serious than first reported

Boeing's Starliner issues last week were more serious than most believed, it's been revealed today, with numerous valve failures in the propulsion system forcing NASA to scrub the launch. Starliner, which Boeing hopes one day will fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, has struggled through numerous setbacks over the past few years, though the aerospace firm had hoped to put that behind it with a successful OFT-2 mission.

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Rocket Lab to send NASA’s CAPSTONE mission to the moon

Rocket Lab to send NASA’s CAPSTONE mission to the moon

Rocket Lab is a company that uses small rockets to place light payloads into orbit using the Electron launch vehicle. The company has announced that it will be launching a mission for NASA to the moon from its launch site in New Zealand. Currently, the launch is scheduled to happen sometime in Q4 2021.

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