Tuesday, May 24

SpaceX

SpaceX launches third Starlink mission in five days – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX launches third Starlink mission in five days – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket transits the face of the sun moments after liftoff Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Credit: Michael Cain / Spaceflight Now / Coldlife Photography SpaceX’s third Starlink satellite delivery mission in five days departed Florida’s Space Coast just after sunrise Wednesday, adding 53 more mass-produced communications spacecraft to the company’s broadband internet network. A Falcon 9 rocket climbed off its firing stand at the Kennedy Space Center at 6:59:40 a.m. EDT (1059:40 GMT) to kick off SpaceX’s 21st mission of the year, and the 14th launch of 2022 dedicated to deploying the Starlink network. The launch originated from pad 39A at Kennedy, the historic site once used for liftoffs of NASA’s Apollo moon program, and now leased by SpaceX for crew and...
Boeing’s Starliner capsule completes first “nail-biting” docking at space station – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Boeing’s Starliner capsule completes first “nail-biting” docking at space station – Spaceflight Now

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov captured this view of the Starliner spacecraft approaching the International Space Station. Credit: Sergey Korsakov / Roscosmos Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule finally reached the International Space Station Friday night with a “nail-biting” rendezvous and docking, overcoming several technical glitches to accomplish a long-awaited objective for the spacecraft before NASA clears it to ferry astronauts to the research complex. The crew capsule docked at the forward end of the station’s Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. EDT Friday (0028 GMT Saturday), using vision-based navigation to autonomously guide itself to the docking target. There were no astronauts on the Starliner spacecraft that docked Friday night, but the human-rated ship is designed to carry people to...
Starliner astronauts eager to see results from crew capsule test flight – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Starliner astronauts eager to see results from crew capsule test flight – Spaceflight Now

NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore speaks with reporters Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky The NASA astronauts training for the first crew missions on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft will be closely watching each step of the capsule’s unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station, set for blastoff Thursday from Cape Canaveral on an Atlas 5 rocket. NASA has funneled more than $5 billion into Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule program since 2010, but the spacecraft is running years behind schedule. The mission set for launch Thursday, named Orbital Flight Test-2, is a precursor demonstration flight to prove out key Starliner systems before NASA commits to putting astronauts on the vehicle. The first Starliner test flight in December 2019 ended prematurely due t...
Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule takes off on long-awaited test flight – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule takes off on long-awaited test flight – Spaceflight Now

ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket climbs off pad 41 with Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft thundered into orbit Thursday from Cape Canaveral aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, aiming to dock at the International Space Station on a years-late test flight to prove the capsule’s systems before flying astronauts. The successful launch came nearly two-and-a-half years after the first Starliner test flight was cut short by software problems, preventing it from docking at the space station. Boeing and NASA decided to retry the test flight, but managers called off a launch attempt last August after valves in the Starliner propulsion system, requiring more than nine months of troubleshooting and testing to get the mission back on t...
Atlas 5 rocket and Starliner capsule return to Florida launch pad – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Atlas 5 rocket and Starliner capsule return to Florida launch pad – Spaceflight Now

ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket and Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule on their launch pad Wednesday at Cape Canaveral. Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now United Launch Alliance rolled an Atlas 5 rocket to its launch pad Wednesday at Cape Canaveral, moving into the starting position for a critical unpiloted demo flight of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule. Unlike the first Starliner test flight, the spacecraft’s launch abort system will be armed during the climb to space Thursday. Running years behind schedule, Boeing’s crew capsule is one of two spacecraft NASA selected in 2014 to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The other capsule was SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which has now launched seven times with people on-board. Boeing officials hope the Starliner spacecraft’s...