Tuesday, April 16

SpaceX

SpaceX to launch next 6 Direct to Cell capable Starlinks on Falcon 9 flight from Vandenberg Space Force Base – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX to launch next 6 Direct to Cell capable Starlinks on Falcon 9 flight from Vandenberg Space Force Base – Spaceflight Now

A stack of SpaceX Starlink satellites, which included the first six featuring Direct to Cell capabilities. The batch launched on the Starlink 7-9 mission, which lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Jan. 2, 2024. Image: SpaceX For a second time this year, SpaceX is preparing to launch another batch of Starlink satellites that support its Direct to Cell capability. The six spacecraft are among the 21 total satellites set to launch on Saturday, April 6, from Vandenberg Space Force Base. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) is set for 7:25 p.m. PDT (10:25 EDT, 0225 UTC). If needed, SpaceX has backup opportunities during the launch window that runs until 11:17 p.m. PDT (2:17 a.m. EDT, 0617 UTC). Spaceflight Now will have live coverage beginning abou...
NASA unveils three teams to compete for crewed lunar rover demonstration mission – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

NASA unveils three teams to compete for crewed lunar rover demonstration mission – Spaceflight Now

NASA awarded contracts for three companies and their teams to move into the feasibility phase of developing options for a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV). Renderings: Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, Astrolab NASA selected three companies to move forward with developing crewed, unpressurized rovers capable of operating on the Moon’s South Pole on Wednesday. Intuitive Machine’s Moon RACER (Reusable Autonomous Crewed Exploration Rover), Lunar Outpost’s Lunar Dawn and Venturi Astrolab’s FLEX (Flexible Logistics and Exploration) rovers were selected by NASA as part of its Lunar Terrain Vehicle Service (LTVS) contract. The maximum potential value of the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, milestone-based contract is $4.6 billion, according to NASA. Those three principles are each leading mul...
Eutelsat mission marks first of double Falcon 9 launch day for SpaceX – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Eutelsat mission marks first of double Falcon 9 launch day for SpaceX – Spaceflight Now

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Eutelsat 36D satellite lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on March 30, 2024. Image: Adam Bernstein/Spaceflight Now SpaceX was aiming for an ambitious launch cadence on Saturday evening with potentially three launches on tap in fewer than five hours. The first two Falcon 9 rockets are departed from Florida’s Space Coast with the last mission hoped to take off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. However, poor weather scuttled the third launch in the end. First up to the plate was the Eutelsat 36D mission, which lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 5:52 p.m. EDT (2152 UTC). The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, tail number B1076 in the SpaceX fleet, made its 12 launch....
SpaceX launches 23 Starlink satellites onboard Falcon 9 flight from Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX launches 23 Starlink satellites onboard Falcon 9 flight from Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now

A Falcon 9 rocket streaks across the night sky above Florida on the Starlink 6-45 mission on March 30, 2024. Image: Michael Cain/Spaceflight Now Update: Falcon 9 launched at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 UTC). SpaceX followed the successful launch of a European television satellite with the first of a planned pair of its own Starlink missions from both Florida and California. The first Falcon 9 flight, Starlink 6-45, departed from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at pad 40 at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 UTC). This was the 20th Starlink mission of 2024. Launch weather for the mission was about as ideal as it gets. The 45th Weather Squadron forecast a greater than 95 percent chance of favorable launch conditions, with the Thick Cloud Layers rule as the main watch item. The Falcon 9 booster supporting the St...
Boeing, NASA target May 1 for first crewed flight of Starliner to the space station – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Boeing, NASA target May 1 for first crewed flight of Starliner to the space station – Spaceflight Now

NASA astronauts Suni Williams (left) and Butch Wilmore (right) pose in front of a graphic of the mission patch for the Starliner Crew Flight Test. Image: Will Robinson-Smith/Spaceflight Now NASA is five weeks away from putting astronauts aboard a new commercial crew capsule. May 1 is the target launch date for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on the Crew Flight Test-1 (CFT-1) mission the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams on board. The capsule will launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Liftoff on May 1 would be at 12:55 a.m. ET (1655 UTC) with docking taking place on May 2. “This is a thrill for me and our entire Boeing Starlin...