Tuesday, June 18

SpaceX

Boeing Starliner launch slips to May 21 to verify helium leak fix – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Boeing Starliner launch slips to May 21 to verify helium leak fix – Spaceflight Now

Artist’s illustration of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft in orbit. Credit: Boeing Launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying Boeing’s Starliner capsule is slipping another four days, from Friday to next Tuesday, to give engineers time to make sure a helium leak in the crew ship’s propulsion system has been resolved, officials said Tuesday. Liftoff from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is now targeted for May 21 at 4:43 p.m. EDT, setting up a docking at the International Space Station the following afternoon. The flight is expected to conclude with a landing at White Sands, New Mexico, around May 30. Mission commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore and co-pilot Sunita Williams had hoped to take off on the Starliner’s first piloted flight last Monday. They were in the pr...
Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser prepares for pre-launch journey to the Cape – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser prepares for pre-launch journey to the Cape – Spaceflight Now

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplane shown inside a test chamber at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio. Image: Sierra Space Sierra Space is getting one step closer to finally seeing its Dream Chaser spaceplane reach the launch pad. The spacecraft completed its environmental testing at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio, last week. The test campaign began back in January, when the vehicle arrived at the center to undergo shock and vibration testing in February, which lasted about five weeks. That was followed by thermal vacuum testing, where the spaceplane named “Tenacity” and its Shooting Star cargo extension went through more than a month of being exposed to a range of temperatures, ranging from -150°F to 250°F. “Successful completion of an incredib...
SpaceX reaches nearly 6,000 Starlink satellites on orbit following Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX reaches nearly 6,000 Starlink satellites on orbit following Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now

A Falcon 9 rocket streaks across the night sky over Florida as it lifts off on the Starlink 6-58 mission on May 12, 2024. Image: Adam Bernstein/Spaceflight Now SpaceX launched a batch of 23 Starlink satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The mission brings the total number of Starlink satellite to 5,999 satellites in orbit, according to numbers published Sunday by expert orbital tracker and astronomer Jonathan McDowell. He noted that one of the satellites, cataloged as S-2601 reentered the atmosphere earlier in the day. Liftoff of the Starlink 6-58 mission from Space Launch Complex 40 happened at 8:53 p.m. EDT (0053 UTC). This was SpaceX’s 34th dedicated Starlink launch of 2024. The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, B1073 in the Spac...
Long-delayed Boeing Starliner ready for first piloted flight to space station – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

Long-delayed Boeing Starliner ready for first piloted flight to space station – Spaceflight Now

Boeing’s Starliner capsule sits atop the Atlas 5 rocket at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station a day before its planned launch. Image: Michael Cain/Spaceflight Now. Years behind schedule and more than a billion dollars over budget, Boeing’s Starliner capsule is finally poised for its first piloted launch Monday, a critical test flight carrying two veteran astronauts to the International Space Station and in so doing, demonstrate an alternative to SpaceX’s already operational Crew Dragon. While SpaceX has launched 50 astronauts, cosmonauts and civilians to orbit in 13 piloted Crew Dragon flights since May 2020, Boeing has been bedeviled by multiple technical problems that required extensive re-work — and an additional unpiloted test flight — to resolve. But mission...
SpaceX breaks Space Shuttle pad record with Falcon 9 Starlink mission – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX breaks Space Shuttle pad record with Falcon 9 Starlink mission – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX launches its 74th Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. This mission, combined with the preceding Falcon 9 launches and the nine Falcon Heavy flights, allowed SpaceX to surpass the total number of Space Shuttle launches from this pad. Image: Adam Bernstein/Spaceflight Now Update 3:14 p.m. EDT: SpaceX landed the first stage booster, B1083, on the droneship, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas.’ With a Wednesday afternoon launch, SpaceX’s Falcon family of rockets exceeded the total number of Space Shuttle missions from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The combination of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket launches passed the total number of shuttle flights seen at that pad. They reached the milestone with the Starlink 6-56 mission, which launc...