Tuesday, April 16

SpaceX

NASA requests proposals to reduce cost, timeline of Mars Sample Return mission – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

NASA requests proposals to reduce cost, timeline of Mars Sample Return mission – Spaceflight Now

This illustration shows a concept for multiple robots that would team up to ferry to Earth samples of rocks and soil being collected from the Martian surface by NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover.Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech NASA is going back to square one when it comes to many aspects of its Mars Sample Return mission in response to independent reviews that showed ballooning costs and significant schedule delays. The current architecture called for no less than five separate vehicles to transport back to Earth more than two dozen samples collected on the Martian surface by the Perseverance rover, which has been traveling the Red Planet since 2021 and is the first of those. “Every indication that we’ve had from the independent review boards, plus the [Inspector General], that this thing could...
SpaceX launches Falcon 9 booster on record-breaking 20th flight – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX launches Falcon 9 booster on record-breaking 20th flight – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage booster, B1062, lifts off from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on the Starlink 6-49 mission. This marked the first time a booster launch and landed for a 20th time. Image: Adam Bernstein Update 10:13 p.m. EDT: SpaceX successfully launched and landed its booster, B1062, for a 20th time. SpaceX shattered multiple records Friday night as it launched 23 satellites for the company’s Starlink internet service from Cape Canaveral. A Falcon 9 rocket lifted offf from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 9:40 p.m. EDT (0140 UTC). It was the first time a Falcon 9 first-stage booster flew for a 20th time and it came just two days, 20 hours since another Falcon 9 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral’s pad 40. That smashes the previous record for the shortest tim...
SpaceX launches Space Force weather satellite designed to take over for a program with roots to the 1960s – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX launches Space Force weather satellite designed to take over for a program with roots to the 1960s – Spaceflight Now

The Weather System Follow-on – Microwave (WSF-M) space vehicle was successfully encapsulated April 8, 2024, ahead of its scheduled launch as the U.S. Space Force (USSF)-62 mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., marking a major milestone on its upcoming launch into low Earth orbit. Image: SpaceX SpaceX launched a military weather satellite designed to replace aging satellites from a program dating back to the 1960s. The United States Space Force-62 (USSF-62) mission featured the launch of the first Weather System Follow-on Microwave (WSF-M) spacecraft. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base happened at 7:25 a.m. PDT (10:25 a.m. EDT (1425 UTC), which was the opening of a 10-minute launch window. The booster supporti...
SpaceX to launch Falcon 9 rocket on Starlink mission from Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX to launch Falcon 9 rocket on Starlink mission from Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now

A Falcon 9 stands ready for a Starlink mission at Cape Canaveral’s pad 40. File photo: Adam Bernstein/Spaceflight Now. Update 12:41 a.m. EDT: SpaceX adjusted the T-0 liftoff time. SpaceX is preparing to launch its latest batch of Starlink satellites during a mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The Falcon 9 flight will be the company’s 24th dedicated Starlink launch in 2024. Liftoff of the Starlink 6-48 mission from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is set for 1:40 a.m. EDT (0540 UTC). Spaceflight Now will have live coverage starting about one hour prior to liftoff. The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, tail number B1083 in the SpaceX fleet, will be launching for a second time. Its first flight supported the launch of the Crew-8 ...
SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center on 1st ‘Bandwagon’ mission – Spaceflight Now
SpaceX

SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center on 1st ‘Bandwagon’ mission – Spaceflight Now

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A on the Bandwagon-1 rideshare mission on April 7, 2024. Image: Adam Bernstein SpaceX launched the first in a new series of rideshare missions that it dubbed “Bandwagon.” The 11 satellites rode onboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Liftoff occurred at 7:16 p.m. EDT (2316 UTC). A day before the mission, the 45th Weather Squadron forecast better than 95 percent odds of favorable conditions at launch time. Like the “Transporter” rideshare flights, the Falcon 9 rocket for the Bandwagon-1 mission launched with a batch of satellites, which were deployed over a period of time. However, SpaceX did not disclose the timing of the deployments as it typically does with Transporter missions. This was l...