Launch

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A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off for the Koreasat 5A mission on Oct. 30. Photo: SpaceX.

SpaceX Relands Another Falcon 9 After Koreasat 5A Launch

SpaceX successfully relanded yet another Falcon 9 first stage booster after delivering the Koreasat 5A satellite to orbit for South Korean operator KT Sat on Oct. 30. The rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:34 p.m. EDT, deployed the satellite to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), and then gently touched down […]

By | October 31, 2017

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches the third set of Iridium Next satellites into orbit on Oct. 9. Photo: SpaceX.

Iridium Swaps to Flight-Proven Rocket for December Launch

Iridium has reached an agreement with SpaceX to use flight-proven first stages for its next two satellite launches. The company announced it confirmed with its insurers that there is no increase in premium for the launch contract, reflecting Iridium’s conclusion that the risk profile is unchanged. “I believe that reusability is the future for satellite […]

By | October 23, 2017

Aerial view of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern shore of Virginia. Photo: NASA.

Vector Schedules Three Launches from Wallops Island

Nanosatellite launch provider Vector has entered into an agreement with Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (Virginia Space) to conduct three commercial orbital missions out of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) in the next 24 months with an option for five additional launches. According to Vector, these initial flights from MARS — which is located […]

By | October 23, 2017

The first completed BE-4 engine. Photo: Blue Origin.

Blue Origin’s BE-4 Engine Passes Hot-Fire Test

First hotfire of our BE-4 engine is a success #GradatimFerociter pic.twitter.com/xuotdzfDjF — Blue Origin (@blueorigin) October 19, 2017 After more than five years of development, Blue Origin has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its liquid natural gas-powered BE-4 rocket engine. Blue Origin Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Bezos’ grand scheme is to use the […]

By | October 20, 2017

SpaceX Air Force EELV

NASA Awards Launch Contracts for Landsat 9, Sentinel 6A

NASA announced it has selected launch providers for both its Sentinel 6A and Landsat 9 missions. SpaceX plans to launch the Sentinel 6A mission from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in November 2020. United Launch Alliance (ULA) is targeting a launch date of June 2021 for Landsat 9 on an […]

By | October 20, 2017

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches EchoStar 105/SES 11 into orbit on Oct. 12, 2017. Photo: SpaceX.

Spacecom to Fly Satellites with SpaceX Again

Israel-based satellite operator Spacecom has selected SpaceX to launch a new satellite in the second quarter of 2019, and potentially another satellite the year after. According to an Oct. 18 press release, Spacecom will use the funds from SpaceX’s failed attempt to launch Amos 6 last year to cover the costs of launching the first […]

By | October 19, 2017

Falcon 9 lifts off for the launch of Echostar 105/SES 11 on Oct. 11. Photo: SpaceX.

SpaceX to Launch Mysterious Payload for Northrop Grumman

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings have revealed that SpaceX plans to launch an undisclosed payload for Northrop Grumman sometime in November. While it is assumed the satellite will be used for government operations, no official agency has stepped forward to claim the payload, including the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which has launched multiple spy satellites […]

By | October 18, 2017

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket carrying NROL 52 lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 3:28 a.m. ET. on Oct. 15. Photo: ULA.

Following Setbacks, ULA Successfully Launches NRO Mission

After a number of launch delays due to weather and technical malfunctions, United Launch Alliance (ULA) orbited a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in the early hours of Oct. 15. Designated NROL 52, the mission is in support of national security, and as such NRO declined to release further details about the payload. […]

By | October 16, 2017

Falcon 9 rocket just after lift off, carrying the EchoStar 105/SES 11 satellite. Photo: SpaceX.

SpaceX Orbits Dual-Purpose Satellite for SES, EchoStar

SpaceX has successfully launched the EchoStar 105/SES 11 satellite from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After deploying the satellite to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) yesterday evening, SpaceX completed another smooth re-landing of the rocket’s first stage on one of the company’s drone ships off the coast of Cape Canaveral. Built by Airbus, EchoStar 105/SES […]

By | October 12, 2017

A Falcon 9 rocket awaits launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Oct. 9. Photo: SpaceX.

SpaceX Launches Third Batch of Iridium Next Satellites

SpaceX successfully delivered 10 additional Iridium Next satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) approximately one hour after its Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Oct. 9. With two successful launches already completed this year, this third batch of 10 satellites brings the total number of Iridium Next satellites […]

By | October 9, 2017

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