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Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Congress fires warning shot at NASA after SpaceX Moon lander award

Congress fires warning shot at NASA after SpaceX Moon lander award

Enlarge / Committee Chair Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., listens to former US Sen. Bill Nelson, President Biden’s nominee to be the next administrator of NASA, on April 21, 2021.NASA On Wednesday, a US senator added an amendment to unrelated science legislation that would impose significant restrictions on NASA and its plans to return to the…
SpaceX successfully lands a Starship test flight

SpaceX successfully lands a Starship test flight

Enlarge / Starship SN15 descending back to Texas under two of its three upgraded raptor engines. Successful landing! By now, many readers are familiar with SpaceX's Starship tests. The rocket makes its way skyward and performs maneuvers that seem like impossibilities to a generation raised on rockets that simply shot things to orbit. These maneuvers…
FCC lets SpaceX cut satellite altitude to improve Starlink speed and latency

FCC lets SpaceX cut satellite altitude to improve Starlink speed and...

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Enlarge / A SpaceX Starlink user terminal/satellite dish. SpaceX today was granted permission to use a lower orbit for Starlink satellites, as regulators agreed with SpaceX that the change will improve broadband speed and latency while making it easier to minimize orbital debris. In granting SpaceX's request, the Federal Communications Commission dismissed opposition from Viasat,…
NASA gets what it wanted: Independent, reliable access to space

NASA gets what it wanted: Independent, reliable access to space

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Aftermath of the liftoff of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission taking four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA. The launch took place just before sunrise in Florida. Trevor Mahlmann SpaceX's Falcon 9 second stage (below) taking the Crew-2 astronauts to orbit as the first stage (middle) fires its cold-gas thrusters to reorient for entry…
NASA’s bold bet on Starship for the Moon may change spaceflight forever

NASA’s bold bet on Starship for the Moon may change spaceflight...

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Enlarge / In the future, what might lunar exploration look like if NASA can send multiple Starships there each year? This SpaceX rendering offers a vision of one such future. When NASA astronauts return to the Moon in a few years, they will do so inside a lander that dwarfs that of the Apollo era.…
Rocket Report: Amazon bypasses New Glenn, SLS ready for Florida shipment

Rocket Report: Amazon bypasses New Glenn, SLS ready for Florida shipment

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Enlarge / NASA and Boeing work to remove the SLS rocket core stage from its test stand in Mississippi.NASA Welcome to Edition 3.42 of the Rocket Report! This week we have an update on Virgin Orbit, which has signed a multilaunch deal for its LauncherOne vehicle. Additionally, NASA has provided a couple of news items…
SpaceX working toward early Tuesday morning Starship launch [Updated]

SpaceX working toward early Tuesday morning Starship launch [Updated]

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SpaceX's Starship SN11 on Pad B in South Texas awaiting launch. In the distance, the first Super Heavy booster prototype (BN1) continues stacking operations. Trevor Mahlmann A photo of the rocket on March 16. Trevor Mahlmann Close-up images of the nose cone flaps. Trevor Mahlmann SN11 may be ready to fly on March 26. Trevor…
Starship goes up. Starship goes down. But is the program moving forward?

Starship goes up. Starship goes down. But is the program moving...

This gallery of SN10 images shows the vehicle's flight on Wednesday. Trevor Mahlmann The vehicle launched from South Texas, one month after the flight of SN9. Trevor Mahlmann First, one engine went out. Trevor Mahlmann Then two. Trevor Mahlmann Then Starship began the process of reorienting itself. Trevor Mahlmann With all three Raptor engines off,…
SpaceX set for its third major Starship flight test on Wednesday

SpaceX set for its third major Starship flight test on Wednesday

Enlarge / Starship SN10 on the pad on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.Trevor Mahlmann SpaceX may launch its third full-scale Starship prototype—named Serial Number 10, or SN10—as early as Wednesday from South Texas. With this vehicle, the company will seek to successfully land the Starship vehicle where the last two versions, SN8 and SN9, each failed…
The 2008 moment when triumph turned to torment for SpaceX

The 2008 moment when triumph turned to torment for SpaceX

Enlarge / The launch of Flight Three of the Falcon 1 rocket looked promising at the beginning.Chris Thompson/SpaceX This is an excerpt from chapter eight of the book LIFTOFF: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX by our own Eric Berger. The book will be published on March 2, 2021. In this…

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