NASA is aiming for a manned SpaceX mission in the first quarter of 2020. NASA chief Jim Bridenstine made the announcement Thursday, Reuters reported.
The pronouncement of a revised time frame signaled NASA believes SpaceX is getting the Crew Dragon project back on track following an explosion during a ground test in April and technical challenges with its re-entry parachute system. Bridenstine said successful development of the capsule was key to achieving NASA’s top priority – the resumed “launching of American astronauts on American rockets from American soil” for the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. The NASA administrator spoke to reporters at the end of a visit to the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, just outside Los Angeles, where chief executive Elon Musk led him on a tour of the sprawling manufacturing plant.
SpaceX has postponed its Starlink project due to high winds Wednesday night. Starlink is Elon Musk’s plan to provide global, low-cost satellite internet.
Sixty Starlink satellites have been packed into the nose cone of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that’s waiting to launch. Over the next eight years, the company plans to deploy around 12,000 of the satellites into low-Earth orbit to create its widespread broadband network as part of a project said to be costing the company $10 billion.
Its first goal is to deploy 4,425 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit at an altitude of between 690 miles (1,110 km) and 823 miles (1,325 km). These will act as the backbone of Starlink’s internet service.
SpaceX will move a step closer to putting human’s into space this weekend. Early Saturday morning, it will launch an upgraded version of its Dragon capsule craft, called Crew Dragon. The craft will contain supplies for International Space Station. Wired reported on how Elon Musk’s company hopes to prove that this type of craft can keep a human crew safe if it had to make an emergency landing.
SpaceX has always intended for its Dragon capsules to ferry humans, but Every SpaceX Dragon capsule launched so far has only shuttled cargo to and from the ISS. The upgraded version, debuting on DM-1, will feature new crew life-support systems, seats, control panels, and a propulsion system that can be used to keep the crew safe during a launch emergency. But it won’t carry people; before astronauts can climb aboard, SpaceX has to prove Dragon is ready.
Because of they way they’re photographed, we don’t often get a good perspective on how big modern rockets are. For example, the SpaceX Falcon 9 is 230 ft (70 meters) tall. The SpaceX BFR rocket is 348 ft. (106 meters) tall. What does that really mean in everyday terms? In this video, a VFX artist, with great style, puts the size of these rockets into perspective for us. (Those who’ve been to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will understand.)
Dave Hamilton had always viewed Elon Musk through the same lens as I viewed Steve Jobs, but after seeing him speak at SxSW, he realized he was wrong.
SpaceX posted the four hour stream of Starman’s initial voyage into space, and it’s super cool. Starman is the name of the dummy SpaceX plopped into the driver’s seat of the Tesla Roadster it sent to Mars. Because [Elon Musk]. This was all part of the maiden launch of Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket earlier this week. According to Space.com, SpaceX expected the battery on the streaming camera to work for 12 hours, but it crapped out after four. And those four hours are pretty darned cool—Flat Earthers may find the whole thing particularly enlightening. Check it out!