SpaceX Marks New Milestone in Space Travel

July 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

SpaceX’s first-ever reused Dragon capsule successfully returned from a supply mission to the International Space Station Monday, splashing safely down in the Pacific Ocean.

The Hawthorne-based aerospace firm launched the spaceship in early June and spent 30 days in space. The mission marked the first re-flight of a Dragon capsule that had already flown to space once before. The capsule previously flew a mission in September-October 2014.

The Dragon spent 28 days docked to the International Space Station, delivering several thousand pounds of scientific experiments and equipment to the space station and returned to Earth with some of those experiment results.

After two aborted takeoffs, SpaceX on Wednesday successfully launched a communications satellite into orbit from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The launch was originally scheduled on Sunday, but was delayed due to a computer issue. The company tried again Monday, but the launch was scrubbed with just 10 seconds left on the countdown clock.

SpaceX Vehicles Blows up During Launch

July 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A space vehicle engineered in the South Bay blew up as it was being launched from Florida Sunday, a setback for Hawthorne-based SpaceX.

The second stage of the rocket failed 139 seconds after takeoff, after the first stage performed normally, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said at a NASA news conference.

“We are working to identify the issue, to fix it, and get back to flying.”

Amid items lost were a docking adapter, a space suit and important experiments, NASA officials said.

“We lost a lot of research,” one said, including student experiments.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted that an upper-stage liquid oxygen tank had “an overpressure event” and the “data suggests (a) counterintuitive cause.”

Another supply mission, atop a different company’s Progress launch vehicle, is scheduled for launch July 3. NASA officials said there was sufficient food, water and fuel on board the ISS for the time being.

At 7:21 a.m., a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule loaded with 4,300 pounds of goods was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. At first stage separation, 2 minutes and 19 seconds into the flight, it disintegrated.

More than 3,000 employees, most in the South Bay, work on SpaceX’s new reusable space delivery system, designed to replace the now-retired fleet of Space Shuttles. SpaceX is one of two private U.S. firms with NASA contracts to deliver groceries and scientific equipment to the International Space Station in low Earth orbit.

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