SpaceX schedules first West Coast Starlink launch after a quiet July

Spaceflight Now reports that SpaceX has scheduled Starlink’s West Coast launch debut no earlier than August 10th, a mission that will also mark the company’s first launch in almost six weeks. SpaceX completed its latest Falcon 9 launch – and 20th launch of 2021 – on June 30th, successfully deploying dozens of customer small satellites […]

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SpaceX is almost ready to start turning Starship’s launch tower into ‘Mechazilla’

After a burst of activity and custom part deliveries, SpaceX appears to be almost ready to start turning Starship’s vast launch tower into what CEO Elon Musk has described as a “Mechazilla.” Over the last few weeks, a number of new components have begun to quickly take shape, offering the first real glimpse of what […]

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SpaceX just finished Starship’s 100th Raptor engine

SpaceX says its Hawthorne, California rocket factory and headquarters has completed the assembly of Starship and Super Heavy’s 100th Raptor engine. SpaceX began developing Raptor behind the scenes as far back as 2012 and 2013, when a small team successfully tested a full-scale Raptor preburner – a small but important subcomponent – at NASA’s Stennis […]

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reveals Starship factory upgrade plans

CEO Elon Musk says that SpaceX is about to begin the construction of “a much larger high bay” adjacent to the existing structure, an 82m (~270 ft) tall building used to complete assembly of Starship and Super Heavy boosters. According to Musk, the newest addition to SpaceX’s arsenal of Starship production facilities will be located […]

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SpaceX Falcon Heavy to launch NASA ocean moon explorer, saving the US billions

In a move that’s likely to save the US taxpayer several billion dollars over the next few years, NASA has carefully extricated a mission to one of Jupiter’s ocean moons from the claws of its own Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Known as Europa Clipper, the six metric ton (~13,300 lb) spacecraft will instead launch […]

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Elon Musk’s Starlink provides free internet in West German areas ravaged by floods

A week after Germany was hit by devastating floods that released two months’ worth of rainfall in just two days, several areas of the country remain severely hobbled by the effects of the natural disaster. Rescue operations are still underway, but in locations such as Rhineland-Palatinate, communication remains difficult due to limited cellular reception and […]

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SpaceX’s fourth Falcon booster delivery this year hints at rare production uptick

For at least the fourth time in 2021, SpaceX has shipped a new Falcon booster from its Hawthorne, California headquarters and factory to an expansive test and development campus in Central Texas. By all appearances, SpaceX’s latest delivery could imply that the company is on track to experience its first Falcon booster production uptick in […]

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SpaceX Crew Dragon set to make room for Boeing’s Starliner do-over

SpaceX and NASA are on track for the Crew-2 Dragon spacecraft currently docked to the International Space Station (ISS) to perform a “port relocation” maneuver early Wednesday, effectively opening the door for Boeing’s Starlink flight test do-over. Scheduled to launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket no earlier than (NET) July 30th, […]

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Blue Origin launches first suborbital tourists after six years and 15 test flights

More than six years after New Shepard’s first test flight and nine years after a pad abort featuring a prototype of the rocket’s capsule, Blue Origin has launched its first crew of suborbital tourists. Almost exclusively funded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ stock sales over more than 21 years of operations, Blue Origin has been […]

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SpaceX fires up world’s largest rocket booster on the first try

CEO Elon Musk says that SpaceX has successfully fired up Super Heavy – the largest rocket booster in the world – on the first try, potentially opening the door for a significantly more ambitious ‘static fire.’ Known as Booster 3 (B3), SpaceX completed Starship’s first functional Super Heavy prototype around July 1st and rapidly rolled […]

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