SpaceX attempts second Falcon fairing drop test with a helicopter and Mr. Steven

Following a few days of rest in port, SpaceX fairing recovery vessel Mr. Steven has continued a likely campaign of controlled drop tests with a second fairing recovery attempt, using a helicopter, spotter plane, and support vessel to pick up a Falcon fairing and drop it, theoretically allowing it to paraglide into Mr. Steven’s net. […]

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SpaceX wins new Falcon Heavy launch contract as rocket’s prospects stabilize

SpaceX has won a new Falcon Heavy launch contract from Swedish telecommunications company Ovzon, which hopes to procure a large geostationary communications satellite in time for launch in the fourth quarter of 2020. Excluding two pending contracts, a consequence of the many years of delays suffered since SpaceX first began marketing the rocket, Ovzon’s commitment […]

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SpaceX begins huge dirt pile removal to pave way for BFR spaceship hop tests

After more than two years of silence, SpaceX has taken the first major tangible steps towards the construction of a dedicated South Texas rocket testing facility. In anticipation of a full-scale BFR spaceship (BFS) hop test campaign that could begin as early as late 2019, local contractors and a smattering of SpaceX employees have begun to […]

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Elon Musk pegs SpaceX BFR program at $5B as NASA’s rocket booster nears $5B in cost overruns

At the same time as NASA’s overrun-stricken Space Launch System (SLS) continues to limp towards its continuously delayed launch debut, now tentatively expected no earlier than (NET) 2021, SpaceX is forging ahead with the development of an equivalently capable launch vehicle known as BFR, comprised of a spaceship (BFS) and booster (BFB). During a September […]

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SpaceX board member says Starlink prototype satellites “are working wonderfully”

Speaking in a Satellite Innovation 2018 keynote, long-time SpaceX investor and board member Steve Jurvetson made a quiet but significant comment about the company’s Starlink satellite constellation efforts, stating that the first two prototype spacecraft – currently in orbit – “are working wonderfully.” Standing in contrast to recent speculation that SpaceX’s Starlink project had experienced […]

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SpaceX’s next step towards airplane-like Falcon 9 reusability expected in 2018

Speaking at an impromptu IAC 2018 talk, Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability Hans Koenigsmann confirmed earlier this month that SpaceX is aiming to conduct its first triple reuse of a Falcon 9 booster before the year is out. While not entirely confident on the specific mission it would end up flying on, Koenigsmann […]

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SpaceX’s Mr. Steven returns with Falcon fairing half in net after drop test practice

Captured in a series of photos taken by Teslarati photographers Pauline Acalin and Tom Cross over several days, SpaceX Falcon fairing recovery vessel Mr. Steven and recovery technicians and engineers have been preparing and practicing for a campaign of controlled fairing drop tests. By using a helicopter to lift and drop a fairing into Mr. […]

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 booster preps for next launch as fairing fragments surface

Included in a recent 10-year anniversary celebration of SpaceX’s first successful launch to reach orbit, Falcon 9 B1047 was spotted undergoing inspections and refurbishment after the Block 5 booster’s launch debut, placing the 7-ton Telstar 19V communications satellite in orbit on July 22nd. Meanwhile, a bit north of B1047’s cozy Cape Canaveral refurbishment hangar, battered […]

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 returns to Earth in first on-site media photos of rocket recovery

Thanks to the introduction of a brand new rocket landing pad (LZ-4) less than half a kilometer (~0.3 miles) from SpaceX’s SLC-4 Vandenberg launch complex, members of the media attending the launch were given the first opportunity ever to capture a Falcon booster recovery with remote cameras. Battling the possibility that SpaceX might forbid landing […]

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SpaceX lights up California sky in successful West coast landing zone debut

SpaceX has successfully recovered a Falcon 9 Block 5 booster on a land-based landing zone for the first time in the rocket’s brief history, marking the debut of the company’s West Coast LZ-4 and the second flight of a reused Block 5 booster. Thanks to coincidentally optimal conditions, the launch resulted in an extraordinary visual […]

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