SpaceX launches and LANDS its Starship SN15

Nailed it! SpaceX launches and LANDS its Starship SN15 that is the first rocket to survive the its high altitude test

  • SpaceX launched its Starship Serial Number 15 Wednesday 
  • The massive rocket took off from SpaceX’s testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas 
  • This is the fifth prototype to launch, but none have survived the landing 

SpaceX has successfully launched and landed its Starship Serial Number 15 rocket.

This is the first Starship to land safely on the launch pad at the firm’s Boca Chica, Texas facility.

The Elon Musk-owned company launched SN15around 6:15pm ET, following a day of delays and anticipation.

SN15 ignited its three massive Raptor Engines that shot out streams of white smoke from the base before fire blew out to shoot the rocket into the air.

The prototype climbed through the sky until it reach six miles, where it hovered for a moment and then it perform the infamous sideways flip, dubbed a ‘belly flop’ maneuver by CEO Elon Musk.

‘Starship landing nominal,’ Musk tweet moments after his pride and joy made a safe and successful landing on the pad.

SpaceX has successfully launched and landed its Starship Serial Number 15 rocket.

SN15 is the first Starship prototype that was not blown to pieces after a high-altitude test- although a fire sparked at the base after it touched down, but it was quickly contained.

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Liftoff! SpaceX launches 60 new Starlink satellites into orbit aboard a recycled Falcon 9 rocket

Liftoff! SpaceX launches 60 new Starlink satellites into orbit aboard a recycled Falcon 9 rocket named after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars

  • SpaceX launched 60 new Starlink satellites into orbit Tuesday at 3:01pm ET
  • The Falcon 9 rocket took off from Kennedy Space Station in Florida
  • This is the third trip the rocket has made to space to deliver satellites 
  • This is also the seventh landing of a Falcon 9 rocket on a sea-based ship 
  • There are more than 1,500 Starlink internet satellites currently in orbit 

SpaceX launched a new batch of Starlinks Tuesday using a recycled Falcon 9 rocket to ferry the internet satellites to space.

The rocket took off at 3:01pm ET from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida as blue skies covered the area.

Ascent weather at the launch pad and recovery weather over the drone ship were ‘fantastic’ for take-off and landing, the SpaceX host of the livestream said minutes before the rocket launched.

The flight, called Starlink 25, is the 13th mission of 2021 for the Elon Musk-owned firm and the third time this Falcon 9 rocket has ventured into space.

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SpaceX launched a new batch of Starlinks Tuesday using a recycled Falcon 9 rocket to ferry the internet satellites to space. The rocket took off at 3:01pm ET from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida as blue skies covered the area

The Falcon 9 rocket ignited its nine Merlin engines just before take-off that sent a massive white cloud blowing from the base, and then it headed off to space.

After delivery the batch of 60 Starlinks into orbit, the rocket’s first stage made a safe landing on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Musk, a Star Wars fan, named SpaceX’s Falcon 9 after the Millennium Falcon from the popular film. 

SpaceX has held a number of Starlink launches each month this year, as part of Musk’s masterplan to have a total of 1,500 Starlink devices orbiting Earth by the end of 2021, along with funding his long-held dream of going to Mars.

SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell said during a recent interview: ‘The total addressable market for launch, with a conservative outlook on commercial human passengers, is probably about $6 billion, but the addressable market for global broadband is $1 trillion.’

The flight, called Starlink 25, is the 13th mission of 2021 for the Elon Musk-owned firm and the third time this Falcon 9 rocket has ventured into space

The flight, called Starlink 25, is the 13th mission of 2021 for the Elon Musk-owned firm and the third time this Falcon 9 rocket has ventured into space

Atop the Falcon 9 rocket is the fairing carrying the new batch of 60 Starlinks

Atop the Falcon 9 rocket is the fairing carrying the new batch of 60 Starlinks

‘The total addressable market for launch, with a conservative outlook on commercial human passengers, is probably about $6 billion,’ she said, ‘but the addressable market for global broadband is $1 trillion.’

Musk, a Star Wars fan, named SpaceX's Falcon 9 after the Millennium Falcon from the popular film

Musk, a Star Wars fan, named SpaceX’s Falcon 9 after the Millennium Falcon from the popular film

According to Tesmanian, if SpaceX obtains 25 million Starlink subscribers, it would generate about $30 billion every year.

This is 10 times more than what the company earns as a launch provider, it added.

More than 10,000 users are connected to the Starlink satellite internet, according to a SpaceX filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from February.

The document said the service is ‘meeting and exceeding 100/20 megabits per second (Mbps) throughout individual users’ and many are seeing latency ‘at or below 31 milliseconds.’ 

The Falcon 9 rocket ignited its nine Merlin engines just before take-off that sent a massive white cloud blowing from the base, and then it headed off to space

The Falcon 9 rocket ignited its nine Merlin engines just before take-off that sent a massive white cloud blowing from the base, and then it headed off to space

After delivery the batch of 60 Starlinks into orbit, the rocket’s first stage made a safe landing on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship in the Atlantic Ocean

After delivery the batch of 60 Starlinks into orbit, the rocket’s first stage made a safe landing on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship in the Atlantic Ocean

There are some drawbacks for users, however – as well as the hefty cost, there are planned outages due to the limited number of satellites and the fact that Starlink is still in early testing.

The Starlink website reads: ‘There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all.

‘As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.’

ELON MUSK’S SPACEX SET TO BRING BROADBAND INTERNET TO THE WORLD WITH ITS STARLINK CONSTELLATION OF SATELLITES

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the fifth batch of its ‘Starlink’ space internet satellites – taking the total to 300.

They form a constellation of thousands of satellites, designed to provide low-cost broadband internet service from low Earth orbit.

The constellation, informally known as Starlink, and under development at SpaceX’s facilities in Redmond, Washington.

Its goal is to beam superfast internet into your home from space.

While satellite internet has been around for a while, it has suffered from high latency and unreliable connections.

Starlink is different. SpaceX says putting a ‘constellation’ of satellites in low earth orbit would provide high-speed, cable-like internet all over the world.

The billionaire’s company wants to create the global system to help it generate more cash.

Musk has previously said the venture could give three billion people who currently do not have access to the internet a cheap way of getting online.

It could also help fund a future city on Mars.

Helping humanity reach the red planet is one of Musk’s long-stated aims and was what inspired him to start SpaceX.

The company recently filed plans with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 4,425 satellites into orbit above the Earth – three times as many that are currently in operation.

‘Once fully deployed, the SpaceX system will pass over virtually all parts of the Earth’s surface and therefore, in principle, have the ability to provide ubiquitous global service,’ the firm said.

‘Every point on the Earth’s surface will see, at all times, a SpaceX satellite.’

The network will provide internet access to the US and the rest of the world, it added.

It is expected to take more than five years and $9.8 billion (£7.1bn) of investment, although satellite internet has proved an expensive market in the past and analysts expect the final bill will be higher.

Musk compared the project to ‘rebuilding the internet in space’, as it would reduce reliance on the existing network of undersea fibre-optic cables which criss-cross the planet.

In the US, the FCC welcomed the scheme as a way to provide internet connections to more people.

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NASA DELAYS return of SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts until Saturday due to bad weather in Florida

The International Space Station will be crowded a little longer after NASA and SpaceX announced a delayed return for the Crew-1 mission.

Astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi were set to undock from the orbiting laboratory on Wednesday, but poor weather has now pushed the departure back to Friday, April 30.

This means the Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, will splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida Saturday, May 1.

There are currently 11 astronauts living on the ISS, which typically hosts six at a time, but the US portion has only four beds and there are currently nine people within this part of the station.

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Astronauts (left to right) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi were set undock from the orbiting laboratory April 28, but poor weather has pushed it to April 30 and splashdown is now scheduled for May 1

Crew-2 mission brought the latest batch of astronauts to the ISS Sunday, which overlapped Crew-1 that was set to head home to Earth a few days later.

However, NASA released an official statement Tuesday announcing a delay due to poor weather conductions in the splashdown zones off the coast of Florida, which currently predict wind speeds above the recovery criteria.

Resilience is scheduled to undock from the ISS at 5:55pm ET Friday, April 30 and splashdown at 11:36am ET Saturday, May 1.

The returning astronauts, Crew-1, launched to the ISS on November 15, 2020, which was the first to follow the historic Demo-2 mission in May 2020.

There are currently 11 astronauts living on the ISS, which typically hosts six at a time, but the US portion has only four beds and there are currently nine people within this part of the station

There are currently 11 astronauts living on the ISS, which typically hosts six at a time, but the US portion has only four beds and there are currently nine people within this part of the station

It was only the second time that SpaceX, which is owned by Elon Musk, sent people into orbit in its Dragon capsule via its Falcon rocket.

The crew led by Hopkins, an Air Force colonel, includes physicist Walker and Navy Cmdr. and rookie astronaut Glover, who is the first black astronaut to spend an extended amount of time on the space station. 

Noguchi also became only the third person to rocket into orbit aboard three different kinds of spacecraft. 

The team of four named their capsule Resilience given all the challenges in 2020, most notably the global pandemic. 

The returning astronauts, Crew-1, launched to the ISS on November 15, 2020 (pictured) and the team of four named their capsule Resilience given all the challenges in 2020, most notably the global pandemic.

The returning astronauts, Crew-1, launched to the ISS on November 15, 2020 (pictured) and the team of four named their capsule Resilience given all the challenges in 2020, most notably the global pandemic.

The crew led by Hopkins (front right), an Air Force colonel, includes physicist Walker (back left) and rookie astronaut Glover (front left), who is the first black astronaut to spend an extended amount of time on the space station. Noguchi (front right) also became only the third person to rocket into orbit aboard three different kinds of spacecraft.

The crew led by Hopkins (front right), an Air Force colonel, includes physicist Walker (back left) and rookie astronaut Glover (front left), who is the first black astronaut to spend an extended amount of time on the space station. Noguchi (front right) also became only the third person to rocket into orbit aboard three different kinds of spacecraft.

But it seems 2021 has brought a little bad luck with poor weather on their set return date, which means the crew will have to find creative places to sleep. 

The ISS has hosted as many as 13 people, but the feat seems to be challenging each time the ship becomes crowded and astronauts have been sleeping in temporary beds.

NASA’s Mike Hopkins and Shane Kimbrough — commanders of Crew-1 and Crew-2, — have been sleeping in their docked Crew Dragon capsules.

Three crew members have made ‘Crew Alternative Sleep Accommodations,’ which is dubbed CASA that also means ‘house’ in Spanish.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Soichi Noguchi and fellow Crew-1 astronauts Shannon Walker and Victor Glover, both of NASA, are among those in CASA beds.

Noguchi is getting shut eye in the astronaut gym, Walker is in the Columbus module and Glover sleeps in the airlock.

The newest occupants are NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.

Two of the Crew-2 members are sleeping in the docked capsule, dubbed Endeavor and the other two ‘can pick wherever they want to call home,’ NPR reports. 

NASA shares incredible timelapse video from the SpaceX Crew-2 launch

NASA has shared a remarkable nine-second timelapse video of the successful SpaceX Crew-2 rocket launch from Friday. 

Crew-2 carried four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), and can be seen rising into the air and spreading a plume of light through the sky.

As Crew-2 disappears over the horizon, the landing plume of the returning first stage of the Falcon 9 is seen falling towards a SpaceX pad in the Atlantic Ocean, allowing it to be reused for future missions.

SpaceX Crew-2 launched on Friday just before 11am BST from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

The capsule successfully docked with the ISS more than 260 miles above the Indian Ocean, just a day after launch. 

The four astronauts on-board Crew-2 – Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur (from the US), Thomas Pesquet (France) and Akihiko Hoshide (Japan) – will now spend six months at the space station.

They will help conduct, among other tasks, drug tests using tissue chips – small microfluidic chips that simulate human organs – that run rapidly in ISS’s microgravity. 

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NASA shared the video of the launch on ‘Astronomy Picture of the Day’ – a website provided by the space agency and Michigan Technological University. 

‘The pre-dawn sky first seemed relatively serene yesterday morning over Indian Harbor Beach in Florida, USA,’ said NASA.

‘But then it lit up with a rocket launch. Just to the north, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 Mission blasted into space aboard a powerful Falcon 9 rocket.’  

The time-lapse video – which compresses 12 minutes into eight seconds – shows the bright launch plume starting on the far left. 

The astronauts from the US, Japan and France, blasted off from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 10:49 BST

The rocket rises into an increasingly thin atmosphere, causing its plume to spread out just as it is lit by the rising Sun. 

‘As the Crew-2 capsule disappears over the horizon, the landing plume of the returning first stage of the Falcon 9 descending toward the SpaceX barge in the Atlantic Ocean can be seen,’ NASA says. 

About 10 minutes after launch, travelling at about 10,000 miles per hour, Falcon 9’s second stage delivered the Crew Dragon and its astronauts into a nominal orbit. 

Images shows, from left, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, inside the capsule at launch pad at Launch Complex 39A ahead of the Crew-2 mission, April 23, 2021

Images shows, from left, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, inside the capsule at launch pad at Launch Complex 39A ahead of the Crew-2 mission, April 23, 2021 

They arrived at the International Space Station at about 10:10 BST on Saturday, where they were warmly welcomed by the existing crew.

Their arrival brought the total number of people on the ISS to 11, which will fall to seven when the four members of Crew-1 make their journey back to Earth and splash down this Wednesday. 

Eleven is the most people ever on the ISS. Eight of the 11 arrived on a commercial spaceship (SpaceX Crew Dragon), while the other three arrived in a Russian Soyuz capsule. 

The ISS, orbiting 253 miles above the planet, is designed to hold seven astronauts, but that can increase when a capsule is docked, such as the Crew-2 mission capsule that took the new foursome to the station. 

The SpaceX Crew Dragon, and its four astronauts, is seen safely docked in this impressive picture from Nasa TV

The SpaceX Crew Dragon, and its four astronauts, is seen safely docked in this impressive picture from Nasa TV

Friday’s mission became the first SpaceX launch to reuse both a capsule and Falcon 9 from previous launches. 

The same rocket took Crew-1 to the ISS and the capsule was used in ‘Launch America’ in May 2020.   

Although this was SpaceX’s third crew flight for NASA, it was the first to use a vehicle that has flown before, an essential part of Musk’s push to the Moon and Mars.  

One of the team – Thomas Pesquet, the French astronaut representing the European Space Agency –  plans to dine like a king with a smorgasbord of treats that are unlike any space food before. 

He and his crewmates will feast on dishes prepared by three separate French culinary institutions, but the meals are only for special occasions.  

Pesquet brought with him lobster, beef bourguignon, cod with black rice, potato cakes with wild mushrooms and almond tarts with caramelized pears, The New York Times reports.

‘There’s a lot of expectations when you send a Frenchman into space,’ Pesquet said during a European Space Agency news conference last month. ‘I’m a terrible cook myself, but it’s OK if people are doing it for me.’ 

This picture taken in Pouldreuzic, near Brest, western France, on April 20, 2021 shows a low-temperature cooked salmon prepared at the canning factory Henaff by the French chef Alain Ducasse's team (R) for the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet

This picture taken in Pouldreuzic, near Brest, western France, on April 20, 2021 shows a low-temperature cooked salmon prepared at the canning factory Henaff by the French chef Alain Ducasse’s team (R) for the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet 

WHO ARE THE CREW-2 ASTRONAUTS?

The four veteran astronauts reached the ISS on Saturday (April 24) for their six-month stay. They are:  

Spacecraft Commander Shane Kimbrough, 53, NASA

A retired Army colonel who led a helicopter platoon during the 1991 Gulf War.

He taught math at the US Military Academy and jumped out of planes for the Army, before moving to Houston in 2000 to work with NASA´s shuttle training aircraft. 

He became an astronaut in 2004, flying on the shuttle in 2008 and launching eight years later in a Russian capsule to the space station he helped build.

Pilot Megan McArthur, 49, NASA

McArthur is flying in the same seat as husband Bob Behnken did during SpaceX’s debut crew launch nearly a year ago. 

It’s been 11 years since she last rocketed into orbit, aboard a shuttle on NASA’s final Hubble Space Telescope repair mission.  

McArthur conducted graduate research in underwater acoustics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, led diving expeditions and tested water equipment. She became an astronaut in 2000.

Thomas Pesquet, 43, ESA

He was flying for Air France when the European Space Agency chose him as an astronaut 12 years ago.   

He joined the French Space Agency as an engineer in 2002. Two years later, Air France tapped him for its flight training program. 

Pesquet launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket to the space station in 2016 for a six-month mission.

Akihiko Hoshide, 52, JAXA

He joined the Japanese Space Agency right out of college in 1992 as an engineer, working on the H-II rocket. 

He made the astronaut cut seven years later and helped develop Japan´s Kibo lab for the space station. 

He installed Kibo, or Hope, in 2008, launching aboard shuttle Discovery. Hoshide returned to the station in 2012 for six months, flying from Kazakhstan.  

SpaceX launches TENTH batch of new Starlink satellites into orbit for 2021

SpaceX launched its 10th batch of Starlink satellites for the year Wednesday afternoon, bringing the total to 1,443 in orbit.

The Falcon 9 rocket took off at 12:34pm ET from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida where ‘weather was looking beautiful with clear skies,’ a SpaceX officials said during the live stream.

Along with hitting a milestone for the year, Wednesday’s mission also marks a total of 300 Starlinks sent into space since March 4.

Following the early March launch, the Elon Musk-owned firm conducted flights March 11 and March 14, all of which is part of Musk’s masterplan to have a total of 1,500 Starlink devices orbiting Earth by the end of 2021.

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SpaceX launched its 10th batch of Starlink satellites for the year Wednesday afternoon, bringing the total to 1,443 in orbit. The Falcon 9 rocket took off at 12:34pm ET from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida

The Falcon 9 rocket ignited its nine Merlin engines that sent a massive white cloud blowing from the base, and then it headed off to space.

Deployment of 60 Starlink satellites was a success and the booster nailed its landing on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

More than 10,000 users are connected to the Starlink satellite internet, according to a SpaceX filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from February.

The document said the service is ‘meeting and exceeding 100/20 megabits per second (Mbps) throughout individual users’ and many are seeing latency ‘at or below 31 milliseconds.’

Along with hitting a milestone for the year, Wednesday¿s mission also marks a total of 300 Starlinks sent into space since March 4

Along with hitting a milestone for the year, Wednesday’s mission also marks a total of 300 Starlinks sent into space since March 4

More than 10,000 users are connected to the Starlink satellite internet, according to a SpaceX filing with the Federal Communications Commission

More than 10,000 users are connected to the Starlink satellite internet, according to a SpaceX filing with the Federal Communications Commission

There are some drawbacks for users, however – as well as the hefty cost, there are planned outages due to the limited number of satellites and the fact that Starlink is still in early testing.

The Starlink website reads: ‘There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all.

‘As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.’

However, those who have suffered with sluggish internet say it is a price worth paying.

¿weather was looking beautiful with clear skies,¿ a SpaceX officials said during the live stream. Pictured are campers Bizarre ¿spiders¿ on Mars are made by carbon dioxide vapor escaping from cracks in polar ice during the Martian spring, NASA reveals following 20 years of research watching Falcon soar through the air at a park on Merritt Island

‘weather was looking beautiful with clear skies,’ a SpaceX officials said during the live stream. Pictured are campers Bizarre ‘spiders’ on Mars are made by carbon dioxide vapor escaping from cracks in polar ice during the Martian spring, NASA reveals following 20 years of research watching Falcon soar through the air at a park on Merritt Island

Deployment of 60 Starlink satellites was a success and the booster nailed its landing on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship in the Atlantic Ocean

Deployment of 60 Starlink satellites was a success and the booster nailed its landing on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship in the Atlantic Ocean

The public beta program, which is available in the US, Canada and the UK, has a $99 a month fee, plus an up-front cost of $499 for the Starlink Kit that includes the ‘UFO on a stick’ terminal, mounting tripod and WiFi router.

However, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell revealed Tuesday that the firm is selling the dish ‘at a sizable loss.’

Shotwell explained the manufacturing for one dish initially cost SpaceX $1,500, but was revised to $1,300 – which has just rolled out.

However, a report spotted by Insider shows that the previous cost was around $2,400 per dish.

The public beta program, which is available in the US, Canada and the UK, has a $99 a month fee, plus an up-front cost of $499 for the Starlink Kit that includes the 'UFO on a stick' terminal, mounting tripod and WiFi router. SpaceX said it is selling the dish ¿at a sizable loss.¿

The public beta program, which is available in the US, Canada and the UK, has a $99 a month fee, plus an up-front cost of $499 for the Starlink Kit that includes the ‘UFO on a stick’ terminal, mounting tripod and WiFi router. SpaceX said it is selling the dish ‘at a sizable loss.’

The manufacturing costs are expected to fall even further to “the few hundred dollar range within the next year or two,” Shotwell said during the Satellite 2021 Leo Digital Forum.

But unlike other internet services, SpaceX is not planning on offering tiered pricing.

‘We’re going to try to keep it as simple as possible and transparent as possible, so right now there are no plans to tier for consumers,’ according to Shotwell.