SpaceX set to launch critical Dragon demonstration mission tonight

A pretty day at Kennedy Space Center on Friday, as remote cameras were set up. [credit: Trevor Mahlmann for Ars Technica. ] It’s finally go time. For the first time since 2011 and the space shuttle’s retirement, a rocket and spacecraft stand on a launch pad in Florida capable of blasting humans into space. Launch time […]

SpaceX set to launch Israeli private mission to the lunar surface

Enlarge / An artist’s concept of the Space IL lunar spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. (credit: SpaceIL) SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday night, and while it may not be the primary payload, a small Israeli lunar lander is by far the mission’s most intriguing payload. The 180kg […]

Rocket Report: Rogozin’s crazy promise, SpaceX tests Mars engine, SLS slips

Enlarge / The might Delta IV Heavy rocket takes to the skies. (credit: Aurich Lawson/United Launch Alliance) Welcome to Edition 1.35 of the Rocket Report! The leader of Russia’s space program, Dmitry Rogozin, has promised his president that the country can double its launch total this year. And if you believe that, well, we’ve got […]

SpaceX cutting 10 percent of its staff to become a leaner company

Enlarge / Elon Musk, chief of SpaceX, made the decision to cut 10 percent of his workforce. (credit: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO) SpaceX will lay off up to 10 percent of its work force, the company said Friday evening. The company characterized the job cuts as “a strategic realignment,” designed to ensure it is positioned to […]

SpaceX is building a ‘test hopper’ Mars spaceship in Texas — and Elon Musk says it could launch by March

Chris Carlson/AP Elon Musk said SpaceX is building a “test hopper” vehicle in Texas that could launch by March or April. The vehicle is a squat version of a full-scale Starship spaceship — one that’s being designed to reach Mars as part of the Big Falcon Rocket system. Photos taken by locals in Boca Chica, […]

2019 will be an extraordinary year in space. Here’s what NASA, SpaceX, and the night sky have in store for planet Earth.

SpaceX The 2019 calendar is full of major events in spaceflight, planetary science, and astronomy. SpaceX and Boeing hope to launch NASA astronauts inside commercial spaceships for the first time next year. Elon Musk may also conduct a test launch of his rocket company’s “Starship” spacecraft. Plus, humanity will make its farthest-ever visit to a […]

ULA chief Tory Bruno on competing with Blue Origin, SpaceX rocket landings

Enlarge / Jeff Bezos (right), the founder of Blue Origin and Amazon.com, and Tory Bruno, CEO of United Launch Alliance, display the BE-4 rocket engine during a press conference in 2014. (credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images) In part one of our interview with United Launch Alliance Chief Executive Tory Bruno, we talked about the company’s efforts […]

Rocket Report: Firefly to the Moon, SpaceX makes a splash, H3 nets a customer

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson/United Launch Alliance) Welcome to Edition 1.28 of the Rocket Report! Lots of news this week, and much of it good, with Stratolaunch reaching an important test, Firefly winning a sweet contract from NASA, and the H3 getting its first commercial flight. All in all, a nice week in launch. As always, […]

SpaceX will attempt to fly the same rocket for the third time Sunday

SpaceX Sunday’s launch attempt of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, with a primary launch window from 1:32pm ET (18:32 UTC) to 2pm ET (19:00 UTC), is significant for a number of reasons. For one, this will be the company’s 19th launch of 2018, and if successful, it will break […]