Technology New SpaceX jumbo rocket set for debut test launch in company milestone
SpaceX launches satellite aboard Falcon 9 rocket
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket using a previously flown first stage shot away from Cape Canaveral Wednesday afternoon -- 60 years to the day after the first successful U.S. satellite launch -- boosting a commercially developed military relay station into orbit for Luxembourg, its NATO allies and satellite operator SES.It was the California rocket builder's sixth flight featuring a "used" booster, a key element in founder Elon Musk's drive to lower costs. It was the 48th flight of a Falcon 9 overall and the second so far this year.
A new SpaceX jumbo rocket in line to become the world's most powerful launch vehicle in operation was set for its highly anticipated debut test flight on Tuesday from Florida, carrying a Tesla Roadster as a mock payload.
Liftoff of the 23-story-tall Falcon Heavy was slated for as early as 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT) at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral in what would be a key turning point for Silicon Valley billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's privately owned Space Exploration Technologies.
Japan launches smallest rocket ever to carry satellite into orbit
Japan has set a new spaceflight record -- and unlike most of these feats, it's defined by what wasn't involved. The success came just over a year after JAXA's original experiment with an SS-520 rocket ended in failure. Crews decided against igniting the second stage when the vehicle lost all telemetry data a mere 20 seconds after takeoff. An investigation later determined that the likely cause was a poorly protected electrical connection, and the agency decided to try again this year with a fix in place.
Getting the rocket off the ground would likely give California-based SpaceX a new edge on the handful of commercial rocket companies vying for lucrative contracts with NASA, satellite companies and the U.S. military.
Propelled by 27 rocket engines, the Falcon Heavy packs more than 5 million pounds of thrust at launch, roughly three times the force of the Falcon 9 booster that until now has been the workhorse of the SpaceX fleet.
The new heavy-lift rocket is essentially constructed from three Falcon 9s harnessed together side-by-side, and Musk has said that one of the most critical points of the flight will come as the two side boosters separate from the central rocket in the first few minutes after blastoff.
"It's going to be an exciting success or an exciting failure," Musk said on a conference call on Monday.
Elon Musk emphasizes the risks ahead of Falcon Heavy’s first mission
Tomorrow, SpaceX will attempt to launch its massive Falcon Heavy rocket for the very first time. If successful, it will be the most powerful rocket in operation and opens up the possibility of future crewed missions to the Moon or Mars. Today, Elon Musk gave a few more details about the launch attempt during a press call ahead of tomorrow's main event.Musk detailed the rocket's mission: After launch, it will coast for six hours, straight to geosynchronous Earth orbit, which is an orbit that follows the Earth's rotation so a satellite stays in the same place.
Going along for the ride in a bit of playful cross-promotional space theater will be a cherry red, electric-powered sports car from the assembly line of Musk's other transportation enterprise, Tesla Inc.
The sleek Tesla Roadster is supposed to be sent into a virtually indefinite solar orbit, on a path taking it as far from Earth as Mars. Adding to the whimsy, SpaceX has planted a space-suited mannequin in the driver's seat of the convertible.
If the demonstration flight succeeds, Falcon Heavy will rank as the world's most powerful existing rocket, with more lift capacity than any U.S. space vehicle since the era of NASA's Saturn 5 rockets that took astronauts to the moon some 45 years ago.
Fittingly perhaps, the SpaceX rocket will depart from the same launch pad used for the Saturn 5 until its final mission in 1973.
Falcon Heavy is designed to place up to 70 tons into standard low-Earth orbit at a cost of $90 million per launch. That is twice the lift capacity of the biggest existing rocket in America's space fleet - the Delta 4 Heavy of rival United Launch Alliance (ULA), a partnership of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co - for about a fourth the cost.
Nougat is now the most-used version of Android, 17 months later
Google hasn't quite licked its problems getting users to adopt the latest version of Android. Its latest Play Store user share stats show that Nougat has become the most-used Android release at 28.5 percent... just over 17 months after its summer 2016 debut. Not exactly a speedy transition, then. That still gives it the edge over the older-still Marshmallow release, mind you, and indicates that a large chunk of the user base is running a modern take on Android.There's a smaller piece of good news, too: Oreo has climbed above 1 percent after sitting below that milestone since its fall premiere.
Like the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy is built to capitalize on cost-cutting reusable rocket technology, with each of the three main-stage boosters designed to fly back to Earth after launch.
The two side-boosters are supposed to touch down on landing pads at Cape Canaveral, while the central booster should land on a drone ship at sea.
(Additional reporting by Irene Klotz at Cape Canaveral, Florida; writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, editing by G Crosse)
SpaceX satellite broadband plans ready to blast off .
Elon Musk's rocket company has been working on getting satellite broadband off the ground for years. A Falcon 9 is set to launch the first test Saturday.More than three years ago we learned Elon Musk and his rocket company were working on developing satellites to provide low-cost internet access around the world. The first pair of demonstration satellites for the company's "Starlink" service will finally be launched into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 on Saturday, according to correspondence between the company and the Federal Communications Commission.
SpaceX Set For Debut Test Launch Of Falcon Heavy Rocket
On Tuesday, a new SpaceX jumbo rocket set to become the world's most powerful launch vehicle is set for a highly anticipated debut test flight from Florida, carrying a Tesla Roadster as a mock...
New SpaceX Jumbo Rocket Set for Debut Test Launch in Company Milestone
ASpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket stands on historic launch pad 39A as it is readied for its first demonstration flight at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S.,February 5, 2018.REUTE...
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