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Space

NASA selects astronauts for first US commercial launch

NASA has announced the names of the first astronauts to ride into space aboard the first generation of commercial spacecraft that will return manned launch capabilities to American soil. With the selection process complete, the astronauts are set to begin a stringent training program in preparation for the 2017 launch of Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft.Read More

Space

SpaceX CRS-7 mission destroyed after liftoff

Another resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) ended in failure today as SpaceX's CRS-7 mission exploded in midair shortly after liftoff. The unmanned Dragon cargo ship atop a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:21 am EDT. SpaceX launch control indicated no problems prior to launch and weather was good, but approximately 2 min 18 sec into the flight, the Falcon 9 experienced an anomaly and broke up over the Atlantic Ocean.Read More

Space

SpaceX to build Hyperloop test track, host pod-building competition

In 2013, Elon Musk released a white paper outlining his Hyperloop concept, a new form of high speed mass transit that he apparently cooked up in his spare time away from running SpaceX and Tesla Motors. A handful of startups have sprung up to pursue building their own Hyperloop and now SpaceX says it will spur the efforts along by building a 1-mile long test track and hosting a competition for university and independent teams to build their own Hyperloop transport pod prototypes.Read More

Falcon 9 footage shows spectacular spacefall

SpaceX has released stunning footage from a GoPro camera tumbling back to Earth following a recent Falcon 9 launch. The device, fitted in a section of composite fairing that separated from the launch vehicle soon after lift-off, recorded breathtaking views of our planet.Read More

Space

SpaceX releases onboard footage of emergency escape test

SpaceX has released on-board footage of its successful Crew Dragon Launch Abort System (LAS) test that took place at Launch Complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station earlier this month. The success of the company's innovative new design of LAS represents a vital stepping stone in the spacecraft's road to becoming human rated. The newly released footage shows in real time the dramatic life saving contingency that would be triggered should a critical error be detected in the rocket below in a launch scenario.Read More

Space

SpaceX successfully completes Launch Abort System test

SpaceX has carried out a successful test of its Launch Abort System (LAS) for the Crew Dragon spacecraft. The test, which took place at Space Launch Complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station represents a major stop towards getting the spacecraft human rated under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract. NASA hopes that commercial spacecraft such as the Crew Dragon will return manned spacecraft launches back to American soil sometime in 2017.Read More

Space

SpaceX Falcon 9 makes landing on drone barge ... then tips over

Elon Musk's goal of achieving the first powered landing of a reusable booster had a close brush with success today as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket narrowly failed to survive a touchdown on the deck of a drone barge off the US east coast. The third landing attempt by the company came after the launch of the CRS-6 mission, which sent an unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station. Read More

Space

First satellites with all-electric propulsion call home

The launch of two new communications satellites may not seem like news these days, but it is when they're the first satellites with all-electric propulsion. Boeing announced that the two 702SP small platform satellites, called ABS-3A and EUTELSAT 115 West B, that launched on Sunday evening are sending back signals to mission control as they power towards geosynchronous orbit under ion drive.Read More

Space

Could Virgin Galactic's Spaceport America be put up for sale?

The past year has been a mixed bag for the commercial space industry, with successful launches from the likes of SpaceX, but also a few mishaps, including a tragic Virgin Galactic crash that claimed the life of one pilot. That last incident in particular has led some politicians in New Mexico to question the future of Spaceport America, where Virgin is an anchor tenant, and to even call for the US$200 million facility to be put up for sale.Read More

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