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SpaceX

Dragon captured by an ISS robot arm (Image: NASA)

Spacex’s unmanned Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) at 9:03 AM EDT (1303 GMT) today. Marking the beginning of a new era of commercial space travel, the privately owned and operated cargo vehicle was captured at 6:56 AM EDT (1056 GMT) by one of the station’s robotic arms operated by Expedition 33 crew member Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA. It was then guided to a docking port where it will remain attached for the next three weeks.  Read More

Dragon awaiting launch

A new chapter has been written in the history of space exploration with the successful launch of the first commercial cargo flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The reusable unmanned freighter Dragon was lifted into orbit today at 8:35 PM EDT (October 8, 0135 GMT) by a Falcon 9 booster from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is scheduled to rendezvous with the ISS on Tuesday. Carrying 905 kg (1,995 lbs) of cargo, this is the first of twelve contracted flights that Dragon is scheduled to make to the station.  Read More

SpaceX Grasshopper vertical takeoff and landing vehicle goes for a little hop

SpaceX's Falcon rocket has proven that it can fly, and now the private space transport company's Grasshopper is proving that it can hop. The vertical takeoff and landing test vehicle is part of a reusable first stage for Falcon 9 that's being developed by SpaceX to cut down on the cost of missions to space. On Friday, the Grasshopper took its first tiny test flight.  Read More

Dragon being grasped by ISS robot arm (Photo: NASA)

The age of commercial space flight starts this autumn. In October, SpaceX’s Dragon space freighter will make its first scheduled commercial visit to the International Space Station (ISS). On Thursday, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida that Dragon had completed its certification under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program and was cleared for commercial operation. Holder also announced that Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser manned spacecraft has passed its program implementation plan review and will go on to further development.  Read More

A concept image of Sierra Corporation's Dream Chaser at the International Space Station (I...

Today NASA announced that it has reduced the number of companies competing to produce the first privately built and operated manned spacecraft, to three. The current competitors for the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are now Sierra Nevada Corporation (which will receive a development contract of US$212.5 million), Space Exploration Technologies (aka SpaceX, receiving $440 million) and the Boeing Company (getting $460 million). This is the third round of initiatives designed to promote the development of manned private spacecraft that will be available to the US government to fly crews to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as being available to private customers.  Read More

SpaceX has released a video containing highlights of its successful mission to the Interna...

As one or two readers may recall, SpaceX made history this May, when its Dragon capsule became the first commercial spacecraft to reach the International Space Station. Although various snippets of video were released at the time, today the company released a “highlight reel” of the mission, which includes some pretty compelling footage.  Read More

SkyCube: the first satellite launched by you

Southern Stars Group LLC, the company responsible for the popular SkySafari apps for iOS, Android and Mac OS X, is thinking a little bigger with its next project. The publicly funded SkyCube is a miniature CubeSat satellite that will orbit the planet, transmitting low-resolution images of the Earth while broadcasting short messages from sponsors in the form of data pings. In short, it's the world's first social space mission.  Read More

First picture of Dragon in the ocean as it awaits recovery

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, marking the successful completion of its mission in which a number of historic firsts were achieved. The splashdown came at approximately 11:42 US EDT, with the unmanned capsule landing in the waters roughly 500 miles (805 km) off the coast of Baja, California.  Read More

ISS astronauts aboard the Dragon spacecraft, last Saturday morning (Photo: NASA)

After making history last Friday by becoming the first private spacecraft to ever reach the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX’s Dragon capsule was successfully boarded by ISS astronauts the following morning. The interior of the craft was reportedly in good condition, and according to astronaut Don Pettit, it smelled like a new car.  Read More

The Dragon spacecraft, held by the ISS manipulator arm (Image: NASA)

Well, it’s official. Just moments ago, the SpaceX Dragon became the first-ever privately-made spacecraft to reach the International Space Station (ISS). “The International Space Station Expedition 31 crew successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule with the station's robotic arm at 9:56 AM EDT,” NASA has stated. “The feat came 3 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 23 seconds after the mission's launch. The station was 251 miles over northwest Australia when capture occurred.”  Read More

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