Category Archives: SpaceX

The Dragon Departs

Here is a replay of the Space X Dragon cargo ship departing the International Space Station. The cargo ship was released at about 05:11 EDT / 09:11 UTC (if my time conversion is correct).

The Dragon will NOT burn up in the atmosphere as some ships do. The returning 5,400 + Lb / 2,450 + kg payload includes samples from a variety of scientific experiments.

The thrusters on Dragon will fire at around 10:00 EDT / 14:00 UTC commencing a deorbit burn which will send the ship into the Pacific Ocean 54 minutes later where it will be retrieved and returned by recovery teams.

As far as I know there will be no live coverage of the splashdown and recovery, however there could be video after the fact.

A Ride Around the Moon

Two round trip tickets.   The seats were filled according to Elon Musk.

So if Space X is going to do this in 2018, even late in 2018,  I would only guess they would be sending an unmanned vehicle and an “in-house” crew first.  I can’t really imagine that not being the case.

Here’s the Space X press announcement.

And a video about the announcment, this particular one from Bloomberg News:

SpaceX Launch Tomorrow

Image: March  2013 during Expedition 34 from NASA as the Dragon is grappled by the station’s robotic arm.

A Space X resupply mission, CRS-10 is scheduled for launch tomorrow.

Mission: CRS -10

 Description: science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the Expedition 50 and 51 crew members

Rocket: Space X Falcon 9

Launch time:  14:39 UTC / 09:39 EST
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Pad 39A

Space X will attempt to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on land for the first time. I would think that would be much easier than a floating barge!



SpaceX Launch/Landing Replay

Here is the SpaceX launch of the Iridium satellite replay. This is the entire Hosted Webcast; launch is 20 minutes into the video if you want to skip ahead.

Iridium Communications is reporting all 10 satellites were successfully deployed and will be in a testing phase for a few weeks.

On a sad note, this marks the end of Iridium flares, the beginning of the end anyway.  If you’ve never seen an Iridium flare you still can, but better probably to do so sooner rather than later.

Try either (or both) of the following links to get viewing information for Iridium flares or other visible satellites (like the ISS or Hubble):

Heavens Above

SpaceX video

The SpaceX Explosion

WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT??  I was out of town and following things along on my phone and this happens – it was just a static fire.

From this video it looks like the initial anomaly occurred at the upper stage near the vent.  I am waiting to hear what actually happened.  The video below from the BBC is excellent, but watch quick because there isn’t any lag to the incident.

So what could happen to cause this?  I can’t wait to find out.  I wouldn’t rule out the possibility the vented gases were ignited someplace external to the rocket and therefore not point to a issue with the rocket itself.  Sherlock Holmes I am not, but when I hear the news I did not expect the incident to start from the upper part of the rocket. WOW!

UPDATE SpaceX confirms the location of the initiating event (upper stages) and the incident occurred during fueling.

Cargo Ship Leaves The ISS – Replay

The SpaceX Dragon CRS-9 commercial cargo ship left the International Space Station a couple days ago on 26 August. The cargo ship was released from the Canadarm2 (really good views of the arm too) off Australia at 10:11 UTC.

The Dragon successfully splashed down in the Pacific around 482 km / 300 miles from the Baja of California with science and research cargo, and has been recovered.


This image from 16 km / 10 miles from SpaceX.


Another Success for SpaceX

For the third time SpaceX lands a first stage rocket on a drone ship. This time SpaceX launched an Asian communications satellite (Thaicom-8) into orbit.

Apparently the drone ship has a name: “Of Course I Still Love You”.


SpaceX Launch Replay

This is the long version.

You may also remember SpaceX is landed the rocket on a ship in April. This time they attempted it again:

Elon Musk “Rocket reentry is a lot faster and hotter than last time, so odds of making it are maybe even, but we should learn a lot either way”.

The attempt was a success! A reusable rocket is reality.

SpaceX Launch Delay


SpaceX was supposed to launch the JCSat-14 today from Cape Canaveral Florida however due to weather concerns the launch as been moved to Friday 06 May at 05:20 UTC. That particular time is also 01:20 ET which means this will be a night time launch. Lucky us!

The JCSat-14 is a communications satellite to serve the Asia Pacific region.  The satellite will replace an older satellite at 154 degrees East longitude and provide improved capabilities.

The picture above is the SpaceX launch of DSCOVR, it’s one of my favorites.

Credit: SpaceX