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Soyuz rocket set to launch more OneWeb internet satellites

A Soyuz rocket is standing on a launch pad at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East for liftoff Sunday with the next 36 satellites for OneWeb’s internet network, the sixth Soyuz mission dedicated to the commercial broadband constellation. The 36 satellites, built on Florida’s Space Coast by a joint venturer between between OneWeb and …

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NASA’s Mars helicopter completes second, higher flight

This is the first color image of the Martian surface taken by an aerial vehicle while it was aloft. The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter captured it with its color camera during its second successful flight test on April 22, 2021. At the time this image, Ingenuity was 17 feet (5.2 meters) above the surface and pitching …

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In another first, NASA’s Perseverance rover generates oxygen on Mars

This view from the Perseverance rover’s navigation cameras shows the “Mars 2020” and “Perseverance” name plates on the vehicle’s robotic arm. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech In another first, an instrument inside NASA’s Perseverance rover has made oxygen out of carbon dioxide sucked in from the atmosphere of Mars, officials said Wednesday. The technology could help future astronauts …

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SLS core ready for shipment to Florida; NASA still hopes for late 2021 launch

Teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi hoist the Space Launch System core stage out of the B-2 test stand April 19 after a hot fire test March 18. Credit: NASA Teams at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi removed the core of NASA’s first Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket from a test stand earlier …

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Boeing crew capsule test flight now scheduled for late summer

Boeing’s second spaceflight-rated CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is weighed before flight in this photo from January. Credit: Boeing/John Proferes A second unpiloted test flight of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule — ordered after an initial demonstration mission fell short of reaching the International Space Station — is now scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral in August or …

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Photos: Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon roll out to pad 39A

A Falcon 9 rocket with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft rolls up the ramp to pad 39A Friday. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft rolled out to pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Friday. Hydraulics raised the 215-foot-tall (65-meter) rocket vertical on the historic launch pad in …

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Arianespace announces competition for free nanosatellite launch

Spectators in Kourou, French Guiana, watch as an Ariane 5 rocket launches three commercial satellites from the Guiana Space Center in August 2020. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin Arianespace announced this week it is organizing a contest open to startups, labs, and universities for a free launch of a …

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Astrobotic selects SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch robotic lunar lander

A Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off in April 2019 with the Arabsat 6A commercial communications satellite. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II / Spaceflight Now A commercial lunar lander built by Astrobotic will launch from the Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in late 2023 to deliver a water-hunting NASA rover to the moon’s …

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China launches experimental Shiyan satellite

A Long March 4B rocket takes off from the Taiyuan space base with a Shiyan 6 satellite. Credit: Xinhua China launched the third in a series of experimental Shiyan 6 satellites April 8 aboard a Long March 4B rocket, beginning a mission to test new space technologies, including a new super-black coating to absorb stray …

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Mars helicopter needs a software update before attempting first flight

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter unlocked its rotor blades, allowing them to spin freely, on April 7. They had been held in place since before launch, and the unlocking is one of several milestones that must be met before the helicopter can attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. This image was captured by the …

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