A top service official told lawmakers that the 2019 deadline set by Congress to replace the Russian-made RD-180 with an American-made alternative is probably not feasible.
Satellite fleet operator SES on Feb. 25 said two of the three satellites it ordered the previous week will be launched aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in 2017.
Satellite fleet operator SES has agreed to be the inaugural customer aboard an enhanced version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, a decision that SES said followed a careful review of Falcon 9’s more-powerful first stage engine block.
After almost three years of waiting — and six successful cargo flights to the International Space Station — SpaceX’s Falcon 9 should finally win approval to loft NASA science satellites this year.
U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Feb. 13 she expects an initial report in March detailing the tasks still standing between SpaceX and its long-sought certification to launch national security payloads.
Virgin Galactic announced Feb. 12 that the company is opening a new facility in Long Beach, California, devoted to development of its small satellite launch vehicle.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a space and Earth sciences satellite Feb. 11 after two previous attempts were scrubbed by weather and technical problems, but high seas prevented SpaceX from attempting to land the rocket’s first stage on a ship.
A European spaceplane technology demonstrator was successfully launched Feb. 11 on a 100-minute suborbital mission that took it into space for nearly an hour before it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean more than halfway around the world.