NASA is moving ahead with plans to launch a cargo version of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station next week as the investigation into an explosion of a Crew Dragon spacecraft continues.
A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft suffered what the company said was an “anomaly” during static fire tests of its abort engines April 22, dealing a setback to the company’s plans to fly a crewed test flight later this year.
SpaceX sent the Arabsat-6A communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit April 11, completing the Falcon Heavy rocket’s first commercial launch.
Arabsat chose SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket to launch its newest satellite in order to give the satellite a longer lifespan, Khalid Balkheyour, Arabsat’s chief executive, said in an interview with SpaceNews.
Even before the launch, NASA officials said there was already work identified before the Demo-1 flight that needed to get done before the agency would consider flying astronauts on board.
Mynaric, a German laser communications startup focused on satellite and airborne platforms, has hired a SpaceX employee previously involved in the Starlink megaconstellation.
Reviews of SpaceX and ULA, regardless of whether or how they might be connected, are a reminder of the dog-eat-dog world of military space launch.