Last weeks Falcon Heavy Center Core Test

The Falcon Heavy had its first test last week. The Center Core was test fired at the test facility in McGregor Texas.

About the Falcon Heavy:
When Falcon Heavy lifts off in 2017, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit over 54 metric tons (119,000 lb)–a mass equivalent to a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.” – SpaceX


Here is the video of the successful center core test from last week

and here is the SpaceX animation of a FH flight

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F9 Liftoff and Landing from NROL-76

SpaceX made launching and landing a rocket seem like everyday events this morning with it’s Falcon 9. The Launch of the NROL-76 secret mission was a flawless as it gets. Launch coverage was cutoff after landing due to the secretive nature of the mission.

The new camera angles were amazing. Watch the First stage return:

Here are a few pictures of Launch and Landing.


F9 Good Morning


F9 Perfect Launch


F9 -Perfect Landing

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NROL-76 Launch Info


UPDATE: The flight was scrubbed Sunday morning in final minute of countdown to investigate faulty sensor in first stage.

SpaceX will Launch the NRO’s secretive NROL-76 on Sunday morning.

WHERE: Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
WHEN: Sunday,April 30, at 7:00 a.m. EDT, or 11:00 UTC.
BACKUP TIME: Monday, May 1, at 7:00 a.m. EDT
PAYLOAD: NROL-76 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (highly secretive)
FIRST STAGE LANDING: Yes – landing at LZ-1, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
OTHER: Launch Coverage will be cut off at MECO because of the secretive payload


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China launches Tianzhou-1


image:China Xinhua News

China’s 1st cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 blasts off aboard a Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket. The spacecraft will rendezvous with the space lab Tiangong-2. The docking will be the first addition in creating a space station.

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Orbital launches S.S. John Glenn


Orbital ATK successfully launched the S.S. John Glenn spacecraft (OA-7 Cygnus) into orbit today on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

Once launched into low-Earth orbit, Cygnus will use its advanced maneuvering capability to transport its cargo from a low-parking orbit to the space station, where it will be grappled by the crew using the station’s robotic arm and then berthed to the orbiting laboratory. Among the cargo that will be delivered are four powered mid-deck lockers that carry critical science research experiments for the crew. Resembling freezers, these lockers receive power from Cygnus in order to maintain a constant internal temperature after they are loaded into the pressurized cargo module.

After the cargo is removed and disposal items are loaded, Cygnus will depart from the station in mid-June and conduct three secondary payload missions.  Cygnus will carry the Spacecraft Fire Experiment-III (Saffire-III) marking the third time that the spacecraft has been used for these investigations as a unique environment to study) fires in microgravity….In addition, a NanoRacks deployer will release four cubesats used for weather monitoring and global ship tracking. The final experiment will use three Reentry Data Collection Flight Recorders to provide crucial data about the extreme conditions a spacecraft encounters when reentering the Earth’s atmosphere. This specific experiment will also test the performance of different heat shield materials that may be used on future U.S. space missions.” -Orbital ATK

Previous mission Cygnus paper models can be found at AXM’s blog.

An Atlas V paper model from other mission can be found also at AXM’s blog

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SES-10 Mission Info


UPDATE 2: Looks like F9 wasn’t the only thing recovered. Payload fairing LANDED SUCCESSFULLY. Fairing has thruster systems and steerable parachute.

UPDATE: Success!! Great Launch and Great 2nd Landing for this F9!

“The SES-10 mission will mark a historic milestone on the road to full and rapid reusability as the world’s first reflight of an orbital class rocket. Falcon 9’s first stage for the SES-10 mission previously supported the successful CRS-8 mission in April 2016.

Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will attempt a landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship that will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.” -SpaceX

Milestone: Scheduled launch and re-flight of F9 first stage. Previously launched and landed during the CRS-8 mission in April 2016
Launch Location:
Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Launch Time: Thursday, March 30, at 6:27 p.m. EDT, or 10:27 p.m. UTC
Launch Window: 2.5 hours
Payload: SES’s first satellite designed exclusively to serve the thriving markets of Latin America.
Webcast: Launch webcast will go live about 20 minutes before liftoff at
Additional Webcast: Technical and Hosted on Youtube

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A sparky G motor in super slow motion

The Slo Mo Guys over at Youtube posted this great video of launching a rocket with a G motor in super slow motion. Stick around for the low light close up. Pretty amazing!

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