NASA Rover Designed To Last 90 Days Celebrates 12 Year Anniversary

opportunity rover This week NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover celebrated its 12 year anniversary on the red planet. What’s truly remarkable about this is the fact that the rover was only designed to operate for about 90 days. Due to helpful unforeseen surface conditions and few creative software changes, NASA has been able to keep Opportunity alive and operational to this day. After a 6 and a half… Read More

Blue Origin Launches and Lands Recovered Rocket

blue origin landing 1 Without any notice, Blue Origin made history once again when they completed a successful launch and landing of a suborbital rocket yesterday. What made this flight particularly notable was that they used the same rocket that had been launched into space on a flight in November. The recovered New Shepard rocket launched from Blue Origin’s test site in West Texas, brought a capsule to… Read More

SpaceX Tested Its Capsule That Will Send Humans To Space

Crew Dragon Hover Test Yesterday, SpaceX released a video showing a successful hover test of its human-rated spacecraft, Crew Dragon. If all goes according to plan, in 2017, Crew Dragon will be placed on top of a Falcon 9 and send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The test, which was completed in McGregor, Texas, back in November, analyzed the spacecraft’s ability to fire its SuperDraco… Read More

SpaceX Prepares For Another Rocket Landing On West Coast

just read the instructions Tomorrow at 10:42 AM PST SpaceX is scheduled to launch the Jason-3 satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. For many, it will be what happens after the launch that’s most important. Shortly after liftoff, SpaceX  will make another attempt to land the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket, this time on a floating drone ship in the ocean. Back in December,… Read More

NASA Spacewalk Cut Short After Spacesuit Malfunction

nasa spacewalk NASA terminated a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) today due to a spacesuit malfunction with one of the American astronauts. NASA’s Timothy Kopra and British astronaut Timothy Peake were scheduled to complete a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to switch out an electrical component in the ISS’s solar power system. Read More

Welcome Space Gal Emily Calandrelli To TechCrunch

tc-rocket We’re super pleased to say that Emily Calandrelli has joined up with TechCrunch to cover space, science and everything STEM related. Emily, known as The Space Gal on Twitter, has an authoritative and entertaining voice in the space arena, something I’ve been wanting more of on TC for a while now. Emily is also a producer and the host of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space, a… Read More

NASA Adds Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser To ISS Supply Vehicles

Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Today, NASA announced the winners of the second round of commercial resupply services (CRS-2) contracts. The winners, Orbital ATK, SpaceX, and the newcomer Sierra Nevada Corporation, will be responsible for providing new cargo, disposing of unneeded cargo, and safely bringing back research samples from the International Space Station (ISS). Read More

SpaceX delays launch and landing test of Falcon 9 rocket

A remodeled version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rests on its pad as it is prepared for launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the launcher's first mission since a June failure in Cape Canaveral, Florida December 20, 2015.

(By Irene Klotz, Reuters) – Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Sunday postponed launch of an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket and an attempt to land the booster at the launch site, saying the tricky touchdown would have a better chance of success if delayed for 24 hours.

A smooth landing would provide a big boost to Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, and its long-term ambition of refurbishing and reusing its rockets, an advance that could slash launch costs.

The mission, rescheduled for 8:33 p.m. ET on Monday, is the first for SpaceX since June 28, when the Falcon 9 failed during an attempt to deliver cargo to the International Space Station for NASA.


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“Tomorrow night (Monday) has a 10 percent higher chance of good landing. Punting 24 hours,” Musk wrote on Twitter a few hours before Sunday’s planned liftoff at 8:29 p.m. ET.

The revamped rocket will carry 11 small communications satellites for ORBCOMM Inc, which provides messaging services for retailers, shipping containers and others.

It is about 30 percent more powerful than previous SpaceX models and comes equipped with a more robust landing system.

The Falcon’s nine-engine main stage will attempt to touch down a few miles away from the launch site at a refurbished landing pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Rival Blue Origin, a space startup founded by Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, nailed a similar landing test last month. Unlike SpaceX, which has a backlog of more than 60 launches, worth about $8 billion, Blue Origin is still conducting test flights.

SpaceX previously experimented landing its rockets on a platform in the ocean, so far unsuccessfully.

The Hawthorne, California, company was founded in 2002 by Musk, who also serves as chief executive of Tesla Motors Inc., the electric car maker.

(Editing by Frank McGurty and Diane Craft)