Successful Falcon Heavy Test Flight: “Starman” Reaches Orbit, 2/3 Rocket Cores Recovered

The stakes were high for SpaceX on Tuesday when their triple-core monster rocket leapt off from Florida’s Space Coast on an ambitious shakedown mission that held many unknowns for the California-based company.

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Video Collection: Falcon Heavy Launch & Simultaneous Booster Return from around Cape Canaveral

SpaceX achieved a momentous feat on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 when successfully launching the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket on a high-stakes shakedown mission – successfully boosting into orbit and later off into Deep Space a midnight-cherry Tesla Roadster as a novelty-payload chosen for this flight by SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk.

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Video: Falcon Heavy’s Long-Awaited Shakedown Mission

SpaceX’s triple-core monster rocket leapt off its LC-39A Launch Pad at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 20:45:00.49 UTC on February 6, 2018, embarking on a long-awaited shakedown mission and in the process becoming the most powerful rocket currently in service.

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Preview: SpaceX Set to Debut Falcon Heavy Rocket via Long-Awaited Shakedown Flight

A decade-long journey to the launch pad could end on Tuesday for SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket with the long-awaited maiden launch of the tri-core rocket. With a commercial launch license from the FAA in hand, a clean Launch Readiness Review and fair weather forecast, SpaceX wheeled the monster rocket up the ramp to Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center Sunday night and placed it in its vertical launch position for liftoff on Tuesday during a two-and-a-half-hour window opening at 18:30 UTC, 1:30 p.m. local time.

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World’s Smallest Launch Vehicle Ready for Second Attempt at Reaching Orbit

Just over a year after crashing into the Pacific Ocean on its first test flight, Japan’s SS-520 sounding-rocket-turned-orbital-launch-vehicle stands ready for another try to become the world’s smallest orbital launch vehicle, just powerful enough to lift a three-Kilogram CubeSat.

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Chinese Long March 2D Launches Earthquake Research Satellite & Six MicroSatellites

China launched a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Friday carrying a group of seven satellites from China, Italy, Argentina and Denmark including an innovative experiment to study the ionospheric precursors of Earthquakes to evaluate whether forecasting of strong Earthquakes will be possible from an orbital vantage point.

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Luxembourg’s GovSat-1 in Orbit after Flawless Boost by Flight-Proven SpaceX Falcon 9

SpaceX’s sixth flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket – sporting landing legs but flying in throwaway mode – blasted into the afternoon skies over Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Wednesday to lift Luxembourg’s GovSat-1 satellite into a high-energy Supersynchronous Transfer Orbit.

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Falcon 9 Completes Static Fire Test for Booster Re-Flight Mission with SES 16

While all eyes were on Falcon Heavy’s milestone Static Fire Test this week, SpaceX continued preparations for the company’s next Falcon 9 mission from Florida’s Space Coast, culminating on Friday in a successful Static Fire Test of the flight-proven booster that will be tasked with lifting the SES 16 communications satellite as early as next Tuesday.

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A Bizarre Failure Scenario Emerges for Ariane 5 Mission Anomaly with SES 14 & Al Yah 3

Europe’s Ariane 5 appears to have gotten away with a black eye on Thursday when its 97th mission veered off course from the onset of the rocket’s climb, but still managed to deploy two innovative communications craft in a stable, but off-target orbit from where it will be up to the SES 14 and Al Yah 3 satellites to rectify the situation and maneuver into their operational slots above the equator.

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Ariane 5 Launch Anomaly Leaves Uncertainty on Status of Commercial Satellite Duo

Europe’s Ariane 5 launch vehicle, after 82 consecutive successes over a 15-year streak, encountered a potentially serious anomaly on Thursday when lifting a pair of cutting-edge communications satellites into a high-energy Supersynchronous Transfer Orbit.

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Ariane 5 Reaches Launch Pad for Dual-Payload Delivery with SES 14 & Al Yah 3

Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket rolled out to its French Guiana launch pad in preparation for liftoff on Thursday on the vehicle’s year-opening mission, tasked with deploying a pair of innovative satellites to a Supersynchronous Transfer Orbit peaking 45,000 Kilometers above the planet.

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Rocket Lab Surprises with Kick Stage Test & Humanity Star on Recent “Still Testing” Mission

Rocket Lab – after successfully demonstrating the company’s Electron launch vehicle last weekend – had another surprise in store this week when revealing the mission had successfully executed an orbit circularization maneuver with a previously unknown Kick Stage and deployed a reflective satellite named “The Humanity Star”.

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Momentous Static Fire Test Moves SpaceX Falcon Heavy Closer to Maiden Launch

SpaceX’s tri-core Falcon Heavy rocket breathed fire for the first time on Wednesday atop its Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad, igniting all 27 Merlin engines on the rocket’s business end for a 12-second test firing designed to collect valuable data not only on the behavior of the engines but also the rocket’s structure as a whole.

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