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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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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Cassini’s Swan Song – Flagship NASA Mission Ends after 20 Years

Cassini – NASA’s flagship planetary exploration mission for the last 20 years – found a fiery grave in Saturn’s dense atmosphere on Friday, ending a remarkable mission of discovery that will keep scientists busy for years to come to decipher the secrets Saturn and its enigmatic moons hold.

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SpaceX cuts Plans for Powered Dragon Landings, places Focus on Commercial Crew

SpaceX decided against the company’s previous plan of having their next generation Dragon spacecraft return to Earth via a powered landing to bring back cargo and crews from the International Space Station, company chief Elon Musk said on Wednesday at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington.

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Weak Simulations, Inadequate Software & Mismanagement caused Schiaparelli Crash Landing

The European Space Agency concluded its inquiry into the crash landing of the experimental Schiaparelli Mars Lander last October, citing a lack of understanding and modeling of parachute dynamics experienced at high speed, insufficient failure identification and recovery options in the craft’s software and mismanagement of subcontractors & hardware acceptance as contributing factors for the botched landing sequence.

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