Today marks the 60th anniversary of Alan Shepard’s fateful flight, now today will mark another first. The first successful landing of a Starship vehicle by SpaceX.
Not very often do we get two launches on the same day from the same company but today we might just see that take place. Two SpaceX rockets are on their respective launch pads counting down toward two launches later today.
In a statement today, the FAA has approved a multi-launch license for SpaceX’s next 3 Starship prototype vehicles. With the soonest launch happening possibly this week.
After what seems to be a successful static fire Monday afternoon of the three Raptor engines. SpaceX is getting ready for another Starship flight of the upgraded SN15.
If a dog is man’s best friend, can a robot dog named Zeus be best friends with a rocket to Mars? We’d like to believe so, and that’s what appears to be happening in South Texas.
LabPadre who documents SpaceX activity at its Boca Chica facility caught footage of what appears to be a Boston Dynamics-made robot dog running around the Starship test site.
NASA is buying SpaceX’s Starship rocket a $2.9 billion ticket to the Moon, and the ramifications of that decision are plentiful. The Washington Post was first to report that Starship is NASA’s sole choice for the Artemis human landing system for astronauts going to the Moon. The agency later held a press conference with reporters during which it made the news official while adding more color to the story. NASA has also published a source selection statement written by Kathy Lueders detailing specifics around its decision.
NASA is actively working on Artemis, a space exploration program that includes a mission to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon during this decade. Astronauts will travel from Earth in NASA’s Orion spacecraft which will launch on the space agency’s Space Launch System rocket. SLS gives Orion the boost it needs to reach the Moon, but Orion doesn’t touch down on the lunar surface. A third vehicle called a human landing system is needed to transport astronauts to the surface of the Moon. One year ago, NASA selected three potential partners for providing the human landing system for Artemis 3, the first mission in the program that includes walking on the Moon.
Later today, the U.S. space agency will officially announce which partner it will proceed in funding for development. Ace Washington Post space reporter and author Christian Davenport has scooped the 4 p.m. EDT press conference with source selection details. According to Davenport, SpaceX has won the contract with its Starship-based human landing system bid.
SpaceX launched its Starship SN11 prototype rocket early Tuesday morning in the fog of South Texas. Visibility was extremely low. For example, onlookers were not able to view the rocket on the pad from a distance this time. Despite the hope of a successful landing, Starship SN11 was not the first to reach that milestone for SpaceX.
After hopes were squashed due to the scrub of a duel static fire and flight day Friday. SpaceX is hoping to regroup and try again this coming Monday for the next attempt to fly Starship SN11 and more importantly bring it back in one piece.
SpaceX is planning on flying their newest Starship vehicle today but first, they needed to get a third static fire out of the way. All the necessary closures have been scheduled with the FAA and Cameron County to allow SpaceX to fly their vehicle up to 10 km today.