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Weapon Wednesday – Space Cargo Drops – The Ultimate Quick Response

spacex rocket cargo
SpaceX/Flickr
  • The U.S. Air Force wants $47.9 million to support its Rocket Cargo concept.
  • Rocket Cargo calls for a 100-ton rocket capable of airdropping cargo virtually anywhere in the world within minutes.
  • This system would use an existing space rocket, modified to suit the service’s needs.

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SpaceX Boosters will not Land – They’ll be Caught

SpaceX is planning to catch its Super Heavy booster (left) using the launch tower arm
SpaceX is planning to catch its Super Heavy booster (left) using the launch tower arm
Spacex via Instagram

SpaceX has been making controlled landings of its Falcon 9 boosters to allow them to be reused for a number of years now. Such landings involve the rockets touching down, be it on a boat or a launch pad, using legs built into the rocket. But SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk has revealed different plans for the Falcon 9’s bigger sibling, the Super Heavy, announcing the intention to have the launch tower arm catch the booster.

 

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Rocket Lab to Catch Booster in Mid Air

Rocket Lab has big plans when it comes to recovering its boosters
Rocket Lab has big plans when it comes to recovering its boosters
Rocket Lab

Last year, we saw some details start to emerge around Rocket Lab’s vision to recover its spacecraft for reuse, plans that involved catching part of its Electron booster in mid-air with a helicopter. The private company is set to take an important step toward this objective, announcing that it will make its first attempt to recover the rocket’s first stage during a mission scheduled for later this month.

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Another Milestone for SpaceX

A screen grab showing a rocket fairing recovered by a SpaceX ship during an earlier mission
A screen grab showing a rocket fairing recovered by a SpaceX ship during an earlier mission
SpaceX

Using a ship out at sea to catch pieces of falling pieces of rocket might not be the most sophisticated of SpaceX’s recovery techniques, but it is a key part of its mission to recycle as many materials as possible. The company has today ticked off this significant milestone, after its Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a satellite into orbit for South Korea. read more

SpaceX Starship

SpaceX's Starship prototype under construction, with a landing leg frame in the foreground
SpaceX’s Starship prototype under construction, with a landing leg frame in the foreground
Elon Musk (Twitter)

Innovate or die. It’s a term often thrown about in tech circles as a not-so-subtle reminder of how resting on one’s laurels can be bad business practice, and it’s an ethos that SpaceX certainly seems to be guided by. Just a few weeks after its Starhopper prototype completed its final test flight, the team is busy pulling the pieces together for a bigger and higher-flying version, which it could send into orbit within the next couple of months. read more

NASA Announces Commercial Space Flights

Artist's concept of the Crew Dragon
Artist’s concept of the Crew Dragon(Credit: SpaceX)

NASA has announced the dates for the first flights of the commercial manned space capsules that will be used to ferry astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station (ISS). read more