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SpaceX Targets Late June for Falcon Heavy Launch: Report

NASA will launch some pretty cool technologies in this mission, which will support its future exploration plans by helping improve future spacecraft design and performance, said the release

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket, with a payload of 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network, lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 during a time exposure at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 23, 2019. VOA

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will take to the skies for the third time to launch the US Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission in late June, according to a release of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Several exciting, one-of-a-kind NASA technology and science payloads are among the two dozen spacecraft aboard.

The 27 engines of the Falcon Heavy rocket generate thrust at liftoff equal to that of approximately 18 airplanes, and it can lift over 140,000 pounds (about 63,503 kg), according to the JPL, Xinhua news agency reported.

Managed by the US Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, STP-2 is the first government-contracted Falcon Heavy launch.

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A SpaceX rocket has launched 60 satellites into orbit, which will be used to provide internet service from space. VOA

It will reuse the two side boosters recovered after the April flight. SpaceX described it as one of the most challenging launches in the company’s history.

NASA will launch some pretty cool technologies in this mission, which will support its future exploration plans by helping improve future spacecraft design and performance, said the release.

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According to the JPL, the technologies include the Deep Space Atomic Clock, a navigation payload hosted on the General Atomics Orbital Test Bed satellite; the Green Propellant Infusion Mission, a small satellite that will demonstrate a non-toxic fuel and propulsion system; Space Environment Testbeds, instruments hosted on the US Air Force Research Lab’s Demonstration and Science Experiments spacecraft to study how to protect satellites in space; and the Enhanced Tandem Beacon Experiment, twin CubeSats to study the disruptions of signals that pass through Earth’s upper atmosphere. (IANS)

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Starship Could Fly People Next Year, Says SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

“In the meantime, Commercial Crew is years behind schedule. NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investments of the taxpayer. It’s time to deliver.”

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SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk, left, announces Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa (R) as the first private passenger on a trip around the moon. VOA

Unveiling his plans for the Starship rocket, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that the reusable launch system designed to take humans to the Moon, Mars and beyond could fly with crew next year.

“I think we could potentially see people fly next year, if we get to orbit in about six months,” Musk said during a presentation on the company’s progress towards making interplanetary travel a reality on Saturday which marked the 11th anniversary of SpaceX reaching orbit for the first time.

The ever-optimistic tech billionaire, however, added that much would depend on the continued improvements in building the rockets.

Building reusable rockets is fundamental to making space travel a reality, he said at the event held at SpaceX’s South Texas test site.

“It’s the holy grail of space travel,” he said, while standing beneath Starship Mk1, a prototype for the SpaceX launch system.

“To date, we’ve completed 78 launches and have developed the world’s only operational reusable orbital class rockets and spacecraft – capable of launching to space, returning to Earth, and flying again,” SpaceX said.

Elon Musk, tesla, tunnel
AI could be first ‘resident’ of Mars, hints Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

The company said that Starship will ultimately carry as many as 100 people on long-duration, interplanetary flights.

SpaceX is building Starship with a mission to provide affordable delivery of significant quantities of cargo and people, essential for building Moon bases and Mars cities.

“Starship serves as a large, long-duration spacecraft capable of carrying passengers or cargo to Earth orbit, planetary destinations, and between destinations on Earth,” SpaceX said.

However, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Friday reminded SpaceX that it was time to deliver the Crew Dragon spacecraft designed to fly crew to and from the International Space Station.

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“I am looking forward to the SpaceX announcement tomorrow,” Bridenstine wrote on Twitter on Friday.

“In the meantime, Commercial Crew is years behind schedule. NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investments of the taxpayer. It’s time to deliver.” (IANS)