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SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft Expected To Land on Earth on Monday

The next Dragon mission to the space station will be its first uncrewed demonstration mission designated SpaceX DM-1

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SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft to reach Earth on Monday.

After spending over a month in the orbit, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft left the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday and is expected to land on Earth on Monday night, NASA said.

“The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft was released from the ISS today at 6.33 p.m.,” NASA said in a statement on Sunday.

“Dragon will parachute to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean Monday at 12:15 a.m. then will be towed to port in southern California by a SpaceX personnel,” it added.

This will be the first night–time splashdown and recovery for the Dragon with plenty of moonlight to track its entry, NASA said.

Astronaut Anne McClain onboard the ISS monitored the activities from the cupola and watched Dragon perform a series of departure burns as it separated itself to a safe distance from the orbital lab. Integrated operations between mission controllers in Houston and SpaceX controllers in California stop when Dragon reaches a point about 1 km away from the station.

SpaceX
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. VOA

The commercial cargo vessel will bring home a variety of critical space research, including ISS hardware to extracted for analysis, refurbishment or discarding, NASA said.

Dragon was launched on ISS on December 8 with more than 5,600 pounds of science and supplies. The spacecraft completed a 36-day mission attached to the station’s Harmony module.

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The next Dragon mission to the space station will be its first uncrewed demonstration mission designated SpaceX DM-1.

The Commercial Crew Program’s first launch is currently targeted for February and will demonstrate ground systems, orbit to docking activities and landing operations. (IANS)

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Elon Musk Shares Pictures of SpaceX’s New Starship Prototypes

Musk is expected to announce the company’s latest update to the Starship on September 28

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. Wikimedia Commons

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has posted two new pictures on Twitter showing the latest construction updates for the Starship rocket prototype that is being built at SpaceXs Boca Chica, Texas facility.

One of the images shows the vehicle, Starship Mk1, which is being assembled at SpaceX’s South Texas facility near the village of Boca Chica, in the background, standing behind a building that contains a variety of parts and other equipment, news portal space.com reported on Wednesday.

Musk captioned the picture: “Droid Junkyard, Tatooine.”

FILE – SpaceX founder Elon Musk tells the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, that he envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to Mars and says it could become reality within a century, Sept. 27, 2016. VOA

The second photo he posted is of a large metal disc being lowered onto Mk1’s body. This he captioned as “Area 51 of Area 51”.

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SpaceX hopes for Starship to be used as a commercial spacecraft that will be able to take off and land like an airplane. It is expected to be ready by 2021.

Musk is expected to announce the company’s latest update to the Starship on September 28. (IANS)