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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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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)