Falcon 9 rocket Current Affairs

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket successfully places 10 satellites into orbit

US based rocket manufacturing company SpaceX successfully launched constellation of 10 satellites into orbit on board of its two stage Falcon 9 Rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The satellites were deployed into the designated to low-Earth orbit about an hour after launch. Besides, rocket’s first stag also landed upright on a so-called droneship in the Pacific Ocean south of Vandenberg.

Key Facts
  • The constellation of 10 satellites was launched as part of McLean, Virginia-based Iridium’s project to replace its existing network of satellites that provide global voice and data communications.
  • This was SpaceX’s first launch since September 2016 accident of similar rocket on a Florida launch pad which exploded after its launch along with $200 million Israeli communications satellites Amos-6.

About SpaceX

  • SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California, US.
  • It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and former PayPal entrepreneur with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.
  • SpaceX has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, both designed to be reusable. It also has developed Dragon spacecraft to supply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). It is also developing a manned version of Dragon is in development.
  • SpaceX’s achievements: First privately funded, liquid-propellant rocket Falcon 1 to reach orbit in 2008. First privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft (Dragon) in 2010. First private company to send a spacecraft (Dragon) to the ISS, in 2012.
  • As of July 2016, it has flown nine missions to the ISS under a cargo resupply contract with NASA signed in 2006.

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SpaceX successfully launches Dragon Cargo capsule using Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX successfully launched its Dragon Cargo capsule filled with supplies for astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The Dragon Cargo capsule was launched using SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

After successful take off, the Falcon 9 rocket separated from cargo after sending in into orbit. Then the first stage of the rocket successfully landed back on the solid ground in Cape Canaveral at the NASA facility.

Key Facts

  • This is SpaceX’s second attempt at delivering the docking port after Falcon 9 rocket exploded two minutes after liftoff in 2015.
  • The launch was resupply mission for NASA and the capsule was carrying equipments that were lost in 2015 explosion.
  • The capsule is carrying about 23000 kilograms of cargo, including ferrying instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space.
  • It was also carrying a critical space station docking adapter for commercial spacecraft. The Dragon capsule will reach the ISS on 20 July 2016.
  • It will leave the space station on August 29, 2016 and shall bring 3,300 pounds of hardware, science, crew supplies and spacewalk tools back to Earth.

Dragon Cargo capsule: It is a SpaceX’s free-flying spacecraft. It is designed to deliver both people and cargo to orbiting destinations. In 2012, the capsule had created history by becoming the first commercial spacecraft in space history to deliver cargo to the ISS and safely return cargo to Earth. Earlier all space deliveries were done by government space agencies. Currently Dragon Cargo capsule is only spacecraft in operation capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth

Falcon 9 rocket: It is SpaceX’s two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle designed and manufactured by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), a private space transportation company based in Hawthorne, California.

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