A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched two U.S. Air Force satellites into orbit Saturday (April 14), setting the stage for improved military satellite communications and a new generation of space vehicle design. The Atlas V rocket lifted off at 7:13 p.m. EDT (2313 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The U.S. Air Force Space Command mission, AFSPC-11, features a geostationary communications satellite called the Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM (CBAS) and the experimental ESPA Augmented GEO Laboratory Experiment (EAGLE) demonstrator. The EAGLE spacecraft is carrying several payloads, including a smaller satellite called Mycroft that is designed to test self-inspection technology for satellites, Air Force officials said. [The Most Dangerous Space Weapons Ever] Shortly after liftoff, ULA shut down its live video feed from the Atlas V at the request of the U.S. Air Force, a routine procedure for military launches. About five … [Read more...] about Atlas V Rocket Launches US Military Satellite and Experimental Spacecraft Into Orbit
Rocket launch video
Whenever SpaceX launches a rocket, you can bet the views will be spectacular. After all, SpaceX has cameras up and down its Falcon 9 rockets that offer live views from space as each booster soars into (and sometimes back from) space. So it was weird today (March 30) when, 9 minutes into an otherwise routine Falcon 9 launch of 10 Iridium Next communications satellites from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, SpaceX cut the feed. The video blackout was intentional because of "restrictions" from a U.S. government agency known for its own live views of Earth from space. "Due to some restrictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA for short, SpaceX will be intentionally ending live video coverage of the second stage just prior to engine shutdown," SpaceX materials engineer Michael Hammersley said during a live webcast commentary of the Iridium-5 mission. "We're working with NOAA to address these restrictions in order to hopefully be able to bring you live … [Read more...] about What’s the Deal with SpaceX, NOAA and Live Rocket Launch Video?
A used SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 10 new communications satellites into orbit from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base today (March 30) in a morning liftoff that also marked an anniversary for reusable rockets. The Falcon 9 rocket, which first flew in October 2017, launched the fifth set of Iridium Next satellites for Iridium Communications at 10:13 a.m. EDT (1413 GMT) — exactly one year to the day after SpaceX's first used Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing. Since then, SpaceX has commonly landed the first stage of its two-stage Falcon 9 rockets and reused them on later flights. In fact, the booster that launched today's Iridium-5 mission also launched 10 other Iridium Next satellites on Oct. 9 during SpaceX's Iridium-3 mission. And last December, Iridium became the first SpaceX customer to launch a mission on a rocket it used before when the Iridium-4 mission launched with the same booster SpaceX used to launch 10 other satellites on its Iridium-2 flight in June 2017. … [Read more...] about Liftoff! Used SpaceX Rocket Launches 10 Iridium Satellites into Orbit
You can get Netflix in nearly 200 countries around the world, but getting it off the planet is a little more difficult. Inspired by "a well-known spacefaring industrialist" (that's got to be Elon Musk and his recent SpaceX rocket launches), Netflix employees figured out how to watch the streaming service's videos in "space." Netflix hosts a series of Hack Days that let employees knock off work to create fun experiments and test unusual projects within 24 hours. One of the Hack Day Winter 2018 teams sent Netflix high into the air on board a meteorological balloon. The helium-filled balloon got to an altitude of 115,000 feet (35,000 meters), which isn't exactly a trip to space, but is high enough to see the Earth's curvature and the darkness beyond. We'll allow some hyperbole because the project is so cool. The Netflix team downloaded video content to an iPhone and set up a GoPro camera to watch the screen and catch the view of Earth below. The system included … [Read more...] about Netflix pulls an Elon Musk, launches video into ‘space’
Last Friday, SpaceX launched its 18th and final mission of 2017, sending a Falcon 9 rocket out of Vandenberg Air Force Base and into the California sky. The white tail of the rocket was an unusual sight, leaving many in Southern California who did not know a rocket launch was occurring confused, with some even speculating it was a UFO. Now, a spectacular 40-second time-lapse of the Falcon 9 has been posted by photographer Jesse Watson. Watson lives in Yuma, Arizona, and according to PetaPixel had been following SpaceX launches for some time. Though this latest launch was held at Vandenberg Air Force Base, 400 miles away, he says it was “perfectly viewable” from where he lives in Yuma. He had never shot a rocket before, but used The Photographer’s Ephemeris, a map-centric sun and moon calculator, as well as Google Maps to figure out where to set up his shots. Because he was working on estimated knowledge, Watson used four cameras and five lenses at four different … [Read more...] about A photographer shot an awesome time-lapse of SpaceX’s recent rocket launch