India's ISRO gives Elon Musk's SpaceX a run for his money

India's ISRO gives Elon Musk's SpaceX a run for his money

India's ISRO gives Elon Musk's SpaceX a run for his money

With passenger spaceships in development and plans for settlements on Mars, Elon Musk's SpaceX has been uncharacteristically nostalgic this week as it prepares to launch its 30 Falcon 9 rocket. But if the launch goes as planned, we can also expect to see the reusable first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket return to earth eight minutes after lift-off. Once the space shuttles were retired - the July 20122 flight of Atlantis was the last time any rocket had blasted off from Kennedy Space Center - the nation's civil space agency simply didn't have anything that flies in lower Earth orbit anymore.

For human spaceflight, SpaceX will need to build up 39A's launch tower and hang a new walkway so astronauts can access the Crew Dragon spaceship, said Stephen Payne, NASA's launch integration manager for the Commercial Crew program.

The second time was the charm for Space X with the launch of its 10th operational cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) taking place on time at 9:39 am ET this morning.

In an interview previous year, Musk said he was grateful to be able to lease the site from NASA. The rocket only had a one-second opportunity to take off Saturday and deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

The spacecraft, called the Dragon, is packed with more than 5,000 pounds of cargo and experiments.

"Two spacecraft autonomously rendezvousing is crucial for many future NASA missions and Raven is maturing this never-before-attempted technology", said Ben Reed, deputy division director of NASA's Satellite Servicing Projects Division, in a press release.

Science involves doing some insane things sometimes, but NASA's latest mission to the International Space Station involves sending an antibiotic-resistant superbug into orbit.

After the rocket lifts the Dragon spacecraft to orbit, SpaceX will try to land the rocket's first stage back at Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule liftoff on Sunday, February 19.

SpaceX is set to launch nearly 5,500 pounds of supplies Sunday morning to the International Space Station after scrubbing its previous attempt Saturday because of a potential issue with its Falcon 9 rocket.

By bringing the boosters back after launches, SpaceX can refurbish them and fly those stages again, greatly reducing the cost of launching to space.

SpaceX is leasing the pad from NASA for 20 years.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted a routine report into NASA's Commercial Crew Program contracts, which were issued to SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 and were due to be certified this year.

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