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3, 2, 1 — Uh Oh, SpaceX Reschedules Falcon 9 Rocket Launch For Thursday

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Falcon 9

Earlier today, SpaceX’s website was counting down, stopping, then counting down again, then stopping again, scrubbing the launch that was scheduled to take place at approximately 5:37pm EST. On Thursday, SpaceX will again attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket for a GEO Transfer Mission. The rocket, which will launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, will put an Orbital Sciences SES-8 satellite, designed to support Southeast Asian communications needs for about 15 years, into a geostationary transfer orbit. Then, about a half-hour after launch, the Falcon 9 will deliver the satellite into geostationary orbit at about 22,000 miles above Earth, roughly 25% of the way to the moon. Many launchers deliver a satellite in two phases, or burns, depending on how long and how much power it takes to reach the first apogee. The transfer to geostatic orbit phase is usually performed via solar power, which reduces overall costs. This launch is SpaceX’s first attempt at putting a communications satellite in orbit.

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SpaceX Plans To Use These Drones For Reusable Rocket Landings

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landing pad droneIf you’ve been following Elon Musk and SpaceX, you know that one of the ways the company drastically decreases the cost of transporting cargo (and eventually humans) into space is by the implementation of reusable rockets, such as the Grasshopper and the Falcon 9, the rocket that will eventually launch the Dragon capsule. EMusk recently announced a new addition to this plan: autonomous landing pads that serve as movable launch and recovery platforms for those rockets.

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SpaceX F9R Test Rocket Self-Detonates In Mid Flight

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spacexexplodeIt’s hard to watch anything in the sky explode and not think: holy shit, what a disaster! But when a SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) test rocket exploded over Texas yesterday, it wasn’t really a disaster. For starters, no one was inside, and secondly, self-detonation is what such crafts do when they realize there’s been some kind of technical glitch or error. So on the one hand, the safety measure worked; on the other, it’s never really an awesome thing for a test rocket to have an error that prompts it to self-detonate.

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SpaceX’s Grasshopper Rocket Scares The Cow Pie Out Of Some Cattle

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The recent remarkable test flight of SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket didn’t impress everyone — in fact, it scared the living shit out of these cows. Cows might have four stomachs and be sacred in some religions, and Walter Bishop may have wanted one to keep him company in the lab, but apparently they’re not jazzed about spaceflight.

The video above raises an interesting question: who or what else observes our rocket launches? What do the birds think? Has anyone checked in with the rabbits?

Most launches happen in places a bit more removed from nature — in fact, the closest bystanders can get to a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral is four miles. Then again, the Grasshopper isn’t just any rocket.

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SpaceX’s Grasshopper Rocket Soars Higher Than Ever

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Space travel used to be considered ridiculously impossible, back in the days before civilizations actually knew what they were seeing when they looked up. But when various countries actually started sending spacecraft up there, beyond the gray skies, it was just deemed ridiculously expensive. One only has to take a cursory glance at the U.S. government, amidst mountains of piled debt, to understand why most of our country’s off-Earth travel plans are in the think tanks of privatized companies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Rich people deserve space love, too.

With its Grasshopper rocket, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has revolutionized the concept of vehicular recycling, and the company recently released this gorgeous video that captures yet another successful launch and landing. This latest test occurred on June 14 at the SpaceX Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas. But this was a little different than previous endeavors, as it was the first time the Grasshopper “made use of its full navigation sensor suite with the F9-R closed loop control flight algorithms to accomplish a precision landing.” This also marks the highest the rocket has ever flown.

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SpaceX Rocket Launched, First Commercial Flight To the Space Station Is Underway

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SpaceX is on its way to making history. This morning their Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft launched from the SpaceX pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It’s the start of the first ever attempt by a commercial organization to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station and the dawn of a new era in space travel.

This comes after numerous (understandable) delays to their program. This mission, for instance, was originally supposed to launch on Saturday morning but ended up being delayed due to technical problems. This morning was their backup launch window and this time it went off without a hitch.

A few photos from the launch…

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