SpaceX, Dragon Capsule & Falcon 9: Latest News

Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is a commercial company aiming to launch cargo, and eventually people, to low-Earth orbit. The firm is developing its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 booster under contracts from NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program and its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.
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SpaceX Cargo Ship, Reusable Rocket Test Now Set to Launch on Dec. 19
A close-up of the "hypersonic grid fins" on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which should help stabilize the booster during its return to Earth after launching on Dec. 19, 2014.
December 12th, 2014
If all goes according to plan, Dragon will blast off atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:20 p.m. EST (1820 GMT) on Dec. 19 and arrive at the orbiting lab two days later.
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Doomed Antares Rocket Powered by Refurbished Soviet Engines
The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard suffers a catastrophic anomaly moments after launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
October 30th, 2014
Antares' first stage uses two AJ26 engines, which are refurbished variants of the NK-33 built by the Soviet Union for its ill-fated N-1 moon rocket during the height of the space race.
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Sierra Nevada Files Suit To Reinstate Hold on NASA Commercial Crew Contracts
Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser
October 16th, 2014
Sierra Nevada Corp. filed suit in federal court Oct. 15, seeking to overturn a NASA decision to lift a stop-work order on contracts it awarded to Boeing and SpaceX.
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SpaceX Will Try to Land Rocket on Floating Ocean Platform Next Week
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, complete with "hypersonic grid fins," that SpaceX will attempt to land on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean as part of a Dec. 16, 2014 launch.
December 9th, 2014
During a Dec. 16 launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SpaceX will try to bring the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket back to Earth in a controlled landing on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
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SpaceX to Try Rocket Landing on Floating Ocean Platform, Elon Musk Says
SpaceX Falcon 9
October 27th, 2014
The private spaceflight company SpaceX is planning to bring a rocket back from space and land it on a giant, floating platform in the middle of the ocean, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said today (Oct. 23).
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NASA Resumes Work on Private Space Taxi Contracts
NASA commercial crew program
October 10th, 2014
NASA announced Oct. 9 that it has lifted an order that halted work on commercial crew contracts awarded last month to Boeing and SpaceX, saying that delaying work during an ongoing contract protest could jeopardize the operation of the ISS.
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Sierra Nevada Protests NASA Commercial Crew Award, Lays Off Staff
Sierra Nevada Corp.'s Dream Chaser space plane undergoes ground taxi tests at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in 2013. Sierra Nevada is protesting NASA's recent award of commercial space taxi contracts to competitors SpaceX and Boeing.
September 30th, 2014
Two days after laying off about 100 employees who had been working on its Dream Chaser vehicle, Sierra Nevada Corp. on Sept. 26 filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office of a commercial crew contract it lost earlier in September.
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Space Station-Bound Astronaut Eager to Fly NASA's Orion to the Moon
Virts During Spacewalk Training
November 20th, 2014
A NASA astronaut about to fly to the International Space Station on a Russian spaceship hopes his next space mission will start in a seat aboard a commercial spacecraft.
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Buzz Aldrin, Elon Musk to Speak at MIT Conference This Week: Watch Live
Buzz Aldrin
October 21st, 2014
Astronauts and innovators, including SpaceX's billionaire founder Elon Musk, are descending upon MIT this week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the university's aeronautics and astronautics department.
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Private Inflatable Room Launching to Space Station Next Year
Artist's Interpretation of Bigelow Expandable Activity Module
October 6th, 2014
The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is expected to head to the orbiting lab inside SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft in 2015. The BEAM mission will test out expandable-habitat technology, NASA officials have said.
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