While rocket launches aren't typically thought of as "cute", watching the maiden voyage of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is the closest we'll get to seeing the Brave Little Toaster go to space. Yesterday, the 17m carbon fibre rocket blasted off from New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula and made it to the edge of space. Though Electron didn't make it into orbit, it tried its best, and that's all that counts.
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The typical SpaceX payload might include a communications satellite, some ISS supplies, even the occasional spy network. But later this year, the aerospace company will embark on something quite a bit more endearing: A Falcon 9 rocket will carry the cremated remains of beloved family members into space.
After a streak of successful launches, SpaceX is looking damn spiffy. While the best part of watching a SpaceX launch is arguably the last leg of the trip, when the Falcon 9 first stage attempts to land softly back on Earth, today, SpaceX will be doing something a little more complicated than its typical launch routine — and as a result, it won't be trying to land at all.
Video: Despite only giving you about a second of excitement at launch, model rockets are still a fun way for us (non-billionaires) to live out our dreams of space travel. But have you ever wondered what's happening inside a model rocket engine while you're standing a safe distance away from ignition?
Watching a rocket launch is the most wholesome and exciting activity besides going on a roller coaster or eating large quantities of cheese. Today, at around 1:11AM AEST, NASA, in coordination with United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Orbital ATK, will take things to the next level — the agency will be broadcasting the first-ever 360 degree live stream of a rocket launch.
On March 30th, SpaceX made history when it became the first to launch and land a refurbished rocket into orbital space. Seriously, it was fucking awesome. But Elon Musk and co. aren't stopping there. According to Musk's Twitter, SpaceX aims to launch a reused upper stage by late next next year in order "to get to 100%" reusability. That's right: Musk doesn't just want to reuse the first stage booster, which is estimated to cut down launch costs by up to 30 per cent. He wants to reuse the whole damn rocket.
Video: As fun as building your own 1.8m model rocket might be, launching it is nowhere near as impressive as watching one of NASA's towering rockets blast into orbit — unless you point a high-speed camera at it. At 28,000 frames per second, a wonderful pyrotechnics show is revealed as it leaves the launch pad.
Video: Before actually using them on what will be the world's most powerful rocket, NASA has been thoroughly testing its new RS-25 engines. With around 232,000kg of thrust, however, the best way to experience all of that power is through this 360-degree video that safely puts you right in the path of the immense blast.
Hey guys, we know that SpaceX is doing some pretty big things right now, like trying to shuttle passengers around the moon, and sending deadly pathogens into space, but Blue Origin is still cool, OK? As it reminded us this week, the company has built some pretty big engines for its upcoming New Glenn rocket, which will be one of the largest in the world once it's completed.
Following a successful Falcon 9 launch-and-barge-landing in California this month, SpaceX is now looking to get back in the swing of regular flight. But while the company's next two flights seem fairly routine on the surface, they're going to be historic in one very important aspect.
After some setbacks — including, but not limited to, an explosion in September — SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Late next year, NASA is hoping to launch its Space Launch System — a powerful next generation rocket capable of exerting 900 tonnes of thrust. NASA engineers have now completed construction of a stand sturdy enough to test its enormous fuel tank. It's an important milestone, and another step towards sending humans to Mars.
Video: Now this is some fun times. The Backyard Scientist strapped a kitchen knife to some homemade sugar rockets, put it on a track sprayed with graphite lubricant so it could cut things while zooming down at 240km/h, and then put various sliceable items on the other end to reach their imminent doom (for our infinite viewing pleasure).
New years bring new beginnings, and for SpaceX, that means a return to flight after a five-month dry spell. Having officially determined the cause of the infamous Falcon 9 "anomaly" at Cape Canaveral on September 1, the rocket company is eyeing January 8 for its first launch of 2017.
Going to the Moon is officially hip again, thanks in no small part to Google, which is offering $US20 million to the first private company that can land on our nearest neighbour, roll around a bit, and beam images back to Earth. The latest contender for that sweet sweet X-Prize money is Japan, which has just obtained a launch vehicle for the shiny metal cheese grater rover it plans to send to the Moon late next year.