Building on the achievements of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is working on a next generation of fully reusable launch vehicles that will be the most powerful ever built, capable of carrying humans to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.

New Space X

So What Happens Next?

On Sunday, May 9 at 2:42 a.m. EDT, Falcon 9 launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. After stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship.


SpaceX will launch Astrobotic lander to the moon with NASA's ice-sniffing VIPER rover

April 14th, 2021

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket — the same booster type that once sent the "Starman" mannequin to space in a Tesla Roadster — will send the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the moon, on private company Astrobotic's lunar landing system.

Astrobotic's contract with NASA required the Pennsylvania-based company to independently select a launch contractor, and it chose SpaceX through a competitive procurement.

As with previous Falcon Heavy missions, SpaceX will launch VIPER from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center near Orlando, Florida — a longtime launching location of moon missions, including the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972.

VIPER is a key element of NASA's long-term plans to plant humans on the moon later in the decade — as soon as 2024 if the Donald Trump-era deadline remains under the new Joe Biden presidential administration. The NASA Artemis program will see crews of humans working alongside robotics to explore the moon and its resources, using NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.

Key among the Artemis program's goals is to learn how to live off the moon sustainably, potentially using resources such as lunar water ice at the moon's south pole to help astronauts and machinery function adequately for longer missions on the lunar surface. Humans last visited the moon during the Apollo missions, only staying for a few days at a time and bringing everything they needed from Earth.


August 7th, 2020

Now that the test mission has ended—and has largely been hailed as a success—NASA and SpaceX are busily planning for the next mission: Crew-1.

"What we just saw is the beginning of what will be a whole lot more activity in the future," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a post-splashdown briefing on August 3.

The Crew-1 mission will mark the first operational Commercial Crew mission. The $2.6 billion contract SpaceX signed with NASA in 2014 stipulates that the company will fly a total of six missions to the International Space Station (ISS). Crew-1 will be the first in this series of flights.

The Commercial Crew program was developed to end NASA's reliance on expensive seats aboard Russia's Soyuz capsule, which cost as much as $90 million a head. A ride on SpaceX's Crew Dragon—and Boeing's Starliner CST-100 spacecraft—is estimated to be at least $30 million cheaper.

The Crew-1 mission launch is currently scheduled for late September. This time, four astronauts—NASA's Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Michael Hopkins, as well as SpaceX's first international partner, JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguci—will conduct a six-month mission aboard the ISS. They'll continue to maintain the space station, conduct a series of spacewalks, and perform a number of important experiments.


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The Crew-1 astronauts have been training at SpaceX's Hawthorne, California facility, familiarizing themselves with their suits, their capsule, and those futuristic control panels. The Crew-1 capsule, which has been undergoing a series of tests at Hawthorne, will ship out to Florida either this week or sometime next week.

Late last month, NASA announced who will fly on the Crew-2 mission, which will launch next spring. This time, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur—who also happens to be Behnken's wife—will be joined by JAXA astronaut Akihito Hoshide and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Unless SpaceX discovers an issue with the vehicle, this crew will fly to the ISS aboard the same Crew Dragon capsule that ferried Behken and Hurley to the space station. The Crew-2 astronauts will serve a six-month mission aboard the ISS, according to NASA.

‘It came alive:’ NASA astronauts describe experiencing splashdown in SpaceX Dragon

August 7th, 2020

"Parachute deploy felt like 'getting hit in the back of the chair with a baseball bat"

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken described in detail what it felt like and sounded like when SpaceX’s spacecraft came roaring back down to Earth for a successful splash down in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

The astronauts said they were surprised by how similar the experience was to what SpaceX had prepared them for.

The astronauts answered questions from NASA’s Johnson Space Center on Tuesday for the first time since they landed back on their home planet.

Hurley and Behnken launched on the SpaceX Dragon capsule, nicknamed Endeavour, from Kennedy Space Center on May 30, arriving on the International Space Station the next day. The launch marked the first human spaceflight from Florida’s coast in nearly nine years.

After more than two months in space, the duo journeyed back to Earth in Dragon Endeavour in about 19 hours, sleeping overnight in the spacecraft before the splashdown.


The United States opened a new era of human space travel on Saturday as a private company for the first time launched astronauts into orbit, nearly a decade after the government retired the storied space shuttle program in the aftermath of national tragedy.

Two American astronauts lifted off at 3:22 p.m. from a familiar setting, the same Florida launchpad that once served Apollo missions and the space shuttles. But the rocket and capsule that lofted them out of the atmosphere were a new sight for many — built and operated not by NASA but SpaceX, the company founded by the billionaire Elon Musk to pursue his dream of sending colonists to Mars.

The Falcon 9 carried a Crew Dragon capsule, which was scheduled to rendezvous with the International Space Station on Sunday morning.

Aboard are two veterans of the astronauts corps, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas O. Hurley. Each is married to another astronaut — Mr. Behnken to Megan McArthur and Mr. Hurley to Karen Nyberg. NASA selected the two men along with a group of their colleagues to be the first customers of space capsules built by private companies.

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Latest News Regarding the Launch


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SpaceX launches South Korea's 1st military satellite, nails rocket landing at sea

July 20th, 2020

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX successfully launched South Korea's first military satellite Monday (July 20) and aced a rocket landing, too, to mark its 12th launch of the year.

A sooty Falcon 9 rocket took to the skies today (July 20) at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT), off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here, following a 30-minute weather delay.


SpaceX delays launch of South Korean military satellite to perform rocket checks

July 14th, 2020

Bad weather delays SpaceX launch of Starlink, BlackSky satellites

July 8th, 2020

A new launch date will be announced once available.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX stood down from the planned launch of dozens of Starlink internet satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket today (July 8) due to poor weather conditions at its Florida launch site.

The California-based rocket builder planned to launch 57 iStarlink satellitesalong with two BlackSky Global Earth-observing satellites as part of a rideshare mission at 11:59 a.m. EDT (1559 GMT). But 11 minutes before liftoff, SpaceX announced via Twitter that it was standing down. A new launch date and time still needs to be confirmed with the Eastern Range, the entity that oversees all launches along the East Coast. "Standing down from today's mission due to weather; proceeding through the countdown until T-1 for data collection. Will announce a new target launch date once confirmed on the Range," SpaceX wrote on Twitter.

The Falcon 9, a veteran with four flights under its belt, was poised to make its fifth trip to space after launching two Starlink flights earlier this year as well as SpaceX’s first Crew Dragon test flight and a trio of Earth-observing satellites for Canada in 2019. The BlackSky Global satellites are flying as part of a rideshare deal booked with SpaceX by Spaceflight, a brokerage service that helps small satellites find rides to space.

Today's mission delay is the second for this Starlink/BlackSky launch as the rocket was originally slated to takeoff on June 26. The company chose to postpone that first attempt in order to conduct more preflight checks.

The company opted to move forward with the launch of an upgraded GPS satellite, which got off the ground as planned on June 30. That mission, originally scheduled to fly in April, had been moved back because of concerns with the safety amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Forecasters at the U.S. Space Force's 45th Space Wing's weather squadron only predicted a 60% chance of favorable weather conditions going into today’s launch attempt. That's because Florida thunderstorms tend to form in the afternoon and today was no exception, with thick clouds and the potential for triggered lightning being the reason for the delay.

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SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites and lands rocket in dazzling nighttime liftoff

June 3rd, 2020

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX successfully launched a new batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit late Wednesday (June 3) and nailed a rocket landing at sea to top off the mission.

The launch is the second in five days for the California-based rocket builder. On Saturday (May 30), a different Falcon 9 rocket sent NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley toward the International Space Station aboard a Crew Dragon capsule, kicking of SpaceX's landmark Demo-2 mission. The duo docked with the orbiting lab about 19 hours later and will remain there from one to four months.

In stark contrast to Saturday's shiny new booster, today's mission featured a veteran member of SpaceX's rocket fleet. The extra-sooty Falcon 9 — whose first stage had already flown four times before today's mission — lifted off at 9:25 p.m. EDT (0125 GMT on June 4) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here in Florida, its white exterior scorched by its previous trips through the atmosphere.



June 1st, 2020

For the first time in nearly nine years, astronauts have arrived at the International Space Station in a spaceship that was made in the USA.The astronauts and NASA mission controllers spent more than two hours conducting leak checks and communication checks, leading up to the opening of the final hatch between Endeavour and the space station at 10:02 a.m. PT. Minutes later, Hurley and Behnken floated through the hatch, hugged their new space station crewmates and lined up for a photo op.


Docking to the International Space Station
photo on space station
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