Four astronauts returned to Earth from the International Space Station early Friday with a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, the sixth crew launch or landing in support of the station program in fewer than 50 days.
SpaceX is poised to launch another batch of 53 Starlink internet satellites at 5:42 a.m. EDT (0942 GMT) Friday from the Kennedy Space Center. There's a greater than 90% chance of good weather for the predawn blastoff.
SpaceX raised a Falcon 9 rocket vertical on pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center Thursday, ready for a pre-sunrise blastoff Friday with 53 more Starlink internet satellites, using a booster stage flying for a record-tying 12th time.
Rocket Lab used a helicopter to capture a spent Electron first stage booster and its parachute after launching satellites from New Zealand Monday, a significant step forward for the company's rocket recovery and reuse program. The helicopter dropped the rocket a few seconds later.
SpaceX continued throttling up its launch rate with another Starlink mission from Cape Canaveral Friday, completing a rapid recycle with a Falcon 9 first stage booster flying for the second time in 21 days.
SpaceX is counting down to launch of a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:27 p.m. EDT (2127 GMT) Friday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. A booster that previously flew just 21 days ago will haul 53 more Starlink internet satellites into space.
Rocket Lab called off the planned launch and recovery of an Electron booster Friday, preferring to wait for better wind and cloud cover conditions a few days from now. The next opportunity to launch the mission from New Zealand is Monday.
With a mission Friday to deploy more Starlink internet satellites, SpaceX will try to shave nearly a week off the company's previous record for the shortest time between two launches of the same Falcon 9 booster. The first stage on Friday's mission is scheduled to fly just 21 days after its previous launch and landing.
Four astronauts rocketed into a clear predawn sky early Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, riding SpaceX's newest Dragon spacecraft -- named "Freedom" -- to kick off a planned four-and-a-half month science expedition at the International Space Station.
Four astronauts strapped into their seats on SpaceX's Dragon Freedom spacecraft and rode a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit early Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, beginning a 16-hour chase of the International Space Station. Liftoff from pad 39A occurred at 3:52 a.m. EDT (0752 GMT).
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