Three NASA astronauts and a European Space Agency mission specialist left the International Space Station early Thursday aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule, heading for splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida to wrap up a 176-day expedition in orbit.
Ready for another try at launching on a test flight to the International Space Station, Boeing rolled a repaired Starliner crew capsule to United Launch Alliance's seaside rocket hangar at Cape Canaveral Wednesday to prepare for a liftoff scheduled for May 19.
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.
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.
Three Americans and one Italian astronaut floated into the International Space Station late Wednesday after a nearly 16-hour commute aboard a SpaceX crew capsule from a launch pad in Florida, ready for a multi-month expedition performing experiments, maintenance, and upgrades.
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).
Rocket Lab plans the first attempt to catch one of its returning small satellite boosters by helicopter after a launch later this month, nearly three years after the company announced its mid-air recovery and reuse concept.