SpaceX’s Super Heavy Fires 11 of its Engines in a Long-Duration Test

Static engine fire of the BN7 on Nov. 29th, 2022. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX is at it again! Yesterday (November 29th), the company conducted another static fire test with the Booster 7 (BN7) prototype at its Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas. The test began at 02:42 p.m. EST (11:42 a.m. PST) and saw eleven of the BN7’s thirty-three Raptor 2 engines fire for 13 seconds. While static fire tests have been the norm these past few months, this latest might be the prelude to the orbital test flight Musk has been hinting at for close to a year. News of the successful test was shared via Twitter, while NASA Spaceflight (NSF) shared footage of the test via Youtube.

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Falcon Heavy Launches for the First Time in Over Three Years, Carrying Military Satellites to Orbit

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches on November 1, 2022 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, sending satellites to orbit for the military. Credit: SpaceX/Space Force

SpaceX launched its gigantic Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time in more than three years, sending satellites for the military to orbit. The rocket took off amid heavy fog at Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, November 1, and a few minutes later two booster segments returned to Earth, sticking the side-by-side landings back at Cape Canaveral.

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Starship and Super Heavy are Stacked up Again. How Long Until They fly?

The SN24 and BN7 prototypes fully stacked at the SpaceX Starbase. Credit: SpaceX

Things are heating up again at the SpaceX Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas! With so many static fire and flight tests now behind them and the FAA environmental assessment complete, space exploration enthusiasts have wondered when Elon Musk would attempt to conduct an orbital flight with the Starship prototype. As of Tuesday, October 11th, the Starship 24 (SN24) and Booster 7 (BN7) prototypes were once again seen fully stacked on the orbital launch pad, leading many to wonder if the long-awaited orbital flight is imminent!

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America’s First Space Tourist Signs Up for Moon Trip on SpaceX’s Starship

Akiko and Dennis Tito
California investor Dennis Tito and his wife, Akiko Tito, plan to fly around the moon. (SpaceX Photo)

Twenty-one years after becoming the first paying passenger to visit the International Space Station, California financial analyst Dennis Tito and his wife, Akiko Tito, are taking on a new space adventure: a trip on SpaceX’s Starship super-rocket around the moon and back.

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Scientists in Antarctica Have Access to Starlink Now. It’s Available on 7 Continents

SpaceX’s Starlink service is now available in Antarctica, according to a tweet from the National Science Foundation on the morning of September 14, stating, “NSF-supported USAP scientists in #Antarctica are over the moon! Starlink is testing polar service with a newly deployed user terminal at McMurdo Station. Increasing bandwidth and connectivity for service support.” SpaceX replied with a quote tweet saying, “Starlink is now available on all seven continents! In such a remote location like Antarctica, this capability is enabled by Starlink’s space laser network.”

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Musk Suggests That Starship Will Probably Make an Orbital Flight in November

SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk recently took to Twitter and hinted that the much-anticipated Starship—currently undergoing upgrades in preparation for its upcoming maiden flight—could launch as soon as November.

Responding to a question from a curious Twitter account asking about updates for Starship’s orbital flight date, Musk responded, “Late next month maybe, but November seems highly likely. We will have two boosters & ships ready for orbital flight by then, with full stack production at roughly one every two months.” As usual, his tweet garnered thousands of likes and hundreds of retweets.

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You’ll Soon be Able to Access Starlink Directly With Your Cellphone, From Anywhere in the US, and Eventually the World

The future of satellite communications is almost upon us. SpaceX has signed a deal with T-Mobile to provide the carrier’s customers with text services from its Starlink satellites anywhere in the US starting next year. 

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Mechazilla Lifts a Super Heavy With all 33 Engines Onto the Launchpad

Mechazilla transports the fully-stacked Starship onto its launch pad. Credit: SpaceX

Little by little, SpaceX is getting closer to conducting the maiden orbital flight with its Starship and Super Heavy prototype! That was certainly the message Elon Musk conveyed on August 23rd when he posted an image via Twitter of the “Mechazilla” launch tower loading the fully-stacked prototype onto its launchpad at the SpaceX Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas. From here, the six-engine SN24 Starship and the BN7 Super Heavy prototype (with its full complement of 33 Raptor engines) will launch, which could happen in just a few weeks.

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NASA Astronaut Nicole Aunapu Mann will be the First Indigenous Woman in Space!

NASA Astronaut Nicole Mann in SpaceX training. Credit: NASA

This Fall, the fifth crewed mission (Crew-5) of the NASA Commercial Crew Program will depart for the International Space Station (ISS). This mission will see four astronauts launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Flordia aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon (atop a Falcon 9 rocket). Once they reach the ISS, they will join the crew of Expedition 67 and conduct science experiments as part of Expedition 68. The mission commander of this flight, Nicole Aunapu Mann, is a naval aviator and test pilot with a distinguished military career. She will also be the first Indigenous woman ever to go to space!

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Nancy Grace Roman Will be Launching on a Falcon Heavy Rocket

Artist's impression of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, named after NASA’s first Chief of Astronomy. Credits: NASA

In 2026, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (RST) – aka. the “Mother of Hubble” – will take to space and begin addressing some of the deepest mysteries of the Universe. This will include capturing the deepest field images of the cosmos, refining measurements of the Hubble Constant (aka. Hubble’s Law), and determining the role of Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the evolution of the cosmos. Alongside its next-generation partner, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the RST will acquire infrared images with over 200 times the surveying power of its predecessor with the same rich level of detail.

On Tuesday, July 19th, NASA announced that it had awarded SpaceX with a Launch Services (NLS) II contract to provide the rocket that will deploy the RST mission to space. As specified in the NLS II, the launch will take place in October 2026 (May 2027, at the latest) and consist of a Falcon Heavy rocket transporting the RST from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to orbit. This indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract is valued at approximately $255 million and covers the launch and other mission-related costs.

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