Posts tagged launch

Posted 2 years ago

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launches to the Space Station
Image Credit: NASA

Explanation: This fire-breathing Dragon can fly. Pictured above yesterday, SpaceX Corporation’s Falcon 9 rocket capped with a Dragon spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. The successful launch was significant not only because it demonstrated that a private company has the ability to re-supply the International Space Station (ISS), but also that spaceflight has taken a significant step away from being an endeavor that only big governments can do with public money. If all continues as planned, the robotic Dragon will dock with the ISS this weekend. Over the next two weeks, the ISS Expedition 31 crew will then unload Dragon and refill it with used scientific equipment. In about three weeks, the ISS’s robotic arm will then undock Dragon and move it to where it can fire its rockets. Soon thereafter the Dragon capsule is expected to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere, deploy its parachutes, splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, and be recovered.

Posted 2 years ago
Juno Rockets Toward Jupiter
Video Credit: NASA

Explanation: Next stop: Jupiter. Last week included one of the few times in history that humanity launched something completely off the Earth, moving away so fast that it will never return. Well, almost — Juno's planned trajectory actually brings it homeward bound in about two years, zipping by, this time using the Earth’s gravity to pull it to an even higher speed, high enough to reach Jupiter. The above video depicts the launch of Juno aboard a Atlas V rocket. When the robotic Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter in 2016, it will spend just over a year circling the Solar System’s largest planet, using its unique cadre of instruments to probe the planet, sending back clues of its structure and origin. Then Juno will be instructed to dive into the thick atmosphere of the Jovian giant, taking as much data as it can before it melts.