SpaceX Hopeful for the Future of Consumer Spaceflight after Inspiration4 Mission Concluded Successfully

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The recent Inspiration4 mission by SpaceX, the first ever space flight with a private citizen crew, was a complete success. The crew consisted of four people who participated in astronaut training, never having been in space before. The crew members were in great spirits when they returned last week on Saturday, September 25. The idea of the mission began as a charter flight fundraiser benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and raised over 200 million dollars. One of the crewmembers, Haley Arceneaux was a patient at St. Jude and is a cancer survivor. The mission lasted three days; intending to provide everyday civilian a chance to experience real spaceflight by floating within Earth’s orbit, giving them views from space that previously only seasoned astronauts could witness. The splashdown happened around 7:07 PM on September 25, with the flight capsule being retrieved from the Atlantic Ocean with medical personnel another other aid standing by to attend to the crewmembers and make sure that they acclimate to the rapid environmental changes upon return. All involved in the mission are thrilled at how the it turned out. 

 The mission was so successful that SpaceX is considering expanding crewmember size by dealing with several different contracts for future missions. With these contracts, they hope to resolve the issue of the capsules’ quantity and short lifespan, with each capsule only having the capacity of five flights, and one of them having already completed two launches. One of the contracts will allow for a space tourism company called Space Adventures. A much larger spaceship simply called Starship, a vessel larger than SpaceX’s Dragon, is in the works but has not had a first trip yet. It would explore space in much the same way as Dragon, just with greater capacity for personnel aboard. With the Success of Inspiration4 combined with future visions of innovation, ingenuity seems endless and we at Lenox Laser wish SpaceX and all involved the greatest of success in their future space fairing efforts. 

To read more about the Inspiration4 splashdown, click here

For more about SpaceX’s future plans, click here

Click here, to read some of Lenox Laser’s previous coverage of the SpaceX missions. 

SpaceX First Starship Launch

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Courtesy of SpaceX

SpaceX has had quite a rich history and has come a long way since its maiden launch of the Falcon 1 rocket on September 28, 2008. Falcon 1 became the first privately funded liquid-fueled rocket to successfully reach orbit. In the following year, they became the first privately funded company to launch a satellite in orbit. Little did they know at the time, this would lead to something massive like the Starlink program. This program aims to launch a network of satellites designed to provide fast Internet speeds to areas without access. The Starlink program could also be used for military and government applications as well as other telecommunications.

In 2014, the now-famous Dragon crew was unveiled with its first successful launch six years later in 2020. The mission was successful in sending two astronauts into space to study aboard the International Space Station. This was particularly impressive given the challenges faced that year. Several Dragon crew missions are in the works for the near future.

SpaceX’s next challenging endeavor is the launch of its Starship program, which as of now, is tentatively set to launch in July of this year. Starship rockets would be reusable for long-duration cargo missions and passenger flights. The first obstacles include ensuring the program follows all government regulations from NASA, FAA, and other branches. Filings with the FCC began on May 13, 2021. If successful, SpaceX hopes to have a fully integrated continuous working network that would work together with Starlink.

Lenox Laser wishes SpaceX and all involved the greatest of success in this endeavor.

If you would like to read more about SpaceX’s Starship launch, click here. To read more about past SpaceX blogs, click here. If you are interested in Lenox Laser’s involvement in past aerospace endeavors, read our past blog on NASA and their planned launches to Venus.

SpaceX and the Inspiration4

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               SpaceX has done extraordinary things over the years, making a name for itself with several missions to study the universe. This September, they plan to make history again with a first-of-its-kind mission entirely made up of civilians. The four-person crew will be entering low Earth orbit for a 3-day duration. The targeted date for no later than September 15. The crew members chosen are geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor who completed four previous NASA missions, former Air Force member Chris Sembroski who served as a space camp counselor working with Lockheed Martin and earned a degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Another member is 29-year-old Hayley Arceneaux, a bone cancer survivor and former patient of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Hayley has a physician’s assistant degree and will also be the youngest person ever to travel to space. Hayley was chosen by St. Jude’s themselves to go on this civilian-only mission. The man behind this idea and the last member is Jared Isaacman, the billionaire CEO of Shift4 Payments. He will also serve as commander. Jared will give all money from this endeavor to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

               Training for missions usually takes around two years, but for this Dragon crew, time is short. The training provided by NASA will be based on a NASA-approved curriculum. Given the mission only lasting three days, the team will not need to learn traditional spacewalks and station operations training. Isaacman plans to put the crew through their paces, testing them in isolated environments in close quarters. The mission will get to space using a retooled Falcon 9 rocket from past Dragon crew missions. With this mission being the first all civilian crew flight, it will set a record for history. None of the four people selected have past space experience but have worked with the government and other divisions. They will receive commercial-style training and be the first to complete a space mission with no government oversight. Isaacman could not be more thrilled partnering with SpaceX; with their past achievements, he knew that they were the right people for the job. For Hayley, being a part of this mission was a dream come true, and her family was happy to do anything to make it happen.

               This mission is extraordinary because not only does it give ordinary people a fantastic opportunity, but it also gives hope to the many people fighting cancer. For more information, please visit Inspiration4’s website. If you would like to read more about this, please click here for an article about it from MSN.

NASA and SpaceX International Space Station Agreement

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The International Space Station (ISS) has a storied history. It took over 30 missions and thousands of person-hours to complete. It was clear that The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would need a space station to study the vastness of space in minute detail in the space age. The ISS began its construction in 1998 when the first segment launching in a Russian proton rocket on November 20 of that year. NASA engineers completed the massive station’s main parts in 2011, and the station has been occupied by astronauts and scientists since 2000. The ISS now enters its Golden age with a new agreement between SpaceX and NASA. 

The agreement allows SpaceX and NASA to work on any project together for the space station. The Starlink program by SpaceX, which is now the largest existing on the orbiting spacecraft group, is also part of the agreement. SpaceX recently launched 60 additional satellites for their internet network on March 24. This agreement is important as it allows both parties to work smoothly and in unison.

NASA’s taxi ride program, which is still in development with SpaceX, will allow quick and easy transport to and from the ISS on shorter missions. If all goes to plan, this taxi ride program could launch sometime in 2022 with NASA’s approval. Should the taxi ride program be successful, companies would plan additional missions, up to two per year, lasting a month each. Boeing is also interested in partnering on this venture.

This agreement is a huge step forward in the history of space exploration. It will be exciting to see what can be achieved in the future of the ISS. It will also help strengthen and speed up communication between the two parties. SpaceX is an upcoming launch on April 22 for the Falcon 9 Crew 2 mission. We at Lenox Laser wish them all the best.

If you wish to read more, click here for an article by TechCrunch and here for an article by phys.org.

SpaceX Launch Updates – January 2021

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All eyes were on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida this past Sunday for the second US East Coast launch of the Falcon 9 rocket this year for SpaceX. The mission, known as Transporter-1, was the debut for Space Flight Incorporated’s Sherpa-FX, a new transport vehicle. All the satellites launched so far will be used to create a massive network of internet connectivity for areas around the globe that don’t have local access to high-speed broadband. This will apply to both residential and business use, as well as a potential military application. The launch also gives SpaceX a world record for the most satellites ever launched at once, a total of 143. The network is being created aims to be one-of-a-kind. The launch also allowed the Starlink program to add an additional 10 satellites to its own growing network. On top of SpaceX’s launch of their own satellites, the company also has its Rideshare program. 

The SpaceX Rideshare program’s primary purpose is to get smaller satellite companies and developers a chance to get their product up into orbit and come one step closer to achieving their own vision. The range of companies covered with this program is already vast. Still, it could become more extensive as time goes on with military use, satellite radio, Internet, and TV. The growing number of successes that SpaceX has had over the last few months to last year does not stop here.  

It successfully launched its Dragon Crew mission on May 30 of 2020, which carried astronauts to meet up with the International Space Station for ongoing scientific research. On January 18, 2021, the Starlink program officially had its first batch of satellites launched into orbit, beginning to weave its ever-growing network of connectivity. Since June 2010, SpaceX has had 107 successful launches. 

From the SpaceX Dragon Crew mission to Starlink and Falcon 9, there seem to be no signs of slowing down for the company. With a massive 26 launches left to go in 2021, it is exciting to see the great potential on display. Space is an ever-evolving presence, and SpaceX continues to evolve along with it. The next launch is currently set for January 29 this year.  

If you would like to read more, click here for an article from Yahoo.com and here for another article  from Teslarati. 

SpaceX Early 2021 Launch Highlights

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               2020 was a great year of success for Elon Musk’s SpaceX program. For example, some of the things his company has launched in the past have been Dragon and XirusXM satellites. The new year of 2021 is expected to be of no difference in the measure of success. The first launch of a Turkish satellite intended to expand television services throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa was a magnificent success. It took place on Thursday, January 7. One of the company’s next missions is called Transporter 1, which will carry dozens of smaller satellites into orbit as soon as the week of January 11.

               Even this year, SpaceX has plans to launch even more. In the spring of this year, a four-man crew mission called Crew 2 will be launching to meet with the International Space Station, increasing the staff to seven. Two Russian cosmonauts and three American astronauts are already aboard the station. These accomplishments have been a dream for years for the US NASA space program. Another launching of a multitude of Falcon rockets is a plan for this year to expand an ever-growing satellite network to bring information to the masses. With the launch of more satellites planned and building more ground stations, the Starlink program plans to expand its reach even further. One of its big goals is to improve its network latency by 16 to 19 ms within 2021.

               2021 looks to be a big year yet again for SpaceX, with up to three crewed space missions planned. At Lenox Laser, we are just as excited about the wonderful potential impact that all this innovation on their part could have. We wish them the most tremendous success.

                If you would like to read more, please click here.

SiriusXM Satellite Launched by SpaceX

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The SpaceX program’s momentum continues to grow this past Sunday’s launch of another Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket contained a massive 15,000-pound SXM-7 satellite used by Sirius XM satellite radio to further broadcast signals even stronger across the US and Canada. For the Falcon 9 rocket, this was the seventh consecutive flight, which took SpaceX eight days to pull off. About half an hour after launch, the massive satellite was released into orbit to fly on its own power. The new satellite is intended to have a life expectancy of approximately 15 years before it would need to be replaced with an upgraded model. It is one of five new satellites that will join a group to form a cohesive network to operate with constant speed and efficiency—the satellite docked with the International Space Station late Sunday evening.

The XM seven satellite will be capable of broadcasting Sirius XM satellite signals into trucks, cars, homes, and businesses with an ever-growing lineup of content ranging from news, sports, and music. The satellite will sit approximately 22,300 feet in orbit above the equator, moving in sync with the Earth’s rotation but can still be seen in the sky. It was built by Maxar Technologies, which specializes in optical imagery, image mapping, robotics, global imagery. It is hoped that if this SpaceX venture is a massive success, different areas of the globe to get satellite radio may be explored. The Falcon 9 launch was the 25th of the year, and flight number 102 in total since SpaceX began 10 years ago. The XM 7 is replacing the XM 3 satellite that was launched in 2011.

The Starlink program started by SpaceX is another essential part of this puzzle. Its purpose is to bring affordable, high-speed satellite Internet to areas that cannot access an ISP. The last space excellent for 2020 is expected to be on Thursday, December 17, weather permitting. The launch will take place at the Kennedy Space Center. Lenox Laser wishes SpaceX all the best in their current and future endeavors. We cannot wait to see what is done with the technology of this magnitude at their disposal. If you would like to read more, please click here.