Spacecraft

Blogs about spacecraft

The Dragon cargo spacecraft departing the International Space Station to end its CRS-16 mission (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft ended its CRS-16 (Cargo Resupply Service 16) mission for NASA splashing down smoothly in the Pacific Ocean a little more than 420 kilometers (about 326 miles) off the coast of California. The Dragon left the International Space Station a few hours earlier.

Shortly after landing, SpaceX boats went to retrieve the Dragon to transport it to the coast. The cargo brought back to Earth will be delivered to NASA soon, probably tomorrow. The Dragon spacecraft reached the International Space Station on December 8, 2018.

The VSS Unity spaceplane (Photo courtesy Virgin Galactic. All rights reserved)

It was yesterday morning in California when Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo spaceplane called VSS Unity took off connected to its White Knight Two mother ship from the Mojave Air and Space Port. Once reached 15,000 meters (about 43,000 feet) above sea level, VSS Unity was dropped and its engine brought it to an altitude of 82.7 kilometers (about 51.4 miles), below the 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the Kármán Line which officially marks the border with the space but above the 80 kilometers (50 miles) considered by some institutions as that borderline.

The Dragon cargo spacecraft starting its CRS-16 mission blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in its CRS-16 (Cargo Resupply Service 16) mission, also referred to as SPX-16. After just over ten minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and went en route. This is the 16th mission for the Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station with various cargoes and then return to Earth, again with various cargoes.