The Dragon space cargo ship starting its CRS-17 mission blasting 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-17 (Cargo Resupply Service 17) mission, also referred to as SPX-17. After just over ten minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and went en route. This is the 17th mission for the Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station with various cargoes and then return to Earth, again with various cargoes.

The OCO satellite blasting off atop a Taurus XL rocket (Photo NASA)

NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) announced the conclusions of a long investigation into the failure in the launch of its OCO and Glory satellites in 2009 and 2011. In both cases, the fairing on top of the rockets that protected the satellites didn’t separate and the extra weight caused the the satellites to fall down. The investigations revealed falsifications by the contractor Sapa Profiles, Inc. (SPI) that provided defective materials with false certifications. The investigation involved the US Department of Justice.

A possible earthquake detected on Mars by the InSight lander

NASA has announced that its InSight lander detected what’s probably an earthquake on the planet Mars. What was nicknamed marsquake is a small earthquake that on Earth would be recorded with a magnitude of 2-2.5 and it’s only thanks to an instrument called SEIS designed for that purpose that it was detected on Mars on April 6, 2019. We’re at the beginning of Martian seismology therefore the data will be studied to confirm that it was indeed an earthquake and if that’s the case it will be the first one.

The Cygnus cargo spacecraft captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm (Image NASA TV)

The Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, launched last Wednesday, April 16, has just reached the International Space Station and was captured by Canadarm2 robotic arm. Astronaut Anne McClain, assisted by her colleague David Saint-Jacques, will soon begin the slow maneuver to move the Cygnus until it docks with the Station’s Unity node after about two hours.