SpaceX

The Dragon space cargo ship blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket in its CRS-15 mission (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in its CRS-15 (Cargo Resupply Service 15) mission, also referred to as SPX-15. After just over ten minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and went en route. This is the 15th mission for the Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station with various cargoes and then return to Earth, again with various cargoes.

The Falcon 9 rocket with a Block 5 first stage blasting off (Image courtesy SpaceX. All rights reserved)

A few hours ago the Bangabandhu-1 was launched from Cape Canaveral on a Falcon 9 rocket with a first stage in its new version, called Block 5, at its debut. After about 33 minutes it separated from the rocket’s last stage and starte the series of maneuvers that will bring it into a geostationary orbit.

The Block 5 version of the first stage, also called a booster, includes a lot of improvements for the Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX didn’t reveal all the details but a lot of information were provided by the company’s executives or leaked anyway. Various advancements concern performance, meeting NASA’s demands for manned launches, but above all with concern re-use possibilities, a crucial factor in Elon Musk’s company plans.

The Dragon cargo spacecraft departing the International Space Station (Photo courtesy Oleg Artemyev)

A few hours ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft ended its CRS-14 (Cargo Resupply Service 14) 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 before.

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 april 4, 2018.