The Google Lunar XPRIZE announced the $1 million Diversity Prize, which will be split among the 16 teams participating in the competition. The most important announcement concerns the 5 teams that are advancing to the final phase of the competition having proved they have valid contracts for the launch of their vehicle to the Moon by December 31, 2016. The final goal is to bring a robotic spacecraft to the Moon that after the landing has to travel at least 500 meters on the surface and send images and data back to Earth.
Yesterday at the International Astronautical Congress just started in Guadalajara, Mexico, SpaceX founder Elon Musk explained his plans for manned interplanetary space missions that could also transport colonists. Despite recent problems caused by the explosion of one of his rockets his ambitions haven’t been affected, on the contrary he showed the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) project to transport human beings around the solar system.
A little while ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft ended its CRS-9 (Cargo Resupply Service 9) 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.
A little while ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was captured by the robotic arm Canadarm2 on the International Space Station. Jeff Williams, assisted by his colleague Kate Rubins, managed the operation then started moving the Dragon to the berthing point at the Harmony module. The cargo spacecraft blasted off last Monday.
A few hours ago SpaceX Dragon spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in its CRS-9 (Cargo Resupply Service 9) mission, also referred to as SPX-9. After almost ten minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and went en route. This is the ninth mission to send the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station with various cargoes and then return to Earth, again with various cargoes.