The Danuri space probe blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket (Image courtesy SpaceX)

A few hours ago the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) space probe, which recently received the official name Danuri, blasted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. After just over 40 minutes, it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and began the series of maneuvers that will take it into the Moon’s orbit. It’s a long journey planned using what is technically called Ballistic Lunar Transfer (BLT) to optimize efficiency and save the onboard fuel. This means that it will enter the Moon’s orbit only on December 16. If everything works well, Danuri will begin its one-year scientific mission in which its instruments will conduct various surveys.

The Dragon 2 cargo sapcecraft blasting off atop a Falcon 9 rocket to start its CRS-25 mission (Photo NASA)

A few hours ago, the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in its CRS-25 (Cargo Resupply Service 25) mission, also referred to as SPX-25. After almost exactly 12 minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and went en route. This is the 25th mission for the Dragon/Dragon 2 spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station with various cargoes and then return to Earth, again with various cargoes.

The Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft splashing down to conclude its Crew-3 mission (Image NASA)

A few hours ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft concluded its Crew-3, or SpaceX Crew-3, mission on behalf of NASA by splashing down without problems. On board were astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer, who reached the International Space Station on November 11, 2021, and were part of Expedition 66 and 67. The four completed the second regular manned mission of SpaceX in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Tampa, Florida. The Crew Dragon departed the Station almost exactly one day ago.

The Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft docking with the International Space Station (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Freedom spacecraft docked to the International Space Station’s Harmony module completing the first part of its Crew-4 or SpaceX Crew-4 mission that began almost 16 hours earlier with its launch. After checking that the pressure is correctly balanced, the hatch will be opened to allow Robert Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, Jessica Watkins, and Kjell Lindgren to enter the Station.