Today SpaceX once again made history with the first launch of a previously flown first stage booster. The Falcon 9 lifted off at 6:27 pm EDT today with the SES-10 payload.
The booster was previously used for the SpaceX CRS-8 mission on 8th April 2016, the booster was the first to successfully land on an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS). Following a comprehensive review of the booster, SpaceX was confident that it was ready for a second mission which it completed today with the successful launch and landing this time back on the ASDS “Of Course I Still Love You”.
During a press briefing after the successful mission, Elon Musk revealed that the payload fairing had been successfully recovered to making yet another milestone in the march towards rapid reusability.
The SES-10 payload was successfully deployed to orbit 32 minutes after liftoff making this the fourth successful mission of 2017.
Today Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson completed a 7 hour 4 minute Extravehicular Activity (EVA) bring the total count of EVA’s performed at the International Space Station (ISS) to 199 for a total time of 1,243 hours 42 minutes.
During the EVA they completed the following primary tasks:-
EPIC MDM removal & replace
Node 3 axial shields install, including replacing a lost shield with the PMA-3 cover.
PMA-3 forward shield install
PMA-3 cummerbunds install
PMA-3 cover removal
Close Node 3 port CDC
As well as the following get-ahead tasks:-
Inspection & cleaning of the Earth-facing berthing port of the Harmony module
During the installation of the Node 3 axial shields, one of them was misplaced and later was seen floating away from the station.
This was Peggy’s eighth EVA for a total time of 53 hours, 22 minutes, making her the most experienced female spacewalker, both for the number of EVAs and cumulative career EVA time.
This was Shane’s sixth EVA for a total time of 39 hours.
Following the successful spacewalk on Friday the International Space Station operations team used the station’s Canadarm2 to move the Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA) 3 from its home on Node 3 where it has been since arrival in October 2000 to the Zenith of Node 2.
With this move complete the next International Docking Adapter (IDA) can be delivered by SpaceX to complete the migration of the two PMA’s to support the Commercial Crew dockings including those by Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX Crewed Dragon scheduled to start either later this year or in 2018.
Mission Control confirms a good PMA-3 relocation, now in its new home on Node 2 Zenith. Final bolt loading still to come.
Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet completed the third Extravehicular activity (EVA) of Expedition 50 with the successful re-pressurization of the Quest airlock. The spacewalk lasted 6 hours 34 minutes and the astronauts completed the following tasks. Prepare PMA for
Prepare PMA for move
Installed new Epic MDM
Camera WorkLubricated Canadarm2 end effector and inspected a radiator value.
Lubricated Canadarm2 end effector
Inspected a radiator value.
This was the 198th spacewalk performed at the International Space Station, for a total time of 1,236 hours and 38 minutes
This was Shane’s 5th EVA for a total time of 31 hours, 56 minutes and Thomas’s 2nd who now has 12 hours, 32 minutes working outside in space.
The next spacewalk is currently scheduled for March 30th.
After several delays originally for the static fire test and then the weather SpaceX successfully completed its third launch of 2017 this morning with the delivery of the EchoStar 23 payload to orbit. Liftoff occurred at 02:00 with the ignition of the nine Merlin 1D engines that propelled the towards orbit. 35 minutes later confirmation of payload separation was posted by SpaceX.
This morning at the Satellite 2017 show Jeff Bezos, of Amazon and Blue Origin, provided an on the New Glenn launch system, including video below. He also announced that they had signed their first customer Eutelsat.