321 Launch: Space news you may have missed over the past week

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The April 27, 2022 SpaceX Crew-4 launch from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, as seen from Viera, Fl. This is the fourth SpaceX crewed mission to the International Space Station.

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Welcome to 321 Launch, Florida Today’s wrapup of all the space new you might have missed this past week.

SpaceX launches four more astronauts to the International Space Station …

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket vaulted four astronauts on a trajectory toward the International Space Station early Wednesday, adding yet another crewed launch to the company’s quickly growing list of successful missions.

The 230-foot rocket’s 3:52 a.m. EDT liftoff from Kennedy Space Center lit the night sky as it ascended from Kennedy Space Center, taking NASA’s Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, Jessica Watkins, and the European Space Agency’s Samantha Cristoforetti to orbit. Pad 39A played host.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks … for getting us to the threshold of this amazing opportunity to launch to the ISS from Kennedy Space Center,” Lindgren, the mission’s commander, said after Crew Dragon was safely on orbit. “Our heartfelt thank you to every one of you who helped make this possible.”

… And another batch of  Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit

Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Starlink satellites, launched from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 5:27 p.m. Friday. The mission is the 44th Starlink launch.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket kicked off a picture-perfect Florida weekend on Friday, taking a batch of Starlink satellites to orbit in the process.

Just as the workday wrapped up at 5:27 p.m. EDT, the 230-foot rocket soared into mostly clear skies above Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Launch Complex 40. Nine minutes later, the 162-foot first stage booster touched down on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean and marked SpaceX’s 117th recovery to date.

Friday’s launch was 44th such mission for the Starlink internet constellation operating some 350 miles above Earth’s surface. It was also the Space Coast’s 17th launch of the year and keeps the cadence firmly in line with the goal of launching once a week.

All-private mission to ISS ends with splashdown off Jacksonville

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule carrying private astronauts Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe, and Mark Pathy splashes down off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida at 1:06 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 25, concluding the Axiom-1 first all-private mission to the International Space Station.

The Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule safely splashed down Monday afternoon concluding SpaceX’s Axiom-1 mission (Ax-1), the world’s first all-private mission to the International Space Station.

The Dragon Endeavour splashed down right on time at 1:06 p.m. EDT Wednesday off the coast of Jacksonville in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Axiom Space private astronaut crew of former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor of Ohio, Mark Pathy of Canada, and Eytan Stibbe of Israel spent a total of 17 days in orbit, 15 of which were aboard the ISS.

The crew was originally slated to return a week ago, but weather conditions at the splashdown site didn’t cooperate.

A 25+ year veteran of FLORIDA TODAY, John McCarthy currently oversees the space team and special projects. Support quality local journalism by subscribing to FLORIDA TODAY. You can contact McCarthy at 321-752-5018 or [email protected]

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