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SpaceX Dragon Capsule and Falcon 9 Latest News

Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is a commercial company aiming to launch cargo, and eventually people, to low-Earth orbit. The firm is developing its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 booster under contracts from NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program and its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

Related Topics: Falcon Heavy, NASA, NASA Space Launch System, Orion Spacecraft

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SpaceX Dragon Capsule and Falcon 9 Latest News

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51 years ago today: Apollo 11 splashdown, a safe return from the Moon.45 years ago today: Apollo-Soyuz Test Project splashdown, the last Apollo flight.August 2, 2020: Crew Dragon Endeavour splashdown, the first crewed water landing in 45 years.History in the making. pic.twitter.com/Y5rb2BvgYI

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You Can’t Buy SpaceX Stock Right Now, but Here’s How You …

SpaceX made history over the weekend when it launched two U.S. astronauts into space, the first crewed space launch from U.S. soil in nearly a decade. It was a remarkable accomplishment, and one that should usher in a new era of space cooperation between private companies and NASA.

It also was largely a nonevent for investors, as SpaceX is a private company and founder Elon Musk has expressed an interest in keeping it that way. SpaceX has big dreams, including colonizing Mars, and those sorts of ambitions, and research expenses, don't usually sync well with Wall Street's quarter-to-quarter tracking.

But even if SpaceX isn't publicly traded, there are some options for investors who want to buy into the new space race. Here's a look at some of the options available to those who are interested.

There aren't a lot of large public companies focused solely on space; I'll get into why that is, and what it might suggest for investors later on. But there are a few options. Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE), Richard Branson's space tourism venture, went public last year and has been the primary publicly traded beneficiary of SpaceX's recent success.

Image source: Getty Images.

Virgin Galactic has yet to launch a human into space, and the company is very much in its development phase. Virgin Galactic generated just $238,000 in revenue in the first quarter, but it can boast a reservation list of more than 1,000 people who have signed up to eventually pay $250,000 to briefly go into space.

The company hopes to begin service this year and believes that with repetition it can bring down the cost of its launches and become profitable. It had better, because even if the entire reservation list is converted into full-paying customers, the money raised wouldn't go much further than covering the $200 million Virgin Galactic burned through in 2019.

Another option is Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR), which is focused on satellites, digital imagery, and analytics tools. The company is a rollup of a number of small satellite providers perhaps best known as the source of many of the satellite images used by Alphabet's Google Maps product, but it gets most of its revenue from government and commercial customers.

Finally, Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE:AJRD) is focused on providing the rocket engines needed to get astronauts and satellites into orbit and beyond.

All of the space pure plays tend to be smaller, niche companies. There is a reason for that. Space by its nature is risky, and expensive. SpaceX has experienced a number of high-profile mishaps on its way to getting an astronaut into orbit. Testing and failure are parts of the development process, and that can be hard for smaller companies to manage and finance.

A significant portion of the revenue related to space is soaked up by larger, more diversified defense contractors. Most defense titans have space units, with Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) in a joint venture called United Launch Alliance (ULA) focused on lift and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) making rockets via its Orbital ATK acquisition. Those companies, as well as others, includingRaytheon Technologies (NYSE:RTX) andL3Harris Technologies(NYSE:LHX), also make satellites and sensors that are launched into orbit.

Image source: Lockheed Martin.

Although SpaceX is best known for its crewed efforts, the company so far has made its most significant impact in the launch business. Because it is private, we don't know the exact numbers, but SpaceX has succeeded in bringing down launch costs for government and commercial operators and has put pressure on incumbents including ULA and Northrop.

The real money in space comes from the manufacture of satellites, probes, and other objects designed to fly through space, and specifically the high-tech sensors and electronics on those objects, and not the rockets that get them there. That's a tough business to break into, especially since many of the launches are shrouded intelligence efforts that require employees with clearances, and at least for now are left largely to defense companies with strong ties to the Pentagon.

SpaceX appears to have no interest in going public, but management has in the past discussed eventually spinning off its planned Starlink internet service provider as a publicly traded entity. Starlink in the coming years plans to launch 12,000 small, low-orbiting satellites that can beam internet service to areas that are hard to reach by terrestrial offerings.

They aren't the first to try the plan: Viasat (NASDAQ:VSAT) and EchoStar's (NASDAQ:SATS) Hughes Network Systems currently offer satellite internet with various levels of success. Starlink is one of a number of next-generation companies that want to use an armada of small, inexpensive satellites instead of a couple of larger, more complex ones to provide service.

SpaceX in the past has predicted Starlink could generate upward of $30 billion in annual sales by 2025, though that appears to just be based on assuming all 12,000 satellites are utilized at maximum capacity. It could be a challenge to get to those sales numbers. The business will have to compete against incumbent satellite vendors, similar efforts funded by Amazon.comand others, traditional Earth-based providers, and new technologies including 5G wireless networking technologythat could solve the same problems without the costs and complexity of going into space.

In the meantime, the Starlink launches are providing a steady stream of business for SpaceX and helping advance the company's goal of establishing a space-based communications network that could be used in future efforts to get to the moon and beyond. But as a stand-alone business, Starlink still has a lot to prove.

As mentioned above, space is hard. It is also exciting, and over time, as these technologies develop, could be lucrative. Bankers at Morgan Stanleyin 2017 predicted the space industry could grow to as much as $1.75 trillion in annual revenue by 2040.

Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner likes to say, "make your portfolio reflect your best vision for our future," and it's easy to fit a world with space tourism, improved communications, and even moon colonies into that vision. Unfortunately, the complex engineering challenges needed to be tackled every day to launch people, and objects, into space inevitably lead to high costs and some business failures.

As an investor, it's OK to devote a small percentage of your portfolio to some of these pure-play space companies and hope for the best. But, as always, diversification is key. Given the risks associated with these businesses, it's dangerous to make space a key part of your retirement portfolio.

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You Can't Buy SpaceX Stock Right Now, but Here's How You ...

SpaceX Launch Schedule

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SpaceX Launch Schedule

r/SpaceX, the premier SpaceX discussion community

Welcome to the r/SpaceX Starship SN5 150 Meter Hop Official Hop Discussion & Updates Thread!

Hi, this is your host team bringing you live updates on this test.

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SPADRE LIVE | LABPADRE LIVE | SPACEX on YOUTUBE | NSF on YOUTUBE

Starship Serial Number 5 - 150 Meter Hop Test

Starship SN5, equipped with a single Raptor engine (SN27), will attempt a hop at SpaceX's development and launch site at Boca Chica, Texas. The test article will rise to a maximum altitude of about 150 meters and translate a similar distance downrange to the landing pad. The flight should last approximately one minute and follow a trajectory very similar to Starhopper's 150 meter hop in August of 2019. The Raptor engine is offset slightly from the vehicle's vertical axis, so some unusual motion is to be expected as SN5 lifts off, reorients the engine beneath the vehicle's center of mass, and lands. SN5 has six legs stowed inside the skirt which will be deployed in flight for landing. The exact launch time may not be known until just a few minutes before launch, and will be preceded by a local siren about 10 minutes ahead of time.

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r/SpaceX, the premier SpaceX discussion community

Whats on TV Sunday: Connected and the SpaceX Landing – The New York Times

Whats Streaming

CONNECTED Stream on Netflix. As the director of research for Radiolab, Latif Nasser has covered all sorts of fascinating stories for the science podcast, like that of a Guantnamo Bay detainee who shares his name, or what the 2016 N.H.L. All-Star Game can teach us about democracy. Now, as the host of this new Netflix show, Nasser will uncover the surprising ways humans are connected to one another, the world and the universe at large. Its a fascinating topic one that highlights how a law of numerical probability applies to classical music, social media and tax fraud, or how a shipwreck laid the ground work for weather forecasting and cloud computing.

SPACE LAUNCH LIVE: SPLASHDOWN 1 p.m. on Discovery and Science Channel. Back in May, millions of people turned their eyes to the skies (and their screens) to witness the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The mission, which was a partnership between NASA and Elon Musks company SpaceX, marked the first time U.S. astronauts were sent into orbit onboard a private spacecraft. Now, after spending two months docked at the International Space Station, the astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas O. Hurley, will make their journey home. The host Chris Jacobs will be joined by current and former astronauts, engineers and other special guests, before the spacecrafts scheduled landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

HIROSHIMA: 75 YEARS LATER 9 p.m. on History. This two-hour documentary looks back at the development, detonation and aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, featuring the perspectives of leaders, physicists, soldiers and survivors who witnessed its catastrophic destruction. Featuring archival footage, color film from the aftermath and audio testimony from victims, the film takes a hard look at one of the most devastating moments in human history through a moral and scientific lens.

TASKMASTER 9 p.m. on the CW. This widely entertaining series assigns a group of comedians with a number of creatively vague tasks such as make the most exotic sandwich or fill an egg cup with tears" leaving the host, Greg Davies, and the task devisor, Alex Horne, to choose a winner. Its a clever take on the classic British panel show format that doubles as a devious way to torture its celebrity guests with hilarious, and occasionally genius, results.

ILL BE GONE IN THE DARK 10 p.m. on HBO. In April 2018, the decades-long search for the sexual predator known as the Golden State Killer, concluded in the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo. But the true crime writer Michelle McNamara, who spent years investigating the case, died before she could see the man who terrorized California in the 1970s and 80s brought to justice. This six-part series traces the evolution of the case, as well as McNamaras remarkable life and work, as an adaptation of her book, which was published posthumously. In the finale, McNamaras husband, the comedian Patton Oswalt, connects with survivors of DeAngelos crimes and reflects on McNamaras absence.

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Whats on TV Sunday: Connected and the SpaceX Landing - The New York Times

SpaceX Crew Dragon Departs, Carrying NASA Astronauts Toward Home – The New York Times

Two astronauts who took the first commercial trip to orbit have left the International Space Station. They are scheduled to return home on Sunday.

The astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, traveled to the space station in May aboard a Crew Dragon capsule built and run by SpaceX, the private rocket company started by Elon Musk.

The Crew Dragon undocked from the space station at 7:35 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, with brief thruster firings pushing the spacecraft back.

As the capsule backed away from the station, Mr. Hurley thanked the current crew of the space station and the teams on the ground that helped manage their mission.

We look forward to splashdown tomorrow, he said.

If the weather conditions remain favorable, it will splash down in the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola, Fla., at 2:48 p.m. on Sunday, NASA announced.

A safe return would open up more trips to and from orbit for future astronaut crews, and possibly space tourists, aboard the spacecraft.

Isaias is forecast to sweep up along the Atlantic coast of Florida over the weekend. NASA and SpaceX have seven splashdown sites in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, but the track of the storm ruled out the three in the Atlantic.

We have confidence that the teams on the ground are, of course, watching that much more closely than we are, Mr. Behnken said during a news conference on Friday, and we wont leave the space station without some good landing opportunities in front of us, good splashdown weather in front of us.

NASA Televisions coverage of the undocking will continue through splashdown. You can watch it in the video player below.

The capsule is now performing a series of burns to move away from the station and then line up with the splashdown site.

For much of the trip, Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley will be sleeping. Their schedule sets aside a full night of rest.

Any return journey that exceeds six hours has to be long enough for the crew to get some sleep between undocking and splashdown, Daniel Huot, a NASA spokesman, said in an email.

Otherwise, because of the extended process that leads up to undocking, the crew would end up working more than 20 hours straight, which is not safe for dynamic operations like water splashdown and recovery, Mr. Huot said.

Just before a final burn that will drop the Crew Dragon out of orbit on Sunday afternoon, it will jettison the bottom part of the spacecraft, known as the trunk, which will then burn up in the atmosphere.

At re-entry, the Crew Dragon will be traveling at about 17,500 miles per hour. Two small parachutes will deploy at an altitude of 18,000 feet when the spacecraft has already been slowed by Earths atmosphere to about 350 miles per hour. The four main parachutes deploy at an altitude of about 6,000 feet.

Once the capsule splashes in the water, it is expected to take 45 to 60 minutes to pluck them out.

The storm complicated where splashdown could take place. At the splashdown site, winds must be less than 10 miles per hour for the capsule to land safely. There are additional constraints on waves, rain and lightning. In addition, helicopters that take part in the recovery of the capsule must be able to fly and land safely.

The first landing opportunity will aim for only the primary site, Pensacola. If weather there is inconsistent with the rules, the capsule and the astronauts will remain in orbit for another day or two, and managers will consider the backup site, which is Panama City.

Spacecraft can safely return to Earth in either environment.

During the 1960s and 1970s, NASAs Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules all splashed down in the ocean while Soviet capsules all ended their trips on land. Russias current Soyuz capsules continue to make ground landings, as do Chinas astronaut-carrying Shenzhou capsules.

When Boeings Starliner capsule begins carrying crews to the space station, it will return on land, in New Mexico. SpaceX had originally planned for the Crew Dragon to do ground landings, but decided that water landings, employed for the earlier version of Dragon for taking cargo, simplified the development of the capsule.

After launch, re-entry through Earths atmosphere is the second most dangerous phase of spaceflight. Friction of air rushing past will heat the bottom of the capsule to about 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit. A test flight of the Crew Dragon last year successfully splashed down, so engineers know the system works.

A successful conclusion to the trip opens the door to more people flying to space. Some companies have already announced plans to use Crew Dragons to lift wealthy tourists to orbit.

In the past, NASA astronauts launched on spacecraft like the Saturn 5 moon rocket and the space shuttles that NASA itself operated. After the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011, NASA had to rely on Russia, buying seats on the Soyuz capsules for trips to and from orbit.

Under the Obama administration, NASA hired two companies, SpaceX and Boeing, to build spacecraft to take astronauts to the space station. NASA financed much of the work to develop the spacecraft but will now buy rides at fixed prices. For SpaceX, the trip by Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley the first launch of astronauts from American soil since the last space shuttle flight was the last major demonstration needed before NASA officially certifies that the Crew Dragon is ready to begin regular flights.

The astronauts are Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, who have been friends and colleagues since both were selected by NASA to be astronauts in 2000.

Both men have backgrounds as military test pilots and each has flown twice before on space shuttle missions, although this is the first time they have worked together on a mission. Mr. Hurley flew on the space shuttles final mission in 2011.

In 2015, they were among the astronauts chosen to work with Boeing and SpaceX on the commercial space vehicles that the companies were developing. In 2018, they were assigned to the first SpaceX flight.

Originally, the mission was to last only up to two weeks, but Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley ended up with a longer and busier stay at the space station. Because of repeated delays by SpaceX and Boeing, NASA ended up short-handed, with only one astronaut, Christopher J. Cassidy, aboard the space station when the Crew Dragon and its two passengers docked.

They stayed two months, helping Mr. Cassidy with space station chores. Mr. Behnken and Mr. Cassidy performed four spacewalks to complete the installation of new batteries on the space station. Mr. Hurley helped by operating the stations robotic arm.

The men have also been contributing to science experiments in low earth orbit. They assisted in a study of water droplet formation in the low gravity environment of the space station using a shower head, and another that used fruit punch and foam to look at how to manage fluids in space. They also helped install new equipment inside the station that will be used in future scientific research.

Mr. Cassidy will remain aboard the station with two Russian astronauts, Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. All three are to stay on board through October when another crew of one American and two Russian astronauts will replace them.

The first operational flight of the Crew Dragon will launch no earlier than late September. It will take three NASA astronauts Michael S. Hopkins, Victor J. Glover and Shannon Walker and one Japanese astronaut, Soichi Noguchi, to the space station.

The second operational flight, tentatively scheduled for February 2021, will carry two NASA astronauts, Robert S. Kimbrough and K. Megan McArthur; Akihiko Hoshide of Japan; and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency.

Ms. McArthur is married to Mr. Behnken.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon Departs, Carrying NASA Astronauts Toward Home - The New York Times

Whats on TV Sunday: Connected and the SpaceX Landing – The New York Times

Whats Streaming

CONNECTED Stream on Netflix. As the director of research for Radiolab, Latif Nasser has covered all sorts of fascinating stories for the science podcast, like that of a Guantnamo Bay detainee who shares his name, or what the 2016 N.H.L. All-Star Game can teach us about democracy. Now, as the host of this new Netflix show, Nasser will uncover the surprising ways humans are connected to one another, the world and the universe at large. Its a fascinating topic one that highlights how a law of numerical probability applies to classical music, social media and tax fraud, or how a shipwreck laid the ground work for weather forecasting and cloud computing.

SPACE LAUNCH LIVE: SPLASHDOWN 1 p.m. on Discovery and Science Channel. Back in May, millions of people turned their eyes to the skies (and their screens) to witness the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The mission, which was a partnership between NASA and Elon Musks company SpaceX, marked the first time U.S. astronauts were sent into orbit onboard a private spacecraft. Now, after spending two months docked at the International Space Station, the astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas O. Hurley, will make their journey home. The host Chris Jacobs will be joined by current and former astronauts, engineers and other special guests, before the spacecrafts scheduled landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

HIROSHIMA: 75 YEARS LATER 9 p.m. on History. This two-hour documentary looks back at the development, detonation and aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, featuring the perspectives of leaders, physicists, soldiers and survivors who witnessed its catastrophic destruction. Featuring archival footage, color film from the aftermath and audio testimony from victims, the film takes a hard look at one of the most devastating moments in human history through a moral and scientific lens.

TASKMASTER 9 p.m. on the CW. This widely entertaining series assigns a group of comedians with a number of creatively vague tasks such as make the most exotic sandwich or fill an egg cup with tears" leaving the host, Greg Davies, and the task devisor, Alex Horne, to choose a winner. Its a clever take on the classic British panel show format that doubles as a devious way to torture its celebrity guests with hilarious, and occasionally genius, results.

ILL BE GONE IN THE DARK 10 p.m. on HBO. In April 2018, the decades-long search for the sexual predator known as the Golden State Killer, concluded in the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo. But the true crime writer Michelle McNamara, who spent years investigating the case, died before she could see the man who terrorized California in the 1970s and 80s brought to justice. This six-part series traces the evolution of the case, as well as McNamaras remarkable life and work, as an adaptation of her book, which was published posthumously. In the finale, McNamaras husband, the comedian Patton Oswalt, connects with survivors of DeAngelos crimes and reflects on McNamaras absence.

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Whats on TV Sunday: Connected and the SpaceX Landing - The New York Times

SpaceX set to bring NASA astronauts home from historic mission (weather permitting) – CNN

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Read the original:

SpaceX set to bring NASA astronauts home from historic mission (weather permitting) - CNN

Taking on SpaceX, Amazon to invest $10 billion in satellite broadband plan – Economic Times

WASHINGTON: Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it will invest more than $10 billion to build a network of 3,236 satellites that will provide high-speed broadband internet services to people around the world who lack such access.

The announcement follows the Federal Communications Commission's approval of the plan, called "Project Kuiper", for the constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will compete with the Starlink network being built out by Elon Musk's SpaceX. It also comes on the heels of Amazon posting its biggest profit in its 26-year history.

"A project of this scale requires significant effort and resources, and, due to the nature of LEO constellations, it is not the kind of initiative that can start small. You have to commit," the company said in a blog post.

The project will also benefit wireless carriers deploying 5G and other wireless service to new regions, Amazon said. By comparison, SpaceX has launched over 500 satellites of the roughly 12,000 expected for its Starlink constellation in low Earth orbit and plans to offer broadband service in the United States and Canada by the year's end. The FCC approved SpaceX's request in 2018.

Continued here:

Taking on SpaceX, Amazon to invest $10 billion in satellite broadband plan - Economic Times

SpaceX, NASA watch weather for historic astronaut splashdown on Sunday – Space.com

SpaceX is ready to return its first NASA astronaut crew to Earth, but a potential tropical cyclone brewing in the Atlantic could cause delays.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, called Endeavour, is scheduled to splash down off the Florida coast on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 2). Its crew, NASA's Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, is wrapping up a historic two-month test flight, the first orbital trip by astronauts on a commercial spacecraft. Their splashdown will also mark the first water landing by American astronauts since the Apollo-Soyuz mission in July 1975.

"Everybody remains 'go' for a return, and we cannot wait to get Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley back to Earth, but of course, we have some weather pending," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters Wednesday (July 29) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "We look forward to seeing if that's going to be within the realm of what is possible."

Related: How NASA and SpaceX's Demo-2 will make a historic splashdown

That "weather pending" Bridenstine referenced is from a storm system the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine. Current forecasts from the NHC place the storm system squarely on Florida on Sunday just ahead of SpaceX's splashdown target time of 2:48 p.m. EDT (1948 GMT).

"We're going to watch the weather very carefully," said Steve Stitch, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. "We have a series of [landing] sitesand many days in the future, so we'll watch this tropical storm ... we'll kind of take it day-by-day."

Currently, Behnken and Hurley are due to undock from the space station on Saturday evening at 7:35 p.m. EDT (2335 GMT) and prepare to head home. If all goes well, the Endeavour capsule will fire its engines to leave orbit on Sunday for an afternoon splashdown.

In photos: SpaceX's historic Demo-2 test flight with astronauts

SpaceX has seven potential splashdown sites around the Florida panhandle to choose from. They include drop zones offshore from Cape Canaveral, Daytona and Jacksonville on Florida's east cost, and near Panama City, Pensacola, Tallahassee and Tampa on the west coast. Wave height, wind speeds, lightning, rain conditions and other factors will all determine which splashdown sites SpaceX will pick.

"We're really looking for two sites to be go before we undock," Stitch said, adding that the agency will hold off on a final decision until an hour before undocking, or even call of the departure if needed. "The beauty of this vehicle is [that] we can stay docked to the space station."

Behnken and Hurley launched May 30 on SpaceX's Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station. The mission is a two-month shakedown cruise to test if SpaceX is ready to fly operational astronaut missions for NASA. SpaceX has launched uncrewed cargo missions for NASA for years and is one of two companies (Boeing is the other) with a multi-billion-dollar contract to fly astronauts to the station.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft has performed flawlessly in orbit, NASA and SpaceX officials said. The Demo-2 astronauts have tested its ability to hold up to four astronauts at a time, with the only major unknown ahead: splashdown.

"That's a really big deal," said Benji Reed, SpaceX's director of crew management. "It's very important, and it's part of that sacred honor that we have for ensuring that we bring Bob and Doug back home to their families, to their kids and making sure that they're safe."

If bad weather looks like it could delay a Sunday splashdown for Crew Dragon, NASA and SpaceX will postpone this weekend's undocking to no earlier than Monday (Aug. 3), with splashdown likely coming a day later, Stitch said.

"So we'll have to evaluate the weather each day and just see things how things unfold," Stitch said. "We have plenty of opportunities here in August and we're in no hurry to come home."

Even as SpaceX prepares to return Behnken and Hurley to Earth, the company is already gearing up for its first operational mission, called Crew-1. The spacecraft for that mission is nearly complete at the company's headquarters and factory in Hawthorne, California and will be shipped to Cape Canaveral soon, Reed said.

The Crew-1 astronauts NASA's Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan's Soichi Noguchi are with the vehicle this week, Reed added. That mission is currently scheduled to launch in late September.

Yesterday, NASA also announced the four astronauts to launch on Crew-2, SpaceX's second operational flight, in early 2021. That mission will launch astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, both of NASA; Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency. McArthur is married to Behnken, and her Crew-2 mission will launch on the same Dragon ship Endeavour as her husband, NASA and SpaceX said.

Meanwhile, as SpaceX prepares to return the Demo-2 astronauts to Earth, NASA is counting down for another milestone event: a launch to Mars.

NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is poised to launch toward the Red Planet tomorrow (July 30). The mission, which will collect samples of Mars for eventual return to Earth, deploy a helicopter and seek out signs of ancient life, will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Liftoff is set for 7:50 am. EDT (1150 GMT).

Editor's note: You can watch NASA's Mars rover Perseverance launch live here, courtesy of NASA TV. The webcast will begin at 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT). SpaceX's undocking and splashdown of the Demo-2 crew will also be webcast live.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Email Tariq Malik attmalik@space.comor follow him@tariqjmalik. Follow us@Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.

Read more here:

SpaceX, NASA watch weather for historic astronaut splashdown on Sunday - Space.com

NASA assigns four astronauts to SpaceX mission scheduled for 2021 – CNN

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"},{"title":"SpaceX and NASA make history with launch","duration":"01:20","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/05/30/spacex-nasa-launch-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/05/30/spacex-nasa-launch-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200530152550-41-spacex-nasa-0530-screengrab-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/05/30/spacex-nasa-launch-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/business-spacex/","description":"SpaceX and NASA make history by launching two astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station, the first crewed spaceflight to take off from US soil in nearly a decade.","descriptionText":"SpaceX and NASA make history by launching two astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station, the first crewed spaceflight to take off from US soil in nearly a decade."},{"title":"Elon Musk told CNN in 2004 how he could help NASA","duration":"02:52","sourceName":"CNN Business","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/business","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/05/30/elon-musk-future-of-space-travel-2004-vault-orig.cnn-business/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/05/30/elon-musk-future-of-space-travel-2004-vault-orig.cnn-business","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200529150210-vault-by-cnn-elon-musk-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/05/30/elon-musk-future-of-space-travel-2004-vault-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-spacex/","description":"In an early interview with CNN, SpaceX founder Elon Musk explained how he could work with NASA and his vision for the future of space travel. 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Since then, the company has had a series of innovative breakthroughs and a few memorable mishaps."},{"title":"Meet the two astronauts set to make history in a SpaceX capsule","duration":"04:32","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/business/2020/05/05/crew-dragon-spacex-nasa-astronauts-gr-orig.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"business/2020/05/05/crew-dragon-spacex-nasa-astronauts-gr-orig.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200504211201-nasa-commercial-crew-astronauts-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/business/2020/05/05/crew-dragon-spacex-nasa-astronauts-gr-orig.cnn/video/playlists/business-spacex/","description":"CNN Business' Rachel Crane speaks with veteran NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley about their upcoming test flight aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. 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NASA assigns four astronauts to SpaceX mission scheduled for 2021 - CNN

SpaceX Starship factory and rocket prototypes weather Texas hurricane – Teslarati

SpaceXs South Texas Starship factory and the latest full-scale rocket prototypes built there have managed to weather their first hurricane and tropical storm.

Known as Hurricane Hanna, the Gulf of Mexico weather system made landfall just a few dozen miles north of SpaceXs facilities on July 25th with 90 mph (145 km/h) winds recorded. Thankfully, SpaceXs rocket factory and Starship prototype SN5 were spared from the worst of Hanna, which quickly devolved into a less threatening tropical storm eight hours after landfall.

Still, they were subjected to heavy rain, gusty winds, low visibility, and the threat of much worse conditions if Hurricane Hanna were to veer south. Originally planned on Saturday, July 25th, SpaceX was forced to delay Starship SN5s first full wet dress rehearsal (WDR) and Raptor engine static fire test, following a solid two weeks of delays unrelated to bad weather.

Weather, rocket, pad, and planet alignment willing, SpaceX may finally have a shot at static firing Starship SN5s Raptor SN27 engine, installed more than three weeks ago. As of now, Tropical Storm Hanna continues to fade away as it travels west over South Texas and Mexico. Ironically, testing Starship during extreme weather events could actually be a useful activity for SpaceX, given that the launch rates it may eventually need to squeeze out of Super Heavy and Starship will all but necessitate all-weather launch capabilities.

Nevertheless, for early prototypes like SN5, testing during a major storm would do more harm than good by confounding critical data and observations needed to inform future tests and improve newer prototypes. Along those lines, Starship SN5 is now scheduled to attempt a WDR and static fire test no earlier than Monday, July 27th with a window stretching from 8am to 8pm CDT (UTC-5). There is still a chance of moderate rainfall and thunderstorms but Boca Chica should be clear of Hanna-related storm warnings by the time Starships test window opens.

Plans change and Starship SN5s test plans have been exceptionally fluid, but if the rockets static fire goes off as planned on Monday and weather cooperates, theres a chance that SpaceX will attempt to hop the full-scale prototype just a few days later. According to NASASpaceflight.com, prior to Hurricane Hanna, a rapid static fire and ~150m (~500 ft) hop debut was reportedly in order for Starship SN5.

Meanwhile, SpaceX and its contractors are in the midst of constructing a massive new vehicle assembly building (VAB; also known as a high bay) required for the imminent start of Super Heavy booster prototype assembly. Work is also well underway on the assembly of Starship SN8, an upgraded prototype that could be the first to receive a nosecone, aerodynamic control surfaces, fully functional header tanks, and three Raptor engines. Those facilities and hardware have also made it through Hurricane Hanna unscathed.

Check out Teslaratis newslettersfor prompt updates, on-the-ground perspectives, and unique glimpses of SpaceXs rocket launch and recovery processes.

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SpaceX Starship factory and rocket prototypes weather Texas hurricane - Teslarati

How SpaceX, social media and the ‘worm’ helped NASA become cool again – CNBC

NASA is having a moment.

The U.S. space agency teamed with Elon Musk's SpaceX in May to launch its first manned rocket from American soil in nearly a decade. And adorning that rocket was NASA's iconic "worm" logo, a throwback look that NASA announced a month earlier it was bringing out of retirement, causing space fans across the country to collectively geek out.

The worm added a touch of 1980s nostalgia to the launch with SpaceX that already had NASA followers buzzing about the future of American space exploration. And, the excitement over both served as just the latest reminder that NASA is back.

After all, in 2011, NASAshut down its storied but costlyspace shuttle program the one that launched the Hubble Space Telescope and carried pieces of the International Space Station into orbit prompting concerns that NASA was in "decline"and whether the U.S. had a future in space at all.

But in May, over 150,000 people braved the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to gather near NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to watch the first attempt at a launch (which ended up being postponed due to weather), andover 10 million concurrent viewers watched the final launch a few days later online.

"We're at the dawn of a new age, and we're really leading the beginning of a space revolution," James Morhard, NASA's deputy administrator, told reporters ahead of the launch. Headlines declared that the successful launch heralded an exciting "new era of human spaceflight".

An American flag is seen as SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken lifts off during NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. May 30, 2020.

Thom Baur | Reuters

So nearly a decade after the shuttle program shut down and NASA's future appeared to be, well, up in the air, it now seems fair to ask the question: Is NASA cool again?

"NASA's always cool. Always," insists retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who retired in 2016 after two decades in which he flew four space missions and spent 520 days in space, including a 340-day stretch (a NASA record) in 2015.

"It's like the greatest brand ever," Kelly tells CNBC Make It. "I travel around the world. You see that NASA meatball everywhere Everyone knows NASA's brand." NASA's "meatball" logowhich was designed in 1959, used until the introduction of the "worm" in 1975 and then brought out of retirement in 1992 features a blue circle of stars encapsulating red and white swooshes and block-y lettering.

NASA's original "meatball" insignia, first introduced in 1959 and brought out of retirement in 1992.

Source: NASA

But that doesn't mean that the general public's interest in, and excitement about, NASA and space exploration has not fluctuated over the decades.

It's hard to imagine NASA's place in pop culture ever matching the space agency's golden age of the Apollo program of the 1960s and '70s, which turned astronauts into superstars and landed the first humans on the moon an event watched by an estimated 600 million people around the world in 1969.

"Indisputably, NASA was at its height of popularity during the Apollo moon program. That's when every TV in America was tuned to those launches," says Andrew Sloan, founder of Cosma Schema, a branding and design agency dedicated to the space industry.

By comparison, NASA's shuttle program, which kicked off in 1981, did not inspire the same "fervor," Sloan says. "The shuttles were very cool to watch launch and cool to watch land. But that program was super expensive, super bloated, and the shuttle launches were way more expensive than planned and ran way less frequently."

As a result, NASA experienced a "dip in popularity" beginning in the early-2000s, Sloan says.

Even Kelly can admit that NASA's shuttle program had "become a little bit routine to the public," which was hungry for "something new [and] something that's different".

"I think where we are today, there is more of that," Kelly says.

Experts say the U.S. space agency has, in part, seen a boost from the rise of the private space industry, which has become a hotbed for innovation led by the deep pockets and headline-grabbing ambitions of billionaires like Elon Musk (the founder of SpaceX), Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic), among others.

They are "generating big interest again in what's happening in space exploration," Sloan says.

Any interest in space exploration from the American public is essentially interest in NASA, which is so closely associated with space and space travel in our minds. "A lot of people confuse NASA and SpaceX," says Michael Sheetz, CNBC's reporter covering the space industry.

In fact, Sheetz explains that the rise of the private space industry was NASA's plan all along. Starting in 2010, instead of the government paying to build its own rockets, it began to offer financial grants to private companies to build them, with NASA buying seats for its astronauts on the spacecraft for each partnered launch.

Since the shuttle program ended, NASA had been paying Russia's space agency as much as $90 million per seat on that country's spacecrafts, Sheetz notes. The cost for a seat on the SpaceX Crew Dragon that launched two NASA astronauts into space in May is estimated at $55 million, by comparison.

"The mere fact that we can every few months, or so send up our own astronauts, and even astronauts of other countries, on our spacecraft, really changes the game," Sheetz says.

NASA awarded SpaceX a contract worth $2.6 billion in 2014 for development of the Crew Dragon capsule that transported two astronauts to space in May 2020. In total, NASA has provided more than $3.1 billion in contracts to SpaceX. Boeing has received more than $4.8 billion in contracts from NASA to develop its Starliner crew capsule, and the space agency recently awarded Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin a $579 million contract to develop a lunar lander.

This support from NASA and the U.S. government is spurring exciting innovation like SpaceX's development of reusable rockets, which greatly reduces the cost of space travel and makes Musk's high-profile goals, like putting humans on Mars, seem all the more attainable.

NASA's prominence in pop culture has always been a boon to reaching new generations of followers. And today, NASA's iconic logos have become a fashion staple, thanks to the fact that the space agency allows nearly any company to produce merchandise featuring its logos for free (as long as they obtain permission and follow some guidelines).

Apparel featuring NASA logos have been popular items for retailers from JCPenney and Forever 21, while even high-fashion designers like Heron Preston have used the NASA logo to add some science nerd chic to a $500 hooded sweatshirt. Last year, sportswear giant Nike and NBA star Paul George celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with a pair of sneakers that sported the NASA "meatball" logo and gold soles.

"You go to Target and you buy a NASA T-shirt and you wear it and you support it because being a nerd is cool," says Leland Melvin, a retired astronaut who flew two space missions in 2008 and 2009.

"NASA" also happens to be the name of a hit single from popstar Ariana Grande's double-platinum 2019 album, "Thank U, Next." After performing the song at last year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Grande even debuted some limited-edition, NASA-themed merchandise.

Melvin points out that the popularity of the NASA logo in fashion, from kids' t-shirts to an NBA player's Nike sneakers, is just another sign that people associate the space agency with a certain kind of "cool" that taps into the limitless possibilities of space exploration.

"We're looking at going to Mars. We're looking at sending the first woman to the moon in the Artemis program. And I think kids see this, people see this, and they say, 'These are the things that are possible,'" says Melvin.

Making space more accessible is also enticing for kids who dream of being an astronaut or engineer working at NASA, says Melvin.

For Melvin, who is one of only 14 Black NASA astronauts to ever go to space, becoming an astronaut was not a childhood dream because he "didn't see someone who looked like me" when he watched NASA's moon landing as a 5-year-old.

Melvin, who has degrees in chemistry and materials science engineering (and who was drafted by the NFL), was recruited to join NASA as a scientist at the Langley Research Center in 1989, six years after Guy Bluford became the first African-American in space, and at a time when NASA was pushing to increase its diversity.

That push continues today (NASA's employees are still 72% white, with 12% identifying as Black or African-American). But NASA's improved diversity has been on display more and more, thanks to people like Melvin, who spent 25 years at NASA, as well as behind-the-scenes contributors like Kathrine Johnson, the mathematician whose work on the early NASA crewed flights (including the Apollo 11 moon landing) became the subject of the 2016 Oscar-nominated movie "Hidden Figures."

Melvin also notes that NASA's next crewed launch in a SpaceX spacecraft, scheduled for later this year, will include Victor Glover, a Black NASA astronaut making his first trip to space.

NASA astronaut Leland Melvin poses with his dogs, Jake and Scout, for an official portrait that later went viral.

Source: NASA

Though "there's still a long way to go," things have changed, says Melvin.

"I've spoken to kids all over the world" says Melvin, who served as NASA's Associate Administrator for Education from 2010 to 2014. "When you see a kid in South Central L.A. that's wearing a NASA shirt, you know things have changed a lot and that it's cool."

NASA is doing "bleeding edge research when it comes to climate science and technology," Sheetz says, as well as deep space probes like the one carrying a new Mars rover (named "Perseverance" by a Virginia seventh-grader's winning entry from a NASA essay contest) that's set to launch July 20.

For instance, NASA uses state-of-the-art technology to study the effects of natural disasters on the Earth, including using infrared imagery captured from its satellites andhigh-altitude aircraft over wildfires in places like Californiaand the Amazon rainforest to collect data on those fires that could hopefully one day help to contain or prevent future fires. NASA's satellite imagery has also been used to track decreasing air pollution as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

NASA's Earth Science Disasters Programalso uses satellites to study earthquakes, floods, industrial accidents, volcanoes and hurricanes. Last year, NASA created an animation to track the Category-5 Hurricane Dorian using imagery taken froman "experimental" satellite that's "the size of a cereal box" and which NASA hopes can eventually create higher quality predictions for major storm systems. And after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017, NASA used itsBlack Marble technology, which uses satellite imagery to detect electric lights on Earth from space, to aid disaster response teams by identifying all of the parts of the island that had electricity and those that did not and were in need of assistance.

And NASA doesn't necessarily have to rely only on sending people into deep spaceit already has deep space probes like the New Horizons probe (which made the Pluto fly-by five years ago) and Voyager 1 and 2. Voyager 1 launched in 1977 and is currently the farthest man-made object from Earth, having traveled over 13.8 billion miles (and counting) over the past four decades. Those probes are constantly transmitting data back to NASA scientists on Earth, including everything from photos of a volcanic eruption on a moon of Jupiter to readings on the density of interstellar particles encountered billions of miles beyond the sun.

NASA isn't shy about showing off the results of its research, whether it's on social media or the massive (and searchable) photo and video database the agency launched three years ago, atimages.NASA.gov. There, anyone can search among the140,000 NASA images, videos and audio files from the space agency's 62 years of research and exploration, such as a breathtaking photo of the Andromeda galaxy, over 2.5 million light-years away.

The Galaxy Evolution Explorer captured this image of the Andromeda galaxy, or M31, the Milky Way's largest galactic neighbor, in 2012, according to NASA.

Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

To share all its work, NASA's social media team boasts more than 500 distinct accounts. Sure, nearly 60 million people follow the official NASA Instgram account (that's just ahead of pop star Justin Timberlake, but behind teen singer-songwriter Billie Eilish).But, a separate official Instagram account dedicated to the Hubble Space Telescope has another 3.3 million followers and 4 million people even follow a Twitter account for the Mars Curiosity Rover that features tweets written as if the rover itself is tweeting from the Red Planet.

Since 2008, when NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) communications head Veronica McGregor first started tweeting as the Mars Phoenix Lander in the first-person, NASA's social media strategy has been to flood the internet with content that shows off the scientific research and innovations undertaken by the space agency.

NASA has had a seemingly unending string of social media hits over the subsequent years, including a viral 2015 Instagram post showing a close-up photo of Pluto taken by NASA's New Horizons space probe during a fly-by. Other photos shared far and wide online include NASA's shots of wildfires as seen from space, the ISS passing in front of an eclipse, and rectangular icebergs.

Social media is also a platform that allows NASA to show the human side of its endeavors, whether that's a viral official NASA photo of Melvin's rescue dogs excited to see him in his orange NASA space suit, or Kelly holding NASA's first-ever Reddit AMA conducted from space.

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How SpaceX, social media and the 'worm' helped NASA become cool again - CNBC

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is raising up to $1 billion at $44 billion valuation – CNBC

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched on the Demo-2 mission with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard.

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Space Exploration Technologies, Elon Musk's reusable rocket and satellite internet venture, is in talks to raise $500 million to $1 billion in series N funding at a valuation of $44 billion, according to documents reviewed by CNBC and people familiar with the company's fundraising activity.

The funding would help SpaceX begin commercial operations of its Starlink satellite broadband service and to conduct suborbital and orbital test flights of its Starship and SuperHeavy booster launch vehicle.Bloomberg previously reported on the fundraising plans.

SpaceX is telling investors its Starlink business is going after a $1 trillion total addressable market including bringing satellite broadband to any location on Earth, to ships at sea and aircraft in flight.The company has launched more than 450 satellites since after first deploying constellations of satellites for Starlink in November. Company officials expect to start generating revenue from the service this year.

SpaceX aims to make interplanetary transportation from the Earth to the moon and Mars a reality with its reusable rockets.The company also has ambitions to use Starship for rapid long-distance air travel on Earth, making long-haul flights in under an hour.

SpaceX previous investors included those who backed Musk's car company, Tesla. Shared investors have included Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Baillie Gifford and Valor Equity Partners. SpaceX has a myriad of other investors, including Fidelity, Gigafund and Google.

Gigafund, which was founded by SpaceX board member Luke Nosek, is expected to participate significantly in the new round.

See the article here:

Elon Musk's SpaceX is raising up to $1 billion at $44 billion valuation - CNBC

How Much Is SpaceX Worth and How Does It Make Money? – Barron’s

Text size

With astronauts Bob and Doug floating in orbit, Morgan Stanleys Adam Jonas, along with other research staff at the Wall Street broker, tried to answer the question: What is SpaceXs valuation?

SpaceX is, of course, the private company that launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurleyaffectionately referred to as Bob and Doug by NASA Mission Controlinto space. The pair were the first NASA astronauts to launch from U.S. soil since 2011 and the first to be carried on a commercial built spacecraft sitting atop a commercially built rocket.

Its an incredible feat for the company founded by Tesla (ticker: CEO) founder Elon Musk in 2002. Whats more amazing is the rocket launched was captured for reuse and the spacecraft will be reused as well.

Bob and Doug are slated to come back to Earth on Aug. 2, 2020.

SpaceXs unique technology makes the company difficult to value. And because SpaceX isnt publicly traded, analysts dont have all the data they normally would to build models and predict a financial future.

Both problems are reflected in Morgan Stanleys valuation of SpaceX. We update our hypothetical [discounted cash flow] valuation range for SpaceX, valuing the company between [roughly] $200 million and $175 billion, wrote the team of analysts in a Monday research report.

(Discounted cash flow is a valuation technique that estimates all the cash a company can generate in the future and determines what that cash is worth today.)

Thats a wide range of outcomes. Lets look at Morgan Stanleys base case, which values the company at $50 billion, making it one of the top 10 publicly traded aerospace and defense franchises.

Impressive, but its a stealth $50 billion. Many public equity investors arent sure what SpaceX does to generate value beyond its contracts with the government for space launch. Those alone cant account for $50 billion.

Its space launch business alone wouldnt, either. We view SpaceX as four companies, writes Morgan Stanley. First, SpaceX launches things into space. Second, SpaceX creates Starlink satellites. The company, eventually, plans to offer space-based high speed internet connectivity for a fee using those satellites. SpaceXs third business is travel: ultra fast, rocket-based travel from any point on earth to another. Its last business is deep space exploration.

The majority of the companys value in Morgan Stanleys base case comes from SpaceXs Starlink satellites. That business, according to Morgan Stanley, is worth about $42 billion. Its launch business is a $1 billion business and its travel business is worth about $9 billion, according to their research. Deep space exploration, for now, is valued at zero. The difference between $50 billion and those figures is cash on hand, about $3.4 billion, and the cost required to develop a hypersonic flying machine.

Starlink will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to develop but, based on Morgans math, the business model will work with a subscription fee as low as $50 a monthcomparable with land-based internet providers. Morgan estimates up to $24 billion in Starlink annual free cash flow by 2040.

While investors cant own SpaceX stock, they can buy a basket of stocks to play similar trends.

Virgin Galactic (ticker: SPCE) is working on hypersonic travel and space tourism. Its valued at $4.5 billion. Morgan Stanleys Jonas covers Galactic stock, rating shares the equivalent of Buy. He has a $24 price target for shares, close to where the stock is trading at currently.

To own a space launch company, look at Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD). Aerojet supplies rocket components to defense and government entities. Its enterprise value is $2.7 billion.

Starlink is difficult to replicate but there are satellite communications providers such as Maxar Technologies (MAXR) and Iridium Communications (IRDM). Those companies arent worth what Morgan Stanley suggests Starlink is worth and they dont do exactly the same thing.

Finally, to invest in deep space, consider defense stalwart Lockheed Martin (LMT), the company that built the Hubble Space Telescope.

The five stocks in Barrons SpaceX basket are up about 27%, collectively, year to date, better than comparable returns of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500.

Space, it appears, is hot again. SpaceX hopes it stays that way.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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How Much Is SpaceX Worth and How Does It Make Money? - Barron's

Watch The SpaceX Crew Dragon’s Return To Earth LIVE This Sunday On ‘Space Launch Live: Splashdown’ – Science Fiction

Discovery Channel Science Channel

Following the record ratings of their coverage of the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch in May, Discovery and Science are teaming up again to cover the crafts return next weekend. The telecast will be called Space Launch Live: Splashdown. The astronauts plan to land at sea, something that hasnt been done since 1975. This was the first US crew to voyage to outer space in a privately built craft. The SpaceX Crew Dragon was propelled by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The destination was the International Space Station. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were the astronauts aboard and they will also be the two-man crew of the return journey. Walton Goggins narrated the first two-hour special.

This special will be made in partnership with the Washington Post and its staff writer Christian Davenport, one of the countrys leading chroniclers of the space industry. Davenport will co-host the special, which will also include commentary from current and former astronauts including Mike Massimino and Garrett Reisman, top engineers and other special guests, including adventurer and avid explorer Josh Gates. TV personality Chris Jacobs will pick up where he left off as host of the live return, and Emmy-winning journalist David Kerley will also return as part of the reporting team. (via Deadline)

Science Channels EVP Multiplatform Programming, Factual & Head of Content, Scott Lewers, stated:

This is the type of coverage that viewers can only find on Discovery and Science Channel. With the incredible access of The Washington Post, we spent over a year documenting SpaceXs journey to become the first private company to launch American astronauts into space and were excited to see their safe return back to Earth. Our live coverage will take viewers inside their incredible journey home.

The plan is for the SpaceX Crew Dragon to splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean. It is reported that temperatures on the outside of the craft can reach 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit due to the friction of reentry.

SpaceX Founder and Chief Engineer Elon Musk expressed:

I think theres an argument that the return is more dangerous in some ways than the ascent.

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Space Launch Live: Splashdown will take place this Sunday, August 2, starting at 1pm EST.

Jax's earliest memory is of watching 'Batman,' followed shortly by a memory of playing Batman & Robin with a friend, which entailed running outside in just their underwear and towels as capes. When adults told them they couldn't run around outside in their underwear, both boys promptly whipped theirs off and ran around in just capes.

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Watch The SpaceX Crew Dragon's Return To Earth LIVE This Sunday On 'Space Launch Live: Splashdown' - Science Fiction

Elon Musk says SpaceX will try launching a full-size Starship prototype ‘later this week,’ and the rocket may fly 150 meters high – MSN Money

Loren Elliott/Getty Images A prototype of SpaceX's Starship, called Mk 1, rocket is seen at the company's South Texas launch facility in Boca Chica on September 28, 2019. Loren Elliott/Getty Images

Anyone who said grain silos can't fly may be in for a surprise later this week.

SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, is working feverishly to develop a potentially revolutionary rocket system called Starship in Boca Chica, a remote region in southeastern Texas that sits on the Gulf of Mexico. If Starship and its Super Heavy rocket booster end up being fully reusable, Musk has said, the system may reduce the cost of launching anything to space by about 1,000-fold.

But first, SpaceX has to see if its core designs for Starship works. To that end, the company is moving briskly to build, test, and launch prototypes. And according to Musk, the first such full-scale example may fly from a beachside launch site in a matter of days.

"Will attempt to fly later this week," Musk tweeted in response to a question about the status of a Starship prototype called SN5 (short for "serial number 5").

SN5 is the latest of several Starship prototypes that SpaceX has built in Texas. The previous versions have either crumpled during tests or, as was the case on May 29, catastrophically exploded. Each failure has taught SpaceX valuable lessons to inform design and material changes.

The steel vehicles don't have wing-like canards or nosecones attached in case something goes wrong in their earliest phases of testing, so they look more like flying fuel tanks or grain silos than rocket ships.

However, as last year's test launch of an early Starship prototype called Starhopper showed, the flights of such crude experimental vehicles (shown above) can easily impress: On August 27, Starhopper soared about 492 feet (150 meters) into the air, translated across a launch site, and landed on a nearby concrete pad.

The full-scale SN5 prototype may similarly soar nearly 500 feet (150 meters) in the air before attempting to land, according to regulatory documents released by the Federal Aviation Administration in September 2019, following an inquiry by Business Insider.

SpaceX on May 28 earned an FAA launch license to fly prototypes on a "suborbital trajectory," meaning the experimental spaceships could reach dozens of miles above Earth before returning and landing.

The company won't attempt such flights right off the bat, though. On Thursday, SpaceX asked the FCC for permission to use communicate with prototypes flying as high as 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) within the next seven months.

Nevertheless, SpaceX is pursuing a launch license for full-scale, orbital-class Starship-Super Heavy vehicles, part of which includes a new environmental review of its Boca Chica site.

Musk hopes Starship will launch a cargo mission to Mars in 2022, send a private crewaround the moonin 2023,return NASA astronautsto the lunar surface in 2024, and even beginsending people to Marsthe same year.

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Elon Musk says SpaceX will try launching a full-size Starship prototype 'later this week,' and the rocket may fly 150 meters high - MSN Money

SpaceX Astronauts Preparing To Leave ISS To Return To Earth – International Business Times

KEY POINTS

The astronauts who traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) through SpaceXs first crewed spaceflight are set to begin their journey backto Earth on Saturday. To markthe event, NASA will host live broadcasts of the astronauts return.

On May 30, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken went to the ISS aboard SpaceXs Crew Dragon spacecraft, which has been officially namedEndeavor following the launch. It was considered as a historic event as it served as the first time astronauts were launched from U.S. soil since 2011.

It was also an important milestone for SpaceX since it was the first crewed test flight for the Dragon spacecraft.

After spending about three months aboard the ISS, Hurley and Behnken are now preparing to return home. The return trip will take place on Aug. 1. It will begin once theDragon or Endeavor spacecraft undocks from the ISS at 7:34 p.m. EDT. It is expected to reach Earth on Aug. 2 at 2:42 p.m. EDT.

Those looking to watch the upcoming event live may do so through a special coverage on NASA TV and the agencys website. The broadcast will begin at 9:10 a.m. EDT on Saturday andwill feature a farewell ceremony for Behnken and Hurley on the ISS. The preparations for the astronauts departure will start at 5:15 p.m. EDT.

NASA will also broadcast various media events related to Dragons return flight to Earth. These include news conferences with the astronauts and officials from NASA and SpaceX.

According to Hurley, he and Behnken are looking forward to coming back to Earth after spending a couple of months in space. Aside from seeing their friends and families, the two astronauts are also looking forward to seeing the people from SpaceX and NASA who made the entire mission possible.

Its going to be incredible, Hurley told KPRC-TV. Obviously, to see our families again and all our co-workers, as Bob said, from a distance. Ideally, to see all the people whether it be at SpaceX or at NASA that contributed to this mission over the last several years.

The International Space Station's two newest crew members, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, left, and Doug Hurley, are pictured having just entered the orbiting lab shortly after arriving aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. Photo: NASA

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SpaceX Astronauts Preparing To Leave ISS To Return To Earth - International Business Times

WATCH: SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster Drone Ship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ Returns to Port Canaveral – SpaceCoastDaily.com

booster sent U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station on May 30

ABOVE VIDEO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 booster aboard drone ship Just Read the Instructions is back at the Port after having arrived Friday morning.

BREVARD COUNTY PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA A SpaceX Falcon 9 booster aboard drone ship Just Read the Instructions is back at the Port after having arrived Friday morning.

The booster helped orbit a South Korean military satellite on July 20 before landing on the drone ship out in the Altantic.

Its the same booster that sent U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station on May 30.

SpaceX accomplished its first-ever hat trick by recovering the booster and both halves of the rockets nose cone, which were captured in the huge nets of Port-based SpaceX recovery vessels GO Ms. Tree and GO Ms. Chief.

CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS

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