Feb 17, 2020 - Science

SpaceX botches 50th Falcon rocket booster landing

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk after an in-flight abort test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule on Jan. 19. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

What would have been SpaceX's 50th successful Falcon booster landing was foiled on Monday, after the booster missed its touchdown point in the Atlantic Ocean, the Washington Post reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Miriam Kramer: The most remarkable thing about SpaceX's failure to land one of its boosters is that this is the exception and not the rule.

  • It took dozens of attempts for the company to successfully land a booster on a drone ship for the first time in 2016.
  • Since then, SpaceX's landings have become largely routine.

Details: Monday's launch and descension through the atmosphere went smoothly, according to SpaceX, but the booster did not accurately land on its autonomous spaceport droneship in the ocean, the Post reports.

  • "It was not immediately clear why the landing did not go as planned," per the Post.

Go deeper: SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites

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SpaceX inks deal to fly space tourists to orbit

NASA astronaut Suni Williams inside a mockup of a Crew Dragon capsule. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX has penned a deal with the space tourism outfit Space Adventures to launch private citizens to orbit aboard the company's Crew Dragon capsule.

Why it matters: SpaceX is building and testing the Crew Dragon to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, but this announcement shows they're thinking about orbital space tourism as a possible driver of revenue for them in the future.

Go deeperArrowFeb 18, 2020 - Science

Axiom and SpaceX plan to launch private crew to International Space Station

Artist's illustration of Axiom Space's private space station. Photo: Axiom Space

Axiom Space, a company aiming to operate the first commercial space station in orbit, is planning to fly a crew of private citizens to the International Space Station (ISS) as early as next year using SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as NASA is working to expand commercial operations on the space station. These kinds of space tourism flights are expected to be a big part of that.

Go deeperArrowMar 6, 2020 - Science

What we know: Deadly Storm Dennis whips at England, Wales and Ireland

Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

At least two deaths are being attributed to Storm Dennis on Monday as it continues to strike at parts of England, Wales and Ireland, per AccuWeather.

The big picture: Dennis is the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have caused widespread flooding across the United Kingdom. The army has been deployed in the U.K. to help with flood relief.

Go deeperArrowFeb 17, 2020 - Science