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Wallops officials look for growth in launch activity with Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab said Dec. 15 that its first Electron launch from Launch Complex 2 on Wallops Island, Virginia, has slipped two days to Dec. 18 between 6 and 8 p.m. Eastern. The company said that NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration were still working to complete range documentation needed for the launch. A backup launch opportunity is available Dec. 19.


Falcon 9 launches ocean science mission for NASA and CNES

The Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 6:46 a.m. Eastern Dec. 16. The rocket’s upper stage released the payload, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) spacecraft, into an 890-kilometer orbit 52 minutes later. The rocket’s first stage, making its sixth flight, landed back at the launch site seven and a half minutes after liftoff.


China has 6 astronauts in space for the 1st time

Three astronauts launched aboard the Shenzhou 15 spacecraft on Tuesday (Nov. 29) and docked with the Tiangong space station 6.5 hours later. Chen Dong, commander of the three-person Shenzhou 14 crew already aboard the newly-completed Tiangong, opened the hatch between the space station and spacecraft at 6:33 p.m. EST (2333 GMT). 


James Webb Space Telescope view of Saturn’s weirdest moon Titan thrills scientists

Titan is a strange world — a little bit Earthlike, if land were made of water ice, rivers and seas were filled with liquid methane and other hydrocarbons, and the atmosphere were thick and hazy, dotted with methane clouds. And now, the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb or JWST) has observed two of those clouds during observations on Nov. 4 that have thrilled scientists, according to a NASA statement.