Space launches

Virgin Orbit Boeing 747-400 rocket launch platform, named Cosmic Girl, takes off from Mojave Air and Space Port, Mojave (MHV) on its second orbital launch demonstration in the Mojave Desert, north of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
January 17, 2021 - 3:38 pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit reached space on Sunday, eight months after the first demonstration flight of its air-launched rocket system failed, the company said. A 70-foot-long (21.34-meter-long) LauncherOne rocket was released from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747 carrier...
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In this image from video made available by Blue Origin, the company's New Shepard rocket lands after a test flight in West Texas on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Blue Origin via AP)
January 14, 2021 - 11:20 am
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company launched a new capsule into space Thursday to test all the astronaut perks before people strap in. Thursday’s flight with a dummy named Mannequin Skywalker lasted 10 minutes and reached 66 miles (106 kilometers) above West Texas. Both the...
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In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, recovery crew members film the capsule of the Chang'e 5 probe after its successful landed in Siziwang district, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. (Ren Junchuan/Xinhua via AP)
December 16, 2020 - 6:35 pm
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. The capsule of the Chang’e 5 probe landed just before 2 a.m. (1800 GMT Wednesday) in the Siziwang district of the Inner Mongolia region, state...
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FILE - In this May 30, 2020, file photo, a SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. For the first time in nearly a decade, astronauts blasted towards orbit aboard an American rocket from American soil, a first for a private company. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
December 16, 2020 - 12:07 pm
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts blasted into orbit from the U.S. for the first time in nearly a decade, three countries sent spacecraft hurtling toward Mars, and robotic explorers grabbed rocks from the moon and gravel from an asteroid for return to Earth. Space provided moments of hope and...
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a resupply mission to the International Space Station lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
December 06, 2020 - 10:50 am
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX launched a newer, bigger version of its Dragon supply ship to the International Space Station on Sunday, marking the first time the company has two capsules in orbit at the same time. The Dragon — packed with Christmas treats and presents — should reach the space...
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FILE - This artist's rendering provided to China's Xinhua News Agency on Aug. 23, 2016, by the lunar probe and space project center of Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, shows a concept design for the Chinese Mars 2020 rover and lander. China's landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and plans to put humans back on the lunar surface. (Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense via Xinhua via AP, File)
December 02, 2020 - 1:15 am
BEIJING (AP) — China’s landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and is planning to put humans back on the lunar surface. The Chang’e 5, the first effort to bring lunar...
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In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a screen shows the landed Chang'e-5 spacecraft and a moon surface picture, below, taken by camera aboard Chang'e-5 spacecraft during its landing process, at Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) in Beijing on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. A Chinese spacecraft landed on the moon Tuesday to bring back lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s, the government announced. (Jin Liwang/Xinhua via AP)
December 01, 2020 - 8:20 pm
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese spacecraft sent to return lunar rocks to Earth collected its first samples Wednesday after landing on the moon, the government announced, adding to a string of successes for Beijing's increasingly ambitious space program. The Chang’e 5 probe touched down shortly after 11 p...
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A Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission lifts off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, early Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
November 24, 2020 - 2:33 am
WENCHANG, China (AP) — China’s latest trip to the moon is another milestone in the Asian powerhouse’s slow but steady ascent to the stars. China became the third country to put a person into orbit 17 years ago and the first to land on the far side of the moon in 2019. Future ambitions include a...
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A Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission lifts off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, early Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
November 23, 2020 - 4:50 pm
WENCHANG, China (AP) — China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back rocks and debris from the moon’s surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. Chang’e 5 — named for the...
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November 21, 2020 - 11:02 am
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A U.S.-European satellite designed to extend a decades-long measurement of global sea surface heights was launched into Earth orbit from California on Saturday. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:...
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