We’re launching another issue of RocketSTEM to celebrate the start of our organization’s fifth year. While half a decade has been quite a journey for us, it is nothing compared to the 50-plus-year history of Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. From racing the Russians to the Moon during the Apollo program, through the construction of the International Space Station during the Space Shuttle program, and now the most recent launch of the Falcon 9 rocket by SpaceX, the world-famous launch pad has quite a story to tell. Speaking of SpaceX, the private space firm is also preparing to launch its biggest ever rocket – the Falcon Heavy – from Pad 39A later this year. But the company’s founder, Elon Musk, is already laying the groundwork for an even bigger rocket – the Interplanetary Transport System – that will allow humanity to colonize Mars and explore even further out into the solar system. In the meantime, a fleet of orbiters and rovers from three space agencies are busy checking out the Red Planet, while NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been been analyzing a dwarf planet named Ceres.
All that – and more – in this issue of RocketSTEM magazine.
And, as always, every issue remains free to read online or download as a PDF.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Exploring Mars – Eight rovers and orbiters from three space agencies are at the Red Planet.
Helo, Mars! – Learn to compute flight data for the proposed Mars Helicopter Scout.
Historic Pad 39A – The launch pad has been America’s gateway to space for five decades.
Falcon Heavy – SpaceX is gearing up to debut its new rocket later this year.
SpaceX goes bigger – The Interplanetary Transport System may open up the solar system to exploration.
Dawn’s harvest – Spacecraft has been revealing secrets of Ceres, a dwarf planet.
4. Sunday, Feb. 26,, 2017: 12-1:30 pm PST (3-4:30 pm EST, 2-3:30 5 pm CST): Dr. Paul Spudis returns to the show for a must hear program. Lots has been happening with talk about returning to the Moon. Don’t miss this discussion.
Here is a video of the landing as seen during the SpaceX webcast:
After liftoff the rocket disappeared quickly into a cloudy sky:
The launch was the first for SpaceX from Pad 39A, which is the same pad used by most of the Apollo Saturn V launches to the Moon and for most of the Space Shuttle launches. Here is a brief history of the pad:
Update: This Dragon mission has a particular emphasis on science and technology cargo.