Boeing and SpaceX are working on manned spacecraft that will send astronauts to the International Space Station as early as 2017, but before that happens, they need a place to dock. Crew aboard the space station are about to install the first of two international docking adapters that will let the taxis link up to the station. The six hour-plus mission, being livestreamed by NASA starting soon at 8:05 AM EST, will be performed by astronauts Kate Rubins and Jeff Williams, with a big mechanical assist from the Candarm2.
"More than 1,000 companies across nearly all 50 states are working on private space initiatives… Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators… Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station," Obama writes. Obama did not specifically name tech industry figures such as Elon Musk, who is among the private industry leaders trying to get the red planet, however.
This time the company is launching the Thaicom 8 communications satellite, and the launch windows is just minutes away from opening. Naturally, you can watch the whole thing via livestream, either with hosts or without. SpaceX has a couple of successful missions under its belt now, but today's landing is said to be a "very hot and fast first-stage reentry."
In this image taken off the screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 and released by Xinhua News Agency, two Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng, left and Chen Dong salute in the space lab Tiangong 2. China says a pair of astronauts aboard have entered the country's orbiting space station for a month-long stay. Chinese character on bottom left reads "Inside Tiangong."