July 2016 brought many a launch and developments within the space sector from across the world. This lead to many successes, near misses, and sadly some failures. However each flight and development leads to further learning for future flights by all companies involved.
This month saw an increased launch rhythm from around the world and the first of them to conduct launches was Russia, and the launch of 3 new international crew members to the International Space Station. This resulted in the crew going from 3 members to the current limit of 6 on board of the Space Station. The crew began their Expedition with safety briefings and moved personal items into their crew quarters.
It was the beginning of a busy time for Space Station traffic this month, with the first of many cargo crafts coming with valuable cargo supplies for all the crew at the International Space Station. Progress MS-03 launch with a lot of science and supplies and headed to the station of a 2-day rendezvous to the station.
SpaceX also launched a Cargo Resupply mission towards the International Space Station with their 8th successful launch of cargo to Station. CRS-9 launched in the middle of the night with tons of cargo and importantly IDA-2 which is needed for Commercial Crew which should be beginning in 2017.
SpaceX also continued with their landing tests of their First Stage of the Falcon 9 rocket. As planned the Falcon 9 first stage fired successfully and separated from the rest of the rocket and the stage flipped in preparation to return to LZ-1 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. Stage 2 and Dragon continued to orbit and successfully inserted into its planned orbit trajectory. First Stage fired as planned to return the stage back to the landing site and the stage softly touch down in its intended landing area.
Copenhagen Suborbitals launched their Nexø I in July, however the test was not fully successful and the rocket flew for less time than planned. There was an issue which occurred during flight The flight then came to an end prematurely and the rocket became a ballistic missile heading for the Baltic Sea where it just launched from. The rocket landed an submerged into the Baltic Sea and within 20 seconds, it resurfaced mostly intact, and still boiling of the LOX that was in the tanks.