2:15pm ET Update: SpaceX successfully launched the Dragon spacecraft en route to the International Space Station on Wednesday. However, in something of a surprise, the first stage didn’t quite make it back safely to the landing site. We have full details in a new story.
Original post: This is an extraordinary week for orbital launches. On Monday, alone, a Soyuz rocket carried three humans into space, en route to the International Space Station. Then, a Falcon 9 rocket launched 64 smallsats into orbit about 500km above the planet.
On Tuesday, the flurry of activity continued when an Ariane 5 rocket lofted two large satellites to geostationary transfer orbit. This capped Arianespace’s launch program for the year.