The New Space Race | Spectrum News

The launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon in May 2020 ushers in the next phase of the space race: private companies ferrying NASA astronauts. Spectrum News has everything you need to know about this next stage in America's space story, including what comes next.

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Space and NASA News

New Space Race

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022
  • Vehicle: SpaceX's Falcon 9
  • Mission: Japanese company's HAKUTO-R Lunar Lander and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Lunar Flashlight
  • Launch Site: Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  • Launch Window: 2:38 a.m.
(Man and child watching Delta IV rocket launch)

From Port Canaveral to the Indian River Lagoon to the beaches, there are many easy-to-access sites along the Space Coast to watch Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral rocket launches. Florida's Space Coast has a great list of more than a dozen rocket launch viewing sites, with descriptions and maps. Check it out here!

2022 AND BEYOND: Florida and nationwide


  • Date: TBD
  • Vehicle: SpaceX's Falcon 9
  • Mission: Starlink satellites Group 4-24
  • Launch Site: Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  • Launch Window: TBA
  • Date: TBD
  • Vehicle: SpaceX's Falcon 9
  • Mission: Starlink Group 4-37
  • Launch Site: Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  • Launch Window: TBA
  • Date: Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022
  • Vehicle: SpaceX's Falcon 9
  • Mission: O3b mPOWER 1 & 2
  • Launch Site: Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  • Launch Window: TBA
  • Date: No earlier than February 2023
  • Vehicle: ULA Altas V
  • Mission: Boeing Starliner crew capsule flight test to ISS (with 2 crew members aboard)
  • Launch Site: Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
  • Launch Window: TBA

(Sources: SpaceX, NASA, United Launch Alliance, Space Launch Delta 45, Boeing, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Next Spaceflight, Lockheed Martin, FireFly Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin)

Space shuttle Atlantis retired to Kennedy Space Center

ATLANTIS: Kennedy Space Center

  • Space shuttle Atlantis launched on its last mission at 11:29 a.m. July 8, 2011.
  • The shuttle program ended with the landing of Atlantis on Thursday, July 21 at 5:57 a.m.
  • Atlantis was NASA's fourth space shuttle orbiter to join the fleet.
Retired space shuttle Endeavour arrives at its new home in California

ENDEAVOUR: California Science Center, Los Angeles

  • Space shuttle Endeavour launched on its final mission Monday, May 16, 2011.
  • After a journey of 6.5 million miles, the orbiter landed for the final time at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, June 1, 2011.
Retired space shuttle Discovery

DISCOVERY: Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

  • Discovery was NASA's reliable workhorse, spending more than a quarter century carrying crews, satellites and space station parts.
  • In 1990, Discovery carried the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit.
  • Final flight: Feb. 24, 2011.
Prototype space shuttle Enterprise arrives in New York City for its retirement

ENTERPRISE: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York City

  • Enterprise was a prototype shuttle, rolling out of a California assembly facility on Sept. 17, 1976. After its success, Columbia became the 1st shuttle in space.
  • It was originally to be named Constitution, but a write-in campaign by fans of the TV show Star Trek got it renamed.

SOURCES: Information and images on this page are from NASA, United Launch Alliance and SpaceX.