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Thursday's launch of the United Launch Alliance communications satellite lit up the sky over Northdale.
JULIO OCHOA / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

As rocket launches go, Thursday’s deployment of a communications satellite from Cape Canaveral was nothing too unusual.

Students assembling a rocket.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Anyone who has ever built and launched a rocket – from a child with a store-bought kit to the NASA scientists who put a human on the moon to Elon Musk – know it’s a saga of many failures and (hopefully) massive successes.

It’s also a story that the members of the University of South Florida’s Society of Aeronautics and Rocketry, or SOAR, are very familiar with.

New Rocket-Landing Ship Coming To Florida's Coast

Aug 1, 2018

SpaceX will get another ship to help land rocket boosters off Florida’s Space Coast.

SpaceX lands the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket so that it can be reused on future missions…lowering the cost of access to space.

For some missions, SpaceX lands the booster on a drone ship that looks like a barge and tows the booster back into Port Canaveral.

As SpaceX’s launches more rockets, it will need more ships. Founder Elon Musk said a new ship named ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ will arrive in Florida next summer.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket company shot a capsule higher into space Wednesday than it's ever done before.

A SpaceX rocket that flew just two months ago with a NASA satellite roared back into action Friday, launching the first orbiting robot with artificial intelligence and other station supplies.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

(Originally aired Sept. 27, 2016)

Few states have as close a tie to the U.S. space program than Florida, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a growing number of would-be rocket scientists at the University of South Florida.

SpaceX

An explosion has rocked the SpaceX launch site in Florida.

NASA says SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred Thursday morning. The test, considered routine, was in advance of a planned Saturday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.