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Thread: NewSpace News

  1. #40
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    SpaceX will load astronauts first, then fuel. This was their plan all along, but NASA finally approved it.

    NASA approves “load-and-go” fueling for SpaceX commercial crew launches

    WASHINGTON — NASA announced Aug. 17 that it will allow SpaceX to use a fueling approach for its commercial crew missions that attracted prior scrutiny, pending a final series of tests.

    In a statement published late Aug. 17, the agency said that it was allowing SpaceX to move ahead with plans to use what’s colloquially known as “load-and-go,” where the Falcon 9 launch vehicle is filled with liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants after astronauts board the Crew Dragon spacecraft on top of the rocket.

    “To make this decision, our teams conducted an extensive review of the SpaceX ground operations, launch vehicle design, escape systems and operational history,” Kathy Lueders, NASA’s commercial crew program manager, said in the statement. “Safety for our personnel was the driver for this analysis, and the team’s assessment was that this plan presents the least risk.”

    SpaceX uses load-and-go for its satellite and cargo Dragon missions currently, starting the fueling process just 35 minutes before liftoff. The company has adopted that approach because it uses “supercooled” propellants that are denser, improving the vehicle’s performance.

    That approach, though, attracted scrutiny after the September 2016 explosion of a Falcon 9 on the pad at Cape Canaveral during preparations for a static-fire test prior to the planned launch of the Amos-6 spacecraft. That accident, which destroyed the launch vehicle and satellite, was blamed on the failure of a composite overwrapped pressure vessel in an upper stage propellant tank.

    Thomas Stafford, the former astronaut who chairs NASA’s International Space Station Advisory Committee, criticized plans to use load-and-go for crewed missions shortly after that accident. He noted that it was contrary to past NASA human spaceflight programs, where the launch vehicle was fueled first.

    Stafford had questioned the approach prior to the pad explosion. “There is a unanimous, and strong, feeling by the committee that scheduling the crew to be on board the Dragon spacecraft prior to loading oxidizer into the rocket is contrary to booster safety criteria that has been in place for over 50 years....

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-approves-...crew-launches/
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  2. #41
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    As the SpaceX steamroller surges, European rocket industry vows to resist

    After 50 years of success, Europe's main spaceport reaches a crossroads.


    First hot firing of the P120C solid rocket motor that will be used by Europe's new Vega-C and Ariane 6 rockets.

    KOUROU, French Guiana—White light flooded in through large windows behind Alain Charmeau as he mused about the new age of rocketry. The brilliant sunrise promised another idyllic day in this beach town, but outside the sands remained untroubled by the feet of tourists.

    Lamentably, the nearshore waters of this former French colony are chocolate rather than azure, muddied by outflow from the Amazon and other rivers. French Guiana has other compensating assets, however. It lies just 5.3 degrees north of the equator. Neither tropical cyclones nor earthquakes threaten the area. And its coast offers untrammeled access to both the east and north. These natural gifts have helped this remote region become one of the world’s busiest spaceports.

    From here, Europe has established a long but largely unheralded history in the global rocket industry. Nearly three decades ago, it became the first provider of commercial launch services. If your company or country had a satellite and enough money, Europe would fly it into space for you. Remarkably, more than half of all telecom satellites in service today were launched from this sprawling spaceport.

    But times change. Like the rest of the aerospace world—including the Russians and traditional US companies like Boeing, Aerojet, and Lockheed Martin—Europe must now confront titanic changes....

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018...ows-to-resist/

    Kourou, French Guiana
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ko...!4d-52.6493342
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  3. #42
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    Was lucky enough to witness the last Delta II this morning successfully inserting NASA's ICESat-2 satellite into a Polar orbit. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICESat-2
    https://youtu.be/jaIAqj-ReII
    The end of an impressive record.....
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_II
    Eric

  4. #43
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    SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 is reducing turnaround time.

    Shotwell: Falcon 9 first stages come back in much better shape than anticipated. Have refurbishment time down to four weeks; goal is still a one-day turnaround next year.
    https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/statu...31798034882561

    https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comm..._back_in_much/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/SpaceXLoung..._back_in_much/


    SpaceX block 5 reusability results better than expected which could mean costs could eventually drop in half

    SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell says Falcon 9 [block 5] first stages are returning in much better shape than anticipated. SpaceX has refurbishment time down to four weeks. The SpaceX goal is still a one-day turnaround next year.

    In 2017, Shotwell said a Block 5 booster could relaunch a dozen or so times. The Block 3, by comparison, had an estimated life of two missions.

    A Block 5 that is reusable for dozens of times with minimal refurbishment and fast turnaround could bring the profitable costs of launch down to $20-30 million per launch.

    See the pictures and the table:
    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/0...p-in-half.html


    SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Block 5 boosters landing in great shape as competitors betray anxiety

    SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell has announced that the company’s upgraded Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket – debuted in May 2018 – is making its way through peak-stress launches, reentries, and landings in “much better shape than anticipated”, ultimately meaning that Falcon 9 booster refurbishment can now take as little as four weeks between flights.

    At the same time, Shotwell’s industry peers and competitors continue to betray some level of real anxiety about SpaceX’s meteoric rise and technological step up with displays of hyperbolic overconfidence.
    ...
    Speaking on a panel of launch providers at 2018’s Paris-based World Satellite Business Week conference, the discussion was rich with banter and comparatively heated comments from leaders of companies like Arianespace, ILS (International Launch Services, a commercial arm of Roscosmos), ULA, and Blue Origin, as well as SpaceX’s own Gwynne Shotwell. As effortlessly confident as ever, Shotwell’s presence and, perhaps, the general state of the industry appeared to trigger some rather brash and thoroughly entertaining fireworks from other executives.

    United Launch Alliance’s Tory Bruno, CEO of a company that has literally never recovered or reused any flown hardware from one of its launches, noted that ULA’s wholly-unproven and untested strategy for reuse – unlikely to begin flight tests before the mid-2020s – would likely be superior to SpaceX’s own approach....

    https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-fal...titor-anxiety/


    Another recovered Falcon 9 booster arrives back in port
    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/09/1...-back-in-port/
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  5. #44
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    SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell has announced that the company’s upgraded Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket – debuted in May 2018 – is making its way through peak-stress launches, reentries, and landings in “much better shape than anticipated”, ultimately meaning that Falcon 9 booster refurbishment can now take as little as four weeks between flights.
    Seems to me that pad refurbishment/turn around is also something that needs to be improved upon.
    Eric

  6. #45
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    Japanese HTV cargo supply vessel now comes with a landing craft.
    HTV is the largest of the vessels carrying supplies to the ISS.
    HTV-7 was launched on Saturday 22 Sep.

    Launch of Japan’s seventh HTV supply ship reset for Saturday
    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/09/2...-for-saturday/

    New sample return capability launches with Japanese space station freighter
    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/09/2...ion-freighter/

    JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaedKidox3U

    ............

    In other news, Japan's Hayabusa-2 has finally landed a pair of robots on an asteroid.

    Japanese robots land on asteroid, send back pictures
    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/09/2...back-pictures/

    Japan has Just Landed Two Rovers on the Surface of the 3000-foot-wide Ryugu Asteroid
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sus5QjjvbIc

    Animation: Asteroidlander MASCOT on board Hayabusa2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H4aZX_8hMA


    Hayabusa2

    Rovers

    Hayabusa2 carries four small rovers to investigate the asteroid surface in situ, and provide context information for the returned samples. All four rovers will move around by short hops, and none is equipped with wheels due to the minimal gravity of the asteroid. They will be deployed at different dates from about 60 m altitude and fall freely to the surface under the asteroid's weak gravity.

    MINERVA-II

    MINERVA-II is a successor to the MINERVA lander carried by Hayabusa. It consists of several separate subsystems.

    MINERVA-II-1 is a container that deployed two rovers, ROVER-1A and ROVER-1B, on 21 September 2018. It was developed by JAXA and the University of Aizu. The rovers are identical with a cylindrical shape, 18 cm diameter and 7 cm tall, and a mass of 1.1 kg (2.4 lb) each. They will move by hopping in the low gravitational field, using a torque generated by rotating masses within the rovers. Their scientific payload is a stereo camera, wide-angle camera, and thermometers. Solar cells and double-layer capacitors provide the electrical power.

    The MINERVA-II-2 container holds the ROVER-2, developed by a consortium of universities led by Tohoku University. This is an octagonal prism shape, 15 cm diameter and 16 cm tall (5.9 × 6.3 in), with a mass of about 1 kg (2.2 lb). It has two cameras, a thermometer and an accelerometer. It has optical and ultraviolet LEDs for illumination to detect floating dust particles. ROVER-2 carries four mechanisms to hop and relocate.

    MASCOT

    The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) was developed by the German Aerospace Center in cooperation with the French space agency CNES. It measures 29.5 cm × 27.5 cm × 19.5 cm and has a mass of 9.6 kg (21 lb). MASCOT carries an infrared spectrometer, a magnetometer, a radiometer and a camera that will image the small-scale structure, distribution and texture of the regolith, and is capable of tumbling to reposition itself for further measurements. It will investigate the surface structure and mineralogical composition, the thermal behaviour and the magnetic properties of the asteroid. It has a non-rechargeable battery that will allow for operations for no more than 16 hours. The infrared radiometer on the InSight Mars lander, launched in 2018, is based on the MASCOT radiometer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayabusa2
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  7. #46
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    SpaceX is the best rocket company ever and has all the competition beat -- right?

    SpaceX may be leading the way, but other companies are learning how to keep up:

    SpaceX Killer - The Great Rocket Race | MUST WATCH | Part 1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWBZ6l2QGdE

    SpaceX Killer - The Great Rocket Race | MUST WATCH | Part 2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VAJdo9gn8E
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  8. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Racer View Post
    SpaceX is the best rocket company ever and has all the competition beat -- right?
    I think he's won but it's not (necessarily) about revenue.
    He's insured its NOT "Business as usual" in both the rocket (launch) & the automotive industry.
    Eric

  9. #48
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    This isn't NewSpace news, but I didn't want to start a separate thread for these two items.

    Tracking Cameras:

    How did NASA get those great film shots of Apollo and the Shuttle?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlPfHV36G-g


    Baker Nunn Satellite Tracking Cameras
    http://bollerandchivens.com/?p=561


    Engine Building Skills:

    Why Can't we Remake the Rocketdyne F1 Engine?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovD0...ature=youtu.be
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  10. #49
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    China continues recoverable rocket efforts with vertical landing flight test
    .
    China has continued recent moves towards recovering and reusing its space launch vehicles with a small scale verification test of vertical landing and navigation and guidance control technology.

    The test (Chinese) was carried out on October 29 by the Beijing Aerospace Automatic Control Institute, also referred to as the 12th research institute under the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).

    CALT is a major launch vehicle designer and maker, as well as one of the academies, under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Group (CASC), the main contractor for the Chinese space programme.

    From the footage and online commentary it appears the test vehicle uses jet engines rather than rocket propulsion for landing, with the focus on testing the navigation and guidance control technology for vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL) launch vehicles currently under development.
    ...

    Footage of a test for vertical landing and guidance control technology carried
    out by an institute under the main Chinese space contractor CASC.
    Beijing Aerospace Automatic Control Institute

    Read the rest and see the pictures:
    https://gbtimes.com/china-continues-...-space-program


    China tests its own grasshopper
    https://behindtheblack.com/behind-th...n-grasshopper/
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  11. #50
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    SpaceX Releases First Crew Demo 1 Spacecraft Series of Images
    http://spaceref.com/onorbit/spacex-r...of-images.html
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  12. #51
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    Why SpaceX's Newest Rocket Will Never Go to Space (Hint, it’s not supposed to)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM6WqjJCKQo
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  13. #52
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    Rocket Pilot, High as a Kite
    Elon Musk in Interstellar - parody mashup

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zewyvQEqsS4
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

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