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Home / Science / Rocket report: SpaceX hits a century mark, Vote for Atlas V on Election Day

Rocket report: SpaceX hits a century mark, Vote for Atlas V on Election Day

Photo of a rocket shortly after takeoff on a cloudy day.
Enlarge / The “In Focus” mission will go to the sky this week.

Welcome to Version 3.22 of the Rocket Report! After a series of recent inspections, the Cape commenced operations next week with the launch of government support, one by United Launch Alliance and one by SpaceX. Fingers (and toes) are crossed.

As always we welcome readers to submit, and if you don̵

7;t want to miss out on the issue, please subscribe using the box below (form won’t appear on AMP-supported versions of your site) . Each report will include information on the heavy, medium and heavy missiles, as well as a brief profile of the next three launches on the calendar.

Rocket Lab revolves around its 15th mission. Rocket Lab has successfully launched its 15th Electron mission and deployed Earth-imaging satellites for customers of Planet and Spaceflight Inc., Canon Electronics, the company said. The “In Focus” mission was launched from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhian Peninsula at 21:21 UTC Wednesday.

Lots of electronics … The mission (watch video) is Rocket Lab’s fifth launch this calendar year, making the Electron the second most frequent launch vehicle for the United States by 2020 after the Falcon 9 rocket, the company said. Their next mission is expected to be performed from Launch Complex 1 in the coming weeks. (submitted by Ken the Bin and Platykurtic)

Concerns about Virgin Orbit debris in the Pacific. The US Federal Aviation Administration is evaluating Virgin Orbit’s proposal to fly its LauncherOne rocket from Guam, a US territory in the western Pacific. Apps – for up to 10 launches in a year and no more than 25 between 2021 and 2025 – including draft environmental reviews.

Missile dropped into the ocean … As part of the launch procedure, Cosmic girl the aircraft would fly east of Guam before launching the double-decker missile. Along this flight route, the FAA has determined that falling debris can adversely affect endangered marine mammals, sea turtles and fish. The environmental assessment states: “The impact of debris hitting marine mammals or sea turtles can result in injury or death for individuals. The FAA is accepting public comment on the review until November 16, Pacific Daily News reported.

The easiest way to keep up with Eric Berger’s space report is to subscribe to his newsletter, which will collect his stories in your inbox.

Firefly is betting on making robot rockets. On Thursday, the Texas-based rocket company announced “a substantial commitment” to increase its production capacity by shifting production of large parts from the Ingersoll Machine Tool to the Spinning system. automatic early next year. Once fully operational, AFP capabilities could allow the production of an all-composite Alpha missile airframe within 14 days, the company said.

Successfully developed synthetic materials … “Firefly chose from the outset to use 21st century materials and manufacturing processes in our spacecraft and rocket designs. Metal is the most common aerospace material. composites, stronger and lighter than metal, are of choice for modern aircraft. Firefly’s Alpha is the world’s largest all-carbon fiber liquid-fuel rocket, “said Director Firefly’s chief executive, Tom Markusic, said. The company will start installing the production system next May. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

SpaceX details the “lacquer” issue with the new Falcon 9 boosters. NASA and SpaceX confirmed on Wednesday that they are targeting on November 14 for the launch of a Crew-1 mission that will carry four astronauts to the International Space Station. Originally scheduled for Halloween, NASA delayed launch after an engine failure canceled a Falcon 9 launch attempt on October 2, at T-2 seconds, carrying GPS III satellites. for the United States Air Force.

“You have to stand on tiptoes” … During a remote meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Hans Koenigsmann of SpaceX explained what happened to the October 2 cancellation and what was done to address the issue in future. In summary, some mask lacquer layers applied prior to the anodizing process have not been properly cleaned prior to flight. For a longer, more complete story, check out this Ars Technica article.

The Space Force is indifferent to the series of scrubs. A series of attacks by the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX have disappointed rocket company executives and space enthusiasts. But the Space Force’s launch managers were not discouraged and in fact saw the cleanup as evidence that the systems were working as they should, Colonel Douglas Pentecost said in a report from SpaceNews.

Safety and confidentiality are paramount … “We see it as a success,” said Pentecost, deputy director of the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Enterprise. Pentecost spoke at a conference on the virtual space industry organized by AFCEA, the Defense Industry Association and the Air Force Association. “Falcon 9 and Delta 4 stopped for a few seconds after launch? This is a good thing,” Pentecost said. “We’re learning a lot; we’re working with both ULA and SpaceX to understand what happened.” (submitted by Ken the Bin)

V atlas to launch Election Day. United Launch Alliance teams mounted a top secret payload to the National Reconnaissance Office on top of the Atlas 5 rocket at Cape Canaveral on Monday in preparation for a scheduled takeoff shortly after sunset on 3. November, Spaceflight Now reported. Codenamed NROL-101, this launch will be the first Atlas 5 missile flight to be equipped with a new, Northrop Grumman-built solid-boost rocket engine, replacing the Aerojet’s solid-fuel engine. Rocketdyne.

Talk to Delta … Flight Atlas 5 from launch pad 41 will take place next week as ULA continues to address launchers infrastructure issues at the company’s other Cape Canaveral launch facility. Those problems have delayed the flight of the Delta 4-Heavy missile with another NRO spy satellite since late August and prompted the ULA to swap out its mission order for the next Atlas 5 flight. is done first. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

SpaceX reached the century milestone. On Saturday, with the Starlink mission, SpaceX made its 100th successful flight. This milestone dates back to September 28, 2008, and is the fourth test launch of the company’s Falcon 1 rocket.

Fly and fly again … To mark this point, the company has released a video with an excerpt from each of these 100 missions, and it’s pretty interesting. SpaceX also notes that it restored the first 63 stages in which it launched and re-flew the rocket 45 times. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

The axiom is about to complete launching private ISS. Axiom Space hopes to complete its first commercial mission soon to the International Space Station, slated for the end of 2021, SpaceNews reported. Michael Suffredini, president and chief executive officer of Axiom Space, said his company lined up for the customer for that first mission, a 10-day flight to the space station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. ant in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Almost done … “We’ve identified all of our clients and we’re about to close their contracts,” he said. The company has previously announced a contract with SpaceX for flight and is “nearing completion” with a contract with NASA for the mission. “We are cautiously optimistic that, by the end of October, we will have everything in preparation for a launch in the fourth quarter of 2021. Seeking private clients for fund space travel,” he said. Direction will be of real benefit to launch companies like SpaceX. (Submitted by Joey SiVB, platykurtic and JohnCarter17)

The BE-4 rocket engine entered production. Blue Origin appears to have solved some of the development problems associated with a propeller jet engine in its powerful BE-4 rocket engine. United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno said Friday that the issue has been “resolved” and that the BE-4 engine with a full flight configuration is now accumulating a lot of time on test prices, Ars reported. fox.

Overcoming technical things … Bruno’s company, ULA, is buying a BE-4 engine to provide thrust for the early stage of the upcoming Vulcan-Centaur missile. The booster could make its debut next year, although the ULA is still awaiting delivery of the BE-4s for its maiden flight. Bruno says Blue Origin’s focus is shifting from engine development to increasing production. “It’s always been a good time in the development program, because that means your big technical tool is behind you,” he said in Friday’s interview. The space show.

The Ariane 6 missile is delayed until 2022. European Space Agency officials said the first flight of the Ariane 6 rocket would take place in the second quarter of 2022 during a remote meeting with reporters on Thursday. The delay is attributed to the need to eventually resolve technical difficulties as well as the work interrupted by the COVID-19 lock in Europe, where rockets and launch sites are being assembled in French Guiana. The ESA will also require member states to add 230 million euros to finance the missile development.

In reply to SpaceX … Developed over the decades, Ariane 6 is Europe’s answer to the rise of SpaceX and its low-cost Falcon 9 rocket. Although the missile cannot be reused, it is designed to be simpler, more efficient, and provides payload at a lower cost. Initially, it was scheduled to launch in 2020, but earlier this year, the European Space Agency announced it would roll back to the second half of 2021. Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA’s Director of Space Transport, also said Vega C missile launch will slide to June. Year 2021.

The SLS Green Run test was delayed again. Earlier this month, NASA and Boeing targeted mid-November for the SLS Green Run test in Mississippi. But now that’s off. In a blog update, NASA said on Tuesday that it is expected to set a new date next week, after Hurricane Zeta and after evaluating “data from recent tests to be sure. tell the group is ready to go. “

Have seen something they don’t like … Chris Bergin reported on Twitter that the test will slip to December “and possibly further” due to technical issues. Teams Boeing and NASA seem to have uncovered some data from sixth out of eight near-completed tests. They wanted to revisit what they found before doing the wet dress rehearsal and finally testing the heat of the big core stage. This ticket makes up for all but it is certain that the SLS rocket will not first launch in 2021. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

Spaceships used to collect orbital debris? SpaceX can use its Starship vehicles to clear space debris in Earth’s orbit, along with the program’s more public purpose of sending people and cargo to the Moon and Mars. President and CEO Gwynne Shotwell said in a discussion posted online on October 22, Spaceflight Now reported.

Garbage in the trunk … “It not only helps to reduce the cost of access to space but also means to transport people from Earth to Mars,” said Shotwell in an interview with technology columnist Patrick Lucas Austin of Time. . “But it’s also capable of carrying cargo and crew at the same time, and so we can use Starship to go to some of these dead rockets – of course our rockets are. someone else – basically picking up some trash in outer space. “Starship will definitely be the game changer if and when SpaceX takes it flying. (sent by Platykurtic and Ken the Bin)

The next three debuts

November 3: Atlas V | Secret mission NROL-101 | Cape Canaveral, Fla. | 22:58 UTC

November 4: Falcon 9 | GPS III-04 | Cape Canaveral, Fla. | 23:28 UTC

November 6: Polar satellite launchers | Mission RISAT-2BR2 | Satish Dhawan Space Center | 09:45 UTC

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