Miscellaneous Launches and Payloads (updates)


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Draggendrop

Yes, it appears all major launchers are cranking up the cadence this year....space is money now and I feel that this will continue to ramp up for years to come. All this and the small sat launchers will be on line shortly as well.   :D

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+Mirumir

Apparently, Baikonur has set its own or even a world record this week. 

 

There have been three successful back-to-back launches there within the span of the last six days!

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Draggendrop

Launch schedule

 

Quote
March 22/23Atlas 5 • OA-6
Launch window: 0305:48-0335 GMT on 23rd (11:05:48-11:35 p.m. EDT (on 22nd)
Launch site: SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, designated AV-064, will launch the sixth Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo freighter on its fifth operational cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station. The mission is known as OA-6. The rocket will fly in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Delayed from March 10 and March 20. [Feb. 19]
March 31Soyuz • Progress 63P
Launch window: 1620 GMT (12:20 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
A Russian government Soyuz rocket will launch the 63rd Progress cargo delivery ship to the International Space Station. Delayed from Feb. 12. [Feb. 11]
April 8Falcon 9 • SpaceX CRS 8
Launch time: 2043 GMT (4:43 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the 10th Dragon spacecraft on the eighth operational cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. The flight is being conducted under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Delayed from Aug. 13, Sept. 2, Jan. 3, Feb. 7, March 20 and March 29. [March 16]
Mid-AprilFalcon 9 • JCSAT 14
Launch window: TBD
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the JCSAT 14 communications satellite for Tokyo-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corp. JCSAT 14 will support data networks, television broadcasters and mobile communications users in Japan, East Asia, Russia, Oceania, Hawaii and other Pacific islands. Delayed from late 2015. [March 8]

http://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

 

The Atlas 5 and OA-6 should be rolled out Monday morning. I should have some data and images then.

 

:)

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+Mirumir

 

Another successful launch; this time from Plesetsk:

 

 

 

 

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Draggendrop

reference  +Mirumir's above video post...and thanks...

 

Quote

Second Bars-M

 

On March 23, the Russian government issued a warning for an upcoming launch between March 24 and 29. The ascent trajectory matched the flight corridor used by the original Bars-M mission.

 

According to the official Russian media, a Soyuz-2-1a rocket lifted off on March 24, 2016, at 12:42 Moscow Time (5:42 a.m. EDT) from Pad 4 at Site 43 in Plesetsk. Russian ground stations of the Titov Chief Test Space Center began tracking the vehicle at 12:45 Moscow Time, and the spacecraft separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle as planned at 12:52 Moscow Time (5:52 a.m. EDT), a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense said. (A standard ascent process for a three-stage Soyuz normally lasts nine minutes and was expected to be completed at 12:50:48 Moscow Time).

 

Lt. General Aleksandr Golovko, Deputy Commander of the Russian Air and Space Forces, oversaw the countdown and the launch of the mission, the Ministry of Defense said.

 

Around two hours after the launch, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense as saying that the spacecraft had established communications with ground control and its onboard systems had functioned normally. In the meantime, NORAD radar detected the spacecraft in a 327 by 540-kilometer orbit with an inclination 97.648 degrees toward the Equator, which was similar to initial orbital parameters of the first Bars-M satellite.

 

According to the TASS news agency, the spacecraft received an official designation Kosmos-2515.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/bars-m.html#2

 

Soyuz launcher puts Russian military spy satellite in orbit

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/03/24/soyuz-launcher-puts-russian-military-spy-satellite-in-orbit/

 

:D

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+Mirumir
On 3/4/2016 at 3:42 AM, Draggendrop said:

USAF weather woes grow as DMSP-19 stops obeying orders

 

The U.S. Air Force lost the ability to command one of its two primary weather satellites on Feb. 11 and is trying to determine if the satellite can return to service. Credit: U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin artist's concept.

 

It appears they've given up on the recovery.

 

 

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DocM

The USAF has been looking at getting their weather data from commercial weather data providers like the PlanetiQ, Spire and GeoMetWatch constellations. Cheaper, very numerous, more distributed and smaller (cubesat or minisat size) it'd be hard to take them out vs a few large birds.

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Unobscured Vision

I can see it now.

 

"What?! We gotta rely on those little birds?! They didn't cost $2 billion a pop, and didn't launch on a Delta-IV Heavy; therefore we don't want any data those scrubby little sats are sending down".

 

Anyone who's ever had to deliver items/paperwork directly to an Air Force General or Colonel knows exactly what I'm talking about. THAT attitude and arrogance they seem to carry. Not all of them, of course -- I met some really awesome C/O's trying to do the best job they could. Navy Admirals just scare the hell out of you, though. It's like being around a Judge when he's off-duty.

 

Anyway.

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Draggendrop

Chinese Long March 3A Rocket blasts off with Beidou Navigation Satellite

 

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China conducted its third orbital launch of the year on Tuesday, involving a Long March 3A rocket lifting off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 20:11 UTC, carrying a Beidou navigation satellite to orbit.

 

Tuesday’s mission featured a Beidou-2I satellite aiming for an inclined Geosynchronous Orbit to support China’s heritage navigation system currently in operation until the country’s global navigation system enters operational service.

 

According to official Chinese media, Tuesday night’s launch – taking place after 4 a.m. local time Wednesday, successfully delivered the satellite to its planned transfer orbit from where it will climb to its operational Geosynchronous Orbit.

 

Although China began the deployment of the third generation of Beidou satellites in March 2015 as part of Phase III in the country’s Global Navigation Satellite Program, the launch of Phase II satellites is necessary to keep the Beidou-2 constellation in an operational state.

7209112_orig-512x410.jpg

Beidou-3 – Global Constellation – Image: beidou.gov.cn

 

Xinhua-708x1024.jpg

Photo: Xinhua (File)

 

http://spaceflight101.com/long-march-3a-launches-beidou-2-satellite/

 

Long March 3A lofts Beidou-22 satellite

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/03/long-march-3a-beidou-22/

 

:)

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Draggendrop

bits and bytes...

 

DARPA Program Aims To Facilitate Robotic Servicing Of Geosynchronous Satellites

 

ooRSGSInfographiv2.jpg

Robotic Servicing Concept    DARPA

 

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Hundreds of military, government and commercial satellites reside today in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) some 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the Earth - a perch ideal for providing communications, meteorology and national security services.

 

But one so remote as to preclude inspection and diagnosis of malfunctioning components, much less upgrades or repairs. Even fully functional satellites sometimes find their working lives cut short simply because they carry obsolete payloadsa frustrating situation for owners of assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

With no prospects for assistance once in orbit, satellites destined for GEO today are loaded with backup systems and as much fuel as can be accommodated, adding to their complexity, weight and cost. But what if help was just a service call away?

 

DARPA's new Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program intends to answer that question by developing technologies that would enable cooperative inspection and servicing in GEO and demonstrating those technologies on orbit within the next five years.

 

Under the RSGS vision, a DARPA-developed modular toolkit, including hardware and software, would be joined to a privately developed spacecraft to create a commercially owned and operated robotic servicing vehicle (RSV) that could make house calls in space. DARPA would contribute the robotics technology, expertise, and a Government-provided launch. The commercial partner would contribute the satellite to carry the robotic payload, integration of the payload onto it, and the mission operations center and staff. If successful, the joint effort could radically lower the risk and cost of operating in GEO.

 

"The ability to safely and cooperatively service satellites in GEO would vastly expand public and private opportunities in space. It could enable entirely new spacecraft designs and operations, including on-orbit assembly and maintenance, which could dramatically lower construction and deployment costs while extending satellite utility, resilience and reliability," said RSGS program manager Gordon Roesler. "Commercial and government space operators have sought this capability for decades. By investing together, we can achieve a capability that would be extremely challenging to do individually."

 

To formalize that collaboration, DARPA aims to establish a public-private partnership through which the Agency would develop and provide technical capabilities for transition to a commercial space robotics enterprise that would make cooperative robotic servicing available to both military and commercial GEO satellite owners on a fee-for-service basis. DARPA seeks to engage a commercial partner with a strategic interest in this capability, and an interest in providing services to the Defense Department (DoD).

 

After a successful on-orbit demonstration of the robotic servicing vehicle, U.S. Government and commercial satellite operators would have ready access to diverse capabilities including high-resolution inspection; correction of some mission-ending mechanical anomalies, such as solar array and antenna deployment malfunctions; assistance with relocation and other orbital maneuvers; and installation of attachable payloads, enabling upgrades to existing assets. Satellite operators would be able to purchase these services on request to the robotic servicing vehicle operator.

much more at the link...

http://spaceref.biz/agencies/darpa-program-aims-to-facilitate-robotic-servicing-of-geosynchronous-satellites.html

 

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Nasa will be testing their new green fuel in a demonstrator satellite in 2017

 

NASA Is Going Green With a New Rocket Fuel in 2017

 

Quote

NASA has just completed the first round of tests that prove the new "green" rocket propellant, AF-M315E, could be a viable option in the future. That may not sound like a big deal, but keep in mind that this is rocket science, so even creating rocket fuel that works without exploding the spacecraft is pretty complicated. 

 

Hydrazine has been used as a component in rocket fuel since the first rocket-powered fighter planes were invented during World War II, all the way up to powering parts of the Space Shuttle until the craft was retired. But hydrazine-based propellants have problems since the substance is extremely toxic and very unstable.

 

On top of that, there are environmental issues with the old rocket fuel. The environmental impact of rocket launches isn't technically that heavy, but every time a rocket is launched, the propellants used don't exactly do the environment any favors, as a study from 2011 points out. Rocket launches emit soot, black carbon particles that absorb sunlight and can add to the heat in the atmosphere, which adds to the whole climate change problem. 

 

Quote

That's where NASA's decision to start testing the new propellant comes in handy. NASA started the Green Propellant Infusion Mission to deal with this issue by creating an alternative to conventional chemical propulsion systems for the new-generation launch vehicles and spacecraft that are being developed to take astronauts to an asteroid and then eventually Mars, according to NASA's plans. 

 

The result is AF-M315E, a hydroxyl ammonium nitrate fuel oxidizer blend that was originally developed at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base in California. If it works, this fuel change will be a win for NASA on all fronts. The stuff is actually less toxic and easier to handle than regular hydrazine-based propellants, according to NASA. It comes with fewer handling restrictions, which helps cut down on cost. Plus, it's more efficient than hydrazine, giving a spacecraft more thrust for less fuel, and it's more dense, which means more of it fits into a smaller space in a fuel container.

 

In other words, NASA has every reason to continue running tests to see if AF-M315E will work as a cheaper, better "green" rocket fuel that both NASA and commercial space companies could use in launches in the coming years, according to NASA. 

 

NASA just finished up the functional and environmental hardware and systems tests that were the first big step toward the fuel's actually being put into use for rocket launches. Now, the agency just has to pull off the next part of the process and actually test the fuel. The first test is slated to take place in 2017, according to NASA. A compact small satellite (known around NASA as a "smallsat") will be launched into space loaded with AF-M315E. The researchers will conduct orbital maneuvers to demonstrate the performance of the propellant during attitude control maneuvers, changes in orbital inclination and orbit lowering. And if it all works out, the researchers will get to move on to testing it out on larger spacecraft. 

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/nasa-is-going-green-with-a-new-rocket-fuel-in-2017-8280020

 

:D

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Draggendrop

Roscosmos Says Reports on Sea Launch Project Sale Might Be True

 

Quote

Reports of the multinational Sea Launch spacecraft launch service being sold are "close to the truth," the head of Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, said Wednesday

The details of the deal could be announced by the end of April, according to Komarov.

"I can say that this is close to the truth, but I can't say who the investor is and the extent of the contract... The paperwork is currently being processed," Igor Komarov told reporters.

He added that investors from the United States, Europe and China had expressed interest in the Sea Launch project.

Sea Launch is a multinational spacecraft launch service created in 1995 for equatorial launches of commercial payloads from a mobile maritime launch platform.

Russia's Energia Overseas company owns 95 percent of the Sea Launch's shares, while the US Boeing and Norway's Aker Solutions have minority stakes in the company.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Roscosmos_Says_Reports_on_Sea_Launch_Project_Sale_Might_Be_True_999.html

 

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FAA Backs Ban on U.S. Satellite Launches on Indian Rockets

 

Quote

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) endorsed an advisory committee’s recommendation that commercial U.S. satellites continue to be barred from using the PSLV.


In its Feb. 26 decision, the FAA said it agreed with its Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) that Indian launch services, owned and controlled by the Indian government, threaten to “distort the conditions of competition” in the launch-services market.

The FAA assured COMSTAC that the agency’s opinion would be part of the current review of whether India’s refusal to sign a Commercial Space Launch Agreement (CSLA) on rocket pricing still justifies the ban. The review, led by the U.S. Trade Representative, is the reason COMSTAC had raised the issue….

more at the link...

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/03/31/faa-backs-ban-satellite-launches-indian-rockets/

 

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DocM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DocM

Yup, so much for commercial operators only handling LEO and cost will be an even larger bactor for cislunar and BEO.  SpaceX and OrbitalATK will have gobs of experience by then, SNC with some under CRS 2.0, so they'll be the ones to watch. There have been noises SNC is looking at a BEO capable heat shield for a Dream Chaser derivative so you can't count them out.

 

 

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DocM

Yup, so much for commercial operators only handling LEO and cost will be an even larger factor for cislunar and BEO.  That'll hurt Lockheeds Exoliner, which was booted from CRS 2.0 for costs.

 

SpaceX and OrbitalATK will have gobs of experience by then, SNC with some under CRS 2.0, so they'll be the ones to watch. There have been noises SNC is looking at a BEO capable heat shield for a Dream Chaser derivative so you can't count them out.

 

ULA could compete with its ACES long duration upper stage for Vulcan. It's Integrated Vehicle Fluids system uses a Roush Racing internal combustion engine to provide power, pressurize propellants, generate gases for reaction control and ullage settling, and aid restarts. It also comes in several variants from plain upper stage to tug or tanker. Due 2023-2024.

 

Then there's that Raptor upper stage SpaceX is working on for the USAF but isn't talking about. Yet. The USAF Raptor engine is due in 2018, and I'd bet an early long duration stage design for it is already on someone's computer at Hawthorne. 

 

ACES

NC2_AdvancedCryoEvolvedStage413201561612

Edited by DocM
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Draggendrop

Upcoming launch schedule

 

Quote
April 6Long March 2D • Shijian 10
Launch time: TBD
Launch site: Jiuquan, China
A Chinese Long March 2D rocket will launch the Shijian 10 recoverable satellite with a package of physical science, materials science, and biological experiments. The spacecraft will return to Earth after several weeks in orbit. [April 2]
April 8Falcon 9 • SpaceX CRS 8
Launch time: 2043 GMT (4:43 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the 10th Dragon spacecraft on the eighth operational cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. The flight is being conducted under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Delayed from Aug. 13, Sept. 2, Jan. 3, Feb. 7, March 20 and March 29. [March 16]
April 22Soyuz • Sentinel 1B
Launch time: 2102:23 GMT (5:02:23 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: ELS, Sinnamary, French Guiana
An Arianespace Soyuz rocket, designated VS14, will launch on a mission from the Guiana Space Center in South America. The Soyuz will carry the Sentinel 1B radar observation satellite for the European Space Agency and the European Commission, the Microscope microsatellite to research gravitational forces, Norway’s Norsat 1 microsatellite for ship tracking and space weather and solar radiation research, and a CubeSat sponsored by the European Space Agency. The Soyuz 2-1a (Soyuz ST-A) rocket will use a Fregat upper stage. Moved forward from April 14. Delayed from April 12. [Feb. 22]

http://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

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Draggendrop

NASA Spacecraft to Test 'Green' Propellant Passes Major Pre-flight Milestone

 

m16-032.jpg?itok=KV_Gi4zW

An artist's rendering of NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission payload in flight aboard the Ball Aerospace BCP-100 spacecraft.
Credits: Ball Aerospace

 

Quote

Like all rocket engines, the small thrusters that a spacecraft or satellite fires to maintain or change positions need fuel. Currently, many use hydrazine -- a toxic and corrosive fuel that requires special handling and equipment.

 

NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) recently took another major step toward demonstrating the capabilities of a new propellant that is safer to handle on the ground and more efficient for thrusters in space. The GPIM spacecraft has passed a major flight readiness milestone marking the successful completion of functional and environmental testing of its systems and software, and is on track for launch in early 2017.

 

"We are increasingly reliant on satellites for communications, for monitoring weather and conditions on Earth and for exploration of the universe," said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate. "It's important that we develop technology that increases protections for launch personnel and the environment, and that has the potential to reduce costs."

 

GPIM will demonstrate the practical capabilities of a hydroxyl ammonium nitrate based fuel/oxidizer propellant blend, known as AF-M315E, developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The new propellant is 45-percent denser than hydrazine, meaning more of it can be stored in containers of the same volume. Coupled with a greater Isp than hydrazine, this means there is approximately a 50-percent increase in spacecraft maneuvering capability for a given volume. AFM-315E also has a lower freezing point than hydrazine, requiring less spacecraft power to maintain its temperature.

 

AF-M315E, less toxic than traditional chemical fuels like hydrazine, requires fewer handling restrictions and less special equipment. That could shorten launch processing times, resulting in lowered costs.

 

"There are always going to be situations in which it makes sense to use hydrazine fuel," said Chris McLean, principal investigator for GPIM and staff consultant at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado, prime contractor for the mission. "But after GPIM, when we're planning missions where this new green propellant has the potential for significant benefits, we'll be able to say, 'This has been demonstrated on orbit. Let's take advantage of these improvements for our mission.'"

more at the link...

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/green/green-propellant-test-passes-preflight-milestone.html

 

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NASA_Spacecraft_to_Test_Green_Propellant_Passes_Major_Pre_flight_Milestone_999.html

 

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/green/index.html

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DocM

 

 

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Draggendrop

In reference to above post, I see no issues with this, as long as the launcher is made available to all "qualified"commercial launch operators, and for thesame price. This would help to level the playing field and put money back into the governments coffers.

 

This would be no different than Dnepr and Rokot, and helps out in the 500 kg to 2000 kg market.

 

http://spacenews.com/op-ed-ending-ban-on-retired-icbms-would-allow-u-s-companies-to-reclaim-small-satellite-launch-market/

 

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2016/04/why-not-use-old.html

 

:D

 

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Chinese Experiment Satellite blasts off atop Long March Rocket for Two-Week Stay in Space

 

CfTEh4zW4AcqgsE.jpg-large-512x342.jpg

Photo: Xinhua

 

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China’s Long March 2D rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 17:38 UTC on Tuesday, carrying the Shijian-10 research satellite to orbit.

 

Shijian-10 is set for a 15-day stay in Low Earth Orbit, performing 20 different scientific experiments before returning them to the ground for detailed analysis to deliver data on fluid dynamics, in-space combustion, materials science, physical mechanisms in microgravity and biology.

 

Shijian-10 is the second recoverable satellite flown under the Shijian Satellite Program that started back in 1971 with the launch of Shijian-1.

 

The Shijian program, standing for ‘Practice’, is dedicated to a variety of missions for the demonstration of new technical systems for use on spacecraft as well as scientific missions such as Shijian-10. Over the years, a large number of Shijian satellites were launched into a variety of different orbits to test out satellite technology such as power-generation, thermal control and electric propulsion as well as innovative payloads including optical and infrared imagers, and space environment sensors.

more at the link...

http://spaceflight101.com/shijian-10-liftoff/

 

 

Chinese Recoverable Satellite set for Liftoff Tuesday to carry out Space Experiments

 

W020140627519993894233-512x445.png

Image: NSSC/CAS

 

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China is set to launch the Shijian-10 recoverable satellite to complete a series of experiments in space before returning them to Earth in a parachute-assisted landing after a 15-day mission. Liftoff from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is set for 18 UTC Tuesday (UTC) using a Long March 2D rocket delivering the satellite to Low Earth Orbit.

 

The Shijian-10 mission follows up on the successful flight of Shijian-8 in 2006, a mission of 15 days that featured a number of experiments in different areas and exposed thousands of plant seeds to the space environment to study changes undergone by a variety of species. Initially, Shijian-10 was initiated to follow SJ-8 within a few years, but the project was put on ice before being revived when China’s space research program was re-structured. Heading into its engineering development phase, SJ-10 aimed for launch in 2015 which ultimately got pushed into 2016.

 

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The Shijian-10 mission hosts a total of 20 different experiments covering fluid physics. microgravity combustion, materials science, radiation, biology, and biotechnology. The experiments riding aboard the satellite have been provided by six Chinese universities and in collaborations with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the European Space Agency.

 

Quote

The Shijian-10 mission launches atop a two-stage Long March 2D rocket, lifting off without a payload fairing since the satellite is built to withstand extreme thermal and aerodynamic environments. SJ-10 is aiming for an orbit of 220 by 482 Kilometers at an inclination of 63 degrees for a mission of 15 days. The spacecraft is set for a parachute-assisted landing in Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia – China’s landing site of choice, also used by the crewed Shenzhou program.

782270-512x340.jpg

SJ-10 Parachute Testing – Photo: CASC

 

http://spaceflight101.com/chinese-recoverable-satellite-set-for-liftoff-tuesday-to-carry-out-space-experiments/

 

:)

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+Mirumir

 

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+Mirumir

 

Quote

China takes microgravity work to new heights

 

China's space science ambitions mark a new milestone today with the launch of a microgravity research satellite set for 2 a.m. Wednesday morning Beijing time. The Shijian-10 (SJ-10) spacecraft carries 20 experiments covering fluid physics, materials science, and the effects of radiation and microgravity on various biological systems...

 


 

Spoiler

 

Ripley: What's it key off?
Ash: Micro changes in air density.

 

 

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Draggendrop

Here is an interesting change for the future Ariane 6.

 

Airbus Safran Launchers aims for ‘the discipline of the flow’ in Ariane 6 integration

 

BAF-Ariane-5-879x485.jpg

The skyline of Europe's Guiana Space Center spaceport is likely to change when Ariane 6, to be horizontally integrated, replaces the vertically integrated Ariane 5 in 2023. Shown here is the 83-meter-tall Ariane 5 Final Assembly Building. Credit: CNES

 

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LES MUREAUX. France – Europe’s rocket industry has gone 40 years by integrating its Ariane rockets vertically and then rolling them out by rail, upright, to the launch pad. That is about to end.

 

The historical practice has produced the Final Assembly Building at Europe’s Guiana Space Center, an 83-meter-high steel structure.

 

But following a decision by Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) and the European Space Agency, the future Ariane 6 rocket will be assembled horizontally as a cost-saving measure.

 

Patrick Bonguet, head of Ariane 6 development at ASL, described some of the benefits of the change on April 6 during a press briefing at ASL’s facility here. Here are excerpts from his remarks.

 

“We are now in this mindset transformation, where people don’t now see all the benefits. For horizontal integration, the buildings are much more simple. There are no cranes and no hazardous moving operations. It also permits a good growth potential since it’s the kind of building you can expand.

 

“But the main benefit from horizontal integration is that the process is better able to support people. With vertical operations, people are alone on their platform at 20, 50 or 60 meters high. Nobody sees them. If they have a problem they have to call someone, or to go down and look for equipment or documentation.

 

“With horizontal, everything is visible. The second main interest, which is not so obvious immediately, is that it allows the creation of a production flow through a moving line. This creates a sense of urgency in the production. You do not just stand there while there is a problem when you have several integration stands in parallel.

 

“When you have a problem on one stand, you work on another one and then do catch-up on the first one. This is the discipline of the flow. We expect this will result in direct savings, but also indirect savings by improving the way we work and the way we deal with quality issues, providing quicker support to the teams and driving the process improvement.

 

“I should add that we have decided not to bother our customers with this aspect, unlike some of our competitors. Customers don’t much like having their spacecraft horizontal, then integrated onto the launcher and vibrating while going to the launch pad.

 

“They will be integrated as they are today – vertically. We put the fairing on them, and then at the last moment only are they put onto the launcher.”

http://spacenews.com/airbus-safran-launchers-aims-for-the-discipline-of-the-flow-for-ariane-6-integration/

 

Looks like everything horizontal...except the final payload installation, which will be done vertically.

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Draggendrop

Upcoming Launch schedule

 

Quote

April 22

Soyuz • Sentinel 1B

Launch time: 2102:23 GMT (5:02:23 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: ELS, Sinnamary, French Guiana

An Arianespace Soyuz rocket, designated VS14, will launch on a mission from the Guiana Space Center in South America. The Soyuz will carry the Sentinel 1B radar observation satellite for the European Space Agency and the European Commission, the Microscope microsatellite to research gravitational forces, Norway’s Norsat 1 microsatellite for ship tracking and space weather and solar radiation research, and a CubeSat sponsored by the European Space Agency. The Soyuz 2-1a (Soyuz ST-A) rocket will use a Fregat upper stage. Moved forward from April 14. Delayed from April 12. [Feb. 22]

 

April 26/27

Soyuz • Mikhailo Lomonosov

Launch time: 0201 GMT on 27th (10:01 p.m. EDT on 26th)
Launch site: Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia

A Russian government Soyuz rocket will launch for the first time from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East, carrying a satellite named Mikhailo Lomonosov with instruments to study high-energy cosmic rays, gamma rays and the Earth’s upper atmosphere and magnetosphere. Two smaller secondary payloads, named Aist 2 and SamSat 218, will also launch aboard the Soyuz rocket. The rocket will fly in the Soyuz-2.1a configuration with a Volga upper stage. Delayed from April 25. [April 6]

 

April 28

Falcon 9 • JCSAT 14

Launch window: TBD
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the JCSAT 14 communications satellite for Tokyo-based SKY Perfect JSAT Corp. JCSAT 14 will support data networks, television broadcasters and mobile communications users in Japan, East Asia, Russia, Oceania, Hawaii and other Pacific islands. Delayed from late 2015. [April 7]

http://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

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Draggendrop

Video Animation: Europe's New Ariane 6

 

ariane_6_animation_040616_945.jpg

Video Animation: Europe's New Ariane 6.   ESA

 

Ariane 6, video is 1:25 min.

 

 

Quote

Decided in Luxemburg by the European Space Agency council meeting at Ministerial level, Ariane 6 is a modular three-stage launcher (solid-cryogenic-cryogenic) with two configurations using: four boosters (A64) or two boosters (A62).

http://spaceref.biz/agencies/video-animation-europes-new-ariane-6.html

 

The disappointing part is no re-usability...all of it, except the payload, is lost.

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DocM

Gambling against reusability is looking like a very bad bet. They may be forced into another redesign sooner than later.

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