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Miscellaneous Launches and Payloads (updates)

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DocM    16,543

Now that the James Webb Space Telescope ( JWST ) has been delayed again and is likely to bust its $8 billion budget cap, heads are finally rolling,

 

Quote


Status Report From: NASA HQ 
Posted: Friday, March 30, 2018

Subject: NASA Announces Senior Leadership Changes to Refocus Launch Readiness Efforts for Webb Telescope

From: HQ-NASA-INC
Date: March 30, 2018

AGENCY-WIDE MESSAGED TO ALL NASA EMPLOYEES

Point of Contact: Roy Maizel, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, 202-358-2630

------------------------------------------------------------------

NASA Announces Senior Leadership Changes to Refocus Launch Readiness Efforts for Webb Telescope

NASAs Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is taking essential steps to refocus efforts to ensure a successful mission for the agencys James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) after an independent assessment of remaining tasks revealed more time is needed for testing and integration to meet a new launch window of approximately May 2020. Webb is SMDs highest priority project and the largest international space science project in U.S. history. All of the observatorys flight hardware is now complete. To best assure launch readiness, SMD has made the following personnel changes:

Greg Robinson, SMDs deputy associate administrator for programs, will become the Webb program director. As director, Robinson will focus on increasing integration and testing efficiency and effectiveness, and will add additional management processes to ensure continuous NASA visibility in contractor activities. Robinson previously served as deputy center director at NASAs Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, as well as NASAs deputy chief engineer from 2005-2013. He also served as the acting National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service deputy assistant administrator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he led the acquisition and management of all NOAA satellite systems. Prior to Robinsons reassignment to NASA Headquarters in 1999, he spent 11 years in various leadership positions at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 

Sandra Connelly will become SMDs deputy associate administrator for programs.  Connelly is currently SMDs Joint Agency Satellite Division director, where she is responsible for managing reimbursable satellite, instrument, and ground system development performed by NASA for partner agencies. From 2014 - 2015, she served as the deputy director for the Heliophysics Division in SMD, providing executive leadership, strategic direction, and management for a portfolio of 24 flight projects.  Prior to joining SMD, she served as director for engineering, program and project management in NASAs Office of the Chief Engineer.  

John Lee, currently the Joint Agency Satellite Division (JASD) deputy director, will become the acting director of JASD. Lee has previously served as a program executive in SMDs Heliophysics Division, where he managed the formulation and implementation of several flight missions, as well as the New Millennium Program, a technology validation program that encompassed multiple flight projects in various stages of development.  He has also served in senior positions at the Office of Management and Budget during two detail assignments to that organization.

Eric Smith, currently the Webb program director, will remain focused on Webb as program scientist, leading overall science planning for the mission.  In addition, he will become chief scientist of SMDs Astrophysics Division.  Prior to becoming JWST deputy program director in 2010, Smith was both the JWST and Hubble Space Telescope program scientist.  Before coming to NASA Headquarters, he worked at Goddard as a member of science teams and as project scientist for several Explorer mission studies, as well as a member of the team developing the data archiving and distribution system for Hubble. He has been involved with the JWST telescope project since 1996, serving as the deputy project scientist from 1996-2001.  

------------------------------------------------------------------

This notice is being sent agency-wide to all employees by NASA INC in the Office of Communications at NASA Headquarters.

// end //

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

Mary-Elizabeth-Winstead-Axe-Kick-Gif-In-Scott-Pilgrim-Vs.-The-World.thumb.gif.b889c8ea437dab6154bca367f702b8ee.gif

Pretty much says it all, I think. :yes: 

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DocM    16,543
On 7/2/2017 at 10:18 AM, DocM said:

China's Long March 5, aka "Chubby 5" in the Chinese media, failed early in it's second flight this morning.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/launch-fails-chinese-heavy-lift-carrier-rocket-4840032

 

The Long March 5 failure report is in.

 

One of the YF-77 first tage engines had its turbopump exhaust structure come unglued.

 

http://spacenews.com/china-reveals-cause-of-long-march-5-failure-lunar-sample-mission-to-follow-return-to-flight/

 


>
The State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), which oversees Chinas space activities, released a report April 16 attributing the failure to a turbopump on one of two liquid-oxygen and hydrogen YF-77 engines powering the rockets first stage.

The turbopumps exhaust structure, according to SASTIND, failed while under complex thermal conditions.
>

 

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+John.    1,395
45 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

The Long March 5 failure report is in.

 

One of the YF-77 first tage engines had its turbopump exhaust structure come unglued.

 

Ugh.

 

"Uh, guys, I've got more Loctite left over than I normally do. Nothing to worry about right?"

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

That's about the size of it. China's working with completely outdated technology that they attempt to modernize. Their space capsules are upscaled Soyuz with features tacked onto the platform (which actually make that platform more capable, admittedly), but their rockets are the bookski variety and are going to kill taikonauts eventually. Their "Space Stations" are legacy Salyut modules likewise updated and modernized which make that platform entirely more capable; but as we've seen already those are subject to the same flaws as the Salyut line was.

 

China needs to move away from the legacy platforms. Trouble is they tend to steal everything then try to put their own spin on it.

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DocM    16,543

They've been testing a conical capsule and have dreams of a spaceplane, but until they get better engines....

 

One problem is they've used hypergolic fuels so long they're relatively inexperoenced when it comes to kerosine, much less methane.  Everything from startup to shutdown and restarts is more complex.

 

And, of course, there's the whole liquid hydrogen thing and the required alloys & coatings due to embrittlement.

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DocM    16,543

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

Oh boy. That's gonna delay this one at least six months.

 

SMH ... it's OldSpace, which can't seem to get anything right lately. Starliner delayed another two years, EUS for SLS is likely never gonna be built according to the hubbub I'm hearing in Academia, now this.

 

Talking heads, meet brick wall. I'm sure the two know each other already.

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Jim K    13,483
Quote

New Views of Sun: 2 Missions Will Go Closer to Our Star Than Ever Before

 

As we develop more and more powerful tools to peer beyond our solar system, we learn more about the seemingly endless sea of faraway stars and their curious casts of orbiting planets. But there’s only one star we can travel to directly and observe up close — and that’s our own: the Sun.

 

Two upcoming missions will soon take us closer to the Sun than we’ve ever been before, providing our best chance yet at uncovering the complexities of solar activity in our own solar system and shedding light on the very nature of space and stars throughout the universe.  

 

Together, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Solar Orbiter may resolve decades-old questions about the inner workings of our nearest star. Their comprehensive, up-close study of the Sun has important implications for how we live and explore: Energy from the Sun powers life on Earth, but it also triggers space weather events that can pose hazard to technology we increasingly depend upon. Such space weather can disrupt radio communications, affect satellites and human spaceflight, and — at its worst — interfere with power grids. A better understanding of the fundamental processes at the Sun driving these events could improve predictions of when they’ll occur and how their effects may be felt on Earth.

 

“Our goal is to understand how the Sun works and how it affects the space environment to the point of predictability,” said Chris St. Cyr, Solar Orbiter project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “This is really a curiosity-driven science.”

 

Parker Solar Probe is slated to launch in the summer of 2018, and Solar Orbiter is scheduled to follow in 2020. These missions were developed independently, but their coordinated science objectives are no coincidence: Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter are natural teammates.

 

Studying the solar corona

 

Both missions will take a closer look at the Sun's dynamic outer atmosphere, called the corona.  From Earth, the corona is visible only during total solar eclipses, when the Moon blocks the Sun's most intense light and reveals the outer atmosphere’s wispy, pearly-white structure. But the corona isn’t as delicate as it looks during a total solar eclipse — much of the corona’s behavior is unpredictable and not well understood.

 

The corona’s charged gases are driven by a set of laws of physics that are rarely involved with our normal experience on Earth. Teasing out the details of what causes the charged particles and magnetic fields to dance and twist as they do can help us understand two outstanding mysteries: what makes the corona so much hotter than the solar surface, and what drives the constant outpouring of solar material, the solar wind, to such high speeds.

 

We can see that corona from afar, and even measure what the solar wind looks like as it passes by Earth — but that’s like measuring a calm river miles downstream from a waterfall and trying to understand the current’s source. Only recently have we had the technology capable of withstanding the heat and radiation near the Sun, so for the first time, we’re going close to the source.

“Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter employ different sorts of technology, but — as missions — they’ll be complementary,” said Eric Christian, a research scientist on the Parker Solar Probe mission at NASA Goddard. “They’ll be taking pictures of the Sun’s corona at the same time, and they’ll be seeing some of the same structures — what's happening at the poles of the Sun and what those same structures look like at the equator.”

 

Parker Solar Probe will traverse entirely new territory as it gets closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has come before — as close as 3.8 million miles from the solar surface. If Earth were scaled down to sit at one end of a football field, and the Sun at the other, the mission would make it to the 4-yard line. The current record holder, Helios B, a solar mission of the late 1970s, made it only to the 29-yard line.

 

From that vantage point, Parker Solar Probe’s four suites of scientific instruments are designed to image the solar wind and study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles — clarifying the true anatomy of the Sun’s outer atmosphere. This information will shed light on the so-called coronal heating problem. This refers to the counterintuitive reality that, while temperatures in the corona can spike upwards of a few million degrees Fahrenheit, the underlying solar surface, the photosphere, hovers around just 10,000 degrees. To fully appreciate the oddity of this temperature difference, imagine walking away from a campfire and feeling the air around you get much, much hotter.

 

Solar Orbiter will come within 26 million miles of the Sun — that would put it within the 27-yard line on that metaphorical football field. It will be in a highly tilted orbit that can provide our first-ever direct images of the Sun’s poles — parts of the Sun that we don’t yet understand well, and which may hold the key to understanding what drives our star’s constant activity and eruptions.

 

/snip

 

Full article at NASA

 

 

 

 

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DocM    16,543

About 22 years too late, dontchathink? (JWST incept: 1996)

 

http://spacenews.com/nasa-imposes-cost-caps-on-astrophysics-flagship-studies/

 


NASA imposes cost caps on astrophysics flagship studies

WASHINGTON  NASA has directed teams studying proposed flagship-class missions for the next astrophysics decadal survey to fit their concepts within cost caps that could force major changes to their designs.

In a May 31 statement, NASA said it has instructed the four teams studying proposed missions for consideration by the 2020 decadal survey to narrow the scope of their concepts so that their total cost is between $3 billion and $5 billion. That new cap, the statement said, reflected current and anticipated budget constraints for the agencys astrophysics programs.

NASA chartered the four studies in 2016 to support the decadal survey, each devoted to a specific proposed mission. Those studies are intended to discuss the scientific rationales for the missions and describe their design, including cost estimates. The studies, prior to now, did not have any firm cost caps.

The programmatic landscape has changed since the initial studies, said Paul Hertz, director of NASAs astrophysics division, in a statement about the new cost caps. We need to ensure we can accomplish breakthrough science while adhering to a realistic, executable scope and budget for the next decade.
>

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

..... :ermm::huh::hmmm: ....

 

Sooooo ... bs'ers gonna bs, eh. Hrmph. Now that there's some actual competition.

 

Political motivation hard at work.

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DocM    16,543

The writer is rather long winded.

 

Sounds like CNES is planning a grasshopper program.

 

https://satelliteobservation.net/2018/06/02/cnes-director-of-launchers-talks-reusable-rockets/

 

Quote


CNES director of launchers talks reusable rockets

The French Air & Space academy, a professional association/think tank, organized a conference about reusable launchers last week in Paris. There were two guest speakers:

 Xavier Pasco, head of the Foundation for Strategic Research, an official think tank that works with Frances Ministry of Defence. It is the French equivalent of the RAND Corporation in the USA, although with much less funding and a focus more on policy issues than on engineering problems. 
>
 Jean-Marc Astorg, the head of CNES launch vehicles directorate. He spent his whole career at the directorate, working on Vega, Ariane 5 ECA, Soyuz in French Guyana, and was promoted director of launchers in 2015. 
>
The whole slide deck is just below:
>
To give a quick overview of worldwide development efforts, the Chinese have a space program that makes us pale with envy, on all fronts, launchers and satellites. They have announced they are developing a reusable launcher too: Long March 8-R, to be ready for 2028.

In the USA, we should not oppose public and private space efforts: SpaceX is very much a creation of NASA thanks to technical and financial aid.
>
>
Prometheus can be used in a new architecture which we call Ariane Next. It will have 7 such engines on the first stage and 1 on the second stage, and can be used in expendable or reusable mode, allowing to experiment reuse easily. The objective is to learn by testing, which is not a European speciality.

dsc_2947.jpg

dsc_2951.jpg

Before Ariane next, we have a step by step approach, first with Callisto. For this demonstrator of first stage reuse, we had no reusable engine in Europe so we partnered with the Japanese. The we will move on to the larger-scale Themis demonstrator with Prometheus engines. The concept is still in definition phase.

dsc_2955.jpg

Ultimately, we will have to do a choice between an evolution of Ariane 6 and a brand new launcher, to be ready in 2028-2030.

Q&A
>

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Beittil    575

4 words!

 

Too little, too late.

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

Well, they do need their own launcher ... technically. :laugh: Even if it is going to be outdated by the time it's actually launching stuff.

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Jim K    13,483

/sigh

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

Yeah. :no: At this rate it's a $9.6b U.S. boondoggle that'll never meet expectations.

 

I found it particularly vexing that its' operational lifetime is a mere 5-7 years until the coolant runs out. Funny how something that's been in-work this long is only designed to function for so short an amount of time -- and it's not designed to be serviced.

 

Nicely done, Northrop-Grumman. Way to drain the well dry. Zuma, now this. Y'all are 2-2 in the absolute "WTF decisions" for the past 12 months.

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DocM    16,543

NASA Admin. Jim Bridenstine addresses his troops about JWST. Nice mess he was handed; JWST and SLS.

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

I watched it earlier ... and he had this "FML" look on his face the whole time. He wants to say what he really thinks about it, but can't. Hands are tied on JWST just like with SLS/Orion.

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Beittil    575

 

Yeah... this is OldSpace going at its finest if you ask me! No regard for cost of schedule... Uncle Sam will keep paying the bills and expenses anyway, so why would you care eh?

 

Sickening...

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

This should, in my mind, cost Northrop-Grumman $600 million. Completely unacceptable that anyone but them should pay for damage done/time lost to JWST resulting from those issues.

 

Insanity that this project has been allowed to continue in any way, shape, or form with their involvement.

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DocM    16,543

Agreed, and I'm seeing statements/tweets by researchers that ZUMA and JWST have made them twitchy about N-G involvement in future projects.

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Unobscured Vision    2,668

Yep. Foot-dragging, ineptitude, and carelessness. Failure to meet deadlines. TERRIBLE engineering and workmanship. This is not the Grumman of the Apollo era. At ALL. Nor the Rockwell who had a major part in Saturn and the Space Shuttle (although we begin to see issues with the Shuttles ...), and the major portions of Rockwell are a Northrop-Grumman company now like OrbitalATK. Not the Industrial & Enterprise IC/Processor Fabrication & Manufacturing Divisions but the Aerospace Division.

 

Absolutely AWFUL what's transpired with JWST, and N-G is solely to blame for this mess.

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DocM    16,543

From a Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist

 

 

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slear    33

Funny comic today about JWST

 

JWST Delays

 

 

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