SpaceX Updates (Thread 7)


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Draggendrop

The location was curious, due to the distance off shore and placement. I have sent in a few NOTAM's in the past, due to my work environment. The process is very specific, and what caught my attention is the fact that it is not an aerodrome, a water aerodrome, a non military op and not search and rescue, to name a few. This is a special commercial case, with a flyback booster, of which SpaceX has demonstrated their accuracy, several times before. A barge traveling at 10 to 12 knot's could cover a large area in a day. In this scenario, for approval, I am quite sure a low impact area was required, particularly since it is able to be a mobile choice.

This area in question, is north of the major shipping lanes, link below is a generic representation of local lanes for the area.
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/shipstrike/route_jacksonville.pdf

Flight corridors are shown locally..generalization, at the attached link...some what real time...
http://flightaware.com/live/airport/KJAX

Generic major traffic lanes, at the link attached....
http://maps.unomaha.edu/animatedflightatlas/FlightTrafficAnimation.html

This area is ideal, north of shipping lanes, east of major carrier routes with available full ceiling. SpaceX would have submitted this knowing the routes for minimal obstruction to others, and ensure a safe area, of which, would have then been authorized due to good placement. The above links are generic but indicative of many available online. This location was chosen to carry out their manoeuvre and with the least amount of infringement on others...good choice.:) 

 

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Draggendrop

This may be a bit off topic, but I believe it involves SpaceX directly. I have noticed many articles lately concerning NASA's Mar's venture. This is fine on itself, but what bothers me is the total non recognition of SpaceX and the reason for the establishment of SpaceX. Here is an example article, where they talk about round table meetings and decisions where "they" will place the first human on Mars...

Where Will the 1st Astronauts on Mars Land?
http://www.space.com/31143-manned-mars-landing-sites-workshop.html

I have an answer to the question and I would easily put a bet on it...

The first human on Mars will be where ever SpaceX decides.

:)

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DocM

Looking closer, it also seems ideal as practice for a Falcon Heavy center core landing next spring. 

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Draggendrop

Looking closer, it also seems ideal as practice for a Falcon Heavy center core landing next spring. 

Wow...had no idea that they would try that so soon...very cool.....:D

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DocM

The Falcon Heavy #1 cores are on the Hawthorne factory floor. ISTM to make their stated ~April-May 2016 flight date they would have to leave McGregor for KSC around New Years, which would give them time for fit and flow tests. Why not try to land it? It's basically a free test.

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Unobscured Vision

This may be a bit off topic, but I believe it involves SpaceX directly. I have noticed many articles lately concerning NASA's Mar's venture. This is fine on itself, but what bothers me is the total non recognition of SpaceX and the reason for the establishment of SpaceX. Here is an example article, where they talk about round table meetings and decisions where "they" will place the first human on Mars...

Where Will the 1st Astronauts on Mars Land?
http://www.space.com/31143-manned-mars-landing-sites-workshop.html

I have an answer to the question and I would easily put a bet on it...

The first human on Mars will be where ever SpaceX decides.

:)

Darn tootin'. :yes: SpaceX and probably Bigelow along with a couple of other lesser-known NewSpace companies in a cooperative partnership will be the ones that do it. Sure as Hades won't be NASA -- not before SpaceX and the "Grand Partnership" pull it off.

There's money to be made from Mars -- lots of it. We all contributed to the Mars thread where we discussed the possibilities of Mining Operations and using the natural resources there to our advantage in economical and creative ways. I'm more than certain that we got few "extra readers" who were keen on some of our ideas and conclusions, and in a position to pass it along to their Exploratory & Feasibility people. If at least one of our ideas or conclusions help them out, no matter the scale, then our ThinkTank was a success and we are all to be congratulated. :)

The Falcon Heavy #1 cores are on the Hawthorne factory floor. ISTM to make their stated ~April-May 2016 flight date they would have to leave McGregor for KSC around New Years, which would give them time for fit and flow tests. Why not try to land it? It's basically a free test.

Can't wait!

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flyingskippy

 A barge traveling at 10 to 12 knot's could cover a large area in a day. In this scenario, for approval, I am quite sure a low impact area was required, particularly since it is able to be a mobile choice.

 

The Coast Guard will put out a SMIB (safety Marine Information Broadcast) over on the International Hailing and Distress Frequency, Channel 16. I heard them all the time when I was stationed in Brunswick, GA during SpaceX launches and recovery attempts. Basically they give an area with lat and long and to be on the lookout and proceed with extreme caution.  

As for the the airspace,  it is out of US airspace. There are a lot of warning areas off the edge of US airspace. Warning areas are typically used by DOD for hight speed maneuvering and even super sonic flight. I wouldn't be surprised if the they activated the warning area for the barge location.  And like Doc said the FAA would then put out a International NOTAM. 

I also think the location has to do with the inclination of the launch. The less inclination change means more fuel saved. 

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Draggendrop

Being in or out of someones airspace would not change locations of flight paths or marine shipping lanes...they are designated and extremely busy. It would be utterly silly to travel through one and quite selfish, with possible legal implications. This area makes perfect sense for low impact on other forms of travel, in fact, it is the corner of the only large one in the immediate area. The inclination of launch would put it north, but with lots of room to manouvre through the entire region with it's guide fins from high altitude. The FAA would only put out a NOTAM if they are in agreement with this particular situation, and they would have had lead time on SpaceX's submission, to investigate and allow approval for a "location with mobility". I have dealt with Canadian generation of NOTAM's and they do not play games, even more so for non military . I assume the US is just as strict, if not more so. This location afford's a good balance for safety and mission accomplishment for a commercial entity.

You are right about the marine broadcasts, as I have a marine operators RF licence and most of us monitor channel 16 with our DSC units. :)

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flyingskippy

Being in or out of someones airspace would not change locations of flight paths or marine shipping lanes...they are designated and extremely busy. It would be utterly silly to travel through one and quite selfish, with possible legal implications. This area makes perfect sense for low impact on other forms of travel, in fact, it is the corner of the only large one in the immediate area.

 I was simply just saying it is outside US airspace.

 After 12 NM offshore, there is not a such thing as designated "shipping lanes".  Mariners choose their routes based upon shortest distance, current and weather. Traffic is more dense in some areas cause  there is a lot of traffic leaving one busy port and going to another.

Traffic density map:

density.thumb.jpg.497545ac9e0ab47942f615

The shipping lanes that you are actually seeing are recommended wright whale avoidance routes. 

 Jacksonville.thumb.jpg.efba170176b1f06e0

Note.thumb.jpg.0c60a563509e715f03849da5e

Here you will see no designated shipping lanes offshore

shippinglanes.thumb.jpg.b3902de9deb0f434

It is the mariners responsibility for collision avoidance and the Coast Guard will put out a SMIB identifying the position of the barge. In addiction they will tell them to exercise extreme caution when transiting the area.There are hazard areas coming off of Cape Canaveral for both High and low inclination launches

hazard_areas.thumb.jpg.3fb8dad0ace77268c

The inclination of launch would put it north, but with lots of room to manouvre through the entire region with it's guide fins from high altitude.

 

The inclination is roughly 40º which if you follow it up from Cape puts it very close to the area of the barge. F9 has a negative glide ratio...not a whole lot of maneuverability from the grid fins.

The FAA would only put out a NOTAM if they are in agreement with this particular situation, and they would have had lead time on SpaceX's submission, to investigate and allow approval for a "location with mobility".

Warning areas are under DOD authority. Once DOD says when an area is active, the FAA issues the NOTAM

Here are online chart viewers:

http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/11480.shtml

http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/11009.shtml

 

Jacksonville.jpg

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Draggendrop

Nice research and thanks for taking the time to do it, interesting and appreciated.......but we are still missing a real point, safety....avoidance of shipping lanes..lesser of evils...and the air corridors...a big deal. First, we can cover the re entry of the Falcon 1st stage. From various other forums, Doc can verify...MECO will be around 50 to 60 miles up...this is the Karman line (100 km)...space, and velocity can be anywhere from mach 6 to mach 10, depending on flight profile where the stage sometimes has to be oriented to prevent "belly flops" with the atmosphere (all depends on mission trajectory). At that altitude, the fins can steer towards a large general area. Point of note...In several forums, mention has been made that the Falcon Heavy would be capable of launching from Texas and landing in Florida, if they wanted to. The Falcon 9 has limitations, and has flown quite a few different profiles, mission dependent and also dependent on if a core landing has been chosen.

Shipping lanes...in national waters, there are shipping lanes for entry/exit from ports. Outside these area's, it is like you stated..direct routes for fuel savings and hazard avoidance....which generates "shipping lanes of preference"..LRIT data confirms this...see attached video for US or worldwide shipping routes. It is extremely busy...which is why LRIT is a big deal and is being expanded...traffic control and monitoring for shipping. Those routes correspond and obviously match up to in shore hazards. These lanes are well established for the "big guy's, the ones to worry about....stragglers will have to be on watch. The location of the barge is placed in the corner of an area of least use....not likely a coincidence. So whether these lanes are on a chart or not, does not change the fact that "shipping lanes of preference" are used.

Air traffic...a big deal and varies with the time of day for local and international flights. Hazard area's and no fly zones can be totally restricted or limitations on time of use or ceilings available. The Nevada "range", I believe, is off limits at all times for DOD, as an example. Flight corridors of use, for the southern part of Florida to the upper eastern seaboard, do create a busy laneway...the area chosen for the barge, is to the east of this corridor...you can either check the charts or check out the attached video of a days flight lanes in the US. The barge area is placed in the area of least amount of traffic.   again, I hazard to guess, not likely another co-incidence.

The FAA is one of the world finest organizations when it comes to traffic management and safety..... I highly doubt they would stake there reputation on allowing a ridiculous placement for a re-entry on a barge, when both are mobile and within their operating constraints, by not only placing the barge on a shipping lane, but also under a busy air corridor. This, in my opinion, is why this area has been "chosen". It offers the best safety for SpaceX, marine shipping, air traffic, and most importantly, removes a lot of liability for "granting agencies".

We can choose to differ in opinion...But I will stick to the safety management aspect of this choice. If I had to make the "call", it would be to the side of "safety", and I would have chosen this general location as well.

This situation is only the tip of the iceburg..we are talking one landing attempt in one area. This is why the FAA has been given a nod to hopefully be the agency to control all future space traffic...in the next 10 years, we are going to see a mess of re-entries...stages and powered/glide back units, at various spaceports and factory pads. Each one of these will be regulated ...and not chosen by dart board, to let everyone else look out one unit at a time.

From the two of us bringing up points of interest...there is a lot involved in choosing a landing site. Launch trajectories for various missions will also have to consider re-entry options for best location and fuel use...multiple choices of spaceports or commercial pads. I believe the Falcon Heavy will have an easier time due to its range, The Falcon 9, some what limited, still has a variable area for Florida...and a nice barge spot. SpaceX's other facilities will probably have well thought out barge area's and commercial pads. The commercial pads, in my opinion, will be able to be used once SpaceX has proven the ability to pin point land, with reliability...because these landings may be coming down through a lane and proper timing will be involved for the least amount of impact, which creates a scenario of a "launch window" and a possibility of a "landing window" of opportunity....I assume the FAA will have the last say and choose for safety.. 

The video's below are generic but represent generic routes for example .....saves downloading and running an LRIT type program. The air charts...I know you know how to use them, from your background.

A Day in the Life of Air Traffic Over the United States, video is 2:57 min

 

 

 

JRC reveals global traffic routes using LRIT ship tracking data, video is 1:35 min

 

 

Global ship traffic seen from space - FleetMon Satellite AIS and FleetMon Explorer, video is 1:40 min

 

 

:)

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Draggendrop

misc bits.....

 

 

F9-021 (OG2) core down from McGregor test stand...one day ago...

Ahdmpgz.jpg

 

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flyingskippy

Crossing my fingers for a video of the full duration static fire. 

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DocM

SpaceX has said once RTF has happened they'll be setting a blistering pace, which would be fun for us :)

AIUI, it's up to marine and air ttraffic to avoid the NOTM/NOTAM areas, not for the area to avoid sea/air lanes.

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Draggendrop

AIUI, it's up to marine and air ttraffic to avoid the NOTM/NOTAM areas, not for the area to avoid sea/air lanes.

This is true...we were discussing the process of issuing. I got a "blast" once for not thinking a submission through.....due to safety and was instructed to submit it in a better way. In cases of "variability if present"...they will go for the safe plan...such as this. Overall, once NOTM/NOTAM published, "when done properly to their standards" for submission.....then everyone steers clear as you mentioned.:)

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Draggendrop

bits and pieces.....

 

Falcon 9 first stage spotted on truck heading east....source ?....from a reddit posting.....

csT9t4L.jpg

Could this be Orbcomm booster...?      :)

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Beittil

Multiple reports by now over at NSF say that the booster has arrived at the Cape this morning.

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bguy_1986

Heading down to Florida in the middle of February.  Hoping to see some kind of launch when I'm down there!  :)

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DocM

Marc Eisenberg (ORBCOMM)
‏@Marc944Marc
Stage 1 arrives at the cape.

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Draggendrop

Bits and bytes......comfirmations

http://imgur.com/omlqOGK

omlqOGK.thumb.jpg.537041419a9ec5fb0a7765

more wheels...
https://twitter.com/Marc944Marc/status/667708558235066368

CUQtZVZWcAAEgwo.thumb.jpg.ceaaaef01772f5

 

Falcon 9 first stage trucks into the Cape ahead of OG-2 mission

 

SpaceX’s Return To Flight (RTF) milestone remains on track for December, as the Falcon 9 first stage – tasked with the launch of the ORBCOMM-2 mission – arrived at its Cape Canaveral launch site early on Friday. The launch of the OG-2 mission will also be the debut of the Full Thrust version of the SpaceX workhorse.


SpaceX Falcon 9 Mission:

SpaceX has been out of action since June when its Falcon 9 v1.1 failed during first stage ascent with the CRS-7/SpX-7 Dragon spacecraft.

Evaluations into the failure have resulted in changes to the upcoming Falcon 9 fleet, which – bar the Jason-3 mission – will involve the Full Thrust Falcon 9.

No launch date has been set, with a preliminary target of mid-December currently the most-likely estimate based on what is now a confirmed shipping of the first stage to SpaceX’s launch site at Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40.

The stage had been at SpaceX’s test center in McGregor, Texas – where it underwent testing, including at least one “Full Duration” static fire on the test stand. SpaceX has not confirmed the McGregor milestones, although the subsequent road trip for the stage is a positive milestone.

The stage will enjoy another engine firing via the usual Static Fire test on the SLC-40 pad, usually around a week ahead of launch.

This test involves a full propellant loading sequence, launch countdown operations, engine ignition operations and testing of the pad’s high-volume water deluge system. In effect, it provides a full dress rehearsal for the actual launch.

Providing the Static Fire proceeds as planned, engineers will take the flow into a Launch Readiness Review (LRR), which will then confirm the launch date for the OG-2 mission with eleven new satellites for the company.

SpaceX’s first Orbcomm launch consisted of a single satellite deployed as a secondary payload to the CRS-1 Dragon mission to the ISS in October 2012.

More at the link...
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/falcon-9-first-stage-cape-og-2-mission/

buggy editor......

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Draggendrop

Thought this was funny......

Elon Musk On The Big Bang Theory, video is 2:22 min

 

 

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

 

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

 

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Unobscured Vision

My reaction and conversation with Mr. Musk would be much like that.
 

"Please adopt me."

:D

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Draggendrop

Photo's from this morning, McGregor, ....possible stage 2 test....??????....from imgur...

LXEovbw.thumb.jpg.8b5eb6015ca327cbdf24f7

 

ryuLN8D.thumb.jpg.65c420d01ad2608a7a4d4c

Or Family Day picnic on the test stand...."thruster burgers"

:)

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DocM

Test fire video posed to FB by user Keith Wallace

Damming....won't embed. Follow "view on Facebook" link.

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Draggendrop

Bits and bytes....

Neat shot of strongback at LC-39A...imgur....

o64Whbk.jpg

 

Cover Shoot at a Rocket Factory | Karlie Kloss, video is 3:53 min....for what it's worth...?


 

 

 

 

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Draggendrop

Bits and bytes......with buggy editor....see above mess at end....:(

 

Boca Chica main gate image, from yesterday...reddit....

xoXCize.jpg

 

someone forgot about this landing....

 

 

Tesla is not elon musks only company developing high tech battery packs

buggy editor for above....

Between established automakers accelerating their electric vehicle programs and the newcomers in the EV industry – like Apple, Faraday Future or Atieva – engineers with battery experience are not short on employment opportunities. Earlier this year, Apple poached several battery tech experts from A123 Systems and we also reported that about 1 in 8 of Faraday Future’s ~400 employees is formerly from Tesla Motors.

From an executive’s standpoint, retaining talent in a specific field can be challenging on its own, but for Elon Musk, CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, it can be even more complex when both companies he’s managing require talent in the same field…

While Tesla is developing an expertise in battery packs for electric vehicles and stationary energy storage units, SpaceX is developing its own high-tech battery packs to power the avionics on its lineup of rockets and spacecrafts.

 

Tesla is known for having popularized the use of thousands of small li-ion battery cells in series to create larger battery packs – an idea the company borrowed from its early partner AC Propulsion. Several former AC Propulsion engineers now work at both Tesla and SpaceX.

Even though most, if not all electric cars since the introduction of the Tesla Roadster are now powered by li-ion battery cells, the technology only recently started being used in aerospace.

 

Battery packs on SpaceX’s rockets or spacecrafts need to be able to operate in harsh conditions while remaining reliable, especially for the crew version of the Dragon where the batteries are powering critical equipment for life support and avionics. The aerospace industry long preferred to keep using older and more reliable technologies like Nickel–cadmium batteries, which the International Space Station is still using. Although NASA plans to replace them with li-ion batteries in 2016.

Boeing’s 787 battery fire incidents didn’t help the reputation of li-ion cells in the aerospace industry either. At the time, Musk even offered the help of Tesla’s and SpaceX’s battery engineers to fix the problem. He talked with Boeing’s chief 787 engineer Mike Sinnett and confirmed that SpaceX never had an issue with  lithium-ion batteries in its spacecrafts  – regardless of altitude.

Some of the credit for SpaceX’s battery packs performing so well goes to Porter Harris; the company’s former lead engineer responsible for the batteries of the Falcon 9, Cargo Dragon and the upcoming Crew Dragon.

Late last year, Harris left SpaceX to join dozens of Tesla engineers at Faraday Future as a Senior Manager for Battery Hardware Engineering.

Nonetheless, Harris’ LinkedIn job description gives us one of the best look into SpaceX’s battery pack engineering challenges:

 

 

 IM71Xbp.thumb.png.5cb39b7c2bd3b4d34753f2

Based on our LinkedIn research, even without Harris, SpaceX’s battery team is still going strong with dozens of experienced engineers. Around the same time Harris left for Faraday, SpaceX hired a senior battery engineer from Atieva, an electric car startup founded by former Tesla Motors Vice-President and board member Bernard Tse. Atieva is being funded by the same company as Faraday Future: China’s LeTV.

Looking at the movement of employees between Tesla and SpaceX, it doesn’t look like there’s been much transfer of talent in the battery department, but a few structure engineers left Tesla for SpaceX – including the company’s current Lead Structures Engineer.

While on the other hand, two former flight software engineers from SpaceX are known to have helped Tesla finally release the Autopilot last month.

It wouldn’t be the first instance of collaboration between the two companies. SpaceX transferred some welding technology and equipment to Tesla and there could have been some shared expertise to make the automaker’s Ludicrous battery upgrade possible.

 http://electrek.co/2015/11/23/tesla-is-not-elon-musks-only-company-developing-high-tech-battery-packs/

Edited by Draggendrop
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      by Paul Hill



      Following an exciting week where we saw three Chinese astronauts arrive at their space station for the first time, we have a less certain week ahead. There could be eight rocket launches in the upcoming week, however, only two of these missions have a definite launch time, the rest are listed as No Earlier Than. If these missions don’t launch, next week could be pretty quiet.

      Monday, June 21
      The first mission that could take off on Monday is Rocket Lab’s STP-27RM mission. The customer for this mission is the U.S. Air Force which is having its Monolith satellite launched, equipped with a space weather instrument, atop an Electron rocket. It’s expected that this mission will demonstrate the ability of small satellites to carry large aperture payloads. It will launch from Launch Complex 2 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, Virginia.

      The second launch of the day will be an Iranian Zoljanah rocket carrying the Nahid 1R satellite into a geosynchronous orbit. The rocket will take off from the Imam Khomeini Space Launch Center in Semnan. This mission was delayed from March. It's also marked as No Earlier Than so it may not take off on Monday.

      Wednesday, June 23
      The third mission of the week comes from Virgin Orbit and is also marked as No Earlier Than. This STP-27VPA mission will see the LauncherOne rocket perform an air-launch from a Boeing 747 called Cosmic Girl. It will carry six CubeSats into orbit for the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program, the Dutch military, and SatRevolution. The U.S. Air Force has three CubeSats launching as part of the DoD’s Space Test Program’s Rapid Agile Launch (RALI) initiative, the Netherlands’ satellite is a military satellite called BRIK II, and SatRevolution’s satellites are called STORK 4 and STORK 5, and make up an optical satellite constellation.

      Friday, June 25
      Friday has the potential to be the busiest launch day, however, three of the five launches are marked as No Earlier Than.

      The first launch on Friday is that of Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket will be carrying commercial payloads for Benchmark Space Systems and AstroGrams. The mission will also deploy a Spinnaker 3 dragsail prototype. In its first launch, the Alpha rocket will carry several projects from the Dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission (DREAM) programme which gives students and small companies a way to put their payloads in space. It is marked as No Earlier Than.

      Next up we have a Rocket Lab Electron rocket carrying two BlackSky satellites. They will join the BlackSky constellation which can produce 1000 images per day as still or as videos. Each satellite has a lifespan of three years and the full constellation should consist of 60 satellites.

      The final No Earlier Than mission on Friday is India’s GSLV-F10 mission which will launch the EOS 3 satellite for India’s space agency, ISRO. EOS 3 will provide continuous remote sensing observations over India from a geostationary orbit.

      On Friday, a Roscosmos Soyuz 2.1b will launch the Pion-NKS 1 satellite for the Russian military. It is described as an electronic intelligence-gathering satellite. Pion-NKS 1 is a new type of reconnaissance satellite that will be used for naval surveillance.

      The final mission is SpaceX’s Transporter-2. A Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket will launch several payloads to Sun-synchronous orbit as part of the rideshare mission. Aboard will be the Kleos Polar Vigilance Mission consisting of four satellites, at least four NuSats for Satellogic, YAM 3, Mars Demo 1, and a Vigoride CubeSate carrier with Skycraft, TROPICS Pathfinder, Sen EarthTV, and IRIS-A. This mission was moved forward from July but delayed from June 24.

      Recap
      The first mission we mentioned last week was Northrop Grumman’s Minotaur I rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. This launch successfully went ahead.

      The exciting mission last week was the one carrying Chinese astronauts to the Chinese Space Station. Just hours after launch, they arrived at the space station. You can see clips from their arrival below.

      Three Yaogan-30 remote sensing satellites were also launched from China earlier in the week. You can see the launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center below.