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General Space Discussion (Thread 1)

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DocM    16,819

 

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DocM    16,819

Uh-Oh

 

 

Edited by DocM
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dipsylalapo    1,888
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Britain has gone more than four days without using coal-fired power to generate its electricity, smashing the previous record set during last month’s Easter weekend.

 

By late Monday morning, the National Grid said the UK had gone 122 hours in a row and rising without using coal, the burning of which is one of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change. 

Definitely great news for hitting those climate change targets 

 

Source

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FloatingFatMan    20,123

Interesting little video I thought some of you guys might enjoy... Bring Snoopy Home!!

 

 

 

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DocM    16,819

CNBC news....

 

 

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DocM    16,819

WRT the ISS commercialization

 

ISS trip prices (per seat)

 

Soyuz: $81.8 million
Commercial Crew average (4 seats): $58 million

 

Provider prices (based on 4 seats)

 

Boeing: $71.6 million ($286.4 million/flight)
SpaceX: $44.4 million ($177.6 million/flight)

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,689

Damn skippy they picked SpaceX. It's the best, and cheapest, show in town. Not to mention that SpaceX has the capability to haul Bigelow gear uphill without issue. Win/win/win/win/win (...).

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DocM    16,819

Oh, boy...big changes 

A while ago it was mentioned a sign of SLS support trouble would be the Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) being ousted.

It's happened, effective immediately.

OUT: Bill "Gerst" Gerstenmaier, now a "special advisor" to the Deputy Administrator (demotion-ville 🙄 )

IN: Ken Bowersox, Navy aviator & astronaut. Former SpaceX VP of Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance, serving before fellow astronaut Garrett Reisman.

Also out: Bill Hill, Deputy Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Development at NASA HQ

This could go with today's unconfirmed leak that SLS won't fly in 2020, meaning Starship-Super Heavy could beat it to the pad. 

 

More....the boss lowered the boom, likely after more bad news regarding the Space Launch System program.  Date I say, overdue?

 

 

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FloatingFatMan    20,123
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European Vega rocket lost minutes after liftoff

 

A European Vega rocket has been lost shortly after blast off, the commercial space company Arianespace says.

It is the first time in 15 launches that a Vega rocket has failed.

 

The rocket had been carrying a military satellite for the United Arab Emirates when it took off from the European spaceport in French Guiana on Wednesday evening.

 

It is believed to have crashed into the Atlantic Ocean north of the space centre.

 

Luce Fabreguettes, Arianespace's executive vice president of missions, said a "major anomaly" had occurred about two minutes after liftoff at the time of the second stage ignition.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-48946597

 

A shame, but at least it was UAE's military junk that got destroyed, so.. BONUS! :p

 

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DocM    16,819

S2 was a solid fuelnstage. It'll be interesting to see the failure mode, or if it was aborted. 

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Beittil    584

How do you even abort a solid? Blow it up? 

 

Arm chairing it here I'd say the anomaly was S2 simply never getting lit to begin with. S1 died out, sep may or may not have happened, but I really believe S2 never came to life. 

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DocM    16,819
6 hours ago, Beittil said:

How do you even abort a solid? Blow it up? 

 

Arm chairing it here I'd say the anomaly was S2 simply never getting lit to begin with. S1 died out, sep may or may not have happened, but I really believe S2 never came to life. 

 

Shaped charges along the length open the case, venting the gases in a non-propulsive way.

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DocM    16,819

A NASA & Administration policy coming July 20 wrt Moon & Mars. The Senate is also said to be working on something.

 

In The Verge NASA Admin.  Bridenstine confirms Orion cannot do a round trip to Low Lunar Orbit, hence the "need" for Gateway. 

 

Also the official line about Bill  Gerstenmaier being moved moved out.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/12/20691740/nasa-administrator-jim-bridenstine-bill-gerstenmaier-reassignment

 

Quote


Theres no way to get to the Moon without the Gateway. We have to have additional Delta-v [or change in velocity]. SLS and Orion can get us to lunar orbit. But once Orion is in low lunar orbit, theres not enough Delta-v to get out of low lunar orbit and come home.

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Unobscured Vision    2,689

We've been saying this for years. Too heavy. WAY too heavy for that task. Overbuilt, overpriced trash.

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DocM    16,819
1 hour ago, Unobscured Vision said:

We've been saying this for years. Too heavy. WAY too heavy for that task. Overbuilt, overpriced trash.

 

Yup, 12+ tonnes overweight when you add up the capsule, service module and launch abort tower.  

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Unobscured Vision    2,689

Regarding the big shakeup going on internally at NASA ...

 

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Gerst was the right guy for the job, but in this case I think he's being made the patsy here. Way, way more powerful people are in charge that have been playing dirty games and he's the one who's pushing for safety features. Ten to one he spoke truth to power and they're chopping his head off for it.

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DocM    16,819
25 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

>

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Gerst was the right guy for the job, but in this case I think he's being made the patsy here. >

 

This is all about a decade of over-budget, under-delivering programs where, in spite of it all, Boeing etc. got the sweet end of the deal and more funding.

 

Also out is Bill Hill, Deputy Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Development at NASA HQ. He was program manager of SLS & Orion. Gerst was right under him, running Commercial Crew while not really in favor of it, etc.

 

Trump could send a major message if he were to appoint former NASA Deputy Admin. Lori Garver, an anti-SLS/pro-commercial Democrat, in either of their places.

Edited by DocM

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Unobscured Vision    2,689
On 7/13/2019 at 1:55 AM, DocM said:

 

This is all about a decade of over-budget, under-delivering programs where, in spite of it all, Boeing etc. got the sweet end of the deal and more funding.

 

Also out is Bill Hill, Deputy Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Development at NASA HQ. He was program manager of SLS & Orion. Gerst was right under him, running Commercial Crew while not really in favor of it, etc.

 

Trump could send a major message if he were to appoint former NASA Deputy Admin. Lori Garver, an anti-SLS/pro-commercial Democrat, in either of their places.

True to all. Hill being out is a good thing, of course -- and like you mentioned it's been a decade of over-charging and under-delivering for underperforming and outright subpar gear when the state of the art is way better by orders of magnitude as we're seeing with Starliner and Super Heavy.

 

For the same money that's been thrown at SLS and Orion ...? Good grief ... SpaceX would have appreciated that funding. Things would be much more mature. Accelerate timeframes by five years in most of the technologies, but less refinement. Funding does not equal evolution on tech (and fault) trees, as we well know. There's likely stuff that would have been missed.

Six of one, half a dozen of another here and it is what it is. SLS and Orion are as good as cancelled now.

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DocM    16,819

 

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DocM    16,819

Ad Astra, Chris Kraft...😢

 

535819main_s65-42844_full_custom-f5f41d0

 

Wayne Hale @waynehale
A giant has left us: Chris Kraft is one with the ages

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/22/509400570/chris-kraft-one-of-the-architects-of-the-u-s-space-program-dies-at-95

Quote

Chris Kraft, One Of The Architects Of The U.S. Space Program, Dies At 95

 

One of NASA's first employees, key to creating the U.S. space program, has died at 95. Chris Kraft was the agency's first flight director and managed all of the Mercury missions, as well some of the Gemini flights. He was a senior planner during the Apollo lunar program. Later he led the Johnson Space Center in Houston and oversaw development of the space shuttle.

Anyone who has ever watched a rocket launch, marveled at the moon landings or seen the space station streak across the night sky can thank Kraft. "Chris Kraft really was the architect of mission control," said Andrew Chaikin, who has written extensively about the space program. He says Kraft is synonymous with NASA, having directed some of the most important missions in the agency's history including NASA's first manned launch in 1961.
>

 


 

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Unobscured Vision    2,689

Oh damn. :( RIP, sir.

 

As much as Gene is a quintessential "prototype" of NASA, so is Chris. One of THE people that made NASA "NASA".

 

**** ... :no: 

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DocM    16,819

The next phase of reigning in  negligent project management  begins...

 

https://spacenews.com/senator-criticizes-cost-and-schedule-issues-with-nasa-programs/

 

Quote


Senator criticizes cost and schedule issues with NASA programs

WASHINGTON - The chairman of a key Senate committee said hes troubled by cost and schedule growth on major NASA programs and is asking the agency for more information on their status.

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said Aug. 1 he sent a two-page letter to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine July 30 expressing his concern about cost and schedule performance on a number of major programs, citing a report in May by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

"I am concerned that the persistent cost growth and schedule delays identified by GAO put at risk vital NASA missions and taxpayer dollars," he wrote, adding he was troubled by continued reports of cost and schedule issues with agency programs.

Enzi focused his attention on two programs in particular, the James Webb Space Telescope and Space Launch System.
>

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DocM    16,819

Wow...😵

 

Ars Technica...

 

Quote


NASA's Inspector General has apparently had enough of meddling by Congress

On Tuesday, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin wrote a rather extraordinary letter to the US senators who determine the budget for the space agency. In effect, the independent NASA official asked Congress to kindly not meddle in decisions that concern actual rocket science.

The letter addressed which rocket NASA should use to launch its multibillion dollar mission to explore Jupiter's Moon Europa, an intriguing ice-encrusted world that likely harbors a vast ocean beneath the surface. NASA is readying a spacecraft, called the Europa Clipper, for a launch to the Jupiter system to meet a 2023 launch window.
>
>
"NASAs renewed focus on returning humans to the Moon on an accelerated timetable means that an SLS will not be available to launch the Clipper mission to Europa before 2025 at the earliest," Martin wrote. "We urge Congress to consider removing the requirement that NASA launch the Europa Clipper on an SLS and allow the Agency to decide whether to use an SLS or a commercial vehicle based on cost, schedule, vehicle availability, and impact on science requirements."
>
>
"I will follow the law"

What's remarkable about this letter is that Martin is essentially having to tell Congress to stay in its lane--Congress sets the budget for NASA, certainly, but actual rocket scientists should be deciding the best way for the agency to get its valuable payload safely to Jupiter, on time, for optimal science.
>

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DocM    16,819

With a base cost of $1m for a 200kg payload, this is going to put big pressure on the small launcher outfits.

 

https://www.spacex.com/smallsat

 

https://spacenews.com/spacex-says-rideshare-missions-will-launch-on-time-even-if-partly-empty/

 

Quote

SpaceX says rideshare missions will launch on time, even if partly empty

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — SpaceX plans to launch regular Falcon 9 rideshare missions starting in March and won’t delay launches for tardy customers, a company executive said Oct. 8. 

Tom Ochinero, vice president of commercial sales at SpaceX, said that the launch provider learned the importance of setting firm departure dates for rideshare missions by seeing the challenges customer Spaceflight had coordinating the 64 satellites that ultimately flew on the SSO-A mission SpaceX launched in December. 

The SSO-A mission, also known as SmallSat Express, was originally planned to launch in 2017 and at one point had more than 70 satellites manifested.

Spaceflight has described its SSO-A rideshare mission as a challenge to fill since customer readiness tends to fluctuate and the Falcon 9 — capable of carrying 22,800 kilograms to low Earth orbit — is a relatively big rocket to fill. 

Ochinero, speaking at the Satellite Innovation 2019 conference here, said SpaceX won't stop mission timelines to fill empty space or wait for late smallsat operators. 

"We're going to fly even if it’s not full," Ochinero said. "We are just going to set it up so that the ride is a reliable thing that people can count on."

Ochinero said smallsat aggregators face a challenge akin to "herding cats" when trying to get several customers all ready at the same time. 

"It's a tough place for an aggregator to be in, [and] it's a tough place for the end customer to be in," he said. "That's why we’re taking the risk."

SpaceX's first self-managed rideshare mission, a Falcon 9 mission to sun-synchronous orbit, is scheduled for March. After that, SpaceX intends to launch dedicated rideshare missions to sun-synchronous or polar orbits every quarter.
>

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DocM    16,819

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has picked Doug Loverro, DoD's former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space Policy, to head NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. He replaces Bill Gerstenmaier.

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