General Space Discussion (Thread 1)


Recommended Posts

DocM

http://spacenews.com/darpa-aims-to-disrupt-national-security-space-business/

 

DARPA aims to ‘disrupt’ national security space business



DARPA's Fred Kennedy: "Our savior is going to be the commercial sector."

WASHINGTON — The military space business is stuck in its old ways and missing a "golden opportunity" to capture the energy of a rejuvenated commercial industry, said a former White House space and aviation technology adviser who is now a top official at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
"In the national security space sector, we're in dire need of new thinking and innovation,"  said Fred Kennedy, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. He assumed that post in September after serving as deputy director since January.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation Nov. 15, Kennedy criticized the Pentagon’s methods for acquiring satellites and called for a “shakeup” in national security space programs.

In the Defense Department, Kennedy said, "We've gotten very good at building small numbers of extremely exquisite things, very expensive things on very long time schedules." That culture that emphasizes high performance and low risk is now working against the military because its satellites have become huge targets for adversaries.

"Our savior is going to be the commercial sector,” said Kennedy. Some pockets within the military are moving in that direction but not soon enough. “We’re starting to see an influx of commercial technology, but we need more of it, and quick."

Kennedy worries that the commercial space boom could turn out to be a fad that fades in a few years, so the Pentagon should be harnessing that energy now. "My biggest fear is that in a couple of years people will forget Matt Damon and 'The Martian' and be back where we were before."

'Other transactions' contracting

DARPA’s weapon for capturing privately funded technology is an authority known as "other transactions," or OTA, to sign contracts with vendors that bypasses some of the federal procurement red tape.

"We do that. It's very effective and useful," said Kennedy. "I can’t say it's always quicker than the normal contracting process. But it is actually an effective way of teaming."

The way it works with DARPA: The agency selects a commercial partner and the company is expected to help fund the venture. "Then we can go out and work on problems jointly," Kennedy said.
>
>

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

A fad, huh. So the Colonization of Mars is seen as a "fad"? A passing ADHD interest that'll lose its' luster in a few years? Nah. That dream of the 50's and 60's, and even the early 70's, when we dared to think that Space was the next great frontier, was killed because of people who worked for DARPA and OldSpace because they were too busy trying to figure out ways to kill other people most efficiently during the Cold War.

 

That's all over with, and they can't get out of that lame-assed midset (being the students of those old idiots) so they have no idea how to deal with the new ideas and new ambitions. Good for them for trying, though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
+Mirumir

 

North_to_south.thumb.jpg.afbba9a6fe3543e7ee8e5ac57507ad57.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM

Boeing Phantom Works reveals this vehicle on the 19th of December, and no one knows if it is a combat aircraft, drone or spaceplane. 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

AKA "Having shot ourselves in our collective feet regarding launch services, we go back to what we do best ..."

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM

AKA braking shields

 

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/uw-team-wins-nasas-nod-small-satellites-magnetic-braking-systems/

 

Quote

UW team wins NASA’s nod for small satellites with magnetic braking systems

 

NASA says itll provide resources for a University of Washington research team thats working on a concept to put small satellites in orbit around other worlds using magnetic interactions.

The concept, known as magnetoshell aerocapture, is one of nine university-led technology development projects winning NASAs backing under the Smallsat Technology Partnerships initiative. The nationwide program is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

Magnetoshell aerocapture uses magnetic fields and magnetized plasma to help slow down spacecraft and get them into stable orbits. The technology is particularly suited for interplanetary missions involving small spacecraft, where size and weight constraints may rule out using thrusters, physical aeroshells or other weighty deceleration systems.

UW researchers have been working on the technology for years. Last year, an associated team from Redmond, Wash.-based MSNW received a $500,000 NASA grant for ground-based development work on magnetoshell aerocapture.

The technology can turn less than an ounce of plasma into a magnetized deceleration barrier that’s as wide as a football field.
>
The nine newly selected teams will have the opportunity to establish a two-year cooperative agreement with NASA, through which each university will receive up to $200,000 per year. As part of the agreement, NASA researchers will collaborate on the projects. UWs team, for instance, has been paired up with Langley Research Center in Virginia.
>

 

 

 

160513-mag3.jpg

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

To be fair, these aren't even the really good ones. There's stuff floating around in the theoretical arenas that'll boggle the mind just waiting for R&D funding. :yes: 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM

Sounds like Russia lost Angosat-1, a GEO commsat for Angola launched yesterday on Zenit.  Sounds like the Fregat tug got it to GEO, separated then things went south. 

 

http://tass.ru/kosmos/4846548

 

Quote

MOSCOW, December 27. / TASS /. With the Angolan satellite "Angosat", which was launched on December 26 from Baikonur, it was not possible to establish a connection. This was reported by a TASS source in the rocket and space industry.

 

"So far, there are no links with the" Angosat "satellite, we are dealing with the situation," the source said.

TASS does not have an official confirmation of this information.

The source of the agency added that communication with the satellite was lost at the stage of solar battery disclosure panel deployment. 

"After the division with the Fregat upper stage at 06:54 Moscow time everything was regular, the satellite's own orientation system was switched on, telemetry was fully applied, then the solar cells were opened, at this stage telemetry was lost," the source said.
>

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim K

Bummer for Angola (this would have been their first satellite) ... hopefully it is a temporary glitch and communications will be restored.  If not ... space is hard unfortunately.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM

It's a lot harder when you're launch provider suffers a series of solar panel deployment issues, from which Russia has been suffering for almost a decade. Particularly, this is been a problem on Progress and Soyuz missions.

 

It's a combination of an aging workforce where the young Engineers are heading for Europe or the US for better pay, and poor quality control.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

Well this is certainly a bummer. :no: Ouch.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim K

Founds this video interesting.  A team at the University of Arizona explain how they create mirror glass for Chile's Giant Magellan Telescope, planned for completion in 2025.  The University has made around 20 mirror glasses for other telescopes, which is located under their football stadium.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

Apparently all communications, telemetry, and command/control have been reestablished with Angosat-1. The satellite is reportedly in good health. Wow. Color me surprised.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

My favorite Astronaut. :no: :cry: :cry: Fly high ...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

He and Crippen were who I would consider to be the "Ultimate Team". Nobody else could have flown that first Shuttle flight with the same level of aptitude, grapefruits and sheer skill level as those two -- because that first Shuttle flight was so close to redline on so many instances that these two Astronauts were the only ones who could have dealt with it.

 

Young was also the Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1974 to 1987, being the longest-tenured Chief of that position. During STS-1's mission buildup and duration he was not required to relinquish that position as it would be his last flight, and training was relatively short.

 

He finally retired from NASA in 2004 at the age of 74, although he would still attend the monday morning briefings for years afterward. :) 

 

Hell of a guy, hell of an Astronaut.

 

(Citation: Wikipedia (John Young) )

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM

Great Lakes bolide

 

Last night about 2008 Eastern time there was a very bright light, then an extremely bright flash followed by an enormous BOOM!! that shook the entire house. 

 

The local news channels were all over it saying it was seen as far away as Chicago,  massed about 1 metric tonne and it registered on seismographs as a 2.0 earthquake.

 

 

 

Edited by DocM
Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

Saw this on the news, I guess a piece of it landed in a residential neighborhood in/near Taylor. We all saw the extremely bright light as it entered the atmosphere  ... how could anyone miss it?

 

I wanna know what its' composition/minerology is. :yes: 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM

Worth a full read....

 

http://m.aviationweek.com/space/cutting-bureaucracy-meet-cape-canaverals-aggressive-launch-goal

 

Quote

Cutting Bureaucracy To Meet Cape Canaveral's Aggressive Launch Goal

 

Cape laying groundwork for big boost in flight rate

Stepping Up to 48 [launches/year]

The way 45th Space Wing Commander Wayne Monteith sees it, the key to supporting 48 launches a year by 2020 is to remove bureaucratic obstacles such as having customers make reservations for range time at least six months in advance and to invest in new technologies, such as a graphic visualization system to sharpen the accuracy of launch-weather forecasts. 
>
>
Another system ripe for a technological reboot is the Space Wings scheduling tool, which literally consisted of a whiteboard. "Traditionally, if you wanted to get a launch slot on the range, you would plan somewhere between 6-36 months out to get your slot," Monteith says. "The new goal was 90 days, and now most of those requests come in under 60 days. My goal is to get that under 30 days, so a company like SpaceX can come in and say, I want to launch next month and if I have an opening, I want to be able to support that launch."

"They launch on readiness when they are ready to go they want to go," he adds. "Traditionally, we have launched on schedule. We've told our launch provider, 'This satellite will be ready in three years, and that's when you're going to launch. If you're ready early or if were ready early, that doesn't matter.' In order for us to bring business here to the Space Coast, we had to become much more agile and flexible and accommodating. The system has worked since the 1950s and 60s, but that doesn't mean it's going to work for the next 50 or 60 years. You have to adapt, or you become irrelevant."
>

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

Desire vs. Reality ... and getting the FAA and NASA to cooperate will be an entirely different thing. The FAA are going over everything with a fine-toothed comb, and NASA apparently feels the need to triple-check anything and everything that wants to fly out of the Cape ad nauseam before giving approval Which in if itself can take six months.

 

NASA will be the tough nut to crack on that one. FAA will be okay, I think.

Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM

New KSC facilities

 

BFR factory, Blue Origin New Armstrong pad, new small vehicle  launch complex, etc.

 

Gettin' busy....

 

NASASpaceFlight.com....

Edited by DocM
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Beittil

Dang, tonights Ariane 5 mission may have failed. That could have serious repercussions for BepiColumbo and JWST. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Jim K pinned this topic

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By zikalify
      SpaceX launches record-breaking number of satellites
      by Paul Hill



      SpaceX successfully launched its Transporter-1 mission earlier today atop one of its Falcon 9 rockets. The mission is the first from the SmallSat Rideshare Program that lets organisations launch their satellites into different orbits for as low as $1,000,000. The mission broke records in terms of the number of satellites carried into space, the record was previously held by India which launched 104 satellites in 2017.

      On today’s flight, SpaceX said there were 133 commercial and government spacecraft and 10 Starlink satellites. The commercial and government spacecraft consisted of CubeSats, microsats and orbital transfer vehicles while the Starlink satellites are the first of their kind to be going into a polar orbit which means they’ll pass over the North and South Poles each time they go around the Earth.

      If you were not following along live, you can watch the entire mission as it happened below:

      As with other SpaceX launches, the rocket’s first stage takes the satellites up so far before separating. After separating, the company said the first stage performed a flip manoeuvre, deployed the grid fans, made an entry burn and then underwent aerodynamic guidance before performing a vertical landing on a droneship which was sitting in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

      According to the company’s Rideshare page, it will be launching missions into Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) approximately every four months. As SpaceX continues to find more efficiencies in rocket launches it will be able to continue to drive down its already comparatively low satellite launch prices.

    • By zikalify
      Japan agrees to provide important Lunar Gateway components
      by Paul Hill



      NASA and the Government of Japan have come to an agreement over the Lunar Gateway that will see the east Asian nation provide capabilities for the Gateway’s International Habitation module (I-Hab). The I-Hab is a key component of the modular space station as it includes life support capabilities and additional space where astronauts can live and work during Artemis missions.

      According to the American space agency, JAXA’s planned contributions include I-Hab’s environmental control and life support system, batteries, thermal control and imagery components. Once developed, these parts will be integrated into the I-Hab module by the European Space Agency (ESA) which shows just how much of an international effort this new space station is.

      Under a previous agreement between JAXA and Northrop Grumman, Japan will supply the batteries that’ll be used in Gateway’s Habitation and Logistics Output (HALO) – the area of the station where astronauts will go first once arriving at Gateway. Japan has also decided to take a look at its HTV-X cargo resupply craft to see whether it can adapt it for use in Gateway logistics resupply missions.

      Commenting on today’s partnership, Gateway program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center Dan Hartman said:

      The Lunar Gateway, which is set to orbit the Moon, will begin launching in January 2024. Initially, the Power and Propulsion Element and the HALO modules will be launched and eventually will be joined many other modules. The I-Hab, which Japan is developing components for under today’s agreement is set for launch in 2026.

    • By zikalify
      UKSA and Rolls-Royce to study nuclear-powered space travel
      by Paul Hill



      The UK Space Agency (UKSA) and Rolls-Royce have signed a research contract that will bring the two together to investigate nuclear energy as a source for deeper space exploration. UKSA said that nuclear is a plentiful source of energy that could propel spacecraft at huge speeds which could “revolutionise” space travel.

      In terms of results, nuclear propulsion is expected to be twice as efficient as chemical engines which are in use today and a trip to Mars could be cut in half and take just three to four months. According to the government, the new agreement will also generate skilled employment across the country.

      Commenting on the partnership, UKSA Chief Executive Dr Graham Turnock said:

      Aside from faster travel, nuclear propulsion would help cut astronauts’ dosage of radiation that they get hit with when in space. UKSA said that the longer you spend in space, the greater the amount of radiation that you’re exposed to so faster journeys would mean less radiation exposure.

      In the outer Solar System, the sunlight is too dim to power solar panels and fuel cells are not a reliable store of energy according to UKSA. Using nuclear power, therefore, would help to enable more missions in the outer Solar System.

    • By Abhay V
      Major Flight Simulator update finally brings VR support, new locations, and a ton of fixes
      by Abhay Venkatesh



      As promised in last week’s development update, Microsoft has released Flight Simulator Sim Update 2, bringing new content, much-awaited support for VR, a ton of bug fixes, and other improvements. The update bears version number 1.12.13.0 and is rolling out to all users now.

      The first of the content additions are 12 new “iconic landmarks” which feature festive holiday lights that the company wants users to discover. The firm urges users to tweet these locations when they find them, adding that it has added three bonus locations depending on the update served to users.

      The other significant announcement today is the addition of support for VR. Users with OpenXR-compliant Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) can now play the game in a virtual reality setting by heading into the in-game menus and enabling the feature. As for other in-game additions, there are new Sam and Rufus liveries – from the holiday commercial – for the Aviat Pitts Special S2S, new Airbus A320neo training missions, free Aviators club livery for all airplanes, and much more.

      Alongside the free content, the firm has fixed a multitude of bugs and performance issues across the simulator. These include overall game performance, UI and audio fixes, improvements to the ATC, and a huge list of fixes for airplanes. There are fixes for issues reported with copilot behavior, avionics, and other optimizations, which apply to all aircraft. There are also aircraft-specific fixes for General Aviation planes and Airliners.

      Here is everything new that’s been added with Sim Update 2:

      And here are the complete list of fixes and improvements:

      There is, however, one known issue with the update:

      Overall, the update is a welcome one for users and fans of the simulator, especially during the holidays. The fixes to all the aspects of the game should improve the sim experience for all users. The Redmond firm has also confirmed that it will be bringing Flight Simulator to the Xbox Series X | S next summer, so console gamers will have to wait longer.

    • By Ather Fawaz
      "Mars, here we come!!" exclaims Elon Musk despite explosive ending to Starship's test flight
      by Ather Fawaz

      Image via Trevor Mahlmann (YouTube) The Starship initiative by SpaceX is meant to make spaceflights to Mars a reality. After a scrubbed launch yesterday courtesy of an auto-abort procedure in the Starship's Raptor engines, once again, SpaceX geared up for a re-run of the test a few hours back. This time, Starship SN8 successfully took flight from its test site in Boca Chica, Texas. A trimmed version of the complete event is embedded below from Trevor Mahlmann's YouTube channel.

      Compared to the scrubbed launch, things went better on this one, but not entirely. The gargantuan 160-feet tall rocket, propelled by three Raptor engines, took flight, and intended to rise to a height of 41,000 ft (12,500 m). SpaceX founder Elon Musk called the ascent a success, but it's not clear whether the rocket reached its intended altitude. Nevertheless, after reaching its highest point, the rocket began its journey back to its earthly test site.

      Image via Trevor Mahlmann (YouTube) The SN8 prototype performed a spectacular mid-air flipping maneuver to set itself on course to land vertically back to the earth—a feat we've all grown accustomed to seeing with SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. The SN8 executed the landing flip successfully, and SpaceX tweeted a closer look at the event as it happened. Impressively, SpaceX claimed that by doing so, the SN8 became the largest spacecraft to perform a landing maneuver of this sort.

      But as the rocket prepared to touch down and its boosters tried to slow down its descent to cushion the landing, the rocket's fuel header tank pressure got low. This caused the "touchdown velocity to be high & RUD," during the landing burn, Musk tweeted. Unfortunately, this meant that upon touchdown, the Starship SN8 prototype exploded into flames.

      Image via SpaceX Livestream Notwithstanding the fiery, unfortunate event right at the final few moments, SpaceX and Musk hailed the test as a success. For the company, "SN8 did great! Even reaching apogee would’ve been great, so controlling all way to putting the crater in the right spot was epic!!" Musk tweeted, "We got all the data we needed. Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!", he continued; before following up with another tweet exclaiming "Mars, here we come!!"