General Space Discussion (Thread 1)


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Jim K
8 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Depending on the definition of "inexpensive" ... nothing is inexpensive when it concerns Space. :laugh:

Well yea... relatively speaking (human error vs. hardware/structural error requiring redesign).

 

I'm just glad that this probably will not delay JWST or the Mercury mission (just my hunch).  :) Do feel bad for whoever (team/individual) was responsible for the programing.  

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Beittil

I was reading this article over at SpaceNews.com on the solicitation for a bunch of new US government birds, which is now basically a contest between SpaceX and ULA. But then this bit stood out to me. 

 

Quote

 


It could be at least two years before Orbital ATK is ready to join the fray as a third EELV player. The company is developing a next-generation military launch vehicle under an Air Force program.


“Orbital ATK is probably not yet ready for this,” Belle said. “They are only interested in pursuing the next-gen vehicle if they receive additional Air Force funding, which has not yet been secured yet.” There is additional development time that will be needed to finish the vehicle before it begins certification trials.

 

 

 

And to me stuff like this just points out how OrbitalATK is super stuck in the old space mentality. Not a single bit of intention to lay their own capital on the line. Hell, even the basis for their rocket is government funded, being from the Shuttle side booster design. 

 

This rocket is doomed to fail before it even gets off the drawing board because they are so stuck in their old ways. I mean, it already says something that Antares is scoring like 0 contracts aside from the CRS program, what are their expectations with this next gen boondoggle then. Ugh. 

 

Entire article here;

http://spacenews.com/spacex-and-ula-poised-to-face-off-in-the-next-round-of-military-launch-competition

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Unobscured Vision

Yep. And they've just been bought out by Northrup-Grumman (citation). With the talent pool and the patent holdings that the megacorp has at its' disposal (and don't forget that Rockwell is in this mix too), the fact that they're asking for more funding is ... interesting.

 

The best educated projection I can give is that they want to use Aerojet-Rocketdyne's AR-1 engine (or several of them) on some kind of new platform that they're developing, and they're trying to pitch it to the USAF in an attempt to get more funding for that end. Obviously they won't be allowed to use the many Russian- and old USSR-sourced engines that they've already purchased in any new platform, and Orbital doesn't have the experience needed to develop their own LF/LOX engine.

 

I'd kinda like to see the AR-1 put to use, quite frankly. I want to see it on a dedicated platform, then evolve over time to a point that it's something approaching the Merlin family. It'll never be as efficient, but there's a lot of room for a silver medal. :yes: 

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DocM

Here's what little we've seen about NGL

 

 

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Unobscured Vision

Yeah @DocM. Dumb Ares platform still ... can't expect Orbital (or their new masters) to be anywhere near ambitious enough to put the AR-1 to work ...

 

/sigh such tunnel vision ...

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DocM

A big National Space Council (NSC) meeting is coming up at the Kennedy Space Center, with a focus on Commercial Space. Leading into it....

 

Pace = NSC Executive Director Scott Pace,

 

 

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DocM

Linkspace is a commercial space startup in China. At this point they're roughly where Masten and Armadillo were 8+ years ago, but with the dead-certain knowledge that orbital class VTOL rockets really do work..

 

 

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Unobscured Vision

Always cool to see actual testing ... :yes: 

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DocM

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/clock/clock_overview.html


 

Quote

 

Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC)

 

"The most advanced nations are always those who navigate the most."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century American poet

 

Precise radio navigation -- using radio frequencies to determine position -- is vital to the success of a range of deep-space exploration missions. The Deep Space Atomic Clock project, or DSAC, will fly and validate a miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock that is orders of magnitude more stable than today’s best navigation clocks.

Ground-based atomic clocks have long been the cornerstone of most deep-space vehicle navigation because they provide root data necessary for precise positioning. The Deep Space Atomic Clock will deliver the same stability and accuracy for spacecraft exploring the solar system. This new capability could forever change the way we conduct deep-space navigation -- by eliminating the need to "turn signals around" for tracking. Much the same way modern Global Positioning Systems, or GPS, use one-way signals to enable terrestrial navigation services, the Deep Space Atomic Clock will provide the same capability in deep-space navigation -- with such extreme accuracy that researchers will be required to carefully account for the effects of relativity, or the relative motion of an observer and observed objected, as impacted by gravity, space and time (clocks in GPS-based satellite, for example, must be corrected to account for this effect, or their navigational fixes begin to drift).

>


 

 

atomiClock-640.jpg

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DocM

Balanced a bit by having Eric Stallmer of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Newt Gingrich, both newspace advocates. But yeah, I'd have told Dittmer and Gov. Kay Ivey  'thanks, but no thanks.' Total shills for oldspace....

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Unobscured Vision

Yup. Too bad Sen. McCain isn't doing so well nowadays, he's a NewSpace advocate and has major clout in a lot of sectors that most don't. Gingrich defers to him on a lot of things. :laugh:

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DocM

Whoa......

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/brazils-defense-minister-says-spacex-180335049.html

 

Quote

Brazil's defense minister says SpaceX, Boeing interested in launching from Amazon base

 

Reuters February 22, 2018

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's defense minister said on Thursday that SpaceX, Boeing and other companies have expressed interest in launching rockets from the South American nation's Alcantara military base near the equator, and that a delegation of interested parties visited the site late last year.

Defense Minister Raul Jungmann told reporters that the government hopes that "several countries" and companies decide to make use of Brazil's base. He did not indicate how far along any talks were. SpaceX and Boeing did not immediately reply to request for comment.

 

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Beittil

How is that going to work with ITAR? How does RocketLab do that for example with their base in New Zealand as they are officially incorporated in the US? 

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DocM
59 minutes ago, Beittil said:

How is that going to work with ITAR? How does RocketLab do that for example with their base in New Zealand as they are officially incorporated in the US? 

RocketLab is a US based company which will eventually will also launch from the small launcher pads at KSC.

 

NZ is an ally and, along with the US, Canada, UK and Australia, a member of the Five Eyes security and intelligence alliance. 

 

The Five Eyes members work together on security related matters all the time, such as the launches and hypersonic tests done at the RAAF Woomera Range in Australia.  

 

RocketLabs tech vs ITAR is by comparison small potatoes compaired to what goes on between the Five Eyes countries.

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Beittil

So yeah, that is going to be a whole different cookie when it comes to Brazil. Lots of regulatory bumps in the road to clear I suspect. 

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Unobscured Vision

Yeah, I read that and the first thing I thought was "well, technically ..." :laugh:

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DocM
On 1/31/2018 at 5:28 PM, Jim K said:

Well ... at least this an inexpensive fix and an error that didn't result in loss of payload (like the Mars Climate Orbiter).

 

More 

 

/sigh

 

Quote

Bad Coordinates Placed Satellites in Incorrect Orbits

 

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — The Independent Enquiry Commission formed after the Ariane 5 launcher’s trajectory deviation during its January 25, 2018 mission issued its conclusions on Thursday, February 22. The anomaly’s cause is perfectly understood and recommendations are clearly identified.

Arianespace and ArianeGroup are immediately implementing the Independent Enquiry Commission’s recommended corrective measures. The current Soyuz and Ariane 5 launch campaigns are continuing at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana for the two launches planned in March.

During the Ariane 5 VA241 mission, carried out on January 25, 2018 from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana (South America), telemetry from the launcher was lost 9 minutes and 26 seconds into the flight because of a deviation in the trajectory.

Signals from the two satellites were acquired after the nominal mission duration, and the spacecraft were confirmed to be in good health, but in an orbit at an inclination of 20 degrees, rather than the targeted 3 degrees. The apogee and perigee attitudes, however, were very close to the targeted values (249 x 45,234 km.).

The analysis of data received during the first minutes of the flight, and the reconstitution of the trajectory, confirmed that the launcher and the flight program operated perfectly. The two satellites are now in the process of reaching their final orbital positions, using their own propulsion systems.

Following the launch anomaly, Arianespace asked the European Space Agency (ESA) on January 26 to set up an Independent Enquiry Commission. Chaired by Toni Tolker-Nielsen, ESA Inspector General, this Commission submitted its conclusions on Thursday, February 22, 2018.

Investigations by the Independent Enquiry Commission showed that the trajectory anomaly resulted from an incorrect value in specifications for the implementation of the launcher’s two inertial reference systems.

Given the special requirements of this mission, the azimuth required for the alignment of the inertial units was 70 degrees instead of 90 degrees, as is most often the case for missions to geostationary transfer orbit. This gap led to the 20-degree shift to the south in the launcher trajectory from the initial seconds of flight.

The cause of the trajectory deviation, therefore, was due to a bad specification of one of the launcher mission parameters that was not detected during the standard quality checks carried out during the Ariane 5 launches’ preparation chain.

The Independent Enquiry Commission’s work has highlighted the need to increase the robustness of the control of certain data used in preparation of the mission. Its recommendations are intended to strengthen the process of developing and verifying the documents required for launcher preparation and to introduce additional consistency checks.

With the cause of the anomaly perfectly understood and corrective measures clearly identified, Arianespace and ArianeGroup immediately implemented the recommendations of the Independent Enquiry Commission. Applied to the current Ariane 5 launch campaign, they should enable the next flight of this heavy-lift launcher in March 2018, following a Soyuz mission.

Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, said: "I would like to thank ESA Inspector General Toni Tolker-Nielsen, who chaired the Independent Enquiry Commission, as well as all of its members. The Commission was able to quickly identify the cause of the anomaly and issue recommendations. Arianespace and ArianeGroup already are deploying the measures recommended by the Commission, paving the way for the next launch of Ariane 5, planned for March. Thanks to the establishment of these corrective measures, we will be able to further enhance the outstanding reliability of Ariane 5."

 

 

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Jim K

^ Anything new in there...looks like pretty much everything that we already knew or have been told? Guess just investigators confirmation? 

 

Satellites are still adjusting to get into their proper orbit.

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DocM
5 hours ago, Jim K said:

^ Anything new in there...looks like pretty much everything that we already knew or have been told? Guess just investigators confirmation? 

 

Satellites are still adjusting to get into their proper orbit.

And the prop used to make the plane change to get them there will cut about 5 years off their life. 

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Jim K
23 minutes ago, DocM said:

And the prop used to make the plane change to get them there will cut about 5 years off their life. 

Not SES...not sure about the others. 

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DocM
5 hours ago, Jim K said:

Not SES...not sure about the others. 

Dr Jon McDowell of Harvard Smithsonian is a big satellite watcher who's been tracking this and he thinks otherwise. He's seldom wrong,

 

 

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Jim K
4 minutes ago, DocM said:

Dr Jon McDowell of Harvard Smithsonian is a big satellite watcher who's been tracking this and he thinks otherwise. He's seldom wrong,

 

 

SES has said otherwise.

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DocM

Did you expect total candor? Both  SES and Eutelsat will try to minimize shareholder reaction. McDowell isn't concerned with that.

 

Both birds are electric, both were to have a 15 year life, and their  reaction mass tanks sized for same.  Trajectory wise, correcting a huge plane insertion error like this uses more propellant than anything else, regardless of  what type of propulsion is used.

 

The reaction mass props for doing  this come out of the mission station keeping supplies. There is nothing else to draw on the but the safety margins & disposal props.

 

 

 

 

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Jim K
22 minutes ago, DocM said:

Did you expect total candor? Both  SES and Eutelsat will try to minimize shareholder reaction. McDowell isn't concerned with that.

 

Both birds are electric, both were to have a 15 year life, and their  reaction mass tanks sized for same.  Trajectory wise, correcting a huge plane insertion error like this uses more propellant than anything else, regardless of  what type of propulsion is used.

 

The reaction mass props for doing  this come out of the mission station keeping and disposal (to the graveyard orbit) supplies. There is nothing else to draw on the but the safety margins.

 

 

 

 

Yes, I'm taking the word of SES over a satellite watcher.

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