General Space Discussion (Thread 1)


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Unobscured Vision

An all-around nice guy and I enjoy his paintings very much. I met him for the first time in the early 1980's at the Space Center in Jackson, Michigan along with Astronaut Young of STS-1 fame in the shadow of the Mercury-Redstone rocket that was (and probably still is) there. Al Bean's extended family still lives throughout Michigan. I know them well, still friends with a bunch of them but I haven't heard about this until now.

 

This loss makes me very sad.

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DocM

Had a feeling - Tom Hanks tweeted/deleted what sounded like a mini-obit  yesterday.

 

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/family-release-regarding-the-passing-of-apollo-skylab-astronaut-alan-bean

Quote

 

Family Release Regarding the Passing of Apollo, Skylab Astronaut Alan Bean

 

The following is an obituary article released on the behalf of Alan Bean’s family:

 

Alan Bean, Apollo Moonwalker and Artist, Dies at 86

 

HOUSTON, Texas — Apollo and Skylab astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the moon and an accomplished artist, has died.

 

Bean, 86, died on Saturday, May 26, at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. His death followed his suddenly falling ill while on travel in Fort Wayne, Indiana two weeks before.

 

“Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew. He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly,” said Leslie Bean, Alan Bean’s wife of 40 years. “A native Texan, Alan died peacefully in Houston surrounded by those who loved him.”

 

A test pilot in the U.S. Navy, Bean was one of 14 trainees selected by NASA for its third group of astronauts in October 1963. He flew twice into space, first as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, the second moon landing mission, in November 1969, and then as commander of the second crewed flight to the United States’ first space station, Skylab, in July 1973.

 

“Alan and I have been best friends for 55 years — ever since the day we became astronauts,” said Walt Cunningham, who flew on Apollo 7. “When I became head of the Skylab Branch of the Astronaut Office, we worked together and Alan eventually commanded the second Skylab mission.”

 

“We have never lived more than a couple of miles apart, even after we left NASA. And for years, Alan and I never missed a month where we did not have a cheeseburger together at Miller’s Café in Houston. We are accustomed to losing friends in our business but this is a tough one,” said Cunningham.

 

On Nov. 19, 1969, Bean, together with Apollo 12 commander Charles “Pete” Conrad, landed on the Ocean of Storms and became the fourth human to walk on the moon. During two moonwalks Bean helped deploy several surface experiments and installed the first nuclear-powered generator station on the moon to provide the power source. He and Conrad inspected a robotic Surveyor spacecraft and collected 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of rocks and lunar soil for study back on Earth.

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DocM
On 5/15/2018 at 4:35 AM, DocM said:

Now it plays out; 

 

Rogozin is making a horizontal move from VPM of Defense to the head of Roscosmos.

 

https://www.rbc.ru/politics/14/05/2018/5af5ab6a9a79477b78097533?from=main

 

 

And Rogozin has been under US sanction since 2014 as a result of the Ukraine kerfuffle

 

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/pages/20140317.aspx

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DocM

Launched on an Atlas V 541
Built by Lockheed Martin 
Bus: A2100A (modular, 1-4 kW)

 

Not sure what you can do to fix busted heat pipes remotely.

 

http://spacenews.com/new-noaa-weather-satellite-suffers-instrument-anomaly/

 

Quote


New NOAA weather satellite suffers instrument anomaly

LOS ANGELES  A cooling problem with a key instrument on a weather satellite launched less than three months ago could degrade its performance for at least part of each day, with potential but still undetermined effects on weather forecasts, officials said May 23.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the cooling system of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on the GOES-17 weather satellite did not startup as planned during on-orbit checkout a few weeks ago. The satellite, previously known as GOES-S, launched on an Atlas 5 March 1.

The cooling system is needed to keep ABIs detectors at an operating temperature of 60 kelvin.

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"The problem appears to be with a cryocooler unit and associated hardware on the instrument. The heat pipes that transport heat from the cryocooler to the external radiator do not seem to be working as intended right now," said Pam Sullivan, NASA flight project manager for the GOES-R program, which includes GOES-17.
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Unobscured Vision

WOW.

 

I wonder what the coolant level is ... that would show if they've burst and vented or if the pump simply failed.

 

SMH ... that bird is brand new too.

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DocM

It uses heat pipes. Either the heat pipes are clogged, or the working fluid is messed up or leaked.

 

Wonder if N-G did the heat pipes? ?

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DocM

US Commercial Space is now open for business.

 

The US Depertment of Commerce has created a one-stop-shop for space mission planning. This includes a reduction in regulatory burdens,  coordination of regulations and treaty compliance.

 

http://spacenews.com/commerce-department-to-create-space-administration/

 

Quote


Commerce Department to create SPACE Administration

LOS ANGELES  With the signing of a new presidential directive calling for commercial space regulatory reform, the Commerce Department has released new details about its plans to create a "one-stop shop" for such issues.

In a statement issued after the May 24 signing of Space Policy Directive 2, the department said it plans to combine several existing offices into a new office called the Space Policy Advancing Commercial Enterprise (SPACE) Administration.

The SPACE Administration, the department said, will incorporate the Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs office and the Office of Space Commerce, currently part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The department was already planning such a consolidation of the offices, which would be moved out of NOAA and directly under Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Ross has also directed Commerce Department agencies that deal with space in one fashion or another to assign a liaison to the new office. Those offices include the Bureau of Industry and Security, International Trade Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NOAA and National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

In an op-ed published on the White House website May 25, and which first appeared in the New York Times, Ross said the SPACE Administration will improve regulation of the space industry by combining functions spread across several agencies.

"When companies seek guidance on launching satellites, the Space Administration will be able to address an array of space activities, including remote sensing, economic development, data-purchase policies, GPS, spectrum policy, trade promotion, standards and technology and space-traffic management," he wrote. "The new office will also enable the department to manage its growing responsibilities in space."
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DocM

Yeetch....

 

Sputnik News....

 


Russian State Space Giant Roscosmos May Curb Space Program Due to Lack of Funds

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian federal space program might face cuts as the Roscosmos state corporation is likely to suffer funding shortages amounting to 150 billion rubles (almost $2.4 billion) in the next three years, a source in the industry told Sputnik.

The shortages of budgetary funds planned for allocation to Roscosmos from the previous parameters for the next three years is about 150 billion rubles  the lack of funds has already become a reason of delays in the development of interplanetary projects, slowing down construction of the second stage of the Vostochny Cosmodrome and the development of new rocket and space equipment, the source said.

The federal program for the development of Russian space launch centers for the period of 2017-2025 in 2019 it may receive 17 billion rubles less that it was initially planned, while in 2020 it may see a reduction of funding by 52 billion rubles and in 2021  75 billion less, according to the source.

Due to the funding shortages, the program will most likely be reviewed in the coming months, the source noted.

Moreover, Rano Dzhuraeva, the CEO of Center for Operation of Space Ground Based Infrastructure (TsENKI), which is  the operator of Russias cosmodromes, has been dismissed, with Oleg Maidanovich appointed as the acting CEO of the company, according to the source.

The alleged changes in the Russian space industry take place against the background of appointment of former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin to the position of Roscosmos CEO.

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Unobscured Vision

Oh boy. :no:

 

Ten-to-one the Russian segment of the ISS Program suffers as a result. Without the Russian support the ISS is as good as done as things currently stand. We really only keep it going because of Russia's continued investment and support infrastructure, mainly because we haven't been able to keep up our end of the deal getting personnel to and from the Station.

 

What's really hurt Russia's Space Programme is no new sales of Soyuz flights. Some can say "it is what it is", but those sales have been a large portion of Roscosmos' operating revenue for a long time.

 

And ya know what? It makes me sad that things have come to this juncture.

 

I'm a fan of Russia's space program. I really am. I'm a fan of human spaceflight as a whole. Anything having to do with the science, engineering, and the mystery of Space and Spaceflight I'm completely and utterly cool with it. And anytime ANY Space Program is having a difficult time I get sad.

 

The ISS is a chapter of Human Spaceflight that shows us when Humanity works together we can accomplish ANYTHING. When those old prejudices are set aside for the benefit of all we can do great things, almost impossible things.

 

I will be sad to see it end -- but happy to see the next chapters of Human Spaceflight begin. I hope those chapters will be, again, as a collective Humanity.

 

Russia's Space Program will recover, as it always does. And, as always, our colleagues in Russia have our full support in their endeavours going forward.

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DocM

Hmmmmmm....

 

 

Whatever could he be talking about?

 

(Hint: BFR, New Armstrong, etc.)

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Unobscured Vision

facepalm.thumb.gif.42c53043a1bcddb13a21e9c3c8bbb74a.gif

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Unobscured Vision

Tory Bruno gave a very interesting presentation in March concerning the Cislunar Ecosphere, Energy Generation, it's Economy, and harvesting Near-Earth Asteroids. Yes, Tory Bruno gave this talk. Quite a stunner coming from him. I highly recommend watching it. :yes::punk:(Y)

 

 

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DocM

Tory's a good guy with a tough job at ULA. 

 

His daughter got married this weekend and when the minister asked if they were ready Tory pipes up "We are GO for vows..." ?

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Unobscured Vision

Yep, I tweeted my congratulations to him and he thanked me. Pretty cool.

 

 

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Beittil

As much as I like his cis-lunar space idea's, it is also complete pie-in-the-sky talk! As long as ULA remains bogged down in the old-space way of thinking, overseen by its corporate parents of Boeing/LM which have even been looking at Vulcan funding on a quarterly basis... nothing will ever happen for them. That's where the difference between them and new space comes in! A party like SpaceX or Blue would pony up the cash, develop the tech and actually do it! But a party like ULA could have all the fancy idea's in the world, but if they can't manage to sell it to the government/get the government to pipe up the cash somehow it will _NEVER_ materialize!

 

Not to mention that their scale of thinking imho is way to small... taking 30 years to get a 1000 people working off the Earth in cis-lunar space? Blah, we should be there in half that time imho...

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Unobscured Vision

I have to agree with ya, B, at least in principle; however, I think also that SpaceX and the other NewSpace players have really disrupted the status quo so much that the OldSpace players are going to find it very, very difficult to do business as they've done it previously.

 

It's no longer a matter of "if they adapt and evolve", it's when they do so. Like them, love them or hate them, there's no denying that there's really nobody who can do some of the things that they can do. There's such an accumulation of experience and knowledge that it's akin to a recent College Grad hanging out with his Grandfather. The newly-minted College Grad will know about the "new gear", sure -- but the Grandfather is gonna know more about the "old-school gear" that had a tendency to be more robust. Can the youngster build something using Octal Tubes? Maybe if he had a schematic. Will he know how to dial that gear in to make it function at peak efficiency? That's another matter ... meanwhile, ol' Gramp will just shake his head and say, "ya know, son, I can have that thing locked-in within an hour if you'll sit back and let the master show you HOW!".

 

OldSpace has stuff to teach NewSpace, and vice-versa. The two can and should be working together without conflicting interests and it absolutely SUCKS that there are competing agendas. The U.S. Space Program could be SO MUCH MORE if not for those unfortunate circumstances right now. Lack of vision on the part of OldSpace has seen to that, and NewSpace isn't willing to get its' collective ass burned in the fire again by being too trusting.

 

So yeah. Tory Bruno is partially at fault but it's not completely on him -- he's serving way too many masters and they're as likely to snuff him as they are to let him go home every night if he steps out of line. He's gotten a bad rap (even from me), but the picture is way bigger than him. He's just a middleman running the Civilian Space Arm of a Cooperative Venture that may or may not exist ten years from now. And from the looks of things ten years might be a generous stretch.

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Beittil

I totally agree to you that there the sheer amount of knowledge and experience in the old-space industries is probably so mind boggling that the youngsters will have a hard time wrapping their heads around it. But then again, I think the same is true the other way around. The young and fast newcomers bring with them new ways and methods of doing stuff that are just beyond imagination for anybody from the past.

 

Especially with it comes to applying the Silicon Valley style of doing things is something that completely took the established parties totally off guard. Rapid design changes, applying them from launch to launch, without even 'properly' (according to whom? ;)) awaiting the test results from the previous updates. Hell, even the very principle of using customer paid vehicles on LIVE missions to test your new ideas... that concept is just so far out, I can only imagine that the old-guard looked along in sheer horror as SpaceX was doing this. Their way would have been to individually testing components and their upgrades, with endless reports and meetings about the results in between before even going for an update and the next test.

 

But anyway... veering off course here.

 

I do agree that Tory has a tough job at ULA. Gass completely botched it and reacted to SpaceX completely the wrong way, but now it feels like Tory is just sort of bound by hands and feet as well. He wants to build an awesome rocket, but his parents won't give him the money to do it ?

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Unobscured Vision

Yep, and the problem is made worse by the parent companies' constant pattern of interference every quarter. It's not just a matter of insufficient funding. Everything I'm hearing is "ULA Management tries to move forward on one matter or another and then Boeing or Lockheed-Martin overrule decisions so ULA have to capitulate or said management will get tossed out on their posteriors and replaced". There are supposed to be Corporate Operations & Oversight regs in place to deal with micromanagement like this but apparently ULA is either a special case or the Government would never enforce it out of sheer butt-pucker factor of rubbing the two parent companies the wrong way like that.

 

And you aren't veering off-course. Completely pertinent to the discussion AFAIAC. And I think you're correct in your assessments too. @DocM has pretty much said the same things on numerous occasions concerning OldSpace and how poorly the old guard have responded to NewSpace, either out of complacency or ineptitude.

 

As it stands now, we've got great potential to change the whole game with NewSpace; and OldSpace appear to want to do things their way as we've seen from Mr. Bruno's talk that I cited earlier. I'm a fan of ALL human space endeavours, everywhere, but I also like converging goals.

 

We'll have to wait and see how this all plays out, I think.

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DocM

At yesterdays National Space Council  meeting, with Trump attending.

 

Damned near spat hot cocoa all over my 'puter 

Astronaut Terry Virts: [the lunar...] "Gateway will only slow us down, taking time and precious dollars away from the goal of returning to the lunar surface and eventually flying to Mars."

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Beittil

 

"Lets do it..."

 

But I guess they forgot to mention... "But only if the governments pays us for it, otherwise no... silly idea!"

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Proposal: convert some NASA Centers to FFRDC's (Federally Funded Research and Development Center)

 

Difference: externally managed, just as Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is run by CalTech 

 

ISTM this could address the issues of an aging NASA workforce, a high rate of retirenents, difficulty in recruiting (increasingly, grads want to work in NewSpace), costs etc. 

 

Quote


Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century

Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations

Office of the President

June 2018

Improving NASAs Agility through Increased Use of Federally Funded Research and Development Centers

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Summary of Proposal: This proposal would establish an accelerated process for determining whether one or more of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Centers should be converted to, or host, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). FFRDCs can potentially allow the agency to be more agile in rapidly responding to changing needs and in recruiting and retaining scientific and technical expertise.

THE CHALLENGE

The missions and programs of NASA are conducted across 10 geographically-dispersed Centers, augmented by several testing and support facilities. While nine of the Centers are Government owned and operated, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is operated by the California Institute of Technology as an FFRDC. In 2004, the Presidents Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy found that NASA Centers: 1) needed to modernize their infrastructure; 2) lacked institutional incentives to align them with new policy; and 3) utilized often ossified personnel practices. The Commission recommended that NASA Centers be reconfigured as FFRDCs to enable innovation, work more effectively with the private sector, and stimulate economic development. With the advent of the Presidents National Space Strategy, a renewed look at the FFRDC operating model is warranted as part of NASAs broader strategy to meet the Administrations ambitious space objectives. This proposal would establish a process for determining whether one or more of NASAs other Centers should be converted to, or host, an FFRDC.

THE OPPORTUNITY

The new National Space Strategy and National Space Policy Directive 1 require the full agility of NASA, in concert with its commercial and international partners, in order to realize the Presidents goals to return American astronauts to the moon and follow with human missions to Mars. In order to bolster NASAs agility, increased use of FFRDCs could provide greater flexibility than civil servant organizations, potentially allowing them to better meet the agencys evolving needs.

WHAT WERE PROPOSING AND WHY ITS THE RIGHT THING TO DO

Background on FFRDCs

FFRDCs are research institutions that are owned by the Federal Government, but operated by contractors. They are intended to provide Federal agencies with Research and Development (R&D) capabilities that cannot be effectively met by the Federal Government or the private sector alone, and can convey a number of benefits, including the ability to recruit and retain scientific and technical expertise, and to more rapidly respond to the R&D needs of a Federal agency than would be possible with a civil servant workforce.

The new National Space Strategy and National Space Policy Directive 1 make examining the potential
advantages of an FFRDC model at NASA particularly timely. FFRDCs may offer a powerful approach to enable NASA to better align its workforce skillsets with Agency priorities, while simultaneously engendering an entrepreneurial spirit that better allows NASA to infuse talent from industry and commercial partners.

FFRDCs offer a number of advantages over traditional NASA Centers in terms of their competitive compensation to employees, flexibility, and technical skills available to the Agency. They occupy a unique position in the Nations R&D base: they are free from many of the outdated mechanisms inherent in the civil service, and can also perform work for non-Government customers. As a result, FFRDCs are noted for their technical excellence, strong integration with the U.S. industrial base, and agility. All of these are essential as NASA works to meet the bold objectives laid out in the National Space Strategy and National Space Policy Directive 1.

Process to Determine Best Role for FFRDCs

This proposal lays a process to determine if one or more of NASAs other Centers should be converted to, or host, an FFRDC. NASA would oversee this process and provide an analysis, including recommendations, to the White House by the end of August 2018 so that the outcome can be reflected in future budget and policy plans and proposals. NASAs analysis would draw from prior studies of this topic and evaluate the potential of an FFRDC to further the Administrations policy goals more effectively. In addition to studying whether one or more Centers could potentially be converted to an FFRDC in whole or in part, NASA would also establish whether it may be effective to perform new programs and projects using an FFRDC structure.

The additional analysis needed before increasing the use of FFRDCs will address the following:

Although FFRDCs have several advantages over Government-owned and operated facilities, they can also have drawbacks. A 2017 report by the Congressional Research Service, for example, noted concerns with FFRDCs including mission creep, ineffective Federal agency oversight, and competition between FFRDCs and the private sector for Federal R&D funding.1 The analysis will weigh the specific costs and benefits of establishing an FFRDC for particular NASA Centers.

It is possible that a new FFRDC hosted at a Center may be effective in running new programs or projects that are part of the Administrations space policy but are not yet underway. The analysis will examine whether these programs could more effectively be run by establishing a new FFRDC.

Conversion of a Center, or parts of a Centers operation, to an FFRDC would require several steps related to developing the sponsoring agreement with the organization managing the FFRDC, and addressing human capital issues. The analysis will examine these steps and estimate their feasibility.

1. Congressional Research Service, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs): Background and Issues for Congress, December 1, 2017.

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Unobscured Vision

An interesting read. More difficult, I feel, will be putting all of the above into practice.

 

The main issue is getting new Graduates and other prospective Recruits with the appropriate skill-sets actually interested in working for Government positions like these where historically there will be a very entrenched culture that is resistant to change. Even if directives are handed down through chains of command/management to invoke changes, there will be a good chance that any such meaningful changes that initially encouraged an upswell in recruiting and interest for these positions there will likely be a large portion of those recruits who for one reason or another don't pass the recruitment process at some level because the standards are arbitrarily (and unnecessarily) too high.

 

This may appear to be a misnomer, or some kind of arbitrary standard in of itself -- that the standards must be high in order to secure the best of the best -- but in reality these recruits are likely well suited for placement anywhere in Aerospace Industry or Aerospace Sciences, or even Operations; and in fact would qualify for such positions even when handling sensitive information or materials. The problem is one of zealousness instead; that the Government has become too zealous in its' own practices and arbitrary standards to even see its' own misgivings.

 

Sociology teaches us that closed cultures tend to become zealous and arbitrary, blinded by their own standards and insensitive to the greater, more expansive and larger cultures outside of them.

 

I feel that NASA and the myriad of satellite agencies that surround and comprise it were, at least at one time, almost completely blinded by their own zealous nature. That nature has shifted somewhat over the past six years, thankfully, but there is still a lot of that nature still present within NASA and that culture of "business as usual" still rules. We've only seen a paradigm shift in the past three years of any significance; where it leads, I've no idea but I believe that NASA will not survive in it's current form.

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DocM
29 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

>

We've only seen a paradigm shift in the past three years of any significance; where it leads, I've no idea but I believe that NASA will not survive in it's current form.

 

It can't survive as it is; too insular and too easily diverted by a few politicians. SLS is a great example, dreamed up by Senators in both parties who just happened to have NASA Centers in their states (esp: TX, FL, OH, MS and AL.) 

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Unobscured Vision

I completely agree. Money is the chief motivator for nearly everything on the Governmental and Directive interfaces of NASA. Before it was mainly a [expletive] contest between the USSR and the USA -- nothing more and nothing less than that -- and while it did lead to technological advancements and overall accomplishments which benefitted everybody eventually, the Space Race ultimately was driven by political interests. Once that motivating factor was no longer that big of a focus, it became about supporting constituent Mil/Gov suppliers on a state by state basis with clear favoritism (as you said, @DocM).

 

Looking forward I don't see that trend changing. The bias we see won't end. The Senators and "Representatives" (if they can really be called that anymore) that sit on the Committees only have their own interests in mind. Only occasionally can they be bothered with other matters, but usually they'll circle around to their own headspaces instead of what's good for everyone.

 

SpaceX has the right idea, I think. Bypass NASA altogether. Do-it-yourself. Don't even bother with the USAF or Government-owned land. Sure, SpaceX might have to let NASA and the FAA have oversight when it comes to the new launch facility in Boca Chica, but SpaceX is not obligated to share it. They aren't obligated to do a damn thing else except obey the rules -- and there really won't be a lot of 'em compared to Vandy or the Cape. Special flight rules, yes (because of the residential area nearby, and Brownsville itself), but they've got a decent site with clear skies almost all the time.

 

Oh, and if this doesn't tickle our funny bits ....

.... and just a couple of responses further down the thread ....

.... :punk:

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DocM

Jeeezzzzz.... loaded with hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, both toxic as hell.

 

 

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      TWIRL 1: SpaceX set to launch 60 Starlink satellites this week
      by Paul Hill



      'This Week in Rocket Launches' is a new weekly series that aims to bring you a round-up of all the planned rocket launches over the coming week. With India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States all sending missions to Mars and private companies like SpaceX inserting Starlink satellites into Earth’s orbit, the occurrence of rocket launches is pretty frequent. Streams to upcoming launches will be provided where possible but some space agencies only post videos after launch.

      This week, there are five rocket launches from China, India, Iran, Russia, and SpaceX. There’s nothing super exciting such as human flights this week, instead, all of the missions are concerned with getting various satellites into orbit. The launch with the most delays is the SpaceX mission which planned to fly in November, December, January 27, 29-31, February 1-5, 7, 16, and 17 - hopefully, it gets off the ground this week to take a batch of Starlink satellites into the Earth's orbit.

      The first launch will come sometime on Monday in China. A Long March CZ-4C rocket will take the Yaogan 31 Group 03 satellites into orbit where they will perform electromagnetic environment surveys and other related technology tests. It’s unclear what time the launch is slated for but the Long March rocket will take off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and if we see any footage it will be after the event.

      The next launch is slated for Thursday, this time from the Islamic Republic of Iran which is using its Simorgh rocket to carry the Pars 1 satellite into orbit. The mission will launch from the Imam Khomeini Space Launch Center in Semnan after it was delayed last year. Pars 1 has been described as the country’s most advanced remote-sensing satellite and will apparently monitor the country’s agricultural lands, forest and lakes, as well as help estimate the damage from fires and floods that occur.

      SpaceX is up on Friday at 2:40 AM UTC (Thursday 21:41 PM local time). A Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket will take 60 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit and further boost the firm’s satellite internet coverage which it recently began opening up to customers. The YouTube channel CosmoSapiens already has a YouTube event lined up so feel free to set a reminder, you might also get to watch the launch directly on SpaceX’s YouTube channel and SpaceX’s launch page.

      After SpaceX’s launch, Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, will launch a Soyuz 2.1b rocket carrying the first Arktika-M remote sensing and communications satellite that will be used for weather forecasting and monitoring the environment in the Arctic region. The 2.1-tonne payload will sit in a highly elliptical 12-hour Molniya orbit and carry a multi-spectral imager for hydro-meteorological studies and rescue system transmitters for cases where emergency communications are needed. The mission has been delayed several times since 2018 but as long as the weather is good, the dependable Soyuz rocket should take off successfully on Sunday from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

      The final launch of the week comes from Sriharikota in India. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will carry the Amazonia 1 satellite as well as three CubeSats: Anand, Saditsat, and Unitysat. Amazonia 1 is a Brazilian satellite that’s equipped with an optical camera to monitor environmental conditions in the Amazon. This launch was originally scheduled for September and February 22 but hopefully, it lifts off on the 28th.

    • By zikalify
      NASA successfully lands Perseverance rover on Mars
      by Paul Hill



      The American space agency, NASA, has confirmed that its Perseverance rover has successfully landed on the red planet, Mars. NASA announced the landing from its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 3:55 p.m. EST following a 203-day ride covering 472 million kilometres.

      Commenting on the successful landing, NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said:

      The car-sized rover will do several tests over the next couple of weeks before it begins its mission to investigate rocks and sediment in the Jezero crater, an ancient lakebed and river delta. One of the objectives of the mission, and probably the most exciting, is to search for signs of microbial life that may have once swum in the lake that used to occupy the region - if life is found, it’ll be the first time that we’ve conclusively found evidence of extraterrestrial life.

      The samples that Perseverance collects will have to be transported back to Earth for examination with equipment that was too big for the rover to carry, these samples will return with a proposed Mars sample-return mission.

      In addition to searching for signs of life, the mission will also carry out the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE), a technology demonstration that will try to manufacture oxygen - this ability will be vital for any human missions to Mars.

      The Perseverance rover is planned to operate on Mars for one Martian year or 687 Earth days. Despite the mission only being funded for around two years, the rover itself will likely last many more years if it has the same luck as the Curiosity rover which landed in 2012 and is still operational.

    • By zikalify
      Bill Gates says there needs to be an Elon Musk in every sector
      by Paul Hill



      Just days after Bill Gates launched his new book, How To Avoid A Climate Disaster, the Microsoft founder and former CEO has said that we need innovators like Elon Musk in every sector - naming steel and cement specifically - to help tackle global warming. Musk’s contributions to climate change include pushing the limits of electric vehicles with Tesla and developing reusable rockets.

      Gates made the comments in an interview with CNBC while being quizzed over whether or not he has been shorting Tesla stock, to which he said that he doesn’t discuss his investing practices.

      In the interview with CNBC, Gates said:

      Heavy industries such as steel and cement produce more carbon dioxide emissions than the entire United States, according to New Scientist, but the development of new technologies could significantly reduce the carbon emissions in these sectors. Gates clearly thinks that those industries need people that will experiment and improve on nascent technologies as Musk has done with electric vehicles and rockets.

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