Marc Boucher: March 2014 Archives

SpaceX Conducts Falcon 9R Static Fire Test [Watch], SpaceRef Business

"SpaceX successfully test fired the first stage of F9R--an advanced prototype for the world's first reusable rocket--in preparation for its first test flight in the coming weeks. Unlike airplanes, a rocket's thrust increases with altitude; F9R generates just over a million pounds of thrust at sea level but gets up to 1.5 million pounds of thrust in the vacuum of space."

U.S. Air Force Radar Problem Delays NROL-67 and SpaceX CRS-3 Launches, SpaceRef Business

"A problem with the U.S. Air Force AN/MPS-39 Multiple Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) at the Eastern Range, reportedly a fire, has delayed the launch of the National Reconnaissance Office's NROL-67 launch and now unofficially SpaceX's launch of the CRS-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station."

JAXA Selects Mitsubishi to Build New Flagship Launch Vehicle, SpaceRef Business

"JAXA has selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to build a new flagship launch vehicle to replace the current H-IIA and H-IIB launch vehicles and intends to compete for international commercial contracts.

The new rocket is expected to come into service in 2020 and JAXA stated that they plan on cutting launch costs by half to try and compete directly with Arianespace, SpaceX and other commercial launch providers."

Dr. Andy Aldrin Joins Moon Express as its President, SpaceRef Business

"Moon Express, the ambitious Silicon Valley commercial venture aiming to be one of the first Moon resource companies, announced last night at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference that Dr. Andy Aldrin was joining the company as its new President.

Dr. Aldrin, the son of Buzz Aldrin, is leaving United Launch Alliance, the joint venture of mega-companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin for the relative uncertainty of a small yet growing "NewSpace" company with promise but no guarantees of success."

NASA FY 2015 Budget - Commercial Crew is Investing in America, SpaceRef Business

"Early in his opening statement during the NASA teleconference on NASA's FY 2015 budget request, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden made it clear that reliance on the Russians for access to the International Space Station is choice Congress must choose to end.

Bolden said "budgets are about making choices, and let me clear about one thing, the choice here is between fully funding the request to bring space launches back to the U.S. or continuing millions in subsidies to the Russians, it's that simple. The Obama administration chooses investing in America. We believe Congress will choose this course as well."

On a day where tensions in Ukraine's Crimea only slighted abated, hammering on Congress about the choices they've made with respect to funding Commercial Crew budgeting in past years seemed appropriate. But was anybody listening?"


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