Marc Boucher: June 2014 Archives

NASA's Commercial Crew Partners Focus on Testing, Analysis to Advance Designs

"NASA's aerospace industry partners are taking their designs and operational plans for the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) through a series of comprehensive tests, evaluations and review boards this summer as they move through important milestones - all with an eye on launching people into orbit from American soil by 2017.

To meet milestones established in Space Act Agreements with NASA, the companies are completing specific assessments such as materials stress tests, engine firings and analysis, and system tests. The companies' engineers use data gathered from these tests to refine the design, then NASA's team uses the data to ensure the tests satisfy milestone objectives that provide confidence a spacecraft system or program is progressing toward its goals."

Related: Commercial Crew Partners Get Extension, SpaceNews

NASA's First Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator Test Flight a Success [With Full Flight Video and Highlights], NASA

"NASA representatives participated in a media teleconference this morning to discuss the June 28, 2014 near-space test flight of the agency's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), which occurred off the coast of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.

A high-altitude balloon launch occurred at 8:45 a.m. HST (11:45 a.m. PDT/2:45 p.m. EDT) from the Hawaiian island facility. At 11:05 a.m. HST (2:05 p.m. PDT/5:05 p.m. EDT), the LDSD test vehicle dropped away from the balloon as planned and began powered flight. The balloon and test vehicle were about 120,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean at the time of the drop. The vehicle splashed down in the ocean at approximately 11:35 a.m. HST (2:35 p.m. PDT/5:35 p.m. EDT), after the engineering test flight concluded. The test vehicle hardware, black box data recorder and parachute were all recovered later in the day."

Astrobotic's Autonomous Landing System Tested in Masten's Xombie Flight, SpaceRef Business

"Astrobotic Technology's newly developed autonomous landing system was put to the test recently when it controlled Masten Space Systems' XA-0.1B Xombie suborbital technology demonstration rocket during a flight test at the Mojave Air and Space Port."

Related: NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate Flight Opportunities Program.

Russian Angara 1.2PP Rocket set for Launch Friday [With Video], SpaceRef Business

"This Friday after years of delay, Russia is set to launch the Angara 1.2 Pervy Polyot (First Flight) rocket on its maiden voyage, a suborbital demonstration flight. The Angara project started in 1993 with the goal to develop a new national space launch system.

The Angara 1 light class of small launchers is intended to replace the Kosmos-3M, Tsyklon and Rockot launchers. The Angara 3, a medium-lift launcher is meant to eventually replace the Zenit and the and Angara 5 is meant to replace the heavy-lift Proton. The Angara 5 would become the workhorse of the Russian fleet tasked with launch military payloads."

World View Breaks World Record with Successful Test Flight [With Video], World View

"Representing a milestone accomplishment, World View, the commercial balloon spaceflight company, has successfully completed a scaled test flight of its high-altitude balloon spaceflight system breaking the world record for highest parafoil flight in the process."

ULA Media Blitz

ULA Ramps up Media Blitz, SpaceRef Business

"In recent weeks United Launch Alliance (ULA) has begun ramping up its media coverage to combat what it considers misrepresentation of facts by SpaceX. At stake is billions in future launch business.

Their website was revamped, new videos were released highlighting mission successes, and posters have been posted to their Facebook page with direct messages aimed squarely at SpaceX though without mentioning them."

Keith's note: ULA had a media briefing for media this week in the Washington area - except ... they did not invite all space media. Hmm ... that's not a strategic move made out of confidence ...

Video: SpaceX Falcon F9R 1000m Flight, SpaceRef Business

"SpaceX has released this video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) during a 1000m test flight at their rocket development facility in McGregor, TX and was their first test that included a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly back portion of return."

Made In Space 3D Printer Gets Green Light from NASA for Launch, SpaceRef

"After passing the last NASA test, Made In Space will see its 3D printer launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in August by SpaceX as part of NASA's 4th Commercial Resupply mission (CRS-4).

Originally the 3D printer was scheduled to fly on the SpaceX CRS-5 mission but because the company met all its milestones early the launch was moved up to CRS-4."

Atlantic Council Captains of Industry with Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX

"The discussion will focus on the future of American space launch, an issue of critical and timely importance. Last month, Russia threatened to cut-off U.S. supply of the RD-180 engine, revealing just how problematic U.S. reliance on these Russian engines really is. SpaceX offers a wholly-American rocket with an outstanding record of reliability and mission success."

Marc's note: This event will be webcast starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Marc's Update: Video: Gwynne Shotwell of SpaceX Discusses the Launch Industry , SpaceRef Business.

Will Google Build a Satellite Constellation?, SpaceRef Business

"For months now there have been rumours that Google would be building a constellation of "hundreds" of satellites. To this day we've yet to hear from Google which should tell you something."


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