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Thread: NASA and Private Industry Space Exploration

  1. #241
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    Starliner may well fly with humans first, after recent events.

  2. #242
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    The first launch of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket with a new first stage engine is now planned for early October, a company official said Sept. 13.

    http://spacenews.com/antares-return-...early-october/

    Speaking on a launch systems panel during the AIAA Space 2016 conference here, John Steinmeyer, director of business development at Orbital ATK’s Launch Vehicle Division, said the company was working with NASA to finalize a date for the launch, which will carry a Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.

    “We’re targeting an initial launch capability in early October. We’re working with NASA to select an optimal launch date,” he said. “We’re very diligent in our preparations for that launch, and making sure we completely validate the system and the RD-181 engines.”

    The launch will be the first of a new variant of the Antares, known as the Antares 230. That vehicle replaces the AJ26 engines supplied by Aerojet Rocketdyne, used in the initial Antares missions and implicated in an October 2014 launch failure, with new RD-181 engines from Russian manufacturer NPO Energomash.

  3. #243
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    US commercial crew companies emphasize safety over schedule.

    http://spacenews.com/commercial-crew...over-schedule/

    In the wake of a launch accident and a critical report, the two companies with NASA commercial crew contracts say they’re committed to maintaining their development schedules, but not at the expense of safety.

    During a panel session at the AIAA Space 2016 conference here Sept. 14, officials with Boeing, SpaceX and NASA went to great lengths to emphasize they would not rush the development and test flights of crewed vehicles despite a desire to have at least one company’s system ready to start ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS before the end of 2018.

  4. #244
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    The Space Review in this weeks edition reports on the status of the commercial crew programme - more delays

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3063/1

    Last week marked the second anniversary of NASA’s award of the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts, the last major milestone in an effort dating back to 2010 to develop vehicles to transport NASA astronauts, and others, to and from the International Space Station. Boeing and SpaceX won the two CCtCap contracts, with a combined maximum value of $6.8 billion, to finish work on their vehicles, perform test flights, and then fly up to six operational, or “post-certification,” missions afterwards (see “Commercial crew and commercial engines”, The Space Review, September 22, 2014).

    At the time, and for many months afterwards, the goal was for at least one of the companies to have completed its two test flights—one without a crew and one with two people on board—and be certified to carry crews by the end of 2017. It’s now unlikely either company will meet that goal because of development delays and, in the case of SpaceX, the aftermath of the Falcon 9 pad explosion earlier this month.

  5. #245
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    Boeing has now confirmed the 1st operational flight of its CST-100 Starliner will now only be in December 2018. Two year away

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/...december-2018/

    Score one for the NASA Inspector General (IG).

    On Sept. 1, the space agency watchdog released an audit of the Commercial Crew Program that found it was unlikely either Boeing or SpaceX would begin flying crews to the International Space Station on an operational basis until the end of 2018.

    Boeing has become the first company to validate that finding. The company has delayed its first operational flight of its CST-100 Starliner by an additional six months to December 2018, Aviation Week reports.

    The new schedule is:

    June 2018: Flight test without crew
    August 2018: Flight test with crew
    December 2018: First operational flight

  6. #246
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  7. #247
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    Wow the pressure on Boeing and SpaceX to deliver on manned flight is immense. If they do not deliver then the US will have no way of traveling to the ISS in 2019.

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/or...y-soyuz-seats/

    NASA has no plans to sign another agreement with the Roscosmos State Corporation to continue astronaut transportation services to the International Space Station (ISS) via the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The last half-billion dollar deal for six Soyuz seats, which was signed last year, ends with the Soyuz MS-11 mission scheduled for launch in November 2018 and landing in early 2019.

    Spaceflight Now reported NASA officials are not considering extending the current contract with Russia for more launches after 2018. Moreover, even if the agency would be interested in buying additional Soyuz seats, the deadline to order new flights may have already passed.

    Roscosmos needs more than two years to assemble a Soyuz-MS spacecraft. Although a deadline for a new agreement has not been specified, orders would need to be placed no later than this fall to ensure the first spacecraft on the list would be ready for launch in time.

  8. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    The first launch of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket with a new first stage engine is now planned for early October, a company official said Sept. 13.
    Not only the flight was a success but the Antares Rocket delivers better-than-expected Performance

    http://spaceflight101.com/cygnus-cra...-parking-spot/

    Loaded with 2,350 Kilograms of cargo, Cygnus blasted off from the Wallops Flight Facility at 23:45 UTC on Monday, riding on the Antares Return to Flight Mission that marked the rocket’s first mission since the dramatic October 2014 launch failure.

    Lighting up the night over Wallops Island, Antares flew to the south-east and exceeded expectations by delivering Cygnus into a higher orbit than predicted – saving the spacecraft some fuel when making its way up to the Space Station.

    This overperformance was the result of Orbital ATK only having theoretical knowledge on the two rocket stages in play on Monday – the first stage hosted new RD-181 engines that replace the old powerplants identified as a culprit in the 2014 failure; and the second stage, Castor 30XL, had also newer been fired in flight before.

  9. #249
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    What has NASA spent to get private industries to partake in the space programme and who has received money.

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/...am/#more-59744

    With the recent news that commercial crew flights to the International Space Station will likely slip to the end of 2018, I thought it would be a good time to review what NASA has spend on the program since it began in 2010. And, since NASA has separated cargo and crew, we will also look at the space agency’s commercial cargo programs.

  10. #250
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    NASA has awarded another 4 passenger flights each to Boeing and SpaceX.

    https://www.google.com/amp/amp.space...ex-boeing.html

    "NASA has booked more astronaut flights to the International Space Station aboard private space taxis built by Boeing and SpaceX.

    The new orders, which NASA announced Tuesday (Jan. 3), awards four crew rotation flights to the International Space Station (ISS) each to Boeing and SpaceX as part of the space agency's Commercial Crew Program. The award increases the total number of flights ordered from each contractor to six, NASA officials wrote in the announcement."

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  11. #251
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    You know, with all of these new space taxi designs, has anyone created visualizations of what these vehicles might look like in yellow-and-checkerboard livery?

  12. #252
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    This report might dent SpaceX's desire to have commercial human flight next year 😑

    http://spacenews.com/safety-panel-ci...mmercial-crew/

    "A NASA safety board recommended in its annual report that the agency closely study the safety issues associated with SpaceX’s fueling plans for Falcon 9 commercial crew missions.

    The annual report by the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), released Jan. 11, raised the issue of what it calls the “load and go” approach planned by SpaceX to fuel the Falcon 9 rocket with liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants only after astronauts have boarded the Dragon spacecraft."

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  13. #253
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    Why would you want to load the astronauts before the propellant? Surely the latter takes longer.

  14. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Why would you want to load the astronauts before the propellant? Surely the latter takes longer.
    SpaceX wants the liquid oxygen superchilled so they can pack in a little more and be more efficient. So they load it as late as possible.
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  15. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Why would you want to load the astronauts before the propellant? Surely the latter takes longer.
    It no longer takes hours to fuel the rocket, they have it down to less than 30 minutes or so to allow use of subcooled propellant. Additionally, the safest thing to do with a fueled rocket is to launch or defuel it, not to have a bunch of guys walk up and climb into a capsule on top of it with a bunch of equipment. Their accident back in September illustrates why it's generally considered a bad idea to have anyone doing anything close to a fueled rocket.

    You could ask why they didn't previously load the crew first so they were tucked safely away in a capsule with an escape mechanism. Rockets like the Saturn V took a long time to fuel, and the Shuttle...well, it didn't have an escape mechanism.

  16. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    It no longer takes hours to fuel the rocket, they have it down to less than 30 minutes or so to allow use of subcooled propellant. Additionally, the safest thing to do with a fueled rocket is to launch or defuel it, not to have a bunch of guys walk up and climb into a capsule on top of it with a bunch of equipment. Their accident back in September illustrates why it's generally considered a bad idea to have anyone doing anything close to a fueled rocket.

    You could ask why they didn't previously load the crew first so they were tucked safely away in a capsule with an escape mechanism. Rockets like the Saturn V took a long time to fuel, and the Shuttle...well, it didn't have an escape mechanism.
    What you say sounds logical. So hopefully that is acceptable and will not hinder SpaceX.

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  17. #257
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    Looks like Boeing has won a contract to build a spaceplane for DARPA

    "The Phantom Express vehicle will take off vertically, with an upper stage carrying a satellite payload mounted on top of the fuselage. After releasing the upper stage, the suborbital vehicle would glide back to a runway landing.
    Phantom Express is powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne engine designated the AR-22, based on the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME). In a statement, Aerojet Rocketdyne said it is providing two such engines “with legacy shuttle flight experience” using parts from both the company’s and NASA inventories of earlier versions of the SSME. The engines will be assembled and tested at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi."

    From:
    http://spacenews.com/darpa-selects-b...plane-project/

    Sounds like the Rockwell X-33 all over again--tube on a triangle:
    http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/x/x33rock.jpg
    http://home.earthlink.net/~chadslatt...s/x-33trio.jpg

  18. #258
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    The article is about US air force desire to stop using Russian rocket engines.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenth.../#5670cb5e5fbf

    "To the Air Force's credit, it quickly adjusted its strategy for investing in next-generation launch services when the Bezos option suffered a testing failure. It said it would keep funding another company, Aerojet Rocketdyne, which is developing an alternative to Blue Origin's BE-4 engine. That decision was revealed in response to an inquiry by Aviation Week, and represented a reversal of the plan to cease funding of Aerojet's AR-1 engine once it completed critical design review -- which it did in May."

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  19. #259
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    The latest on private concerns
    https://spacenews.com/blue-origin-an...unch-vehicles/

    This is the best still photo of a returning stage I have yet seen
    https://www.space.com/spacex-falcon-...-18-video.html

    Houston's Abbey speaks on the moon--and more
    https://spacenews.com/op-ed-what-it-...d-on-the-moon/
    https://homerhickamblog.blogspot.com...e-to-keep.html

    Starship and Falcon Heavy info
    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/in...?topic=48720.0
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...0Hz1uMpy8/edit

    On new propulsion
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ic-propulsion/

    "NIAC, though, is all about new ideas. The program functions as NASA’s venture capital arm, in that it supports technologies that might pan out, big-time. “Crazy” stuff, according to Jason Derleth, NIAC’s program executive."

    Derleth?

    Hmmm. Augie's progeny?
    Last edited by publiusr; 2019-Aug-02 at 07:22 PM.

  20. #260
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    An article in defense of SpaceX from NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine tweet.

    https://www.teslarati.com/nasa-head-...tarship-event/

    Roughly 24 hours before SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was scheduled to present an update on the company’s Starship launch vehicle development, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted a bizarre and wholly unprovoked statement on the subject.

    Seemingly equating SpaceX’s recent Crew Dragon delays with the distribution of Elon Musk’s public attention, the NASA administrator’s comment was almost universally criticized by the spaceflight community at large – and rightfully so.
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  21. #261
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    Yikes....Boeing's Starliner is so heavy an Atlas 5 N22 (No fairing + 2 boosters + a Dual-Engine Centaur) cannot lift it to orbit.

    This may be why Starliner was disqualified from the Commercial Resupply Services 2 program. SNC's Dream Chaser took the 3rd slot, after SpaceX's Cargo Dragon 2 and Northrop Grumman's Cygnus.

    https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/atlas-v-oft

    A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket will deliver the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to a 98 nautical mile (nmi) sub-orbital trajectory on its Orbital Flight Test (OFT) to the International Space Station. After Starliner separation from Atlas V, Starliner engines will burn taking it the rest of the way to orbit and on to the International Space Station.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2019-Oct-17 at 01:44 AM.

  22. #262
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    OMEGA and Vulcan look to be its rides, perhaps?

    I was pulling for a scaled up Dream Chaser (HL-42 sized) to go atop Falcon Heavy.

    If (heaven forbid) Starship has problems--that should be the way to go to LEO.

    I wanted an Americanized Energiya Buran--but that's me.

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