Tag Archives: space

New Zealand: Test rocket makes it to space but not to orbit

Source: New York Daily News

“California-based company Rocket Lab said Thursday it had launched a test rocket into space from its New Zealand launch pad, although the rocket didn’t reach orbit as hoped. The company said its Electron rocket lifted off at 4:20 p.m. Thursday and reached space three minutes later. … Rocket Lab was given official approval last week to conduct three test launches from the remote Mahia Peninsula on the North Island. The company hopes to begin commercial launches later this year and eventually launch about one rocket every week.” (05/25/17)


A teenager designed a pocket-sized satellite that will fly on a NASA mission

Source: Mic

“An 18-year-old created the world’s lightest functioning satellite, and it’s going to be launched on a real NASA mission next month. Rifath Sharook, who is from Tamil Nadu, India, made the pocket-sized satellite for a competition called Cubes in Space, which is an international design challenge that asks students aged 11 to 18 to fit their space-worthy invention inside a 13-foot cube. The pocket-sized 3-D printed satellite is much smaller than that. It weighs just 0.14 pounds and will measure the rotation, acceleration and magnetosphere of Earth, Sharook told Business Standard.” (05/17/17)


These Federal Aviation Administration regulations are why we’re not going to Mars

Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Clyde Wayne Crews

“[A]long with either eight or nine planets in the Solar System, there are at least 180 moons beyond our own, a couple of them (Ganymede and Titan) even larger than the planet Mercury. And there are more that two million asteroids larger than a half-mile in diameter. So resources in space are infinite as far as humanity is concerned. There’s a lot of room, and little concern about bumping into one another. Just go walk the scale model of the solar system in front of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.. The model of the Sun is less than volleyball sized, and on that scale, the plaque that tells you where the nearest star Proxima Centauri would be in relation might shock. However I’m not sure how many folks, or even members of Congress outside its House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, realize just how thoroughly commercial space activities like asteroid mining are apt to be regulated.” (05/16/17)


SpaceX launches Falcon 9 plus satellite

Source: USA Today

“A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch a ‘behemoth’ commercial communications satellite from Kennedy Space Center at 7:21 p.m. Eastern time on Monday. Weighing in at nearly 13,500 pounds atop the rocket, the fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite will be the heaviest load lofted by a Falcon 9 yet. The 230-foot rocket will need all its fuel and 1.7 million pounds of liftoff thrust to deliver the spacecraft larger than a double-decker bus on its way to an orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator.” (05/15/17)


NASA won’t fly astronauts on first Orion-SLS test flight around the moon

Source: Space.com

“The first flight of NASA’s next-generation heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), is now scheduled for 2019 and will not include a human crew, agency officials said today (May 12). As of 2016, NASA had planned for the SLS’ first flight to take place in 2018, without a crew on board. But the transition team that the Trump administration sent to the agency earlier this year asked for an internal evaluation of the possibility of launching a crew atop the SLS inside the agency’s Orion space capsule. Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s acting administrator, said during a news conference today that, based on the results of this internal evaluation, a crewed flight would be ‘technically feasible,’ but the agency will proceed with its initial plan to make the rocket’s first flight uncrewed.” (05/12/17)


SpaceX test fires Falcon Heavy rocket that will one day carry humans to Mars

Source: Mirror [UK]

“Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX has successfully completed a test fire of its Falcon Heavy — the world’s most powerful rocket booster, which will one day carry humans to Mars. A video of the test fire at SpaceX’s development facility in McGregor, Texas, shows the rocket’s engines being ignited while the vehicle is strapped down. Black and white smoke pour out from beneath the rocket, giving an indication of how powerful the engines are. The Falcon Heavy is essentially a souped up version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket booster, which is regularly used to carry supplies to the International Space Station. It is composed of three Falcon 9s strapped together, with a total of 27 engines generating more than 5 million pounds of thrust — equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.” (05/10/17)


SpaceX details plans to launch thousands of internet satellites

Source: Space.com

“SpaceX and Tesla-founder Elon Musk has made some rather bold promises over the years. In addition to building a fleet of reusable rockets, an Interplanetary Transport System, colonizing Mars, and revolutionizing transportation, he has also made it clear that he hopes to provide worldwide broadband access by deploying a ‘constellation’ of internet-providing satellites. In November of 2016, SpaceX filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a license to operate this constellation of non-geostationary satellites (NGS). And earlier this week, the US Senate Committee on Commerce. Science, and Transportation convened a hearing to explore this proposal for next-generation telecommunications services.” (05/08/17)


US space plane lands after record-breaking secret mission

Source: Space.com

“The record-shattering mission of the U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane is finally over. After circling Earth for an unprecedented 718 days, the X-37B touched down Sunday (May 7) at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida — the first landing at the SLF since the final space shuttle mission came back to Earth in July 2011.” (05/07/17)


SpaceX launches US spy satellite on secret mission, nails rocket landing

Source: SpaceX

“A SpaceX Falcon rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday (May 1) to boost a classified spy satellite into orbit for the U.S. military, then turned around and touched down at a nearby landing pad. It was the 34th mission for SpaceX, but its first flight for the Department of Defense, a customer long-pursued by company founder Elon Musk. The privately owned SpaceX once sued the Air Force over its exclusive launch services contract with United Launch Alliance (ULA), a partnership of Lockheed-Martin and Boeing.” (05/01/17)


Whitson breaks US record for most time in space

Source: Space.com

“Peggy Whitson has made space history, again. Currently orbiting Earth as commander of the International Space Station, Whitson on Monday (April 24) flew past the record for the most days in space by an American. At 1:27 a.m. EDT (0527 GMT), she broke the previous total of 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes set by NASA astronaut Jeff Williams at the end of his fourth spaceflight in September. Whitson’s cumulative, and still counting, time off the planet is just her latest record set while in space. She has broken (or added to) four other records on this, her third trip to the space station.”