Tuesday , June 15 2021

Rocket Report: A huge step back for Stratolaunch, the demolition of Starship

The missile report is published weekly.
Zoom in / The missile report is published weekly.

Welcome to Release 1.34 of the Rocket Report! This is a sad week for new space, as only three months after Paul Allen's death, who shared the vision of cheap access to space, Stratonau dropped his plans to build a missile line for his big planes. In slightly happier news, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin seem to be approaching commercial space tourism.

As always, we welcome the comments of the readers, and if you do not want to miss a problem, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small, medium and heavy loads, as well as a quick look at the next three calendar runs.

Stratolaunch leaves rocket developmentAfter successfully completing successful pre-burner tests, Stratolaunch will cease its programs to develop a new type of rocket engines and a new line of missiles, Geek Wire reports. Stratolaunch stops developing [its] family of rocket launchers and rocket engines. We streamline operations [and] focusing on the aircraft and our ability to support the demonstration launch of the Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL air launch.

Rather, a stunning turn of events … This development comes just three months after the death of founder Paul Allen. The company claims that its huge 385-foot-wide aircraft will continue to make its first test flights this year and that Stratolaunch will continue with the launch of the Pegasus rocket. But it is almost impossible for us to see how this is becoming a competitive alternative to existing or underdeveloped carrier missiles. It was a sad day for the new space. (filed by Unrulycow and Ken the Bin)

Virgin business flights can begin in mid-2019. In an interview with CBS This morning, Founder of Virgin Galactic "said Richard Branson"I will hope to rise in the middle of this year … We have another test flight in a few weeks, which is held by Mohave, then we will have another flight a few weeks later, then another And then we move everything in New Mexico, where we have a beautiful cosmopolitan. "

There is still no official word from the company … the managers of Virgin Galactic are more cautious about the number of test flights and their schedule, SpaceNews reports. George Whitetsides, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic, said after a test flight last month that "not a huge number" of test flights were planned before launching commercial operations at America's New Mexico spaceport. (filed by Ken the Bin)

Exclusion holds small startup companiesPartial exclusion of the government hinders the activities of a number of companies and organizations working with them, need information or require approval from affected federal agencies, including marketing licenses, according to SpaceNews, Exos Aerospace has already postponed its release, and Vector and Rocket Lab are also concerned about future marketing licenses due to closed regulatory agencies.

The next start of Electron … The Rocket Laboratory still needs to receive FAA approval for its next scheduled start at the end of February. "We hope the government will open again soon," Peter Beck, head of the laboratory, told the press. "We need a new license for this startup as we are going to a whole new trajectory, and this always requires a new startup license." He added that DARPA is trying to assist in obtaining this license. (filed by Unrulycow)

New Shepard flew for the first time in six monthsThe tenth flight of the launch system had a dual purpose. He provided additional test data for the launch system as Blue Origin approached crew flights and the launch allowed the company to bring eight NASA-sponsored research and technology into space through NASA's flight capabilities program.

Year-end targeting … During the broadcast, Blue Origin's sales manager, Ariane Cornell, said the company "is aiming" to make human flights aboard New Shepard before the end of 2019 but also underlined that Blue Origin will not compromise on safety. random dates. The bottle to be used for the first human test is already sent to the West Texas launch site, but the capsule that carries the crew remains in Washington.

SpinLaunch magazines deal with Cosmopolitan AmericaCosmport America has announced that SpinLaunch has signed a rental contract to test the facility in southern New Mexico and that the company will invest up to $ 7 million in facilities there, reports Parabolic Arc. The company looks at several locations for the test plot, but the New Mexico site provides the best combination of accessibility and location.

New Approach … SpinLaunch develops a kinetic energy startup system that will spin around 5,000 miles an hour before it is released to fly to space. The system will not use any fuels and the company has raised $ 40 million to fund venture capital. We are intrigued, but we will remain skeptical until we see some test flights. (filed by Ken the Bin)

The next launch of the ISS crew may fail"This year, the first launch of the Soyuz crew could be delayed by early April," said Rosicommesser Dmitry Rogozin, according to TASS. Rogozin said Russia is working with NASA to set a date for the start of Nick Haye, Christina Koch and Alexei Ovchinin.

Planning problem … The delay stems in part from Russia's desire to fly an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates called Hazza Al Mansouri later this year. He has to return to this car and Roscosmos is trying to balance the stay of NASA astronauts at the station. There seems to be no technical problems with the Soyuz missile and spacecraft for this mission.

The Ariana 6 contract rose, The European Arianespace launcher says that to sign a contract to produce the first 14 Ariane 6 new generation missiles, European governmental organizations must first buy at least four more Ariane 6 missions for 2020-2023, SpaceNews reports. The company expects to sign a production contract with ArianeGroup in the second part of 2018 to start production outside the first missile.

It's not a big sign "We are confident that this will happen," said Stéphane Israël, executive director of the other government missions. "But this is not yet done, we are working in this direction, and it is now very necessary, as the industry has planned the production of the first launcher, but we now need these institutional contracts to conclude a contract for the first Aryan 6s. " Needless to say, this is not a big situation for a new booster to turn out. If European countries fail to fly Ariane 6, what will the commercial customers do? (filed by Ken the Bin)

The Russian boss criticized the decline in the commercial start, Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev told Roskimos head Dmitry Rogozin on Wednesday to talk less and work more. Part of the criticism stemmed from the downturn in the industrial market in Russia. "We must not forget that space flights are a huge market where there is real competition, so we have to work hard to stay on the market," Medvedev said. "Our rocket and space industry can and should be a commercial success in today's conditions, and we are far from that."

From top to number three … As early as 2015, Russia was a clear leader in global space launches. But since then, both China and the United States, with the growing trade industry, have pulled even. The situation worsened in 2018 when Russia released only 20 orbital missiles. Thus, Russia falls third in a distance after China (39 shots) and the United States (27).

The star ship was dropped by a strong wind, the tests slowed. The SpaceX Hopper spacecraft prototype, recently completed at the Boca Chica launch site and waiting for test flights, was overtaken by a strong wind-driven cold front blowing through the Rio Grande valley Tuesday evening and early in the morning. severe damage after being blasted, Brownsville newspaper The reported.

A short delay … Twitter Twitter, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the damage would require a few weeks of repair. The company builds a test vehicle in an open pavilion at the start-up site in South Texas. It is not uncommon for the strong winter cold fronts to bring winds of about 50 miles per hour that Brownsville area has experienced this week. (filed by Ken the Bin)

The Angara launch sites were delayed for up to two yearsThe next phase of the new Russian launching station "Vostochen" was to include a new pad for the big Angara rocket. The Angara-5M Amplifier, designed to replace Proton's missile, needs large commercial marshalling gear to compete with other large missiles. Russia hoped to complete these facilities by 2021, but that would not be possible, Russian Space Network reported.

No earlier than 2023 "Let us not have any illusions, no one will be able to build (the Angara site) by 2021," said Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, who oversees space and defense. "Today, due to the juggling of the main contractors, the deadline is after 2021. But it must be no later than 2023 because it would otherwise be dissonant with the development of the rocket that would be ready but there is no room for release. "Needless to say, the Angara-5M will enter into overcrowded competition in 2023 for carrier missiles.

What about Delta IV? With a clear sky and a close look, the fiery ball, which briefly absorbed the bottom of the three Delta IV Heavy boosters, was clearly visible just before the start of the NROL-71 mission at the Vandenberg Air Base on Saturday.

So, what does it give? The phenomenon of the fiery ball appears on the heavy Delta IV missile not only because of the design differences between the RS-68 and the main shuttle engines, but also because the RS-68 fuel valve is opened longer before the oxidant starts to run. Essentially, when starting the engine through the engine, only liquid hydrogen passes because it is less chemically active than oxygen. This hydrogen leaks out of the engine, and since hydrogen is very light compared to ambient air, it rises out of the rocket. When the liquid oxygen stream starts, hydrogen is ignited in a fiery ball. It offers a pretty dashing view.

The next three shots

February 5th: Ariana 5 | HellasSat 4 / SaudiGeosat 1 and GSAT-11 | Kuru, French Guiana 21:01 UTC

February 16: Falcon 9 | Demo-1 mission Space Center Kennedy, Florida 13:15 UTC

February 21st: Soyuz | EgyptSat-A | Baikonur, Kazakhstan 16:47 UTC

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