Well, chances are you’ve heard by now that yesterday’s launch attempt of the Falcon-I Demoflight-2 was aborted with just minutes left in the count. Here’s the news, direct from Elon, about what happened yesterday: The abort that occurred a few minutes before T-0 was triggered by our ground control software. … Continue reading
Natural progression and “lessons learned” are leading the way in the second stage of Bigelow Aerospace’s orbital habitat development. An update at their website chronicles the process. A very interesting read.
From Elon: The launch window is now March 19th to 22nd (California time). During extended ground testing in late February, one of our second stage thrust vector control boards indicated a problem. Although our analysis showed substantial margin for flight, we decided nonetheless to increase the robustness of certain of … Continue reading
Okay, normally I wouldnâ€™t do this but it is too dang cool not toâ€¦ Top Gear is a British television program that features cars set up for exotic crashes and explosions. This video clip on YouTube shows a Reliant Robin decked out as a space shuttle and actually â€œlaunched.â€ You … Continue reading
Alan Boyle over at Cosmic Log has just interviewed Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace, the company building and testing inflatable space habitats for low-Earth-orbit. Turns out that they’re not just for low-Earth-orbit. Bigelow’s long-range plans include assembling moon-bases out of his modules, at the Earth-Moon-L1 lagrange point, and flying them … Continue reading
The latest form Elon: DemoFlight 2 Launch Update We have recently been informed by the Kwajalein Army Range that they do not have sufficient resources to support our launch in mid to late Feb. Several range personnel critical to the launch safety process will be unavailable in that timeframe. The … Continue reading
A Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket carrying a state of the art Boeing communications satellite exploded on its converted-oil-rig launch platform as it was taking off today. The rocket and launch pad were engulfed in a huge fireball. Knowing that, the statement from Sea Launch is a little on the … Continue reading
This guy has had to turn down the suborbital spaceflight he won from an Oracle promotion, because he can’t afford to pay the tax on the value of the prize. It’s hard not to feel sorry for the guy – if it was me’ i’d be devastated. Luckily for me … Continue reading
(Via Clark at HobbySpace RLV and Space Transport News) An analysis of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program by aerospace engineering and consulting firm Spaceworks Engineering, shows a potential $6.5 to $7 billion market for COTS services, with the government saving as much as $8 billion over the same period … Continue reading
Bigelow aerospace have released a pair of new pictures showing the outside of Genesis I with a beautiful ‘blue marble’ Earth in the background. They sure would make great posters. Also, Bigelow’s latest where in the world game is just getting under way – head over there and have some … Continue reading
Writing at TCS Daily, Rand Simberg seems to think so. The piece is a good roundup of what has happened and what it means.
The Moon, that is – according to Space.com, it’s going to disintegrate. We’ve got about 5 billion years. The clock is ticking, folks!
He would have given us a Moon-full of opportunity! I highly recommend that you read Paul Spudis’ piece in this week’s Space Review. If you want to know more about Paul, here’s his OotC interwiew. If you want to know more about the Moon, do a little reading at the … Continue reading
…that I posted under those beautiful shock diamonds, then you might want to have a look at XCOR’s rocket engines gallery, where they’ve got even more. Also, I see from the aRocket mailing list that you can now buy poster size prints of it from XCOR, via the Mohave Air … Continue reading
An issue with a thrust vector control actuator on the second stage means that the launch wont happen in the current window (although the planned static fire will still go ahead). The next launch opportunity at the Kwajalein range comes in mid-February. Even that is likely to slip given the … Continue reading
Elon has this to say on his updates page: DemoFlight 2 Launch Update The static fire has moved to Friday (California time) and launch to Monday, January 22. We have not encountered any new issues â€“ the shift in timing is primarily to provide for additional risk reduction activities on … Continue reading
Over at Transterrestrial Musings, Rand Simberg has a good explanation of the difference between average and marginal flight costs for space launch vehicles, and why higher flight rates should lead to lower average costs per flight.
I’m a bit late posting this, so apologies if you’ve already read about it, or seen it, elsewhere (and thanks to Jon Goff at Selenian Boondocks, which was how I found it). This is a lovely sight: It’s XCOR Aerospace‘s Liquid Oxygen/Methane rocket engine, developed for NASA as part of … Continue reading
Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX to most of us, has announced that it plans to launch its second Falcon 1 rocket on the 21st of this month. The rocket is on the pad, and the launch team have already taken it through a ‘wet dress rehearsal’ where they fuel it … Continue reading
James Oberg, writing for MSNBC, reports that Bigelow Aerospace has been forced to delay the launch of their second inflatable space station test article, Genesis II. Original plans called for launch on a Russian Dnepr rocket late this month, but the failure of an Dnepr launch last year caused a … Continue reading
Sam Dinkin of FreeSpaceShot.com gives us the run-down on his new free skill game, where contestants can compete for flights to space, and even a shot around the Moon. Continue reading
Alan Boyle from Cosmic Log reports that Blue Origin has performed a test flight from its newly constructed facilities near Van Horn, Texas. Frustratingly, so far Blue Origin is continuing its normal pattern of secrecy, so there is no information on how the flight went.
Anousheh Ansari is safely back on Earth, and still blogging. I strongly recommend that you read everything she has written; her style is lucid and heartfelt, she includes detail and emotion that most astronauts to date have not, and she really conveys the feeling of ‘being there’. If you are … Continue reading
It’s been two years since SpaceShipOne soared into space on a suborbital trajectory to win the X-Prize. If things have seemed a little quiet since then, you’re probably hearing the silence left over when all the laughing stopped. If the X-Prize did one thing, it was to strike a decisive … Continue reading