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Rocket Report: Russia Plans Nuclear Space Tug, Falcon Heavy Launch Delayed



The Falcon 9 rocket made its 100th consecutive successful flight Wednesday.
expand / The Falcon 9 rocket made its 100th consecutive successful flight Wednesday.

Welcome to Rocket Report version 3.46! This week, we have several milestones to report for the Federal Aviation Administration and SpaceX, some launch delays, and as always, some weird news. Next week, the newsletter turns 4 years old—it̵

7;s unbelievable how long I’ve been there. to this extent

As always, we welcome readers into submission. and if you don’t want to miss any problems Please subscribe using the box below. (The form will not appear on the AMP-enabled version of the site.) Each report includes information about the small, medium, and heavy rockets, as well as a quick-forward look at the next three launches in the calendar.

Virgin Galactic returns to space. On Saturday VSS . Virgin Galactic’s unity The spacecraft flew above 80 km for the third time. Completed a much anticipated return to space after more than two years of downtime. The flight, which peaks at an altitude of 89.2 km, was piloted by CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay Ars, reports the flight was vital for Virgin Galactic for the last time, VSS. unity Successful manned space flight in February 2019

achieve higher flight rates … Probably the biggest question for Virgin looking forward is whether it can keep the pace it needs to be a profitable company. After two flights in late 2018 and early 2019, Saturday was only VSS’s third flight. unity. The rate is one flight every 300 days while trying to increase commercial activity. The company has set a target of 400 space flights per year on multiple vehicles from Spaceport America. Virgin lost $130 million in the first quarter of 2021 and needs to reach high-cadence flights to be profitable. The Bin)

British release rulesThe UK government has said the space port will be able to obtain permits to operate in the country as early as this summer. “These regulations have given us a firm commitment to seeing the UK debut from 2022, unlocking a new era in commercial spaceflight for all four corners of our country,” Grant Shapps. Minister of Transport said

British space race … Mechanisms for licensing and controlling spacecraft and commercial launches come from locations in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland, competing to offer facilities for vertical or horizontal launch. Each hopes to be the first site of an orbital launch from the UK as soon as 2022 (submitted by Ken the Bin).

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Inside Sweden’s emerging portThis week, The New York Times published a behind-the-scenes feature of Sweden’s Esrange space center trying to compete with other European facilities, including in the Azores. United Kingdom and Norway. The government-owned Swedish Space Corporation, which manages the site, provides launch services to private enterprises looking to launch satellites into space.

Europe is going its way. … “Europe really needs to build infrastructure to get to space,” said Stefan Gustafsson, senior vice president of the Swedish Space Corporation. “We can provide a suitable space base” when journalists visit the site. The main event consisted of engine testing by two highly competitive German aerospace start-ups: Rocket Factory Augsburg and ISAR Aerospace Technologies. A good read, this story provides an insight into the approaches. of Europe in the commercial area (submitted by trimeta)

PLD Space is sponsored for recycling studies.The Spanish Startup Company Says The company was awarded 1 million euros from the European Space Agency to allow the company to study. In this case, “rocket” refers to the MIURA 5 launcher under development. The analysis will help inform plans for a MIURA 5 rocket launch from a European port in French Guiana. including a demonstration of recovery technology

can fly in a few years … Among the technologies PLD Space is studying are propulsion braking during atmospheric reentry and structures that can survive the rigors of reentry and be used for additional flights. The MIURA 5 spacecraft can can carry a few hundred kilograms to low orbit Expected to launch in 2024, reuse potential assessments are part of a range of strategies. used by the European Space Agency to study the early re-use of rockets .

French company funded tanksA small company called Venture Orbital Systems is trying to develop its first all-French rocket since 1975, the company said this week. The company was awarded €100,000 from the Grand Est region of northeast France to design a frozen aluminum tank for the proposed Zephyr rocket, a local program that funds startups.

There is a lot of work to do …This is the first time I’ve heard of the Venture Orbital and the tiny Zephyr rocket trying to orbit as low as 80kg. The Venture Orbital appears to have started with a smaller “Boreal” sub-rocket to serve as a test bed. The company said it was also raising €750,000 at the end of 2020. It would be nice to see some French companies enter a new space race (sent by trimeta).

Falcon 9 Launches 100th Consecutive SuccessIn a rather routine process, SpaceX launched another 60 satellites Wednesday. This will be the company’s 13th Starlink mission in 2021, and it may go unnoticed for most. But it’s a milestone: This is the 100th consecutive successful flight of the Falcon 9 rocket, Ars reports. The record dates back to June 2015, when the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket failed during the delivery of the transport mission. cargo to the International Space Station

fly more than once a week … Since then, the company’s Falcon 9 has had 99 unsuccessful launches. SpaceX has lost one additional mission. But this didn’t happen during the launch. The Amos-6 payload, on the other hand, broke apart in September 2016 during a fuel load that preceded static firing tests. The overall Falcon 9 launch pace continues to increase. with six missions in the last 33 days

The Nauka module received a launch date.Russia has long delayed adding the International Space Station to launch a proton rocket on July 15 of this year, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin confirmed this week on Twitter. The announcement came after testing of the module confirmed its readiness for launch. into space

Finally got to space … We wonder if this day will come or not. The 13-meter module, originally scheduled for delivery to the space station in 2007, was delayed for a number of reasons. This includes a lack of funds. Once attached to the station, the Nauka module adds a much-needed modernization to the station’s Russian side. and serves as the country’s main space research center

Viasat tries to stop Starlink launchSatellite operator Viasat is asking the FCC to stop SpaceX from launching more Starlink satellites while it heads to court to force a thorough environmental review of the matter. megaconstellation Fast-growing, SpaceNews reported Friday, Viasat has asked the Federal Communications Commission to amend its license on April 27, allowing SpaceX to continue building broadband constellations. which has more than 1,600 satellites already

SpaceX goes on … Starlink surpassed the 1,584 satellites licensed under its original license in a 550-kilometer orbit shortly after launching a new set of 52 satellites on May 15. SpaceX launched another 60 on Wednesday, if the FCC had not. Allowed to stay by June 1, Viasat intends to go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit where the FCC will request a stay and review an amendment order (submitted by Ken the Bin).

FAA Issues 400th Launch LicenseThe FAA is responsible for protecting public safety during commercial space operations. And it announced this week a Virgin Galactic flight from New Mexico on Saturday. It has licensed 400 releases. The launch took place in seven US states. four foreign countries and international waters in the Pacific Ocean An FAA license is required to carry out commercial space launches or re-entry. Site operations, launch or re-entry by US citizens anywhere in the world or by any person or entity in the United States

good security history … The first licensed launch took place in New Mexico when the Space Services Starfire launched from the White Sands Missile Range in 1989. According to the agency, the number of licensed commercial space launches has accelerated from just mere One in 2011 is a record 39 in 2020. This growth is expected to continue as the industry moves towards space tourism in the next few years. There were no deaths, serious injuries, or damage to critical public property during an FAA-authorized launch.

Falcon Heavy Delayed LaunchThe next SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch has been postponed from July to October pending payload readiness by the US Army, and the following Falcon Heavy flights have been partially delayed from later this year. In 2022, Spaceflight Now reports, the mission marks the first of two SpaceX launches of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rockets to carry the military’s highest-priority national security payload. October is “Supports load readiness,” according to Col. Douglas Pentecost, SMC’s deputy director of the launch organization.

It’s been two years since the Falcon’s last major launch. … The next mission is the USSF-52, which is scheduled to launch in October of this year. But it has now moved to 2022 “in order of launch priorities,” Pentecost said. The latest Falcon Heavy launch in June 2019 is also for the US military. The Falcon Heavy mission is expected to be the fourth and fifth flights of SpaceX’s three-core heavy lifter. Both launches will begin off the pad. 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida (delivered by ElPeaTea and Ken the Bin)

Russia planning nuclear space haul? Russia said it would launch A “nuclear-powered space tugboat” by 2030 will complete a 50-month mission to the Moon, Venus and Jupiter. The first mission of the Russian transport and nuclear power module Zeus will last 50 months, Roscosmos Executive Director for Long-Term Programs and Science Alexander Bloshenko told reporters, TASS reported.

Do we really think this will happen? … Last December, TASS continued, Russian aerospace company Roscosmos and design bureau Arsenal signed a contract to develop a preliminary project of the nuclear-powered Nuklon spacecraft for use in deep space missions. All of this sounds really cool. But considering the country’s latest statistics on space programs. I will file this under “probable nyet” (submitted by Rendgrish).

$600 trip to the moonBack in 1961, Douglas Aircraft had big plans. According to a report from the Science News archives, the company said it was planning. A “single-stage nuclear rocket” that can take people to the moon costs $600, which will include the cost of “pilots, flight attendants, food and other direct operating factors.”

Will it happen today? …Especially The report said the success of the venture will depend on “Making spaceships reusable Just like any plane today.” Douglas’ assertion is interesting at the ridiculous cost. But it’s also because SpaceX’s fully reusable Starship could partially make that vision a reality in the next decade or so. (Sent by Ken the Bin)

Launching the next three

May 28: Soyuz | OneWeb 7 mission | Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia| 17:38 UTC

29 May: Long March 7 | Tianzhou-2 Auxiliary Mission to the Chinese Space Station | Wenchang, China| 12:56 UTC

June 3: Falcon 9 | CRS-22 ISS Procurement Mission | Kennedy Space Center, Florida | 17:29 UTC




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