elon musk – St Louis Rocketry http://stlouisrocketry.org/ Tue, 12 Apr 2022 14:51:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://stlouisrocketry.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-05T144115.516-139x136.png elon musk – St Louis Rocketry http://stlouisrocketry.org/ 32 32 Relive 20 years of SpaceX’s greatest hits with action-packed video https://stlouisrocketry.org/relive-20-years-of-spacexs-greatest-hits-with-action-packed-video/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 21:46:00 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/relive-20-years-of-spacexs-greatest-hits-with-action-packed-video/ Starship is the future of SpaceX. SpaceX SpaceX came into being on March 14, 2002, and it’s been busy ever since. The company released a whirlwind retrospective video Monday to mark its 20th anniversary. “Today we celebrate the creation of SpaceX and 20 years of accomplishments by this incredible team. Here’s to creating a future […]]]>

Starship is the future of SpaceX.

SpaceX

SpaceX came into being on March 14, 2002, and it’s been busy ever since. The company released a whirlwind retrospective video Monday to mark its 20th anniversary. “Today we celebrate the creation of SpaceX and 20 years of accomplishments by this incredible team. Here’s to creating a future we are all passionate about,” SpaceX tweeted.

The video is stacked with archival footage of rocket launches and landings and exuberant mission control celebrations. The flagship reel includes footage of the Dragon capsule in space, satellite deployments and testing of Starship prototypes.

Of course, founder Elon Musk’s personal Tesla makes an appearance. The famous company launched the red car into space using the Falcon Heavy rocket in 2018.

Tellingly, the video ends with a lingering shot of a spaceship. The next-gen vehicle has yet to reach orbit, but it’s designed to eventually carry humans to the Moon and Mars and even around Earth instead of flying in planes. The use of Starship for the final video makes it clear that the company’s next 20 years could be defined by the development and use of the new spacecraft.

In 20 years, will SpaceX release a 40th anniversary video with images of humans on Mars? If Musk gets what he wants, it’s possible.

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Musk ‘confident’ about Starship orbital launch this year https://stlouisrocketry.org/musk-confident-about-starship-orbital-launch-this-year/ Sun, 20 Feb 2022 04:19:42 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/musk-confident-about-starship-orbital-launch-this-year/ STARBASE, United States: Elon Musk provided an update on SpaceX’s efforts to develop its Starship interplanetary rocket on Thursday evening, but refrained from announcing a firm launch date for an orbital test or new missions, despite considerable buildup ahead of the rare presentation. Speaking to an audience at the company’s Starbase facility near Boca Chica, […]]]>

STARBASE, United States: Elon Musk provided an update on SpaceX’s efforts to develop its Starship interplanetary rocket on Thursday evening, but refrained from announcing a firm launch date for an orbital test or new missions, despite considerable buildup ahead of the rare presentation.

Speaking to an audience at the company’s Starbase facility near Boca Chica, South Texas, the tycoon simply said, “I’m very confident at this point that we’ll get to orbit this year,” while hinting at a potential pivot to launch from Florida if the company encounters regulatory hurdles.

Musk spoke against the impressive backdrop of the spacecraft in its fully stacked configuration, 120 meters (394 feet) high, with a matte black upper stage atop a shimmering silver Super Heavy first stage rocket.

Together they form the largest spacecraft ever built: larger than even the Saturn V rockets that took astronauts to the Moon in the Apollo era.

Made of stainless steel and designed to be fully reusable, Starship is also intended to be the most powerful rocket in the world and will be capable of lifting up to 100 metric tons into Earth orbit.

SpaceX envisions the ship carrying crew and cargo to the Moon, Mars and beyond, and last year NASA awarded the company a contract for a version of Starship to ferry astronauts for the Artemis program from the Moon. lunar orbit on the surface.

$10 million launches?

In his first detailed progress report on the project since 2019, Musk recapped his ultimate vision for colonizing Mars as “life insurance” in the event of disaster on Earth, and as the first step to expanding Mars’ footprint. humanity beyond the solar system.

The speech was peppered with dry humor, like his “sales pitch” for Mars: “It’s going to be cramped, dangerous, difficult, very harsh word, you could die”, although he hopes to eventually terraform the planet Red.

Musk also included a few updates for fans, like an illustration of how one spacecraft would be sent to refuel another on deep space travel, and the advantage of thrust and the neater design. of the latest generation of Raptor engines compared to the first iteration.

Each Starship booster is expected to have 33 Raptors, and a bottleneck in production is expected to ease in the coming weeks, with up to one engine manufactured per day by next month, Musk said.

He also revealed that within a few years the launch cost could be as low as $10 million, a price that could revolutionize the industry by making rockets attractive for commercial transport.

A flight to Singapore from the United States takes 20 hours “whereas in a rocket it would take less than an hour. So about 45 minutes or thereabouts.

Starship’s upper stage has already made several suborbital flights. After multiple tests that ended in impressive explosions, SpaceX finally managed to land the spacecraft last May.

Possible pivot to Florida

But a much more ambitious orbital test awaits environmental impact clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA said in a December statement that it would submit a report by February 28.

Musk said that while he was optimistic about the approval, he was ready to move launch operations to the company’s launch site at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, if successful.

Former deep-sea oil rigs the company has acquired to convert into rocket and land launch sites could also come into play, he added.

Beyond exploration missions, Starship’s huge payload capacity could also be a boon for astronomers looking to place larger telescopes in space, while the US military has given SpaceX a contract five years to demonstrate its ability to transport cargo around the world in an ultra-fast way. time.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has hired Starship for a trip around the moon with a team of artists, and Musk hinted that there will soon be “future announcements that I think people will be pretty excited about,” without saying disclose more.

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SpaceX postpones weekend Falcon 9 rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center to Monday – WFTV https://stlouisrocketry.org/spacex-postpones-weekend-falcon-9-rocket-launch-at-kennedy-space-center-to-monday-wftv/ Sat, 19 Feb 2022 18:35:03 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/spacex-postpones-weekend-falcon-9-rocket-launch-at-kennedy-space-center-to-monday-wftv/ KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — A rocket launch scheduled for this weekend has been moved to Monday, according to SpaceX. READ: The billionaire who flew SpaceX last year returning to orbit SpaceX announced Saturday afternoon that a Falcon 9 rocket launch scheduled for Sunday has been postponed to Monday. The company said the delay was […]]]>

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — A rocket launch scheduled for this weekend has been moved to Monday, according to SpaceX.

READ: The billionaire who flew SpaceX last year returning to orbit

SpaceX announced Saturday afternoon that a Falcon 9 rocket launch scheduled for Sunday has been postponed to Monday.

The company said the delay was due to weather issues for the recovery of the rocket’s first stage.

Launch is now scheduled for Monday at 9:44 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

WATCH: Elon Musk says SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft will launch from Kennedy Space Center

This launch is part of SpaceX’s Starlink mission.

SpaceX said Starlink’s goal is to create a network of satellites that will help deliver internet services to those not yet connected and deliver reliable, affordable internet around the world.

READ: SpaceX satellites fall out of orbit after solar storm

If the Falcon 9 rocket is launched, Eyewitness News will be covered live on Channel 9.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and Click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.

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End of Lockheed bid for Aerojet Rocketdyne could impact space and missile markets, experts say https://stlouisrocketry.org/end-of-lockheed-bid-for-aerojet-rocketdyne-could-impact-space-and-missile-markets-experts-say/ Tue, 15 Feb 2022 17:34:31 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/end-of-lockheed-bid-for-aerojet-rocketdyne-could-impact-space-and-missile-markets-experts-say/ 1/5 Aerojet Rocketdyne tested an RS-25 engine for NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi in 2017. Photo courtesy of Aerojet Rocketdyne ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 15 (UPI) — Lockheed Martin, the largest US defense contractor, has dropped its bid to buy rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne, but experts said another […]]]>

1/5

Aerojet Rocketdyne tested an RS-25 engine for NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi in 2017. Photo courtesy of Aerojet Rocketdyne

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 15 (UPI) — Lockheed Martin, the largest US defense contractor, has dropped its bid to buy rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne, but experts said another suitor could emerge.

The Sacramento-based Aerojet has produced engines for the Space Shuttle, is working on engines for NASA’s upcoming moon rockets and is also developing hypersonic missile systems for the US military.

Lockheed said Monday it was abandoning the proposed merger because the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block the deal over concerns that Maryland-based Lockheed could gain a stranglehold on production of missiles.

But the end of Lockheed’s bid doesn’t mean someone else won’t come along to buy Aerojet, according to Cynthia Cook, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, DC-based think tank.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if Aerojet ended up being taken over by another company – the fact that they agreed to be taken over by Lockheed Martin indicates that they are open to this, even though they issued a statement saying that they would continue as an independent company,” Cook, who leads the center’s defense industry initiatives group, told UPI.

And although the Biden administration has signaled it will oppose anti-competitive consolidation in the defense industry, Lockheed and other contractors may soon seek other acquisition targets, she said. .

“It’s too early for us to know how the Biden administration will handle similar deals in the defense sector. We need a few more examples before we can draw any conclusions,” Cook said.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is best known for producing RS-25 rocket engines that powered the Space Shuttle, while it modified those for use on NASA’s new SLS moon rocket. The space agency is preparing to launch an uncrewed SLS this spring.

Aerojet is also working on engines for hypersonic missile systems, a niche where it has only one other US competitor, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman.

Lockheed CEO James Taiclet said in a statement on Monday that the purchase of Aerojet “would have benefited the entire industry through greater efficiency, greater speed and significant cost reductions for the American government”. But he said the company doesn’t want to file a federal lawsuit against the FTC.

The FTC had argued that buying Aerojet would have allowed Lockheed to cut off other contractors from critical components needed to build missiles.

“Without competitive pressure, Lockheed can raise the price the U.S. government must pay, while delivering lower quality and less innovation. We cannot afford to allow additional focus on markets critical to our security and our national defenses,” said Holly, director of the FTC’s Competition Bureau. Vedova said in a press release.

But trying to block Lockheed’s deal makes no sense if the government wants to see Aerojet Rocketdyne thrive, Marco Cáceres, space analyst for Virginia-based Teal Group, told UPI in an interview.

It’s important to recognize that Aerojet faces stiff competition for Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket engines, many small launch vehicles and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Cáceres said.

SpaceX makes its own rocket engines, while Blue Origin is trying to develop a new engine for United Launch Alliance, which is jointly owned by Lockheed and Boeing.

These new space companies, however, have shown no interest in building missile engines, he noted.

“The only thing the government should do to promote competition and provide more diversity in terms of competitive launch is precisely to have authorized” the merger, he said.

“I think you stand to lose Boeing and Lockheed, two big historical companies in launch services, because they just can’t compete on price with SpaceX, they don’t have the reusable technology either,” said Caceres.

The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor during a flyby of the orbiting laboratory that took place after it undocked from the space-facing port of the Harmony module on November 8. Photo courtesy of NASA

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As SpaceX awaits Texas launch approval, company sells 3 more flights to billionaire CEO – CBS Dallas/Fort Worth https://stlouisrocketry.org/as-spacex-awaits-texas-launch-approval-company-sells-3-more-flights-to-billionaire-ceo-cbs-dallas-fort-worth/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 15:07:00 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/as-spacex-awaits-texas-launch-approval-company-sells-3-more-flights-to-billionaire-ceo-cbs-dallas-fort-worth/ BOCA CHICA, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – Billionaire CEO Jared Isaacman is buying three more flights with SpaceX, the first of which is slated for this year and could put Isaacman and SpaceX on track to travel deeper into space than any human has traveled in half a century. The first flight in the series of missions, […]]]>

BOCA CHICA, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – Billionaire CEO Jared Isaacman is buying three more flights with SpaceX, the first of which is slated for this year and could put Isaacman and SpaceX on track to travel deeper into space than any human has traveled in half a century.

The first flight in the series of missions, called “Polaris” after the North Star, will last up to five days and include a crew of Isaacman and three others. The crew will perform a spacewalk, a first for anyone traveling aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule. Isaacman made the announcement on NBC’s Today Show Monday morning and in an interview with The Washington Post.

READ MORE: Good Monday weather but dry conditions and strong winds increase fire danger in North Texas

Isaacman, who gained international attention when he purchased SpaceX’s first all-touring flight dubbed “Inspiration 4,” said the first Dragon mission will be followed by a second Dragon mission shortly thereafter. These two missions will pave the way for the first-ever crewed mission on SpaceX’s next Starship rocket, the one Elon Musk hopes to one day carry to Mars. Isaacman didn’t share many details about those plans, except that during this series of missions he plans to travel to “deep space” – which is generally defined as areas of outer space. located on or beyond the moon.

It’s unclear if all of this will go as planned, nor has SpaceX said if it will need to perform additional testing before Isaacman can make his deep space trip. SpaceX also did not address any updates Crew Dragon will need to complete the mission safely. So far, the spacecraft has only carried astronauts on trips to low Earth orbit, or the area of ​​space directly surrounding Earth. The Inspiration 4 mission marked Crew Dragon’s highest flight so far, at an altitude of around 360 miles, and Monday’s announcement said the Polaris missions will go further than that.

It is unknown how much these missions will cost Isaacman. He also didn’t reveal how much he paid for the Inspiration 4 mission last year, though he said he paid less than $200 million.

The entire Inspiration 4 mission was billed as a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and raised a total of $243 million for the cause. Isaacman donated about $100 million, Musk invested another $50 million, and the rest was raised through public donations. Polaris missions should also support the same cause.

On the first Polaris mission, Isaacman will be joined by veteran Air Force fighter pilot Scott Poteet, SpaceX operations engineer Sarah Gillis and SpaceX engineer Anna Menon, who will serve as an onboard medic. Isaacman will be the only crew member with previous spaceflight experience.

READ MORE: Threat to inspector ends with US suspension of avocado imports from Mexico

Spatialship

The timing of Isaacman’s ship flight is not entirely clear. During a Starship presentation in Texas last week, Musk said while he was hopeful the vehicle – which has so far only performed brief suborbital “jump tests” – would make its first flight test orbital this year, unmanned. That, however, could hinge on whether federal regulators give SpaceX approval to launch Starship out of South Texas, where the company has already set up an orbital launch pad and where the vast majority are located. Starship resources.

This could mean Isaacman surpasses the first billionaire who bought a Starship mission – Japanese fashion mogul Yusaku Maezawa. Maezawa paid SpaceX an undisclosed sum of money to secure a spot for himself and a group of performers on a Starship trip around the moon, hoping it could lift off as soon as 2023. Maezawa is still deciding who he’s going to take with him.

Musk also said during the presentation that he hopes Starship will cost less than $10 million per flight within a few years, which, if available, would be much cheaper than any other rocket on the market.

The ship is expected to be far more powerful than any rocket ever built by mankind. Musk said he would have twice the thrust of the Saturn V rockets that powered the moon landings of the last century.

NO MORE NEWS: Sources: US prepares to withdraw all personnel from Ukrainian capital within 48 hours

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The CNN Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company contributed to this report.)

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Money can buy you (11 minutes of) happiness https://stlouisrocketry.org/money-can-buy-you-11-minutes-of-happiness/ Sun, 06 Feb 2022 16:19:20 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/money-can-buy-you-11-minutes-of-happiness/ It is widely believed that people spend money to decrease pain and increase pleasure. But the answer to the age-old question isn’t so simple – unless, of course, you’re Jeff Bezos. In mid-2021, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos headed into space with three other people in a rocket named “New Shepard.” Eleven minutes later, the group […]]]>

It is widely believed that people spend money to decrease pain and increase pleasure. But the answer to the age-old question isn’t so simple – unless, of course, you’re Jeff Bezos.

In mid-2021, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos headed into space with three other people in a rocket named “New Shepard.” Eleven minutes later, the group returned to Earth, having seen the “pale blue dot” through the largest set of windows flown in space. Bezos emerged with a cowboy hat on his head, and when asked for his reaction afterwards, he exclaimed, “Oh my god!”

For a man whose fortune is worth around $265 billion, it seems like money has bought Bezos happiness – every 11 minutes. But is the answer to the age-old question the same for everyone? A study conducted in the United States in 2010 examined two main components of what psychologists call “subjective well-being”: daily experiences of joy, fascination or anxiety, for example, and their reflections on their lives. in general. This reported that as Americans earned more money, their life satisfaction increased, but their day-to-day happiness plateaued once their annual income reached US$75,000. A decade later, another study apparently found the opposite – life satisfaction increased at all income levels, but Americans’ daily well-being continued to increase even past the $75,000 mark.

“With many psychological findings, one study that challenges another does not necessarily mean a complete reversal of what we believe to be true,” says Amanda Wallis, research manager at Umbrella Wellbeing, a specialist health services provider. mental health and wellness for the workplace. in Aotearoa. But the latest science supports the idea that people spend money to decrease pain and increase pleasure. There are, however, some fundamentals: the ability to hold a roof over one’s head, put food on the table, care for whānau and friends, and connect socially with others, and the concern to meet these obligations week after week, are “basic psychological needs and human rights, you might say,” she says.

Having or lacking money can also make it easier or harder for people to feel in control of the direction of their lives – an idea supported by findings from the 2021 Money Happiness Study. August 2020, the latest installment of a long-running study of the health of young New Zealanders found that symptoms of depression and rates of suicide attempts were generally higher among people living in low-income communities, according to the Youth19 survey. Additionally, a quarter of nearly 8,000 high school students said depressive symptoms affected their daily lives – a rate that has almost doubled since 2012. The deterioration in mental health cannot be explained by one theory alone, have the authors said, but among the many factors at play were young people’s future worries like employment and housing. At the same time, the average income of 15-34 year olds has increased last two decades; people aged 30 to 34 earn up to $5,000 more than the median for all age groups. By comparing, three out of five Australian teenagers in 2020 reported feeling satisfied with their lives as they earn less while the incomes of others continue to increase.

Gaynor Parkin, CEO of Umbrella Wellbeing, and Amanda Wallis, Head of Research (Photos: Supplied)

The human tendency to compare one’s position in life to another suggests that people are never satisfied with what they have – a theory that psychologists call the “hedonic treadmill”. Emotional peaks experienced during major life events, such as winning the lottery, losing a loved one, or flying off into space, or the pursuit of pleasure and lingering pain, do not persist over time . Instead, people’s happiness tends to flatten out after each explosion.

For young people, they grow up seeing that having a well-paying job and owning a home are markers of success. And as they make more money, they tend to befriend other high earners, which earns them even more. It’s a very Western model of happiness, says Gaynor Parkin, founder of Umbrella Wellbeing, who wonders if it’s helpful. “Is it better to change the subject and say ‘how else can you get happiness, meaning and purpose in different ways?'”

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted and deepened the gap between the rich and everyone else. More than 160 million people have been forced into poverty and the incomes of 99% of people have fallen, according to Oxfam. And the fortunes of the world’s 10 richest men – including Bezos – have more than doubled to $2.3 trillion. In addition, rising inflation makes goods and services more expensive and lowers the value of wages and salaries.

Parkin describes the pandemic’s effect on the wealth gap as “hideous.” Of course, some of the super-rich have asked governments around the world tax them to help bridge inequalities and fund government responses to Covid. But in the case of Elon Musk, Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg becoming incredibly wealthier, “it made me feel a little sick. It’s so not right,” she says. “In any decent society, we have to give priority to everyone who has had enough” – only then can whānau and individuals seek to define happiness, not just for themselves but for their communities.

Both men agree that money is best viewed as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. People who earn more have more or even better options, while those with lower incomes can still spend what they earn on what interests them. But Wallis acknowledges that these situations go beyond the day-to-day struggle that some people simply have to try to make ends meet. “I’m careful not to say ‘be grateful’,” she says. “This is banal advice for people who are struggling to survive because, in this case, money can be the solution to feeling better.”

So, can money buy happiness? “It’s possible, but it will probably be very fleeting,” Parkin says, before wondering if the Amazon founder is really happy. Bezos’ journey into space was “probably pretty exciting, but I bet if we zapped into his world and asked ‘are you happy? “, I don’t know if he would say he is. He might say “I need a bigger jet”.


To follow When the facts changeBernard Hickey’s essential weekly guide to the intersection of economics, politics and business on Apple podcast, Spotify or your favorite podcast provider.

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Rocket builder enlists 50 volunteers to launch amateur astronaut https://stlouisrocketry.org/rocket-builder-enlists-50-volunteers-to-launch-amateur-astronaut/ Sat, 05 Feb 2022 15:39:51 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/rocket-builder-enlists-50-volunteers-to-launch-amateur-astronaut/ In 2017, Mad Mike Hughes built a scrap rocket to launch into the Mojave Desert to prove the Earth is flat. The story made headlines around the world primarily for its ridiculousness, but also because of the awe-inspiring achievement it represented. It was an indication that a simple man, not a billionaire, could actually build […]]]>

In 2017, Mad Mike Hughes built a scrap rocket to launch into the Mojave Desert to prove the Earth is flat. The story made headlines around the world primarily for its ridiculousness, but also because of the awe-inspiring achievement it represented. It was an indication that a simple man, not a billionaire, could actually build a rocket.

That’s why when a group of 50 Copenhagen Suborbitals volunteers announced they were building a rocket to send into space, the news caught a lot of attention, as first reported. Futurism. If the intrepid group of ambitious volunteers actually manage to get their rocket off the ground and into orbit, it will mark a milestone for humanity.

A DIY rocket builder

Copenhagen Suborbitals consists of a group of hobbyist rocketry enthusiasts in Denmark. Their goal is to launch a person into sub-orbit on a homemade rocket and with a very small budget. It is the only manned amateur space program in the world and they have launched five rockets since 2011.

Beware Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos! You have real competition here. Mads Stenfatt, an awards manager, is one such volunteer and he said Futurism he enjoys the challenge of building rockets. “We do it because it’s hard,” Stenfatt said. “Once you get there, you also start to realize that the fun part isn’t getting to the goal. The fun part is constantly working on challenges that are so ridiculously difficult.

Spica to change the course of history

Stenfatt and his relentless companions are currently designing a spacecraft called “Spica”. If all goes well, and a lot can go wrong, they hope Spica will be the first amateur spacecraft to undertake a crewed suborbital flight, marking a key milestone for humanity as a whole.

How long will such a project take? Given manufacturers’ tight budgets and many complicated hurdles caused by the COVID pandemic, the volunteers speculate that it will be at least another 10 years before Spica flies into orbit, changing the course of history forever.

If this group of dedicated volunteers achieves their particular goal, they will be living proof that the human spirit can reach new heights if only given the right motivation. We wish them good luck and we will follow this project closely.

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How the holy grail of spaceflight could soon become reality https://stlouisrocketry.org/how-the-holy-grail-of-spaceflight-could-soon-become-reality/ Wed, 26 Jan 2022 20:00:25 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/how-the-holy-grail-of-spaceflight-could-soon-become-reality/ Long-time spaceflight the dream could soon come back in full force. This month, Washington-based Radian Aerospace announced it was building a single-stage orbiting spaceplane that takes off and lands horizontally. The revelation sparked excitement for what could be considered the holy grail of the decades-old industry. Christie Maddock, a lecturer in mechanical and aerospace engineering […]]]>

Long-time spaceflight the dream could soon come back in full force.

This month, Washington-based Radian Aerospace announced it was building a single-stage orbiting spaceplane that takes off and lands horizontally. The revelation sparked excitement for what could be considered the holy grail of the decades-old industry.

Christie Maddock, a lecturer in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Strathclyde, says the “seductive concept” has been around for almost a century.

“Radian Aerospace’s announcement is exciting, primarily in that it signifies that work in this area, towards this goal, is underway,” Maddock said. Reverse. “What exactly this work is, and how successful it can be, is impossible to say without knowing the technical details.”

If Radian can pull it off, it could mean rockets that work more like planes. That means better reuse, faster reuse, and in Radian’s case, the ability to land on a wide variety of tracks.

Want to know more about what’s going on in the world of space? To subscribe to THE MUSK LIT+ for exclusive interviews and analysis on spaceflight, electric cars, and more.

Here’s what you need to know about the technology:

Single-stage in orbit: why do we have stages?

First, a quick introduction. Space rockets do not fire their engines and head straight to their destination like a car: they are actually made up of several mini-rockets that fall off after use.

everyday astronaut note that the German Rocket V2 was the first to go into space, when in 1944 he reached an altitude of 109 miles. This placed it beyond the 62-mile Kármán line, generally accepted as the limit of space.

A replica of a V2 rocket.photo alliance/photo alliance/Getty Images

It’s fine for a short demonstration, but the rockets have to go faster to reach orbit. The goal is to break away from Earth’s gravity. The speed at which an object can escape Earth’s gravitational forces is its escape velocity, and for Earth it is approximately 25,000mph.

The problem with reaching this speed is that the rockets are heavy. More fuel gives more power, but it makes the rocket heavier. You find yourself in a game of cat and mouse trying to add enough fuel to power your increasingly heavy rocket.

That of the Soviet Union R-7 rocket family, which sent the first satellite into space, circumvented this problem by discarding engines and fuel tanks after the fuel ran out. The rocket would then use another smaller set of engines and fuel tanks to continue climbing.

“Same thrust, lighter mass, means higher acceleration,” says Maddock.

This process of losing weight, known as “staging,” fuels the space industry as it stands today. NASA’s Saturn V, which sent the first humans to the Moon, used three stages. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 uses two stages.

Saturn V from NASA.Congressional Quarterly/CQ-Roll Call, Inc./Getty Images

What is single-stage orbiting?

The problem with staging is that you dump components at launch time. This makes it more difficult to reuse a rocket.

SpaceX has focused on making the first stage of its fully reusable Falcon 9 rocket, but the second stage is still expendable. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has pointed to airplanes as an ideal for why spaceflight companies should reuse rockets — it would be unreasonable to crash the plane or lose components on every flight.

“It’s really crazy that we build these fancy rockets and smash them every time they fly,” Musk said in 2017. SpaceX is currently developing a fully reusable spacecraft, where the booster and the craft land every two safely.

Airplanes, in a sense, are the ultimate example of why a single stage in orbit would be ideal – more durable, cheaper, less manufacturing involved.

Radian wants to use a concept known as a rocket sled launch, which starts horizontally, descending a track to gain speed before pulling up a ramp at the end, starting the rocket at an angle as it lifts off in opposition to a vertical launch that gradually rounds its trajectory to reach orbit.

How to make a single-stage rocket into orbit?

Maddock explains that there are a few techniques that researchers have explored:

  • Lifting surfaces as wings could help generate lift and reduce the need for more propellant – assuming the mass of the wings is less than the mass of the propellant
  • Use of air from the atmosphere as part of the propulsion system, replacing the oxidizer used in a propulsion system. Unfortunately, it would still have to revert to a more traditional rocket engine as the vehicle moved through the thinner atmosphere at higher altitudes.
  • The use of lighter materials make the mass smaller

What does Radian Aerospace promise?

We know little so far, but Radian is making big promises with the Radian One vehicle:

  • A rocket that take off horizontally with sleigh assistance
  • A comfortable ascent with lesser forces against the crew
  • Soft landings on any 10,000 foot runway
  • The ability to land and fly again in just 48 hours

Radian plans to use it to send crew and light cargo to low Earth orbit. It claims to have already entered into launch service agreements with “commercial space stations, in-space manufacturers, satellite and cargo companies”, as well as US and foreign governments.

In its latest reveal, Radian announced that it has closed $27.5 million in seed funding. Its advisory team includes Michael López-Alegría, who will fly as one of the first crew members on Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission in late March.

Who else has tried to do a single-stage orbit?

Radian isn’t the first to consider a luge. Maddock notes that in 1933 Eugen Sänger unveiled the plans for the Silbervogel. This would have used a Radian-type rocket sled to accelerate the vehicle to 1,200 mph using a series of V2 rockets.

Jalopnik reports that the idea was dropped by the German government, but the US Air Force has explored a similar idea. Boeing’s X-20 Dyna-Soar replaced the V2s with Titan IIIs, but that too was discontinued in the 1960s. The concepts eventually helped build NASA’s multi-stage space shuttle.

In the 1986 State of the Union Address, President Ronald Reagan expressed his support for a new single-stage project in orbit:

“We are continuing our research into a new Orient Express that could, by the end of the next decade, take off from Dulles Airport, accelerate up to 25 times the speed of sound, reach low Earth orbit or fly to Tokyo in two hours.”

The National Aero-Space Plane, a NASA project, promised to reach orbit from virtually any airport. the New York Times reports that it promised to reach speeds of up to 17,000 mph and circle the globe in 90 minutes.

Unfortunately, the technical obstacles proved to be too many. In 1994, after spending $1.6 billion, the project was canceled.

Also in the 1980s, Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace explored the HOTEL space vehicle. This vehicle, with the acronym HOrizontal TakeOff and Landing, promised to travel from the United Kingdom to Australia in about an hour. It would have carried 15,400 pounds into low Earth orbit.

Whether Radian can succeed where others have failed remains to be seen.

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Static SpaceX fires Falcon 9 rocket for Italian radar satellite launch https://stlouisrocketry.org/static-spacex-fires-falcon-9-rocket-for-italian-radar-satellite-launch/ Mon, 24 Jan 2022 07:57:37 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/static-spacex-fires-falcon-9-rocket-for-italian-radar-satellite-launch/ SpaceX successfully tested a Falcon 9 rocket tasked with launching Italy’s CSG-2 Earth observation satellite as early as 6:11 p.m. EST (23:11 UTC) on Thursday, January 27. For any member state of the European Space Agency (ESA), launching a spacecraft on a non-European rocket is a rarity. Given that the Ariane and Vega rockets that […]]]>

SpaceX successfully tested a Falcon 9 rocket tasked with launching Italy’s CSG-2 Earth observation satellite as early as 6:11 p.m. EST (23:11 UTC) on Thursday, January 27.

For any member state of the European Space Agency (ESA), launching a spacecraft on a non-European rocket is a rarity. Given that the Ariane and Vega rockets that ESA helped fund and European countries are helping to build are simply no longer able to consistently compete with SpaceX’s Falcon prices, Arianespace and ESA have increasingly most wanted multi-year political mandates this To obligate Member States to agree to launch all possible payloads on Ariane, Vega or Soyuz rockets. It was only after Vega suffered several launch failures and its Vega C upgrade suffered several delays that Italy was apparently able to consider launch alternatives for CSG-2 instead of delaying its already delayed launch by a year or more.

Designed to monitor the Earth’s surface for a variety of purposes using a technology known as Scanning Aperture Radar (SAR), the approximately 2,200 kilograms (~4,900 lb) satellite is heading into a circular polar orbit at 620 kilometers (385 mi) above the planet’s surface. . Designed to launch on the mostly Italian-built Vega C rocket, which itself is designed to launch up to 2,300kg into low Earth orbit, CSG-2 will instead launch on SpaceX’s much larger Falcon 9.

A few years ago, a Falcon 9 launch with a flight-proven booster fetched a base price of around $50 million for at least 12 tons (~27,000 lbs) to LEO. According to manufacturer Avio, Vega C is designed to launch 2.3 tons (~5100 lbs) to LEO for around $40 million. Since SpaceX recently billed NASA $50 million to launch the agency’s IXPE X-ray observatory with drone craft landing for the mission’s Falcon 9 booster, it’s plausible that Italy would pay SpaceX less than $50 million to launch CSG-2, which is light enough and headed to a simple enough orbit to allow her Falcon 9 booster to return to land for recovery.

According to CEO Elon Musk, the complexity of landing a drone and recovering a booster at sea adds significant cost (perhaps up to several hundred thousand dollars) to any Falcon launch that requires it. As such, Falcon 9’s Return to Launch Site Landing (RTLS) alone could shave approximately $500,000 off the CSG-2 launch price, making it even more competitive against Vega.

Inspiration4, for example, launched about 30 minutes after sunset. (Richard Angle)

Thanks to the launch window that SpaceX and ASI have settled on, the launch of CSG-2 could be quite spectacular – and for more than the crowd-favorite Falcon 9 RTLS landing, it will include. Scheduled to take off just 15 minutes after sunset, the twilight sky (clouds permitting) will be dark blue as the Falcon 9 lifts off and climbs into the sun, backlit by the exhaust plumes from both stages.

The mission’s RTLS landing will only enhance the effect by adding the interaction of the two-stage exhaust plumes as CSG-2’s Falcon 9 booster turns around and returns to the Florida coast. The sun can even backlight the exhaust of the booster during a re-entry burn performed minutes after the stages separate, which will hopefully result in a spectacular light show that lasts several minutes and is visible hundreds of miles in all directions.

Static SpaceX fires Falcon 9 rocket for Italian radar satellite launch






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The launch of a nanosatellite is a big step forward for African space science https://stlouisrocketry.org/the-launch-of-a-nanosatellite-is-a-big-step-forward-for-african-space-science/ Sun, 23 Jan 2022 08:56:46 +0000 https://stlouisrocketry.org/the-launch-of-a-nanosatellite-is-a-big-step-forward-for-african-space-science/ South African space science had a big day on January 13, 2022. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology, based in Cape Town, spear its third satellite mission to space from the Cape Canaveral rocket launch site in Florida in the United States. The constellation of nanosatellites – made up of three satellites – is called […]]]>

South African space science had a big day on January 13, 2022. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology, based in Cape Town, spear its third satellite mission to space from the Cape Canaveral rocket launch site in Florida in the United States.

The constellation of nanosatellites – made up of three satellites – is called MDASat (Marine Domain Awareness). A nanosatellite is smaller than standard satellites, weighing between 1kg and 10kg; it is an affordable and functional option. The average mass of each of our satellites is 2.1 kg.

MDASat is designed to collect data that will improve the security and protection of South Africa’s marine resources. The constellation will detect, monitor and identify foreign vessels inside the country. exclusive economic zone. This could help track illegal dumping and fishing.

Our hope, as the team that developed and designed the constellation – I am the project’s acting chief engineer – is that MDASat will strengthen the country’s ocean sovereignty and protect our marine resources.

This mission follows the successful development, launch and operation of two other nanosatellites: ZACUBE-1, known as TshepisoSat, and ZACUBE-2.

This is an exciting time not only for the institution and for South Africa, but for the African continent more broadly: this is the first constellation of satellites developed and designed in Africa. Other African countries, including Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Ghana, sent satellites into space. But these were not developed and designed on the continent; they involved partnerships with non-African nations or companies.

This is important because the more countries and scientists involved in space, the better: it allows for better collaborations and introduces new technical techniques to process information. Different data can be used for all sorts of purposes, such as tracking space weather and monitoring natural and marine resources.

Role of MDASat

The January 13 launch sent three satellites from the MDA constellation (we hope to launch nine in total as part of this constellation) into space. MDASat-1 will use Automatic Identification System data to monitor vessel movements in South Africa’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The Automatic Identification System is a radio system used for tracking marine traffic. Location messages received by satellites from ships in the ocean below are downloaded daily from the satellite as it passes over the ground station at the university’s campus in Bellville, Cape Town.

One of the nanosatellites forming part of the MDASat constellation.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Satellites can do a number of things. For example, they can receive over-the-air upgrades, meaning software can be developed and uploaded to the satellite in orbit when it’s ready. They can also collect raw data, improving the possibility of diagnostic tests on signal interference and message decoding. This information allows us to track the health of the satellites – if they encounter software bugs or electronic malfunctions, we can study this information and then apply fixes or backup maneuvers.



Read more: Cool cubes are changing the way we play in space


MDASat also has an improved data interface. This means that it uses all available bandwidth so that it performs optimally and can transmit maximum data.

These improvements pave the way for the development and launch of the future MDASat-2. They also minimize the risk of damage to the current payload by space weather conditions.

Each satellite will initially pass through the ground station an average of four times per day, but this will steadily increase. The satellites will recede over time and as they recede we will have an average of 12 passes per day. We expect an average of 1883,000 bytes of data to be generated per pass and per satellite.

At the same time, we are still following the previously launched ZACUBE-2. It also tracks ships, as well as forest and vegetation fires. Since its launch in 2018, ZACube-2 has provided state-of-the-art very high frequency data exchange communication systems to the country’s maritime industry, as a contribution to Operation Phakisa. This government initiative aims to accelerate several priority projects.

Another African Connection

Space engineering projects began at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2008. Today they are coordinated by the African Space Innovation Center.

We work from laboratories close to the institution’s Bellville campus. Our satellites are built to last and stay the course: they undergo a rigorous flight acceptance review that confirms not only that they are fit for space, but that they will perform once they get there. The review includes environmental testing to ensure mechanical shock does not erase satellite and thermal testing to ensure it can operate within designated temperature ranges.

The January 13 launch had another South African element: MDASat was launched by SpaceX, the company founded by South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk. SpaceX offers affordable ridesharing options in space, and MDASat was just one project launched aboard the aerospace company’s Falcon 9 rocket on the occasion. The rocket was carrying a total of 105 spacecraft which will all gather data for different entities.

This project represents a big step towards empowering South Africa’s precious natural resources: data from and about the country, for its own use.

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