April 12, 2024

Balkan Travellers

Comprehensive up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all over the world

Missile Report: FAA Decision Day, or Another Delay?  Using the first stage of the balloon

Missile Report: FAA Decision Day, or Another Delay? Using the first stage of the balloon

Zoom / The Space Launch System rocket returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building this week.

Trevor Mahleman

Welcome to Rocket Report 4.41! To make you aware, the Rocket Lab mission “There and Back Again” is now scheduled for 22:35 UTC on Friday from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The company is seeking optimum weather for the launch of the first stage and later retrieval by helicopter. I look forward to seeing it.

As usual we Readers’ offers are welcomeAnd if you don’t want to miss any issue, please sign up using the box below (the form won’t appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small, medium and heavy missiles as well as a quick look at the next three launches in the calendar.

The Angara 1.2 missile is finally ready to fly. Russian space journalist Anatoly Zack reports The Angara 1.2 – a single-core version of the Angara Booster – is finally ready for its first flight. It may launch as early as Friday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, aboard the MKA-R small spacecraft. Zack notes that the car has been in development for 25 years in various forms.

Let’s put this development time in perspective … In 1997, Beal Aerospace was the hot new rocket launch company in the United States. The United Launch Alliance has been eight years in the making. It has been nearly a decade since the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket. There are still 50 space shuttle flights to go before the program is complete. Oh, and a Soyuz rocket has already been flying for 30 years.

Defenders of the Michigan spaceport are looking for …as is the case from time to time, The New Yorker dipped its toes in coverage of the space industry. this time magazine reports It takes readers to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where it has been proposed to launch a vertical spaceport on the shores of Lake Superior. The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association is pushing the spaceport concept forward, saying the command and control center will be operational by 2023. The site will be able to accommodate rockets with a capacity of about 1 metric ton to low Earth orbit, such as the Firefly Alpha vehicle.

Online petition opposing Spaceport has 25,000 signatures …I grew up in southern Michigan, which is really a world away from the Upper Peninsula. The northern part of the state is remote, beautiful and full of insects during the summer. At least that’s what I remember from several visits there as a kid. In any case, the story is the usual story of spaceport promoters who talk about the economic prospects for such a facility, and residents nearby who say they don’t want the facility for various reasons. Denis Ferraro, 75, told the newspaper, “I’m not going anywhere. They will scatter my bones or gray on this property. I am committed to leaving this land to the people a hundred years from now. Hopefully it will look the same.” (Provided by Tfargo04)

German Microlaunch competition picks second winner. Rocket Factory Augsburg . says She won a competition held by the German Aerospace Center DLR for small launch vehicles. As part of the €11 million prize, the German government will carry a 150kg payload on each of the first two flights of the company’s small rocket RFA One. The Rocket Factory Augsburg says its rocket has a lift capacity of 1,350 kg to low Earth orbit, so there will likely be other payloads on those first two flights.

Pushing the Industry Up “We are very pleased to have won the position of DLR as a lead client, and we are honored by the trust that the German government places in us,” said Jörn Spormann, RFA’s chief commercial officer. “We believe that purchasing services from newly emerging and commercially operating space carriers is the right direction for European spaceflight.” The German Small Launcher competition seeks to boost the country’s space industry. During the first round of the competition, in 2021, Isar Aerospace also won contracts worth 11 million euros.

Vega-C missile ready to launch. The first stage of the European Space Agency’s new Vega C rocket arrived in French Guiana on April 15, and the interstage followed a week later. In her press release,The European Space Agency has not set a launch target, but it was previously working toward the launch of the Small Launch Vehicle in June.

Same price, more lift … On its first mission, its main payload will be the Italian Space Agency’s LARES-2 science satellite, as well as six CubeSats research satellites. Funded by the European Space Agency, the Vega-C aims to increase performance from the original Vega rocket from 1.5 metric tons to about 2.2 tons to a 700 km reference polar orbit. There will be no increase in the price of the $37 million vehicle, according to the US Government Accountability Office. (Provided by EllPeaTea and Ken the Bin)

Launcher firing an E-2 engine with full thrust. California-based launch company he said to her It successfully launched its E-2 rocket engine at full power for the first time. The E-2 is a 3D-printed, closed-cycle LOX-kerosene rocket engine with a thrust of 22,000 pounds. A single E-2 engine will boost the company’s consumable Light Launcher to low Earth orbit with a payload of up to 150 kg.

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A starting point for bigger things … as a next step, Launcher plans to test the engine again in early May with the same thrust and injector bay. The company’s goal is to increase C* (a measure of efficiency) from 90 percent in previous tests to 98 percent. Launcher aims to build a larger, reusable orbital launch vehicle someday. (Provided by Ken Ben)

Chinese launch company registers another funding round. Deep Blue Aerospace announced round A+ funding earlier this month as it seeks to develop a reusable orbital rocket. The new round was led by CMBC International Holdings, the amount of which was not disclosed, and came just three months after Deep Blue raised $31.5 million in round A funding, Space news reports.

Based on previous tests …funding will go towards the development of the reusable Nebula-1 kerosene and liquid oxygen rocket, the Thunder series of engines, and additive manufacturing processes. Despite new funding, the first orbital launch and recovery of Nebula-1 is now expected in 2024, while previous statements targeted the first launch in 2023, the Vertical Landing Test (VTVL).

US solid rocket startup also gets funding. A start-up that makes solid rocket engines announced Tuesday that it has closed a $20 million Series A funding round, Space news reports. Indiana-based Adranos was founded in 2015 by former Purdue University flight engineer Brandon Terry and Chris Stoker. The company manufactures solid rocket engine propulsion systems for hypersonic boosters, tactical missiles and space launch vehicles.

Then there were three …funded by Adranos’ successful testing of its proprietary aluminum-lithium alloy fuel called ALITEC. The fuel was tested on solid, tactical missile engines the size of a rocket under a program funded by the US Navy and the US Air Force. Since only Northrop Grumman and Aerojet Rocketdyne currently supply solid-state rocket engines in the United States, military officials have indicated that they would welcome another local supplier. (Provided by Ken Ben)

Balloon launch company tests innovative engine. Canadian startup SpaceRyde has conducted a test launch of what it says is the world’s first hybrid coaxial rocket engine, Payload Reports. Toronto is building what it hopes will be Canada’s first orbital rocket, and it has a new first stage. The rocket’s small balloon will bring lift above 99 percent of the atmosphere, where the booster will then turn on its engines and attempt to launch into orbit.

Pivoting to place payloads … the discharge of the missile will be improved due to the thinness of the atmosphere at launch altitude. The axial motor that SpaceRyde is currently testing can be powered by its operators, generating thrust in the direction of their choice. The proposed missile will have a capacity of 150 kg, and SpaceRyde hopes to begin commercial operations in 2023. (Submitted by Ken the Bin)

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SpaceX launches second crewed mission in 19 days. Under a star-studded Florida sky Wednesday morning, a streaked Falcon 9 rocket aboard a spacecraft carrying four astronauts. A few minutes later, Commander Kjell Lindgren, pilot Bob Hines, and mission specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti were safely in orbit. The first stage of Falcon 9, on its fourth flight, quickly landed in the middle of an unmanned ship, Ars . reports.

Build that rhythm … Overall, this was SpaceX’s seventh human spaceflight in less than two years and the fifth mission for a NASA crew to the International Space Station. This launch came just 19 days after the company’s previous Crew Dragon flight on the Axiom-1 mission on April 8. The company’s director of human spaceflight programs, Benji Reed, said this week that he believes SpaceX can currently support up to six human spaceflights. year.

Spacecraft allow the decision is coming? By the time you read this, the FAA may have released a status update for the Starship launch site’s permitting status. But as of Thursday night, Agency website It is still estimated that April 29, 2022, is the completion date of the “environmental review and permitting” of the SpaceX launch site in South Texas.

That’s Friday … The FAA has previously delayed this decision several times, and it will likely happen again. But the FAA has usually released the delay publicly so far. When it does, the FAA is expected to make one of three judgments: a finding of no significant impact (FONSI), a mitigating FONSI, or a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. FONSI will allow the official launch licensing process to proceed. If a full environmental impact statement is required, launches from South Texas will likely be delayed by years as more paperwork is completed.

Vulcan is purchasing a solid rocket engine assembly. Amazon’s Project Kuiper launch contract for 38 Vulcan missile missions has already prompted the United Launch Alliance to purchase 116 RL-10 engines for the Centaur upper stage. Now, ULA is moving to procure solid rocket boosters for those flights.

Big Deal Booster …space journalist Stephen Clark reports That ULA is expected to sign an agreement with Northrop Grumman to purchase GEM 63XL rigid boosters for approximately $2 billion. Northrop CEO Cathy Warden said the reinforcements will cover the ULA’s need to launch Vulcan for the Kuiper Program and additional missions.

The next three launches

April 29: Long March 11 | Gaofen satellites | A barge on the Yellow Sea | 03:30

April 29: Angara 1.2 | MKA-R mission | Plesetsk Space Station, Russia | 19:55

April 29: Falcon 9 | Starlink 4-16 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | 21:27