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Rocket Report: SLS stops NASA's prompt action, Brazil takes into account the launch of the site



  A Falcon 9 rocket launches from the Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket launches from the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Welcome to Edition 1.40 of the Rocket Report! There have been some Earth-shaking developments in this week's heavy increase, with NASA announcement to consider using commercial rocket to launch the first launch of the Moon of the Orion spacecraft. Readers also provide other interesting stories, such as Brazil taking into account a launch site to rival Kourou in neighboring French Guiana.

As always, we accept the reader submissions, and if you do not want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear in AMP-enabled versions of the site ). Each report will include information about small, relatively, and heavy rocket increases as well as quick look at the next three calendar launches.

The Vega-C rocket has entered the qualification level, but the slips . The new small launching system of tiny satellites passes the Critical Design Review and is now ready to complete the manufacturing and final evaluation as part of the qualification phase, according to the European Space Agency. The first flight of the Vega-C booster, a more economical version of the Arianespace Vega rocket, is now planned for the early 2020 (this is a slip from late 2019).

About a year to go . .. The rocket of Vega-C uses the new P120C solid rocket booster of Europe, which will also have power over Ariane 6. The usual must help Arianespace save costs as it tries to attract more yet in the small satellite launch market. "We have a challenge 12 months ahead, starting with four Vega launching between March and November and ending with the first flight of Vega-C," said Stefano Bianchi, ESA's Head of Space Transportation Development Department. (submitted by Ken the Bin and Unrulycow)

LinkSpace is getting ready to land the rockets . In a note the Chinese company posted a picture of a rocket landing site with a message, "Welcome to Earth." The company is expected to begin suborbital landing demonstration landing tests within the coming months.

Have we seen it before? … Founded in 2014, LinkSpace belongs to or even the first private Chinese rocket company (more than a dozen already followed). Seeks to build a rocket inserted into liquids with a reusable first stage that can raise 200kg in a Sun-synchronous orbit. The landing model appears after the Falcon 9 rocket.

Another new Chinese start-up entered the fray . Space Transportation has kept a low profile since its establishment in 2018, but it recently announced that it has been found by an angel funder, the China Aerospace Blog report. The company aims to build reusable rocket for payloads of 100kg to 1,000kg.

Reusability, with a twist … Space Transportation has proposed an ambitious forgery landing system for rocket reusability: Tian Xing's drawings feature -1 rocket with a pair of wing-shaped wings (like) provide the elevator necessary to enable gliding. This system is facing technical challenges, to ensure, but it helps the new company to come out in a crowded field of Chinese startups.

Brazil can be hub of aerospace . Brazil wants to attract customers by launching itself as cheaper alternatives to Kourou, the European spaceport in nearby French Guiana. Aerospace titans have been visited by Boeing and Lockheed Martin at the Alcantara Center in December in December, reports Reuters. The Brazilian space agency aims to attract smaller companies with its equatorial location.

Security agreement needs … Today, Brazil's goal of being a launch site may depend on negotiating a technology protection agreement in the United States to protect sensitive launching space in America and satellite technology. (Such an agreement is required to launch rocket produced by America). This person's conservation agreement may be prepared if the US State Department's consent can get a reconciliation permit. (submitted by Alex)

The airborne wind gusts passed PDR . The propeller core of the reactors of the Air-breathing Saber rocket propulsion system successfully passed a preliminary design review, Aviation Week reports. The assessment identifies the method for a follow-up critical design analysis, subsequent development, and core testing at a new facility built in Westcott, England, in 2020.

It will be impressive . complete engine, ultimately built into the core to include a precooler, rocket engine, and ramjet, is designed to provide air-breathing thrust from the passage to Mach 5 and beyond for hypersonic aircraft. it provides a cheap amount of space. Bringing such a promising technology into reality will be something very cool to see, obviously. But there's a long way to go.

Euro yet aims to foster smaller rockets . The European Space Agency says this is learning how best to boost the small continent of the satellite launch industry. For that purpose, the ESA's Future Launchers Preparatory Program funded five industry proposals for a self-resurrected and self-owned micro-launcher. The five proposals came from PLD Space, Deimos and Orbex, MT Aerospace, ArianeGroup, and Avio.

Provides just enough help … At Space 19+ conference in November, to further protect commercial practical ideas from the European industry by supporting proposals for to private leaders and privately funded space transportation services, with initial focus on launch services based on microlaunchers. European officials believe that it will also help in the development of successful commercial spaceport in Europe.

Stofiel takes the unconventional space route . With his long-haired and wet biker-guy, Brian Stofiel seems to be a crazy scientific rocket, according to the Riverfront Times . And the founder of St. Louis-based Stofiel Aerospace certainly has unconventional ideas on how to get things in space, using a combination of a balloon and an almost plastic rocket named Hermes.

A fun story . .. Stofiel is a vibrant personality, and new ideas are always welcome in aerospace. That industry has reached the point where an average good family can self-fund rocket experiments in 3D-printed technology is a good thing. But right now, Stofiel has a long way to go before his ambitions of aerospace become a reality. (submitted by Millenix)

China launched the 300th Long March booster . A Chinese television broadcaster flew on Saturday with a Long March 3B follower. This is the mark of the 300th orbital launch of the country's Long March rocket family since 1970, reports Spaceflight Now. On April 24, 1970, a Long March 1 rocket delivered the first satellite of China into space.

Pace of launch accelerates … The launch of China's launch has been fast in recent years. It took 37 years to launch the first 100 Long March, eight years for the second 100 flights, and four years for the third 100 missions. This is another landmark of the country's increasingly ambitious space. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

SpaceX complete the commercial crew mission . Everyone went almost completely wrong with the first SpaceX mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, which fell on Friday, March 8. However, the mission almost did not launch time, because SpaceX engineers are dealing with issues in the first-stage valve in a Falcon just 9 hours before launch.

Not disclosed … The valve was replaced, and SpaceX determined that there should not be any similar problems in launching. Falcon 9 was deleted before NASA's webcast started, and so the problem was not shared with the viewers. In any case, there are no issues with launching Dragon itself or performance.

NASA proposes a commercial Orion mission : In a remarkable turnaround, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Wednesday told the space agency to consider launching his first Orion mission on the Moon commercial rockets instead of NASA's own Space Launch System. "I think, as an agency, we have to keep our promise," Bridenstine said at a NASA hearing. "If we say to you, and so on, that we will be launching in June of 2020 around the Moon, I think we should launch around the Moon in June of 2020."

Such a mission requires two Rockets … So where are they going? Bridenstine did not name rockets during the hearing, but it seems almost certain that at least one of them is a Delta IV Heavy built by the United Launch Alliance. NASA used this rocket to launch a version of Orion spacecraft at altitude of 3,600 km in 2014. Both United Launch Alliance and SpaceX-with the Falcon Heavy rocket-are invited to bid on a second launch.

SLS was under attack earlier in the week . President Donald Trump's budget request FY 2020 for a 17-percent budget reduction for NASA's Space Launch System budget, once viewed as a backbone of agency agency efforts to explore deep space. The main cuts are to work on the Exploration Upper Stage, which is required to upgrade to a second, more powerful variant known as Block 1B.

Raising all the ways of questions … The lack of this upper stage means NASA can not be together in both a crewed Orion spacecraft and elements of the Lunar Gateway at both SLS rocket launches. This, in turn, means that Gateway elements may (and would like) be launched in commercial Rockets. If this budget depends on Congress, it will raise serious questions about the future of the launch vehicle.

Meanwhile, Boeing continues the tests of the SLS . The main phase of the main part of the Space Launch System, Boeing, is moving ahead of rocket parts tests, reports NASASpaceFlight.com. A team is busy working on intertank test article tests in a large, internal testing facility at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Meanwhile, others are preparing a liquid hydrogen tank for testing it to other large (but exterior) stand on the road.

Headlines, hard hat … The work continues as political questions about the future of big rocket rotation. Test articles are restricted, expanded, twisted, and twisted after hours of freezing to emulate the forces and environment expected by flight structures during launch and space climbing. These tests will help qualify the structures for the first flight and prove the integrity of computer models. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

Starship is approaching the preliminary exam . Last week the first Raptor engine was delivered at the Brownsville, Texas SpaceX facility. And within two days of the arrival of the new transporter, Starhopper has moved from the build site to the launch pad for tests. SpaceX was bought or rented by a quartet of (probably used) crawlers for the purpose of bringing Starship between the company's South Texas to build, launch, and landing sites, Teslarati reports.

Looking forward, always . It's interesting to see Starhopper on the move to South Texas even SpaceX is just wrapping up its first commercial crew demonstration mission. It is a sign that the company always seems to have eyes in the future and the ultimate prize of sending people to Mars. Of course it's still a long way to go, but we're probably looking forward to the Starhopper suborbital tests later this year. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

Next three launches

March 15 : Delta IV | Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft | Cape Canaveral, Fla. | 22:56 UTC

March 16 : Electron | DARPA R3D2 mission | Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand | 22:30 UTC

March 22 : Vega | PRISMA Earth observation satellite | Kourou, French Guiana | 01:50 UTC


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