May 7, 2013
Press Release from Spaceport America:
Governor Susana Martinez today announced that Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, has signed a three-year agreement to lease land and facilities at Spaceport America to conduct the next phase of flight testing for its reusable rocket program. The company will be a new tenant at Spaceport America, the state-owned commercial launch site located in southern New Mexico.
“I am thrilled that SpaceX has chosen to make New Mexico its home, bringing their revolutionary “Grasshopper” rocket and new jobs with them,” Governor Martinez said today. “We’ve done a lot of work to level the playing field so we can compete in the space industry. This is just the first step in broadening the base out at the Spaceport and securing even more tenants. I’m proud to welcome SpaceX to New Mexico.”
READ the entire Release here
May 7, 2013
Citing stability issues NASA has announced they will be migrating the ISS laptops and PCs from Windows to Linux. Being a long time Linux user and typing this on a Linux system I am happy to hear about this change. Linux has been used in many of the ISS systems but it nice to see the move to the workstations as well.
It looks like NASA is heavy into Debian but also uses Red Hat and Centos. The ISS workstations will be Debian 6.A quick search for Linux on the NASA website shows that there is a substantial Linux culture at NASA within research and operations. Lets not forget the recent Robonaut 2 Linux powered robot.
They have contracted with the Linux Foundation to get the astronauts and specialist up to speed with the OS change. Information on this can be found here: Linux Foundation
UPDATE: More now being reported at ZDNet
May 4, 2013
After a rather long delay, OpenRocket 13.05 has been released. There are a lot of new features, thanks to numerous contributors. The most important new features include:
- Realistic 3D rendering with decal support
- Flight configurations replacing motor configurations
- Lower stage descent simulation
- Boosted dart support
- New translations to Portuguese and Japanese
Read more about the new features at http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?53619-OpenRocket-13-05-released
In order to support decals, the file format was changes to being ZIP-based. This means that OpenRocket versions older than 12.03 will not be able to read files written by OpenRocket 13.05 and later. Nobody should be using that old versions anyway, so this shouldn’t be much a problem. The new versions will read old files without problems.
The software is available as usual at http://openrocket.sourceforge.net/
April 30, 2013
Yesterday Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo made a powered flight over the Mojave dessert. After being carried to altitude by WhiteKnightTwo it fired up the rocket engines for about 16 seconds and broke the sound barrier.
“The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date,” said Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson, who was on the ground in Mojave to witness the occasion. “For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight. Today’s supersonic success opens the way for a rapid expansion of the spaceship’s powered flight envelope, with a very realistic goal of full space flight by the year’s end. We saw history in the making today and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved.” – Virgin Galactic
official press release here
April 29, 2013
This Solar Dynamics Observatory Atlas V rocket launch in February 2010 exceeded the speed of sound in a layer of ice crystals, making the shock wave visible from the ground. This occurs around 1:53 in the video.
April 23, 2013
Newest launch of the Grasshopper shows it rise to 820 ft, hover, and then land all from the birds eye view of a hexacopter.