June 2010

Great interview with Ken Bowersox of SpaceX from Spaceflight Now’s “This Week in Space”

Lockheed Martin Supersonic Cruiser - click to enlarge - Image credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin Corporation

I’m drooling…What a great design…
I’ve got to get to work on an LPR version of this. What do you think?

“This supersonic cruise concept is among the designs presented in April 2010 to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate for its NASA Research Announcement-funded studies into advanced aircraft that could enter service in the 2030-2035 timeframe.” -NASA

click here for a large version( 1600×1200) of this image suitable for backgrounds

Launch Photo from this weeks RockOn! launch at Wallops

RockOn! Terrier-Orion launches -click to enlarge

John Glenn

John Glenn

Senator John Glenn is weighing in on the future of manned spaceflight.

“These are critical days for the future of Manned Space Flight. Conflicting views and advice come to the President and Congress from every quarter in the aerospace and science communities. There is good reason for the concern.

The U.S. for the first time since the beginning of the Space Age will have no way to launch anyone into space – starting next January.
Our astronauts will have to be launched in Russian spacecraft, from a Russian base in Kazakhstan, to go to the International Space Station.
Starting at the end of this year, and probably for the next five to ten years, the launches of U.S. astronauts into space will be viewed in classrooms and homes in America only through the courtesy of Russian TV.”

Full Statement is here at SpaceRef

2009 RockOn launch

UPDATE: Live Broadcast of Launch

2010 RockOn Recipe:
Put together 80 Students and Professors
18 experiments
and a 35 ft tall rocket

Mix together and launch on June 24th from Wallops Island

Here is a video wrap-up of the 2009  RockOn

The 2010 workshop is set to begin on June 19th with launch scheduled June 24th (backup launch date of June 25th)

The 80 workshop participants will build standardized experiments that will fly on a NASA Terrier-Orion suborbital sounding rocket set to launch between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. EDT on June 24. The 35-foot-tall rocket is expected to fly to an altitude of 75 miles. After launch and payload recovery, the participants will conduct preliminary data analysis and discuss their results.” -NASA

RockSat home

RockOn home

NASA press release

This is part of the continuing “Who the Heck is” series

G.I.R.D. (Gruppa Izucheniya Reaktivhogo Dvizheniya) translated “Group for the Investigation of Reactive Motion”

GIRD was the world’s first large professional rocketry program. It was started on September 15th 1931 as a bureau in the Soviet Union. Fridrikh Tsander gave up his job and devoted himself to the group’s formation. The goal was to create a efficient working rocket engine. The group adopted the slogan “Onward to Mars, onward to Mars!” – A slogan that would be useful today. The group consisted of 4 brigades each headed by brilliant Soviet researchers. The group included:
Fridrikh Tsander – 1st brigade (rocket engine research)

1st brigade's GIRD-X rocket launching

Mikhail Tikhonravov -2nd brigade (rocket engine research)

2nd brigade's GIRD-9 & GIRD-13 rocket schematic -click to enlarge

Yuri Pobedonostsev – 3rd brigade (ramjet research)

3rd brigade's GIRD-08 phosphorus-fueled ramjet

Sergey Korolev – 4th brigade (rocket plane research)

4th brigade's RP-1 Rocket glider

Tsander inspired the group until his untimely death of Typhus in 1933.

For more info on GIRD see the following sources:
Wikipedia article on GIRD
Don Mitchell’s article

UPDATE: Great launch !
here is the video

Liftoff is scheduled for 5:35 pm EDT on June 15th 2010. You can view the launch live on NASA TV.

4 p.m. (EDT)- Video Feed of the ISS Expedition 24 Crew Final Prelaunch Activities in Baikonur, Kazakhstan – JSC (Public and Media Channels)
4:45 p.m. (EDT)- ISS Expedition 24 Launch Coverage (launch scheduled at 5:35 p.m. EDT, followed by launch replays) – JSC/Baikonur (Public and Media Channels)

Soyuz TMA-19

Today, a private company successfully launched their Falcon 9 spacecraft into orbit!

Congratulations to SpaceX.

The mock Dragon capsule on this test flight is scheduled to enter a 155 mile orbit and orbit for about 1 year before burning up in the atmosphere.

Wow! just Wow!

Falcon 9 liftoff and Vapor cone - Ben Cooper (SpaceFlightNow)

UPDATE: Wow just Wow.Successful launch!!!

just off the wire….

SpaceX is now targeting Friday, June 4th for its first test launch attempt of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

The primary schedule driver for the first Falcon 9 test launch has been certification of the flight termination system (FTS). The FTS ensures that Air Force Range safety officials can command the destruction of the vehicle should it stray from its designated flight path.

The successful liftoff of the recent GPS satellite launch last Thursday freed up the necessary Range resources to process our final documentation, and we are now looking good for final approval of the FTS by this Friday, June 4th, just in time for our first launch attempt.

Today we completed end to end testing of the Falcon 9 as required by the Air Force Range and everything was nominal. Later this evening, we will finish final system connections for the FTS. Tomorrow we plan to rollout in the morning, and erect the vehicle in the afternoon. On Friday, the targeted schedule is as follows:

Friday 4 June 2010

Launch Window Opens: 11:00 AM Eastern / 8:00 AM Pacific / 1500 UTC
Launch window lasts 4 hours. SpaceX has also reserved a second launch day on Saturday 5 June, with the same hours.

As always, weather will play a significant role in our overall launch schedule. The weather experts at the Cape are giving us a 40% chance of “no go” conditions for both days of our window, citing the potential for cumulus clouds and anvil clouds from thunderstorms.

If the weather cooperates, SpaceX will provide a live webcast of the launch events, presently scheduled to begin 20 minutes prior to the opening of the launch window. Click here to visit our webcast page which will also be accessible from our home page the day of launch.

It’s important to note that since this is a test launch, our primary goal is to collect as much data as possible, with success being measured as a percentage of how many flight milestones we are able to complete in this first attempt. It would be a great day if we reach orbital velocity, but still a good day if the first stage functions correctly, even if the second stage malfunctions. It would be a bad day if something happens on the launch pad itself and we’re not able to gain any flight data.

If we have a bad day, it will be disappointing, but one launch does not make or break SpaceX as a company, nor commercial spaceflight as an industry. The Atlas rocket only succeeded on its 13th flight, and today it is the most reliable vehicle in the American fleet, with a record better than Shuttle.

Regardless of the outcome, this first launch attempt represents a key milestone for both SpaceX and the commercial spaceflight industry. Keep in mind the launch dates and times are still subject to change, so please check the webcast page above for updates to this schedule. We appreciate your ongoing support and we hope you will tune in on launch day.” -SPACEX


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