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    NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

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    Mike E
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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:00 am

    Smith to Bolden: Why Not Orion for Commercial Crew?

    WASHINGTON — House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) wants to know when NASA’s Orion deep-space capsule will be ready to provide backup crew and cargo delivery services to the international space station and whether the Lockheed Martin-built vehicle should replace one of the two commercial crew taxis NASA is now funding. 
    Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. beat out Sierra Nevada Corp. in September for a pair of contracts worth a combined $6.8 billion to complete competing crew taxis that would ferry crews to and from station starting in 2017. 
    “If Orion could provide a redundant capability as a fallback for the commercial crew partners, why is it necessary to carry two partners to ensure competition in the constrained budget environment?” Smith asked NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in an Oct. 7 letter co-signed by Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), chairman of the House Science space subcommittee.
    The 2010 NASA authorization law that requires the agency to build Orion also requires that the capsule be capable of servicing ISS should other U.S. vehicles be unavailable. Bolden has said repeatedly that NASA is not planning to send Orion to ISS. Doing so, the NASA chief has said, would be expensive, inefficient and possibly viewed by the agency’s commercial crew partners as unfair government competition.
    Smith and Palazzo gave Bolden until Oct. 21 to respond.

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:04 am

    Some NASA/US related news...

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/42172former-nasa-deputy-administrator-to-join-faa-commercial-space-office

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/military-space/42152raytheon-delivers-10th-ballistic-missile-radar-to-us-missile-defense

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/military-space/42166us-air-force-targets-2016-for-launch-of-final-dmsp-satellite

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/military-space/42167utc-wins-support-contract-for-ors-1-as-satellite-nears-end-of-life

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/financial-report/42176globalstar-stock-shorter%E2%80%99s-condemnations-provoke-feisty-rebuttal

    SpaceX!

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/space-exploration-technologies/launch-spacex-crs-5-slips-earlier-dec-5/

    http://news.investors.com/technology/101314-721489-why-spacex-may-be-a-bargain-for-nasa.htm

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:13 am

    After Nearly Two Years in Orbit, the U.S. Air Force’s Secretive Spaceplane Ready To Come Back Down

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force says its unmanned X-37B spaceplane — which has been orbiting Earth on a classified mission for 672 days and counting — will land soon at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The exact time and date of the landing will depend on weather and technical considerations, according to an Oct. 10 Air Force press release. Built by Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California, the X-37B is a reusable unmanned orbital maneuvering vehicle that launches atop a rocket and returns to Earth much like NASA’s now-retired space shuttle, gliding in for a runway landing. Its three missions to date are classified. “Team Vandenberg stands ready to implement safe landing operations for the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the third time for this unique mission” Air Force Col. Keith Baits, commander of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg, said in the Oct. 10 release.
    The X-37B launched Dec. 11, 2012, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.  
    Construction is underway to convert a former space shuttle hangar at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center into a maintenance facility for the spaceplane. The facility will allow the Air Force to land, recover, refurbish and relaunch the X-37B, the Boeing officials have said.  
    All three X-37B missions to date were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is co-located with Kennedy. The first two missions ended with landings at Vandenberg.

    Anyone want to guess what the craft was being used for?

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:19 am

    The Space Review is back at it once again...

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2618/1

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2614/1

    I'd love to see Russia and China collaborate on a new station, could be a backup to OPSEK. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2615/1

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:10 pm

    Russian expert says US company copied design of its mini-shuttle from Soviet probe

    MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Soviet space probe Bor-4 gave the US company SierraNevada ideas for the design of a mini-shuttle, which it put up for a NASA contest for a manned spaceship of the future, Dmitry Paison, the director of Research and Analysis Center of the United Rocket and Space Corporation (ORKK) told TASS on Wednesday.
    Sierra Nevada was among the participants of a contest to select a contractor for organizing commercial delivery of astronauts for the International Space Station. It presented its R&D product at the 65th international astronautical congress, held in Toronto from September 29 through to October 3.
    Boeing and SpaceX projects in the sphere of manned space flights evoked an especially big interest at the Toronto display, Dmitry Paison said. He mentioned the Dream Chaser space aircraft, the design of which incorporated some structural ideas first used by Soviet designers.
    Boeing and SpaceX won the competition. NASA will allocate $4.2 billion and $2.6 billion to them respectively to create a new spaceship. It is believe that the ship will start off to the ISS on its maiden mission in 2017.
    In the meantime, SierraNevada said at the end of September it would petition against the results of the contest. Its executives claimed they could spend $900 million less on its spaceship than the competitors.
    At this moment, Russian Soyuz ships are the only vehicles capable of bringing the crews to the ISS and taking them back to Earth. US media reports suggest that NASA pays the Russian space agency Roscosmos about $70 million per seat aboard a Soyuz.
    Bor-4 unmanned orbital rocket aircraft was used in the Buran project.

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:23 pm

    http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/754582

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  kvs on Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:29 am

    Mike E wrote:Russian expert says US company copied design of its mini-shuttle from Soviet probe

    MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Soviet space probe Bor-4 gave the US company SierraNevada ideas for the design of a mini-shuttle, which it put up for a NASA contest for a manned spaceship of the future, Dmitry Paison, the director of Research and Analysis Center of the United Rocket and Space Corporation (ORKK) told TASS on Wednesday.
    Sierra Nevada was among the participants of a contest to select a contractor for organizing commercial delivery of astronauts for the International Space Station. It presented its R&D product at the 65th international astronautical congress, held in Toronto from September 29 through to October 3.
    Boeing and SpaceX projects in the sphere of manned space flights evoked an especially big interest at the Toronto display, Dmitry Paison said. He mentioned the Dream Chaser space aircraft, the design of which incorporated some structural ideas first used by Soviet designers.
    Boeing and SpaceX won the competition. NASA will allocate $4.2 billion and $2.6 billion to them respectively to create a new spaceship. It is believe that the ship will start off to the ISS on its maiden mission in 2017.
    In the meantime, SierraNevada said at the end of September it would petition against the results of the contest. Its executives claimed they could spend $900 million less on its spaceship than the competitors.
    At this moment, Russian Soyuz ships are the only vehicles capable of bringing the crews to the ISS and taking them back to Earth. US media reports suggest that NASA pays the Russian space agency Roscosmos about $70 million per seat aboard a Soyuz.
    Bor-4 unmanned orbital rocket aircraft was used in the Buran project.



    It is an outright copy.

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:47 am

    Of course the Soviets can't throw stones... they saved a fortune adopting the shape of the Space shuttle, and saved another fortune making it different enough to be much much cheaper to use because it was fundamentally a different design.

    (ie the space shuttle was an aircraft that had an enormous fuel tank under it that required two RATO bottles to get it moving. the Buran was a glider that sat on an energiya rocket... the advantage of the Soviet version was that without having to recover anything except the glider and without the hugely expensive solid fuel rockets it was much cheaper to launch and much more flexible... if you had an outsized payload to deliver you could remove the Buran and put a 120 ton payload on the back of the rocket... the current ISS could have been launched in 4 missions...)


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    Mike E
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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:57 pm

    kvs wrote:
    Mike E wrote:Russian expert says US company copied design of its mini-shuttle from Soviet probe

    MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Soviet space probe Bor-4 gave the US company SierraNevada ideas for the design of a mini-shuttle, which it put up for a NASA contest for a manned spaceship of the future, Dmitry Paison, the director of Research and Analysis Center of the United Rocket and Space Corporation (ORKK) told TASS on Wednesday.
    Sierra Nevada was among the participants of a contest to select a contractor for organizing commercial delivery of astronauts for the International Space Station. It presented its R&D product at the 65th international astronautical congress, held in Toronto from September 29 through to October 3.
    Boeing and SpaceX projects in the sphere of manned space flights evoked an especially big interest at the Toronto display, Dmitry Paison said. He mentioned the Dream Chaser space aircraft, the design of which incorporated some structural ideas first used by Soviet designers.
    Boeing and SpaceX won the competition. NASA will allocate $4.2 billion and $2.6 billion to them respectively to create a new spaceship. It is believe that the ship will start off to the ISS on its maiden mission in 2017.
    In the meantime, SierraNevada said at the end of September it would petition against the results of the contest. Its executives claimed they could spend $900 million less on its spaceship than the competitors.
    At this moment, Russian Soyuz ships are the only vehicles capable of bringing the crews to the ISS and taking them back to Earth. US media reports suggest that NASA pays the Russian space agency Roscosmos about $70 million per seat aboard a Soyuz.
    Bor-4 unmanned orbital rocket aircraft was used in the Buran project.



    It is an outright copy.
    Yep, but nothing will happen because it didn't win a contract.

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:22 am

    Support for the US RD-180 replacement engine.

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/42231heinrich-reiterates-support-for-funding-rd-180-replacement

    Antares' new engine!

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/42223orbital-says-it-has-selected-future-antares-engine-but-offers-no

    Ariane 5 redefining reliable.

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/42219ariane-5%E2%80%99s-62nd-straight-success-puts-argentina-in-satcom-driver%E2%80%99s

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:57 am

    Mike E wrote:Support for the US RD-180 replacement engine.

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/42231heinrich-reiterates-support-for-funding-rd-180-replacement

    Antares' new engine!

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/42223orbital-says-it-has-selected-future-antares-engine-but-offers-no

    Ariane 5 redefining reliable.

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/42219ariane-5%E2%80%99s-62nd-straight-success-puts-argentina-in-satcom-driver%E2%80%99s

    A politically motivated replacement, which is unfortunate because NASA doesn't want to break ties with Russia...only the imbecile anti-science Obama administration wants to (who btw is one of the most hated presidents in the history of the United States according to recent polls).

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:53 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    Mike E wrote:Support for the US RD-180 replacement engine.

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/42231heinrich-reiterates-support-for-funding-rd-180-replacement

    Antares' new engine!

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/42223orbital-says-it-has-selected-future-antares-engine-but-offers-no

    Ariane 5 redefining reliable.

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/satellite-telecom/42219ariane-5%E2%80%99s-62nd-straight-success-puts-argentina-in-satcom-driver%E2%80%99s

    A politically motivated replacement, which is unfortunate because NASA doesn't want to break ties with Russia...only the imbecile anti-science Obama administration wants to (who btw is one of the most hated presidents in the history of the United States according to recent polls).
    Very true and unfortunate as well... However, it has always been NASA's "dream" to ween off of Russian engines, more so the RD-180. This project isn't new, and it now simply being sped up thanks to the current crisis. I'd love to see more space cooperation between the two countries and all in general, as space programs should never be compromised.

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:39 pm

    Boeing's CST-100 reaches another milestone in its development. 

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/commercial/boeing-reaches-final-commercial-crew-design-milestone/

    History in the making with Rosetta!

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/esa/rosettas-philae-lander-given-green-light-upcoming-landing/

    SpaceX already assisting NASA in landing tech on Mars.

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/space-exploration-technologies/nasa-eyes-spacex-soft-landing-technology-future-mars-missions/

    SNC finally gets some good news. 

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/sierra-nevada/sierra-nevada-corporation-wins-contract-develop-u-s-dod-satellite/

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/commercial/sierra-nevada-corporation-issues-another-lawsuit-ongoing-commercial-crew/

    New Horizons!

    http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/thanks-hubble-new-horizons-now-target-kbos-beyond-pluto/

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:13 am

    The Los Alamos National Labortory appears to be furthering researching on ALICE-like fuels. For those of you that don't know what ALICE is, to put it simply..... ALICE is a gel/slush based propellant that uses Ai suspended in an ice to use as a fuel. It should be safer and more efficient than other options, though it hasn't been tested long enough for that to be properly confirmed. Here is a terrible article on it.... http://phys.org/news/2014-10-rocket-propellant-motor-high-safety.html

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:39 am

    Apollo influencing the mission to Mars; 
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2625/1

    Reusable launchers; 
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2628/1

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:16 pm

    Antares rocket with U.S. cargo spacecraft Cygnus explodes on launch

    WASHINGTON, October 29. /TASS/. The Antares rocket with the American cargo spacecraft Cygnus exploded during blastoff from NASA launch facility on the Wallops Island near the Virginia coast on Tuesday.
    The NASA website was transmitting a live broadcast of the rocket launch. The explosion occurred immediately after the liftoff at 18:23 pm, local time (01:23 am, Moscow time, October 29).
    There were no immediate reports about casualties or damage to the spaceport facilities. NASA said a special commission comprising representatives of NASA and Orbital Sciences will be formed to investigate the catastrophe.
    Cygnus was to loiter in orbit until Nov. 2, then fly itself to the station so astronauts can use a robotic crane to snare the capsule and attach it to a berthing port. The ISS, a $100 billion research laboratory owned and operated by 15 nations, flies about 260 miles (418 km) above Earth.
    In addition to food, supplies and equipment, the Cygnus spacecraft was loaded with more than 1,600 pounds (725 kg) of science experiments, including an investigation to chemically analyze meteors as they burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
     
    - Sucks for Orbital and the Antares project... They won't get out of this one for a long time!

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:20 pm

    Here are some more articles on the Antares crash and aftermath...

    NASA probing Antares rocket crash during lift-off in Virginia

    Antares rocket explosion to hamper scientific research — NASA

    Ukrainian aerospace company launches own investigation of Antares rocket explosion

    No invitation to US rocket disaster probe for Russian experts

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:28 pm

    Here is a video of the launch from a small plane. Friggin' HUGE explosion!


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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:32 pm

    Miscellaneous news...

    SpaceX Closing in on Certification for Military Launches

    Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Mars 2020 Contracts Worth a Combined $14.5M

    SpaceX to land its next Falcon 9 rocket on a huge ocean platform

    SpaceX Dragon Departs Space Station after Delivering Slew of Science and Returns with Ocean Splashdown

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:35 am

    SpaceShipTwo explodes seconds after separation from mothership - media

    Not a good week for the US space industry, is it?

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Morpheus Eberhardt on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:44 am

    Mike E wrote:Here is a video of the launch from a small plane. Friggin' HUGE explosion!


    A lot of blooming in the imaging sensor makes the explosion look larger.

    By the way, standard blooming, thermal blooming, and other similar phenomena provide for some of the mechanisms used to jam various imaging sensors, including thermal imagers.

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Mike E on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:52 am

    Morpheus Eberhardt wrote:
    Mike E wrote:Here is a video of the launch from a small plane. Friggin' HUGE explosion!


    A lot of blooming in the imaging sensor makes the explosion look larger.

    By the way, standard blooming, thermal blooming, and other similar phenomena provide for some of the mechanisms used to jam various imaging sensors, including thermal imagers.
    For sure... Other closer videos should the explosion a lot better, but this one was still worth posting.

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  Morpheus Eberhardt on Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:54 am

    Mike E wrote:
    Morpheus Eberhardt wrote:
    Mike E wrote:Here is a video of the launch from a small plane. Friggin' HUGE explosion!


    A lot of blooming in the imaging sensor makes the explosion look larger.

    By the way, standard blooming, thermal blooming, and other similar phenomena provide for some of the mechanisms used to jam various imaging sensors, including thermal imagers.
    For sure... Other closer videos should the explosion a lot better, but this one was still worth posting.

    Definitely. Thanks for posting.

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    Why did US Antares rocket explod ?

    Post  nemrod on Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:02 pm

    At first it is interresting to remember this article :
    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_05_15/US-to-purchase-Russian-rocket-engines-after-2016-9165/

    in fact, the rocket Antares has exploded because US and Ukrainians failed to copy russian engines-you must notice that China is not the only one to copy russian technology, many of US hardwares was a mere copy of soviet technology during the dark decades of 90's.-. -I will find more about this issue. Sorry, the website that I got my informations about this subject is not accessible right now.-
    It confirms again, and again, Russia is still the leader in the world regarding jets engines,  Rocket engines, strategic, tactical  balistic missiles. Leaving Russia, the only world leader in this strategic area and will last in the comming years.

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    Re: NASA Launch Vehicles and Spacecraft: Discussion & News

    Post  George1 on Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:37 am

    NASA: Giant Underground Ocean on Jupiter Moon Raises Prospects for Life

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/science/20150313/1019430886.html#ixzz3UEWKan00

    Sponsored content

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