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Thread: The space flight thread

  1. #61
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    https://www.yahoo.com/news/boeing-ce...185354563.html

    Boeing’s Dennis Muilenburg says he’ll beat SpaceX to Mars; Elon Musk says ‘Do it’

    Alan Boyle
    GeekWire
    December 7, 2017

    So what does SpaceX CEO Elon Musk think of Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s claim that the first people to set foot on Mars will arrive on a Boeing rocket? “Do it,” Musk tweeted, in one of many two-word comebacks that might have come to mind.

    The latest round of media jousting started when CNBC’s Jim Cramer brought up Mars during an interview with Muilenburg. “Who’s going to get a man on Mars first, you or Elon Musk?” Cramer asked.

    In response, Muilenburg touted the Space Launch System, the heavy-lift rocket that Boeing is helping NASA build for deep-space missions.

    “We’re going to take a first test flight in 2019, and we’re going to do a slingshot mission around the moon,” he said. “Eventually, we’re going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket.”

    Muilenburg said pretty much the same thing last year during an industry conference in Chicago, but since then, Musk has laid out a vision that calls for sending settlers to Mars on SpaceX’s yet-to-be-built monster spaceship starting in the 2020s.

    If Musk and NASA stick to their current schedules, the first bootprints on the Martian surface would be left by folks arriving on a SpaceX rocket as much as a decade before the Space Launch System sends a spaceship there.

    Is Musk’s response a dare? A space-race smackdown? Maybe. But the billionaire has always said his main goal in life is to help make humanity a multiplanet species by facilitating cities on Mars. Taken in that light, the “Do It” tweet may well be Musk’s way of saying that he’s glad for anyone else to be taking the move to Mars as seriously as he is.

    That’s how John Gardi, an engineer and SpaceX fan who anticipated Musk’s hyperloop design in 2013, chooses to see the exchange. “You win either way, @elonmusk!” Gardi said in his tweeted response. “You can only lose if NOBODY goes to Mars!”

    Meanwhile, Boeing and SpaceX are enmeshed in a shorter-term rivalry, to finish work on the space taxis that they’re building to transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

    The current schedules call for SpaceX to conduct a crewed demonstration flight with its Dragon capsule next August, while Boeing plans the first crewed flight of its Starliner space taxi in November 2018. But those schedules have been shifting to the right for years, so it’s too early to call the race.

    The first to deliver astronauts to the space station will win a U.S. flag that was left aboard the outpost in 2011 by the last space shuttle crew. May the best team win? I prefer to look at it the way Gardi does: In this space race, may all teams win.

  2. #62
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    From today's Trump 1600 Daily email.....

    Our long journey to the stars—and the Moon
    Forty-five years ago today, NASA’s final Apollo mission landed on the surface of the Moon. No human has walked there since.

    This afternoon, President Donald J. Trump will tell the country that it’s time to refocus our vision for American space exploration.

    In signing Space Policy Directive 1 today—the first recommendation of the recently reconvened National Space Council—the President will shift NASA’s resources and attention toward the Moon and Mars. Given its relative closeness, the Moon in particular offers humans the best hope for long-term exploration and utilization.

    President Ronald Reagan once eloquently captured the sweep of mankind as “his long climb from the swamp to the stars.” With President Trump’s order today, America commits itself once again to writing the next chapter of that story.

    Watch the signing ceremony today at 3:00 p.m. EST.

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  4. #63
    Benevolent Dictator Uwe's Avatar
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    ^^^ He should cancel the SLS and give a performance-based contract to Space-X.
    The engineering problems are likely insurmountable. It would be like proposing to land a rocket booster section on a barge floating in the middle of the ocean.

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  6. #64
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    http://www.popularmechanics.com/spac...ury-hotel-iss/

    Russia's Plan To Build a Luxury Hotel on the ISS
    And you can go...if you have $40 million.

    By Anatoly Zak
    Dec 21, 2017

    Space tourism isn't a new idea. SpaceX announced plans this year to send civilians skyward and Virgin Galactic is still working toward its goal of regular space flights. Just this week, Blue Origin released footage of its future space tourism ambitions. But all these plans aren't exactly a first-class experience. Even after paying millions, a few super-wealthy adventurers have to brave spartan accommodations in orbit alongside well-trained astronauts.

    But in a few years, space tourism agents might be offering five-star orbital adventures, courtesy of the Russian space agency. The amenities will include a luxury orbital suite parked at the International Space Station (ISS) offering private cabins with big windows, personal hygiene facilities, exercise equipment and even Wi-Fi. In addition gazing at our tiny blue orb from a dizzying altitude of 250 miles, space tourists will have an opportunity for space walks accompanied by a professional cosmonaut.

    The entire trip, lasting from one to two weeks will cost $40 million per person and going with the spacewalk option and an extended month-long stay will set the traveler back an additional $20 million.

    This is the gist of Russia’s grand scheme to return into the space tourism business. This month, Roskosmos State Corporation had began reviewing a business plan for a high-comfort addition to the ISS. According to a detailed proposal seen by Popular Mechanics, the 20-ton, 15.5-meter-long module would provide 92 cubic meters of pressurized space. It would accommodate four sleeping quarters sized around two cubic meters each and two “hygiene and medical” stations of the same volume. Each private room would also have a porthole with a diameter of 228 millimeters (9 inches), while the lounge area of the module would have a giant 426-millimeter (16-inch) window.

    The external structure of the tourist module looks like the Science and Power Module, NEM-1, which Russia is currently building for the International Space Station. The second NEM module had originally been on the books in the station’s assembly scenario, but the Russian government funded only one module. It will serve primarily as a science laboratory and a power-supply station for the ISS.

    Now, Russia’s prime space station contractor, RKK Energia, came up with a scheme to pay for the second NEM module through a mix of private and state investments. To make profit, the NEM-2 would be customized for paid visitors.

    RKK Energia pioneered space tourism in the 1990s, first renting the Mir space station to a private firm and then flying millionaires to the ISS. However in recent years, tourist flights have been on hold because Russia’s ISS partners booked all available seats on the Soyuz spacecraft, which remains the only way to reach the outpost after the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011. The Soyuz will become available again in a couple of years, as NASA’s private contractors, like SpaceX, are poised to introduce orbital taxis of their own.

    The proposed Russian tourist module is estimated to cost from 16.4 to 26.2 billion rubles ($279-$446 million). In order to recoup this money as soon as possible, RKK Energia plans to fly two tourists on each Soyuz flight accompanied by one professional cosmonaut. With four Soyuz flights available throughout the year, it will be possible to carry up to six tourists on short visits to the station annually while keeping professional cosmonauts in orbit on year-long shifts. At that rate, RKK Energia hopes to recoup its the module's cost in about seven years.

    To minimize the initial cost, RKK Energia wants to book at least 12 passengers who would agree to make payments of around $4 million up front so that the company could begin the development of the orbital hotel module. It's a similar method that Virgin Galactic used at the beginning of its space tourism ambitions. The same clients will then pay two 12.6 million bills in the two years leading up to the flight, then paying the final $10.8 million payment at the time of the flight.

    This plan bets on the growing number of multi-millionaires around the world. By some estimates, by 2021 there will be more than 43,000 people globally, whose personal fortune exceeds $30 million. It means that if just 36 of these individuals (or 0.33 percent from the whole group) choose to visit the space hotel, the module would make money.

    Despite these sci-fi ambitions, the authors of the proposal admit there are a few serious problems. The main potential stumbling block is the technical complexity involved in building the new module, even if the engineers can take advantage of existing blueprints and some available spare parts from its government-funded sibling. In the past two decades, the efforts to restart the assembly of the Russian part of the ISS have been chronically behind schedule.

    Currently, the launch of the NEM-1 module is planned for 2021. In the meantime, the retirement of the ISS is looming in 2028.

    RKK Energia estimates that it would take at least five years to build the tourist module, which means that if the work began right away, it would make it to the station in 2022 or later. Hence, the project might not have those seven years required to pay off the investments. Also the project will be vulnerable to currency exchange fluctuations and cost overruns, the authors of the study said.

    In the near future, much will depend whether Roskosmos or private investors will pony up the cash for humanity's first luxury hotel in space.

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  8. #65
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...eport-meteor-m

    Russian satellite lost after being set to launch from wrong spaceport

    Deputy prime minister admits programmers gave the $45m device coordinates for Baikonur rather than Vostochny cosmodrome

    Wed 27 Dec ‘17 19.39 EST
    Last modified on Thu 28 Dec ‘17 17.00 EST

    Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday the loss of a 2.6bn-rouble ($45m) satellite launched last month was due to an embarrassing programming error.

    Russian space agency Roscosmos said last month it had lost contact with the newly launched weather satellite – the Meteor-M – after it blasted off from Russia’s new Vostochny cosmodrome in the country’s far east.

    Speaking to Rossiya 24 state TV channel, Rogozin said the failure had been caused by human error. The rocket carrying the satellites had been programmed with the wrong coordinates, he said, saying it had been given bearings for take-off from a different cosmodrome – Baikonur – which Moscow leases from Kazakhstan.

    “The rocket was really programmed as if it was taking off from Baikonur,” said Rogozin. “They didn’t get the coordinates right.”

    The rocket was carrying 18 smaller satellites belonging to scientific, research and commercial companies from Russia, Norway, Sweden, the US, Japan, Canada and Germany.

    The Vostochny spaceport, laid out in the thick taiga forest of the Amur region, is the first civilian rocket launch site in Russia.

    In April last year, after delays and massive costs overruns, Russia launched its first rocket from Vostochny, a day after a technical glitch forced an embarrassing postponement of the event in the presence of the president, Vladimir Putin.

  9. #66
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    RIP John Young. He piloted the first Gemini flight, was the first astronaut to fart on the moon, and was the commander on the first ever space shuttle launch.....

    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/n...nced-astronaut


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  11. #67
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    http://www.ulalaunch.com/

    ULA is launching NROL-47 from Vandenberg Thursday at 1:00 PST.....

  12. #68
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    NROL-47 is at T-4 minutes and holding. They apparently have a MIL for a temperature sensor that's out of range, and are looking for engineering approval to change the threshold.....


  13. #69
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    Abort at T-26 seconds! Recycling countdown to T-4 minutes and holding, still no call to scrub for today.....

  14. #70
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    Just scrubbed, apparently a valve problem on the ground. Anomaly Team determining whether de-tanking procedure needs any changes in light of valve problem.

    Trying again in 24 hours.....

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