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Author Topic: Space Thread  (Read 126949 times)
Teleku
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Reply #1190 on: October 11, 2018, 09:58:15 AM

They've been given the go ahead by NASA to launch their first manned flights in June (SpaceX) and August (Boeing) respectively.  But yeah, who knows what delays can pop up.

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
-Stephen Colbert
Chimpy
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Reply #1191 on: October 11, 2018, 10:01:24 AM

They've been given the go ahead by NASA to launch their first manned flights in June (SpaceX) and August (Boeing) respectively.  But yeah, who knows what delays can pop up.

Unmanned test flights.

And SpaceX said they would have unmanned test flights in like 2017.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
calapine
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Reply #1192 on: October 11, 2018, 11:16:04 AM

Wouldn't worry too much as it's not a design issue. This Soyuz configuration flew 65 times so far without fail.

Also, when Soyuz 7K-T had an in-flight abort in 1975, the next capsule flew 6 weeks later. (Yes, I know, cold war blah blah, just providing some context)

Restoration is a perfectly valid school of magic!
calapine
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Reply #1193 on: October 11, 2018, 11:23:17 AM

Secondly, there is always the option to extend the current crews stay (currently due to return in December)

Thirdly, while avoided if possible, even leaving the station unattended until all launch issues are fixed and returning later is an option.

Restoration is a perfectly valid school of magic!
Chimpy
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Reply #1194 on: October 11, 2018, 11:31:07 AM

The issue is entirely that the Russians have been having serious QA/QC issues for the last several years.


'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Teleku
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Reply #1195 on: October 11, 2018, 11:33:43 AM

They've been given the go ahead by NASA to launch their first manned flights in June (SpaceX) and August (Boeing) respectively.  But yeah, who knows what delays can pop up.

Unmanned test flights.

And SpaceX said they would have unmanned test flights in like 2017.

https://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/18932-nasa-flight-with-spacex-rocket-june-2019

Manned test flights from what I'm reading.  Unmanned test flight is supposed to be later this year.

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
-Stephen Colbert
calapine
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Reply #1196 on: October 11, 2018, 12:23:05 PM

Unmanned is probably slipping to early 2019 from what I am hearing.

Nevertheless SpaceX is ahead of the Boeing Starliner, which previously was slated to fly ealier.It suffered a valve malfunction in the launch abort system during hot-fire test, now the parts have to be resigned.

Sort of annoys me to be honest, don't want to see fuckface Musk all smug in the news.

Edit: Talking about Musk, SpaceX just lost out on cool billion $ from the Air Force.

DoD awarded 3 contracts to develop a successor to Atlas V and Delta IV. (SpaceX already did a few launches for them but currently can't fulfil requirements for all type of missions.)

Winners were ULA (Boeing+Lockheed) Vulcan: Methane powered first stage using the BE-4 engine currently under development by Jeff Bezos Blue Origin, plus an upper stage with the good old RL-10 LH2/LOX engine. Biggest contract 987 million.

the Northrop Grumman (previously Orbital ATK) OmegA. First two stages are solid rocket boosters, with 3rd stage, again RL-10 powered.

Blue Origins New Glenn monster with 7 BE-4 engines in the first stage and BE-3U LH2-LOX 2nd stage.

Vulcan is a safe bet, based on Atlas heritage, but both Omega and New Glenn are more risky choices, early in development. So I am quite surprised that SpaceX didn't make the cut. As I said, F9 currently can't fulfill the requirements, the payloads for example currently can only be integrated in a horizontal position, not vertical as the AF wants. And more. BUT all those changes are doable and less risky than Orbital building it's own clean sheet design. Same for Blue Origin.

So quite surprising the AF went with those anyway. One possibility is that Musk went full retarded and offered the BFR instead of the Falcon family, to which the AF said of course no thanks. Total speculation, but what was the reason?

SpaceX fanbois now say "They didn't want the money anyway!", which is nonsense. SpaceX successfully bid for the first part of this competition and now entered again, obviously intending to win. And it's not like they would say not to 1bn of free development money. Especially now as the Starlink constellation, supposed money maker for BFR, is running into issues: One of two test satellites' propolusion failed, leaving it stuck in it's deployment orbit since February. 2nd rumor says they are having serious issue with the planned antenna.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 12:48:05 PM by calapine »

Restoration is a perfectly valid school of magic!
calapine
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Reply #1197 on: October 11, 2018, 02:46:20 PM

I'll start a new series

"Cool things from the United Kingdom....IN SPACE!"

A few weeks ago Surrey Satellites successfully tested their REMOVE Debris satellite. Which released a small cubesat and then netted it. In short a tech-demo for a debris removal system later to be used on larger satellites. The advantage of a net, as opposed to a grapple, is that it's usable for spinning satellites that are out of control.




Pretty neat, huh? If you want to know more, instead of me rambling, just watch these videos;

Remove Debris NET Experiment Highlights (music)

Extended Remove Debris Mission Video (background info)

---

Also, this one of the reasons I am so pissy about that Brexit thing. From Surrey's press release:




See? we need each other! Now, I am pretty convived there will be some UK-EU agreement to continue co-operation (anything else would be insane). But it still sounds pretty much like cutting your dick off and saying "It's fine, we can stitch it back on". Maybe yes..but it wont be the same!

Restoration is a perfectly valid school of magic!
calapine
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Reply #1198 on: October 11, 2018, 02:57:04 PM

Soyuz accident

We have a highly likley lead.

It looks like one of the oxygen depressurisation valves, which are opened pyrotechnically to jettison the boosters from the core stage, failed to open. Which could (did?) lead to the booster hitting the core stage.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 03:09:11 PM by calapine »

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Mandella
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Reply #1199 on: October 11, 2018, 03:12:58 PM

Well, since I wouldn't want to be labeled a "SpaceX fanbois" by Calapine for looking at why SpaceX did not get granted a load of money this round by the AF, I'll quote from noted fanbois Eric Berger over at Ars Technica:

Quote
"For one, SpaceX has already built and flown a rocket that can reach all of the Air Force's reference orbits—the Falcon Heavy. Moreover, the Falcon Heavy is already certified for the Air Force and has won contracts. Air Force officials may also feel that, through NASA contracts for commercial cargo and crew, the government already facilitated development of the Falcon Heavy—which uses three Falcon 9 rocket cores.

It also depends upon what SpaceX bid for. The government would have been more inclined to fund development of an advanced upper stage for the Falcon Heavy or vertical integration facilities. But it seems like the military would not have been as interested in the Big Falcon Rocket, which is more booster than it deems necessary at this time. So if SpaceX bid the BFR, that is one possible explanation for no award.

Regardless of the reasons, the lack of an award for SpaceX means that the successful, innovative, and individualistic company from California will now face three companies receiving military support as it competes with them in the global launch industry. As ever, the battle will be epic and captivating."

Full article here.

Bear in mind that, aside from vertical integration SpaceX already has robust, and AF certified, launching systems in place. They really don't have anything in development except the BFR, and the AF is already invested heavily in the Raptor engine for that.

This is one round of grants. SpaceX didn't get any more money here since they didn't have anything the Air Force thought needed developing for their needs -- as simple as that.

As for the failed Soyuz very happy for the crew to have made it down safely! That must have been a gut wrenching (and squeezing considering the gees) ride.

And no, nothing wrong with the Soyuz design, but damn if there hasn't been something wrong with the manufacturing and assembly of all the old Soviet designs lately.

calapine
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Reply #1200 on: October 11, 2018, 03:37:47 PM

Well, since I wouldn't want to be labeled a "SpaceX fanbois" by Calapine for looking at why SpaceX did not get granted a load of money this round by the AF, I'll quote from noted fanbois Eric Berger over at Ars Technica:


Look, I was a bit tongue in cheek. Sheeesh. But it's funny you said Eric Berger, because I do consider him quite biased regarding SpaceX.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly? Will read the article later.

Edit: And despite my snarky tone, which is mostly to make my posts more interesting, I do try my best not be pro- or anti- any side & give due where it's appropriate and critic all sides. The dick-waving in spaceflight annoys me to no end and I'd hate to fall line that same trap just in reverse.


To update on Soyuz, looks it was as I posted above is correct. Interfax.ru feed through Google translate:

« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 03:42:15 PM by calapine »

Restoration is a perfectly valid school of magic!
calapine
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Reply #1201 on: October 11, 2018, 04:26:57 PM

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, currently on the ISS, captured images of the Soyuz failure:



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Chimpy
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Reply #1202 on: October 11, 2018, 05:34:30 PM

Berger is a "Musk is the messiah" type. His weather stuff is good though.

But even he stated in the article that the AF is mandated by the policy that drives these grants to ensure at least two potential launch suppliers for every reference orbit and SpaceX already has launchers (that the AF already buys slots on) that hit those orbits. The only thing SpaceX is developing that is new is the BFR which is not suited for what the AF wants.

Though it could also be that the grant committee said "Musk is an unstable freakazoid. Maybe we should see if we can get some more options."  why so serious?

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Teleku
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Reply #1203 on: October 11, 2018, 08:50:25 PM

When looking at SpaceX, try not to judge it via Musk.  He's the big figurehead, but its grown into its own beast and is actually being run (very well) by an engineer nerd girl:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-07-26/she-launches-spaceships-sells-rockets-and-deals-with-elon-musk

That article is behind a paywall, but if you haven't been glancing at Bloomberg this month, you get a few free views of anything.  I thought that was an interesting summary of what Gwynne Shotwell is doing and has done.  She's basically SpaceX at this point, as Musk spreads himself thin going batshit on twitter over all his various companies and projects now.  The whole company is staffed with top tier engineers and talent now, who are doing good things all on their own.

So root for that when you see SpaceX doing well.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 08:53:05 PM by Teleku »

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
-Stephen Colbert
Mandella
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Reply #1204 on: October 11, 2018, 09:07:27 PM

Totally concur with the Shotwell sentiment. If you haven't do some youtube searches for her speaking engagements. She's an extremely smart and talented person, and has all the social skills Elon lacks. SpaceX truly would not be were it is without her right now.

As for Berger, he is definitely impressed and excited for SpaceX's achievements, but also pretty critical of Musk's excesses. I give him points for separating out the personalities from the achievements, for all the New Space efforts.

And for all that, I really don't care who is first to get the Commercial Crew going, Dragon or Starliner, but apparently I'm kinda alone in that. First back to the ISS is really considered a big deal among the community, but I just want to see more dependable options to get there.
Mandella
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Reply #1205 on: October 13, 2018, 12:51:07 PM

And as for pretty pictures, here's an Astronomy Pick of the Day from that recent Vandenberg launch that had all the pretty upper atmosphere effects from the boosters separating and one returning.





(I think it's okay to hotlink the APoD.)

And one last thought on SpaceX's recent missed award -- I have to give something of a chuckle at their damned if you do, damned if you don't dilemma.

SpaceX gets government funds -- They are totally subsidized by the taxpayer! Scammers!

SpaceX does not get government funds -- They can't even get government money! Failures!
calapine
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Reply #1206 on: October 13, 2018, 03:23:00 PM

I'll reply at a later time. Glad at least we have some discussion now :)

Meanwhile:




That's the last time humans laid eye on BepiColombo. Off to Mercury in 6 days...

Restoration is a perfectly valid school of magic!
calapine
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Reply #1207 on: October 13, 2018, 03:29:51 PM

But really have to see it in full to appreciate the size:




As I posted before, those are 3 parts stuck together: Bottom, the mercury transfer module, for getting there. Middle, ESA's contribution. the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, and Top: Jaxa's (Japan) Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter

Also *cat calling* look at those panels... 14 meters, each.


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calapine
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Reply #1208 on: October 13, 2018, 03:49:45 PM

Oh, I forgot:

We are doing the anthropomorphizing-space-probes-with-cute-cartoons thingy again!  Heart


The epic adventures of BepiColombo | Part 1: to the launch pad!

Restoration is a perfectly valid school of magic!
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