Space

January 25, 2013

SpaceX schedules its next ISS resupply mission

SpaceX has picked March 1 for the next launch of its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. The company requested the date from the Cape Canaveral, Fla., spaceport it uses for launching its Falcon rocket.

This will be the third flight for a Falcon 9 rocket to ferry a Dragon cargo capsule. It will be designated as Crew Resupply Service 2 flight, under the contract between SpaceX and NASA. Cargo manifest has not been released but it is expected to include food, supplies and scientific equipment experiments.

One of the Falcon rocket’s nine engines shut down prematurely during the last launch on Oct. 7, but SpaceX said it did not endanger that mission and that they’ve identified the problem. “We’ve gotten to root cause and we’ve briefed that to our customer (NASA),” Garrett Reisman, SpaceX’s Commercial Crew project manager, said. “Right now we’re just making sure that all of our i’s are dotted and our t’s are crossed,” he said. “We do intend to make that information more widely disseminated very, very soon.

The March launch will be from SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. CRS-1 was on Oct. 7, 2012. The mission delivered supplies and then returned scientific samples and other materials. Ten more CRS missions are planned.

SpaceX says it’s planning six launches from Cape Canaveral in 2013, three for NASA and another three for commercial clients, and also intends to conduct launches from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., sometime this year.

 

Grasshopper test

SpaceX’s Grasshopper took a 12-story leap towards full and rapid rocket reusability in a test flight conducted Dec. 17, 2012, at the company’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.

Grasshopper, SpaceX’s vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, rose 131 feet (40 meters), hovered and landed safely on the pad using closed loop thrust vector and throttle control. The total test duration was 29 seconds. Grasshopper stands 10 stories tall and consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage, Merlin 1D engine, four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.

The 12-story flight marks a significant increase over the height and length of hover of Grasshopper’s previous test flights, which took place earlier this fall. In September, Grasshopper flew to 1.8 meters (6 feet), and in November, it flew to 5.4 meters (17.7 feet/2 stories) including a brief hover.

Testing of Grasshopper will continue with successively more sophisticated flights expected over the next several months.

 

First Falcon 9 Air Force launch contract

Two launches were awarded to SpaceX under an Air Force contract valued at as much as $900 million. The missions, scheduled for 2014 and 2015, are designed to help the company become certified to carry military and spy satellites. Previously, United Launch Alliance has carried aloft all of the Air Forces satellites. ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, and has served the Air Force for six years

SpaceX founder, CEO and CTO Elon Musk in a Dec. 5 statement called the Air Force’s decision a “vote of confidence.” Retiring Lockheed chairman and CEO Robert Stevens poked fun at SpaceX’s inexperience. He said ULA has launched satellites on 66 consecutive missions. SpaceX has two in a row. Stevens said at a Dec. 14 Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington.

Responding to Stevens, Musk said in an e-mailed statement that “all of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 missions have reached orbit and completed all primary mission objectives.”

On the cost issue, Musk said: “The fundamental reason SpaceX’s rockets are lower cost and more powerful is that our technology is significantly more advanced than that of the Lockheed-Boeing rockets, which were designed last century.”

 

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>