While Iran has yet to confirm the reports that it has had another orbital launch fallure on 17-18 February 2013, the evidence is growing. The flight is thought to have been a launch of the Iran’s Safir launch vehicle carrying a small remote sensing/observation satellite called Fajr 3. The Times of Israel and Israel’s Channel 2 television station note that “western intelligence sources” have confirmed all contact with both the rocket and the satellite were lost after launch. The launch is thought to have taken place from the Semnan launch site in Iran.
Archive | February, 2013
On a lighter note: Round the planet Mars flight plan detailed by Dennis Tito but couple will have to get on
Denis Tito and his Inspiration Mars outfit has been giving full details of their plan to send humans around the planet Mars including using a capsule and inflatable living area. The full story is here.
While Neil Armstrong would probably not approve, by act of Congress, he has had his name replace aeronautical engineeer Hugh Dryden on the name plate of the Dryden Flight Research Center in California. This will thus henceforth be called the Neil Armstrong Research Center. Dryden, an aeronautical engineer instrumental in getting President John F. Kennedy to commit to going to the Moon, will now have the surrounding test range named after him.
The Indian Space Research Organisation had a successful flight of its PSLV rocket in strap-on-less Core Alone PSLV C series CA configuration. The rocket liftted off at1231 GMT from the Sriharikota launch site on 25 February 2013. Aboard the launch were seven satellites. The most “important” payload was the 409kg Saral spacecraft, an Indo-French oceanograpy satellite designed to study ocean circulation and sea surface elevation. Along with this flew six other spacecraft:
Having realised that they were wrong to try and sue its former employee and Chief Technical Officer Jim Bonner using Federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations) laws, International Launch Services (ILS), the firm which markets commercial Proton rocket launches for its main parent firm Khrunichev, has refiled its legal action under different fraud laws as it attempts to recover funds allegedly defrauded by Bonner and his alleged accomplice Thomas Dwyer. Specifically, the pair are alleged to have taken ILS funds set sside for safety analysis by awarding contracts to two firms set up by themselves which did not actually do the work. Bonner was fired from the ILS firm last August.
NASA investigatators investigating the Taurus XL launch failure carrying its Glory environmental monitoring mission disclosed that the fairing nose cone did not separate due to its rail not breaking as planned. However, they could not work out why this happened. The full story is available here:
Flightglobal Hyperbola column’s analysis of the new privately-led space race to land a man or woman on Mars (between Dennis Tito’s outfit, SpaceX and Mars One) has led us to consider how we would do it. Actually, we would go for the “Tuco” approach. Tuco was the villainous character in the Spaghetti western directed by Sergio Leone, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967), who liked to use different parts of various revolvers: barrel, cylinder etc to build his ideal pistol.
According to Nasawatch.com and a news release posted on SpaceRef.com. Denis Tito, the first ever space tourist who made a flight to the International Space Station in 2001, is planning to attempt to fly around Mars. Dennis Tito’s initial mission is apparently only going to be one involving a two-man crew on a free return trajectory with no orbial insertion or Mars landing.
Having earlier tested its drilling capabilities, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has successfully used its drill to recover the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. The sample, taken from bedrock on Mars, will now be analysed by the In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) device in conjuction with the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument.
A film sequence of radar images of asteroid 2012 DA14 during its close pass of Earth on 15 February has been released by NASA. The imagers were obtained using the 70m diameter Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California as the 4m long asteroid moved away from the Earth. Each of the 72 frames required 320 seconds of data collection by the Goldstone radar. The images have been looped nine times for the video and clearly show the object was rotating. The resolution is only 4m per pixel.
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