Virgin Galactic has released some video of its SpaceShipTwo making its engine firing and then going supersonic. And it is apparent from the footage that the design still has a slight wing rocking issue as afflicted its predecessor SpaceShipOne though it seems to be much less serious.
Archive | April, 2013
While Orbital Sciences Corp was rightly congratulated for the successful launch of its Antares 110 launch vehicle, there is something strange about the fate of its satellite payloads – or more specifically – that four out of the five (the Cygnus Mass Simulator, the Dove 1 test cubesat, and Phonesat 1.0-1. and 1.0-2) had re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere within six days of their launch on 21 April.
Orbital Sciences Corporation has been selected by NASA to design built and test a spacecraft for the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission . Orbital will provide its LEOStar-2 spacecraft platform for the two-year mission under a contract valued at $50 million. The mission, which will be led by the University of California at Berkeley, is currently planned for launch in 2017.
The Zenit 3-SL (Sea Launch) launch failure which caused the total loss of the Intelsat 27 communications satellite was caused by a fault in the rocket’s steering system. A failure investigation, whose conclusions were confirmed by a Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB), found that first stage hydraulic power supply unit (BIM) used to pressurize the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators had failed approximately 3.9 seconds into the flight. This was due to abnormal performance of the pump whose function is to pressurize the hydraulic oil supplied to the RD-171M main engine gimbal actuators.
The mission of the Herschel Space Observatory was formally declared over after liquid helium coolant ran out. After some engineering tests the spacecraft will be moved off L2 and placed into a solar orbit.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has fired its engine in flight for the first time, a huge and long-awaited milestone. The engine, fueled by liquid nitrous oxide and oxydized by solid hydroxl-terminated polybutediene (HTPB), is built by Sierra Nevada (which also builds the Dream Chaser orbital vehicle).The next step — beyond a party at the Mojave, California […]
All contact with the experimental cubesat Strand 1 has been lost since late March. The exact cause of the failure has not been disclosed, Launched on 25 February as one of the payloads on board an Indian PSLV C Series CA (Core Alone) launch vehicle, the Strand1 (Surrey Training Research adn Nanosatellite Demonstrator 1) satellite was built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in conjunction with the University of Surrey. Its mission was to test out Android software as well as the GPS and camera systems of modern mobile Google Nexus 1 smartphone to see if such a phone could be used in space as a communications system, computer, camera, acelerometer and magnetometer. The 3U cubesat satellite of 4kg mass also tested out water/alcohol resistojet, pulsed plasma thruster technologies.
Small ones are better: large aircraft carriers are too vulnerable to satellite-guided missiles says report
Flightglobal Hyperbola previously noted the danger of the Royal Navy having just a two large aircraft carriers given that the new Queen Elizabeth-class may be vulnerable to a new type of satellite-directed ballistic anti-ship missile (e.g. China’s DF-21D). Nevertheless, we did point out that in deciding to change back to the STOVL version of the F-35 strike fighter, the F-35B, the Royal Navy could, at least, spread these fighters around other suitable ships acting as “mini-carriers” to reduce its risk of losing all of them in a single missile or submarine torpedo attack.
During April. the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) has announced the start of the development of the DubaiSat-3. Construction of the Earth observation satellite is to started in South Korea’s SATREC but completed at EIAST, The 350kg spacecraft which is set to have a resolution of 0.7m will belaunched in 2017.
Despite Kurs antenna concerns Progress M-019M makes successful docking with International Space Station
At 1225 GMT on 26 April the freighter spacecraft Progress M-019M successfully docked with the International Space Station. This was despite having his Kurs A antenna jammed forward in launch configuration. In the end, the automatic docking sequence worked correctly and the docking probe was not hindered. Concerns nevertheless remain that damage might yet be caused to the International Space Station during its eventual departure if the antenna is not retracted.
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