It is at this time of year (well actually a little later than usual) when the Flightglobal/Ascend space team considers who is in the lead in the race to return astronauts to the Moon. Last year, we did an analysis of what a nation needed to put its astronauts on the Moon and weighed up what each had […]
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While NASA’s first manned spaceflight director, Chris Kraft, continues to be critical of the whole concept of building the new SLS heavy lift rocket system in favour of using current smaller launch vehicles, others remain concerned that NASA’s heavy lift rocket might actually still be too small itself. As Nasaspaceflight.com notes from NASA’s Concept Of Operations (CONOPS) document, using a four astronaut […]
Paris Air Show: Buzz Aldrin visits Flightglobal saying that Moon should not be NASA’s main exploration target
Legendary Apollo 11 astronaut who flew with Neil Armstrong to walk on the surface of the Moon in July 1969, made an almost equally as important visit when he joined the team at Flightglobal’s chalet at the Paris Air Show. While Space is usually a tad subdued at this mainly aviation event, it is good to see Buzz flying the flag for manned space exploration. Buzz appears to be strongly convinced that the Moon should just be a stepping stone to the exploration of other planets rather than a principal destination for NASA.
Video of his interview is on our space page http://www.flightglobal.com/news/space/
Internet billionaire and space aficionado, Jeff Bezos, who plans to run a space transportation operation via his Blue Origin outfit, has just been congratulated by NASA’s Administrator Maj.Gen Charles Bolden for a more historical endeavour. Specifically, Bezos and his team of divers have managed to bring two Saturn V F-1 first stage rocket engines. The engines, rated at 1.5 million lb thrust, were broght to the surface.
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.
Flightglobal’s Hyperbola column is sad to report that veteran BBC spaceflight correspondent Reg Turnill has died at the age of 97 on 12 February 2013. Recruited initially from the Press Association to cover industrial news, Turnill became the BBC air and space correspondent in 1958 after reporting the launch of Sputnik the year before. In this role he covered most of the key US and Russian manned space missions thoughout the 1960s and 1970s including the Apollo 11 moonlanding live from mission control in Houston. As the last reporter in mission control in the evening, it was also Turnill who initially broke the story of Apollo 13′s in-space explosion to the world.
In its quest to pursue manned space exploration to the Moon, asteroids and onwards to Mars, NASA began its Space Launch System programme. While the initial Block 1 SLS will be able to carry 70 tonnes to orbit, it was realised that at least 130 tonnes may be needed for actual manned exploration mission architectures. As such NASA intends to field later versions of the SLS using a pair of advanced boosters, more powerful than the initial SLS Block 1 version’s five segment solid rocket boosters currently made by ATK which were derived from Space Shuttle technology.
NASA celebrates 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s speech committing USA to land man on the Moon
On 12 September 1962, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy announced to the world in a speech made at the Rice University, Houston, a commitment to land men on the Moon by the end of the 1960s. The speech set NASA on a mission that it achieved with Apollo 11′s landing in July 1969.
Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the Moon in July 1969, has passed away on 25 August, shortly after his 82nd birthday. Armstrong had been recovering from medical procedures to alleviate his coronary arteries, when complications led to his death.
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