As already mentioned, the Dream Chaser aerodynamic prototype with which NASA hopes to hire to fly its astronauts to orbit, worked very well (see above) during its October test glide and approach phases. Nevertheless, its final landing went awry after its port undercarraige failed to deploy and the craft skided off the runway. So what could have been the cause […]
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Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser mini-space shuttle has a “flip-over” crash landing during its fledgling glide test
The Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser, one of the commercial spacecraft hoping to be used to provide regular transportation services to NASA astronauts has had its first glide test after being airdropped from a helicopter – and crashed on landing. The pilotless test took place on 28 October. Following its release from an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter […]
Our previous article outlined the fact that the later Block 1A and Block 2 versions of NASA’s SLS were probably too small for proper manned exploration (according to studies two SLS launch vehicles will be needed for a manned lunar mission). We went onto suggest that a vehicle carrying about 200 metric ton to orbit (about 30% more than the Block 2 SLS) would be […]
Accomplished NASA astronaut Michael Foale who holds dual UK/US citizenship has retired from NASA. During his astronaut career he had six trips into orbit via six space shuttle missions and served 145 days aboard the Russian space station Mir in 1997. That mission nearly ended in disaster after Spektr, one of Mir’s space station modules, sprung a leak during a collision with a Progress […]
President Barack Obama has posthumously awarded fomer astronaut and first US female in orbit, Dr. Sally Ride, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The award is the highest US civilian honour that can been bestowed.
Successful Soyuz launch of Progress M-019M is marred by sticky KURS antenna which may prevent docking (Updated)
A Soyuz U launch vehicle successfully launched Progress M-019M (ISS-51P) on its mission to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome located near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan. Aboard were cargo and supplies for the astronauts aboard the International Space Stataion. Due to orbital alignments, the passage to the space station will take the slower route lasting two days rather than the shorter six hour trip. Soon after launch an issue was reported involving the failure to deploy of one of the antennas needed for the KURS automatic docking system. Engineers are attempting to recover the antenna.
The BBC docu-drama The Challenger recently shown on BBC television dramatises the investigative process after the Space Shuttle Challenger so memorably blew up some 73 seconds into its flight from the Kennedy Space Center on a cold morning on 28 January 1986 with the doomed astronauts’ shocked families looking on.
Former Canadian astronaut Steve Maclean has given notice has resigned from his position as President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and will leave on 1st February to join a Physics research company. Maclean has held his post for over four years.
Just to give an idea of lead times in spaceflight: Arianespace has begun loading cargo into the European Space Agency’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle robotic supply ship, named Albert Einstein – which launches via Ariane 5 rocket for the International Space Station in April. ESA’s launch operator actually began loading ATV4 in late 2012, working […]
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.
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