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Missile report: SLS slows rapid NASA action, Brazil is considering launching site



  Falcon 9 launcher from the Vandenberg Air Force Base
Click to enlarge / Falcon 9 rocket flights from the Vandenberg Air Force Base. This week's Earth-shaking development of heavy-duty vehicles was seen with NASA's announcement that it would consider using commercial missiles to make the first launch of the Moon to the Orion spacecraft. Readers have also submitted a number of interesting stories, such as Brazil, which is considering launching a site for Kourou rival in neighboring French Guiana.

As always, we welcome the views of readers, and if you do not want to miss a problem, please sign up using the box below (the form will not appear in the AMP-supported versions of the site). Each report will include information on small, medium and heavy missiles, and a quick look at the next three shots in the calendar.

The Vega-C racket enters the qualification phase but escapes . The new European satellite launch system recently completed its critical review of the project and is now ready to complete production and final testing as part of the qualification phase, according to the European Space Agency. The initial Vega-C booster flight, a more economical version of Vega, is already planned for early 2020 (this is a slip since the end of 2019).

About a year . The Vega-C missile uses the new European P120C rocket amp that will also power Ariane 6. The whole should help Arianespace save costs as it tries to attract more than the small satellite market. "We are challenging 12 months ahead, starting with four Vega shots between March and November and ending with the first Vega-C flight," said Stefano Bianchi, Head of ESA Space Development. (sent by Ken the Bin and Unrulycow)

LinkSpace is preparing to land missiles . In a tweed the Chinese Launch Company published a landing missile photo with the "Welcome to Earth" message. It is expected that the company will start sub-bilbiting tests on its landing demonstrator in the coming months. [19599021] Have we seen this before? … Founded in 2014, LinkSpace was among the first private Chinese rocket company (more than a dozen since then). He seeks to develop a liquid fuel rocket capable of reusing the first stage, which can lift about 200kg to a synchronous orbit of the sun. The landing technology seems to have been modeled after Falcon 9's rocket.

Another new Chinese start enters the collision . Space transportation has kept a low profile since its founding in 2018, but recently announced it has found a financing angel, reports China Aerospace Blog. The company seeks to develop reusable missiles for a payload of 100kg to 1000kg. -1 rocket has a pair of fins that are supposed to provide the necessary elevator to allow sliding. Such a system faces technical challenges, but it helps the new company stand out in overcrowded Chinese start-ups. Brazil can become a center of space . Brazil wants to attract start-up customers by promoting it as a cheaper alternative to Kourou, the European spaceport in neighboring French Guiana. Aerocosmic titans Boeing and Lockheed Martin visited the Alcantara launch center in December, Reuters reported. The Brazilian space agency also seeks to attract smaller companies with their equatorial location. A security agreement is needed … For now, Brazil's goal of launching a launch may depend on negotiating a technology guarantee agreement with the United States protecting sensitive US space launches and satellite technologies. (Such an agreement is required to launch American missiles). The defense deal may be ready this year if the US Department of State receives a negotiating mandate. (filed by Alex)

The air raid in Saber passes through the PDR . The Saber Air Force Demonstration Core for Jet Propulsion Engine successfully passed the preliminary review of the project, reported the Aviation Week . The evaluation reveals the way for a subsequent critical review of the design, core development and testing of a new facility in Westcott, England, in 2020

This will be great . The full core engine, including cooler, rocket engines and precision jet engines, is designed to provide air thrust from the track to Mach 5 and further for supersonic aircraft. In missile mode, it also has to provide access to a low cost space. Obviously, introducing such a promising technology into reality would be very cool. But there is a long way to go.

Europe seeks to encourage smaller missiles . The European Space Agency says it is studying how best to boost the small satellite industry on the continent. To this end, ESA Future Launchers' preparatory program finances five industry proposals for an economically viable self-sustaining microstar. The five proposals were made by PLD Space, Deimos and Orbex, MT Aerospace, ArianeGroup and Avio. At the Space 19+ conference in November, ESA will propose a program to further fuel cost-effective ideas from European industry by supporting proposals for privately and privately funded space transport services, with an initial focus on marketing services based on micro-luminaries. European representatives believe that this will also help to develop successful commercial space in Europe

Stoil using an unconventional path to space . With his long hair and a messy basement, Brian Stoilie often seems like a mad scientist, according to Riverfront Times . The founder of Stofiel Aerospace with St. Louis has definitely unconventional ideas about how to put things into space using a combination of a balloon and a mostly plastic missile called Hermes.

Fun Story . Stofiel is a colorful personality, and new ideas are always welcome in space. The fact that the industry has reached the point where a modestly wealthy family can fund self-rocket experiments with 3D-print technology is a good thing. But for now, Stoilel has to go a long way before his aerospace ambitions become reality. (Presented by Millenix)

China launches its 300th Long Booster Booster . A Chinese TV companion dropped last Saturday on board Long-Distance 3B. This marks the 300th orbital launch of the Long March 1970s family, reports of Spaceflight Now. On April 24, 1970, the Long March 1 missile carried China's first satellite into space

The launch speed accelerated … China's launch speed accelerated in recent years. It's been 37 years to complete the first 100 Long March launches, eight years for the second 100 flights and four for the third 100 missions. This is another sign of the increasingly ambitious ambitions of the country in space. (represented by Ken the Bin)

SpaceX completes the mission of the commercial crew . Everything went almost seamlessly during SpaceX's first demonstration mission to its space crew "Crew Dragon", which scattered on Friday, March 8th. The mission, however, was hardly on time, as SpaceX engineers were dealing with Falcon first stage valve questions. 9 hours before the start.

Not disclosed … The valve has been replaced and SpaceX has determined that there will be no more similar launch problems. Falcon 9 was removed before NASA's webpage, so the issue was not shared with viewers. In any case, there were no problems with the launch or performance of the Dragon itself.

NASA's Orion Trade Mission : In a remarkable turnaround, NASA Administrator Jim Bridgetin said on Wednesday that the space agency would consider launching its first Orion mission on the moon of commercial missiles instead of NASA's own space system. "I think we, as an agency, must stick to our commitment," said Brixton at NASA's hearing. "If we tell you others that we will start in June 2020 around the moon, I think we have to start around the moon in June 2020."

Such a mission would require two missiles … So what would they be? Bridenstine did not point out missiles at the hearing, but it seems almost certain that at least one of them will be Delta IV Heavy, built by the United Launch Alliance. NASA used this missile to launch a version of the Orion spacecraft at a height of 3600 km in 2014. The United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, with their Falcon Heavy rocket, will be invited to take part in the second start.

SLS is already under siege earlier this week . President Donald Trump's budget demand for 2020 calls for a 17 percent reduction in NASA's Space Shuttle budget, once seen as the backbone of the space agency's efforts to explore deep space. The initial cuts will be to work on the Exploration Upper Stage, which was needed to upgrade to a second, more powerful option, known as Block 1B. Lack of this upper stage means that NASA can not simultaneously show an Orion spacecraft with crew and moon portal elements at the same shot of the SLS missile. This in turn means that the elements of the gate could (and would) be put on commercial missiles. If this budget survives in Congress, it would raise serious questions about the future of the carrier rocket.

Meanwhile, Boeing continued with the SLS tests . The main contractor of the Space Launch System, Boeing, is advancing with the rocket components tests, NASASpaceFlight.com reports. One team is busy conducting test cases on the test article in a large internal test at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Meanwhile, another prepares a liquid hydrogen tank for his tests in another large (but external) road down the road.

Heads Down, Hard Hat … Work goes on even as political questions about the future whirlwind of the big rocket. After several hours of frost, the test pieces are pressed, stretched, twisted and bent to simulate the forces and the environment that are expected to see flying structures during the launch and ascent into space. These tests will help to qualify first flight structures and verify the accuracy of computer models. (Presented by Ken the Bin)

The star ship approaches the original tests . In the last week, the first Raptor engine was delivered to the facility in Brownsville, Texas. And within two days of the arrival of a new carrier, Starchipper was moved from the construction site to the test site. SpaceX has purchased or hired a quartet of (probably used) robots to ship the Star Ship between South Texas construction, landing and landing companies, Teslarati reports.

Looking ahead, always . It was interesting to see Starhopper on the move in South Texas even when SpaceX just finished his first demonstration mission. This is a sign that the company always looks at the future and the ultimate reward for sending people to Mars. There is still a very long way, of course, but we look forward to the Starhopper Superb Tests later this year. (sent by Ken the Bin)

The next three shots

March 15 : Delta IV | Global Satcom broadband spacecraft Cape Canaveral, Florida 22:56 UTC

March 16 : Electron Mission DARPA R3D2 | Peninsula Mahia, New Zealand 22:30 UTC

March 22 : Vega | PRISMA Satellite Earth Observation Satellite Kuru, French Guiana 01:50 UTC


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