Greetings from Pasadena, home of the Rose Bowl, the Tournament of Roses Parade, and (for this week only) the AIAA Space 2012 Conference & Exposition.
Not much news being made this week, but here are a few tidbits:
- Orbital Sciences Corporation is STILL waiting for the Commonwealth of Virginia to turn over the Antares launch site on Wallops Island. The turnover is expected to occur soon. Once it does, Orbital will be able to begin its launch campaign. The company is hoping to conduct the maiden Antares launch in October and a cargo demonstration mission with the Cygnus freighter to ISS in December.
- Virgin Galactic Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Steve Isakowitz spoke last night and participated in a panel on space entrepreneurs this morning. He gave a pretty standard VG presentation. They are still on course for powered flights by the end of the year. Beyond that, they will see how the tests go.
- ATK plans to continue developing the Liberty rocket with internal funding in the wake of being passed over for NASA’s commercial crew program. The company will focus on developing the launcher for commercial payloads.
- You’ll be happy to know that my experiment, “The Effects of Variations in Elevation on Empty Plastic Water Bottles,” has yielded some fascinating results. This is what they look like after going from Mojave in the High Desert (2,781 feet) to Pasadena (864 feet):