Monthly Archive for October, 2016

A Halloween Nightmare in Mojave

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It was raining in the desert. It was coming down in buckets.

A cold, hard rain was slamming against the windows of the house. The first real rain since….I couldn’t even remember. That’s how rare rain is out here. Months and months go by with little or no rainfall.

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This Week on The Space Show

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This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livington:

1. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome back Maj. Gen. Jim Armor, USAF (Ret), Staff Vice President, Washington Operations for Orbital ATK, Inc. in Arlington, VA..

2. Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016: 7-8:30 PM PDT, 10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT; No show today.

4. Friday, Nov. 4, 2016: 9:30-11AM PDT; (12:30-2 PM EDT; 11:30 AM – 1 PM CDT) We welcome SUSANNE PETERS from Germany. Ms. Peters will be addressing orbital debris issues. NOTE: DUE TO A PLANNED POWER OUTAGE, THE DATE & TIME FOR THIS PROGRAM MAY CHANGE. CHECK THE WEBSITE NEWSLETTER FOR THE LATEST REGARDING THE SCHEDULING OF THIS PROGRAM. .

5. Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016: 12-1:30 PM PDT We welcome back DR. JOHN JURIST to discuss space radiation issues for long duration spaceflight and the acoustic signatures of large rockets.

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Roscosmos Publishes ISS Crew Rotations for 2017

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The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

PRIME CREWS

ISS-51/52

  • YURCHIKHIN, Fedor — on board engineer of ISS-51, commander of ISS-52, commander of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (ROSCOSMOS)
  • FISCHER, Jack — on board engineer of ISS-51, ISS-52, on board engineer-1 of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (NASA)

ISS-52/53

  • RYAZANSKY, Sergey — on board engineer of ISS-52, ISS-53, commander of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (ROSCOSMOS)
  • BRESNIK, Randolph — on board engineer of ISS-52, commander of ISS-53, onboard engineer-1 of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (NASA)
  • NESPOLI, Paolo — on board engineer of ISS-52, ISS-53, on board engineer-2 of Soyuz MS manned transportation spacecraft (ESA)

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China Rolls Out Long March 5 Booster

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The Chinese have rolled out its new Long March 5 booster, which is scheduled for its maiden flight from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Nov. 3. China’s most powerful launch vehicle, the Long March 5 is capable of placing 25,000 kg (55,116 lb) into low Earth orbit (LEO) and 14,000 kg (30,865 lb) into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

Long March 5 is comparable to the most powerful U.S. launcher. The Delta IV Heavy can lift 25,980 kg (57,276 lb) to LEO and 14,220 kg (31,350 lb) to GTO.

Long March 5 stands 62 meters (203 ft) and is 5 meters (16 ft) in diameter. The booster’s first and second stages are powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Four booster rockets are fueled by RP-1 and liquid oxygen.

I Will Launch America: Juan Calero

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Credit; NASA

Credit; NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Juan Calero had great interest in aerospace from an early age. That interest was initially sparked by his father, who worked in the airline industry, and the many flights his father took him on all over the world.

“I loved the trips, but really didn’t care about where we went,” said Calero. “I was more interested in the different planes and analyzing them.”

It’s that level of enthusiasm that drives Calero in his current role as integration lead for NASA’s Integrated Performance Office at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

His early passion was to become a pilot, but Calero took on electrical engineering instead. While he remembers visiting Kennedy as a kid, he never envisioned working for the space agency. That all changed when NASA held open interviews at his alma mater, the University of Miami in Coral Gables, in 1990.

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New Horizons Returns Last Bits of 2015 Pluto Flyby Data to Earth

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This high-resolution image captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC). The bright expanse is the western lobe of the “heart,” informally called Sputnik Planum, which has been found to be rich in nitrogen, carbon monoxide and methane ices. (Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

This high-resolution image captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC). The bright expanse is the western lobe of the “heart,” informally called Sputnik Planum, which has been found to be rich in nitrogen, carbon monoxide and methane ices. (Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

LAUREL, Md. (NASA PR) — Having traveled from the New Horizons spacecraft over 3.4 billion miles, or 5.5 billion kilometers (five hours, eight minutes at light speed), the final item – a segment of a Pluto-Charon observation sequence taken by the Ralph/LEISA imager – arrived at mission operations at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, at 5:48 a.m. EDT on Oct. 25. The downlink came via NASA’s Deep Space Network station in Canberra, Australia. It was the last of the 50-plus total gigabits of Pluto system data transmitted to Earth by New Horizons over the past 15 months.

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Space Station Crew Returns Safely to Earth

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Kate Rubins after her return to Earth. (Credit: NASA TV)

Kate Rubins after her return to Earth. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronaut and Expedition 49 crew member Kate Rubins, who became the first person to sequence DNA in space, returned to Earth Saturday after a successful mission aboard the International Space Station.

Rubins and her crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, touched down in their Soyuz MS-01 at 11:58 p.m. EDT (9:58 a.m. Oct. 30, Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

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SpaceShipTwo Drop Test Set for Tuesday

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SpaceShipTwo glides toward a landing with its chase plane close behind at lower right. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

SpaceShipTwo glides toward a landing with its chase plane close behind at lower right. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Virgin Galactic plans to conduct the first glide test of the second SpaceShipTwo on Tuesday, Nov. 1. It will be the first flight of the spaceship and its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft since a captive carry test on Sept. 8.

The flight, which will take place from the Mojave Air and Space Port, will come two years and 1 day after the first SpaceShipTwo broke up during a powered test flight, killing Scaled Composites pilot Mike Alsbury and injuring pilot Pete Siebold.

Virgin Galactic pilot C.J. Sturckow confirmed the date of the flight test during an event on Saturday at the Explorers Club in New York City, according to SpaceNews reporter Jeff Foust.

Sturckow told attendees Virgin Galactic plans “‘spot check’ the glide flight envelope of SS2 and move into powered flight tests in early 2017,” according to a tweet posted by Foust.

SpaceX Accident Investigation Team Narrows Cause of Falcon 9 Firexplanomaly

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Credit: USLaunchReport.com

Credit: USLaunchReport.com

SpaceX Update
October 28, 4:00 pm EDT

The Accident Investigation Team continues to make progress in examining the anomaly on September 1 that led to the loss of a Falcon 9 and its payload at Launch Complex 40 (LC-40), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

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Final Frontier Design Delivers MCP Gloves to NASA

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Closeup screenshot of FFD’s pressure visualization and video documentation setup. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

Closeup screenshot of FFD’s pressure visualization and video documentation setup. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

BROOKLYN, NY, October 28, 2016 (FFD PR) – Final Frontier Design (FFD) has delivered a pair of functional Mechanical Counter Pressure (MCP) gloves to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This marks a major milestone in FFD’s fixed-price contract with NASA for MCP gloves and represents a promising alternative in space suit pressure garment design.

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Advisers Outline Trump’s Military Space Policy

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Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

Donald Trump policy advisers Robert Walker and Peter Navarro have returned to the pages of SpaceNews with a second op-ed piece the Republican presidential candidate’s military space policy.

They start out rather bizarrely by citing the weakness of the Obama-Clinton economy, advancing the startling proposition that economic policy is within the purview of a secretary of state who left the administration in early 2013. They then invoke Ronald Reagan and promise that Trump will bring peace through strength by countering aggressive moves by Russia and China.

Trump administration will simultaneously strengthen our economy and manufacturing base while significantly expanding our civilian and military space budgets. Trump understands, as Reagan did before him, that without a strong economy, there can be no strong space program. It is not too bold to assert the maintenance of our technological and strategic superiority in space is vital not just to national security but to our very survival….

While America’s space-based capabilities have made our military the world’s most powerful and effective, an over-reliance on our satellite network to provide situational awareness on the battlefield is now making America highly vulnerable to attack. Chinese and Russian strategists understand this better than our own government. That’s why they are now aggressively targeting our satellite networks – both military and civilian as the very concept of warfare broadens.

Against this emerging strategic chessboard, Donald Trump’s priorities for our military space program are clear: We must reduce our current vulnerabilities and assure that our military commands have the space tools they need for their missions. We must also reduce the cost of space access and create new generations of satellites to deal with emerging threats….

A Trump administration will also lead the way on emerging technologies that have the potential to revolutionize warfare.  For example, both China and Russia are aggressively moving forward with a range of hypersonic weapons that are very difficult to defend against with traditional air-defense interceptors.  A Trump administration will increase the coordination between DARPA, NASA, and the private sector to ensure the U.S. remains well ahead of the technology curve.

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Clinton Vows Balanced Space Program

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Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

In an op-ed published in SpaceNews, an adviser to Hillary Clinton says she will pursue a balanced space program if she is elected president.

She will advance American ideals with a program that balances space science, technology, and exploration; protects our security through Earth systems monitoring; and maximizes the impact of our space program by promoting stronger coordination across federal agencies, cooperation with industry, and collaboration with the international community….

Secretary Clinton understands that to ensure continued U.S leadership in space, it is critical that NASA have the resources and predictable funding necessary to achieve its goals and missions. As president, she will support the key public investments that help drive advances in science and technology, both in space science and in Earth science, and deepen support for strong public-private partnerships that create jobs and improve lives throughout our country and around the world. Further, her administration will work with Congress to ensure that NASA has the right leadership and funding….

To effectively counter the threat of climate change, Secretary Clinton’s administration will carry out combined domestic efforts to increase and strengthen our clean energy infrastructure, slash carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions, and empower agencies like NASA to work with NOAA and other federal science agencies, colleges and universities, the private sector, and the global community.

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Detailed Images of Schiaparelli & Descent Hardware on Martian Surface

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imaged the ExoMars Schiaparelli module’s landing site on 25 October 2016, following the module’s arrival at Mars on 19 October. The zoomed insets provide close-up views of what are thought to be several different hardware components associated with the module’s descent to the martian surface. These are interpreted as the front heatshield, the parachute and the rear heatshield to which the parachute is still attached, and the impact site of the module itself. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imaged the ExoMars Schiaparelli module’s landing site on 25 October 2016. The zoomed insets provide close-up views of what are thought to be several different hardware components associated with the module’s descent to the martian surface. These are interpreted as the front heatshield, the parachute and the rear heatshield to which the parachute is still attached, and the impact site of the module itself. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

DARMSTADT, Germany (ESA PR) — A high-resolution image taken by a NASA Mars orbiter this week reveals further details of the area where the ExoMars Schiaparelli module ended up following its descent on 19 October.

The latest image was taken on 25 October by the high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and provides close-ups of new markings on the planet’s surface first found by the spacecraft’s ‘context camera’ last week.

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Q&A on European Union’s New Space Policy

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European_Commission_LogoBRUSSELS, 26 October 2016 (EU PR) — EU space programmes already deliver services that benefit millions of people. The European space industry is strong and competitive, creating jobs and business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Today’s proposal for a new space policy will foster new services and promote Europe’s leadership in space.

1. Why a space strategy now?

The EU is developing three high quality space projects: Copernicus, a leading provider of Earth observation data across the globe; Galileo, Europe’s own global navigation satellite system (GNSS); and the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), which provides precision navigation services to aviation, maritime and land-based users over most of Europe. A total of EUR 12 billion from the EU budget will be invested in these projects and in research over 2014-2020. Now that the infrastructure of EU space programmes is well advanced, the focus needs to shift to ensuring a strong market uptake of space data and services by the public and private sector. By generating more services which respond to people’s needs and new economic opportunities, every euro spent on EU space policy is a euro well spent. This is also in line with the Commission’s Budget for Results initiative.

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Generation Orbit Gets USAF Funding for Wind Tunnel, Hot Fire Tests

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Credit: Generation Orbit

Credit: Generation Orbit

ATLANTA, October 27, 2016 (GO PR) – Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) is pleased to announce the award of a SBIR Phase II Extension from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate, High Speed Systems Division (AFRL/RQHV) to enable wind tunnel and integrated hot fire testing of the GO1 hypersonic testbed.

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