The draft environmental assessment for SpaceX’s proposed expansion at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) also revealed that Elon Musk’s rocket company plans to most of more than 4,000 satellites of its planned Starlink constellation from Cape Canaveral.
That will guarantee a busy schedule for SpaceX’s Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at KSC and LC-40 at the adjoining Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). LC-39A can accommodate Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters while LC-40 is configured for the Falcon 9.
NASA Commercial Crew Program Remaining Milestones July 2014
Critical Design Review (CDR) Board. Boeing shall establish and demonstrate a critical baseline design of the CCTS that meets system requirements. CDR confirms that the requirements, detailed designs, and plans for test and evaluation form a satisfactory basis for production and integration.
Boeing Spacecraft Safety Review. Boeing shall prepare and conduct a Phase 2 Safety Review of the Commercial Crew Transportation System (CCTS) Spacecraft Critical Design Review (CDR) level requirements, system architecture and design, and associated safety products to assess conformance with Commercial Crew Transportation System certification process (CDR-level products). Focus is review of the updated hazard reports, hazard causes and controls, and specific safety verification methods to reflect the CDR level of design detail for the CCTS Spacecraft Segment.
TOTAL REMAINING (OUT OF $480 MILLION):
SIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION
Engineering Test Article Flight Testing. The purpose of these additional free flight test(s) is to reduce risk due to aerodynamic uncertainties in the subsonic approach and landing phase of flight and to mature the Dream Chaser aerodynamic database. A minimum of one and up to five additional Engineering Test Article free flight test(s) will be completed to characterize the aerodynamics and controllability of the Dream Chaser Orbital Vehicle outer mold line configuration during the subsonic approach and landing phase.
Risk Reduction and TRL Advancement Testing. The purpose of these tests is to significantly mature all Dream Chaser systems to or beyond a CDR level.
Reaction Control System Testing — Incremental Test No. 1. The purpose of the test on this pre-qualification unit is to support eventual qualification/certification by testing the thruster in flight-like environments.
TOTAL REMAINING (OUT OF $227.5 MILLION):
Pad Abort Test. SpaceX will conduct a pad abort test of the Dragon spacecraft. The scenario where an abort is initiated while the CTS is still on the pad is a design driver for the launch abort system as it dictates the total impulse and also requires parachute deployment in close proximity to the ground.
Dragon Primary Structure Qualification. SpaceX will conduct static structural testing of all Dragon primary structure components to ultimate load factors, as applicable. This series of tests will validate the Dragon structure’s ability to maintain integrity during all driving load cases as well as verify the accuracy of math models used to analyze the Dragon structure. Individual tests will be designed to exercise all credible failure modes and minimum margin areas.
2nd Half 2014
Ground Systems and Mission Operations Critical Design Review (CDR). Part 2 of the CDR focused on ground systems and mission operations. The goal of the CDR is to demonstrate that the maturity of the CTS design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and test.
Crew Vehicle Technical Interchange Meetings. Part 3 of the CDR. The goal of the CDR is to demonstrate that the maturity of the CTS design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and test.
Delta Crew Vehicle Critical Design Review (CDR). The final milestone in the CDR.The goal of the CDR is to demonstrate that the maturity of the CTS design is appropriate to support proceeding with full-scale fabrication, assembly, integration and test.
In-Flight Abort Test. SpaceX will conduct an in-flight abort test of the Dragon spacecraft. The in-flight abort test will supplement the pad abort test and complete the corners-of-the-box stress cases. The in-flight abort scenario represents a Dragon abort while under propulsive flight of the launch vehicle during the worst-case dynamic loads on the CTS.
TOTAL REMAINING (OUT OF $460 MILLION):
Space Vehicle Subsystem Interim Design Review. Review space vehicle subsystem design progress with emphasis on power and actuation systems, in-space propulsion, multiplex avionics, flight mechanics and GN&C.
India’s plan to launch astronauts into space on its own appears to have slipped into the 2020s, while the possible involvement of foreign partners in the effort has been nixed.
On Friday, it was announced that ISRO had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the selection of astronauts beginning no earlier than 2020. In late January 2010, ISRO announced a $4.8 billion plan to launch astronauts aboard its own rocket and spacecraft in 2016.
NASA PR — HOUSTON — In early November, NASA will seek applicants for its next class of astronaut candidates who will support long-duration missions to the International Space Station and future deep space exploration activities.
“For scientists, engineers and other professionals who have always dreamed of experiencing spaceflight, this is an exciting time to join the astronaut corps,” said Janet Kavandi, director of flight crew operations at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “This next class will support missions to the station and will arrive via transportation systems now in development. They also will have the opportunity to participate in NASA’s continuing exploration programs that will include missions beyond low Earth orbit.”
A bachelor’s degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience are required in order to be considered. Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience flying high-performance jet-aircraft.
After applicant interviews and evaluations, NASA expects to announce the final selections in 2013, and training to begin that August.
Additional information about the Astronaut Candidate Program is available by calling the Astronaut Selection Office at 281-483-5907.
NASA PR — HOUSTON — NASA last week completed the first in a series of flight-like parachute tests for the agency’s Orion spacecraft. The drop tests at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona support the design and development of the Orion parachute assembly.
Flying at an altitude of 25,000 feet, a drop-test article that mimicked the Orion parachute compartment was deployed from a C-130 aircraft. Once airborne, two drogue chutes were deployed at an altitude of 19,000 feet, followed by three pilot parachutes, which then deployed three main landing parachutes. The drop test article speed as it impacted the desert was approximately 25 feet per second.
The tests were the closest simulation so far to what the actual Orion parachute landing phase will be during a return from space.
Since 2007, the Orion program has tested the spacecraft’s parachutes and performed 20 drop tests. The program provided the chutes for NASA’s pad abort test in 2010 and performed numerous ground-based tests. Results from the previous experiences were incorporated into the parachute design used in this test.
Tea Party in Space White Paper Space Launch System Procurement Could Violate CICA September 2011
Subject: De Facto Sole Sourcing of Space Launch System Would Violate Law
Summary: A violation of 41 U.S.C. 253 (the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984) will occur if NASA moves ahead with a decision to avoid full and open competition by implementing “de facto sole source awards” on the Space Launch System, which will cost anywhere from $111 to $322 billion in taxpayer funds, and potentially much more.
California Rep. Tom McClintock is asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate NASA’s plans to use existing contractors for the Space Launch System instead of competitive bidding.
“I have serious concerns with NASA’s attempt to avoid holding a full and open competition to acquire the SLS,” McClintock wrote. “NASA is considering modifying and/or extending existing contracts for retired or cancelled programs resulting in one or more ‘de facto sole source awards.’ Some of those contracts were originally awarded on a sole source basis.
WASHINGTON — NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, agency procurement officials, and Space Launch System Program managers will meet with contractors and small-business entrepreneurs Sept. 29 for the Space Launch System Industry Day at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in Huntsville, Ala.
NASA will brief industry representatives on the agency’s acquisition strategy for the Space Launch System program and provide an overview of the program, its organization and specific vehicle requirements. The event takes place from 7:55 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. CDT during the Marshall Space Flight Center’s quarterly Small Business Alliance Meeting. It will provide small business leaders a forum to discuss opportunities with representatives of NASA and large prime contractors.
Marshall is leading design and development of the Space Launch System for NASA. The new heavy-lift launch vehicle will take astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new exploration missions across the solar system. The first full-scale SLS test flight is targeted for 2017.
NASA Industry Day speakers will include Garver; Marshall Center Director Robert Lightfoot; Glenn Delgado, associate administrator of NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs in Washington; Todd May, director of NASA’s Space Launch System Program Office; Kim Whitson, deputy director of Marshall’s Office of Procurement; and Earl Pendley, manager of the Space Transportation Support Office in Marshall’s Office of Procurement.
The National Space Society calls for the United States to make civil space a high national priority in order to ensure American leadership in scientific discovery, technology development, and the creation of new industries and new applications that will benefit all humanity. Five actions are necessary to achieve this objective:
Formulate a Strategy to Achieve the Ultimate Goal. Congress and the Administration shall institute, by no later than February 28, 2013, a comprehensive civil space strategy to achieve the long-range goal of the human settlement of space, including the use of space to better life on Earth.
Virginians are pushing back against efforts by Florida to maintain its monopoly on human spaceflight missions. Jack Kennedy, a prominent backer of commercial space in Virginia, sent the following email to supporters on Saturday:
“Space Florida is getting really aggressive and negative to the possibility of human commercial space launch from Wallops Island, Virginia.
“I strongly urge you to communicate with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressman Frank Wolf and Senator Mark Warner, in particular. ASK that they call upon Boeing to openly pledge to launch the Atlas-V from Virginia under the NASA Commercial Crew program by 2015.
“Your e-Mail, letter, and/or phone call to these three Congressional offices may go a long way to make human space flight from Virginia a reality (especially in the wake of the Florida push back against Virginia’s spaceport).
UKSA PR — ESA’s UK astronaut Tim Peake, together with fellow astronauts Thomas Pesquet from France, Randolph Bresnik from NASA, Norishige Kanai from Japan and Sergey Ryzhikov from Russia, has just completed (21 September 2011) a week of living and working in a dark and humid cave – a unique training experience, organised by ESA, to prepare astronauts for space.
A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, El Salvador, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line), a satellite (55sec) and the stars of our galaxy.
The Chinese Xinhua news agency reports that the nation will launch its first space station between Sept. 27 and 30.
The 8.5-metric ton Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace 1) is about half the size of the early Soviet Salyut space stations that were launched in the 1970s. It will serve as docking target for three Shenzhou spacecraft. The first will dock unmanned to demonstrate that capability. If that mission is successful, two crews will dock at the station and conduct experiments.
The launch of the station was delayed from early September because of a failure of a Long March rocket. Additional checks were required.