Tag: Falcon 9

Report: Blue Origin Joined Boeing Commercial Crew Bid

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At Blue Origin’s West Texas facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated a full simulated suborbital mission profile, igniting, throttling, and restarting on command. (Credit: NASA)

At Blue Origin’s West Texas facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated a full simulated suborbital mission profile, igniting, throttling, and restarting on command. (Credit: NASA)

The Wall Street Journal reports that Blue Origin has joined Boeing’s commercial crew bid as a partner, although in what capacity remains unclear.

The newspaper also reports that Jeff Bezos’s space company will team with United Launch Alliance to develop a replacement first-stage engine for the Atlas V, which will launch Boeing’s CST-100 crew vehicle to the International Space Station. The new engine would replace the Russian RD-180 engine.

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ULA, SpaceX Set to Launch This Week From Florida

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Launch of Atlas V with NROL-33 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 22, 2014. (Credit: ULA)

Launch of Atlas V with NROL-33 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 22, 2014. (Credit: ULA)

There are two launches on tap this week from Cape Canaveral. The first is an ULA Atlas V on Tuesday, followed by a SpaceX Falcon 9 on Saturday.

The Atlas V mission with the CLIO payload is set to lift off on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 5:44 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends until 8:10 p.m. ULA webcasts its launches here.

CLIO is a top-secret satellite being launched for an unidentified government agency.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of scientific experiments and supplies, will lift off on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 2:16 a.m. EDT.

NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 1:15 a.m. If for any reason the launch is postponed, the next launch opportunity is Sunday, Sept. 21 at approximately 1:53 a.m.

SpaceX Reports Surge in Launch Orders

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Falcon 9 Launches Communications Satellite

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 successfully launched the AsiaSat 6 satellite into orbit on Sunday morning.

AsiaSat 6 Successfully Lifts Off

HONG KONG, 7 September 2014 (AsiaSat PR) – AsiaSat 6, the newest communications satellite of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat), successfully lifted off on 7 September at Hong Kong Time 1:00 p.m. (1:00 a.m. EDT or Cape Canaveral local time). This is the second SpaceX Falcon 9 launch this summer for AsiaSat, after AsiaSat 8 on 5 August.

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Engine Providers Pitch Ideas for RD-180 Replacement to Government

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Launch of Atlas V with NROL-33 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 22, 2014. (Credit: ULA)

Launch of Atlas V with NROL-33 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 22, 2014. (Credit: ULA)

Space News reports on an invite-only meeting last month during which America’s leading space companies discussed their ideas for replacing the Russian-supplied RD-180 engine that powers United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V engine.

The meeting was attended by White House and Pentagon officials, who are devising a strategy to eliminate the nation’s dependence on the Russian engine amid a deteriorating relationship between the two countries over the Ukraine war.

Continue reading ‘Engine Providers Pitch Ideas for RD-180 Replacement to Government’

An Update on WorldVu Satellites

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Google_logo_newSpace News has an in-depth look at WorldVu Satellites following the departure of company founder Greg Wyler from Google. A summary of the key points:

  • WorldVu has grown to 30 employees, who are working on a plan to launch hundreds of satellites to provide high-speed data services globally;
  • The company is “not tethered to Google”;
  • Google is a shareholder in WorldVu, but the principal owner is satellite fleet operator SES of Luxembourg;
  • WorldVu’s “relationship with Google remains good but Google’s ultimate involvement in it remains unclear,” according to one source;
  • The company has established relations with SpaceX Founder Elon Musk, but there is neither a formal relationship between the companies nor any agreement to launch satellites on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets;
  • WorldVu’s current design includes more than 300 satellites that would beam 2 gigahertz of Ku-band using satellites orbiting between 800 and 950 kilometers above Earth.

Read the full story.

Report: Falcon 9 Launch Set for Sunday

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Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat8 into orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat8 into orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

Florida Today‘s James Dean reports that SpaceX’s launch of the AsiaSat 6 satellite has been delayed from Saturday to Sunday morning. The launch window runs from 12:50 a.m. to 4:04 a.m.

Dean cites the U.S. Air Force’s latest weather forecast. Neither SpaceX nor AsiaSat have confirmed the new launch date.

SpaceX cancelled an earlier launch attempt in order to make additional checks on the Falcon 9 rocket. That decision followed the failure of a reusable Falcon 9 test vehicle in McGregor, Texas.

Video: Garrett Reisman’s Presentation on SpaceX Programs

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Video Caption: On August 27, 2014, former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman participated in the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) teleconference. Now the DragonRider Program Manager for SpaceX, Reisman presented a slide show on SpaceX commercial spaceflight.

The slide show and teleconference audio recording are available for download at:

http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/tel…

In this video, I’ve matched the slides to the audio for your convenience.

Visit our web site at www.spaceksc.com. We’re on Twitter at @SpaceKSCBlog.

Elon Musk Updates Status of Satellite Launch, Falcon 9R Destruction

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Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

A message from SpaceX:

SpaceX has decided to postpone tomorrow’s flight of AsiaSat 6. We are not aware of any issue with Falcon 9, nor the interfaces with the Spacecraft, but have decided to review all potential failure modes and contingencies again. We expect to complete this process in one to two weeks.

The natural question is whether this is related to the test vehicle malfunction at our development facility in Texas last week. After a thorough review, we are confident that there is no direct link. Had the same blocked sensor port problem occurred with an operational Falcon 9, it would have been outvoted by several other sensors. That voting system was not present on the test vehicle.

What we do want to triple-check is whether even highly improbable corner case scenarios have the optimal fault detection and recovery logic. This has already been reviewed by SpaceX and multiple outside agencies, so the most likely outcome is no change. If any changes are made, we will provide as much detail as is allowed under US law.

– Elon Musk

SpaceX Postpones AsiaSat6 Launch

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Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat8 into orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat8 into orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has postponed a Falcon 9 launch planned for this evening. The rocket was to have launched the AsiaSat6 satellite.

Early reports are that engineers need more time to review data from a failed test flight last week of its Falcon 9R reusable test vehicle in McGregor, Texas. The vehicle was blown up in flight after it suffered an anomaly. The Falcon 9 launch could be rescheduled for sometime next week.

Update: NASASpaceflight.com reports that SpaceX has provided no official reason for the delay. However, it reports that “engineers had been working on a helium leak throughout the past 24 hours or so.” That problem had been resolved with the replacement of two valves, but Elon Musk apparently then called a scrub to allow engineers to check the health of the vehicle. It’s not clear why.

Falcon 9 launches have been dogged by helium leaks this year. Reliable reports say the company brought helium tank production in house earlier this year.