Space policy roundup – June.22.13

Some space policy related items:

Update: Stephen C. Smith reviews the absurdities displayed during last week’s House subcommittee hearing on the NASA authorization draft bill and whether “some of the representatives might be waking up to the reality that SLS is on an unsustainable course, as was its Constellation predecessor”: : A Rock and a Hard Place – Space KSC

Copenhagen Suborbital: Sapphire rocket prepared for launch on Sunday

Copenhagen Suborbitals gave this update on preparations for the launch on Sunday 11AM CEST (5 am ET, 9 am GMT) of their Sapphire actively guided rocket:

T minus 2 days and we are still go for launch.

Today mission control Vessel Vostok and crew arrived in Space Port Nexø carrying the Sapphire rocket and the last materials and supplies. Tomorrow Saturday 24th launch preparations will continue. The rocket will be stacked and fueled and we will go through the entire checkout sequence for all systems. Hopefully everything will work according to plan. If so flight director Kristian Von Bengtson will give the final “GO” and we will head out to the launch area early sunday morning.

Live coverage

Today the StreamTeam has been working on setting up the link antennas. Since we are launching 15 miles of shore getting the output of 8 HD cameras to the internet is a bit tricky, yet the solution is surprisingly simple. At the top of Vostoks masts we have attached a modified WIFI antenna on a rotatable platform. The platform is computer guided and always point at the same point ashore. Approximately 1 mile inland we have placed a 2 foot disc antenna that acts as a internet acess point. This way we are able to sustain a 5-10 mbit internet connection.

The camera signal are then sent to our facility in Copenhagen. Here our producer and  to commentators can see a mosaic of all cameras. The signals are them mixed with audio and broadcasted to Youtube.

The livestream is now avalilable on our website – and we will begin broadcasting approximately 2 hours before launch.

Watch it here:

Metal vanes in the nozzle outlet will control the rocket’s direction:

Images made of solar transit of Chinese space station

Astrophotographer Thierry Legault has posted a couple of great pictures he made of the Chinese space station “Tiangong-1, with the Shenzhou-10 module docked”, as it crosses in front of the sun:

Click on these thumbnails for the large versions:



Sci-Tech: Tesla Motors demos fast battery swap system

Tesla Motors demonstrates a system for fast battery swaps that will be an option to free battery charging at their Supercharger stations : Battery Swap – Tesla Motors

Update: A couple of skeptical reviews: