1. Monday, April 22, 2019; 2-3:30 pm PDT (4-5:30 pm CDT, 5-6:30 pm EDT): Daniel Suarez, author ofDelta-v, an excellent novel.
2. Tuesday, April 23, 2019; 7-8:30 pm PDT (9-10:30 pm CDT, 10-11:30 pm EDT): We welcome back Jeffrey Smith to discuss his recent booster series articles on The Space Review.
3. Wednesday, April 24, 2019: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor. It is archived on The Space Show site after John posts it on his website.
5. Sunday, April 28, 2019; 12 pm PDT (3:00 pm EDT, 2:00 pm CDT): We welcome back Michael Ciancone to discuss his spaceflight bibliography, the important 2018 IAC in Bremen, IAC 2019 in Washington, DC, and the Orion Service Module program with ESA.
Some recent shows:
** Tue, 04/16/2019 – David Livingston led a discussion among listeners about “the 2024 lunar timetable, FH [Falcon Heavy] barge recovery, Griffith Observatory public interest”.
** Tue, 04/09/2019 – Dr. Mike Gruntman gave a “historical analysis of Tyuratam Missile Range to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, aerospace education, returning to the Moon, inspiration, Elon Musk, SpaceX, Jeff Bezos and much more”.
Update: Chris Bergin (NASASpaceFlight.com) on Twitter: “SLS All-Hands meeting coming up. We expect the “Green Run” to REMAIN in the test flow. This also means the chances of SLS in 2020 are pretty much gone, but – as we’ve seen with the Commercial Crew testing – the Green Run (all four RS-25s firing on the core) is good for safety.”
** Episode T+119: Dr. John Charles – Main Engine Cut Off – “Dr. John Charles spent nearly 33 years at NASA—most recently as Chief Scientist of the Human Research Program—working on human spaceflight through Shuttle, Mir, ISS, and beyond. He lead missions such as STS-95 (John Glenn’s Shuttle flight), STS-107, and the Twins Study with Scott and Mark Kelly. He retired from NASA in February 2018 and is now the Scientist in Resident at Space Center Houston. We talk about his career, the human spaceflight issues he worked and solved in his time at NASA, and the things that need to be solved for the exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond.”
** The Space Show – Tue, 04/16/2019 – David Livingston led a discussion among listeners about “the 2024 lunar timetable, FH [Falcon Heavy] barge recovery, Griffith Observatory public interest”.
Mission Success yesterday for Indiana’sNearSpace Launch Inc. (NSL)ThinSat constellations launched off the Antares NG-11 on route to International Space Station. The 60 ThinSat were developed for Virginia Space as a STEM program for middle and high schools. Over 400 students participated in the testing and delivering of experiments in orbit today. The school teams were overseen by Twiggs Space Labs.
Co-founder of Twiggs Space Labs and Co-Inventor of the CubeSat, Bob Twiggs, states, “Our goal is to inspire future generations of engineers and scientists through innovation in the field of space.” Twiggs goes further to say, “To me, this (ThinSat launch) is the most exciting day of my career.”
ThinSat is a new pioneering model for satellites that are scalable, simpler, and more affordable. Their focus is to broaden access to space for educational and space research participants.
The ThinSat comes in an array of sizes that comply with the CubeSat launcher. The 11.2 cm by 11.7 cm by 2 cm ThinSat version was the first model to launch this week. The ThinSat team choose to use EyeStar radios and Alta Devices solar technology. The NSL’s EyeStar radios allow for 24/7 connectivity via Globalstar’s constellation. Alta Devices solar cells provide a unique modular, lightweight, flexible form factor with high efficiency characteristics.
The ThinSat inventor and co-founder of NSL, Hank Voss states, “ThinSats will travel in a region of the atmosphere that is important to climate and space weather forecasts, but rarely studied because atmospheric drag makes it hard to keep satellites there,” Voss also expressed, as an emeritus professor, he is “thankful to Virginia Space and Twiggs Space Labsfor investing into the project that has a such strong STEM and research outreach.”
Aeternitas, Cetes and Liberta: Three CubeSats sponsored by the Virginia CubeSat Constellation (VCC) program and built by undergraduates at the University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech and Hampton University.
SpooQy 1 – National University of Singapore project to demonstrate quantum entanglement technologies on a CubeSat.
KRAKSat – “a project focused on sending scientific satellite into space, made by students of University of Science and Technology and Jagiellonian University. Not only it is one of the first Cubesat type satellites in Poland but also the first satellite in the world which uses magnetic liquid, called ferrofluid, for orientation control”.
A sampling of recent articles, videos, and images dealing with space transport:
[ Update April.21.2019, 10:25 am EDT: An explosion took place on Saturday at Cape Canaveral during a SpaceX test of a Crew Dragon propulsion system. There is lots of speculation going on but we won’t know what actually happened, the cause, and the ramifications on SpaceX projects until the company gives a briefing on the accident. So far this is the only info released by the company:
Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand.
Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting anomalies like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test. Our teams are investigating and working closely with our NASA partners.
Here is a statement from the NASA administrator:
NASA has been notified about the results of the @SpaceX Static Fire Test and the anomaly that occurred during the final test. We will work closely to ensure we safely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program. pic.twitter.com/yE2J5yGzA7
The most recent New Shepard test flight was on January 23rd. That test flight is following the pattern of previous ones in being declared successful and then followed by a gap of a few months before the next flight, usually with no explanation for what modifications or upgrades they are making during in the interim. Blue Origin officials have indicated that passenger flights could start this year but that several more test flights were required.
** LinkSpace reusable vertical takeoff and landing rocket flies again:
United Launch Alliance is finalizing production of the Atlas V rockets that will launch the first two crewed flights of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner to the International Space Station, known as the Crew Flight Test (CFT) and Post Certification Mission-1 (PCM-1).
At our factory in Decatur, Alabama, skilled technicians are putting the finishing touches on the CFT hardware before shipment to the Cape Canaveral launch site, and also working on the assembly and testing of the PCM-1 rocket.
These launches will be the second and third flights of the Starliner program. The first flight, the Orbital Flight Test (OFT), will be an uncrewed checkout mission to the International Space Station scheduled for August 2019. All Atlas V hardware for OFT is in Cape Canaveral and will soon begin processing for the first flight.
NASA and the Department of Defense Human Space Flight Support (HSFS) Office Rescue Division are conducting a search and rescue training exercise over the next several days at the Army Warf on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and in the Atlantic Ocean. This is the first at-sea exercise with the Boeing CST-100 Starliner training capsule, known as Boiler Plate 3, ahead of the commercial crew flight test with astronauts targeted for later this year.
During normal return scenarios, Boeing’s Starliner will land on land in a safe zone of about 15 square miles in the Western United States. Throughout the commercial crew development phases with NASA, Boeing has performed dozens of qualification tests on its parachute and airbag systems simulating conditions on land and in the water.
“Manufacturing of Vulcan Centaur pathfinder and qualification hardware in the factory has been going on for nearly a year and just a few weeks ago, the team began to manufacture the first flight hardware,” said Bruno. “It is a tremendously exciting time as we watch the first flight vehicle being built.”
NASA will host a media teleconference at 11 a.m. Monday, April 22, to discuss select science investigations the Dragon will deliver to the astronauts living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory. NASA will stream audio from the discussion at http://www.nasa.gov/live.
The STP-2 mission will be among the most challenging launches in SpaceX history with four separate upper-stage engine burns, three separate deployment orbits, a final propulsive passivation maneuver and a total mission duration of over six hours. In addition, the U.S. Air Force plans to reuse side boosters from the Arabsat-6A Falcon Heavy launch, recovered after a return to launch site landing, making it the first reused Falcon Heavy ever flown.
Not all of the small satellites to be deployed are military. For example, Prox-1 is
a microsat developed by students at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta through the Air Force’s University Nanosat Program to demonstrate satellite close proximity operations and rendezvous.
Demonstrates small satellite close-encounter operations
>> The Starhopper’s Raptor engine was removed after a short test hop was made a couple of weeks ago. Presumably the three engines needed for lifting the vehicle up a few hundred meters are being prepared for installation.
>> Meanwhile, observers have watched work on the Starhopper structure and the facilities around it.
>> The construction of the high altitude test vehicle is proceeding:
**** Dragon-wings on a Starship (maybe) – On the weekend of the restart of the Game of Thrones television series, Elon Musk tweeted what seemed like a joke:
Thinking about adding giant stainless steel dragon wings to Starship
The idea is that the extra surface area provided by deployable wings would distribute heat during reentry sufficiently to eliminate the need for more complex solutions such as transpiration cooling to keeping the vehicle from melting:
With steel membrane wings like a Dragon, we may be able to lower Starship’s orbital reentry temp to ~1000 degrees C, which would allow the whole surface to be uncooled bare metal
We’ll have to see if this goes any further than mulling an idea on Tweeter. Scott Manley did some simulations with Kerbal Space Program and was impressed with the effects such wings would have:
In an absolutely serious tweet Elon musk suggested that dragon wings might enhance the capabilities of his stainless steel starship concept. Thanks to the power of commercial spacecraft simulation software we are able to test this concept and prove that it was more than just a joke.
** Documentaries about two American rocket pioneers:
**** The Rocket Man, Bob Traux – a Rocket Engineering Documentary from Spark
A leader in rocket engineering and a man passionate about space travel, Bob Truax cannot go unmentioned in the history of the space shuttle. Described as an “individual who is committed to his ideals, goals and objectives,” the 2006 film documents his life and achievements.
**** The American Rocketeer
“The American Rocketeer” is a 2010 Jet Propulsion Laboratory production about JPL’s origins. Much of the focus is on Frank Malina, an aeronautical engineer and protégé of physicist Theodore von Kármán.