1. Monday, Sept. 30, 2019; 2:00 pm PDT (4:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm EDT): No show today as Monday is reserved for special programming.
2. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019; 7-8:30 pm PDT (9-10:30 pm CDT, 10-11:30 pm EDT): We welcome back Michelle Hanlon from For All Moonkind, which seeks to protect Apollo landing sites on the Moon, for news and updates.
3. Wednesday, Oct. 2 2019: Pre-recorded Hotel Mars Program with John Batchelor. See Upcoming Show on The Space Show website for details.
4. Friday, Oct. 4, 2019; 9:30-11:00 am PDT (11:30 am-1:00 pm CDT, 12:30-2:00 pm EDT): We welcome back space law expert Laura Montgomery for news and views for legal commercial space issues.
5. Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019; 12-1:30 pm PDT (3-4:30 pm EDT, 2-3:30 pm CDT): OPEN LINES. We welcome back Christopher Stone for news and views and important goings on with national security space.
Some recent shows:
** Sun, 09/29/2019 – Dr. David Livingston led a discussion with listeners about “the Musk Saturday evening press conference plus the article I called out on spreading Early molecules throughout space including Mars”.
** Fri, 09/27/2019 – Dallas Bienhoff talked about “Cislunar and lunar development, space settlement, O’Neill vision, free space habitats, needed technologies, challenges and timelines”.
Musk estimated that Crew Dragon capsule 03 (C203) and its expendable trunk would be sent from SpaceX’s Hawthorne, CA factory to Cape Canaveral, FL as early as October. Crew Dragon capsule C204 is then expected to follow around one month later, arriving in Florida for preflight preparation as early as November
SpaceX has applied for an FCC Special Temporary Authority license to authorize rocket communications during what is likely Crew Dragon’s In-Flight Abort (IFA) test, now scheduled to occur no earlier than November 23rd.
In line with recent comments from SpaceX executives, a November or December In-Flight Abort test would almost certainly preclude Crew Dragon from launching with astronauts in 2019, pushing the Demo-2 mission into the Q1 2020. Nevertheless, it would serve as a good sign that Crew Dragon remains on track if SpaceX can complete the critical abort test – meant to prove that Dragon can whisk astronauts away from a failing rocket at any point during launch – before the year is out.
NASA and SpaceX conducted a formal verification of the company’s emergency escape, or egress, system at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida on Sept. 18, 2019. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Shannon Walker participated in the exercise to verify the crew can safely and swiftly evacuate from the launch pad in the unlikely event of an emergency before liftoff of SpaceX’s first crewed flight test, called Demo-2.
** Japanese HTV-8 launched last week docked with the ISS on Saturday:
Ariane 6, Europe’s next-generation launch vehicle, has passed another key development milestone. Its Vulcain 2.1 liquid-fuelled engine has now completed its qualification testing, which means combined tests can now begin.
The main stage Vulcain 2.1 engine will deliver 135 t of thrust to propel Ariane 6 in the first eight minutes of flight up to an altitude of 200 km.
Russia’s Soyuz rocket has made its second launch in less than twenty-four hours, delivering a missile detection satellite to orbit Thursday in a military launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Soyuz lifted off at 10:46 Moscow Time (07:46 UTC), placing the Tundra satellite into its planned orbit with the aid of a Fregat upper stage.
Tundra plays a significant part in Russia’s national security arrangements, monitoring the Earth for potentially hostile missile launches so the Russian Government can react as necessary. It forms part of the Edinaya Kosmicheskaya Sistema (EKS) or Unified Space System which is being introduced to replace the earlier Oko system that Russia inherited from the Soviet Union. Thursday’s launch deployed the third such satellite.
Representatives of the Allen family’s Vulcan holding company have insisted that Stratolaunch remains operational. LinkedIn listings indicate that Jean Floyd is still president and CEO, although three companyvicepresidents left in July.
Now Stratolaunch is posting 11 job openings, including listings for two test pilots. “As a test pilot on the history-making Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft, the world’s largest-wingspan aircraft, you will have the opportunity to accomplish new milestones in aviation,” the company says.
Rocket Lab, the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, and Virginia Space at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), have completed a major construction milestone ahead of the first Electron launch from U.S. soil. The recent installation of the launch platform at Rocket Lab’s second launch site, Launch Complex 2, marks one of the final steps in the construction of the new pad being built by the Rocket Lab and Virginia Space teams.
Construction on Launch Complex 2, located at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia, began in February 2019. In the few months since then, more than 1,400 cubic yards of concrete have been poured to create the pad on which Electron’s launch platform is mounted. The 66 ton launch platform was installed into its final position this month, ready for the 44 foot, 7.6 ton strongback to be mounted to the platform in coming weeks. Both the launch platform and strongback were built by Steel America in Norfolk, Virginia. The launch site largely mirrors Rocket Lab’s first launch location, Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, where the Electron launch vehicle transports horizontally down the launch ramp, and then is lifted vertically by the strongback to be ready for launch.
In the coming weeks, work will focus on final build and integration of various launch pad systems that will process, load propellant into, and launch Electron. The final step in the completion of the site is integration and test activities, which is expected to be complete by December 2019. Once the site is complete, work begins on testing, commissioning, and integration at the launch site in preparation for the first Electron launch from U.S. soil in early 2020.
** Blue Origin plans to start flying New Shepard with people on board after two more uncrewed test flights. However, the test flights won’t happen before November.
The company is developing the New Shepard rocket system for its space tourism business. Blue Origin is still hoping to fly people on New Shepard this year, although the company noted in a meeting with reporters on Tuesday that 2019 is quickly coming to an end, so those plans may move to 2020.
Blue Origin also filed an application for its next test flight with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday. The filing is “for Flight #12 of the New Shepard space launch booster and capsule” and has an operational window beginning in November. To be clear, that’s not necessarily when Blue Origin will next launch New Shepard, but rather the earliest time they could with federal approvals.
The Training Week had a clear objective: transfer hands-on knowledge to university students who are keen to start their own educational CubeSat initiatives, or who are already at the conceptual or preliminary design stage of a CubeSat project at university. To achieve this aim, ESA Academy assembled a team of experienced tutors to lead the course. These included ESA experts, the Fly Your Satellite! (ESA’s educational CubeSat initiative) team, and two engineers from Theia Space (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid) delivering laboratory sessions with high-grade model CubeSats, called Educational Satellite models (ESATs).
One of the main objectives of the UAE Space Agency is to build capabilities in the space sector, in space engineering and sciences, especially within the university community. MeznSat, initiated in 2017, began as an education programme to design, build and operate a satellite, but at an educational level.
There is a global trend in space education programmes, encouraging the use of CubeSats or nanosatellites to engage students in satellite and space research. However, what started as an educational trend is now slowly turning commercial with private agencies and companies using satellites built by student bodies for commercial purposes.
The UAE Space Agency followed up on this trend with the founding of the MeznSat programme, a 3U CubeSat that will be used to study the environment and also look at greenhouse gas emissions over the UAE, especially methane and carbon dioxide. The programme is founded and run by the UAE Space Agency with participation by two local universities, Khalifa University and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK).
The timetable is indefinite, starting this fall. The project is supposed to take two years. Desmond expects to start with sixth-graders; the curriculum team hasn’t decided whether the second year will continue with the same students in seventh grade or hand over to the new sixth-graders.
The question the students will try to answer is whether the frequency or location of lightning strikes is changed by global warming. Sub-questions include whether the northeastern United States can expect more frequent or severe lightning strikes; if that answer is yes, what negative (like more forest fires) and positive (like more nitrogen fixing to improve soils) consequences might occur; whether energy could be captured from the lightning; and whether, if lightning is more frequent, housing codes should be adapted.
Taylor Winkleman is a Senior Consultant at LMI and is a vocal advocate for comprehensive space policy in Washington D.C. However, when Taylor was about to graduate high school, she had no clue what she wanted to do with her life. From becoming a linguist in the Army to briefly practicing as a licensed veterinarian, Taylor’s self-defined circuitous path has equipped her to be a vital space advocate for policy that will help lead Earthlings to the stars.
Astronaut Jessica Meir is no stranger to extreme environments. She’s studied penguins in Antarctica and mapped caves in Italy, all of which prepared her for the ultimate extreme environment: space.
** Expedition 61 Crew Docks to the International Space Station
After launching earlier in the day in their Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 61 Soyuz Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir and Spaceflight Participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates arrived at the International Space Station September 25. Their arrival completed a six-hour journey when they docking their Soyuz spacecraft to the Poisk module on the Russian segment of the complex.
** Expedition 60 Artemis Interviews Randy Bresnik Kentucky Media – September 26, 2019