Space access roundup – Feb.1.2019

A sampling of items about space transport projects:

** Virgin Orbit Payload Processing – The latest video from VO “gives you an inside look at how we take care of our payloads once they’re delivered to our front door in Long Beach”:

** ABL Space Systems smallsat launcher design has been modified and the price lowered: ABL Space Systems increases performance and cuts price of its small launch vehicle –

[ABL] is offering an upgraded version of the RS1 rocket at a price of $12 million a launch, down from an earlier price of $17 million. The vehicle’s performance has been increased from 900 to 1,200 kilograms to low Earth orbit.

Company executives say the change in performance and cost comes after a year and a half of work to refine the design of the vehicle and better understand what it would take to produce the vehicle.

Prototoype of the ABL Space Systems RS1 rocket

** Copenhagen Suborbitals presents the non-profit volunteer project’s “next generation of rocket engines, the BMP100, which will propel our manned Spica rocket above the edge of space. Here we discuss our current progress on the engine design after our initial design project called BPM100 in 100 days.”

** Blue Origin New Glenn, which is to start flying in 2021, gets another customer: Blue Origin to Launch Telesat’s Advanced Global LEO Satellite Constellation – Blue Origin

Blue Origin is honored that Telesat has selected our powerful New Glenn rocket to launch Telesat’s innovative LEO satellite constellation into space. We are excited to be partnering with this industry leader on their disruptive satellite network architecture. New Glenn’s 7-meter fairing, with its huge mass and volume capabilities, is a perfect match for Telesat’s constellation plans while reducing launch costs per satellite.

** ULA Atlas V to launch NASA asteroid mission – ULA wins contract to launch NASA’s Lucy mission to visit unexplored asteroids – Spaceflight Now

The launch contract is valued at $148.3 million, a figure that includes the launch service and other mission-related costs, according to NASA.

ULA said NASA selected the Atlas 5 rocket after a “competitive launch service task order evaluation” by the space agency’s Launch Services Program. ULA’s Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets are certified to launch NASA’s robotic interplanetary science missions, alongside SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launcher. Both companies are expected to submit bids for each task order competition managed the Launch Services Program.

** SpaceX:

**** A nose-cone fairing “catch” comes tantalizingly close to success:

**** New photos of the first operational Raptor engine, which will be test fired at the company’s McGregor, Texas facility:

More on Elon’s latest comments on the

**** New photos from Boca Chica Beach

**** Rocketing from composites to steel – Tim Dodd, the Everyday Astronaut, explains Elon’s rationale for changing the structure of the Super Heavy booster and Starship: from carbon composites to stainless steel:

Here’s another view of the change:

**** A report on SpaceX’s crew transport:

** For more space transport news, see Rocket Report: Secret CIA smallsat launcher, Falcon 9 test, Soyuz passes 50 | Ars Technica.


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