Space transport roundup – Feb.28.2019

A sampling of recent items related to traveling to and through space:

[ Update 2:

** The SpaceIL lunar lander resumes its engine firings after a computer problem earlier this week caused a firing to be canceled: Beresheet Overcomes Early Glitches, Continues Journey to the Moon | The Planetary Society.

** SpaceX:

Launch review briefing:

A video overview of the Crew Dragon program:

Here is a tour of the Crew Dragon interior:

And a view of the start of the rollout to the pad:


** Soyuz ST-B rocket launches 6 OneWeb broadband Internet satellites into orbit from Arianespace‘s Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on Wednesday:

Deployment of the satellites:

More at:

** Virgin Galactic:

**** Two more SpaceShipTwo vehicles are under construction in Mojave and a dozen may eventually be built: As Virgin Galactic notches another test flight, its next space planes take shape – Los Angeles Times

More than 600 customers have put down deposits of up to $250,000 each to experience several minutes of weightlessness while watching the sky fade from light blue to the blackness of space.

To provide that, Virgin Galactic needs to churn out more space planes.

“We’ve chosen to do some design enhancements on the next spaceship, mostly about manufacturability,” said Enrico Palermo, president of Spaceship Co., Virgin’s spacecraft manufacturing arm. “We’re going to build more of them.”

The shop floor at one of Spaceship Co.’s Mojave hangars was buzzing on a recent weekday, with teams of people working on aspects of the next two SpaceShipTwo space planes.

**** Spectators on the ground at Mojave could see the plume of the SpaceShipTwo’s rocket motor as it streaked upward to the edge of space:

** SpaceX:

**** The first test flight of the Crew Dragon on a Falcon 9 rocket is set to lift off early Saturday morning at 2:49 am EST (0749:03 GMT) from famous Pad 39A at Cape Kennedy. This first demonstration mission (DM-1) of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will have no astronauts on board but will otherwise carry out all the tasks involved in sending a crew to the International Space Station and bringing them back for a water landing in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

Today the Launch Readiness Review, the final major step in the launch approval process, gave a GO for the launch: SpaceX Demo-1: Reviews provide GO for launch – Commercial Crew Program/NASA

Falcon 9 with Crew Dragon on Pad 39A on Feb. 28, 2019.

At 4 pm EST today (Feb.28.2019), there will be a pre-launch briefing, which will be webcast on NASA TV.

The launch can also be watched on NASA TV and on the SpaceX Webcast page.

Here is the NASA press kit for DM-1:

NASA updates on the CCP, which also includes the Boeing Starliner transport system, are posted at Commercial Crew Program – NASA Blog

**** Post-launch processing of the Falcon 9 booster from last week’s launch of the Indonesian Nusantara Satu satellite and the SpaceIL lunar lander has been underway at Port Canaveral following its return on the floating landing platform. Here are some views of the processing activities via

**** Videos of recent activities at the Boca Chica Beach facilities near Brownsville, Texas:

** Other space transport items:



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