Category Archive: Launch

Jan 18 2016

SpaceX didn’t ask me, but…

Well, the no-news from “Just Read the Instructions” was that the booster stuck the landing, but a bit too hard for at least one of the landing struts: Is it me, or does the booster look like it buckled a bit in the middle? The booster may have landed harder than they planned. I don’t …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2016/01/18/spacex-didnt-ask-me-but/

Jan 17 2016

Live blogging the Jason-3 launch and booster recovery

Time (Pacific local) Event 1055 Well, I have to head out the door to take my daughter to a cheer competition (she was the one videoing from our back patio). I’ll follow up on the booster landing when I get back. BOOO to SpaceX for cutting off their Web cast without news from “Just Read …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2016/01/17/live-blogging-the-jason-3-launch-and-booster-recovery/

Jan 13 2016

To live-blog, or to try to get a picture?

That is the question… SpaceX Going For Offshore Barge Landings For Their Next Several Falcon-9 Launches. If it is a clear day, I can sometimes see the contrails from launches at Vandenburg from my house. The Jason-3 launch might make for an interesting picture from my house if the conditions are right. Then again, I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2016/01/13/to-live-blog-or-to-try-to-get-a-picture/

Dec 30 2015

It’s actual rocket science

US Air Force Awards More Rocket Research Contracts. The winners were: Orbital ATK, $3.1 million Aeroject Rocketdyne, $6 million Northrop Grumman, $5.4 million Congrats!! Given Congress’ capitulation to the Russians regarding the RD-181, American progress on this front can’t happen fast enough.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/30/its-actual-rocket-science/

Dec 30 2015

Landed booster being evaluated for future hot fire

Historic First Falcon-9 to Land from Space Transported to KSC 39A for Testing. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for their post-landing testing…Hey SpaceX, I’ve got plenty of test and evaluation experience!! “The returned first stage will be the test article here (39A), and it will go into the hangar where they …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/30/landed-booster-being-evaluated-for-future-hot-fire/

Dec 24 2015

My return stage is bigger than yours

Regarding the pissing match between Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Elon Musk (SpaceX), I think they’re both being ridiculous. Both the New Shepherd’s landing and the Falcon 9 first stage landing were impressive, and both advance their respective company’s business case, and neither business case is in direct competition with each other. New Shepherd is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/24/my-return-stage-is-bigger-than-yours/

Dec 22 2015

So how close did SpaceX come to hitting the bullseye on the landing pad?

I wondered that at the end of my live-blogging. Looks like the answer is “Pretty darn close.”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/22/so-how-close-did-spacex-come-to-hitting-the-bullseye-on-the-landing-pad/

Dec 21 2015

Live-blogging the ORBCOMM-2 SpaceX Launch and Booster Recovery

Alrighty…here we go. Just got home from work. All times Pacific. I’ve got a good feeling about today’s events. Just sayin’… CONGRATS TO SpaceX!! I wonder how close they got to the center of the landing pad? Time Event/Observations 1750 SpaceX Webcast signing off. 1748 Next 2 ORBCOMM satellites deployed — there they go. It’s …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/21/live-blogging-the-orbcomm-2-spacex-launch-and-booster-recovery/

Dec 21 2015

MARS on track for 31 May 2016 launch

No, not THAT Mars, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS): Orbital ATK Shows Off Repaired Launch Pad and Antares Rocket Hardware for Return to Flight. According to Nash, the launch pad is now flight ready and his team could support a launch with only a few weeks notice. Repairs have been made to the ablative material …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/21/mars-on-track-for-31-may-2016-launch/

Dec 20 2015

Stay tuned to this station for further developments…

SpaceX Plans Launch, Landing on Sunday – UPDATED. Contrast to what I reported yesterday, the booster recovery will be attempted at Cape Canaveral. Launch time will be no earlier than 5:39 pm this afternoon, and I’ll be live-blogging the launch from about T-45 minutes through the recovery landing attempt. Launch weather looks to be 90% …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/20/stay-tuned-to-this-station-for-further-developments/

Dec 19 2015

Great Googly Moogly

RD-180 Engine Procurement Ban Overturned, Revealing Sharp Space Policy Differences. I cannot believe that we caved on this. This is such a bad idea for multiple reasons: It helps the Russian Aerospace industry. Worse, it gives the Russians (and every other diplomatic thug out there) the clear message that they can do whatever they want …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/19/great-googly-moogly/

Dec 15 2015

Upcoming SpaceX launch schedule

Tentative SpaceX Schedule Shaping Up, SpX-8 In February. This should solidify after the static test fire tomorrow (16 Dec). Assuming the static test fire goes off with no issue, then their launch schedule will be: 16 Dec: Static test fire at Canaveral 19 Dec: ORBCOMM launch Mid-Jan 2016: SES-9 launch Mid-Jan 2016: Jason-3 launch Feb …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/15/upcoming-spacex-launch-schedule/

Dec 04 2015

For the investor who has everything…

Sea Launch On The Sales Block? No real surprise here…guess that whole Chinese buyer thing was a red herring, like I thought. I hope they do find an investor…I’ve always thought that Sea Launch was an interesting solution to equatorial launches.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/04/for-the-investor-who-has-everything/

Dec 04 2015

Yesterday’s Cygnus launch scrubbed

Atlas V hoping to dodge the weather for Friday Cygnus launch attempt. They’ll try again around 2:33 pm Pacific time today, though looking at the weather report, I wouldn’t be surprised if the launch gets scrubbed again today. Winds are about 20 mph. Related articles: Launch Scrubbed Due To Heavy Cloud Cover + Rain For …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/04/yesterdays-cygnus-launch-scrubbed/

Dec 03 2015

SpaceX to ditch water landings

USAF Confirms SpaceX Awaiting FAA Approval for Booster Landing at Cape for Return to Flight. SpaceX will launch 11 Orbcomm satellites into orbit on 15 or 16 December and are pressing ahead with plans to land the first stage booster at Cape Canaveral, pending FAA approval. Attempting to land on the ASDS is still an …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/03/spacex-to-ditch-water-landings/

Nov 25 2015

I agree with this take

Bezos’ Rocket Landing a Big Step for Suborbital Spaceflight but Not Same as Falcon-9 Plans. First, some sour grapes from Elon Musk: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also took to Twitter to congratulate Bezos and Blue Origin for their accomplishment. While many were under the impression that Blue Origin was the first reusable rocket, Musk was …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/25/i-agree-with-this-take/

Nov 20 2015

Good on ULA

ULA Offers Universities Free CubeSat Rides on Future Launches, First Slot Goes To CU Boulder. They’ll be able to support up to 12 CubeSats on a single launch. This is a great PR move for ULA — it essentially costs them nothing (ignoring development costs of the Aft Bulkhead Carrier), and gives them visibility into …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/20/good-on-ula/

Nov 17 2015

A primer on how to get to GEO

Buried in the middle of this article on all things RPO is an excellent primer on what it takes to get a satellite to Geosynchronous orbit (GEO). This is such a good primer, I’ll just quote it directly:   At this point it is important to pause and discuss how satellites get to GSO, which …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/17/a-primer-on-how-to-get-to-geo/

Nov 08 2015

UP Aerospace demonstrates new launch ability

Spaceport America’s 24th Launch – an UP Aerospace SpaceLoft Rocket Demonstrated the Capability to Eject Separate Payloads Requiring Independent Re-entry. They also set an altitude record for their rockets: 75 miles. Both payloads re-entered and were recovered successfully, which bodes well for UP’s capabilities in this niche market. They can now support two customers per …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/08/up-aerospace-demonstrates-new-launch-ability/

Nov 05 2015

Rocket Labs picks range safety partner

Rocket Lab selects Alaska Aerospace for electron launch range safety. This is big news for Alaska Aerospace, whose motto must be “If you build it, they will come”. They own the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA), but have understandably had problems drawing launch customers. Fortunately, they happen to be right on the path for Rocket …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/05/rocket-labs-picks-range-safety-partner/

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