SpaceX carried out a static-fire check Sunday forward of its subsequent Falcon 9 launch that triggered a small wildfire close to the pad.
SpaceX mentioned the check, which befell noon Sunday on Pad 39A on the Kennedy Area Heart, was successful, setting the stage for a launch late Thursday of a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the Worldwide Area Station.
Shortly after the check, a small brush hearth broke out close to the pad, which consumed 4 acres earlier than being contained later within the day.
It wasn’t instantly clear what triggered the fireplace, which posed no risk to the launch pad or the rocket. [Spaceflight Now]
A British firm plans a constellation of satellites to supply high-resolution Earth photos and video. Earth-i mentioned Tuesday its constellation of satellites will provide photos with a decision of higher than a meter per pixel, in addition to colour video. The corporate’s first satellite tv for pc is scheduled for launch later this yr, with 5 extra to launch by way of 2019. The satellite tv for pc is predicated on a venture referred to as Carbonite by Surrey Satellite tv for pc Expertise Ltd., a British smallsat producer, to develop spacecraft that might be constructed shortly and inexpensively. [BBC]
Neither corporations nor authorized specialists present a lot curiosity in modifying the Outer Area Treaty. At a Senate listening to final week, area attorneys in addition to executives of corporations engaged on new area purposes mentioned that issues about regulatory gaps and associated points might be addressed by way of adjustments in federal legislation and laws, relatively than amending the 50-year-old treaty. The chairman of the Senate area subcommittee, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), mentioned previous to the listening to he was curious about learning potential adjustments to the treaty, however didn’t point out particular modifications he was searching for. [table4]
Corporations that present satellite tv for pc broadband companies for airliners are usually not apprehensive about potential laptop computer bans. At a latest panel dialogue, Inmarsat and ViaSat officers mentioned that laptop computer use accounts for less than a small fraction of capability utilized by individuals on airliners they serve, properly behind telephones and tablets. These corporations mentioned they’re extra apprehensive about cybersecurity points for his or her methods. [table4]
Russia’s next-generation crewed spacecraft is dealing with a delay. Roscosmos had deliberate the primary launch of its Federatsiya, or Federation, spacecraft on an Angara rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome in 2021. The state area company is now contemplating shifting that launch to Baikonur, utilizing a brand new medium-class rocket, Fenix, underneath improvement. This might delay the spacecraft’s launch to not less than 2022. The shift in spaceport and launch car would permit Roscosmos to defer work on growing infrastructure at Vostochny wanted for crewed missions. [TASS]
India’s area company is getting ready for the primary launch of its largest rocket. The launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite tv for pc Launch Car (GSLV) Mark 3 rocket is scheduled for as quickly as June 5from the nation’s spaceport at Sriharikota. The GSLV Mark 3 has about twice the payload capability of earlier variations of the rocket, and makes use of a brand new Indian-developed cryogenic engine for its higher stage. The GSLV Mark 3 will permit India to launch bigger communications satellites and might be human-rated sooner or later ought to India pursue a human spaceflight program. [PTI]
The brand new secretary of the Air Drive says area will probably be a high precedence for her. Heather Wilson’s first main journey since being confirmed because the civilian head of the Air Drive was to Colorado Springs, touring amenities there that help area operations. Wilson and Air Drive Chief of Employees Gen. David Goldfein mentioned they’d make enhancing the service’s area capabilities a serious precedence, citing as one instance a requested improve of $1.6 billion within the 2018 funds proposal for area applications. [Colorado Springs Gazette]
Lockheed Martin has received a $46 million contract modification for a missile-warning satellite tv for pc program. The modification to the corporate’s Area Primarily based Infrared System (SBIRS) contract, introduced Friday, covers the addition of an unspecified subsystem and propulsion modifications to 2 spacecraft underneath development. The Air Drive can be searching for a serious improve within the funds for SBIRS in 2018 to complete these two spacecraft and launch one other. [table4]
Building has began in Chile on the world’s largest telescope. A ceremony Friday marked the beginning of development of the European Extraordinarily Giant Telescope on a mountain in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The telescope, slated for completion in 2024, may have a major mirror 39 meters throughout, far bigger than current observatories. [Reuters]
A distorted picture from a NASA lunar orbiter was seemingly brought on by a micrometeroid influence. An October 2014 picture of the lunar floor taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter confirmed wavy distortions that puzzled scientists. After ruling out vibration sources throughout the spacecraft itself, they concluded that the distortion was triggered when a micrometeoroid, about half the dimensions of a pinhead, struck the digicam, inflicting no lasting injury. One other scientist took the picture and reconstructed what it the influence would have seemed like: a faint “plonk.” [The Verge]
A younger engineer who labored within the industrial area trade has died. Matthew Isakowitz, the son of Aerospace Corp. CEO Steven Isakowitz, handed away final week on the age of 29. He served as affiliate director of the Industrial Spaceflight Federation earlier than becoming a member of Planetary Assets and one other industrial area startup, Astranis. Future Area Leaders introduced that they’re collaborating in a “to-be-announced initiative that may additional Matthew’s legacy within the discipline of human area exploration.” [Obituary / Future Space Leaders]