Rocket Report: SLS has technical issues, vector – yes, vector – back

Enlarge / Remote command ground system SLC-41A Atlas VV due to unexpected system response of liquid oxygen valve

Welcome to version 3.23 of the Rocket Report! Times are good when SpaceX launches a rocket on Thursday evening and the United Launch Alliance is likely to break its scrub section on Sunday. Next, there will be a crew-1 mission to take four people into space in the next United States – the most people traveling at one time in more than a decade.

As always, we welcome reader submissions and if you do not want to miss any issues, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear in the AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium- and heavy-lift rockets, as well as immediate access to the next three launches on the calendar.

Rocket Lab to try to recover in the first stage. Rocket Lab said Thursday that it will try to recover the first phase of the electron rocket for the first time with its next mission scheduled for mid-November. Peter Beck, the company’s founder, said he was not sure what rocket labs would throw fish out of the ocean. It could be the first stage almost intact or as he admitted, “a smolling stump”. The main subject of the test, he said, was to gather information about the parachute system, Ars reported.

Catch a falling rocket … With the current recovery plan, the electronic rocket will place a drug parachute as it descends into the atmosphere, followed by a main parachute. If all goes well, the rocket will have to spread out to sea when traveling at less than 10 meters per second. After (and possibly other splashdown tests) shows that the company is able to fully recover in the first stage, the final step will be to capture the middle of the vehicle using a helicopter. This will avoid the loss of vehicle water from the ocean.

ESA supports three small-launch startups. The European Space Agency reported on Tuesday that it had signed the boost! Supports agreements with three new space companies: Hympulus Technologies, Issar Airspace Technologies and Rocket Factory Augsburg. All three companies are developing small-satellite launch vehicles – and this is going to be a fun “space race” to watch in Germany.

A helping hand … The contracts are worth 500 500,000 each, and they help the company move from development to operations. Rewards may be announced to other companies in the future. “We look forward to helping these companies achieve their ambitious goals, diversifying and competitively developing the European space transport sector,” said Jurgen Brew, commercial services manager at ESA. (Submitted by Platicurtic)

Virgin Orbit invests in a launch customer. Virgin Orbit plans to invest in the financially troubled satellite-star company Sky and Space Global (SAS) as well as partner in launch and satellite services, SpaceNews reported. SAS said Virgin Orbit would buy shares at মূল 0.44 per share and take a 14.7 percent stake in the company.

Canceled launch agreement … The investment appears to be worth as much as 2 million, and in return for the investment the companies will cancel the previous launch deal worth $ 55 million. SAS will sign a three-year “launch service and consultation agreement” with Virgin Orbit for বছর 10 million per year, and the two companies will agree to promote each other’s services. If SAS does not make any major recovery, it will appear to be a significant loss to the launch deal for Virgin Orbit. (Submitted by Ken The Bean)

Apparently the vector is restarting. Vector, a small-launch-vehicle developer that went bankrupt in 2019, is getting a second chance under new technology ownership, which has changed both technology and the primary market, SpaceNews reported. Vector has raised more than 100 million to develop a family of small launch vehicles, but the company suspended operations in August 2019 and laid off most of its employees after removing one of its key investors.

More conventional fuels will switch to RP-1 … The new owner of Vector’s launch assets is a consortium led by John Muran, and the agency’s new chief executive is Robert Spalding, a retired Air Force brigadier general who previously served on National Security Council staff. “We thought it had invaluable value. They invested চেষ্টা 100 million in effort and failure,” he said, citing Spelling’s improved facilities and infrastructure. “There were a lot of things they did right there and there [are] We’ll just look at some of the things they’ve done wrong ((why The Bean and Platicurtic submitted).

SpaceX has flown an unproven rocket. SpaceX has not launched a brand-new rocket since June night before Thursday, when it added a GPS third satellite to the Falcon 9 rocket for the U.S. Space Force. Since then the company has launched various commercial missions and its own Starlink satellites on various previously flown rockets and they have been successful. However, when the company tried to launch a new Falcon 9 in the first phase on October 2 – it was for another GPS satellite called GPS III-04 T this effort was scrubbed in T-2 seconds.

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Three flights in the new first stage … In late October, the agency said they had solved the problem, which is a good thing because SpaceX had three important missions for the U.S. government, all of them flying new rockets. The first was the second attempt to launch the GPS III-04 satellite and it was successful. After that, SpaceX will try to fly a second crew mission and Sentinel-6 satellite for NASA later this month, Ars said.

The Falcon 9’s “best answer” in Europe is in trouble. European space officials announced late last week that the launch of the Ariane 6 rocket would be delayed again – this time until the second quarter of 2022. “We can say today that COVID-19 has increased its activity in a critical way,” said Daniel Neuinswander, the European Space Agency’s director of space transport, who said the massive rocket, which is capable of lifting comparable to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster.

Having lost precious time … In response to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket competition, the Ariane 6 was designed to be more affordable. Originally, the European Space Agency had planned to launch the Ariane rocket so far. Although the rocket may cost more than a Falcon 9, it is capable of delivering two large satellites into geostationary orbit, and decades of launch reliability will follow. A few years ago, this seemed like an unfortunate argument. But since then, SpaceX has taken significant steps to increase the reliability of the Falcon 9. Now, the Ariane 6 may also be forced to compete with the super heavy.

Another scrub for UL with Atlas V Rocket. A ground-system issue was again received by the United Launch Alliance on Wednesday evening. Before the Atlas V launch window opened on Wednesday evening, a problem related to the ground-system liquid-oxygen valve for launch efforts from Florida could not be resolved in time. The NRL-111 mission will now lift more than before on Sunday.

The United Launch Alliance could do with a successful liftoff … This was the second ground-system-related delay to launch Atlas V, Ars reports. And for the past few months the company has been fighting for the launch of another mission for the National Reconnaissance Office, a key customer that pays a premium for launching its high-dollar satellite into space. This NRL-44 mission has scrubbed half a dozen times since late August as Delta launched its fourth heavy rocket on a nearby pad. A new date has not yet been publicly set.

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SLS is working through technical issues with Green Run. Although the late-season hurricane delayed operations for a few days due to Mississippi, Boeing and NASA engine testing facilities, the SLS rocket also had technical problems at the core stage. In a report, highlighted two issues that could delay the Green Run hot-fire test in December or early 2021.

Technically thin … One issue involves one of four liquid-hydrogen privileges that disconnect the tank from the inlet of each of the four RS-25 core stage engines before starting the engine. The privileges are exposed just before the engine ignites and then feeds the propellants into the engines during firing. During test case five, another problem was revealed with the performance of the thrust vector control system. NASA has not yet updated a target date for the Green Run test. (Submitted by Ken The Bean)

China has been moving forward since the Long March. For the past several years it has been speculated that China will develop Saturn V-class rockets to launch future crew missions to the moon and deeper space. However, it is no longer seen as such, SpaceNews reported in a brief description of the country’s lunar architecture that omitted the long March 9 car.

Three cores and never … Instead, the idea of ​​using a three-by-five meter diameter first stage core and a cluster of YF-100K engines is an updated version of the YF-100 kerosene engines used by China’s new Long March 5, 6 and 7 launchers – now in line with China’s plan. Must be integral. This rocket should look like the Falcon 9 or Delta IV Heavy. We welcome you to share China’s inaugural architecture plan. (Submitted by Platycartic and Ken The Bean)

The next three launches

November 5: Falcon 9 | GPS III-04 | Cape Canaveral, Fla. | 23:24 UTC

Nov November: Long March 6 | 10 satellites | Taiyuan, China | 03:18 UTC

November 8: Atlas V | NRL-1010 Classified Mission | Cape Canaveral, Fla. | 22:36 UTC

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About the Author: Abbott Hopkins

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