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ORAC 5th May 2020 05:25

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/n...-iss-7r7ws8r98

Nasa ready to carry US flag back into orbit with SpaceX trip to ISS

It has been 39 years since America last launched astronauts on a test flight aboard its own newly built spacecraft. In three weeks’ time it will do so again, sending the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on its first crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and ending America’s reliance on Russia to act as its taxi driver.......

On May 27, Doug Hurley, 53, a US Marine Corps colonel, and Bob Behnken, 49, a US air force colonel, will be aboard as Crew Dragon is launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“My heart is sitting right here and I think it’s going to stay there until we get Doug and Bob back,” said Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, gesturing to her throat. “I’m nervous now. There will be a little relief when they’re in orbit, more relief when they’re on station, and I will start sleeping again when they are back on the planet.”

Colonel Hurley said: “It’s the first flight with crew, the second flight of the vehicle. Statistics will tell you that’s riskier than the 15th or 20th.”

The need for attention to safety has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. The astronauts have been in a “quarantine bubble” for weeks, with only family members and mission-essential personnel allowed near them until they go into full isolation on May 16.

Mr Bridenstine has appealed to the public to stay at home for the launch — one of the most illustrious events on Nasa’s calendar in decades — mindful of the social distancing challenges for the hundreds of thousands expected to pack beaches and causeways.

But the sheriff of Brevard county, Wayne Ivey, urged crowds to come. “It’s another piece of great American history that’s happening right here in our back yard. We are not going to keep the great Americans that want to come watch that from coming,” he said. “If Nasa’s telling people to not come here and watch the launch, that’s on them. Nasa’s got their guidelines and I got mine.”


TURIN 6th May 2020 13:52

Starship prototype SN4 successful test firing of Raptor engine in situ.
Looks like a good test, pressure testing with liquid methane and LOX completed the night before.

Short hop next?


ORAC 11th May 2020 22:00

https://www.space.com/starship-proto...sure-test.html

SpaceX's Starship SN4 prototype passes another, tougher pressure testSpaceX's latest Starship prototype keeps passing tests, edging closer and closer to a highly anticipated test flight.

The SN4 vehicle, the latest pathfinder for SpaceX's Starship Mars-colonization spacecraft, aced a high-pressure and high-simulated-thrust trial at the company's Boca Chica facilities in South Texas, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Saturday (May 9). And this was a "cryo" test: the SN4 was filled with frigid liquid nitrogen, simulating the conditions experienced during operational missions, which will employ ultracold propellant.

The SN4 already had a "cryo proof" success under its belt, surviving one on April 26. The vehicle endured pressures of 4.9 bar during that earlier test, compared to 7.5 bar over the weekend, Musk said. (Atmospheric pressure at sea level is 1 bar.)

The prototype has also performed two "static fires," lighting up its single Raptor engine briefly on May 5 and then again on May 7, both times remaining firmly on the ground.

That's probably as high as the SN4 will get. SpaceX is already building its successor, the three-engine SN5, which Musk has said will target a test-flight altitude of 12 miles (20 kilometers)........



ORAC 17th May 2020 13:53

A busy couple of weeks. Looks like the first hop for Starship 4 later this week and the first manned launch to the ISS next week.

STARSHIP SN4

Reports suggest that the first 'hop' of the Starship will take place next week, with three Raptor full-flow staged-combustion methane-fuelled rocket engines powering the prototype. Speculation around this hop has picked up after the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) released a NOTAM (notice to airmen) on Friday to "provide a safe environment for space launch and reentry operations" (FAA NOTAM 0/1466).

FALCON/DRAGON


https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/1...ch-pad-hangar/

ORAC 22nd May 2020 09:53

Falcon and Dragon on the launch pad.


https://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/n...-says-welcome/

Nasa tells spectators to stay away from launch but sheriff says they are welcome

ORAC 23rd May 2020 12:19

https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/2...onaut-mission/

NASA clears SpaceX crew capsule for first astronaut mission

After a two-day readiness review, NASA managers gave a green light Friday for SpaceX to proceed with final preparations for launch next Wednesday, May 27, of a commercial spaceship carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station on the first orbital spaceflight from U.S. soil since 2011.

Hours later, SpaceX test-fired the 215-foot-tall (65-meter) Falcon 9 rocket that will boost Hurley and Behnken into orbit aboard the companyís Crew Dragon spacecraft........

On Monday, SpaceX will convene a Launch Readiness Review to go over data and results from the test-firing Friday and the crew dress rehearsal Saturday. If all looks good, preparations will proceed toward launch of the first orbital crewed mission from the Kennedy Space Center in nearly nine years at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) Wednesday.......

ORAC 27th May 2020 17:51

Launch planned for 20:33 UTC, 21:33 BST


ORAC 27th May 2020 20:18

Weather scrub at T-17 minutes. Next window in 3 days on the 30th.

clareprop 28th May 2020 07:42

I am impressed and quite taken by the enthusiasm of the Spacex/Nasa team. The watchword for these highly talented and mainly young people seems to be 'If you're going to space, do it safely but also, do it cool'.
Good luck for Saturday.

ORAC 30th May 2020 06:37


A prototype of SpaceXís upcoming heavy-lift rocket, Starship, exploded on Friday during ground tests in south Texas as Elon Muskís space company pursued an aggressive development schedule to fly the launch vehicle for the first time.

The prototype vanished in an explosive fireball at SpaceXís Boca Chica test site on Friday, as seen in a livestream recorded by the website Nasa Spaceflight. There was no immediate indication of injuries. SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.........


A_Van 30th May 2020 07:14

ORAC, it seems to be the 3rd accident with StarShip protos since Nov. '19. Aren't SpaceX too much in a hurry with this launcher?

Dct_Mopas 30th May 2020 07:20


Originally Posted by A_Van (Post 10797284)
ORAC, it seems to be the 3rd accident with StarShip protos since Nov. '19. Aren't SpaceX too much in a hurry with this launcher?

Donít think so, this design/test/fail/redesign process leads to much faster rate of development than other development methods. SpaceX probably didnít expect SN-4 to get this far with multiple cryo pressure tests and static fires prior to failure.

SN-5 is ready to begin testing and will hold 3 raptor engines.

SN-6 is currently in final build

SN-7 is also coming together

So SpaceX have a line of test vehicles over the next few weeks/months. All of which are an improvement over each predecessor, going to be great to watch how they get on

Lyneham Lad 30th May 2020 15:25

NASA TV - May 30, Saturday
11 a.m. - Live launch coverage of the SpaceX/DM-2 Crew Dragon Mission to the International Space Station: launch scheduled at 3:22 p.m. EDT - Kennedy Space Center/Hawthorne, California/Johnson Space Center (All Channels)

Fitter2 30th May 2020 18:32

T-50 minutes, and crew visors still open - I guess they aren't worried about getting the bends on depressurisation?

IFMU 30th May 2020 19:40

Well, that was awesome.

Fitter2 30th May 2020 19:44

Pity the livestream missed the stage 1 touchdown - I guess teh ioniused exhaust interfered with the uplink But amazing !

Jump Complete 30th May 2020 19:53


Originally Posted by Fitter2 (Post 10797820)
Pity the livestream missed the stage 1 touchdown - I guess teh ioniused exhaust interfered with the uplink But amazing !

Must have been a hell of a rate of descent to get down that fast!
All very impressive. Fantastic!

ORAC 30th May 2020 21:39

Starship SN5 planned for 150m hop on 20th June.

https://spacelaunchnow.me/launch/starship-sn5-150m-hop

meadowrun 30th May 2020 23:36

I found another channel when the CNN News Show announcer said:
"Those who are about to launch, we salute you."

donotdespisethesnake 31st May 2020 08:04

Crew Demo-2 appears to be progressing smoothly. Quite a remarkable technical achievement for SpaceX. Also a step forward for NASA, as they learn to let go of the reins a little. Hopefully a further nail in the coffin for SLS.
Already Demo-2 has slipped of the front pages, USA has more pressing issues I guess, in that sense not so much change.

Wondering if there is any news on SN4, appeared to be a problem with ground equipment?


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