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ULA Vulcan Slips - Again

Old 21st May 2021, 15:20
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ULA Vulcan Slips - Again

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ceo...-launch-delay/

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s hat is safe after ULA Vulcan rocket launch slips to 2023

…As of May 2021, ULA has now replaced one Vulcan launch with an Atlas V and inexplicably closed nine Atlas V launch contracts with Starlink competitor Amazon, bringing into question whether the company is ever actually going to simplify its rocket production lines.

Given that ULA no longer appears to be planning on reusing parts of Vulcan, the only possible way Vulcan will end up more affordable than the rockets its replacing is if it quickly becomes the only rocket ULA produces, which was originally the plan.

With ULA now apparently going out of its way to sell Atlas V commercially
instead of Vulcan Centaur, it’s difficult to argue that the company has any interest at all in lowering the cost of access to space or offering SpaceX serious competition outside of lobbying and greasing the hinges of revolving doors.
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Old 8th Jan 2024, 06:30
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First Vulcan launch carrying the Peregrine lunar lander successful.

This was the first qualification flight, second later in the year before the Vulcan is certified for use by the DoD.
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Old 11th Jan 2024, 02:26
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What happened to the Peregrine lander and what does it mean for moon missions?
The spacecraft, a collaboration between Nasa and Astrobotic, is unlikely to reach the lunar surface
https://www.theguardian.com/science/...-moon-missions
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Old 11th Jan 2024, 15:45
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I think the important point of course is that the prime aim of the flight was getting in a qualifying flight in for Vulcan, and as ORAC says that was successful.

Some of the media are painting this as being all about a failed Moon mission, but the Peregrine lander mission was a secondary objective.
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Old 15th Jan 2024, 12:25
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For Info the Peregrine lander is still communicating with earth and functioning in a limited manner

It's on a trajectory which will eventually lead to it burning up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Astrobiotics Update 14 Jan
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Old 18th Jan 2024, 17:13
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17 Jan Update

Astrobotic confirmed Jan. 17 that its Peregrine lunar lander will reenter over the South Pacific on Jan. 18, concluding a 10-day mission that failed to land on the moon because of a propellant leak.

In a statement, the company said it had adjusted the spacecraft’s trajectory to ensure it would safely reenter at about 4 p.m. Eastern Jan. 18. The reentry location in an ellipse several hundred kilometers long with its center a little more than 500 kilometers south-southwest of Fiji.
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Old 19th Jan 2024, 00:58
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It's all over.
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Old 19th Jan 2024, 11:59
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Turin -

I saw that image of the Earth late yesterday as a still but time and my IT skills meant I failed to put it up here....thanks for doing so.
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Old 14th May 2024, 08:07
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https://arstechnica.com/space/2024/0...cket-launches/

Air Force is “growing concerned” about the pace of Vulcan rocket launches

US military seeks an "independent review" to determine if Vulcan can scale.

…..
For several years there have been rumblings about Air Force and Space Force officials being unhappy with the delays by United Launch Alliance, as well as with Blue Origin, which is building the BE-4 rocket engines that power Vulcan's first stage.

However, these concerns have rarely broken into public view.That changed Monday when The Washington Post reported on a letter from Air Force Assistant Secretary Frank Calvelli to the co-owners of United Launch Alliance, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

In the letter sent on May 10, a copy of which was obtained by Ars, Calvelli urges the two large aerospace contractors to get moving on certification and production of the Vulcan rocket.

"I am growing concerned with ULA’s ability to scale manufacturing of its Vulcan rocket and scale its launch cadence to meet our needs," Calvelli wrote. "Currently there is military satellite capability sitting on the ground due to Vulcan delays. ULA has a backlog of 25 National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Vulcan launches on contract."

These 25 launches, Calvelli notes, are due to be completed by the end of 2027. He asked Boeing and Lockheed to complete an "independent review" of United Launch Alliance's ability to scale manufacturing of its Vulcan rockets and meet its commitments to the military.

Calvelli also noted that Vulcan has made commitments to launch dozens of satellites for others over that period, a reference to a contract between United Launch Alliance and Amazon for Project Kuiper satellites…..

That may be easier said than done. Vulcan's second certification mission was supposed to be the launch of the Dream Chaser spacecraft this summer. However, as Ars reported last month, that mission will no longer fly before at least September, if not later, because the spacecraft is not ready for its debut.

As a result,
Space News reported on Monday that United Launch Alliance is increasingly likely to fly a mass simulator on the rocket's second flight later this year.

After certification, United Launch Alliance can begin to fly military missions. However, it is one thing to build one or two rockets, it is quite another to build them at scale.

The company's goal is to reach a cadence of two Vulcan launches a month by the end of 2025. In his letter, Calvelli mentioned that United Launch Alliance has averaged fewer than six launches a year during the last five years. This indicates a concern that such a goal may be unreasonable.

"History shows that new rockets struggle to scale their launch cadence in their early years," Caleb Henry, director of research at Quilty Space, told Ars. "Based on the number of missions the Department of Defense requires of ULA between now and 2027, precedent says Calvelli’s concerns are justified."
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Old 15th May 2024, 04:44
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Slippages are on schedule….

Boeing Starliner launch delayed again — this time due to a leak

Boeing has again delayed the first crewed launch of its Starliner spacecraft.

The mission, which is set to test the spacecraft to iron out problems before it is pressed into full service in shuttling astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), was pushed back by at least four days, making the launch date no earlier than May 21.

Boeing said the latest delay was prompted by the discovery of a minor helium leak in the Starliner’s propulsion system.

The leak is associated with one of 28 thrusters on the spacecraft’s service module, which are used to manoeuvre the vehicle once in orbit. Helium is neither toxic nor combustible.

“Nasa and Boeing are developing spacecraft-testing and operational solutions to address the issue,” Boeing said of the new issue on Tuesday.

“As a part of the testing, Boeing will bring the propulsion system up to flight pressurisation just as it does prior to launch and then allow the helium system to vent naturally to validate existing data and strengthen flight rationale,” the aerospace giant added.
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