Hello and welcome back Max Q. T-minus 1 week until Artemis I launches. Are you coming? I’ll be there! In this issue:
- NASA’s Mega Lunar Rocket rolls toward the launch pad
- Milestone of Skyrora testing on Scottish soil
- News from Astrobotic, Blue Origin and more
NASA engineers have completed final tests of the Space Launch System (SLS), clearing the way for a mega-rocket launch to the Moon days ahead of schedule.
The space agency was able to push back the deployment date — when SLS will be moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center — because it completed testing of the Flight Termination System (FTS). The FTS is a critical series of components that ensure the safe destruction of a missile after liftoff. Testing the FTS was the “last major event” on NASA’s pre-launch to-do list, the agency said.
That means NASA is on track to launch the first launch of the 322-foot megarocket and Orion spacecraft on August 29. With the expansion from Space Launch Delta 45, NASA will have additional launch opportunities on September 2nd and 5th.
A company based in the UK Skirora by completing static fire tests of the second stage, it marked a new milestone in the development of its Skyrora XL missile. A single engine designed and manufactured by Skyrora completed a nominal 20-second run, bringing the company one step closer to its first orbital launch in late 2023.
Skyrora is one of a number of small start-up companies based in the UK and Europe, each hoping to compete in the commercial space sectors of these developing countries. According to Skyrora Chief Operating Officer Lee Rosen, whose career spans 23 years in the US Air Force and 11 years at SpaceX, this test sets Skyrora apart from the competition.
“Others like to show their factory well or maybe an engine test or things like that, but I think the fact that [we’ve] the resulting test of an integrated system solution says a lot about where we are at,” he said.
“It’s not about bragging about what you could do,” Rosen added. “It’s about doing. This second stage test is a great way to do and show.”
More news from TC and more
- Astrobatic bid $4.5 million for the assets of Masten Space Systems, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.
- Astrobotic art Peregrine lunar probe passed the communication test successfully with the Deep Space Network and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory prior to the lunar lander mission.
- Blue Origin Company Missile evacuation ship “Jacklin”. headed for the dump. The company appears to be reconsidering its recovery plans, though it’s unclear what method it might use instead.
- D-orbit canceled its merger plans with private equity firm Breeze Holdings Acquisition Corp., a deal that was expected to net D-Orbit as much as $185 million.
- European Space Agency there is request for preliminary ideas for a reusable heavy-lift rocket à la Starship, “to host large space infrastructure (eg space solar, space data center, etc.) and deep space missions.”
- European Space Agency also launched a new startup accelerator called Nordic Launch for startups focused on space technology.
- Firefly Aerospace announced another attempt to launch the “Alpha” rocket. scheduled for September 11 after successfully passing a static fire test.
- HawkEye 360’s the fourth and fifth satellite clusters have started the activity, doubling the constellation data volume and image capacity. Each cluster has three satellites.
- Redwire said that he will develop the first commercial greenhouse in space, which is planned to be launched no earlier than the spring of 2023. The greenhouse, which will be installed on the International Space Station, is financed by an award from the ISS National Laboratory.
- SKY Perfect JSATJapanese company put into operation SpaceX Starship launches its Superbird-9 communications satellite. According to the press releaselaunch is planned for 2024.
- Space in Africa is evaluated in a new report that Africa’s space economy is projected to grow by 16.16% from 2021-2026, from $19.49 billion to $22.64 billion.
- SpaceX wants increase its startup cadence from the West Coast “more than doubled” and are hiring as a result. “We’ll train you,” said Falcon 9 Operations Manager Stephen Cameron on LinkedIn.
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