Welcome to version 3.34 of the Rocket Report! I apologize for the unplanned outage last week. The author of the Rocket Report had no electricity in Houston until Wednesday night, until the winter storms, and there was no reliable internet until Friday afternoon. Our house still doesn̵
As always, Ars welcomes readers to submit articles, if you don’t want to miss any questions, please use the box below to subscribe (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled sites). Each report will include information about medium, small and heavy rockets, as well as a quick outlook for the next three launches on the calendar.
KSLV-2 rocket is expected to launch in 2022. As part of the 2021 space activities budget, South Korea will spend US$553 million to purchase satellites, rockets and other equipment. “Space News” reported that this funding will enable the country to launch its own-made KSLV-2 rocket, Nuri, as planned next year.
The test is going well …The three-stage rocket has four 75-ton liquid engines in its first stage booster, intended to send 1.5-ton satellites into low-earth orbit. The second stage has a 75-ton engine, and the third stage has a 7-ton engine. On Thursday, the second round of combustion tests were conducted on the KSLV-2 first-class engine. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute stated that after 101 seconds of the test, no obvious problems with engine durability were found. (Submitted by Ken the Bin).
Firefly bird launch contract. General Atomics said it has selected Firefly Aerospace to launch a small earth science satellite for NASA on the Alpha rocket in 2022. SpaceNews reports that the company plans to launch its Orbital Testbed 2 satellite on Firefly’s Alpha rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. .
Contract terms not disclosed … OTB-2 will carry NASA instruments, a multi-angle imager for aerosols, designed to study particulate air pollution in urban areas and help scientists understand its impact on human health. The spacecraft will operate in a polar orbit of 740 kilometers. The Alpha Rocket will make its debut later this spring. (Submitted by platykurtic and Ken the Bin)
Virgin Galactic extends the next flight to May.Monday is the second anniversary of the last powered flight over 80 kilometers (the flight was carried out by VSS Unite On February 22, 2019). On Thursday, Virgin Atlantic announced its 2020 fourth quarter and full year financial results. The company has a net loss of 74 million U.S. dollars and no revenue, but it retains 666 million U.S. dollars in cash and cash equivalents. It also finally released a timetable for the next powered space flight.
Need more checks …It was expected that the company would attempt a powered flight sometime this month, but its financial report stated that this has been delayed.The plan will “continue to [its] The company stated that the goal is to complete the next rocket-powered space flight of the U.S. Spaceport in May 2021, complete modifications and conduct technical inspections before the flight. This increases the possibility that commercial flights by space tourists will not begin until 2022 at the earliest. .
Washington-based startup raises $9.1 million. Stoke Space Technologies, a company founded by Jeff Bezos (Jeff Bezos) Blue Origin space company veterans, located in Renton, Washington, has attracted $9.1 million in seed investment for the rocket’s Reusability extends to new areas. Stoker co-founder and CEO Andy Lapsa (Andy Lapsa) told the publication that the first goal is to develop a new type of reusable upper-level platform.
Highly capable consultant Lapsa said: “This is the last domino in the industry before reusability is widespread.” “Even now, I think space launch is still in a production-constrained paradigm.” Stoke’s consultant, has Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Steven Kwast even said that the team reminded him of the Wright brothers. He said: “Stoke’s idea of ultra-low-cost access to space is correct, and similar to the first manned flight, it will forever change the world of transportation and national security.” (Submitted by Bin Bin)
Cornwall Spaceport is not interested in tourism. Virgin Orbit has partnered with Spaceport Cornwall, a horizontal launch facility in southwest England. In recent days, some media reports indicate that Virgin Galactic may also become a tenant to provide customers with short-distance suborbital flights. However, Falmouth Pate reported that at a meeting of the Cornwall Commission this week, leader Julian German stated that there are no plans for space tourism.
If we are blunt about it …A city councilman, John Fitter, said more clearly: “If we were to entertain this, it would be very ridiculous, and it would be ridiculous that those in Cornwall might suffer below the minimum wage. The miserable people sent the wrong message. And in poverty, it took the people who had earned millions of pounds to spend half an hour to return to space and then land again.” Another member called it “absolute waste” money”.
The Falcon 9 accident was blamed on “heat damage.” According to “Space News”, the first phase of the Falcon 9 failed to land after its latest launch on February 15 because it suffered “thermal damage.” SpaceX senior consultant Hans Koenigsmann (Hans Koenigsmann) said: “This is related to thermal damage, but this is an ongoing investigation.” He added that SpaceX is “close to determining” and correcting the problem. “This is what I’m talking about right now.”
The mission was successful, but … Konigsman made his comments at the 47th Spaceport Summit this week. He said he is still confident that SpaceX can fly each of its Falcon 9 cores at least 10 times. He also pointed out that the main mission of the launch-deployment of Starlink satellites-was a success. Another Starlink mission is planned for next Sunday. (Submitted by platykurtic and Ken the Bin)
Turkey plans to build a launch site in Somalia. As part of the country’s announced space program, Turkey plans to build a launch site in Somalia. African countries are located along the equator, and the spacecraft will be launched eastward from the Indian Ocean and fly over the Indian Ocean. “Africa News” reported that Somalia has been an important security partner of Turkey for the past ten years, which is an extension of this partnership.
Does X mark points? …Turkey seems to aim for the first launch by 2023 to build rockets with international partners. The country finally seeks to achieve a soft landing on the moon by 2028. It is not clear whether these plans will involve SpaceX, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Turkish leaders have discussed a joint space project.
Blue Origin sets the release date of New Glenn. In a Thursday update on its website, Blue Origin said it plans to launch its large New Glenn rocket for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2022. “As the New Glenn launch vehicle and its Cape Canaveral facility are making significant progress to meet the needs of Blue Origin’s commercial customers.” This is a delay in the previously announced schedule, but it is not unexpected.
No military contract yet …The U.S. Space Force recently decided not to select Newglen as one of the two providers of procurement for the second phase of the National Security Space Launch. In addition, the company has more problems to be solved: the completion of the joint launch alliance’s BE-4 engine, competition for the human landing system contract, and hopes to launch personnel in New Shepard later this year. Our advice is not to expect to be launched before 2023, but when this huge rocket does fly, you can see it. (Submitted by Unrulycow and Ken the Bin)
Lurun Heat test delay. NASA said this week that it will postpone the second high-temperature firing test of its Space Launch System rocket. The test ignition is scheduled for February 25th. “During the weekend’s checkout preparation, the engineer determined that one of the eight valves (a type called the front valve) was not working properly. This valve is part of the core-level main valve. The propulsion of liquid oxygen is supplied to the RS-25 engine. system.”
The test needs to run for at least four minutes … NASA and Boeing, the main contractor of the core phase, will determine the way forward in the next few days and reschedule the heat test. (Chris Bergin of NASASpaceflight.com suggested that the high temperature test should be conducted no later than March 16. The first heat fire test was conducted in January, but the pressure reading was outside the preset range. It was shortened after 67.1 seconds. The core platform is now installed on the test bed of the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, and the installation time is more than 13 months. (Submitted by Ken the Bin)
SLS launch postponed to 2022. In a recent call with reporters about the “green operation” test of the core phase of the SLS, Tom Whitmeyer of NASA discussed the flight schedule of Artemis I. He said that in an ideal world, everything is right, and the mission can begin in October 2021. Since then, problems have appeared, such as the damper problem in the above-mentioned project.
Never tweet when drunk …The source told Ars that the actual “no earlier than” date for Artemis I in NASA is February 2022, which assumes that the Green Run heat test was successfully conducted in early March. We are dangerously approaching the now infamous prediction that I made on Twitter in 2017 that the rocket will be launched for the first time in 2023.
China will officially move forward on March 9. China has formally approved the development of a super-heavy lifting rocket called the “Long March September 9” (CZ-9) launch vehicle. China National Television announced the decision on Wednesday. Wu Yanhua, director of the China National Space Administration, said that the main purpose of this new type of rocket is to be used for any “moon landing missions or manned Mars landing missions” that the country may conduct.
More powerful than function block 2 of SLS …The country’s goal is to make its debut in 2030, in line with the previous timetable. The rocket has a planned lift of 140 metric tons and can send rockets of 50 tons or more into lunar orbit. This will be a huge vehicle with a 10-meter diameter core and 5-meter side boosters. China also hopes to eventually make the rocket (or at least part of it) reusable.
The next three launches
February 28: PSLV | Amazonia 1, Anand and SDsat | Satish Dhawan Space Center | 04:53 UTC
February 28: Alliance 2.1b | Arktika-M 1 Satellite | Baikonur World View | 07:00 UTC
March 1: Falcon 9 | Starlink-17 | Florida Kennedy Space Center | 01:37 UTC