New Falcon Rocket to be Launched at Cape Canaveral


Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Has Been Selected

James Dean, Florida Today/MELBOURNE, Fla.

https://i0.wp.com/d1jqu7g1y74ds1.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Falcon_Heavy.3k.jpgA historic Kennedy Space Center launch pad is poised to become a Falcon’s nest.

NASA said Friday it had selected SpaceX, the operator of Falcon 9 rockets, to take over launch pad 39A, a mothballed former Apollo and space shuttle pad that the agency no longer needs and can’t afford to maintain.

SpaceX, of Hawthorne, Calif., has contracts to launch cargo to the International Space Station and numerous commercial satellites, and is competing to launch NASA astronauts as well as high-value national security and science satellites.

https://i1.wp.com/www.spacelaunchreport.com/sls3-2.jpgNASA made the decision immediately after the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s rejection on Thursday of a bid protest filed by Blue Origin, which had put the selection process on hold.

“Permitting use and operation of this valuable national asset by a private-sector, commercial space partner will ensure its continued viability and allow for its continued use in support of U.S. space activities,” NASA said in a press release.

https://i1.wp.com/www.npr.org/news/graphics/2010/05/gr-nasa-falcon-624.gifNegotiations will begin with SpaceX to lease pad 39A for at least five years. If successful, launches could start within a few years, marking a major turning point in KSC’s effort to transform into a spaceport for both government and commercial operations.

The competition for the pad was often framed as a battle between billionaire entrepreneurs, with SpaceX led by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk and Blue Origin started by Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos.

https://i0.wp.com/static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/5/22/1337687088109/Falcon-9-Rocket-013.jpgBlue Origin has yet to fly a vehicle in space and won’t have a rocket ready to use the pad until at least 2018, but had proposed operating 39A for multiple users, in contrast to SpaceX’s request for exclusive use.

SpaceX rival United Launch Alliance supported Blue Origin’s approach but did not commit to using the pad.

Members of Congress also weighed in, some opposing an exclusive lease and others — including the entire Florida delegation — saying NASA should be left alone to make the decision.

http://michaelgr.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/spacex-falcon1.jpgOn Friday, Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson said the company hopes NASA “will preserve options to make this national asset available for multiple commercial users.”

SpaceX said it would welcome other users with NASA-certified human launchers.

NASA says pad 39B, which the agency is preparing for launches of crews on its own heavy-lift exploration rocket, also will be available to commercial users.

The space agency did not immediately explain why it chose SpaceX.

21_saturn_V_F1_engine_051226_bennett[1]SpaceX has nearly 50 launches under contract and operates pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

SpaceX expects to launch so often in the coming years that it also wants to develop a private launch complex. Texas is said to be the front-runner, but Florida has proposed an alternative at the north end of KSC and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

“It would be used to deal with missions if we’re too busy out of the Cape, basically,” Musk said last month in Cocoa Beach.

“But we do expect to be too busy.”

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For more information: usatoday.com/spacex-to-lease-historic-nasa-launch-pad

Disclaimer/ Disclosure: The Investors News Magazine is a third party publisher of news and research as well as creates original content as a news source. Original content created by Investors News Magazine is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Disclosure is posted on each release if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and is published for the sole interest of our readers.

Chinese Launch Manned Space Mission To Space Station


Chinese Launch Manned Mission to Tiangong 1 Space Station

chinese manned-spaceChina’s latest manned spacecraft successfully blasted off Tuesday on a 15-day mission to dock with a space lab and educate young people about science.

The Shenzhou 10 capsule carrying three astronauts lifted off as scheduled at 5:38 p.m. (0938 GMT) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert.

China-Space-Program55.jpgIt is China’s fifth manned space mission and its longest. The spacecraft was launched aboard a Long March 2F rocket and will transport the crew to the Tiangong 1, which functions as an experimental prototype for a much larger Chinese space station to be launched in 2020. The craft will spend 12 days docked with the Tiangong.

On the heels of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s wildly popular YouTube videos from the International Space Station, the Chinese crew plans to deliver a series of talks to students from aboard the Tiangong.

chinese space walk.jpgThe craft carried two men, mission commander Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang, and China’s second female astronaut, Wang Yaping.

Earlier in the afternoon, President Xi Jinping was shown live on television wishing them well at the launch center.

“You have made Chinese people feel proud of ourselves,” Xi told the three astronauts. “You have trained and prepared yourselves carefully and thoroughly, so I am confident in your completing the mission successfully.

chinese astronaut.jpg“I wish you success and look forward to your triumphant return.”

State television showed Xi watching the launch, as well as Premier Li Keqiang who was at the space command center in Beijing.

The space program is a source of enormous national pride for China, reflecting its rapid economic and technological progress and ambition to rank among the world’s leading nations.

China is hoping to join the United States and Russia as the only countries to send independently maintained space stations into orbit. It is already one of just three nations to have launched manned spacecraft on its own.

The United States has discontinued manned space flights, making China and Russia the only countries that launch astronauts into space.

chinese astronaut3The space classrooms mark the boldest step so far to bring the military-backed program into the lives of ordinary Chinese and follows in the footsteps of NASA, which uses student outreach to inspire interest in space exploration and sustain support for its budgets.

At a news conference Monday, Wang said she was “eager to explore and feel the magic and splendor of space with young friends.”

Her fellow astronaut Zhang told reporters they would conduct dozens of space science experiments and would “enjoy personalized space foods especially designed by our nutritionists.”

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For more information: www.cbc.ca/china-space-capsule-lifts-off-on-15-day-mission

Disclaimer/ Disclosure: The Investors News Magazine is a third party publisher of news and research as well as creates original content as a news source. Original content created by Investors News Magazine is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Disclosure is posted on each release if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and is published for the sole interest of our readers.

 

Watch the Antares Rocket Launch LIVE


Antares Rocket to be Launched for the First Time

anteres 1.jpgBy Erik Derr

The first test flight of the privately-built Antares rocket has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Eastern Time, after winds forced the cancellation of the launch Saturday.

Strong winds of up to 140 mph streamed over the rocket’s Virginia launch pad Saturday, after the passage of an overnight cold front — heightening concerns debris from the 131-foot-tall rocket could endanger nearby communities in the case of explosion, according to a report by Spaceflight Now.

anteres 2“It’s a matter of having winds that could potentially blow debris from a destructive event over populated areas,” Frank Culbertson, Antares mission director and Orbital Sciences executive vice president, was quoted saying by Spaceflight Now. “We had the rare case of wind coming from the southwest at high velocity.”

Said Culvertson: “We’re going to target 5 p.m…same time, same place, same team.”

After initially delaying the scheduled launch on Saturday for more than an hour, managers decided to call off the launch altogether when weather balloons showed upper level winds weren’t letting up. The flight was scrubbed before liquid propellant was loaded into the Antares rocket’s first stage.

If Orbital Sciences had cancelled fueling already started, technical constraints might well have forced the rescheduled test to Monday, since the launch pad has a limited supply of super-cold liquid oxygen.

anteres 2“We didn’t want to fuel up the rocket and waste a chance to go” on Sunday, said Orbital Sciences spokesman Barry Beneski.

Forecasters predict better surface weather conditions today, calling for a 75 percent chance of acceptable weather — though ground winds remain a concern.

When it finally does take off, the Antares rocket will reach orbit on a test mission through a public-private partnership with NASA, which is paying Orbital Sciences $288 million to help fund development of a commercial cargo resupply system for the International Space Station.

anteres 3The National Aeronautics and Space Administration had a similar agreement with California-based SpaceX, which completed its test program last year and has now accomplished two operational cargo flights to the space station.

The first Antares launch attempt Wednesday was called off 12 minutes before liftoff, when a data connection between the rocket and the launch pad was disconnected.

Commercial cargo missions are replacing some of the capacity lost when the space shuttle fleet was retired in 2011.

Live Online Streaming:

NASA’s live feed of the Antares launch starts at 4:30 p.m. ET: http://www.ustream.tv/

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For more information: latinospost.com/antares-rocket-launch-live-stream-test-flight-new-privately-built

Disclaimer/ Disclosure: The Investors News Magazine is a third party publisher of news and research as well as creates original content as a news source. Original content created by Investors News Magazine is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Disclosure is posted on each release if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and is published for the sole interest of our readers.