Space, SpaceX, China, Rocket, Falcon 9 Lunar Starship HLS NASA Official Progress Updates, Falcon 9 COSMO-SkyMed Launch, Astroscale Anomaly

The first of those missions carrying the italian space, agencys cosmos, chimed second generation satellite has endured scrubs on thursday, friday and saturday all caused by unacceptable weather. This launch from cape canaveral space force station will be the fourth falcon 9 flight of the year and is now scheduled for liftoff on sunday january 30th, at 6, 11 p.m. Eastern standard time from space launch complex 40., the falcon 9 booster b1052, which is previously flown twice as a falcon heavy side. Booster, will be used for this launch. Cosmo, sky, med or the constellation of small satellites for the mediterranean basin observation is an earth observation satellite funded by the italian ministry and operated by the italian space agency for both military and civilian purposes. The first generation cosmos sky, med space segment comprises a constellation of four synthetic aperture radar satellites in sun synchronous, polar orbits, united launch alliance provided launch services for the first generation satellites, each weighing 1700 kilograms. The imagery obtained from these satellites is being used for defense and security assurance, seismic hazard analysis, environmental disaster monitoring and agricultural mapping to replace the first cosmos sky, med constellation. The italian space agency is developing the cosmos sky, med second generation constellation. These satellites are improved versions of the first generation satellites and operate in the same orbit as the first generation satellites. The first of these satellites, known as csg 1, was launched on an arianespace soyuz rocket in december 2019 and whizzes around earth in a sun synchronous polar orbit at 620 kilometers altitude csg2 will head for the same orbit when it gets off the ground.

The next two satellites in the constellation are slated to launch on arianespaces vega sea launch vehicles hours after the launch of the cosmo sky med mission. Another falcon 9 rocket will lift off from florida carrying starlink group 47 mission to orbit. The mission is scheduled for liftoff on monday january 31st at 2, 17 p.m. Eastern standard time from launch complex ‘a at kennedy space center. The starlink mission will be followed by a launch from vandenberg space force base on february, 2nd carrying a classified payload for the national reconnaissance office into a sun synchronous orbit on january 24th. Just shy of one month after its christmas day launch the 10 billion dollar james webb space telescope arrived at a spot in space, known as the second luggage point or l2, since it launched on december 25th, webb has been undergoing the nail biting and complicated unfolding and Deploying procedure, while cruising through space, a final 297 second long, thruster firing on january 24th, put the observatory in its halo orbit around l2, where the gravity of the sun and the earth effectively cancels each other out, allowing the spacecraft to circle an invisible point as if It were orbiting a solid body like a planet. The telescope team will now begin the three months long process of calibrating its mirrors and turning on the science instruments, the process of aligning the 18 mirror segments to act as one large 6.5 meter telescope will begin in a few days after the primary near infrared camera.

Nercam, which will help align the mirrors, is cold enough to turn on according to nasa approximately once every 21 days. The telescope needs to fire its thrusters briefly for small station keeping corrections to keep it in a 374 000 kilometers wide orbit around l2. It was previously thought that the observatory might operate for just five to ten years in space because of its limited propellant supply and the fact that it was not intended to be refueled. However, after launch, the mission team now expects that web will have enough propellant to operate for nearly 20 years. Thanks to the accuracy of the launch itself and two course, correction maneuvers. We can expect to see the first light for james webb in early february, with an initial calibration mosaic. That image wont be pretty, and further alignment will result in improved images, and we can expect the first science observations by the summer. Last week china successfully launched the first of a pair of radar satellites into orbit that will provide important geological data following earthquakes and landslides. A long march 4c lifted off from jaiquin satellite launch center in the gobi desert at 7. 44 am local time. On january 26th, insulation tiles designed to keep the rockets hypergolic fuel in the optimal temperature range in the cold desert winter fell away from the launch vehicle as it climbed into the night sky. The rocket carried the lsr01a satellite equipped with l band synthetic aperture radar into a near polar orbit of 98 degrees at an altitude of about 600 kilometers.

The second satellite of the constellation elsar01b is scheduled to be launched at the end of february boasting wide coverage and high spatial resolution. The elsar satellite project will help reduce chinas dependence on foreign data in fields such as geology, earthquake monitoring and emergency support. The satellites will also conduct large scale, topographic surveys: the launch was chinas second orbital mission of 2022 and the 407th flight of the long march carrier rockets. China plans to launch its new generation carrier rocket long march 8, y2 between late february and early march this year. After week, long transportation by sea, the rocket arrived at the wenchang spacecraft launch site in south chinas hainan province last week, where its final assembly and testing work will be completed. The long march 8 is a 50 meters tall two stage, medium lift rocket capable of sending a payload up to 4500 kilograms to sun synchronous, orbits at an altitude of 700 kilometers and a payload up to 8 400 kilograms to a low earth orbit. The rocket succeeds long march 8y1, which made its maiden flight on december 22nd 2020 launching five satellites into orbit. A planned future variant of the long march 8 will be reusable with its first stage and boosters retrieved through vertical landing. Japanese space debris removal, startup astroscale, has halted an autonomous capture demonstration in low earth orbit after detecting anomalous spacecraft conditions. Astroscales lcd program is an end of life services. Demonstration mission tasked with proving out the technologies involved with debris, docking and removal.

The company said that during the demonstration on january 25th, a 175 kilogram servicer spacecraft successfully released its 17 kilograms client spacecraft and began autonomous relative navigation. But after an excellent start, the team detected anomalous, spacecraft conditions and for the safety of the mission they decided not to proceed with the capture attempt until the anomalies were resolved. Astroscale did not specify what the anomaly was, but confirmed that both spacecraft are operational and safely separated, while the servicer had successfully used its magnetic mechanism to release and recapture the client in an august 25th test. The test on january 25th aimed to demonstrate autonomous capabilities for a larger scale mission for astroscales manual demonstration in august, the servicer and client were separated by a few centimeters. However, during the autonomous test on january 25th, the client spacecraft had separated from the servicer by tens of meters. The satellites have been in low earth orbit since they were launched together on a soyuz rocket on march 22nd and astroscale plans to initiate a controlled deorbit phase. After completing lcds main demonstration elements now lets discuss some of the major starship updates. From the past week, nasas aerospace safety advisory panel held a telephonic public meeting on january 27th, during which the panel provided updates on the human lunar exploration program and the progress of the starship lunar lander. According to michael sheets, a cnbc space reporter who attended the meeting spacex provided nasa with an integrated master schedule on hls starship development.

Earlier this month, however, nasa did not provide many details about the schedule. Currently, the starship lunar landing system capable of transporting more than 100 tons of cargo to and from the lunar surface is scheduled to launch in 2024.. During the meeting, the aerospace safety advisory panel mentioned that nasa recently conducted site visits to starbase and spacex headquarters in hawthorne, which revealed significant progress in the overall production of the starship and lunar lander system. The mission profile of the starship hls calls for in orbit propellant transfer prior to the hls vehicles launch from earth a starship variant configured as a propellant depot would be launched into low earth orbit and then partially or completely filled by four to 14 starship tanker flights. Carrying propellant, the starship hls vehicle would then launch rendezvous with the already loaded, propellant depot and refuel before transitioning from earth to lunar orbit. The advisory panel identified this refueling process as a major risk to the hls program. Another major risk identified by the panel is the accuracy, stability and hazard avoidance of lunar starships landing technologies. Other risks associated with the starship human landing system include software and hardware, integration, flight rate, hardware turnaround times and reuse according to nasa. The agency is working on all of those risks to make sure that its comfortable with the approach that spacex is proposing. Moreover, there will be uncrewed test landings prior to the first human landing to mitigate the risks. In november, elon musk sent an email to spacex employees stating the diraptor engine development is behind schedule.

Musk claimed that after key senior management departed, the company spacex personnel looked deeper into issues surrounding raptor production and found them to be far more severe than was reported. According to the aerospace safety advisory panel, spacex recently gave nasa a good understanding of some of these challenges. Recently, spacex has hinted at its desire to develop marine recovery systems for the starship program in a series of new job postings. Despite repeatedly revealing plans to develop marine recovery assets for starship spacexs, recent job postings made no mention of the companys plans to transform oil rigs into floating starship launch pads. Previously, a tug was used to transport spacexs, falcon 9 recovery ships to their oceanic position. However, they are now fully autonomous but towing or autonomously, transporting an entire oil rig. Hundreds of kilometers to and from the port is not an efficient or economical solution for starship recovery. It also wouldnt make sense for spacex to hire a dedicated naval architect without mentioning that theyd be working on the worlds largest floating launch pad. Thus, there are only three plausible explanations for the job postings. First spacex may be simply preparing for the potential recovery of floating ships or boosters, after intentionally expending them on early orbital starship test flights. Second, spacex may have plans to strip oil rigs without fully converting them into launch pads and then use those rigs as permanent landing platforms at sea. Third, and perhaps most likely, spacex may be investigating the benefits of landing super heavy boosters at sea, landing and retrieving massive super heavy boosters at sea is inherently difficult, dangerous time consuming and costly.

Furthermore, this makes rapid reuse nearly impossible and invariably raises the cost of recovery. However, certain mission profiles may make it impossible for the booster to return to the land due to a lack of sufficient fuel on board. In those circumstances, a floating booster landing platform will be unavoidable. Works on the orbital launch tower are progressing at the starbase. On august 25th, spacex performed movement checks on the starship quick disconnect arm. Cameras were recently installed on the booster catching arms to capture close up footages during booster and ship stacking operations. Starship 20 is currently parked next to the launch tower and we may soon see the catching arm, lifting and lowering the ship as a practice run before the actual stacking process, a ten thousand feet. Temporary flight restriction and road closures. Notifications were recently posted on official websites, possibly for static fire and cryo proof. Testings construction of the fourth level of the wide bay has begun at the build site. Two new overhead cranes were recently delivered to the starbase for installation into the wide bay. A similar crane is currently in use inside the high bay for super heavy stacking. The recently delivered cranes have a maximum load capacity of 150 tons. The booster 2.1 test tank completed its crush test and was removed from its test stand recently. Ship 22s tank sections were stacked and the booster 8s forward dome was sleeved last week with this we have covered all the major updates from last week.

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