As its name suggests, crew 3 will be the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on a crew dragon spacecraft and the fifth flight with astronauts. Spacex has another crude mission on the docket before crew 3. The private inspiration for flight, which is scheduled to launch on september 15th, the crew 3 mission, will launch the mission commander and nasa astronauts raja chari pilot tom marshburn, along with mission specialists, caleb barron and european space agency astronaut, matthias moore. The spacecraft will launch atop a falcon 9 rocket from launch complex ‘a at nasas kennedy space center in florida. The crew is scheduled for a six month. Long duration stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working as part of what is expected to be a seven member crew. Nasa is also targeting no earlier than april 15 2022 for the launch of the crew 4 mission to the space station crew 4 will be commanded by nasa astronaut, joel indran, with bob hines. As the pilot he said, astronaut samantha christopher eddie will be a mission specialist, while the remaining crew member has yet to be named. Crew 3 astronauts are set to return to earth in late april 2022, following a station handover with crew 4. nasas james webb space telescope is scheduled to launch on december 18th from french guyana on an ariane 5 rocket more than six weeks after its previously set liftoff Date since its development began in the 1990s, the highly anticipated james webb project was consistently delayed due to escalating budget and schedule overruns web is an international partnership between nasa, the european space agency and the canadian space agency.
Isa is providing the telescopes launch service using the ariane 5 launch vehicle as part of its contribution to the nasa led mission in exchange for a share of observing time nasa announced on august 26 that it completed the final testing of the spacecraft and was in the Process of packaging it for shipment, the telescope will be transported by ship via the panama canal to french guiana, arriving in october. To begin final launch preparations once the telescope launches, the spacecraft will spend about a month traveling the 1.5 million kilometers out to its destination. The second lagrange point here: the observatory can enjoy a relatively stable parking spot orbit on the opposite side of earth from the sun. According to the mission team, the telescopes instruments wont turn on until two or three months after launch and typical science wont begin until about six months after launch, elon musk, spacex and jeff bezos caper systems are currently locked in a dispute over the starlink gen 2 satellite Constellation to build the network, spacex has requested fcc clearance to secure two orbital configurations for the satellites, although only one will be used and amazon argues that requesting clearance for two orbital configurations in one filing violates fcc rules on september 8, in a regulatory filing with u.s Federal communications, commission, amazon, satellite subsidiary caper systems has accused elon musk and his companies of violating regulations with an attitude that the rules are for other people according to amazon, whether it is launching satellites with unlicensed antennas, launching rockets without approval building, an unapproved launch tower or Reopening a factory in violation of a shelter in place, order, the conduct of spacex and other musk led companies makes their view plain rules are for other people.
In a letter to fcc on september 9, spacex responded that amazon tries to prevent a fair review on the merits by using procedural gamesmanship spacex wrote that, despite its theatrics, amazon does not identify a single fact figure or scintilla of data that spacex omitted from its application. Nor can amazon point to a single rule that prohibits spacex from providing the commission with extra information about an alternative configuration for its system. Moreover, spacex urged the fcc to put the companys application for its next generation starlink system out for comment immediately to expedite the process of providing better broadband to more americans. Spacexs response was the shortest filing so far in this back and forth, consisting of just three paragraphs. Meanwhile, satellite operator visit entered the fray on september 10th with a filing that supports amazons argument. Viacet wrote that, instead of addressing the deficiencies in its amended application or responding to the merits of capers arguments, spacex once again tries to deflect attention from its own failures by claiming that others are merely attempting to slow down competition and engaging in procedural gamesmanship. The asset pointed to the fcc rules that say that satellite operators may not submit applications that include multiple alternative system proposals and the commission has prohibited a given operator from simultaneously proposing two different non geostationary satellite configurations in the same frequency band spacexer elon musk has not Yet responded to visits argument. Meanwhile, spacex is targeting september 13 for a falcon 9 launch of 51 starlink satellites from vandenberg space force base in california.
This will be the first launch of starlink satellites from vandenberg space force base and the first to be launched into a high inclination non sun synchronous orbit inclined at 70 degrees to the equator. The booster supporting this mission previously launched telstar 18 vantage iridium, 8 and 7 starlink missions according to elon musk, the satellites are version 1.5, starlink satellites featuring laser inter satellite links, which are needed for high latitudes and mid ocean coverage. Moreover, spacex revealed that the company is currently manufacturing 5000 starlink terminals per week and they are planning to release a new user terminal that will be cheaper and faster to manufacture. Currently, customers pay 499 dollars for the starlink kit and according to spacex, the company is losing money with every starlink user terminal they sold the antenna costs around one thousand dollars to manufacture and according to spacex with every customer they acquire. The company loses money on the user terminal because the cost is higher than the average consumer can afford. With the new generation starlink terminals, spacex is now aiming to reduce the production cost by half by the end of 2021 rocket lab announced on september 8 that the company will deploy an entire constellation of internet of things. Satellites for the french startup company canas, a global satellite connectivity provider rocket lab said it will launch 25 satellites for canes over five dedicated launches, starting in the second quarter of 2023. The satellites will provide improved global iot connectivity services for the company, which is backed by private investors in the french space agency.
According to rocket lab, the proven accuracy and reliability of electrons kickstage and successfully deploying more than 100 satellites to date was a decisive factor in canadas selecting rocket lab as its launch partner. The kickstage will act as an orbital transfer vehicle to deliver each satellite, in the constellation to their precise orbital planes at a 650 kilometers altitude, allowing canes to avoid sacrificing spacecraft mass for propulsion and to begin a fully operational service as quickly as possible. Canes currently operates the argus satellite system, an international scientific collaboration to monitor wildlife, fisheries and to collect data about earths, climate and environment. Canadas new constellation will complete the current system with more powerful 30 kilograms class nanosats that integrate iot technology and a ship tracking automatic identification system. The companies did not disclose the value of the launch contract. Peter beck chief executive of rocket lab said theres some discount for bulk buys like this versus purchases of individual launches nasas mars ingenuity helicopter completed its 13th flight on september, 4th as it continues to act as an aerial scout for its companion, the perseverance rover, the helicopter Scoped out the geologically intriguing south cedar region, an area of interest for the martian rover during the flight ingenuity had its eyes on one particular ridgeline and it flew at a lower altitude than previous flights to collect some good pictures for flight 13. The rotorcraft zoomed, along at an altitude of 8 meters compared to 10 meters for its previous flight and marked the second time that ingenuity explored the south cedar region.
The flight covered about 210 meters in around 161 seconds and took 10 pictures. Despite the challenges of the regions terrain, the flight seems to have gone off without a hitch. So far, ingenuity has flown 2.6 kilometers much further than it was initially planned to fly ingenuity, which was supposed to be a tech demo performed so well that its mission was expanded into an operations demonstration in april. Nasa is now planning to fly the helicopter as long as possible. Now lets discuss some of the major starship updates from the past week, 27 days after returning to the build site on september, 7th spacex has rolled starships first orbital class super heavy booster booster 4 from its starbase factory to the launch site ahead of the challenging orbital Test flight, the last time booster 4 was at the launch site was in early august for fit checks with ship 20.. The booster was returned to the factory on august 11 and since then the booster was resting inside the high bay, where teams have worked on the launch vehicle to complete its secondary plumbing and avionics. The 29 raptor engines of the booster were removed for inspection and later reinstalled during the past four weeks. Now, after installing its 29 raptor engines, dozens of fluid lines, wirings and compressed gas tanks, the 69 meters tall flight worthy booster has once again returned to the launch site. If you take a close look at the booster, you can see all its gas vents on the exterior, which will act as the reaction control system to provide stable attitude, control and thrust separate rcs thrusters are also placed on top of the booster for attitude control during Its atmospheric re entry autonomous pressurization lines, which will transport gaseous propellants to pressurize propellant tanks, were also visible on the exterior of the booster traditionally tank pressurization has been done with a high pressure gas such as helium or nitrogen, but in autogenous pressurization, a small amount of Propellant is heated until it turns to gas, and that gas is then fed back into the propellant tank to keep the liquid propellant at the required pressure necessary to feed the engines of the rocket at the bottom.
Along with fluid and gas lines, you will find composite over wrapped pressure vessels, the carbon fiber composite pressure. Vessels designed to hold super cold helium under high pressure, the helium they hold will most likely be for raptor engine startup. Next to the pressure vessels is a hydraulic power unit which is thought to be used to power, the actuators of the raptor gimbaling system. A similar unit can also be found inside the starships engine skirt after arriving at the launch site. The booster was carefully lifted with the help of a massive crane and was gently lowered onto the orbital launch mount later on thursday, spacex crews conducted a fit check between the booster and the quick disconnect arm, which was previously installed on the orbital launch mount last week. Elon musk tweeted that the booster will perform a static fire test on the orbital launch mount this week, but he did not specify how many of those 29 raptor engines would be involved in the upcoming static fire test. Before the static fire test, the booster will be subjected to a cryo proof test which refers to a common practice that spacex uses to verify the vehicles. Health with liquid nitrogen, simulating the extreme cold of liquid propellants without the risk of an explosion or violent fire. But a lot of work needs to be done before an orbital launch pad cryo proof and static fire tests. Lets discuss them briefly. The orbital launch mount has undergone substantial changes since it last parted ways with booster 4.
spacex spent the last four weeks. Outfitting the launch mount with all the plumbing power, avionics and mechanical systems. It will need to support an orbital flight workers also installed the super heavy, quick disconnect mechanism and the umbilical panel that will connect the engines to the orbital launch pads ground systems. It is safe to assume that those systems will be extensively tested in the coming weeks, but a great deal of works remains to connect the orbital launch mount to the incomplete and custom built orbital tank farm, its difficult to say how close the tank farm is to Being able to support super heavy testing also before connecting the tank farm to the orbital launch mount, the gse tanks should be proof tested to ensure they can store and handle sub cooled propellants at high pressure. Its also possible that the tank farm and launch mount plumbing are much closer to completion than expected, meaning we can expect a static fire test this week. Meanwhile, starship 20 has been stationed at one of spacexs two suborbital launch pads since august 13th. Pre flight works on the ship are progressing and the three sea level raptor engines of the ship were installed into the vehicle last week. Raptor installation implies that the vehicle will perform its first ambient pressure and cryo proof tests with engines installed. Moreover, spacex rolled a vacuum. Optimized raptor engine of the ship to the launch site on september 10th, altogether, a total of three sea level and three vacuum optimized raptors are required to be installed into the ship.
It remains to be seen if ship twenties, three vacuum – optimized raptor engines will also be installed over the next few days or, if spacex will instead complete proof, tests and center raptor static fire testing before the installation of vacuum, optimized engines, repairs and restoration of a few Hundred heat shield, tiles that were damaged during its pathfinder installation are now nearing completion. More than fifteen thousand thermal protection tiles are needed to cover the entire windward side of the ship to protect the spacecraft as a tree enters from space. Starship twenties heat shield installation appears to be approximately 95 complete as of september 11th. Moreover, the installation of raptor engines suggests that the rockets, plumbing and avionics, are also largely complete, in other words, spacexs. First orbital class starship prototype could be ready to kick start cryo proof and static fire testing just a week from now, if spacex receives all the necessary regulatory approvals and if the vehicles pass all pre flight ground tests, booster 4 will propel starship 20 to orbit sometime Before this year ends moving on to other starship updates on 10th september, gse tank 7 was sleeved with a 12 meters diameter cryo shell. At the tank farm, the cryo shell will decrease the boil off rate of contents insides. The gse tank groundwork is in progress for a new, larger high bay to be built next to the existing high bay. Currently, the workers are focused on building the concrete foundation of the future high bay.
Spacex is also planning to extend one of the starship manufacturing tents hours after booster 4s roll out to the launch site. A stainless steel ring section of booster 5 was moved into the high bay to begin booster stacking operations. Common dome of booster, 6 and starship 22 were also spotted for the first time at the build site. Last week works on the 8 gse tank is in progress near mid bay. This will be the last gse tank to be installed at the tank farm. With this, we have covered all the major updates from last week.