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Welcome to Issue 2.32 of the Missile Report! We are preparing for a big launch weekend on the east coast, with an Antares rocket from Wallops and a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral. In the meantime, enjoy a wealth of news on controversial and crowning topics.
As always, we look forward to readers' contributions. If you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear in AMP-enabled versions of the website). Each report contains information on small, medium and heavy-duty rockets and a brief overview of the next three launches on the calendar.
Questions about Firefly's supporters, In an investigative piece, Snopes examines the connection between the rocket company's sponsor, Max Polyakov, and a number of misleading dating sites. After Firefly almost died in 2016, Polyakov stepped in with an estimated $ 75-100 million, which allowed the company to hire former employees and expand operations. The first launch of the company is expected in the second quarter of this year.
A new variant of sex in space? … According to the report, Polyakov's investment group "shares offices and employees with Together Networks, a company that hosts websites like nastymams.com and uses misleading tactics to register people for recurring credit card fees. Firefly's incumbent CFO and co-founder Mark Watt and Firefly's co-founder, Max Polyakov, had at least a historical financial interest in a labyrinthine network of holding companies that own or maintain these websites. The affiliate marketing platform that increases revenue from these websites is abusive. "(submitted by JF and respice)
Another Iranian attempt to start fails, A pair of Iranian satellites failed to orbit on Sunday after their Simorgh launch vehicle failed to inject them at sufficient speed, Ars reports. "The carrier's Stage 1 and 2 engines were working properly and the satellite was successfully detached from its carrier, However, at the end of its journey, it did not reach the speed required to be placed in orbit, "the Defense Department room spokesman Ahmad Hosseini told state television.
Another definition of unstoppable … The Simorgh rocket is a more powerful variant of a small satellite launch vehicle developed in the country with a capacity of 350 kg for orbit. However, it has a terrible track record with at least three mistakes and no successful orbital missions. Afterwards, the Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi (who is expected to become a presidential candidate in 2021), painted the mission in a fairer light. "We are unstoppable!" he tweeted. Bless his heart.
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India shows its anti-satellite missile, The Indian Ministry of Defense recently held DefExpo 2020 in the north of the country. The event is designed to promote India as a "hub for defense manufacturing," but is essentially an arms bazaar. Ars reports that one of this week's main shows is a large display that shows a copy of the hardware used during Mission Shakti, the successful anti-satellite test that India conducted in March 2019.
Mixed messages … The Mission Shakti hardware exhibition this week in Northern India shows the country's pride in the test – but it can also serve other purposes. "This appears to be a step by India to boast of its ability to combat satellite weapons and possibly even offer them for export," said Brian Weeden, director of programming at the Secure World Foundation. "Anyway, I think it immediately undermines India's message immediately after the Shakti mission that it was a one-off demonstration and would not become an operational capability."
PLD space is moving towards suborbital launch, According to SpaceNews, the Spanish start-up has won a second customer for the first flight of its reusable Miura 1 suborbital missile. The company is also dealing with development issues that have prevented the mission in the past year. PLD Space planned to launch Miura 1 in 2019, but delayed the missile's debut after a "series of test firing anomalies" during engine development
Two starting places … In addition to two microgravity experiments for the Bremen-based ZARM research center, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida will carry out four experiments created by students and faculties for their first mission. The company has not set a launch date for the Miura 1 flight or for its orbital missile, the Miura 5 vehicle. The company plans to launch Miura 1 missiles from El Arenosillo on the southwest coast of Spain and the Miura 5 from the European space center Guiana in South America. (submitted by trimeta)
Plans for the Scottish spaceport revealed, The development agency for a Scottish spaceport, the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, has finally submitted its plans to the Highland Council for the facility. The spaceport would include a launch control center and a single launch pad alongside related infrastructure, including roads, fuel storage, offices, and antennas, Highland News & Media reports.
Too bright? … Residents have raised concerns about the environmental impact. The application includes measures to manage and minimize the effects on the land and marine environment, including the light and noise levels that could be generated especially at start times. Work on the construction site must begin fairly soon if it is to be ready for the planned Orbex Prime rocket debut in 2022. (submitted by iCowboy and Ken the Bin)
Amazon wants to "whip" payloads into orbit? Gur Kimchi, VP of Amazon Prime Air, has a patent for a launch system that could theoretically carry payloads to the end of a mile-long whip carried by a phalanx of drones attached to the eyelash. A patent application published this week contains an unusually detailed description of the system, including the arrangement of the teeth in the mechanism, reports GeekWire.
Whip it really well … Although the patent description examines the possibilities of placing payloads in a low earth orbit and then using orbiting platforms with bands to transfer these payloads to even higher orbits, the inventors make it clear that there are other uses as well gives. For example, smaller whips could blow up drones or other types of aircraft from ships at sea or from airplanes. Packages could be hurled onto drones from the air for processing in fulfillment centers. (submitted by Ken the Bin)