Enlarge /. The mighty "Dominator" Atlas V 541 goes supersonic with our latest Mars rover.
Welcome to Issue 3.10 of the Missile Report! Now that Mars Perseverance is safely on its way to the Red Planet, we are pleased to congratulate the space agencies in the United Arab Emirates, China and the United States for the successful launch of Mars this summer. It's great to go three against three in the 2020 launch window. In February we will see how many are sure to reach their final destination.
As always, we look forward to readers' contributions. If you don't want to miss any issues, please subscribe to them using the box below. Each report includes information on small, medium, and heavy duty missiles, maybe a little Snark, and a quick look at the next three launches on the calendar.
Virgin Galactic reveals the look of the interior cabin. Virgin Galactic has released the first pictures of what the inside of its VSS Unity spaceship will look like. The design offers seating for up to six passengers, who fly on the rocket-propelled spacecraft, are at a height of over 80 km and experience weightlessness for a few minutes. The company is planning one or two more engine-powered tests, followed by final test flights from New Mexico before launching a full commercial passenger service.
What does the real cabin look like? It is noteworthy that the pictures and stylish videos released by the company on Tuesday show renderings rather than actual photos in Unity or videos from the room level. This raises some questions about how final the changes to the cabin are and when it could actually be ready for paying customers, reports Ars.
British government sets start-up regulations. The UK government anticipates that a comprehensive set of regulations will be released shortly, allowing companies to launch commercial launches from space ports in the country. According to SpaceNews, an estimated 900 pages of regulations will cover licensing and monitoring of launchers and launch sites.
Not exactly a beach reading … The British government says it has worked closely with the US Federal Aviation Administration, which has decades of experience with commercial launch regulations. This collaboration should reduce regulatory burdens for U.S. vehicles wishing to launch from the UK, such as Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne, although these launches require an FAA launch license in addition to a UK government license. (submitted by Ken the Bin)
The easiest way to keep up with Eric Berger's space coverage is to sign up for his newsletter. We collect his stories in your inbox.
Location selected for the launch pad in Michigan. The organizers state that they have chosen an undeveloped, 5 km long piece of land along the Upper Lake on the upper peninsula of Michigan as the vertical starting point. The Detroit Free Press reports that the website could be operational in the next five or six years if the plans are implemented. The effort will be led by Gavin Brown, Executive Director of the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association.
The convergence of cars and space? … "The automakers are trying to figure out how to achieve this connectivity in their cars," Brown said, noting that his group's efforts would allow Detroit automakers to benefit from a network that companies would not have to build alone. He highlighted the advantage Tesla has gained from joining Elon Musk as the founder of SpaceX, which has become a major player in the commercial space industry. The author of this newsletter grew up in Michigan, and that seems hopelessly naive, but we'll still watch it with interest. (submitted by JohnCarter17)
China starts its 21st mission in 2021. Shortly after the launch of the Tianwen-1 mission to Mars, China launched a Long March 4B rocket with three satellites last Friday. The main payload was the Ziyuan-3 remote sensing satellite developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and two small satellites for X-ray astronomy and commercial data acquisition.
Halfway there … The launch was China's 21st of 2020, including three failures, reports SpaceNews. The first flights of the Kuaizhou-11 and the Long March 7A failed. The Palapa-N1 communications satellite was lost when launched in Long March 3B. China's space company announced earlier this year that it plans to launch around 40 missions in 2020. (Submitted by Ken the Bin and JohnCarter17)
The Georgia spaceport plan is becoming more controversial. Proponents of a spaceport in Georgia in Camden County must obtain a site license from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA held its first public meeting for the project in December 2015, and the county paid at least $ 1.2 million to the consultancy company Leidos to prepare the original environmental statement. The proposal has prompted numerous critics, mainly citing environmental concerns.
The review is ongoing … Now these critics are crying badly about Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter's unsuccessful efforts to change a transportation bill, reports the Savannah Morning News. Critics said it was an effort to water down the environmental assessment required for the spaceport. The Republican Congressman, who recently bought land near the spaceport, denied this. The FAA is currently expected to complete its environmental review in autumn 2021. (Submitted by JohnCarter17)
The DoD award process sends "mixed signals". The Pentagon reversed an earlier decision earlier this month to award contracts to six small startups under the Defense Production Act. The U-turn sends "mixed signals" to an industry that has been devastated by the virus-related economic crisis, said Mandy Vaughn, President of VOX Space, reports SpaceNews.
Aren't we a priority? … VOX Space was one of six companies announced in June that they would collectively receive $ 116 million orders to launch small satellites for the U.S. government. The Department of Defense appears to have withdrawn the awards due to widespread complaints about the selection process for these six companies. Vaughn said that notifying companies that contracts are about to be canceled immediately shows "a little discombobulation" and is sending a message to the industry that DoD does not consider this a priority. (submitted by platykurtic)
Why an early investor split up with Rocket Lab. The New Zealand-based publication Stuff published an article about Mark Rocket, an early investor who worked closely with Rocket Lab from 2006 to 2008. At the beginning, Rocket and company founder Peter Beck excluded the introduction of military payloads from conditions. "Initially, we were hoping not to realize certain types of projects," Rocket told the publication, explaining why he left in 2011. "I was thrilled with the commercial side. You have to find out where that line is somehow." is for you. "
Seeing the light of national security … Since 2008 Beck has been explaining why his views on the subject have evolved. "You also have to remember that intelligence protects us," said Beck. "Unfortunately there are many bad actors in the world. I am New Zealander, but you also have to understand that national security is a global thing. It is not the responsibility of a single country. New Zealand is part of the Five Eyes … It it's all very good to criticize national security until the day you need it. "Without a doubt, it helps to pay the bills. (submitted by platykurtic)
An Atlas V launches Mar Perseverance. An Atlas V rocket successfully launched the Mars Perseverance mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Thursday morning. The missile's Centaur upper stage then pushed the spaceship towards Earth from the force of gravity. The spaceship is due to arrive on the Red Planet in February. At this point, NASA will try to land its heaviest rover ever, Ars reports. NASA said it is working to resolve a communication problem with the spacecraft.
Oxygen on Mars … With a mass of 1.025 tons, the Perseverance rover is about 14 percent bulkier than its predecessor Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012. He is conducting several notable experiments, including a small helicopter and the MOXIE experiment, which tries to generate oxygen from the thin Martian atmosphere. If this experiment is successful, it will demonstrate the potential for evacuating liquid oxygen for missiles launching from the surface of Mars.
NASA selects astronauts to launch Crew-2. This is the second SpaceX Crew Dragon operational flight to the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will act as the commander and pilot of the spacecraft for the mission. JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will join as mission specialists.
A spring start … Crew-2 is due to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket in spring 2021, after both NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight mission (which is expected to return to Earth on August 2) and the launch were successfully completed NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission (scheduled for late September). The Crew 2 astronauts remain on board the space station for approximately six months as expedition crew. (submitted by Tfargo04 and JohnCarter17)
Proton has finally prepared for the 2020 debut. Spaceflight Now reports that two satellites that are to transmit radio and television broadcasts, internet connections and other communication services across Russia arrived on a launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday. This is the first Proton launch in 2020.
The Proton rocket was last launched in December … The Proton rocket was able to lift up to 23.7 tonnes into orbit close to Earth and once dominated the commercial launch market. Since then, the launch frequency has been due to reliability issues and cost pressures from competitors such as the Falcon 9 rocket. It can be started two or three times in the further course of 2020.
SpaceX applies for the FAA license to hop Starship. On Tuesday, SpaceX submitted its application for a starter license to fly its Starship vehicle up to 20 km. The company stated that its purpose is for "experimental mid-height hop, landing, and recovery tests on Boca Chica TX's Starsorb Prototype suborbital test vehicle."
Testing later this year? … The proposed data for the test run from August 18, 2020 to February 18, 2021. It is not clear which Starship prototype will be tested up to 20 km. The current prototype on the launch pad in Boca Chica, SN5, could make a short jump up to 150 meters early next week after a successful static fire test on Thursday. (submitted by danneely)
The next three starts
30th July: Proton | Express 80 and Express 103 | Baikonur, Kazakhstan | 21:25 UTC
July 31: Ariane 5 | Galaxy 30, MEV-2 & BSAT-4B satellites | Kourou, French Guiana | 21:30 UTC
August 1st: Falcon 9 | Starlink-9 Mission | Kennedy Space Center, Fla. | 07:21 UTC (probably late due to weather)