Sunday, February 28, 2016

New Space Race #3


The opinion has been expressed Canada at risk of losing out on the riches of asteroid mining.


Antitrust regulators are not granting immediate approval for Safran acquiring Arianespace.

The Europeans are looking at what to do for the next iteration of the Vega rocket.

They are also considering a new, smallsat launcher.


ISRO is looking how to privatize its PSLV rocket.

India's on track to launch its new rocket in December after a successful engine test.


After launching the Joint European Russian Exomars and associated orbiter, the Russians space plans are woefully underfunded to achieve their official goals.

At the same time, the Russians are stating they want to build space based weapons.

And they want to test their ballistic missiles against an asteroid in 2033.


The CST-100/Starliner has been testing its water landings.   (and here). 

Here are some more details about the new cargo missions to the space station.  SpaceX was awarded another 5 cargo missions in December to the Internal Space Station by NASA for roughly $700 million.

Orbital ATK's new Antares rocket is expected to debut this summer.

The Atlas V launcher may lose its USAF payloads if the Treasury Department finds the Russian RD-180 rocket engines violate the sanctions on Russia.  The chief buyer at the Pentagon has stated the engine buys do not violate the sanctions currently in place for Russia.  An Air Force General has stated they will be moving off the RD-180.

The US Air Force plan to develop a new rocket with the $1 billion budget request has been called a violation of the law by Congressman Rogers.

NASA has ordered stop work to man rating the interim upper stage for the Space Launch System and will move forward with the long term solution.  This ought to make Culberson happy as it makes doing the Europa mission(s) easier.  The Upper Stage might just be stuck in a political tug of war though.

A mock up of the SLS first stage is making the rounds in the Southern US.

One of the crawlers formerly used to transport the shuttle to the launch pad has been modified to carry the SLS.

Due to other nations actions, China and Russia mainly, the US needs to prepare for a space war.  Here's Undersecretary of Defense Kendall on future space military programs.

It seems the reports of the death of XS-1, the DARPA reusable small sat launcher, are exaggerated: DARPA is requesting a further $50.5M for the fabrication of the airframe.  More info here as well.

The House is considering (in hearings at least) the Space Leadership Preservation Act.  Amongst the changes are giving the NASA administrator a ten year appointment.  Here are some arguments for the act.  Here are some reasons against it.   Considering who the main proponent is, I'm not surprised by the provisions.  Whether its a good idea or not, its considered a very long shot to get passed.

No comments: