May 25, 2022

Hey guys, welcome to Max Q. This week we have news about rockets, both small (Astra Rocket 3.3) and very, very large (NASA Space Launch System). In addition, other financial news emerged in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

I brought you Max Q, Aria Almalhodey. Thoughts, comments and suggestions [email protected] you can send to you can also find me on twitter @ bread outI will dive.

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Astra LV 0009

image credit: aster (Opens in a new window)

Aerospace startup Astra made great strides on Tuesday, launching customer payloads into orbit for the first time.

The 43-foot rocket, dubbed LV0009, lifted off from the Pacific Spaceport in Alaska shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday. It carried payloads for three Spaceflight Inc. clients, including CubeSats for the Portland State Aerospace Society and a Sat-to-Sat communications system for NearSpace launches. The third client is not reported.

The successful mission comes just a month after the Astra rocket, designated LV0008, lost its entire payload on the company’s first mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Astra’s senior director of mission management and insurance, Andrew Griggs, said in a blog post published on March 6 that the team had identified and fixed the issues that led to the outage.

Astra went public last July through the SPAC merger, joining a growing group of aerospace companies seeking to avoid a traditional IPO on their way to the public markets. The company first entered Earth orbit in November 2021, but so far has not been able to repeat the feat.

Every success leads to the launch of the company. It is one thing to accomplish a feat once or twice. Doing it over and over again is another matter entirely. Of course, on March 31, we will review the company’s fourth quarter earnings report.

rocket astra lv0009

image credit: aster

NASA’s ultra-expensive and super-massive spacecraft launch system rolls out to launch pad

image credit: NASA/Michael Demoker

Twelve years after it was first announced, NASA’s “Mega Moon Rocket” made its public debut. The Integrated Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft were launched from the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, where it took a nearly 11-hour procession to the launch pad. After that, it will undergo a series of tests to determine flight readiness, including the all-important “dress rehearsal of weighing” when the launch system is filled with fuel and engineers practice counting down.

NASA has not set a date for the first SLS mission – Artemis 1, which will kick-start the Artemis agency’s ambitious program to return humans to the moon – but it could happen as early as this summer.

This happened a very long time ago. In 2010, Congress directed NASA to develop the SLS to replace the Space Shuttle, the agency’s original spaceflight workhorse. But since then, the project has repeatedly encountered setbacks and technical difficulties. A year ago, NASA’s Office of the Inspector General released a scathing report on the costs and contracts associated with the SLS program, finding that “rising costs and delays” had pushed the project’s overall budget far beyond its targets. Raise the initial limit.

NASA Vehicle Assembly Building, Kennedy Space Center

NASA Large Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA. image credit: NathanPhoto / Getty Images

Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Stops ExoMars

Russia’s war with Ukraine continues to resonate in space. This week, the European Space Agency voted to delay an upcoming rover mission due to launch on a Soyuz rocket this year. The agency said that in light of the war in Ukraine, ESA members acknowledged “the current inability to maintain ongoing cooperation with Roscosmos” regarding the ExoMars mission.

On April 6, an extraordinary meeting of the ESA Governing Council was convened to discuss possible launch options. This will be the first time Europe has sent a rover to the Red Planet.

More news from TC and more

  • Aquarius The company has raised $650,000 in seed capital from venture capital firm Draper Associates to develop a Moon-launched Solar System communications system, Space News reports.
  • astranis Final testing of Arcturus, the Microgeo satellite, has been completed and will go into service later this year. The satellite should triple Alaska’s satellite bandwidth and provide cheaper broadband access, the company said in a statement. Astranis raised $250 million in Series C last year, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.4 billion.
  • axiom space, which is planning the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, has released more details about the science experiments that will be carried out while the crew is on board. One of the projects will be devoted to the study of “self-assembly methods for building in space.” very quiet.
  • blue original The next group of passengers has been selected to travel to suborbital space on their New Shepard rocket. It included angel investor Marty Allen, nonprofit founder Sharon Hagley, her husband and Tricor CEO Mark Hagel, entrepreneur Jim Kitchen, and commercial space technology founder Dr. C. George Neal. Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live also joined the team, but Blue Origin later stated that it would no longer fly.
  • Celestia Aerospace, a solution startup startup, closed a €100 million ($109.5 million) seed round funded by Invema Group. With this money, Celestia will open a nanosatellite production center and a development center for its Sagittarius launch system.
  • James Webb Space TelescopeNASA’s Deep Space Infrared Telescope has completed important optical tuning steps that agency scientists hope will meet or exceed performance expectations.
James Webb Space Telescope JWST alignment image

JWST focused on the bright star in the center of the image to evaluate the alignment of its 18 mirrors. image credit: NASA (Opens in a new window)

  • Sierra Space As well as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on technologies that could eventually be used on Orbital Reef, a commercial space station being developed by Sierra, Blue Origin, Boeing and Redwire Space.
  • SpaceX Starlink sent another batch of terminals to Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of the country said: on twitterI
  • Terran OrbitalA contract manufacturer that designs, builds and designs satellites has been awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin to build 42 satellites for the Space Development Agency.
  • virgin work Signed a letter of intent with the Polish Space Agency expressing the agency’s “strong interest in conducting domestic launches in Poland” using Virgin’s LauncherOne rocket.

Photo taken from the White Mountains in the Andromeda Galaxy, California. image credit: Tony Rowell/Getty Images

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