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  • US to Launch Secret Spy Satellite Saturday

    01/17/2019 10:09:03 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    Space.com ^ | January 16, 2019 05:17pm ET | Mike Wall,
    The NROL-71 spacecraft is scheduled to launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday (Jan. 19) at 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT; 11:05 a.m. local California time), ULA representatives announced yesterday (Jan. 15). ULA had originally targeted early December for NROL-71's liftoff, but bad weather and technical issues pushed the launch back multiple times. The most recent attempt, on Dec. 19, was nixed because of a slight hydrogen leak on the Delta IV Heavy — an issue that has taken several weeks to resolve. NROL-71 will be operated by...
  • How Sierra Nevada's "Dream Chaser" Could Become a Nightmare for Northrop Grumman

    01/07/2019 7:43:44 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    The Motley Fool ^ | 01/06/2019 | Rich Smith
    Acquiring space launch company Orbital ATK in an all-cash $7.8 billion merger, Northrop took possession of Orbital's Minotaur and Antares medium-lift rocket families. It acquired Orbital's ongoing project to build a new "OmegA" class heavy lift rocket as well, with which to compete against the likes of United Launch Alliance and SpaceX for large commercial and military satellite launches. Northrop Grumman also inherited Orbital's ongoing NASA contract to resupply crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with needed consumables under the agency's CRS-1 and CRS-2 "Commercial Resupply Services" contracts -- missions valued at as much as $14 billion across the...
  • XCOR 'Space Tourists' Push for Ticket Refunds: Report

    01/06/2019 8:56:13 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    Space.com ^ | January 5, 2019 08:00am ET | Samantha Mathewson,
    The space tourism firm XCOR Aerospace Inc. announced plans in 2008 to launch its private two-seat Lynx space plane. Lynx was expected to fly paying space tourists to an altitude of about 38 miles above Earth, where passengers would experience 90 seconds of weightlessness. The company first estimated flight tests would begin in 2010, with private flights to follow soon after. Many space tourists bought into XCOR's Lynx model for the chance to briefly experience weightlessness at the edge of space. Having paid XCOR $100,000 for a ticket, customer Nael Hamameh thought his flight would come as early as 2011,...
  • United Launch Associates Just Scrubbed Launch - AGAIN!!

    12/19/2018 6:12:15 PM PST · by Terry L Smith · 19 replies
    ULA YOUTUBE CHANNEL
    The ULA just scrubbed the launch, again, of Mission NRO-17. A hydrogen leak, if I heard it correctly, was detected around the port-mounted main engine of the heavy lift rocket. Announced time pushed back 24 hours for another launch.
  • Twice-delayed Delta IV Heavy launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base now planned for Tuesday

    12/15/2018 7:07:50 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    Lompoc Record ^ | 12/13/2018
    The launch of a Delta IV Heavy rocket that had been postponed twice from Vandenberg Air Force Base last week is now slated for Tuesday, Dec. 18. The launch is scheduled for a window that will open at 5:57 p.m. from VAFB’s Space Launch Complex-6. The rocket, provided by United Launch Alliance, will carry a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office in a mission dubbed NROL-71.
  • ULA Calls Off 2nd Attempt to Launch Spy Satellite from Vandenberg Air Force 7 Seconds Before Liftoff

    12/09/2018 7:55:47 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    ktla ^ | 12/09/2018
    Small flames could be seen igniting at the base of the engines before they quickly disappeared The rocket remained still. With favorable weather conditions, Saturday’s launch was originally slated for 8:06 p.m., but a brief stop in the countdown to troubleshoot a problem pushed the liftoff back to 8:15 p.m., the company said. All systems were “go” until the countdown was halted just seven second before liftoff after a problem was detected, ULA said. The attempt was cancelled for the night, but it was not clear when ULA will try again. ULA is working in conjunction with the Air Force’s...
  • Stay up late to watch ULA launch a secret satellite with its most powerful rocket

    12/08/2018 7:23:32 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    The Verge ^ | Dec 8, 2018, 9:39am EST | Loren Grush
    Tonight, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) is set to launch its most powerful rocket — the Delta IV Heavy — sending up a secret spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from California. The mission will be the 132nd mission for the ULA, and the latest of many launches the company has done for the NRO, a significant customer of the launch provider. NRO keeps the purposes of its missions under wraps. However, the satellite is likely pretty heavy and is perhaps going to a high orbit if it requires the power of the Delta IV Heavy. The rocket...
  • NASA signs off on SpaceX’s “load-and-go” procedure for crew launches

    08/09/2018 9:09:56 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    Spaceflight Now ^ | August 9, 2018 | Stephen Clark
    The NASA manager overseeing development of Boeing and SpaceX’s commercial crew ferry ships says the space agency has approved SpaceX’s proposal to strap in astronauts atop Falcon 9 rockets, then fuel the launchers in the final hour of the countdown as the company does for its uncrewed missions. The “load-and-go” procedure has become standard for SpaceX’s satellite launches, in which an automatic countdown sequencer commands chilled kerosene and cryogenic liquid oxygen to flow into the Falcon 9 rocket in the final minutes before liftoff. “From a program standpoint, we went throgh a pretty extensive process where we laid out the...
  • ...SpaceX is using a powerful rocket technology. NASA advisers say it could put lives at risk.

    05/06/2018 1:38:55 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 58 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 05/05/2018
    When Elon Musk and his team at SpaceX were looking to make their Falcon 9 rocket even more powerful, they came up with a creative idea — keep the propellant at super-cold temperatures to shrink its size, allowing them to pack more of it into the tanks. But the approach comes with a major risk, according to some safety experts. At those extreme temperatures, the propellant would need to be loaded just before takeoff — while astronauts are aboard. An accident, or a spark, during this maneuver, known as “load-and-go,” could set off an explosion. The proposal has raised alarms...
  • Why More Taxpayer Funding to Elon Musk’s Big F-ing Rocket Would Be a Big F-ing Mistake

    04/21/2018 9:13:50 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 80 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | April 21, 2018 | Beau Rothschild
    For years now, the Pentagon has been in the market for new heavy-lift launch vehicles – rockets that can lift between 44,000 to 110,000 pounds. Currently, the only market options available are either too costly or too reliant on Russian-made parts.To that end, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that he will begin devoting most of his company’s efforts on developing the “BFR” – short for Big F-ing Rocket – which will allegedly be so huge and powerful that it will make the company’s previous rocket lines outdated in just a few short years. Musk stated at the South by Southwest...
  • Atlas V AFSPC-11 Launch re-broadcast

    04/15/2018 6:22:37 AM PDT · by Voption · 1 replies
    YouTube/ULA ^ | April 14, 2018 | United Launch Alliance
    Watch as ULA's Atlas V rocket launches the AFSPC-11 for the U.S. Air Force. (fast-forward to the 20:00 mark for launch.)
  • Jeff Bezos just donated $33 million in college scholarships for 'dreamers'

    01/12/2018 9:29:11 AM PST · by bitt · 77 replies
    cnbc.com ^ | 1/12/2018 | Sara Selinas
    Jeff Bezos just donated $33 million to 'dreamers' Jeff Bezos just donated $33 million to 'dreamers' 41 Mins Ago | 00:41 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos donated $33 million in college scholarships for "dreamers" — childhood undocumented immigrants granted stay in the country under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. TheDream.Us, a nonprofit working toward college access for undocumented immigrants, said the donation from Bezos and his wife MacKenzie is the largest in the organization's history and will fund 1,000 scholarships. "My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan," Bezos said...
  • Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Vector among rocket builders looking to Brazil for new launch site

    02/23/2018 12:08:23 PM PST · by Elderberry · 21 replies
    Yahoo Finance ^ | 2/23/2018 | Michael Sheetz
    A group of five U.S. private rocket companies met with Brazilian officials in December. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Vector are interested in launching from the equatorial Alcantara launch complex. The coastal launch site would offer cost savings by its ability to reach orbits often preferred for satellites. A group representing five U.S. private rocket companies visited Brazil in December to meet with the nation's space agency and analyze the possibility of launching from the equatorial Alcantara launch complex. The U.S. Department of Commerce was informed about the trip, which was organized by members of the private space industry. The group...
  • Military Launch Quality Issues Flagged by DoD Watchdog

    12/30/2017 3:28:56 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    Space News | ^ | December 28, 2017 12:58pm ET | Sandra Erwin,
    An evaluation of military space launch services revealed lapses in quality control that could compromise the schedule and performance of future missions, the Defense Department inspector general reported last week. The IG specifically called out the main contractors that support the evolved expendable launch vehicle program, or EELV, for failing to comply with standards required by AS9100 — a widely adopted quality management system for the aviation and space industries. Prime contractors United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX, and ULA subcontractor Aerojet Rocketdyne "did not perform adequate quality assurance management of the EELV program," said the Dec. 20 report signed by Randolph...
  • GOP's Shelby played key role in Alabama Democrat's victory

    12/13/2017 3:48:28 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 57 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 13, 2017 6:00 PM EST | Matthew Daly
    Credit six-term Republican Sen. Richard Shelby for Democrat Doug Jones’ shocking win in Alabama, senators from both parties said Wednesday. Shelby, Alabama’s senior senator and the state’s most influential official, publicly opposed GOP nominee Roy Moore and declared before the election that ”the state of Alabama deserves better” than a former judge accused of sexual contact with teenage girls decades ago. A former Democrat, Shelby, 83, announced weeks before the election that he had already cast an absentee ballot for another, unspecified Republican, even as President Donald Trump and other prominent state Republicans stood up for Moore. “I give the...
  • Alabama senator: 'Relieved' Moore lost Senate race

    12/13/2017 1:03:47 PM PST · by detective · 86 replies
    MSN News ^ | 12/13/2017 | Jordain Carney
    Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said on Wednesday that he is "relieved" GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore lost the Alabama race and won't be representing the Republican party in Congress. "Relieved? Yes that's a good word. I'm relieved and I believe a lot of Republicans are relieved that Roy Moore and some of his people aren't the face of the Republican party," he told reporters when asked if he was feeling any relief over Tuesday's election results.
  • Alabama GOP senator [Shelby]: I voted for a write-in instead of Moore

    11/27/2017 4:59:30 PM PST · by lodi90 · 60 replies
    The Hill ^ | 11/27/2017 | JORDAIN CARNEY
    GOP Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said on Monday that he did not vote for Republican nominee Roy Moore in the state's Senate special election. "No, no, no, I voted absentee. I didn't vote for him. I voted for a distinguished Republican write-in," Shelby told reporters when asked if he would vote for Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.
  • Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Elon Musk's SpaceX could face new competition for military launches

    11/17/2017 10:29:27 AM PST · by Elderberry · 6 replies
    On Thursday, Virgin Orbit won a contract from the Air Force to carry "technology demonstration satellites" on its LauncherOne rocket by early 2019. The LauncherOne rocket will be "air launched" from a modified Boeing 747 called "Cosmic Girl." The contract follows Branson's quiet launch earlier this month of Vox Space, a subsidiary of Virgin Orbit, that will focus on military contracts. While there is plenty of room in space, the launchpad is becoming more crowded. That's good news for the Pentagon as it looks toward increased competition and embracing new technology like reusable rockets to lower launch costs. United Launch...
  • US Launching Spy Satellite Early Friday: Watch It Live

    10/05/2017 5:23:23 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 37 replies
    Space.com ^ | October 5, 2017 07:08am ET | Mike Wall,
    The NROL-52 satellite is scheduled to launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 4:03 a.m. EDT (0803 GMT). You can watch it live here at Space.com beginning at 3:43 a.m. EDT (0743 GMT), courtesy of ULA. The mission was originally scheduled to lift off Thursday morning (Oct. 5), but unacceptable wins prevented launch, ULA representatives said. You can also follow the action live directly at ULA's website: http://www.ulalaunch.com
  • Dream Chaser Mini-Shuttle to Fly ISS Resupply Missions on ULA Atlas V

    07/26/2017 9:51:08 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | Updated: 26 Jul , 2017 | Ken Kremer
    Dream Chaser will launch atop the commercial Atlas V in its most powerful configuration, dubbed Atlas V 552, with five strap on solid rocket motors and a dual engine Centaur upper stage while protectively tucked inside a five meter diameter payload fairing – with wings folded. Blast off of Dream Chaser loaded with over 5500 kilograms of cargo mass for the space station crews will take place from ULA’s seaside Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The unique lifting body design enables runway landings for Dream Chaser, similar to the NASA’s Space Shuttle at the...