Roundup Last week SpaceX proved that its crew can operate Dragon-demolition engines, ISS-Nauts have launched an EVA to repair their particle physics detector, and looking for Skylab was done an Art Director's Cut.
SpaceX detonates Crew Dragon's demolition engines, nothing explodes
SpaceX has successfully completed a static fire test over the entire duration of the engines to rescue the Crew Dragon capsule in a demolition scenario.
Static fire over the entire duration Crew Dragon's launch flight test completed – SpaceX and NASA teams are currently reviewing the test data and working on a demonstration of Crew Dragon's take-off capabilities during the flight pic.twitter.com/CMHvMRBQcW
̵1; SpaceX (@SpaceX)) November 13, 2019
During a similar experiment in April, the only Crew Dragon capsule that had made it to the International Space Station (ISS) was blown to pieces. No one was aboard or injured by what SpaceX and NASA delicately called "anomaly."
SpaceX Landing Zone 1 test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last week revealed that the Draco engines normally used for maneuvers in orbit train a. These motors are also used to realign the capsule during a crash. Then, the eight SuperDraco engines were fired by Crew Dragon in full duration.
The explosion in April was triggered by a startling Titan "firing event" and SpaceX redesigned it to prevent it from recurring. This time everything was very handy as these SuperDracos are needed to pull the Crew Dragon away from a failing Falcon 9.
SpaceX intends to demonstrate this scenario with a Victim Falcon 9 in the coming months before the first manned flight on the ISS in 2020.
"No user-serviceable parts": ISS Astros launch an iFixit -EVA
We hope the iFixit gang last week as astronauts Luca Parmitano from ESA and Andrew Morgan from NASA's NASA has paid close attention launched an ambitious series of spacewalks to the station's cosmic particle detector AMS-02 to repair.
The unit, which was launched on one of the last Space Shuttle missions in 2011, failed, but should never be repaired in orbit. Therefore, engineers and astronauts have been thinking for years about how to handle the machine's problems. Starting another is not really an option.
During the spacewalk last week, the duo removed a debris cover, prepositioned materials and mounted handrails before the next set of EVAs, when things get even more serious. On the next spacewalk on November 22 nd, the Nauts will cut and label the stainless steel tubes that attach the current cooling system to the AMS. A third spacewalk will be required to install a new unit on the side of the instrument before the leak test can be performed.
During a spacewalk, astronauts never had to cut and reconnect fluid lines like these, adding to the complexity of the process.
The robots are coming. Rockets
Rocket Lab has added a robot named "Rosie" to its production line to accelerate the production of its electron gun.
The company expects the number of helpers to increase the frequency of electron production from one every 30 days to one every seven days.
It is not important for us to point out that the company has not yet mastered a once-a-month starting cadence, let alone once a week, and so we fear that Rosie will soon have a couple of spare packages available.
Those who are afraid of a human-like android armed with launcher should not be worried. Rosie has a 5-axis machining window (3.5 x 16 m) coupled to a custom sixth rotation axis. The thing is big enough to handle a whole electron first stage. One could according to the company in the thing "park a bus".
We think of more Bertha than of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The next mission for Rocket Lab, called "Running Out Of Fingers," has a launch window to open on November 25th, starting from the company's New Zealand Launch Complex 1.
Happy Birthday, Buran
While Apollo picks up the jubilee headlines, it is worth noting that the 31st anniversary of the Soviet launch begins. A winged orbiter, Buran, rolled around last week.
Started in response to the US Space Shuttle program, work on the project began in the early 1970s with the construction of the Orbiter (only one of which would fly into space) Likewise, he leaned on the engines of the consumable Energia Booster to get the spacecraft into orbit. Without having to haul around three Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME), Buran would have had a larger payload capacity.
If he had flown more than an unscrewed test flight.
After a long series of atmospheric tests with a jet The first operational prototype was launched on November 15, 1988. The unoccupied orbiter flew two orbits before landing successfully on the autopilot. Another flight without crew was discussed, as were missions with crew before the money ran out. Despite all his sorcery, it was hell-eaten to start something on Buran compared to the alternatives.
Unfortunately Buran's flight version was destroyed when the roof of his hangar collapsed in Baikonur. However, the Buran prototype OK-GLI can be visited in Germany in the excellent Technik Museum Speyer.
Listen to Al Shepard dressing a nautical trio.
The makers of indie film. Searching for Skylab reworked the documentary of the first US space station, discovering the sound of Al Shepard, the chief of the astronaut, who blames the crew for failing to inform mission control that one of the three, Bill Pogue, having surrendered in orbit.
Shepard's on-air bollocking of the crew takes place at 1 hour and 12 minutes.
Other welcome improvements have been made to the quality of some film materials (with the exception of the 1970s kinescope) and the addition of some additional content, such as: An interview with an Esperance farmer who witnessed the 1979 Skylab impact.
We looked at the original cut in March and liked what we saw.
The creator, Dwight Steven-Boniecki, also pretty much cut himself out of the movie and told us, "For me personally, the movie has now no more moments where I wish I could change it."
Those (like us) who paid cash for the thing at Vimeo back then already have the updated version available. Otherwise, the cost of a few beers for entry will remain the price of all those interested in a piece of almost forgotten US space history. ®
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