Welcome to Edition 1.46 of the Rocket Report! As always, we have news from around the world this week. New foundations in Japan and China have made news this week, and Russia may soon retire the world's most historic startup. There is also a lot of news from the world of the heavy lift.
As always we are happy about reader contributions. If you do not want to miss an issue, please subscribe to the box below (the form will not appear in AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report contains information on small, medium and heavy rockets, as well as a glimpse of the next three launches of the calendar.
Interstellar Technologies takes third attempt . In an email, the new Japanese space company said it would try to launch the MOMO-3 rocket from its launch pad at Taiki (Hokkaido) on April 30. The launch is scheduled for 2:15 UTC, and the company said a livestream would be available.
Problem solved … This is the third launch of the company The MOMO rocket, which weighs 1.15 tons and is 10 meters high. Last June, the MOMO-2 rocket crashed a few seconds after the loss of thrust. The cause of the failure was found to be a malfunction of the hot gas drive for the roll control. Since then, the company has stated that it has fixed the structure and carried out several fire tests.
Chinese micro-stunner raises $ 15 million . Andrew Jones reports that a Chinese company, Galactic Energy, founded in 2018, has raised considerable funds. This Series A + financing will be used to complete production of the company's Ceres-1 rocket, which is powered by first-stage solid fuel and a liquid-powered upper stage.
One of many . The Ceres-1 rocket will, according to the company, be capable of lifting 350 kg to near-Earth orbit and is set to launch for the first time in about a year. During the dozen other launches in China that are in operation at the time, it's hard to know which companies have real hardware and which are not. At some point we just have to see who reaches the space.
The Theory of Relativity secures another start contract . The Los Angeles-based rocket company announced Tuesday that it had won a contract to launch a satellite into near-Earth orbit on behalf of Thai startup mu Space, SpaceNews reports. Mu Space contained no details about the satellite, including its mass and capabilities. The start is planned for 2022.
A Busy Time … The last contract comes just over a week after the announcement of the first Relativity launch contract with Telesat. It is an important time for Relativity, which is growing fast, looking for a second pole position for polar orbits and the necessary engineering work to complete a 3D printed rocket by the end of 2020. (Submitted by Ken the Bin)
Virgin upgrades VSS Unity for customer flights . Dala Mackay, Virgin Galactic's chief pilot, told SpaceNews he believes the company will be able to run the rest of its SpaceShipTwo testing program pretty quickly once the suborbital spacecraft test flights resume. "The next time it flies, it is expected that the entire commercial cabin will be installed," he said. Some other modifications to the vehicle are also underway, such as changes to the cockpit displays.
Delighted About the Flight … Without being specific, Mackay said the downtime was "pretty long". However, the company has already announced that it will begin commercial operation sometime in 2019. The good news is that the vehicle has developed well on its two 80km flights. "The way it was flying on this flight was as good as I could ever have wished," Mackay said of the release. "I was thrilled with the way the vehicle flew." (submitted by Ken the Bin)
Momentus tries to raise $ 25 million . The start-up, which offers in-space propulsion solutions, also announced its first two customers, Exolaunch and Deimos Space, reports TechCrunch. "It's the first low-cost transport route to deliver a small payload from near-Earth orbit to geostationary orbit and to the moon," said Momentus CEO Mikhail Kokorich of the company's technology.
H20 the way to go … The company wants to take along the payloads dropped in Earth's low orbits and drift deeper into space and other more desirable orbits. This is a solution to the mystery of ridesport missions, where a number of satellites are deployed in suboptimal orbits from which operators may seek ways to achieve their desired orbit at a reasonable cost. The technology uses water as a blowing agent.
Gagarin's launch pad is taken out of service. Sputnik, Gagarin and Tereshkova all started from location 1 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. With the transfer of the crew from the Soyuz-FG to the Soyuz-2 rocket, the old Launchpad will be decommissioned, as there are no funds available for the launch of the Soyuz-2 rocket, reports Ars.
Last This year's flights … The Soyuz-2 rocket is currently launching from another location at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Site 31, as well as two other launch facilities in Russia and Europe's Guiana Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. Future crew launches of the Soyuz rocket and spacecraft will take place at location 31 in Baikonur. Therefore, the crew launches of the Soyuz MS-13 and Soyuz MS-15 probes in July and September are likely to be the last flights of the Soyuz FG vehicle.
Launch of the crew kite delayed by demolition accident . The vehicle underwent a series of engine tests on the SpaceX spacecraft Dragon last Saturday, calling the company an anomaly. Based on an unauthorized leaked video of the accident, the company counted the throttling of the SuperDraco engines as the vehicle exploded.
We do not know much yet … The Crew The dragon capsule in question is the same one that successfully flown a demonstration mission to the International Space Station in March. The spaceship was prepared for a demolition test this summer. Now the California company has to find at least a replacement for the test. And that assumes it can find and fix the problem on Saturday. An occupation flight was already possible in October, but that seems unlikely before 2020.
Fun with Facebook Car Titles . An Antares rocket, built by Northrop Grumman, launched flawlessly last week, lifting a 3.4-tonne Cygnus spacecraft toward the International Space Station. However, when NASA's International Space Station program released the launch video on its Facebook page on Thursday, there was a problem. Apparently, the agency's subtitling service had not yet come to this video clip, so viewers with activated subtitles were not just famed for launching a rocket, but the fame of Facebook automatically generated crazy words.
A Rockin 'Launch … As Ars reports, some of the captions were just strangely bad. For example, when the announcer triumphantly declared, "And we have lifted the Antares NG-11 mission to the ISS," the automatically generated subtitle service said helpfully: "And we've lifted the Guitarist G-11 mission to the Eissets."
Why NASA returned to SLS for EM-1 . A major new report on NASASpaceFlight.com looks at a two-week study conducted by the Space Agency earlier this year. During this time, engineers were looking for alternative launch vehicles for the NASA Exploration Mission-1, with which an unground Orion probe should fly around the moon. In the end, the agency decided to stick to its original plan to fly the mission on the rocket of the Space Launch System.
Orion was just too heavy … "The thing that only kept me awake at night was" gagging "the prospect of 25 tons three kilometers per second from near-Earth orbit into the Trans-Moon orbit. Injection, "said an agency official. At the beginning of the study, the study group looked at how to reduce the mass of Orion, and the researchers considered moving the heavy launch system to the vehicle.
SpaceX offers more details next Falcon Heavy Mission . SpaceX has created its own website to mark the third launch of its Falcon Heavy missile, an Air Force mission that has 23 Manifested Spacecraft. Known as the mission of the US Air Force Space Test Program 2, this flight is important as SpaceX tries to present the big missile for the Air Force, Teslarati reports.
According to the company … "The STP-2 mission will be among the most difficult launches in SpaceX history, with four separate upper-end engine burners, three separate orbits, one final Drive passivation maneuvers and a mission totaling more than six hours. [It] the capabilities of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle and provide critical data to support certification for future national security staging missions. "The flight is currently not scheduled before June 22. (Presented by Ken the Bin)
Reaching Mars by 2033 is not possible . An independent report from the Science and Technology Policy Institute showed that NASA has no chance to send people to Mars by 2033, with no such mission being flown until the late 2030s. SpaceNews reports that Congress has commissioned NASA to complete the assessment in the 2017 NASA Licensing Act.
NASA has not prioritized Mars technologies … This should not surprise anyone. NASA has spent most of its exploration funding over the last decade on the Orion spacecraft (which does not go to Mars) and the SLS rocket that may be part of a Mars program. The agency spent next to nothing to develop the critical and advanced technologies required for a long-range space flight to Mars, landing large payloads, surface habitats, energy, and more. (submitted by Unrulycow and Ken the Bin)
Next three starts
30. April : MOMO-3 | Sounding rocket launch | Taiki launch site, Japan | 02:15 UTC  April 30 : Falcon 9 | Dragon CRS-17 ISS Supply Mission | Cape Canaveral, Fla. | 08:22 UTC
May 4 : Electron | STP 27RD mission | Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand | TBD