Thursday, November 16, 2017

Carnival of Space #535

Hi all and welcome to another issue of Carnival of Space. Before going into the articles here are two nice picture I took in the last weeks. You might need to enlarge them to see properly:
The moon and Aldebaran
The moon and Aldebaran

Venus and Jupiter
Venus and Jupiter

And to this week articles:

  • Xcor was making a suborbital reusable launch vehicle (a suborbital spaceplane). XCOR filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Wednesday in the Eastern District of California.
  • NASA is providing an update on the first integrated launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft after completing a comprehensive review of the launch schedule. The new launch date for an unmanned first flight of the Space Launch System is Dec, 2019. This is NASA’s stretch goal target rather than June 2020 which is what the review expects will happen
  • An explosion occurred on Saturday, Nov 4, 2017 during a test of a “Block 5” Merlin engine, which will be used in a future generation of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets.
    It was a engine qualification test and no one was injured.
    The block 5 Falcon 9 will have higher thrust on all of the engines and improvements on landing legs compared to the block 4 Falcon 9 Full Thrust. There are also a number of small changes to streamline recovery and re-usability of first-stage boosters. Alterations to the launch vehicle are primarily focused on increasing the speed of production and efficiency of re-usability. SpaceX aims to fly each Block 5 first stage ten times with only inspections in between, and up to 100 times with refurbishment.