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1
Yeah, people came from around the globe to attend it.

Hush, or the next one will be scheduled at 'Stratford on Avon'.
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https://iz.ru/672498/dmitrii-strugovetc/zapusk-angolskogo-sputnika-s-baikonura-mozhet-byt-otlozhen
Google translate:
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The launch of the Angolan communications satellite Angosat-1 with the help of the Russian-Ukrainian Zenit launch vehicle may be postponed for the next year. The start was planned for December 7, but there were difficulties with refueling the Fregat upper stage, which should deliver the spacecraft into orbit. One of the units went out of operation - it needs to be replaced. Contractors for the launch of the satellite - the Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia - promise to repair the malfunction as soon as possible.

As Izvestiya was told in the RKK that produced the Angolan satellite, a technical malfunction was revealed in the Fregat overclocking unit (RB).

- During the training, specialists from Roskosmos revealed the abnormal operation of one of the nodes of the Republic of Belarus, said RKK CEO Vladimir Solntsev. "We are glad that we managed to localize the problem here on Earth, and save the payload over which we worked long and hard. I am sure that the malfunction will be eliminated in the shortest possible time - both the rocket and the apparatus will fly.

As Izvestia explained to the source at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, it turned out that filling up the tanks of the Republic of Belarus with one of the fuel components is not carried out. Most likely, you will have to change one of the unit's units. At the cosmodrome, this can not be done, so the "distiller" will have to return to the Moscow region of Khimki at the manufacturing plant - NPO Lavochkin.

In this case, work on troubleshooting, explained the interlocutor of "Izvestia", postpone the launch at the end of 2017 - early 2018. Instead of the selected upper stage, a similar one stored in the Lavochkin NGO can be used to launch another satellite. In this case, the delivery time of the second "Frigate-SB" to Baikonur and the need to conduct prelaunch work with it also transfer the start date to several weeks.

The source explained that on Friday and throughout the weekend at the enterprises of the industry, meetings were held to find measures for troubleshooting.
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You'd use if it you expect to run hot (IE a lot of the ablative protection is worn off on every flight) or you want to radically lower maintenance between flights.

Which describes the reuse goals of the Block 5 - to radically lower the maintenance between flights compared to Block 3/4.

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However to make that worthwhile you need the design to survive for enough reuses, and that's not happening at present.

For the aluminum version sure, but the one use of the titanium fins looked successful.
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I think the while fairing issue for Zuma is a misdirection. The put out the delay story, then went ahead and launched last Thursday. 
And nobody noticed. Because.. um... because reasons.

As Nacnud said in the post after yours, it's all a big smoke screen (And every launch has a lot of smoke!).

They could have easily disguised the rocket. For example, they could have painted "Not a rocket" on it, so that anyone seeing it go up (such as the tourists at KSC)  would have thought it something else - a bird, a brick, a Vogon construction ship, whatever.
That or deep in Musk's Volcano Lair, he's succeeded in inventing a means to project an SEP field to hide the launch.

Perhaps we can come up with a 100 page thread in the New Physics forum to discuss this incredible development!
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But you might want to take a look at the President's budget for the Mars Exploration Program that came out a few months ago and see what it shows... (okay, I won't be coy: there's no money to do anything at all).

Why is that? Does that signal that NASA or the scientific community is getting less interested in Mars, or is it a decision from the administration (White House/OMB)? 

It's the latter. And it did not start with this administration. The last administration talked about Mars, but was not really interested in spending actual money on it. They cut the planetary budget overall, and Mars budget in particular.

Now as to what is going on in the current administration, that's hard to understand and explain. One of the things that is affecting many areas of policy making (not just space) is that there are a lot of unfilled positions in the government. Imagine a pyramid with the middle and parts of the top missing. The result is that even when the people at the top may want something to happen (like spend more money on something), it is not getting communicated to people at other levels because the lines of communication are busted. When no new direction comes in at the lower levels, the lower level people simply default to their previous orders, even if their previous orders are not the kind of thing that the new administration would want. Absent those missing pieces, it is occasionally difficult to figure out if the thing that is happening is by design, or by accident. So the last administration did not want to fund robotic Mars exploration by design. But the current one may be not funding it by accident. Dunno. It may take some time for things to start working again.
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A few mission patches plus launch patch & launch poster
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Commercial Space Flight General / Re: Vector Space Systems
« Last post by ringsider on Today at 07:46 PM »
This is getting a little tiresome.

You can always stop reading.

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Orbital Sciences Pegasus, SpaceX Falcon 1 and Rocket Lab Electron didn't demo a vehicle realistically capable of orbiting earth until they did, either. 

None of those guys tried to pretend they were flying something they weren't, either.

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I'm not sure what the incessant bashing without any substance adds to the thread, though ?

My comments have more substance and basis in reality than the story these clowns are telling. What they add is a very minor counterbalance to messages like "orbital flight in 7 months!!!!".
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Finally completed the beefier heat sink for the 30W amplifier. It is designed so that a phase-change wax can be incorporated in the future if necessary.  I need to order a bunch of thermal paste and that should arrive in a couple of days.  ;D
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But I thought block 4 was mostly the titanium grid fins and has already flown?

The Titanium grid fins have only flown once, and they flew on the last Block 3 first stage. So they’re not a Block 4 upgrade.
Although Titanium has come down in price a lot it's still much more expensive than Aluminum. You'd use if it you expect to run hot (IE a lot of the ablative protection is worn off on every flight) or you want to radically lower maintenance between flights.  However to make that worthwhile you need the design to survive for enough reuses, and that's not happening at present.
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