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April 8, 2024
Japanese Astronaut Koichi Wakata Joins Axiom Space

Axiom Space welcomes recently retired Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata as a newly appointed Astronaut and Chief Technical Officer for the Asia-Pacific region. Wakata, a veteran astronaut with decades of human spaceflight experience, will lead the expansion of Axiom Space's business and strategic presence in the Asia-Pacific region and contribute to the advancement of Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station.

"Koichi is a recognized leader in the global space community and a true pioneer of space exploration,” said Axiom Space Chief Astronaut Michael López-Alegría. “We’re honored and excited to have him join the team as a future commander of private astronaut missions, as well as a technical expert and leader, advancing commercial space development and promoting global partnership. I believe his incredible journey will be a source of inspiration for generations to come.”

I had the impression that Koichi Wakata would be selected to command missions with crew from the Asia-Pacific region. The only known probable astronaut on this mission is Sławosz Uznański who is an ESA astronaut from Poland. So I think Peggy remains the likely choice.

There is likely not enough time between April and October for Dragon commander contingency training (less training than needed for Staliner or Soyuz MS) AND experiment and activity training between April and October.  The Axiom crews pack a lot of training-intense work aboard ISS into less than 2 weeks.

Why rush training unnecessarily?

FYI: There is already discussion in the thread that I cross-posted from.
It would possibly make for some cool pictures, but if you are seriously asking why NASA didn't do this you have to tell us what would have been the scientific value?

Edit: Additionally, deploying a cubesat would not make it magically stop in orbit so it could observe the eclipse, how much deltaV would you need to get from the ISS to a stable position inside the totality?

Why? The most important reason is that no good quality photo exists of the corona seen from space.

About required deployment deltaV from the ISS: Walking speed is completely sufficient when ejecting a few days before the eclipse :)
Which means just simple batteries would have been sufficient to power them for that short time. lists the commercially available magical deltaVs available for common cubesat sizes: 0.77 - 1.7 m/s (walking speed) which easily covers the 200 km in 3 - 10 days. Also good to see how cubesats are currently always ejected rearwards, what would have been a perfect match as the ISS was 15 - 30 seconds ahead of the eclipse.
whether an ISS-launched cubesat could provide anything more than a payload launched on a sounding rocket.

It can, because soundings rockets don't reach 400 km altitude.
Some reusability stats for this launch (Bandwagon-1):
Launchpad LC-39A turnaround time:
8 days 1 hour 24 minutes
(the previous launch from this pad was Eutelsat 36D on Mar 30, 2024 UTC).

...which is the 2nd best LC-39A turnaround time!
(the record is still 6 days 18 hours and 43 minutes between Starlink Group 6-42 and Eutelsat 36D launches in March, 2024).

FYI: median turnaround time for LC-39A is currently 19.39 days *
* – based on the last 30 launches.
Why is LC-39A turnaround time for "uncomplicated" Falcon 9 launch to Falcon 9 launch circa twice as long as the same at SLC-40?
they were attachments... how mysterious.

Normally if there's a copyright issue a mod would post as such.

No, they're embedded images; specifically of the "bbc_img" class trying to fetch from twimg. If I switch to a browser I don't normally use (read: one with no ad blocking, all scripting enabled, etc) then the images in the first post display correctly. I'm guess a similar situation's going on on your end. But we're going off topic now, so I'll leave it at that.
Blue Origin / Re: Blue Moon Lunar Lander
« Last post by meekGee on 04/14/2024 11:47 pm »
Blue Moon lander doesn't need refueling. Just a single launch of New Glen. Blue Moon is subscale version of HLS, in development for very long time. So I would say it is very doable for Blue Origin to land on the Moon in 2025. 
It is in fact easier mission than SpaceX full scale unmanned HLS trial, which will need refueling to get to the Moon. It is also planned for 2025, so we have a Moon race going on. In my opinion it can go either way at the moment.
It's also not a race for the precise reason you mentioned - the scope of the two programs is so different.
For the record there's an useful article about the TAV program from the June 1984 Air Force Magazine available online Shows some of the thinking behind this at the time.

I just read this article and it is... interesting. (Sidenote: "interesting" is such a useless word when you really think about it. Does it mean anything at all?)

While reading it, it is worth keeping in mind that it was written 40 years ago. In that article, some people talk as if space warfare, including shooting down from space to destroy stuff on Earth, is imminent. It was going to happen really soon. And then there are descriptions of things that sound really cool, but which still have not happened four decades later. For instance, the description of taking out radars with high-velocity needles. Nope, not really. Even today we pretty much smack them with an explosive, although that explosive may be surrounded by tungsten balls.

But the article also includes some notes of caution where people say that implementing stuff like the TAV will probably be really expensive, so it may not happen, and if it does, it won't happen until sometime in the 1990s. And the thought-provoking aspect of that is: we can ask ourselves, if the Cold War continued, would the TAV have happened? The answer is probably no.

Overall, I found that the article seemed to confirm my existing puzzlement and skepticism about the whole TAV idea. It seemed like a concept in search of a purpose. It was not going to be clearly superior to existing systems, or alternatives, nor would it necessarily be all that useful. After all, even a handful of TAVs would not carry enough weapons to be decisive, and they would be really expensive.

One other thing that was in the back of my head while reading the article was stealth. When the article was written, the stealth program was top secret. I think this was even before the leaks about the F-117. If stealth had been public at that time, it would have made that conversation a lot different. One could ask "Why do we need the TAV when we have aircraft that are mostly invisible to radar?"

SX has apparently received approval to swap land elsewhere for the strip of wetland in the middle of the area being developed below the suborbital tank farm.  RGV's latest video shows it being filled in.

1:23:15 is where this starts
Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLV/SLS) / Re: SLS Artemis IV progress
« Last post by catdlr on 04/14/2024 11:29 pm »


The universal stage adapter will debut during #Artemis IV and will connect
@NASA_Orion to the exploration upper stage on future SLS rockets in the Block 1B configuration.

Read more about the test version of the adapter that was recently moved>>
It is amazing that the thrust density of R1 SL is about the same as an SRB and R2SL exceeds that of an SRB.

So much technology in use by SLS is obsolete.
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