Astra @AstraLaunch attempt update: @NASA’s ELaNa 41 mission is scheduled for Thurs., Feb. 10. Launch window opens at 12:00pm PT / 3:00pm ET (20:00 UTC).
Update from NASA:COMMENT COMMENT | EVENT | TIG | ORB | DV | HA | HP |COMMENT | | GMT | | M/S | KM | KM |COMMENT | | | | (F/S) | (NM) | (NM) |COMMENT =============================================================================COMMENT 80P Launch 046:04:25:40.000 0.0 426.4 408.1COMMENT (0.0) (230.2) (220.3)COMMENT 80P Arrivals 048:07:08:02.000 0.0 425.8 408.3COMMENT (0.0) (229.9) (220.4)COMMENT NG-17 Launch 050:17:39:59.000 0.0 425.6 408.5COMMENT (0.0) (229.8 ) (220.6)COMMENT NG-17 Arrival 052:09:35:00.000 0.0 425.0 408.7COMMENT (0.0) (229.5) (220.7)COMMENT =============================================================================
Space Force asks launch companies for insight on where the industry is goingQuote from: SpaceNewsThe U.S. Space Force is polling the space launch industry as it tries to identify what companies might challenge United Launch Alliance and SpaceX when their current contracts are re-competed in 2024.“The government is identifying sources capable of providing NSSL-class launch services beginning in fiscal year 2025 and is requesting more detailed information on each provider’s capabilities, launch systems, to include when those capabilities will be available,” says a Jan. 27 request for information from the Space Systems Command’s launch enterprise. Responses are due Feb. 24.
The U.S. Space Force is polling the space launch industry as it tries to identify what companies might challenge United Launch Alliance and SpaceX when their current contracts are re-competed in 2024.“The government is identifying sources capable of providing NSSL-class launch services beginning in fiscal year 2025 and is requesting more detailed information on each provider’s capabilities, launch systems, to include when those capabilities will be available,” says a Jan. 27 request for information from the Space Systems Command’s launch enterprise. Responses are due Feb. 24.
Feb 10, 2022RELEASE 22-017New Sun Missions to Help NASA Better Understand Earth-Sun EnvironmentNASA has selected two science missions – the Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE) and HelioSwarm – to help improve our understanding of the dynamics of the Sun, the Sun-Earth connection, and the constantly changing space environment. These missions will provide deeper insights into our universe and offer critical information to help protect astronauts, satellites, and communications signals such as GPS. “MUSE and HelioSwarm will provide new and deeper insight into the solar atmosphere and space weather,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “These missions not only extend the science of our other heliophysics missions—they also provide a unique perspective and a novel approach to understanding the mysteries of our star.”MUSEThe MUSE mission will help scientists understand the forces driving the heating of the Sun’s corona and the eruptions in that outermost region that are at the foundation of space weather. The mission will offer deeper insight into the physics of the solar atmosphere by using a powerful instrument known as a multi-slit spectrometer to observe the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation and obtain the highest resolution images ever captured of the solar transition region and the corona.The mission will also provide complementary observations from heliophysics research such as the Extreme UltraViolet Spectroscopic Telescope and ground-based observatories.“MUSE will help us fill crucial gaps in knowledge pertaining to the Sun-Earth connection,” said Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters. “It will provide more insight into space weather and complements a host of other missions within the heliophysics mission fleet.”The primary goal of the MUSE mission is to investigate the causes of coronal heating and instability, such as flares and coronal mass ejections, and gain insight into the basic plasma properties of the corona. MUSE will obtain high-resolution images of the evolution of solar flare ribbons in a field of view focused on a large, active region on the Sun.The principal investigator for the MUSE mission is Bart DePontieu of the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (LMATC) of Palo Alto, California. This mission has a budget of $192 million. LMATC will provide project management.HelioSwarmThe HelioSwarm mission is a constellation or “swarm” of nine spacecraft that will capture the first multiscale in-space measurements of fluctuations in the magnetic field and motions of the solar wind known as solar wind turbulence. The Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer, the heliosphere, encompasses an enormous region of the solar system. Solar winds spread through the heliosphere, and their interactions with planetary magnetospheres and disruptions such as coronal mass ejections affect their turbulence.Studying solar wind turbulence across large areas requires plasma measurements taken simultaneously from different points in space. HelioSwarm consists of one hub spacecraft and eight co-orbiting small satellites that range in distance from each other and the hub spacecraft. The hub spacecraft will maintain radio contact with each small satellite. All radio contact between the swarm and Earth will be conducted through the hub spacecraft and the NASA Deep Space Network of spacecraft communication antennas.“The technical innovation of HelioSwarm’s small satellites operating together as a constellation provides the unique ability to investigate turbulence and its evolution in the solar wind,” said Peg Luce, deputy director of the Heliophysics Division.The HelioSwarm mission’s principal investigator is Harlan Spence from the University of New Hampshire. The mission’s budget is $250 million. NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, will provide project management. Funding and management oversight for these missions is provided by the Heliophysics Explorers Program, managed by the Explorers Program Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
NASA did not announce when either HelioSwarm or MUSE will launch. In the announcement of opportunity, NASA said that the winning missions had to be ready for launch by February 2026.
Maiden launch teaser video:
Mission IPOLARIS DAWNSpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Polaris Dawn mission from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Dragon and the Polaris Dawn crew will spend up to five days in orbit, flying higher than any Dragon mission to-date and endeavoring to reach the highest Earth orbit ever flown. The crew of Polaris Dawn will conduct a spacewalk, support scientific research designed to advance both human health on Earth and our understanding of human health during future long-duration spaceflights, and be the first to test Starlink laser-based communications in space.Explore Mission IIBuilding upon Polaris Dawn, this mission will continue to expand the boundaries of future human spaceflight missions, in-space communications, and scientific research.Mission IIIThis will be the first-human spaceflight on Starship — the world’s first fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond.Launching Soon
No earlier than the fourth quarter of 2022, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Polaris Dawn mission from historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Dragon and the Polaris Dawn crew will spend up to five days in orbit, during which they will work towards the following objectives
Anna Menon, Scott Poteet, Jared Isaacman, and Sarah Gilles pose with prototypes of Starship vehicles in South Texas. The four will fly into orbit on the Polaris Dawn mission. Credit: Polaris Program / John KrausJared Isaacman, the billionaire businessman who bankrolled the first human space mission with all private citizens last year, announced plans Monday for up to three more SpaceX flights, a privately-funded program that will include the first commercial spacewalk, and ultimately a ride on the giant Starship rocket ship.The first of the missions is scheduled for launch in November or December of this year on a Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule. That flight, called Polaris Dawn, will attempt to reach the highest Earth orbit ever flown by humans, and the farthest anyone has traveled from Earth since the last Apollo moon mission in 1972.“We’re going to go farther into space than humans have gone since we last walked on the moon,” Isaacman told NBC News, which unveiled the Polaris missions on the Today Show Monday morning.Two more missions are part of the Polaris Program, one also using a Crew Dragon spacecraft and another set to be the first human flight on SpaceX’s next-generation Starship space vehicle.The program is aimed at demonstrating new technologies and capabilities in deep space and further exploration of the moon, Mars, and beyond.
Jeff Foust @jeff_foustThe FAA has pushed back the completion of its environmental review for SpaceX Starship orbital launches at Boca Chica by a month, to March 28. The agency “is continuing consultation and coordination with other agencies.”
Orbital Test FlightLaunch TimeNET May, 2022First full-stack launch of Starship and Super Heavy. First Starship launch to attempt to reach orbit.
S4 CROSSOVERLaunch TimeMon Feb 28, 2022 14:30 UTCLV0009
NG-17 February 2022 USCV-4 April 2022 (Crew 4)SpX-25 May 2022NG-18 August 2022SpX-26 October 2022SpX-27 January 2023 NG-19 April 2023
Feb. 20 • Falcon 9 • Starlink 4-8Launch times: 1454 or 1613 GMT (9:54 or 11:13 a.m. EST)Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FloridaA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch with another batch of Starlink internet satellites. [Feb. 14]Late February • Falcon 9 • StarlinkLaunch time: TBDLaunch site: SLC-4E, Vandenberg Space Force Base, CaliforniaA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch with another batch of Starlink internet satellites. [Feb. 2]Early March • Falcon 9 • StarlinkLaunch times: TBDLaunch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, FloridaA SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch with another batch of Starlink internet satellites [Feb. 14]
Tory Bruno @torybrunoNo. We are not bidding.QuoteKevin Maurer @ScribblerSix@torybruno Do you plan to have ULA bid on the NASA procurement to launch the Roman Space Telescope?
Kevin Maurer @ScribblerSix@torybruno Do you plan to have ULA bid on the NASA procurement to launch the Roman Space Telescope?
The first three satellites were slated to launch together on a Falcon 9 at the end of 2021, before being pushed to the first quarter of 2022 — however, SES vice president of external communications Suzanne Ong said the company is now “looking at Q1/Q2 2022” in an email.
USSF-44Launch TimeNET March, 2022First mission to attempt a double droneship landing. First SpaceX mission direct to GEO.VehiclesB1064Flight #1Just Read the InstructionsB1065Flight #1A Shortfall of GravitasB1066Flight #1Expendable
STP-S28ALaunch TimeNET March, 2022
Good Luck, Have FunLaunch TimeNET March, 2022First flight of the Terran-1 rocket.
Flight 2Launch TimeNET March, 2022Second demonstration flight of Firefly Alpha. This mission may carry some educational payloads.
Jeff Foust @jeff_foustJanet Kavandi of Sierra Space says on a commercial LEO destinations panel that the first Dream Chaser launch on a ULA Vulcan is now scheduled for the 1st quarter of 2023, “about a year from now.”