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More details on reasons for delay:

Boeing’s first crewed Starliner flight is delayed till at least the summer, NASA said today.

Debate over spacecraft batteries, other items and last-minutes tests of Starliner’s backup flight software made its late April launch window a no-go

Boeing’s first crewed Starliner flight is delayed till at least the summer, NASA said today.

Debate over spacecraft batteries, other items and last-minutes tests of Starliner’s backup flight software made its late April launch window a no-go

This might be Zack's best deep dive yet.
Jax is quite good as the ring watcher guy. His study of the reinforcements they've made to the aft barrel sections and qd panel on all the ships through 30 was most enlightening. If 24 fails in flight at that section of the structure, then they'll have to redo them all again, or skip to 31.
So, um, how real is this?

Saying LEO space industry is a EU strategic need now is good but, it feels like fear of missing out (FOMO)

It's almost saying x-prize or commercial cargo/crew/station open contracting.  But is ESA really willing to back that? They would have to openly declare a commercial station spec (or more accurately a EU/ESA module hosting spec since commercial providers would build the base hosting station), plus cargo upmass/downmass spec with late load, plus astronaut rotation spec. Adding an RLV requirement will force some innovation and/or merging of commercial startups.

They would also have to dual provider everything to/in LEO, with both providers preferentially EU based. Beyond LEO might be single provider.

So at a minimum, this smells like slapping Arianespace down a level while pulling up Avio to have the fig leaf of two primary providers, and thus anoint two official EU commercial space providers. All the light/medium rocket people will have to fight for table scraps. Plus where does that leave EHLL and Argonaut? Are they going to treat a european moon landing the same way as HLS?

One way to go about it is to unilaterally declare an equatorial LEO EU strategic propellant reserve need. That needs at least two depots, and you can accrete a man tended station onto one and a fulltime manned station onto the other. Tweaking the mass specs for some ESA modules (say crew accommodation) to be attached to the depots to require a Starship scale RLV forces everyone to up their game for EHLL, but still leaves medium lift a market for delivering small unit payloads that can work as commercial modules, plus astronaut delivery. With EHLL class RLV providers and a propellant depot, supporting EU moon landings is comparatively easier (and comparatively easy to drop as an overbudget prestige program while leaving a stable LEO industrial foundation for commercial work).

There's also another path, if you assume EU alone can't support dual commercial providers. EU is not the only group feeling FOMO. With ISS partners feeling like tag alongs on Artemis and getting functionally ejected from ISS as 2030 approaches, there is a stage being set for the EU and Japan. They may feel individually they can't support multiple providers to properly incubate a commercial space industry. Getting ESA and JAXA to jointly commit to a strategic propellant reserve could split the difference, with each partner committing to supply one domestic commercial provider of the same spec at least, thus resulting in at a minimum 2 providers. This assumes two medium-ish commercial providers (A6 and H3) in the short term, Avio possibly competeing from the EU side, and assorted startups, while long term at least one EHLL class RLV. EHLL ostensibly is being pursued for two reasons, having a EU "Le Starship", and SPS building. Both ESA and JAXA have declared SPS research.
Polls Section / Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2023
« Last post by Comga on 03/23/2023 09:49 pm »
Here is my analysis of this year's SpaceX launches poll.
Same method as previous years.  Least squares fit of a Gaussian to the data points.
Adaptation for new groupings-of-five is to use the central value i.e. 83 for the 81 to 85 bracket, etc..
The mean of the Gaussian fit is 91.3, and the arithmetic mean is 89.1.
The Poll does indicates a lack of faith in SpaceX reaching Musk's target of 100 launches.
Only 6 votes were for more than 100 launches.
On the other hand, the least number voted for was the low 60's, so none of us expect SpaceX to launch fewer time in 2023 than they did in 2022. 
Again, the voting was brisk at the start, slowed after 2 days, then dropped to a trickle.
The concensus formed early and the few votes after that, including a small number of votes that were held until close to the end, didn't make a big difference.
FWIW There seemed to be a slight preference for the "even" fives, N6-N0 vs "odd" fives, N1-N5, like there was preference for even numbers in previous polls. ;)

edit: repost with fixed graph lables
Oh, you love to drink the kool-aide, just not this flavor.
ISS Section / Re: Expedition 68 Thread
« Last post by ddspaceman on 03/23/2023 09:37 pm »
Crew Talk Space With Students, Investigate Fire Control, and Continue Heart Health and Cargo Return Activities

Heidi Lavelle Posted on March 23, 2023

Since the earliest days of the International Space Station expeditions, student groups in schools, camps, museums, and planetariums have had the opportunity to talk with astronauts aboard the orbital laboratory about career choices and science activities. On Thursday, NASA Flight Engineer Woody Hoburg conducted an ISS Ham Radio (ARISS) session with Lana’i High and Elementary School, in Lana’i City, Hawaii.  Hoburg also bioprinted cells for the BFF-Meniscus-2, an investigation to print and culture a meniscus using the BioFabrication facility aboard the space station.

NASA Flight Engineer Frank Rubio replaced experiment samples in the Combustion Integrated Rack located in the U.S. Destiny module for the Solid Fuel Ignition and Extinction – Growth and Extinction Limit (SOFi) investigation. SOFi measures the amount of heating in a fuel sample to determine how fuel temperature affects material flammability in microgravity. Results could improve understanding of early fire growth behavior in space and help determine optimal fire suppression techniques.

Rubio also checked the Veg-05 plants and collected detached tomatoes to weigh. The plant botany study is the next step in addressing the need for a food production system in space. The Vegetable Production System supplies crew members with a continuous source of fresh food and a tool for relaxation and recreation.

NASA Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen spent his day wearing the Bio-Monitor garment and headband as part of a 48-hour session. The instrument is equipped with sensors to measure physiological parameters to assess the effect of space travel on heart health.

Flight Engineer Sultan Alneyadi from UAE (United Arab Emirates) injected the Cardinal Heart 2.0 with a preservative inside the Life Sciences Glovebox, a sealed work area in the space station where crew members perform developmental biology experiments. The investigation uses heart organoids to study the effects of clinical drugs on improving the function of heart cells exposed to microgravity.

Flight Engineer Andrey Fedyaev of Roscosmos continued to replace the condensate evacuation lines that carry away excess moisture from the cabin atmosphere. Meanwhile, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin prepared cargo to return in the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, slated to undock from the station’s Rassvet module on March 28.

The big island of Hawaii and its two snow-capped volcanos, (from left) the active Mauna Loa and the dormant Mauna Kea, are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean on March 6, 2023.
SpaceX Reusability / Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Last post by alugobi on 03/23/2023 09:28 pm »
The thinking might be, that they're going to have to tear out the surface anyway in order to install the deluge manifolds, so let the first launch soften it up a little for the jack hammers.

Rocket Lab recovery ship Seaworker is en route to the Electron booster splashdown site!

Liftoff is set for 3:45am ET Friday morning.
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