Author Topic: Astra Space  (Read 262943 times)

Offline sanman

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #20 on: 02/18/2018 07:43 pm »
Additive manufacturing and other advances have changed the limits slightly.

Unfortunately 3D printing surface finishes are still an issue, and doing 5 axis milling to do finishing work at small scale is still a pain.

I remember reading about how a key concern with mechanical heart valves is that any surface roughness can lead to unwanted coagulation and downstream thrombosis/blockages, which can be very damaging if not fatal.
One novel design deliberately used a rough surface that would cause platelets to clot and stick to the surface, so that this would then result in a smoother clot-covered surface.

I wonder if that approach could be taken toward generating a smooth surface finish for certain 3d-printed parts? Maybe some surfactant coating material with the right properties could achieve this.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #21 on: 02/18/2018 08:55 pm »
Judging by the fact that they appear to be already performing static fire tests with an integrated, full-scale vehicle, one wouldn't be hard pressed to argue that they are further along than Vector, if not Virgin Orbit as well. I'm impressed that they managed to stay so utterly silent...

They appear to be the opposite to Vector. More substance than talk.

Vector's got to be careful... all their hype over the last year seems to have been intended to make them seem ahead of the pack. But they will likely be behind several competitors.

Online vaporcobra

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #22 on: 02/18/2018 09:32 pm »
Judging by the fact that they appear to be already performing static fire tests with an integrated, full-scale vehicle, one wouldn't be hard pressed to argue that they are further along than Vector, if not Virgin Orbit as well. I'm impressed that they managed to stay so utterly silent...

They appear to be the opposite to Vector. More substance than talk.

Vector's got to be careful... all their hype over the last year seems to have been intended to make them seem ahead of the pack. But they will likely be behind several competitors.

My favorite kind of company. Do good work and let results speak for themselves :) Vector is very nearly vaporware, at least in the sense that a huge proportion of the hardware they've currently tested/publicized appear to have been subcontracted. Time will tell if that is the case, I will be floored if they actually make an orbital attempt before 2019

Offline Nomic

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #23 on: 02/19/2018 10:06 am »
Quote
Have 2-10 years of industry experience with pressurized systems, with an understanding of factors of safety and operational safety at 6000+ psi
Damn, that's like 400+ atm...

That is from a test engineer role, aren't He cylinders usually 6k psi? Cant see any mentions of stage combustion in the other roles.

Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #24 on: 02/19/2018 02:29 pm »
Not staged combustion. The presentation that was posted shows RP1/LOX pumps on a single shaft with the motor in the middle of the shaft. It's slighly lower thrust than the Rutherford. They actually might be driven on separate motors/shafts based on the low res pictures in the presentation (I'm interpreting the red and green cylinders as motors)

The N2 or HE tanks they use as the tank pressurant are at 6000+ psi.

Offline gongora

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #25 on: 03/21/2018 01:15 am »
[Space News] Alaskan spaceport to host secretive commercial launch
Quote
An Alaskan spaceport will host the first launch of a rocket developed by a stealthy startup company as soon as next week, spaceport officials confirmed March 20.

Alaska Aerospace Corp., which operates Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island, said the launch period for the flight of the unidentified vehicle runs from March 27 to April 6.
...
I can only say PSCA is conducting a launch operation called P120 and it is a commercial California company, said Barry King, director of range operations for Alaska Aerospace, in a March 20 email.
...
King did state that the launch would be suborbital and that, being a commercial launch, would require a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administrations Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

Keep an eye out for a launch license being issued.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2018 01:15 am by gongora »

Online vaporcobra

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #26 on: 03/21/2018 03:10 am »
[Space News] Alaskan spaceport to host secretive commercial launch
Quote
An Alaskan spaceport will host the first launch of a rocket developed by a stealthy startup company as soon as next week, spaceport officials confirmed March 20.

Alaska Aerospace Corp., which operates Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island, said the launch period for the flight of the unidentified vehicle runs from March 27 to April 6.
...
I can only say PSCA is conducting a launch operation called P120 and it is a commercial California company, said Barry King, director of range operations for Alaska Aerospace, in a March 20 email.
...
King did state that the launch would be suborbital and that, being a commercial launch, would require a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administrations Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

Keep an eye out for a launch license being issued.

I have a lot of respect for their silent approach, especially when contrasted with Vector's.

Still hope they give those of us on the sidelines a few breadcrumbs ;D

Offline input~2

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #27 on: 03/21/2018 11:50 am »
Here is the referenced navigational warning:

***UPDATED NOTICE***
The dates have changed, positions remain the same as previously published. A rocket launch is scheduled from the Pacific Spaceport Complex
located at Narrow Cape, Kodiak Island, Alaska, sometime between March 26th - April 6th, 2018. The following caution areas have been provided
by Alaska Aerospace.
Caution Area A consists of a polygon defined by lines connecting the following points:
A. 5707N, 15216W
B. 5656N, 15222W
C. 5657N, 15237W
D. 5710N, 15234W
E. 5727N, 15223W
F. 5728N, 15219W
G. 5726N, 15215W
H. 5724N, 15214W
I. Return to point A
Caution Area B consists of a polygon defined by lines connecting the following points:
A. 5011N, 15554W
B. 5036N, 15611W
C. 5038N, 15611W
D. 5124N, 15547W
E. 5122N, 15259W
F. 5059N, 15301W
G. 5058N, 15301W
H. 5041N, 15307W
I. 5040N, 15309W
J. 5011N, 15551W
H. Return to point A
Mariners are advised to remain clear of these areas during the duration of operations.

Offline ringsider

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #28 on: 03/21/2018 10:25 pm »
Astra PSCA Launch Program

Astra is moving forward with weekly planning telecons and have submitted a draft Operations Requirements (OR) for our review.   Astra will bring their Launch Operations Control Center (LOCC) to PSCA and will be as independent as  possible. 
They have  made a $100K deposit to secure the  launch date, possibly February or later. 


Usual source.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #29 on: 03/22/2018 07:37 am »
Quote
Have 2-10 years of industry experience with pressurized systems, with an understanding of factors of safety and operational safety at 6000+ psi
Damn, that's like 400+ atm...
It is.
But that's in the range for main tank pressurization systems.
Which the USAF range rules will measure in lbs of TNT equivalent.  :o

Otherwise that's staged combustion preburner territory.

Very sporty.
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper cheap

Offline Athrithalix

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #30 on: 03/22/2018 08:29 am »
That's odd, so along with a name change it appears that Ventions has changed their style of vehicle, I'm sure I remember something saying that they were planning an air-launched vehicle from Florida?

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #31 on: 03/22/2018 10:06 am »
That's odd, so along with a name change it appears that Ventions has changed their style of vehicle, I'm sure I remember something saying that they were planning an air-launched vehicle from Florida?

They had developed SALVO for DARPA as a pathfinder for the larger ALASA launch vehicle to learn, how to operate a quick reaction air launch system effectively. With ALASA cancelled, there was no need to stick to air launch.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/salvo.htm

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #32 on: 03/22/2018 12:22 pm »
The 6000psi is likely in reference to their pressurization system, ie COPVs.
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #33 on: 03/24/2018 10:56 am »
The 6000psi is likely in reference to their pressurization system, ie COPVs.
That would be my guess. IIRC it's toward the top end of such systems.

I came across an old mfg paper during Apollo work was don to "Cryoform" high pressure tanks and spheres in SS301, by putting them in a pit of LN2, then "blowing them up" like a balloon (with 10 000psi LN2) to stress the inside of the tank.

They estimated this was 1/18 the cost of making them in Titanium, but I'm not sure if COPV's were even cheaper or lighter.

These days those tanks are often in the main propellant tanks. It's an interesting question if they vent fast enough (heavy use) could they freeze a layer of propellant onto the tank?
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper cheap

Offline input~2

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #34 on: 03/25/2018 03:44 pm »
21 March 2018 LNM: 12/18
***UPDATED NOTICE***
The dates remain the same as published in LNM 11/18. The positions remain the same for Caution Area A as previously published but the positions for Caution Area B have been changed.
A rocket launch is scheduled from the Pacific Spaceport Complex located at Narrow Cape, Kodiak Island, Alaska, sometime between March 26th - April 6th, 2018. The following caution areas have been provided by Alaska Aerospace.
Caution Area A consists of a polygon defined by lines connecting the following points:
A. 5707N, 15216W
B. 5656N, 15222W
C. 5657N, 15237W
D. 5710N, 15234W
E. 5727N, 15223W
F. 5728N, 15219W
G. 5726N, 15215W
H. 5724N, 15214W
I. Return to point A
Caution Area B consists of a polygon defined by lines connecting the following points:
A. 524048N, 1563336 W
B. 5157N, 1522248W
C. 485812N, 1532548W
D. 500N, 1583748W
E. RETURN TO POINT A
Mariners are advised to remain clear of these areas during the duration of operations.
« Last Edit: 03/25/2018 04:07 pm by input~2 »

Offline Andy Bandy

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #35 on: 03/27/2018 07:12 pm »
Some more detailed information about Astra Space, including a table detailing $21 million in government funding.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/ventionsastra-space/

Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #36 on: 03/27/2018 07:19 pm »
Some more detailed information about Astra Space, including a table detailing $21 million in government funding.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/ventionsastra-space/

I wonder if Rocket Lab could have bid for those NASA contracts regarding electric pump cryogenic engines. Because Rutherford seems to fit the bill of what they are asking, and have flight legacy under the belt.

Offline Andy Bandy

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #37 on: 03/28/2018 06:16 pm »
Some more detailed information about Astra Space, including a table detailing $21 million in government funding.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/ventionsastra-space/

I wonder if Rocket Lab could have bid for those NASA contracts regarding electric pump cryogenic engines. Because Rutherford seems to fit the bill of what they are asking, and have flight legacy under the belt.

A lot of the smaller contracts from NASA are Small Business Innovation Research awards. That's not really a bidding situation; basically you submit a proposal to develop some technology and NASA chooses you for an award if the proposal is good. NASA funds a large number of awards in different categories for Phase I, fewer projects in Phase II at higher funding levels, and a handful of commercially viable projects in Phase III.

My understanding of Rocket Lab is that they started in New Zealand but has since set up operations in the USA. So, the U.S. operation would be eligible for the program. Rocket Lab also has an agreement with the U.S. government to cover issues relating to tech transfer for launching from New Zealand.

Offline brussell

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #38 on: 03/29/2018 02:49 am »
Looks like Vector is in the Kodiak spaceport right now

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/978813704035692544

So is it Astra or Vector the secret space company getting ready to launch? The plot thickens...

Offline brussell

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #39 on: 03/29/2018 02:51 am »

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