On the surface of the moon, nasa revealed that blue origin would be modifying its new shepard suborbital launch vehicle to add moon gravity approximation via rotation of the spacecraft’s capsule new shepard’s crew capsule will use reaction, control thrusters to spin at a rate of 11 revolutions per Minute effectively turning it into one big centrifuge, it will mean that objects inside will experience a gravitational force very close to that found on the lunar surface. While nasa can perform extensive testing in microgravity on the international space station and for shorter periods on suborbital vehicles and vomit comet airplane, it is far more difficult to perform tests in reduced gravity according to nasa. Apart from providing a reduced gravity, environment, new shepard will provide two benefits that none of the existing methods can match. Firstly, it can provide a longer duration flight offering over two minutes of continuous artificial moon gravity exposure. Secondly, new shepard’s crew capsule has a larger payload capacity, which will unlock experimental capabilities that are currently impossible. Just due to space restrictions, nasa said in its announcement that the first lunar gravity, new shepard flight would be in late 2022. Nasa has purchased about half the payload space on a lunar gravity flight and supported developing the capability as part of a contract task value to 2.69 million dollars. The lunar gravity simulation will enable the agency to test and de risk innovations critical to achieving the goals of the artemis program, as well as lunar, surface exploration and moon bound commercial applications according to nasa.

The mission will also support future crude launches to mars, which is a gravity that’s just over one. Third, as strong as it is here. The u.s space force awarded united launch alliance and spacex contracts for four national security missions, scheduled for 2023 united launch alliance. One task orders for the ussf 112 and ussf 87 missions. Both launches will use ula’s next generation balkan centaur rocket, which will take off from cape canaveral space force station. In florida. The contracts awarded to ula are valued at nearly 224 million dollars. The ussf 112 mission is scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2023, while the ussf ussf 87 mission is due for liftoff in the third quarter of 2023. The space force did not disclose any details about what satellites the missions will carry united launch alliance. Ceo tori bruno tweeted that both missions will target delivery of their military payloads in high energy orbits spacex won task orders for launches of the ussf 36 and nrol69 missions carrying payloads for the space force in the national reconnaissance office. Spacex’S contracts are valued at 160 million dollars. The spacex missions will launch on falcon 9 rockets with one taking off from cape canaveral and the other from vandenberg air force base in california. The ussf 36 mission is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2023, and the nrol69 mission has a launch date in the third quarter of 2023. The task orders were issued under the national security space launch phase 2 contracts awarded to ula and spacex in august 2020.

Those two contracts are intended to support more than 30 heavy lift launches from fiscal year 2022 through 2027. According to the contract, announcement, ula will receive 60 percent of the launch orders with spacex taking the remaining 40 percent. Russia and china signed a memorandum of understanding on tuesday to set up an international lunar research station. Jan head of the china national space administration and dimitri rogison general director of raz cosmos, signed the document during a virtual meeting on march 9th. The international lunar research station is described as a comprehensive scientific experiment base built on the lunar surface that can carry out multi disciplinary and multi objective scientific research activities. The lunar research station activities include lunar exploration and utilization lunar based observations, basic scientific experiments, technical verifications and long term autonomous operations. Russia and china will promote international cooperation on the project and offer equal access to any nation that wants to take part. The station will be situated in the lunar south pole region and will be developed through several upcoming, robotic missions across the 2020s and expanded through the 2030s. According to china, in the early 2030s, an expanded lunar research station will involve long term, robotic and potentially short term crude missions. This will be followed by a long term. Human presence at the lunar south pole in the early 2040s roz cosmo, said in a statement that russia and china will jointly develop a roadmap for the creation of the station and conduct close interaction and planning design, development, implementation and operation of the project.

According to raz cosmos officials, the goal of a lunar station with china will be to strengthen scientific cooperation and promote the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes in the interests of all mankind. As of now, neither china nor russia provided a targeted timeline for the lunar research station. China successfully launched a new generation long march 7 air rocket carrying a shield 9 experimental satellite from the wenchang spacecraft launch site. The payload was a classified technology, verification satellite developed by the china academy of space technology. The satellite will be mainly used for in orbit verification tests of new technologies such as space, environmental monitoring. The long march 7 air rocket used for the mission is a variant of long march 7 rocket which debuted in 2016 and has launched two missions to lower earth orbit long march 7 is a 60 meter. Long 3.35 meters diameter launch vehicle with four side boosters and is capable of delivering up to seven metric tons of payload to geosynchronous transfer orbit. The rocket use, rp1 is fuel and liquid oxygen is oxidizer. The 7a variant employs the boosters and the first two stages of the base, configuration and add to this a third stage that employs two cryogenic yf 75 engines operating on liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The rocket is primarily designed to launch satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit with the potential of being upgraded to the moon, mars and asteroid exploration in the future. China’S first attempt at launching the long march 7a ended in a failure on march 2020 due to an engine malfunction that occurred shortly.

After first stage. Separation designed as a replacement of the long march 2f rocket long march 7 and its variants are expected to be the workhorse of the fleet, eventually accounting for around 70 percent of all chinese launches. China expects to launch three to five long march 7 air rockets. Every year, before 2025 now let’s discuss some of the major starship updates. From the past week, less than five days after starship serial number 10’s high altitude test, flight spacex has rolled its successor serial number 11 from the build site to the launch site. As you can see, spacex has installed a lot more heat tiles over the tank section of sn 11 compared to that of sn10s. After arriving at the launch site, spacex’s massive crane, dubbed bluto lifted sn11 and gently lowered it over the starship launch pad b. Spacex has already installed three raptor engines on sn11 and these three engines will perform at least one static fire test before the test flight of serial number 11.. Before sn 11 was placed onto the launch mount spacex employees lowered each landing leg and tested them to make sure they would deploy properly during the landing attempt. Serial number 10 had a landing leg issue during its test flight, where three of the six landing legs failed to lock properly after deploying spacex conducted the first cryogenic proof test of sn 11 on march 11, loading the propellant tanks with liquid nitrogen. The test verified the vehicle’s health by simulating the extreme cold of liquid methane and oxygen propellant without the risk of an explosion or violent fire.

The most exciting part of the cryo proof was a test of sn11’s attitude control system. The test involved firing each of the ship’s several cold gas, nitrogen thrusters. In a total of several dozen bursts, starship uses those thrusters to control itself to perform flip maneuvers during suborbital launch and landing attempts. If the cryoproof test was successful and it gave spacex enough data, it needs about the health and performance of sn11. Spacex will potentially attempt the first triple engine static fire of sn 11. As early as monday, recently spacex ceo elon musk shared updates on the anomaly that occurred during the test flight of starship serial number 10.. According to him, sn 10’s engine was low on thrust, probably due to helium ingestion from the fuel header tank into the engines. Sn10 impacted at a velocity of 10 meters per second crushing its legs and part of the skirt header tanks are secondary fuel tanks inside the starship, which stores propellant for landing burn. Starship has two such header tanks, one that holds liquid oxygen and the other holds liquid methane after starship sn8’s landing failure on december, 8th spacex concluded that low pressure inside the liquid methane header tank was largely to blame as a solution to this problem. They decided to pump pressurized helium into the header tank to maintain the pressure required for an uninterrupted landing burn. It now appears that this pressurized helium was the culprit behind the anomaly that happened on march 3rd elon musk thinks that some of the pressurized helium moved into one or more raptor engines of sn10, as it emptied the methane header tank.

As a result, engine thrust dropped below expected values preventing the vehicle from slowing down for a soft landing. The helium leak into the engine could also be the cause of the fire, which can be seen around sn10 during its landing attempt. It is speculated that this fire would be the cause of the explosion of sn10 musk added that spacex is currently working on multiple fixes for the issue, so that it does not affect the landing attempt of sn11. Last week, elon musk discussed some unorthodox starship landing methods. In a twitter thread in which he was asked about how future versions of the starship prototypes would be improved, musk suggested future starships would not necessarily have to land themselves on the ground instead could be caught mid air by launch towers, the same as super heavy boosters Space content creator, everyday astronaut, asked musk whether the spacex team had considered removing starship’s landing gear and using the weight. This would save to replace the gear with extra flaps, which would slow the spacecraft down enough to be caught with the net musk replied. This would have been possible and spacex had talked about that internally and concluded that it would not have saved enough weight to have made the landing method worthwhile. In a recent tweet musk suggested that spacex use transparent aluminum for starships windows. What he mentioned in his tweet was aluminium oxy, natrade, a transparent ceramic compass of aluminium oxygen and nitrogen. It is more than eighty percent optically transparent to the visible light and is four times as hard as fused silica glass, its optical and mechanical properties, make this material a leading candidate for lightweight high performance, transparent armor applications such as blast resistant windows in a separate tweet.

Mr musk mentioned that, if all goes according to the plan, spacex will do approximately 75 percent of the total earth payload to orbit with falcon 9 this year. He added that a single starship is designed to do in a day what all rockets on earth currently do in a year. According to him, spacex’s fundamental constraint is mass to orbit per unit time and last year, spacex launched roughly double the payload mass of the rest of the world with plans for the upcoming years in hand. Spacex recently celebrated a year of great work at boca chica with a spectacular firework. The recent report suggests that spacex plans to expand its starship launch site at boca chica by acquiring more lands, an overlaid image of the proposed expansion plan and a recent aerial shot by rgv aerial photography will give us an insight into the modifications that spacex is currently Planning, apart from the orbital launch pad, which is presently under construction, spacex plans to build yet another orbital launch pad at the launch site. They also plan to build a landing pad in the southwest corner of the launch site. This will bring up the total number of landing pads to two. The project includes a tank farm to support orbital launch pad b and an air separation unit to separate oxygen and nitrogen from the atmosphere check out the link in the description for a high resolution. Image of this expansion plan in a recent aerial image captured by rgv aerial photography, we can see that the foundation pilings for the orbital launch tower near the orbital launch.

Mount starship, orbital launch tower will be a massive structure capable of raising and lowering the starship. Above the super heavy booster now let’s discuss what’s happening at the starship construction site. Spacex is currently working to stack the tank sections of super heavy prototype booster bn1 inside the high bay propellant storage tanks are being installed near. The orbital launch mount to support the flights of the super heavy booster in a recent tweet. Mr musk mentioned that the high bay would soon have an elevator on its sides and a glass floor for the proposed 360 degree. Glass star bar starship, serial numbers, 15 and 16 are currently being stacked inside the mid bay according to elon musk serial number 15 and subsequent starship prototypes will receive major upgrades now. Let’S take a look at the current status of various starship prototypes. With the help of this illustration, from brendan lewis, engine skirts of starship serial numbers, 18 and 20 were spotted at the construction site. Last week. Engine skirt covers the otherwise exposed raptor engines of starship prototype and they also enclose six landing legs of the starship watch. Our previous videos on the playlist to get updates on other starship prototypes link in the description with this. We have covered all the major updates from last week.