SpaceX, International Space Station, NASA, Falcon 9, Liquid oxygen ship's 2 Major Changes; Vega, Soyuz & Long March Launches; Blue Origin Sues NASA
Rundown with me, weve got some big news to discuss regarding some major redesigns with spacexs starship vehicle. We also saw three successful orbital rocket launches from around the world last week and weve got some very exciting rocket launches planned for the next seven days from spacex, blue origin, astra rocket lab and china. So really dont know why im continuing to waste time with all this intro fluff lets get right to it. Beginning once again, with this weeks, coverage of all stuff starship Music last week began with crews continuing to work on the first starship that spacex planned to send to orbit ship number 20.. The thermal protection system was worked on extensively, with tps tiles being added and replaced across the whole vehicle, and its looking like things are almost complete in this regard. On tuesday, ship 20 was rolled down to sub orbital, pad b placed right alongside a rather stumpy carcass of the former booster 3 prototype in this shot. Here, its missing its upper methane tank, which was removed and subsequently chopped up at the beginning of the week. One can only assume that the remaining liquid oxygen tank was left in place so that spacex could prioritize the move and testing campaign of ship 20.. We can expect to see this testing begin shortly. Our hope was that wed see things begin last week, but after those closures were cancelled, were now looking at the primary testing date of the 24th of august, with back updates on the 25th and 26th were assuming itll, be the standard fare of ambient pressure testing cryo Proofing and then static fire testing, possibly from both the main tanks and the header tanks.
If spacex managed to knock out all of these tests in just a week, then it would be a record for them. But given elons drive to up the production to the rapid rate required to build the multiplanetary starship fleet, i certainly wouldnt be all that surprised to see spacex at least attempt to get all of the testing done in one week. Ship 20 represents the upper stage of the orbital test flight vehicle. The first stage is, of course, booster 4, which right now is sitting inside the high bay, but that could change as early as today monday, the 23rd of august. An intermittent road closure is set for between 9 30 am to 11 30 am which spacex may use to roll booster 4 out to the launch site. Alternatively, they may use this window to roll out some of the cryo shells for the gse tanks. It is important to note, though, that the longer booster 4 hogs up space inside the high bay, the more delay, goes toward the building of booster 5 components of which have been spotted across the construction zone. The high bay is currently the only structure big enough to assemble these gargantuan first stages, so booster fall will need to move out sooner or later. It would be nice to have a bit more space in the high bay, but luckily we already know that spacex plan to build a second, much bigger high bay and rumors currently suggest that this should start having steel erected for it.
As early as september and last week we saw work begin on its foundations. Once this, so called gigabyte is operational, we might see superheavies get built much more rapidly. Time will tell stage 1 and 2 of the orbital rocket aside stage. 0 is also coming along. Well too, stage 0 for those that dont know is the name spacex have assigned to all the launch infrastructure required to support a starship launch, as well as the first and second stage landings. This includes the gigantic launch tower launch, table and all ground support equipment and, of course, mechazilla the incredible arm system that will catch both the super heavy and starship. When they return to the launch zone after flight, we probably wont see mechazilla used for a little while yet certainly not for booster 4 and ship 20, as those will just be landing in the ocean. But we will definitely need the launch tower itself for the first orbital flight test. Work continues on the tower in preparation for the attachment of the quick disconnect arm weve seen a hinge installed on the south side of the tower, in addition to continued work, adding all the necessary piping and cabling to the inside of the structure. Once all these fiddly bits are complete, i imagine itll, take spacex relatively no time at all to get the external cladding in place and well start seeing the tower look a little bit closer in appearance to the amazing renders created by awesome.
Community members, like eric, make sure you check him out on twitter as well as all the other amazing artists that feature in space this week. Links to all are in the description and while youre down there remember to like the video and subscribe most people who watch these videos, arent, subscribed and thats a shame as if you hit that button. You get these videos the second. They come out every single monday, which is the best day to watch them, given just how fast everything is happening down at starbase. They really are only at their most up to date and relevant on the day of upload and, of course, liking and subscribing helps channels to stay alive in the algorithm tm. So it really helps me to continue making this content for you now going back to a few weeks ago, we learned that elon musk wasnt sure if starship would still conduct its in orbit refueling in an end to end configuration, as shown in this official spacex animation. Eric x on twitter created this render as a possible alternative configuration to which we got a helpful double fire. Emoji response not sure if this is a kudos with regards to the amazing artwork or the actual accuracy, but this might be the new way in which starships will dock to refuel. Anyway, weve now learned that starship is facing another big redesign this time to do with its forward flaps elon tweeted that for future ships, the flaps will be shifted further back to be about 120 degrees.
Apart, rather than the current 180 degree separation. Eric was quick with the render here, which looks like a fairly accurate depiction of elons description. The issue with the current configuration is to do with the fact that the hinges for the flaps cant attach directly to the nose cone, because the hinges are straight and the nose cone is curved. So the hinges attach to these static root pieces here which jut out and create drag and since they dont move, they act like permanent air brakes, forcing the nose upwards on re entry and descent spacexs fix for this is to move the flaps up to the side Of the nose cone away from the air stream changing the angle of the static part so that it doesnt affect the airflow quite so much and at the same time, theyre moving the front flaps closer to the tip of the rocket making the whole vehicle a little Bit easier to control, while im a big fan of anything that improves the flight performance and safety of the starship im. Not sure if i like the look of this design compared to the old one from an aesthetic point of view. But ultimately, starship is all about form over function and im certainly interested to see how ship 21 pans out, if spacex, are able to implement this fix for that vehicle anyway, with that said and done, thats about it for all the stuff starship that i wanted to Talk about this week has been a little bit slower compared to the past few weeks of warp 9 insanity, but we can expect to see the craziness start to ramp back up once spacex gained regulatory approval and begin setting a date for the orbital launch.
I just know that its going to be incredible anyway, with starship covered lets, take a look at what else was happening last week across the rest of the space industry Music. Last week we saw three successful orbital rocket launches, the first of which took to the skies in the early hours of the 17th of august. This was an ariane space operated vega rocket, which launched from the french guiana space center in south america. The primary payload was a pleiades neo4, a european earth observation satellite by airbus, defense and space, in addition to the primary payload, the rocket also carried four cubesats, a french signals, intelligence, cubesat, an italian education cubesat from the university of rome, a hungarian space, weather cubesat and Finally, a finished cubesat that was also designed for space weather monitoring. I am pleased to say that all five satellites successfully deployed to low earth orbit and all are now operational. The second launch of the week took place the next day. This was the latest long march 4b launched from china, which launched two earth observation satellites to low earth orbit from the taion launch center long march is a pretty reliable series of rockets and so its no surprise to see that this launch went without a hitch and Both satellites deployed successfully, the final orbital launch of last week was a soyuz 2.1 b, which was operated jointly by aryan space and starsem. A french russian company founded to commercialize the soyuz launcher the rocket launched from the baikonur cosmodrome carrying the next 34 one web communication.
Satellites inside its payload fairing, while one web has still got a little bit of catching up to do to reach starlink numbers its nonetheless making steady progress. This launch brought its in orbit mega constellation to 288 satellites, bolstering onewebs position as the second largest satellite fleet in orbit aside from launches, we also had an extra vehicular activity last week. This was at the chinese shenzhou 12 space station. This saw crew members, nai, hai, shang and leo bowming. I really hope i set those names right conduct the stations second spacewalk to install footsteps and a workbench to the stations robotic arm, as well as a pump set for its thermal control system and to conduct work on the panoramic. Camera were expecting to see a space walk from the international space station very soon, but i guess in order to talk about that, and indeed all the other cool stuff happening this week, i need to roll the transition to the videos, third and final segment, all the Dates to mark in your diary for the next seven days, Music well begin with the orbital launches expected this week tomorrow. On the 24th of august, we should be seeing the latest long march flight from china along march 2c, taking flight from the jukwan launch site in china, which will carry two communication satellites to low earth orbit. Next up, we have a very exciting one. The third rocket three orbital launch attempt weve been following astras development of their small sat launcher for a long time now, on space this week, theyve so far made two orbital launch attempts.
The first one ended rather abruptly when the first stage engine failed and the rocket came tumbling back down to the ground in rather explosive fashion. The second launch went much better, almost getting all the way into orbit, but just failing at the last moment. I think its a fairly safe bet that this time astra will get their vehicle all the way into orbit. With this attempt, though, it would be nice to maybe get an official live stream of the launch, rather than just a series of admittedly charmingly enthusiastic tweets for each major milestone of the flight. The rocket is all ready to go at the alaskan launch, site and im sure youll. All join me in wishing astra the very best of luck. The day after rocket 3 on the 28th of august well see the next spacex falcon 9 launch the primary payload. For this mission will be a spacex crew, resupply vehicle, which will make its way to the international space station, carrying an assortment of equipment and experiments to the station joining the cargo dragon for the launch will also be three cubesats. A british signals, intelligence, prototype, cubesat, an australian technology demonstration cubesat and an american education cubesat its been a little while, since we got to bear witness to a falcon 9 launch, so im, definitely looking forward to watching this one. The final launch of the week will be rocket labs latest electron mission, titled love at first insight, which will be the second of four dedicated launches for black sky and american geospatial intelligence service.
The rocket will carry two of black skys earth observation satellites to low earth orbit. However, right now, we dont have a confirmed, launch date and time for this mission beyond a vague late august window, since this week contains all but two of the remaining days for august 2021, theres a fairly reasonable chance that itll launch over the next seven days. But definitely keep checking rocket lab social media for updates. Regarding this one and now its time to talk about everyones, favorite, fairground, ride, builder blue origin, theyll be launching their only rocket theyve ever managed to build in their 21 years of existence to a sub orbital trajectory. Because, despite being an older company than spacex, theyve still never built a single orbital rocket. Yes, im talking about new shepard flight 17, which will carry 18 commercial payloads inside the crew, capsule 11 of which are nasa supported, as well as an art installation by ghanian artist. Amuako boafo, which will be on the exterior of the capsule. I shouldnt be too harsh on new shepard to be fair, its built and operated by a very talented and dedicated team. I think a lot of us are just becoming increasingly disillusioned to blue origin after their behavior towards nasa and spacex, following spacex winning the human landing system contract. It started out with the production of infographics talking about mission features that were quickly either explained away or just completely debunked, by elon, musk and now last week they declared that they would be suing nasa and therefore, by extension, the american taxpayer.
This frankly, bizarre move to sue nasa will presumably tank blue origins, reputation in the eyes of the agency and give them cause to think twice about considering blue origin for any future space contract. This lawsuit isnt just alienating the general public, but also it would seem that its leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of those who actually work at the company too, take nitin aurora a lead engineer in blue origins, human landing system team, who announced that he was Leaving the company and jumping ship to spacex now theres every chance that the timing of this was just a coincidence, but i think we need to face the fact that blue origin has existed for two decades now yet has never placed a single payload in orbit. Nor do they have a single orbital class rocket to show for their lengthy existence in less time. Spacex have built four orbital glass rockets, falcon 1, falcon 9 falcon heavy and, of course, starship and while yes, starship, has not flown yet its. Certainly, a lot closer to launch than new glenn were talking only a few weeks until its made in flight im, just glad that spacex have their own interests in starship development, so that this lawsuit shouldnt affect the development of starship too much. But its a shame that blue origin turned to litigation and hit pieces, rather than actually demonstrating that theyre capable of actually building rockets. That can do actually useful things rather than let their owner dress up like a cowboy and play with ping pong balls.
But you know im still excited for new glenn. At the end of the day, all competition is good and it does look like it would be a pretty cool vehicle to watch. But man come on blue origin, get it together anyway, kind of long tangent about blue origin. Out of the way i mentioned earlier that this week wed see another space walk from the international space station. This will take place on the 24th of august and will last just under seven hours. Crew members, akihiko, hoshide and mark hay will embark on a spacewalk to install a bracket to the port for truss ahead of the next iss rollout solar array, delivery, heres hoping this all goes well, but i think thats it for all the launches and news that i Wanted to touch on this week, though, im sure more stuff will transpire as the days go by and well have even more things to reflect on in next mondays episode of space. This week, if youd, like your name and light on the next episode, just like the fine folk on the left right, there then do consider signing up to my patreon to help support the channel or, of course, you could always join the channel using the button below The video and get a host of custom emojis to use in the comments and, of course you get an exclusive membership badge next to your name. So everyone knows that youre just better than them and you get these videos one day early as well, so whats not to love anyway guys.
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