Archive for the 'SpaceX' Category

August 4th, 2022, was one of the most active launch days in recent memory. The Talking Space Team attempts to check all the boxes bringing a little insight into each one, including some launch audio from the Mighty AtalsV that carried the SIBRSGEO 6 into orbit and the scream of the Falcon 9 as it took South Korea’s KPLO probe to the Moon. 

 We briefly discuss some debris left from a Chinese rocket that showered down on the Philippines and some flotsam from the SpaceX Crew-1 Trunk that impacted an Australian sheep paddock.  

The war in Ukraine has impacted everything for the worse. The repercussions have been felt far and wide, and the space sector has not been immune. The Northrup Grumman Antares 230 launch vehicle is another victim of the war; the fabrication shop for its core stage located in Ukraine was destroyed. With only enough parts to assemble two more rockets, Northrup Grumman has a plan for a domestic version of Antares, which will take an unusual alliance of a bold new corporate venture and an old lion ready to learn new tricks. 

Speaking of Russia, is Roscosmos leaving the International Space Station Partnership like the mainstream media is saying? We provide real context around the story.

Artemis -1, the first launch of a new program to return humans to the Moon, create a sustainable presence there, and move on to Mars, is set for an August 29th launch attempt. We discuss the mission objectives for this first flight, the non-human crew, and the implications for this test flight. 

Dr. Kat Robeson brings a NASA JPL article to our attention concerning the Antarctic Ice Shelf and the loss of mass it may have experienced. We also mention that on the day we recorded ( August 11th ), operational control of the  Landsat 9 Earth Observation Satellite was turned over to the US Geological Survey from NASA. We end the show reminding all that while exploring the heavens is a vital part of space, looking down at our planet is just as critical. 

 

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Dr Kat Robison & Gene Mikulka 

Engineer and Editor: Mark Ratterman 

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On a very SpaceX-centric edition of Talking Space to start 2022, The team looks at the SpaceX Polaris Program that hopes to test elements needed for operating the SpaceX Starship, including the first Extra-Vehicular Activity or Spacewalk for a private space mission.

We take a look at the SpaceX Starship update event held at the SpaceX Boca Chica, Texas, on February 11th, which was heavy on theater but light on news. There are also questions on the future status of the SpaceX Boca Chica location (AKA “Starbase”) due to environmental concerns, and the FAA has pushed back the decision on certifying the location for launching orbital flight missions due to the number of petitions filed. We explore the reasons for the controversy.

There has been a delay in the rollout of the Space Launch System rocket for the Artemis 1 mission, and we explore the reasons for the delay.

We wrap up with some good news on the International Space Station mission receiving an extension into the year 2030 and the progress being made on the commissioning of the James Webb Space Telescope.

All this on this first edition of Talking Space for 2022!

Show recorded: 2-14-2022

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

 

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If it seemed like average people flying into space was something from the future, this episode is proof that the future is now...or is it?

In this episode of Talking Space, we start with the launch of the first all-civilian orbital mission, Inspiration 4. We report what it was like from the grounds of the press site (including some fantastic Falcon 9 launch audio) and the reception it received from the public. However it's not all cheers to a new era of spaceflight as some of our team members and the public say space isn't for everyone just yet. 

We also discuss the upcoming private Axios mission to the International Space Station getting a launch date, and how the launch of a Russian actress is delaying important work to the newly-installed Nauka modules, which has had some issues from the moment it arrived at the station.

We then dive into the delays for the Human Landing System because of a lawsuit. The question remains, even without the lawsuit, is 2024 still viable to land on the moon?

We then also discuss the reorganization of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. It left a lot of questions about what that means for the agency, especially this far along with Artemis, which we hope to answer.

Finally, we've heard about unruly passengers on commercial flights, but our FAA expert Mark Ratterman looks into what might happen if you get an unruly passenger on a spaceflight.

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Dr. Kat Robison

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This episode is full of plenty of rockets and missions going up....and one that went down explosively.

On this episode, we begin with two crew launches. First the Soyuz MS-18 mission and why an American astronaut was added only a few months before launch. Plus a quick look ahead to Crew-2 aboard a Crew Dragon, and a possible new tradition started by the crew.

Next it's on to Mars, where the Ingenuity helicopter is set to take off. This isn't just significant for future Mars exploration. We go into the potential historical impact of a mini helicopter flying on another world.

Then it's onto the nominee for NASA's next administrator, former Senator Bill Nelson (D) Florida. Former administrator Jim Bridenstine thinks it's a good pick, but what does the panel think?

Then it's onto SpaceX. First, the farewell to Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief, the fairing recovery ships. What does this mean for reusability.

Last but no least, it's all about SN-11, the Starship test flight from Boca Chica (or Starbase depending on your preference) Texas. The mission went up under heavy fog before exploding before landing. What does this mean for the program? Can you still get enough data from just telemetry as opposed to visuals? What led to the decision to fly on that day and how is the FAA somehow involved? Also, is SpaceX learning from these test flights or is it just for show? We look at all these questions and more.

Show recorded 4-7-2021

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman,

 

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One week, three crafts, one planet. On this first episode of Season 13 we're aiming for Mars.

We discuss three successful missions arriving at the red planet within one week of each other, the "Hope" mission from the United Arab Emirates, China's Tianwen-1 Mission, and the most discussed mission of the three, NASA's Perseverance Rover. We go into all of the amazing firsts so far, and what the mission should accomplish during its time on the red planet. Also, find out why Mark doesn't like calling the rover "Percy".

Next, we discuss the future for RocketLab, including their CEO literally eating their hat as they announce the design of a new rocket.

Finally we discuss the Inspiration 4 mission, which will send ordinary people to space along with helping a good cause...but is it really giving anybody a chance to go, or is it favoring certain people more than others?

Show recorded 3-1-2021

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Dr. Kat Robison

 

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Better late than never, so here's an episode full of launch and landing audio!

We begin with the launches Talking Space was fortunate to be at, including the first launch of the upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon, the much delayed Delta IV Heavy carrying NROL-44, and a launch and Return to Launch Site (RTLS) landing of a Falcon 9 booster from NROL-108.

We also discuss the recent launch and landing attempt for SpaceX's Starhopper SN-8 mission, and why ending in an explosion isn't necessarily a bad thing. They're not the only ones doing tests. Virgin Galactic is as well, and we've got the latest on their tests to get back into flight.

Finally we take a look at the NASA Authorization Bill, which looks at where the money will go for NASA's budget...and it definitely leaves a little to be desired...or does it? Listen to find out all the details.

Show recorded 12-4-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

 

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From the Earth to the Space Station to the Moon, Talking Space is proud to be a part of history!

On this episode of Talking Space, we discuss the successful launch of the Crew-1 mission, sending four astronauts to the International Space Station.

We discuss all of the major historical achievements made during this mission. We also discuss what the atmosphere is like at the press site for a crew launch, in particular during a pandemic, and if the fan fare and unique feeling of a crew launch still exist.

We also end up discussion fashion and whether the public was really interested in this launch.

Next we discuss Rocket Lab's foray into reusability, and discuss the one thing we wish we knew to determine if reusability, especially from a company like SpaceX, is feasible.

We also discuss China's successful landing on the moon and the scientific and cultural significance of this mission.

Finally we say farewell to the Arecibo Radio Telescope, which has collapsed since this was recorded. We look into the main factors that led to the crash, since we believe it wasn't just storms or wear-and-tear behind the damage.

Show recorded 11-25-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Kat Robison

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On this episode of Talking Space, we go from the high-highs of space exploration to the low-lows of launch scrubs.

We begin with the announcement of water being found on the light side of the moon. We talk about the unique way it was actually discovered...and what we need to know before we can mine it and use it during future missions.

Then it's onto the continuing story of OSIRIS-REx, which successfully captured its sample from asteroid Bennu. We'll look at the unexpected issue it encountered and why every sample won't be studied when it returns to earth.

Then it's a review of "Scrubtember" and "Scrubtober" which saw an entire month without a U.S. launch, and Talking Space was there for many of them. Hear what it's like to scrub with an engine fire...then scrub again...then scrub another time as the press grows anxious and frustrated, and what it took to finally break the bad luck streak.

Next new crewmembers are now aboard the ISS, including the historic way they got to the station...and why the next crew will also make history.

After that, do you know how many different groups or organizations need to get clearance before a rocket can launch from the U.S.? Mark Ratterman takes us inside licensing for rocket launches and landings.

Finally, we go in-depth into the Artemis Accords, the follow-up to the Outer Space Treaty, and the one article in particular that could cause problems as private companies begin mining the moon, Mars, and asteroids.

 

Show recorded10-27-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Mark Ratterman, Kat Robison

 

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On this episode of Talking Space, we tackle two major stories, the launch of Mars 2020 and the landing of Crew Dragon Endeavour.

We start with the launch of the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter. We look at some of the unique items onboard, as well as listen to the launch audio we recorded from a few miles away. In addition to the mission, we talk about what it's like to cover a launch during a pandemic (with special thanks to the 45th Space Wing) and how a Mars spacecraft sterilizer is helping in the fight against COVID-19.

Then it's onto SpaceX and the successful return of the Crew Dragon capsule from the ISS. We look at the successes and some of the items they found need to be improved, including stray boats and possibly toxic hypergolic fuels.

Finally, we debate a tweet by President Donald Trump about the state of NASA. Mark and Gene get into an interesting debate over the state of the space program and who we can thank for where we are today.

Show recorded 8-10-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman

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On this episode of Talking Space, the main focus is on Mars as three countries send missions to the red planet.

We discuss the United Arab Emirates first mission to the red planet and the implications it has for the country and that part of the world.

We then discuss China's mission which was also launched, their first solo mission to Mars, and discuss where their space program stands right now and if they could become a major player again in space.

Finally NASA is up with their Mars 2020 mission and the Perseverance rover.

We discuss some launch successes and one failure unfortunately for Rocket Labs of their Electron rocket and what it means for their future. We also discuss another delay of the James Webb Space Telescope and what you can do to see Comet NEOWISE before it disappears.

Kat Robison brings us a special piece on a space pioneer you may not have heard of, Ed Dwight. You can read the original article by clicking here.

Finally we remember U.S. Representative John Lewis and his surprising connection to the International Space Station.

 

Show recorded 7-19-2020

Host: Sawyer Rosenstein

Panelists: Gene Mikulka, Mark Ratterman, Kat Robison

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