Space Quarterly: September 2011


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Space Quarterly: September 2011

  1. 1. September 2011 SpaceQuarterly.comSpaceX: Vision v. the Market ISSN 2162-9404 Digital edition $5.95 Commercial Crew to the Rescue? Lunar Economic Development The Future of On-Orbit Satellite Servicing9 772162 940005 Jeff Greason: The Accidental CEO & Policy Guru
  2. 2. 2 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011 Celebrating the Space Transportation System 1981–2011 The first space shuttle Columbia leaves the Vehicle Assembly Building for the launch pad in late December, 1980. Credit: NASA
  3. 3. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 3Volume 1, Number 1 Page 36: Companies are building spacecraft in the United States to take astronauts to low Earth orbit and beyond. SpaceX has plans to land Dragon spacecraft on the planet Mars. 5 Editor’s Letter 28 Online Our First Issue Social Media Tweetups By Marc Boucher Proving Popular By Randy Attwood 6 Calendar 31 Commercial Space: Moon 8 Commercial Space Travel The Philosophy of Lunar Spaceport America: Commercialization and Economic Build It and They Will Come? Development By Leonard David By Dennis Wingo 11 CCDEV2 Updates 34 Commercial Space Commercial Crew Development SpaceX — Vision vs the Market Program Status By Marc Boucher By Randy Attwood 43 Interview 13 SpaceX Dragon Rider The Accidental CEO By Ken Kremer Eva-Jane Lark speaks with Jeff Greason, CEO of XCOR Aerospace 17 Boeing CST-100 Crew Capsule Progressing Swiftly 51 Africa By Ken Kremer Africa and Space By Jim Volp 20 CCDev2 Provides Rare Insight Into Blue Origin Development 55 Japan By Ken Kremer Japan’s Space Program After the Disaster 22 Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser — By Paul Kallender-Umezu What’s Old is New Again By Marc Boucher 58 Commercial Space The Future of On-Orbit Satellite 27 South America Servicing The First Soyuz Launch from By Marc Boucher Kourou, French Guiana By Chris Gainor 62 In the Next Issue
  4. 4. 4 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011Volume 1, Number 1 Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Subscription Rates Marc Boucher Print Edition Available only in Canada, USA, and UK $39.00 per year (4 issues) Senior Editor Keith Cowing Digital Edition $19.00 per year (4 issues) Managing Editor Randy Attwood How to Contact Space Quarterly Editorial Design Director 703-652-0973 USA Richard Winchell 416-894-4629 Canada Contributing Writers Ad Sales Elizabeth Howell 703-652-0973 USA James Fergusson 416-619-9203 Canada Eva-Jane Lark Dennis Wingo Ken Kremer Subscriptions Leonard David Chris Gainor P.O. Box 3569 Jim Volp Reston, Virginia 20195-1569 Paul Kallender-Umezu Space Quarterly invites reader comments. Letters to the Editor may be Please limit your comments to emailed to 250 words. Letters should include, address, phone number(s), and or mailed to: e-mail address (if available). Connections with the subject Space Quarterly matter should be disclosed. We will Letters to the Editor not publish anonymous comments. P.O. Box 3569 We reserve the right to edit reader Reston, Virginia 20195-1569 comments for clarity and length. Copyright SpaceRef Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of SpaceRef Interactive Inc. Space Quarterly (Printed Edition: ISSN 2162-9390, Digital Edition: ISSN 2162-9404) is published four times a year by SpaceRef Press a division of SpaceRef Interactive Inc. , P.O. Box 3569, Reston, Virginia, 20195-1569, USA.
  5. 5. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 5Editor’s LetterOur First Issue By Marc Boucher Sic Itur Ad AstraWELCOME TO SPACE QUARTERLY. IT WAS OVER TWO as this gives us and our writers enough time to research andyears ago that I decided I wanted to create a new publication, o er well thought analysis. e issue you are reading now willbut at the time I had no idea it would become Space Quarterly. hopefully be our smallest. We want to cover as much as we canI sketched ideas out for some time but didn’t actively pursue in each issue.the project until January of this year. It was then I decided it But aren’t magazines dying? e short answer is no.was time to move forward. But even then it took awhile for the e print world is changing. We realize that. at’s whyideas to take shape that would eventually lead to what you are this magazine is available in both print and digital formats.seeing and reading now. What’s more, we want to engage you in the important topics For almost 12 years now my business partner, Keith this magazine addresses. To that end we’re also launching theCowing, and I have been diligently updating our websites SpaceRef Forum where these articles will be available so thatincluding SpaceRef with the daily happenings in the space the conversation we start here can continue there. e Forumsector. However, there is so much news that it’s hard to cover will be the home not only for articles found in Space Quarterlyeverything in great depth. And besides, our websites have been but for many other related topics.more about the news now, as it happens. But that’s changing. We’ve started to assemble a highly quali ed group ofAnd this magazine is part of that change. writers, some who are dedicated journalists, while others are is magazine is meant to o er greater depth, analysis and industry experts. Our goal is that with each subsequent issuecontext about the topics we consider important. We’re going we increase the quality of our focus on commercial space, space policy, military space and I hope that together, we can help grow this industry whichother timely topics. We’re going to publish quarterly for now can be so bene cial to humanity.
  6. 6. 6 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011CalendarSeptember October November4th China Society of 62nd International First Annual CanadianAstronautics & IAA Astronautical Congress Aerospace SummitConference on Advanced October 3–7, 2011 November 2–3, 2011Space Technology 5–8, 2011 International Symposium Annual Meeting of the Lunar for Private and Commercial Exploration Analysis GroupPlanetary Science Short Spaceflight November 7–9, 2011Course, UWO October 20–23, 2011 6–11, 2011 MILCOM 2011 Wernher Von Braun November 7–10, 2011Commercial Suborbital Symposium Workshop October 25–27, 2011September 7, 2011 First hackerSPACE Workshop November 11–12, 2011 World SatelliteBusiness Week American AstronauticalSeptember 12–16, 2011 Society National Conference November 15–16, 2011 Space AgencyWorkshop on the Utilization 3rd Canadian Science Policyof Field Programmable Gate ConferenceArrays (FPGA’s) In Canadian November 16–18, 2011Space Missions 27–28, 2011 2011 Canadian Space Society November 23–25, 2011AIAA Space 2011 Conference 27–29, 2011 29th AIAA International Communications SatelliteSpace Generation Congress Systems Conference2011 November 28–December 1,September 29–October 1, 20112011 13th Annual Global100 Year Starship Study MilSatCom ConferencePublic Symposium Novermber 29–December 1,September 30–October 2, 20112011 To get your event listed in the next edition of Space Quarterly, please contact our sales team at sqadsales@, or in the U.S. at 703-652-0973, or in Canada at 416-619-9203.
  7. 7. 8 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011Commercial Space TravelSPACEPORT AMERICA:Build It and They Will Come?By Leonard David
  8. 8. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 9Spaceport America LobbyCredit: Spaceport AmericaNEW MEXICO’S SPACEPORT AMERICA were prime contractor complaints of late of air travel today that dot the globe, airportsis kicking up lots of desert dust as it reaches payments. that handle millions of yers dailyits billing as the world’s rst purpose-built Undaunted, it has been full-speed aheadcommercial spaceport. As the crow ies – for Anderson while tackling problems. Whiff of optimismnot yet the tra c of outgoing and incoming “I’m a person that likes unprecedented Any visitor to the site can’t help but get aspaceships -- this rambling facility is taking things…and the rst commercial purpose- slight whi of optimism about the future ofshape some 30 miles (48 km) east of Truth or built spaceport in the world, that’s kind of public space travel. A er all, anchor tenantConsequences and 45 miles (72 km) north of unique,” Anderson said. “Many of the things Virgin Galactic and its WhiteKnightTwo/Las Cruces, New Mexico. that I did in my career, there was no job SpaceShipTwo system is being readied for A critical centerpiece of the spread out manual that said come in here and this is how pay-per-view space tourists – not at Spaceportcomplex that is Spaceport America is a you do it. I’m learning lots of things on the America, but at the Mojave Air and Space Portrunway to space. It measures 10,000 feet job and using a lot of what I used in 30 years in California.long by 200 feet wide, an elongated stretch of with the U.S. Air Force.” e promise: On a commercial cruise,tarmac specially built to handle horizontal e overall Spaceport America SpaceShipTwo would be hauled to aboutlaunch to space and air operations at the development comes with a price tag of $209 16 kilometers or 52,000 feet by thespaceport. million. Now dotting the 18,000 acre site WhiteKnightTwo mothership. At that point, For those advocates of Spaceport America is a futuristic-looking terminal hangar, the the SpaceShipTwo vessel would disengage,over the years, its construction has slowly spaceport operations center, fuel storage ignite its hybrid motor, and continue to overmoved from hard hat blueprints to a ready- facilities, water treatment infrastructure, 100 kilometers, some 62 miles straight up, tofor-prime-time tomorrowland. along with vertical launch pads and that the Kármán line—a common de nition of Still, there are challenges ahead in lengthy spaceway to handle horizontal where “space” starts. Along with freefall, aprepping Spaceport America, not the least of operations of such companies like Virgin spectacular view of Earth, each patron wouldwhich is just who will show up to make the Galactic, the spaceport’s anchor tenant. earn astronaut wings.enterprise a growing concern. Beyond Virgin Galactic, the state-of- Once entered into commercial ight the-art launch facility is working closely operations, SpaceShipTwo would ing twoFull-speed ahead with entrepreneurial space start-ups like UP pilots and six paying customers to the edgeClearly bullish on the promise of Spaceport Aerospace, Armadillo Aerospace, along with of space. e cash on the barrel head fee forAmerica is Christine Anderson, Executive established aerospace rms, such as Lockheed each rocketeer is a per-seat price of $200,000.Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Martin, Boeing, and Moog-FTS – all for the “Book your place in space now and joinAuthority in Las Cruces. purpose of developing commercial space ight around 430 Virgin Galactic astronauts who Anderson is no stranger to space. Before at the new facility. will venture into space,” claims the company’sretiring from 30 years in civilian positions For example, UP Aerospace has conducted website.with the U.S. Air Force, she was the founding nine suborbital launches from Spaceport Bankrolled by British entrepreneur,Director of the Space Vehicles Directorate at America since 2006. Another entrepreneurial Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Galacticthe Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland rocket rm, Armadillo Aerospace, began WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo launchAir Force Base in New Mexico. ight testing multiple vehicles on-site earlier system has already undergone a step-by-step Anderson also served as the Director this year. Lockheed Martin has also found campaign of piloted glide tests, includingof the Space Technology Directorate at the a home at Spaceport America, testing a mid-air evaluation of the passenger cra ’sAir Force Phillips Laboratory at Kirtland. prototype reusable launch system by ying a unique reentry technology.As the Director of the Military Satellite sub-scale ight demonstrator. SpaceShipTwo was rolled out into theCommunications Joint Program O ce at the Yet another user of the spaceport is public limelight in December 2009. SinceAir Force Space and Missile Systems Center the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium then, the cra has chalked up15 free Los Angeles she directed the development, (NMSGC). Making use of the UP Aerospace- Following high-altitude release by its yingacquisition and execution of a $50 billion provided SpaceLo rocket, the NMSGC’s launch pad, the WhiteKnightTwo, theportfolio. mission is to promote space programs SpaceShipTwo has been piloted through a Escaping from a short-lived retirement, and education to New Mexico students check list series of test objectives.and slipping into the Spaceport America post, and educators. Hurled to the edge ofshe was immediately thrust into a whirlpool space, experiments designed and created Laws of physicsof New Mexico politics and construction by New Mexico students are providing Indeed, over that period of testing, there’sbedlam: A state funding cut to the spaceport hands-on experience with the design and been quick turnaround of the rocket planeo ce budget equaled $1.1 million. en there implementation of scienti c payloads. and WhiteKnightTwo, showcasing an ability Still, more users of the spaceport are to rapidly whisk ticket-in-hand tourists intoA frequent visitor to Spaceport America, clearly needed to shore up the viability and space in the future. Test hops also includedLeonard David has been reporting on the vitality of the complex. mid-air appraisal of the cra ’s distinctivespace industry for more than five decades. But Anderson blanches at any gloomy “feathered” reentry technology.He is a winner of this year’s National forecast that Spaceport America could be an Likened to the ight of a shuttlecock inSpace Club Press Award and has been a expensive white elephant of a project—a space badminton, SpaceShipTwo’s fall to Earth fromcontributor to since 1999. bridge to nowhere. She is quick to say that the suborbital heights relies on aerodynamics nobody could have predicted the busy hubs
  9. 9. 10 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011VSS Enterprise flies over Runway Dedication at Spaceport America, New MexicoCredit: Spaceport America / Mark Greenberg level of medical examination or history. Many companies also require the space ight participant to purchase personal insurance. Finding insurance to cover this risky venture will require a specialized broker to obtain the policy, usually at a substantial premium. “ e purchase of a space ight ticket involves many more legal issues than buying a plane ticket. e participant should plan to consult with an attorney, a physician, and an insurance broker for guidance,” Yates concluded. Next up Legal issues aside, a wide array of SpaceShipTwo test goals appear to have been met – according to the builder of the system,and the laws of physics to manage speed and Yates said that the prospective traveler Scaled Composites of Mojave, California. ealtitude. will want to read the disclosure closely glide test agenda reached a summer hiatus Once SpaceShipTwo rockets itself out of because it reports on the risks of launch in 2011, with technicians weighing the datathe atmosphere, the entire tail structure of and reentry, including the safety record of gathered by the numerous WhiteKnightTwo/the spaceship can be rotated upward to about the vehicle. Following the disclosure, the SpaceShipTwo ights.65 degrees. In this feathered con guration, participant will be asked to sign an informed But ahead is a crucial chapter of testing.automatic control of attitude with the consent acknowledging that the participant at next phase of quali cation ying willfuselage parallel to the horizon is achieved. understands the risks and that his or her make rst use of a hybrid motor mounted is creates very high drag as the spacecra presence on board the vehicle is voluntary. within SpaceShipTwo, an engine provided bydescends through the upper regions of the By signing, the space ight participant limits the Sierra Nevada Corporation and built toatmosphere. his or her legal remedies if any problems later shove SpaceShipTwo and its customers on a e combination of high drag and low arise, she noted. suborbital space voyage.weight -- due to the very light materials used Given a successful test program,to construct SpaceShipTwo -- means that the “Waive” goodbye to rights? SpaceShipTwo ights lled to the portholesvehicle’s skin temperature during the plunge “ e U.S. government has not certi ed with rubbernecking adventurers could beginto Earth stays very low in comparison to the launch vehicles as safe for carrying in late 2012 or in rst quarter of 2013.previous human-carrying spacecra . at humans, and it requires that participants “We have been working steadily withsaid, thermal protection systems such as heat waive any rights to sue the government. e Spaceport America for several years now.shields or tiles are not required. space ight company also will likely require It is a major commitment for both Virgin On a commercial suborbital ight, a signed waiver,” Yates said. e scope and and the State of New Mexico,” explainedfollowing re-entry at around 70,000 feet, enforceability of these company waivers, she Virgin Galactic CEO, George Whitesides.SpaceShipTwo’s feathered tail drops back to pointed out, can vary from state to state, so “We are very serious and the State is as wellits original con guration and the spaceship the participant will want to have all of the about making Spaceport America the largestbecomes a glider for the trek back to the contracts, disclosures, and waivers reviewed success possible,” he told Space Quarterly.runway. beforehand by legal counsel. Similarly, if the Whitesides said that both his company and trip is cancelled, the space ight participant New Mexico have made signi cant progressLegal beagle talk might be limited in what she can recoup, – evidenced by the WhiteKnightTwo/While the technology to institute suborbital unless the contract spells out those rights SpaceShipTwo vehicles now in test- ight andspace tourism for astronaut wannabes may clearly. Spaceport America, which is getting closer tobe attained by Virgin Galactic, a number of “ e FAA requires a space ight completion every day.thorny legal issues are in the o ng. participant to be trained to respond “ e task at hand is to stay focused “Space tourists, or space ight participants to emergency situations and to avoid on our respective work as we progressas they are known in legal jargon, must jeopardizing the safety of the ight crew or through the nal phases of development rst be aware of their right to information,” the public. For many, the company-required and construction,” Whitesides added. “I amexplained Rachel Yates, a space lawyer of training is almost as rigorous as the actual convinced that the State’s investment willnote with Holland & Hart LLP in Greenwood ight, so the participant should be ready to pay o signi cantly in real economic growth,Village, Colorado. “By federal law, the incur substantial time and cost to prepare inspiration for local children, and globalspace ight company will need to provide a for the ight,” Yates observed. Although the attention to the high-tech future of Newwritten disclosure in advance of the ight to riders are not required by law to undergo Mexico.”insure that the participant understands the medical examinations, her view is thatrisks of space ight and remains willing to companies may prudently insist on sometravel,” she advised Space Quarterly.
  10. 10. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 11CCDEV2 UpdatesCommercial Crew DevelopmentProgram StatusBy Randy Attwood WITH THE COMPLETION OF THE LAST SPACE CCDev2 funding was announced last April. e shuttle ight last July, the only two countries with crew second installment of $269.3 million was awarded to access to Low Earth Orbit today are Russia and China. the following companies: All astronauts traveling to the International Space » Blue Origin received $22 million Station must get there on a Russian Soyuz spacecra , » e Boeing Company received $92.3 million launching from and returning to Kazakhstan. » SpaceX received $75 million is fact is not lost on American politicians and » Sierra Nevada Corporation received $80 million members of the public. Shutting down the space Blue Origin is developing the New Sheppard shuttle was a blow to the American ego. Not having a spacecra . Boeing is building its CST-100 – an Apollo replacement launch system and spacecra made the inspired type capsule. Sierra Nevada is working on whole thing worse. e problem was in part money – its Dream Chaser winged spacecra . All will use there isn’t enough in the annual NASA budget to fund a United Launch Alliance Atlas V to launch their ying the shuttle as well as developing its replacement. spacecra . SpaceX has already orbited and recovered A new program called Constellation was announced in its Dragon spacecra , launched on its Falcon 9 booster 2004 by the Bush administration to build a replacement last December and currently leads the program in its spacecra and booster to take astronauts not only to development e orts. Low Earth Orbit, but to the Moon and beyond. Beset by In the next four articles, Space Quarterly takes technical problems and budget shortfalls from the start, a look at each company and the status of each of its the program was o cially terminated earlier this year. programs. It should be noted that while this program In its place, NASA turned to the commercial market is currently funded and a third round of funding is for access to space. e Commercial Crew Development expected this fall, it is not guaranteed that the program (CCDev) program would provide funding for will go forward. Congress can be very ckle and with companies to help them develop spacecra to launch budget shortfalls and partisan politics dominating in crew to the International Space Station. Washington, nothing is certain. Should there not be a e CCDev program would be run in phases. e third round of funding then at least two of the current rst phase—CCDev1—provided nancing to ve participants would stop work on their e orts. is companies. e rst installment was a total of $49.8 includes Boeing and Sierra Nevada. Blue Origin and million distributed to the following companies: SpaceX would continue on, but the pace of progress of » Blue Origin received $3.7 million both would be slowed as they fund further development » e Boeing Company received $18 million themselves. » Paragon Space Development Corporation received $1.4 million » Sierra Nevada Corporation of Louisville received $20 million » United Launch Alliance received $6.7 million
  11. 11. 12 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011Panels being added to a Dragon spacecraft.Credit: SpaceX
  12. 12. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 13CCDEV2 UpdatesSpaceX Dragon RiderBy Ken KremerSPACEX, THE UPSTART NEW SPACE a ords SpaceX an unparalleled base of With the forced retirement of the Spacecompany founded by entrepreneur Elon experience with their space ight vehicles. Shuttle eet, NASA is now totally dependentMusk in 2002, is blazing a private sector trek At one point, rival Boeing was considering on Russia’s Soyuz capsule to ferry USto space where no company has gone before. the Falcon 9 as the launch vehicle for its astronauts to the ISS and back. e resulting e rm’s Dragon capsule is a strong entrant competing CST-100 crew capsule but has now gap in US human launch capability willinto NASA’s Commercial Crew Development chosen the ULA Atlas V. endure for a minimum of three to ve yearsProgram – known as CCDev – which seeks to Last December, SpaceX successfully ew and has created a Russian monopoly instimulate the private sector into developing the inaugural operational Dragon cargo crewed access to the ISS.a new and lost cost means of commercially spacecra atop the second ight of a Falcon 9 e Russians have responded to thetransporting astronauts to Earth orbit and the booster. In so doing, SpaceX became the rst monopoly by increasing the price of theInternational Space Station. commercial company to y a spacecra to limited number of Soyuz seats—tripling the “In April 2011, NASA awarded SpaceX orbit and achieve a successful reentry, landing cost to $63 million per seat from roughly $20$75 million to develop a revolutionary launch and recovery back on Earth. million ten years ago.escape system that will enable the company’s “ e Falcon 9 and Dragon represent the SpaceX claims they can o er a far betterDragon spacecra to carry astronauts as safest and fastest path to American crew deal to the American taxpayer—$20 millionpart of the agency’s CCDev initiative to help transportation capability,” stated Grantham. per seat aboard their human rated Dragonprivate companies mature concepts and “With the December 8th, 2010 ight, many capsule—also dubbed the Dragon Rider.technologies for human space ight,” Kirstin Falcon 9 and Dragon components that are “SpaceX will be ready to y its rstGrantham, SpaceX Communications Director needed to transport humans to low-Earth manned mission in 2014. But it all dependstold Space Quarterly. orbit have already been demonstrated in ight on how many tests are required by NASA, NASA distributed $270 million amongst and both vehicles were designed from the nalization of the human rating requirementsfour rms to continue forward into the outset to y people.” and funding,” said Garrett Reisman, CCDev2second round of the commercial initiative— SpaceX is aiming for a giant leap in the Project Manager and former NASA astronautknown as CCDev2. e other competitors are capabilities of the Dragon cargo version by at the SpaceX launch control center in CapeBoeing, Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada. combining the COTS II and COTS III cargo Canaveral, Florida Unlike the other companies, SpaceX is demonstration ights into one, which would Reisman recently joined SpaceX and saidsimultaneously developing an unmanned allow Dragon to berth soon with the ISS is safety is a top priority.variant of the Dragon capsule and the capability is translatable and essential to the “I’m an engineer and am happy withnecessary launch vehicle—known as the human rated Dragon. what I see at SpaceX, and I won’t have ourFalcon 9—under the existing NASA COTS “We are taking all of the necessary steps guys design a vehicle that I would not feelcontract to deliver cargo to the ISS. is to combine those two missions, but NASA comfortable ying in.” hasn’t given us formal approval yet. We are “ e Dragon Rider is designed to carryDr. Ken Kremer is a freelance science working with NASA towards a November seven astronauts and stay at the station forjournalist, research scientist and speaker 30th launch target that would have us berth 210 days. For the initial ight it’s not yetwhose articles, space exploration with the International Space Station nine days decided if the crew will be NASA astronautsimages and Mars photomosaics later,” said Grantham. Since this interview, or a SpaceX crew,” Reisman said in a recenthave been widely published in SpaceX formally con rmed the November 30 interview.magazines, books and websites.. launch date. “Our design goal is to have minimal di erences between the Dragon Rider and
  13. 13. 14 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011Falcon 9 launch from Space launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral.Credit: SpaceX/Chris Thompsonthe cargo Dragon. e Falcon 9 launcher will within minutes of li o , but the SpaceX “ ese milestones include static rebe identical. So, every time we y a Falcon 9 innovative design builds the escape engines testing of the launch escape system engines,we accumulate ight history and have a test into the side walls of Dragon, eliminating initial design of abort engine and crew ight. Our top priority right now is getting the danger of releasing a heavy solid rocket accommodations and prototype evaluationsDragon up to the ISS,” explains Reisman. escape tower a er launch.” by NASA crew for seats, control panels and At NASA’s direction, SpaceX is focusing “ e SpaceX design also provides the cabin.”their CCDEV2 e orts on the Launch Abort crew with emergency escape capability “SpaceX only gets paid by NASA whenSystem, or LAS, which is an emergency escape throughout the entire ight, whereas the we meet those milestones. And we are alsosystem that would save astronauts lives in the Space Shuttle had no escape system. e investing our own money,” said Reisman.event of an in- ight catastrophe by pulling result is that astronauts ying on Dragon will “So that gives us a lot of incentive to be costthe crew cabin away from the launcher in a be considerably safer.” e ective.”split second. “Dragon will have escape capability all the At a CCDev2 Kicko meeting with “During CCDEV2, we will be designing, way to orbit. Even Apollo did not have that,” NASA in May 2011, “SpaceX reviewed NASAtesting and developing the engines, tanks and says CEO Elon Musk. certi cation requirements, and the companyrelated components for the LAS and doing Since the escape system returns with the presented to NASA o cials the design statusall the risk assessments and safety mission spacecra , it can be reused along with the of all systems along with risks and potentialassurance work that needs to be done,” says capsule and results in even more signi cant mitigations”, Brantham elaborated.Reisman. reductions in the cost of space transport. “ e next SpaceX milestone is the LAS “ e integrated escape system will be According to the CCDEV2 award, “SpaceX Propulsion Conceptual Design Review,superior to traditional solid rocket tractor will modify Dragon to accommodate a crew, planned for July, where SpaceX will presentescape towers used by other vehicles in the with speci c hardware milestones that will design data, documentation, risk assessments,past,” said Brantham. “Due to their extreme provide NASA with regular, demonstrated and schedule data along with analysis andweight, tractor systems must be jettisoned progress,” explained Brantham.
  14. 14. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 15The Dragon spacecraft recovered after its maiden flight.Credit: SpaceX/Roger Carlsonveri cation plans to show that their concept is When asked how well is Dragon alignedtechnically sound and accommodates human with NASA’s dra human ratingfactors requirements.” requirements, Brantham replied, “Falcon 9 SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told Space and Dragon were designed from the start toQuarterly that the LAS review was successful be capable of carrying astronauts. We areand the next milestone, the Preliminary con dent we will be able to meet NASA’s nalDesign Review is scheduled for September. requirements.” SpaceX currently employs over 1500 “CCDEV2 is all about taking what wepeople at major facilities in Hawthorne, CA; have and putting astronauts inside. SinceMcGregor Texas; Cape Canaveral Air Force no other competitor has own their vehicleStation, Vandenberg Air Force Base and and we bring our own rocket to the table, weo ces in Washington, DC., and continues to are pretty con dent with where we stand,”grow,” Branthan told Space Quarterly. Reisman agreed. In addition to the two former NASA “I think that if we do our job well in theastronauts already working at SpaceX – Ken commercial arena than we are on the cuspBowersox of SpaceX Astronaut Safety and of a golden age in space ight, where youMission Assurance O ce, and Garrett will see a tremendous amount of innovationReisman—they expect to hire even more and unlocked,” concluded Reisman. “We haveare looking for exceptional talent as the rm many competitors coming up with di erentcontinues to sign new launch contracts. designs. at’s very exciting from an engineering perspective, just like the Golden Age in Aviation.”
  15. 15. 16 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011Shown here is an artist’s concept of Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation(CST)-100 spacecraft approaching the International Space Station.Credit: Boeing
  16. 16. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 17CCDEV2 UpdatesBoeing CST-100 Crew Capsule ProgressingSwiftlyBy Ken KremerAEROSPACE GIANT BOEING IS MAKING technologies wherever we can to minimize and abort scenarios. We need to integraterapid progress on the CST-100 capsule, risk in the development.” the CST-100 avionics systems with those ofwhich it hopes will one day take American e CST-100 Crew Space Transportation the launch vehicle to verify they can workastronauts into space. is is the company’s Vehicle is a capsule-shaped spacecra that together and carry out an abort if necessary.”entry into NASA’s Commercial Crew program consists of a crew module and service module e CST-100 is speci cally designed tothat is aimed at stimulating private sector and can also carry some very limited cargo quickly reach the ISS and the planned Bigelowdevelopment of a new and low cost human depending on the con guration. “ e capsule Aerospace Orbital Space Complex. “Ourrated vehicle for journeys to low Earth Orbit is reusable up to 10 times. It’s the same mission model includes a rst day rendezvousand the International Space Station (ISS) and aerodynamic shape as Apollo but can carry a er about 8 to 9 hours,” said Elbon. “ eredesigned to replace NASA’s now retired Space up to seven crew members. I liken it to seven is no potty or galley. CST-100 is just intendedShuttle eet as soon as possible. people sitting in a minivan,” said Elbon. as a transportation to low Earth orbit system. With the retirement of the shuttles from Under the NASA CCDev2 contract, And that makes it much more a ordableactive ight duty status, NASA faces a which Boeing received $92.3 million, Boeing to operate compared to a system designedmanned launch gap of at least three to ve has a 14 month time span in the space act for long duration missions. It’s designed foryears with no means to lo astronauts to agreement to continue development of the 48 hours of nominal powered ight, with aorbit from American soil. In the interim, CST-100 crew capsule, continuing on the possibility of increasing to 60 hours to betterall ISS astronauts will travel on the Russian work started in the rst round and initiating align with NASA requirements. A er dockingSoyuz rocket. at’s why NASA’s commercial work on integrating the capsule with a launch with the ISS or Bigelow space stations wecrew initiative is so critical to reestablishing vehicle and reach a Preliminary Design would plug into their power source and couldAmerican access to human space ight Review (PDR). e PDR is an essential step stay for up to 7 months.”capability. that ensures the system design meets all “During the rst round of CCDEV, “Boeing is focused on making the capsule requirements. Boeing received $18 million from NASA andsafe, simple and a ordable so that we can On August 3, Boeing announced that it added a similar amount of our own money.make it available soon to close the gap had chosen the United Launch Alliance Atlas We’ve taken it through the SDR or Systembetween shuttle and the next spacecra ,” V rocket to launch the CST-100 from Cape Design Review milestone.” With those funds,said John Elbon, Boeing Vice President and Canaveral. e rst crewed mission could be Boeing built a full scale pressure test article,program manager for commercial crew launched as early as 2015. completed several risk reduction objectivestransportation in an interview with Space Selecting a launch vehicle provider is and settled on a baseline design. “UsingQuarterly at the Kennedy Space Center. “ e important according to Elbon because “we very cost weld free e ective manufacturingCST-100 could be ready as early as 2015. need to down select to a speci c vehicle to techniques and just seven engineers, weOur design philosophy is to use proven work out the speci cs for the normal launch constructed the test article in only 9 months,”
  17. 17. 18 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011 An aluminum pressure-test article on display at the Kennedy Space Center Credit: Ken Kremersaid Elbon. “We red our abort engine and it available for on orbit maneuvering. So it’s workspace that would be available to futuredid drop tests with the landing air bags.” a good idea. e abort system and the three astronaut crews. “Boeing also built a mock up so that foot long fuel tanks are in the service module Two months into CCDEV2, Boeingwe could have the crew sit in it and help below the crew module. So we will also be o cials reviewed the progress to date without with the layout of control panels. And test ring the rockets to verify they work and NASA. “We met with NASA and comparedwe fabricated our heat shield using a new testing the propellant tanks to make sure they our design to NASA’s dra set of humanlightweight material that Boeing developed— can expel all the fuel in those 3 seconds.” rating requirements and were synched upcalled Boeing Lightweight Ablator. We also During a normal ight, the abort engines with the vast majority of them,’ said Elbon.tested rendezvous and docking so ware. All will play another role and carry out the “ ere are a handful of simple things thatthat work was completed by October 2010 for deorbit burn and are jettisoned before the we are still working—like the missionjust $18 million in 9 months which is pretty landing. duration and how many hours of free ightamazing.” “Boeing is also building a 12 inch wind are available in case of contingencies. In our Boeing is now in the midst of tunnel model to verify all the aerodynamic baseline the crew doesn’t wear pressure suits.accomplishing their CCDEV2 objectives and data and forces on the capsule,” Elbon stated. But NASA would prefer that the crew wearis supplementing the NASA funding with “ e CST-100 will be at the Preliminary pressure suits. And there were a couple ofabout $5 to 10 Million of their own. “As part Design Review (PDR) stage by February places were the levels of redundancy didn’tof CCDEV 2 we are making a light weight 2012.” quite match. So we are working through thoseversion of our abort engine—which only res e full scale mockup and pressure test relatively simple things.”for 3 seconds. It’s a pusher system. So if we article were on display in a special Boeing “We are maturing the design and we wentdon’t use the fuel for an abort then we have pavilion at the Kennedy Space Center Press through a Phase 0 safety review with NASA Site during the launch countdown of the and went through each of our subsystems.” nal shuttle ight in July. e mockups gave an excellent feeling as to the volume and
  18. 18. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 19A mockup of the CST-100 on display at the Kennedy Space CenterCredit: Ken Kremer A busy schedule of aggressive parachute good progress. So I’m hopeful that NASA will as overall prime contractor for the ISS. “Atests lie ahead. “ e next upcoming select us to continue in the next phase.” lot of the people working on and designingmilestones over the summer and beyond “Of course that next phase has to happen CST-100 worked on the Space Shuttle via ourinclude drop tests from a rig using the and needs to be funded.” Given the dire heritage company Rockwell International,”landing airbags. is will also test horizontal budget outlook in Washington, funding is said Paul Diggins, Boeings CST-100velocity movement since we’ll be using by no means assured. “Realistically we could Manufacturing Director. “ ose folks wereparachutes and there will be wind. Next launch an initial crewed test ight in 2015 trained by Rockwell engineers in our spaceMarch 2012, we’ll drop a new mockup with a with two Boeing test pilots under our baseline exploration division who earlier built theparachute deploy o a helicopter and test the scenario—since this is being developed as a Apollo Command Module.”air bag deploy.” commercial venture.” “But the CST-100 is a new design e landing engines are located on the side “By the end of 2015, the CST-100 would compared to Apollo and with about twice theof the capsule. “CST will land on land and in be operational. Leading up to this would be a habitable volume.”the ocean only in a contingency. e primary pad abort test in 2014, an uncrewed multi- “We have to compete on cost withlanding sites are Edwards AFB and White day test ight later in late 2014 and an ascent our competitors. It’s a very competitiveSands.” abort test in early 2015.” environment. If we don’t achieve our cost As Boeing works through the design in e ight schedule has already been targets then we won’t survive and be there atthe coming months, there will also be an somewhat delayed due to NASA funding the nish line,” concluded Diggins.Interim Design Review with many design and shortfalls.analysis cycles. “We are optimistic that we’ll Boeing must be counted as a strongcontinue in CCDEV 3. It’s a competition. contender given the rm’s 50 year experienceWe have a good design and we are making building spacecra like Apollo and the Space Shuttle as well as their current responsibility
  19. 19. 20 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011CCDEV2 UpdatesCCDev2 Provides Rare Insight IntoBlue Origin DevelopmentBy Ken Kremer
  20. 20. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 21Artist’s rendering of Blue Origin’s space vehicleCredit: Blue OriginBLUE ORIGIN IS A PRIVATE AEROSPACE “Our incremental development program System Requirements Review (SRR) whichcompany founded in 2000, funded by approach uses suborbital tests to retire are the rst reviews in the design process” founder Je Bezos, development risks. at’s how we intend to said Meyerson.headquartered in Kent, WA and one of four step our way toward human space ight. Our “Our second project is to continue the rms competing in the second round of Kent site is about 250,000 square feet in size design work we started under CCDev1 on ourNASA’s Commercial Crew program—known and where we have the facilities, teams and pusher escape system which will culminateas CCDev2. tools to take on this endeavor. We have our with a pad escape test of our suborbital crew NASA’s goal is to stimulate the private own rocket engine test facilities at Kent. We capsule. e third project is acceleratingsector into developing a safe and low cost also have our own privately developed launch our booster engine development. We are‘space taxi’ to lo US astronauts to Earth orbit test site in West Texas, 33 square miles in size, developing our own LOX/LH2 booster engineand the International Space Station (ISS) now where we’ve own the rst iteration of our and will be testing that thrust chamber atthat the Space Shuttle is retired. Until then, suborbital vehicles.” one of the existing stands at NASA Stennis.astronauts ying to the ISS must depend on “Under CCDev1, we successfully at engine is designed to do deep throttlingthe Russian Soyuz. accomplished both of our milestones. We to support our vertical takeo and vertical In April 2011, NASA awarded Blue Origin assembled a composite pressure vessel for our landing technology,” Meyerson elaborated.$22 million in CCDev2 funding. is was suborbital vehicle. en we proof pressure Blue Origin’s suborbital ‘New Shepard’the smallest slice of the $270 million in total tested it and drop tested it to demonstrate a development program will be used to provethat was distributed amongst the remaining hard landing and veri ed all our loads and out technologies in an incremental fashioncompetitors; Boeing, Sierra Nevada and design parameters. We also developed our before the rm commits to orbital space ight,SpaceX. in-house pusher escape system. We tested Meyerson explained. “If we have enough funding—as we work that using a solid rocket motor developed by “ e CCDEV2 projects were proposedthrough the political realm—we want to keep Aerojet and conducted two ground tests.” because they help us accelerate orbitalthe competition going as long as we can and Blue Origin has chosen the Atlas V—built capability. We are committed to developingget services to the International Space Station by United Launch Alliance (ULA)—as the safe and a ordable commercial humanby the middle of the decade,” says Ed Mango, initial launcher of choice due to its proven space ight.”NASA’s Commercial Crew Program manager. track record. Simultaneously the rm plans Asked about whether there is a market According to the NASA Space Act to build their own ‘Reusable Booster System’ for commercial human space ight beyondAgreement, Blue Origin is working to mature (RBS) to further reduce costs at some NASA, Meyerson told Space Quarterly, “Ithe design of their biconic spacecra , develop unde ned future date. absolutely do believe there is a market beyondan abort system and test engine components. ULA and NASA just signed a new Space NASA for multiple suppliers to launch peopleDetails about Blue Origin’s highly secretive Act Agreement on July 18 to speed up studies to orbit—as long as the price is competitive.”space projects are hard to obtain and Blue on determining exactly what would be Of the four companies selected for theOrigin representatives are not granting required to human rate the Atlas V—which second phase of the CCDev program Blueinterviews at this time. three of the four CCDev2 awardees have Origin faces the toughest obstacles moving e biconic vehicle would be capable of selected as their launch vehicle. forward. It is not considered a front-runner incarrying seven astronauts and cargo to and Blue Origin is working on three projects the program, but the fact that it made it thisfrom the ISS, serve as an emergency lifeboat in CCDev2; maturing the orbital space far suggests NASA has some faith in themand stay docked for up to 210 days. e vehicle design development for their biconic and that they should be taken seriously.vehicle would accomplish a ground landing spacecra , further development of the pusher SpaceX leads the way, followed by Boeingon return to Earth. abort system and engine component testing. and Sierra Nevada, with Blue Origin a distant In a rare public presentation, Rob “First, we are maturing the design of fourth. With NASA’s funding in a precariousMeyerson, President of Blue Origin, gave our Orbital Space Vehicle. Several items in position going forward it would appeara short overview of the company’s CCDev that task are completing key system trades; unlikely that more than three companiesplans at a recent brie ng for reporters at the working on our ermal Protection System would receive funding in the next round. isKennedy Space Center. with NASA Ames Research Center; de ning would suggest that Blue Origin may be out “Blue Origin is developing a Crew the biconic shape which provides lower entry of luck for CCDev3 funding. But even so, itsTransportation System (CTS) that is g loads than a capsule – we’ll re ne that billionaire owner does have the resources tocomprised of an ‘Orbital Space Vehicle’ and with aerodynamic analyses and wind tunnel keep the company a oat for years to come.a ‘Reusable Booster System’ that will take testing; developing the interface requirements However, eventually this 11-year-old veryhumans safely and a ordably to and from low between the Orbital Space Vehicle and the secretive company will have to emerge fromEarth orbit (LEO),” said Meyerson Atlas V rocket by working hand in hand the shadows and show what it’s made of. with United Launch Alliance; and we’ll be completing two program reviews—the Mission Concept Review (MCR) and the
  21. 21. 22 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011CCDev Updates Artist Rendering of the Dream Chaser Docked to the International Space Station Credit: Sierra NevadaSierra Nevada Dream Chaser —What’s Old is New AgainBy Marc Boucher
  22. 22. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 23 Dream Chaser Structure Current Status Credit: Sierra NevadaSIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION’S (SNC) Module Test Firings, and Dream ChaserDream Chaser is a reusable spacecra similar Engineering Test Article (ETA) Preliminaryto the shuttle: it is designed for vertical launch Structure Proof Testing. SNC reached all four.and horizontal landing. Within about four Once these milestones were met, SNCyears we may see the Dream Catcher perched competed for the second round of funding inon top an Atlas V at the Kennedy Space the CCDev program. is time, there were 22Center waiting for launch. proposals submitted to NASA, four of which e Dream Chaser Space System (DCSS) were selected. SNC was selected in April 2011.has resulted from research in the early 1990s One of the reasons SNC was selected forat the Langley Research Center on NASA’s the second round of funding was becauseHL-20. e “HL” stands for horizontal NASA wanted diversity in the program.lander. e HL-20 itself resulted from years e nal selection was made by Philipof research in the 1960s and 1970s on other R. McAlister, who said in the selectionli ing-body concepts, such as NASA’s M2-F1 statement, “ ere are signi cant technicaland M2-F2, the HL-10, and the Air Force’s challenges associated with li ing bodiesX-24A and X-24B. e HL-20 was dubbed that are not present in capsules; however,the “personnel launch system.” Unlike the li ing bodies o er signi cant operational require less than $1 billion, including theshuttle, the HL-20 was designed to be small, capability including cross range performance, NASA money it has already received andcarry astronauts on suborbital and orbital ability to land on multiple runways, lower being contingent on the continuation of the ights, but carry little cargo. e smaller entry g-forces, and quick crew access and CCDev program.and simpler spacecra allows for lower-cost egress post landing. At this early stage in the On July 7, SNC signed a commercialoperations and improved ight safety. development, I felt it was important to have space agreement with the Kennedy Space It is with this legacy that Sierra Nevada both li ing bodies and capsules represented Center (KSC) for ground operations support,proceeded to enter NASA’s Commercial Crew in the portfolio.” something KSC has plenty of experienceDevelopment (CCDev) program with the SNC was not alone in proposing a li ing- with a er processing the shuttle for 30 years.Dream Chaser. body spacecra for the second round. Orbital By signing the agreement with KSC, SNC e DCSS has very little in common Sciences Corporation was also competing, con rmed its plan to launch from KSC andwith the original HL-20 design other than and its design was also based on the HL-20 has stated it plans on using a United Launchthe outer mould line and centre of gravity. legacy. Both proposals were good, but SNC’s Alliance Atlas V rocket. e Atlas V is aSNC kept the outer mould line and centre proposal had a few more bene ts to it: the reliable launcher, with 26 successful launchesof gravity because years of tests have proposal demonstrated a strong commitment and one partial success. However, beforedemonstrated that the outline works. SNC is to public–private partnerships associated it can launch any crew, it must go throughusing a new composite structure with modern with the program, it reached a Preliminary stringent human rating certi cation. at ismaterials and construction techniques along Design Review by the end of CCDev round not expected to take very long, however. ewith their own hybrid rocket motor design, 2 compared to a System Design Review for DCSS is a much less complex spacecra thanwhich has already been used on Scaled Orbital, and it o ered exibility in optimizing the shuttle and has no need for hazardousComposite’s SpaceShipOne. e DCSS will crew and cargo up-mass and down- post-landing ground support. So, SNC hopesalways use a “human-in-the-loop,” meaning a mass. SNC’s proposal allowed for a crew that the DCSS can be turned around muchpilot, during launch. Landings, however, can con guration of two to seven astronauts and faster for the next launch than the shuttlesbe automated or piloted. the ability to trade out crew for cargo. Orbital were. In the rst round of CCDev funding, Science Corporation’s proposal was set at a For CCDev round 2, SNC has one yearSNC received $20 million of the available crew con guration of four. to reach 9 milestones and can optionally$50 million, the largest share. To reach the Of the $270 million NASA allocated to complete an additional 10 milestones if it so rst round of funding, SNC had to reach the four selected CCDev2 proposals, SNC chooses. e milestones are as follows:four milestones: a Program Implementation was awarded $80 million, bringing its total 1. System Requirements ReviewPlan, a Manufacturing Readiness Review of contribution from NASA to $100 million. (completed)Aeroshell Tooling, Space Vehicle Propulsion SNC is a private company, and it will not 2. Canted airfoil section (completed) disclose how much money it has invested in 3. Cockpit-Based Flight SimulatorMarc Boucher is a space policy and the development of DCSS. When contacted (completed)commercial space analyst, co-founder by Space Quarterly, Mark Sirangelo, Executive 4. Vehicle Avionics Integration Laboratoryof SpaceRef and Editor-in-Chief of VP and Chairman, commented that their (September 2011)Space Quarterly. He has a background in investment is in the tens of millions. Another 5. System De nition Review (October 2011)software development and has started source said the investment was equal to what 6. Flight Control Integration Laboratoryup several technology businesses. NASA had invested. Sirangelo also stated (November 2011) that to nish development of the DCSS would 7. ETA Structure Delivery (December 2011)
  23. 23. 24 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011Artist Rendering of the Dream Chaser Launching on an Atlas VCredit: Sierra Nevada 8. Separation System Test (February 2012) e other optional milestones include; ongoing maturation of the commercial 9. Preliminary Design Review (May 2012) Perform materials testing, captive carry space sector which can only bode well for interface and ETA landing gear drop tests, the rest of the industry as it slowly takes Completing these milestones on time is ETA captive carry ight test, wind tunnel root and grows.important because the third round of CCDev testing, Dream Chaser handling qualities SNC also announced in July that it hadfunding is expected to be announced this fall, evaluation, Main RCS test, two hybrid rocket recently expanded its already impressivewith contracts awarded in the spring of 2012. motor test rings, thrust vector control test team by adding former astronaut SteveSNC needs to win money in the next round if and an ETA active carry ight test readiness Lindsey, who recently commandedit hopes to complete the DCSS program. So it review. STS-133, as their new Director of Flightwould be helpful to SNC to reach some of the Interestingly, the atmospheric drop test Operations. Lindsey joins former astronautoptional milestones before the end of May. would be conducted using e Spaceship Jim Voss who recently became SNC’s ViceHowever, reaching all 10 does seem to make Company’s (TSC) WhiteKnightTwo aircra . President of Space Exploration Systemsfor a very aggressive schedule. SNC plans on TCS is a jointly owned company of Scaled along with another half-dozen formerconducting an atmospheric drop test, the Composites and the Virgin Group and NASA employees, mostly from the defunctlast of the optional milestones, in 2012. It started by their respective founders, Burt Constellation program.had been previously reported in the media Rutan and Sir Richard Branson. Rutan is Should SNC receive CCDev round 3that the drop test would occur sometime popularly known for designing the White funding then they plan on doing an orbitalbetween April and the end of June, however Knight aircra and SpaceShipOne which test in late 2014 or early 2015.Sirangelo told Space Quarterly that it would helped Scaled Composites win the $10 millionbe sometime in 2012 bringing into question Ansari X Prize in 2004. With SNC using thethe previous report. TSC aircra for it’s drop test, we’re seeing the
  24. 24. 26 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011Final testing of the Soyuz launch site at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana last AprilCredit: ESA/S. Corvaja
  25. 25. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 27South America Credit: ESA/S. CorvajaThe First Soyuz Launchfrom Kourou, French GuianaBy Chris GainorTHE WORLD’S UNDISPUTED said the Soyuz complex is actually closer toworkhorse space launch vehicle, the the town of Sinnamary than to the town ofSoyuz rocket, enters a new era this Kourou.fall when it launches for the rst time Many of the features of the new launchfrom the Guiana Space Centre near the complex are similar to the Soyuz launchequator in South America. pads at Baikonur and Plesetsk. e launch e Soyuz launch vehicle is vehicle is assembled horizontally in anthe direct descendant of the R-7 integration building and then moved by railIntercontinental Ballistic Missile 600m to the launch pad, where it is erectedthat put Sputnik into orbit in 1957. and supported on the pad by the tyulpanStarting with the rocket that launched (tulip) launch system that falls away as theYuri Gagarin in 1961, rockets in this rocket rises at li o .family have launched every Soviet and Like the older Soyuz launch pads, theRussian spacecra carrying human passengers, along with many other Guiana launch pad stands atop a gigantic ame trench. e Guianasatellites and space probes. Up to now, all of the Soyuz rocket’s more launch complex di ers from other Soyuz launch pads in that it also hasthan 1,760 launches have taken place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome an eight-level, 53m tall mobile launch service tower that can surroundin Kazahkhstan or the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. the rocket on the pad and permit vertical integration of the upper stage e European Space Agency and Arianespace began construction and payload for each rocket.of the French Guiana launch facility for Soyuz in 2004 a er reaching e Soyuz rocket is one of the few launch vehicles rated to launchagreement with the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Soyuz human passengers, and while no such launches are planned at therockets began arriving at the Guiana Space Centre in 2009. moment, the Guiana launch facility can be easily modi ed to permit A er the new Soyuz launch pad systems were tested in a simulated launching of human passengers.launch campaign that ended with a “virtual mission” on May 5, e Soyuz rocket launched from Guiana typically stands 46.2 m tallpreparations began for the rst Soyuz launch from Guiana, which and has four stages, including the four booster rockets and the centralis scheduled for October 20 at 7:34 a.m. local time. e rocket is due core stage that constitute the rst two stages, a third stage and theto orbit a pair of satellites from Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation Fregat fourth stage that is designed to function in orbit with restartablesystem. engines. is rocket di ers from previous versions of the Soyuz rocket Launching a rocket from a site closer to the equator allows you to with an enlarged payload fairing, a new ight control system, andtake advantage of the Earth’s eastern rotation. e rotation speed at the upgraded engines in the third stage.equator is greater than that at the northern latitudes of Baikonur and e addition of Soyuz to the stable of launchers in Guiana givesPlesetsk. Because French Guiana is close to the equator, the rocket is Arianespace an intermediate-size rocket between its large Ariane 5already moving 1700 km/h towards the east while sitting on the pad. launch vehicle, which has been in service for 15 years, and the newLaunching Soyuz from Kourou with this extra boost makes Soyuz Vega rocket, which is soon coming into service for smaller satellitecapable of launching larger payloads to geostationary transfer orbit. payloads going to low Earth orbit. “With a launch location close to the equator, Soyuz will have e October 20 launch will carry the rst two operational satellitesimproved performance and be able to carry up to three tones into in the Galileo satellite navigation system, which is slated to consistgeostationary transfer orbit, compared to the 1.7 tonnes that can be of 27 satellites and three spares on orbit, all at an inclination of 56launched from Baikonur,” ESA spokesman Roberto Lo Verde told degrees. Experimental versions of the Galileo satellites were launchedSpace Quarterly. in 2005 and 2008. e Soyuz launch complex is 12 km northwest up the French is launch is attracting so much interest that the Guiana SpaceGuiana coastline from the existing Ariane 5 launch complex. Lo Verde Centre is expecting a large number of spectators, Lo Verde said. “ ere is already such a huge interest that there are no hotel rooms anymore le in Guiana, and all viewing sites are completely full.”Chris Gainor is an author and historian specializing in space flight andaeronautics. He has written four books, including Arrows to the Moon:Avro’s Engineers and the Space Race, and To a Distant Day: The RocketPioneers, and articles in various academic and other publications.
  26. 26. 28 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011OnlineSocial Media TweetupsProving PopularBy Randy AttwoodOVER 19 YEARS AGO, AS PEOPLE BEGAN TOdiscover the World Wide Web, NASA jumped in and setup web sites for all of its centers and activities. Today,they are following that tradition by making extensiveuse of Twitter, a fast growing popular social mediaservice that allows its users to send short messages of140 characters or less to people who follow them. eycan access these messages, called tweets, using a varietyof so ware programs and on their mobile phones. It is not uncommon for people who follow Twitter toreceive tweets from astronauts aboard the InternationalSpace Station (ISS). A recent tweet from astronaut RonGaran was accompanied by a photo he had taken ofAtlantic Canada. All four astronauts on the STS-135 mission, Atlantis’recent last ight of the space shuttle program, hadTwitter accounts. Although some tweeted more thanothers, there were few tweets during the busy mission.Canadian astronaut Chris Had eld regularly sendstweets from Russia as he trains for his 2012 ISS mission. A few years ago NASA started to organize andrun Tweetups. Tweetups are gatherings of people whotweet an event. NASA invited people from all over theworld to register to attend the launch of a space shuttle.Although there is room for only 150, thousands apply. e lucky few chosen are given access to the LaunchComplex 39 Press Site at the Kennedy Space Center andenjoy two days of presentations and tours, culminatingwith a view of the launch from only ve kilometersaway.Randy Attwood has been following the space programfor over 40 years. He has appeared on televisionand radio for over 30 years as a commentator.He is a Senior Editor at SpaceRef InteractiveInc. and Managing Editor of Space Quarterly. A
  27. 27. September 2011 SPACE QUARTERLY 29A: Canadian Space Agency astronauts David Saint-Jacques and B: 150 Tweeters participate in the NASA Tweetup the morningJeremy Hansen at the July 8 CSA Tweetup in St Hubert, Quebec of the launch of STS 135 at the LC39 Press Site, KSCCredit: Katrina Ince-Lum Credit: Randy Attwood SpaceRef has many Twitter accounts. @SpaceQuarterly @SpaceRef @NASAWatch B @CanadaInSpace @OnOrbit @SpaceWeather A large tent is set up for the Tweeters near the @SpaceCommerce countdown clock. Tables are provided with power @ShuttleStation and most important, wi- for Internet access. NASA @SpaceEd astronauts and representatives as well as a Hollywood @Space_Calendar celebrity or two give presentations while the tweeters @EuropeanSpace can type away, tweeting what they are hearing. e @ChinaInSpace Tweeters also are taken on tours of the NASA facilities @AsiaInSpace and even get a close up look at the shuttle on the pad. @India_InSpace e Tweetup provides NASA with a social media base @AfricaInSpace to get its message out to the public. @MercuryToday e Canadian Space Agency (CSA) held a Tweetup @VenusTodayB for the last shuttle launch. Next to the NASA Tweetup @EarthToday tent, the CSA set up a tent for broadcasting a webcast @MoonToday back to St. Hubert, Quebec where 20 tweeters had been @MarsToday selected and gathered to learn more about the mission, @JupiterToday the program and to tweet out to their followers. @SaturnToday Astronauts Chris Had eld, Robert irsk, Julie Payette @PlutoToday and David Williams were in Florida. Astronauts @NASAHackSpace David St Jacques and Jeremy Hansen were at the CSA @HubbleScience headquarters for the #CSATweetup. @SpaceMeme Other NASA centers have hosted Tweetups include: @SpaceElevator the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Johnson Space @Astrobiology Center and NASA Headquarters. Tweetups are now being held to mark launches of Here are some of our unmanned missions. NASA organized Tweetups for editors’ accounts: the recent launch of Juno to Jupiter and the upcoming @00mb launch of Grail to the Moon. (Marc Boucher) Tweetups are in fashion now and look to be a @KeithCowing growing phenomenon. @RandyAttwood Here are the primary NASA and Canadian Space Agency Twitter accounts: @NASA @CSA_ASC @ASC_CSAA
  28. 28. 30 SPACE QUARTERLY September 2011Taken by Lunar Orbiter 2 in 1966 and restored by by the Lunar Orbiter Image RecoveryProject (LOIRP), this view looks into the giant crater Copernicus at an angle that no human—or robotic eye—had ever seen before. The mountains rising from the floor of Copernicusallowed people see the Moon in a new way—as a world waiting to be explored.Credit: NASA/LOIRP