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Spaceflight

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by narboza22 on Thu 24 Mar 2011 - 5:45

I wasn't aware that Orion wasn't canceled along with the rest of Constellation. That's good news I guess, but honestly, I just feel that once the shuttles are gone, space flight is going lose some of its grandeur, if that's even the right word. With Apollo and the Saturn V's and with the Shuttles, it just had a je ne sais quoi. The Orion just looks like a box with solar panels, which doesn't convey the same kind of "Look, there's a rocket the size of a sky scraper" that Apollo did, or "SPACE PLANE" that the shuttle does.

Plus, I'm a little pissed that I am probably not going to be able to get to see one of the last two shuttle launches, which really sucks.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 24 Mar 2011 - 22:49

Hey, you should see some of the new rocket plans that NASA are coming up with!

The main study is of a Shutte ET with two SRB's, an upper stage powered by J2-X's (J-2's were used in the Saturn V, the J-2X is an evolution) and an Orion strapped to the top (approaches Saturn V levels of power with an upper stage)

The other study is a Saturn V class, all liquid booster.

The rockets are planned to be online by 2016, with proper operational missions starting up in the 2020's.

Lockheed Martin proposed a ''stepping stones'' approach to beyond Earth Orbit missions for the next few decades. It begins with either a Lunar Flyby or a Hubble reservicing mission, followed by a mission to an Earth-Moon L point, followed by a mission to an asteroid, followed by a Mars orbiting programme with exploration of Phobos and Demios.

Sounds good to me! Orion is basically a scaled up Apollo capsule!

Just think, I wonder who the next crew of Astronauts to travel beyond earth orbit will be? NASA's current Astronaut trainee group, Group 20, have a picture of Orion re-entring earth on their patch. Its really cool to think that the men and women of this group will be doing these kinds of things!

It may seem like spaceflight is loosing gradeur, but, be patient, there is many great things to come! Very Happy

I personally cannot wait for the day when NASA TV updates me daily with crew blogs en-route to the Moon or Mars! The human side of spaceflight is the thing I love the most.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 24 Mar 2011 - 22:53

And don't forget, SpaceX have hired Gareth Reismen and Ken Bowsersox, both ex-NASA Astronauts, and who are probably going to be ''test-Astronauts'' for SpaceX and the Dragon capsule. Boeing will be seding two Boeing test-pilots up on their maiden flight too. Some very daring missions planned in the private sector.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Sun 27 Mar 2011 - 15:06

article about NASA's current studies on rockets: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/03/sls-studies-focusing-sd-hlv-versus-rp-1-f-1-engines/

And STS-135's SRB stacking has begun!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 22:38

Soyuz TMA-21!

50 years of Human Spaceflight. TMA-21 launches from the same pad that Yuri Gagarin launched from in 1961.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 22:42

Umbillical towers being removed

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 22:51

Launch due in around 30 minutes. Soyuz TMA-21 will bring Aleksandr Samokutyayev (PKA, Soyuz Commander, Expedition 27 Flight Engineer), Andrei Borisenko (PKA, Soyuz Flight Engineer, Expedition 27 Commander) and Ron Garan (NASA, Soyuz Flight Engineer, Expedition 27 Flight Engineer).

The crew will join Paolo Nespoli, Dmitri Kondratyev and Cady Coleman to round out Expedition 26. Kondratyev is E26 Commander. When the Expedition 26 crew leave, Borisenko will become Station Commander for E27.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 22:59

Sorry, Kondratyev is commander of E27. The TMA-21 crew will form part of the E28 crew Razz Silly me Wink

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 23:10

http://www.spacevidcast.com/live/

not long now!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 23:11

T- 7 minutes

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 23:14

Many people see Spaceflight as routine, but there is nothing more cool than three Astronauts and Cosmonauts being fired ontop of a missile inside a vehicle designed to rival Apollo on their way to a space station that can Dwarf a Space Shuttle!

T-4 mins

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 23:19

They are going uphill very nicely now! Someone in the chatroom posted a link to the ''Anthem of the Russian Federation'' on youtube as ''Background music''. It really did make it look and sound epic! Razz

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 23:21

Everything nominal, LRB Sep.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 23:22

All three look very calm for being hurled into space at 50,000mph and gaining!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Mon 4 Apr 2011 - 23:24

Everything nominal, Stage 2 sep. The LRB's are the four strap-on boosters around the core stage, and the Stage 2 sep indicates that the core booster has separated. The third stage will now bring the capsule into orbit, a job which is done by the SSME's in a Shuttle flight.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Tue 5 Apr 2011 - 0:04


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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Tue 5 Apr 2011 - 0:06

An amazing retrospective of Space Shuttle Endeavour, focusing on her greatest flights. For anyone who thinks going to Earth Orbit for 30 years has been a waste, watch it!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Tue 5 Apr 2011 - 18:14

Elon Musk announced a new rocket today, the Falcon Heavy. It incorporates three Falcon 9 core stages strapped together and it can carry twice as much mass as a Space Shuttle Orbiter, and half as much as a Saturn V into Low Earth Orbit, giving it the largest payload carrier since the Saturn V (depending on wether or not you count a Space Shuttle as payload on the STS stack). Elon Musk is saying that a manned Lunar flyby mission could be achieved with one launch with a Dragon and a manned Lunar orbital mission could be achieved with two Falcon Heavy launches with a Dragon capsule on one.



The three core stages of the Falcon Heavy gives its business end 27 in-house built Merlin 1D engines to provide the majority of thrust, which will be more powerful than the current Merlin 1C engines.

There is alot of rumours flying around about a possible Merlin 2 Engine, which would be close to the Saturn V F-1 Engine (used on the first stage) and could be used in a 7 engine clustered configuration for a Saturn V class ''Eagle 7'' rocket Very Happy[quote][code]

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Tue 5 Apr 2011 - 18:34

A Falcon Heavy will be ready at Vandenberg AFB at the end of next year, and will launch some time after. In the 2013/2014 time period, a Falcon Heavy will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, bringing a load of new jobs to both areas in processing rocket stages, stacking and payload integration i'm sure, which is always a good thing, seeing as Elon wants 20 launches a year!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 7 Apr 2011 - 12:12

Soyuz TMA-21, ''Gagarin'' has docked with the ISS' Poisk module.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Thu 7 Apr 2011 - 23:28

Since we are approaching the 50th Anniversary of the USSR's Vostok 1 mission, I thought it'd be a good idea to post all the major milestones of human spaceflight up here every now and then in the days leading up to Yuri's Night!

Yuri's Night is a great excuse to drink lots of Vodka Very Happy

So, here is part 1! The Pioneers of Human Spaceflight and the beginning of the race for space!

April 12th 1961, USSR launches Vostok 1, its first Vostok flight with a human being on board, in the form of Soviet Air Force Lieutenant Yuri Gagarin! His flight did one whole orbit of the Earth, launching from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in the Kazakh SSR (Now the Republic of Kazakhstan) and landing in the Saratov region of the Russian SSR (Now the Russian Federation).


May 5th 1961, the United States of America launches Alan B. Shepard Jr atop a Redstone ballistic missile on Mercury-Redstone 3, aka Freedom 7. As the Redstone was less powerful than the Soviet R-7 used to launch Vostok 1, the USA could only achieve a Sub-Orbital flight, launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Merrit Island, Florida, and landing in the Atlantic ocean.


Shortly after Al's flight, President Kennedy commits the USA to sending a ''Man to the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth'' during his ''Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs'' on the 25th of May 1961.


The USSR pressed on with orbital launches, Gherman Titov became the second man to orbit the Earth, and to this day, is still the youngest man to fly in space, orbiting the globe an impressive 17 times for the day.


On the 20th of February 1962, the ultimate goal of Project Mercury was achieved, when John Glenn achieved Orbit on Mercury-Atlas 6, Friendship 7.


And so the goal was set, the Moon in just under Eight years. Now that both the USSR and the USA had achieved orbit, they needed to prove that Humans could operate outside of a spacecraft in specially made, fully pressurized Spacesuits. They needed to prove that Rendezvous with other spacecraft was possible, and then after that, they needed to learn how to dock. And the Astro's had to learn how to live with another guy for weeks on end. So the stage was set for the Voshkohd and Gemini programmes which would fufil these goals, and see the first flights of Apollo heroes such as Neil Armstrong and Jim Lovel.




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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Fri 8 Apr 2011 - 17:18

March 18th 1965, the USSR launches Pavel Belyayev (Commander) and Alexey Leonev (Pilot) on Voskhod 2. The aim of this mission was simple, to conduct the first Spacewalk using specially designed ''Berkut'' Spacesuits, and an inflatable airlock. Once again the US Space Programme is beaten to the post by the USSR. This second Voskhod flight would be the last of the Vostok/Voskhod spacecraft flights as work began on the new Soyuz, which would perhaps, one day, place a Soviet Cosmonaut on the surface of the Moon. The USSR would not launch another human into space untill 1967.


It would not be untill June 3rd 1965 when the USA conducted its first Spacewalk. The Gemini 4 mission was the second manned mission of the Gemini programme. Gemini 3 was a test flight, proving that the new Gemini Space Capsule could be piloted by Astronauts. The Gemini was more like an Aeroplane in terms of controls and cockpit when compared to the Mercury or Vostok spacecraft, and it served as both an Astronaut training craft and a technology demonstrator. All of the skills and techniques learned in Gemini would translate over to the Apollo Moon programme.

Gemini 4 - Command Pilot Jim McDivitt and Pilot Edward H. White set out to fly the USA's first multi-day spaceflight and attempt the USA's first spacewalk using the new Gemini Space Suit (Which would later evolve into the ACES Shuttle Launch and Entry suit).


Gemini 7 was the first flight of Command Pilot Frank Borman and Pilot Jim Lovell, who would later go on to fly together on Apollo 8, the first manned flight to the Moon. Their flight would investigate the long term effect on the human body of prolonged weightlessness for weeks at a time. During their flight, the crew of Gemini 6 used their vehicle as a Rendezvous target, the two spacecraft came just 30cm away from each other at one point. This provided some spectacular photos of the Gemini spacecraft in orbit.


in 1968, Gemini 8 would conduct the first of America's space firsts. Neil A. Armstrong and Dave Scott successfully rendezvoused and docked with their Agena target vehicle. However the crew were almost killed when an RCS thruster used to control the roll of the spacecraft stuck on, sending the Gemini 8 capsule into a violent tumble. Armstrong managed to regain control of the spacecraft just as the two crew members were about to black out, this is seen by many as the event that landed him the position of Commander on Apollo 11.


It seemed as if America had the upper ground by now, but both Superpowers were pressing ahead with their respective Apollo and Soyuz programmes, one of which would put a Human being on the surface of the Moon... In 1967, both countries would suffer devastating loss on the maiden manned missions of both Spacecraft with the first loss during flight, and the first loss of crew on the ground.

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Sat 9 Apr 2011 - 0:45

Downloaded the Vostok Add-on for orbiter! The challenge of the Vostok flights is not in the actual flying of the spacecraft itself, which is done automatically (In Soviet Russia, Vostok fly you!), but in trying to learn how to use the fully detailed and fully functional control panels in the cockpit, all of which are labeled in Cyrillic Russian and all of which must be controlled by the Pilot! You have to flick through all the radio channels as you orbit the Earth, often picking up local radio chanels, music and static. When flying over the USSR, you get commands from Moscow. The little notepad you have on your knees at launch actually begins to float around inside the cockpit, and you can use your mouse to flick it about!

Its the Shift 2: Unleashed of Spaceflight!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Sat 9 Apr 2011 - 0:48

You can even call Mission Control to request co-ordinates to manually callibrate the orbit indicator. And yes, the conversations are in Russian, so you need to know the numbers being radio'd back up are Very Happy

This is fantastic!

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Re: Spaceflight

Post by nickyf1 on Sun 10 Apr 2011 - 0:22

If anyone is actually reading these, its part 3!

With both superpowers having proved they could do many of the things needed for a lunar trip, it was time for both nations to give their lunar spacecraft orbital shakedowns.

The USA adopted a large conical capsule concept which provided space for the crew, controls, a forward docking port and transfer tunnel and a heatshield for re-entry. Its service module housed propellants, the main life support systems and a massive SPS Engine used for course correction burns, Lunar Orbit Insertion and Trans-Earth Injection. It would be named the Apollo CSM. The Apollo CSM would be launched by a large super-heavy lift booster, the Saturn V, for Lunar flights and would be launched with the Lunar Module, directly to the moon. For Orbital flights, an Apollo CSM would be lifted by the medium lift Saturn 1B.

The Soviet Union adopted a more weight conscience design with three main modules; the forward spherical Orbital Module which housed equipment not needed for re-entry, the re-entry module which was used to bring the crew home, and the aft service module which housed propellants, life support and engines. The Soyuz was to be lifted by the Super-heavy N1 rocket on lunar flights, which would carry the LK lander, a Soyuz 7K and the various rocket stages needed for the trip. Two crew members would go, with one Cosmonaut reaching the Lunar Surface after spacewalking into the Lander. For orbital flights, the Soyuz would be launched atop the all new Soyuz booster, an evolution of the R-7 ICBM used to launch Sputnik, Vostok and Voskhod.

On April 23rd 1967, Vladimir Komarov was launched into Earth orbit in the first flight of the Soyuz 7K-OK on the Soyuz 1 mission. The mission involved Rendezvous, Docking and crew transfer with Soyuz 2, a very complex mission for such a new spacecraft. His flight was plagued with mechanical issues, one of his solar arrays would not deploy, crippling the spacecraft. When bad weather canceled the Soyuz 2 launch, Komarov had no option but to re-enter. Upon re-entry is main parachute did not deploy, he crashed into the ground at over 400mph, he was killed instantly.

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Re: Spaceflight

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