Hello and welcome back to Max Q. I hope all of our Florida readers stayed safe during Hurricane Jan – thinking of you guys. In this release:
- How the space coast prepared for the storm
- People: 1, Asteroids: 0
- News from Astra, Firehawk Aerospace and more
By the way…We are only a few weeks away from TechCrunch Disruptionwho will return live and in person in San Francisco October 18-20. Use this link to get 15% discount tickets (excluding online and exhibition).
Florida’s space coast battened down its hatches in preparation for the arrival of the extremely powerful and slow-moving Hurricane Yang, and officials rolled rockets back to safety in their hangars and delayed launches until the storm had passed.
Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Kennedy Space Center (KSC) entered HURCON I by Wednesday afternoon, indicating sustained winds of 50 knots are likely for 12 hours. In light of these looming conditions, all non-essential facilities have been closed and most employees have been sent home. NASA also made a major decision to roll the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft from the launch pad to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Monday, giving employees enough time to move the massive launch system safely ahead of the storm. A rollback, while undeniably necessary, will affect the possible launch options for the Artemis I lunar mission. It is likely that the next possible launch window will not be until sometime in November.
Private companies with facilities on the space coast, including Relativity Space, United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, have also secured their hangar assets ahead of the storm. Two launches – NASA’s Crew-5, which was due to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, and the launch of two SES Atlas V telecommunications satellites from United Launch Alliance – have also been delayed.
In an update, a NASA spokesman wrote on the KSC Twitter page that minimal damage reported at most of the existing facilities.
In a big victory for humanity, NASA successfully crashed a vending machine-sized satellite into a small asteroid, part of what the agency called the “Double Asteroid Redirection Test” (DART). The target asteroid Dimorphos is part of a two-asteroid system; although none of them risked hitting Earth, the space agency saw them as an opportunity to test whether we humans could redirect an asteroid that was aims at the earth. After all, this has happened before – just ask the dinosaurs.
NASA launched DART last November, using a SpaceX Falcon 9 to send the satellite on a collision course with Dimorphos. The DART spacecraft crashed into a lunar asteroid at about 6.5 kilometers per second on Monday evening at 7:14 pm ET, a series of images from its onboard camera confirming the collision.
More news from TC…
- Aster will no longer send the remaining NASA TROPICS payloads into space, but will instead launch other “comparable” science missions for the agency, the company announced on Wednesday. The change in launch agreement came just over three months after the first launch of Astra TROPICS. ended in failure after the upper stage is turned off before the payload is delivered into orbit.
- Aster also announced new chief financial officer appointed to help the company navigate the new capital market landscape as it seeks to grow its launch and engine business.
- Federal Communications Commission new rules have been adopted requiring commercial satellite operators to ensure the safety of their spacecraft. descended from orbit for no more than five years after completing their mission in hopes of reducing the amount of “space junk” orbiting the Earth.
- Firehawk Aerospace developed new rocket engines, a stable solid propellant to power them, and got millions in new funding lead the company through the next round of tests before the first demonstration launch in the atmosphere.
- SpaceX as well as NASA signed a new agreement explore the possibility of sending a private team to the Hubble Space Telescope to increase the telescope’s orbit. Such a mission could extend the lifetime of the telescope by as much as 20 years.
…and not only
- THE ARK Investinvestment firm run by Kathy Woods used two of its funds to buy about 729,000 shares from the Rocket Lab.
- astroscale The UK subsidiary has opened a new 20,000 sq. ft. satellite manufacturing plant in Oxfordshire it is called “Zeus”.
- BryceTech released his quarterly launch reportby discovering that SpaceX launched about 500 spacecraft in the second quarter; the Chinese launch company and Rocket Lab tied for second with 36 spacecraft each.
- Congressional Subcommittee is keep tabs closed about the Federal Aviation Administration’s investigation of the anomaly that led to the failure of the Blue Origin New Shepard launch vehicle.
- Firefly Aerospace last start attempt was cleared in T-0, and the booster went into automatic abort shortly after ignition. The company is “looking at the data to determine [its] next launch window.
- Sierra Space is considering a public offer to finance their private space ambitions.
- SpaceX hit him fastest launch pad turnoverhaving carried out two launches within just six days from the same site.
- global spire got $4 million from the National Oceanic and Oceanic Administration to fund the development and demonstration of a hyperspectral microwave sensor in orbit.
- starlink produced over 1 million user terminalsSpaceX CEO Elon Musk made the announcement on Twitter.
- STOCK Space Technologies won a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to test metal heat shield technology.
- National Intelligence Agency contracts for research in the field of commercial radio frequency remote sensing up to six companies: Aurora Insight, HawkEye 360, Kleos Space, PredaSAR, Spire Global and Umbra Lab.
- UK space agency two contracts in ClearSpace and Astroscale to demonstrate space debris removal. The contracts are worth £2.25 million ($2.4 million) and £1.7 million ($1.8 million), respectively.
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