Surprise Chinese launch places another “experimental” satellite in orbit

Yup, the Chinese decided to surprise everyone with the launch of a Long March 4b, according to this NASASpaceflight.com article.  I can’t even imagine the hullabaloo this created on our SBIRS (Space Based Infrared System) operators if this rocket’s intense heat source was really not expected.  Imagine seeing something emerge from a not-so-friendly country–something big that […]

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Buran Buran: when notorious space programs die on planet earth, where do the buildings go? Rio?

Well, “the reflex”-ive answer is “Nowhere, of course!!”  But what does happen to space launch facilities once a program goes away?  Maybe some people “save a prayer” for them,” but in most of the modern world, facilities tend to be reused.  Space launch complex-6 (SLC-6) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, is a good example […]

Read More Buran Buran: when notorious space programs die on planet earth, where do the buildings go? Rio?

Russian spacesuits, showers, and toilets for space operators

Popular Mechanics posted this article and these pictures of an old Soviet spacesuit factory.  According to the article, the Tomilino, Russia-based factory is still manufacturing things (but doesn’t really say spacesuits, specifically).  They apparently manufactured spacesuits for cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin–and for dogs named Laika, too. The toilet looks, um, functional. Related articles Skydiver record could affect spacesuit […]

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