The Mission Readiness Review–Episode 8: Human-rated

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Click on the link below to get the latest TMRR episode.

On this podcast, we talk about:

  • A newly upgraded rocket off the block.
  • Some buzz about IoT
  • And, a lander goes to Mars.

Intro background music POD Dreams by Stefan Kartenberg (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: Debbizo, Michael Bacich.

Block 5 Falcon 9

  • The next Falcon that will be launched has undergone changes, quite a few to justify the new Block 5 monicker
  • At least two significant ones:
  • Human-rated
  • Designed to be reusable 10 times before some kind of inspection
  • Aiming for 24-hour turnaround

A little more about Swarm Technologies.

  • Turns out, several other federal U.S. agencies funded the company, including launch
    • NASA
    • National Science Foundation
    • U.S. Navy
  • Only NASA has really responded in-depth
    • It terminated the contract
    • The administration also noted it believed the license was “imminent and forthcoming.”

More about Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR), SBIRS, and the USAF

  • The USAF is sticking with Northrop Grummand and Lockheed Martin for some new contracts
  • Rationale “…opening up the program to new entrants was not a realistic option given the urgency of the program.”
  • Why would they think things have changed?
    • Rapid procurement authorities?
    • Are they working harder and not smarter?

Launch schedule:

Ars Technica Block 5:

Reddit Block 5:



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