July 27, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

Because some ugly futures keep raising their ugly heads. This site contains my opinions and ideas only, not the opinions or ideas of any organization I work for. It’s my idea playground, and I’m inviting you in. Welcome!

Russia may send a robot ‘crew’ to space in 2019

But, we’re way past August 29, 1997…

And the Russians say they’ve built these robots with the ability to shoot things. Really?? I think some Russian engineers missed some very critical pop culture from the 1980’s. This was all very avoidable.

NASA launches X-ray telescope on sounding rocket to study star wreckage

Trying to turn down the snark here, but this is the ONLY program in which NASA is routinely launching rockets right now. The administration’s Sounding Rocket Program Office (SRPO), manages to launch quite a few sounding rockets for varying missions, from a few different sites, every year.

The suborbital launches are useful to students, engineers, and researchers. And the mission the article talks about is pretty neat. Plus, unlike the Space Launch System, it doesn’t cost a few billions to build and launch these sounding rockets. Can’t we go back to a time when “bang for the buck” meant optimal result for low cost, instead of being horribly eager to burn money through a huge rocket engine nozzle?

Scientists from NASA will launch a probe to the Sun

Makes more sense than janitors from NASA launching the probe, I suppose…

Not to diss janitors. NASA probably hires the smartest ones around…union rules, I understand… 😉

Inside the Cosmodrome: Where Russia launches Americans into space

A nice narrative of a particular launch of a replacement crew for the International Space Station from Kazakhstan’s spaceport, Baikonur. Baikonur’s place in space history should hopefully never be forgotten, unlike the current state of Russian space technology  right now. Even with Putin’s edicts to get the Russian space program working again, I still think he’s setting them up for failure. His cronies are probably making sure his military programs requiring the same engineering talent gets that engineering talent–instead of letting the space programs use them.

I understand Baikonur Cosmodrome is a bit more desolate than North Dakota–which could also be a launching point of sorts– in very, very bad times.

Deputy PM: Russia May End Supplies of Rocket Engines to US, No Decision Made Yet

As Willy Wonka once unconvincingly warned Veruca Salt: “Stop. Don’t.”

Space is Open for Business

Wait a minute! Where have I seen that headline before? Oh yeah…

…here: https://business.esa.int/space-open-for-business

…here: https://room.eu.com/article/space-is-open-for-business

…and here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-22/new-zealand-successfully-launches-first-rocket-into-space/9347886.

And that’s just the ones for this year. What’s the point of pointing these out? It’s this: according to the article’s byline, TWO people worked on writing this article. And another group, a research firm, also put some effort into helping with the article. So, a lot of hours went into this article, but then the headline just gets phoned in.

The article isn’t news, and, unfortunately, full of incorrect information. There are also some weird terms being used, like “general purpose cubesat constellation” (which I identify as Earth observation cubesats–not general purpose), which helps justify the authors’ assertion of Spire’s constellation of cubesats being the largest constellation. Let’s just say that a Planet of satellites beats Spire out by significant numbers that are in the hundreds.

Also, the assertion that “all mature rocket programs were designed long ago to carry enormous, expensive payloads to geosynchronous orbit” is not accurate. There are several mature rocket programs from nearly all rocket-launching nations/organizations designed for only low Earth orbit. And, for accuracy’s sake, very few launch vehicles directly inject a satellite into a geosynchronous orbit, instead opting for placing the satellite in a transfer orbit.

These examples of the article’s inaccuracies and fanciful terms makes me wonder if this article was some kind of press release for the research firm, and not intended to be actual news.

A lot of hours, but very little accurate reporting…too bad, considering.

Russia’s New Rocket Project Might Resurrect a Soviet-Era Colossus

Where have I heard this one before?

Lessee, basic story is a government space agency is being forced to cling to an old, likely expensive, requiring a long-lead time, and possibly an irrelevant rocket-building program iteration. When will NAS…I mean…the Russians, ever learn?

Still, less fictional than the previous article.

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