Thursday, April 18, 2024

Short Takes – 4-18-24 – Space Geek Edition

Launch of a Reentry Vehicle as a Payload That Requires a Reentry Authorization To Return to Earth. Federal Register FAA notice. Summary: “This action provides notice that in general, the FAA will not authorize launch of a reentry vehicle as a payload that will require a reentry authorization to return to Earth unless the reentry vehicle operator has obtained the appropriate reentry authorization.”

Elon Musk hopes 'fate smiles' on latest Starship rocket test flight. article. Pull quote: ““I don't want to tempt fate … but I think the odds of actually catching the booster with the tower – probably like 80 to 90 per cent this year,” Mr Musk said.”

Boeing's Starliner capsule heads to launch pad for May certification mission. article. Lots of pictures, not much text.

China’s 130-ton reusable rocket engine breaks records during tests. article. Pull quote: “The research team behind the recent engine tests claims the 130-ton reusable liquid oxygen kerosene engine is highly reliable and has strong expandability. To make it function efficiently as a reusable engine, they set out to master multiple ignitions as well as large-range thrust adjustment and other technologies.”

NASA chief warns of Chinese military presence in space. article. Not much in the way of supporting information. Pull quote: "But you got to be realistic," he added. "China has really thrown a lot of money at it and they've got a lot of room in their budget to grow.”

Astronauts to patch up NASA's NICER telescope. article. Pull quote: “"We didn't design NICER for mission servicing. It was installed robotically, and we operate it from the ground," said Keith Gendreau, NICER's principal investigator at Goddard. "The possibility of a repair has been an exciting challenge. We considered both spacewalk and robotic solutions, puzzling out how to install patches using what's already present on the telescope and in space station toolkits."”

Lunar rover racing. article. Fairly in-depth article. Pull quote: “Both Lunar Dawn and Moon RACER look like one might expect from a slightly futuristic rover design; the illustrations they released looked like something you might expect to see on a sci-fi novel cover, if in some cases oddly streamlined for travel on an airless world. Astrolab’s Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover, though, is different: a boxy design with astronauts standing at the back, it looks less like a lunar rover than a lunar Zamboni.”

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