Welcome to the 1.31 Rocket Report! This week we have space news reports from the Azores to Hawaii. As we get back to the first report of 2019, there are also plenty of reports on the development of super heavy boosters.
As always, we welcome readers' posts, and if you do not want to miss a problem, sign in using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information about small, medium and heavy lift rockets, as well as a quick look at the next three calendar runs.
Alaska Aerospace looks at the throwing site in Hawaii. The company, which is already operating the Pacific Spaceport complex on Kodiak Island in Alaska, wants to build its next place to move closer to the equator, Hawaiian Tribune-Herald messages. The proposed location is located at Hilo, on the Great Island, and should be used to launch small payloads from 50 to 100 kg.
Local opposition was expected … "Do not think about what you see on Cape Canaveral," said Mark Lester, president of the Alaska-based company. "It's really a few concrete pads with very little permanent infrastructure." The report cites several skeptical Hawaiians who are interested in noise and other impacts. (submitted by Ken Bin)
LandSpace opens a missile production plant in China. The factory, located in Zhejiang province in eastern China, is reportedly the first private production of satellites on the market, according to Spacewatch. "Having a production base is the first step to the extensive commercial production of carrier rockets and engines and is expected to greatly accelerate research and development and testing of our products," said Zhang Changwu, CEO of LandSpace.
Ready to scale … It seems that the Tianjin rocket engine and the Zhuque-2 liquid fuel pump will start production in 2019. The ZQ-2 is scheduled to be launched in 2020. The plant will be able to produce about 15 Zhuque-2 rockets and 200 engines from in 2022, says the company. (submitted by Ken Bin).
The Blue Origin aims to fly with people in the "early" year of 2019. In a panel discussion this week at the US Aeronautics and Astronautics Institute SciTech Forum, Blue Star's astronauts and sales manager, said the company is thrilled to start flying with New Shepard but to put more emphasis on security over the plan.
No ticket sales yet "We are trying to fly with people in early 2019, but let's say it very clearly – we also said that earlier – only when we are ready," says Ariane Cornell SpaceNews. "We're so focused on testing the new Shepard." The company has not yet begun selling tickets or setting a price for a suborbital flight.
Stratolaunch moves the taxi test to 136 miles per hour. Two-engine six-engined airplanes at the Mojave Air and Space Ports in California tested at a speed of 136 mph during their latest taxi. This is almost takeoff speed for the world's largest airplane, designed to serve as the flying launch platform for orbital class missiles, GeekWire reports.
It may be the last test on earth … Company officials have previously said that this is the maximum speed that an aircraft can test on the ground, which may mean that behemot will soon fly. This is something we all look forward to in the new year. (submitted by Ken Bin)
The Azores will launch five rocket companies. The proposed starting point in the Azores supported by Portugal has narrowed from 14 to five of the number of companies it works with to develop a small launcher to serve as tenant anchors. The companies are: AVIO, AZUL Consortium, Isar Aerospace Technologies GmbH, PLD Space and Rocket Factory Augsburg. Final negotiations on contracts could start later in the spring.
Surrounded by water … The Azores are in the Atlantic Ocean at latitude 35 to 40 degrees north. The Committee, which studies industry proposals, is also involved in negotiations with the Portuguese authorities, subsystem suppliers and eventually the Ariane Group, which has shown an interest in the operation and management of the space port. (submitted by claudiocsilva)
The commercial crew sent it until February. SpaceX is about a month away from launching its first commercial crew mission, the founder of Elon Musk, tweeted at the beginning of January. It will be a demonstration flight without the people on board. NASA confirmed the delay by 10 February.
Monthly delays … Officially, NASA held the launch date on January 17, but it has become unsustainable due to continuing work on technical issues, say two sources, as well as a partial shutdown of the government. More than 90 percent of space agency staff are currently discontinued during shutdown, which affects the agency's ability to grant final approval for commissioning. Some key government officials continue to work on a pay-as-you-go program. (presented by george moromisato)
India plans to launch in 2019-14. The chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization said that the country plans to do so up to 14 years, including 17 satellites and one technological demonstration mission. ISRO Leader Kailasavadivoo Sivan said it would be a "challenging" goal, Time of India messages. In 2018, India launched seven orbital missiles.
Other work also … Among other launch activities this year, Sivan said that work will continue on a dedicated small satellite launcher as well as work to support the forthcoming space mission for human rights (set to 2022), the first country. The high target for this year's launch appears to be a disincentive for India's growing demands on the universe. (submitted by fleisher)
Vostochny Cosmodrome opens for business. At the end of December, after several years of delay, construction accidents and a corruption scandal in Russia, Vostochny Cosmodrome saw the first successful flight of commercial useful cargo aboard the Soyuz 2.1a, SpaceNews reporting. "Let's go!" Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter.
Pilot start … The primary payload consisted of two Russian government Earth observation satellites, Kanopus-V 5 and 6. However, the secondary payload of 26 small satellites was sold by the new Roscosmos, GK Launch Services. It is not clear when another commercial launch of GK will take place in a new spaceport in far eastern Russia. The next two launch of the company are planned for a flight from Baikonur in 2020. (presented by Ken Bin)
In spite of the ending of the work, work continues on the SLS missile. Based on the NASASpaceFlight.com report, work on the SLS missile continues during the partial shutdown of the government. Several rocket operations, including Pegasus operations, as well as the work of a contractor at the Michoud Assembly Facility, are excluded from decommissioning.
It certainly will not help … The government's execution is terrible in many ways for NASA, but it is unlikely to have much impact on the development of its missile. However, if SLS slides for the first time by 2021, it will offer one (how convenient and plausible) justification why. (submitted by Ken Bin)
Why Elon Musk has so many tweets about Starship. Since December 22, Musk has been tweeted about Starship more than twenty times. Starship is the upper stage of the spacecraft that will be launched by the "Super Heavy Booster" formerly known as the Big Falcon Rocket. Many details about the trial version of Starship can be found in the Musk Twitter book.
So why does he share so much? … When sharing all these Starship reports, Musk tells the world that it really isreally) the excitement of the Starship excitement. This, after nearly two decades of work coming to this point with SpaceX, is his Mars spacecraft and wants everyone to know about it.
Roscosmos selects the super heavy booster concept. Russian Space Corporation chose a variant of the Progress Rocket and Space Center, which has six side bumpers and a central core based on the RD-180 rocket engine. It will have a capacity of 103 tonnes on a low Earth orbit.
It does not start long … This decision builds on the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in 2018 to create a "super-heavy" rocket. To say that we are skeptical about this business is an understatement. It is not clear where Roscosmos will have the resources for such an ambitious project that is no longer expected to fly before 2028. (presented by Biceps)
Three more triggers
January 11: Falcon 9 | Iridium 8 Missions Air Force Base Vandenberg, California | 15:31 UTC
January 17: Epsilon | Rapis-1 Demonstration Satellite | Uchinoura Space Center, Japan 00:50 UTC
21st of January: Duration: 11 March Jilin-1 Commercial Remote Sensing Satellite Jiuquan, China | TBD