Practice makes perfect – SpaceX supply mission for ISS scheduled on 29th February 2016

Another launch with supplies for ISS with unmanned DRAGON spaceship from launch site SLC-40 in Cape Canaveral utilizing Falcon-9 1.2V rocket. ISS supply missions are good example of growing contribution of commercial vehicles in government programs. Since ISS program was started in 1998, about eighty unmanned cargo vehicles docked to ISS. Adding another eighty for manned missions…
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Mars targeted – first mission from ESA’s ExoMars program planned on 7th January 2016

First ExoMars mission main goal is testing of Schiaparelli module to gather information necessary in further European Mars exploration program. Roscosmos, launch service provider of mission, is going to utilize Proton-M rocket. Planned launch site is LC-81 in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. European Space Agency in cooperation with Roscosmos is currently developing one Mars oriented program. It is…
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Planned launch of SpaceX’s DRAGON reusable spaceship with supplies for ISS. Mission will be started from launch site SLC-40 in Cape Canaveral AFS.

First mission with supplies for ISS in 2016 has not exact date yet. It was given to public that Dragon will be launched in January 2016 from Cape Canaveral;  SpaceX is realizing contract with NASA from 2006 on supply missions to ISS. Dragon spacecraft was designed as partially reusable - capsule returned to earth and cargo compartment is designed to be burned during entering in atmosphere. Dragon is height at 6.1 with diameter at 3.7 and dry mass at 4200 kg. Angle of sidewalls is 15 degrees. Heat shield is made phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (invented by NASA). Spacecraft is capable to lift to ISS 3310 kg pressurized or unpressurized cargo. From ISS Dragon is able to take 3310 kg of unpressurized or 2500 kg of pressurized cargo. Dragon's construction has potential for further development - SpaceX have been designing crew version since 2006. Company was awarded with $ 75 million in second phase of NASA Commercial Crew Development program in 2011 and granted with another $ 440 million in 2012 for further development of its construction. As SpaceX potential is undisputable (since COTS Demo Flight 1 in 2010 and decision of FAA to issue Dragon capsule reentry license as first commercial vehicle in history) it is highly probable that SpaceX will soon be able to offer NASA a modern solution for sending men into space.

Falcon-9 development is strongly connected with Dragon. Second launch of Falcon-9 was during COTS Demo Flight 1. Spacecraft was successfully launched on correct orbit and was recovered from Pacific Ocean after controlled reentry burn. Also COTS Demo Flight 2 on 2012 was utilizing Falcon-9 rocket. This time SpaceX will utilize Falcon in 1.2V. It will be first time of usage modernized version 1.2V with Dragon spacecraft and third launch of Falcon-9 1.2V. If everything will go correct SpaceX will confirm its position as a launch service provider with comprehensive range of service and a fleet of space vehicles.


Standing between giants – Next Galileo satellites launch planned from Guiana on 17th December 2015

Next two satellites from Galileo program are going to be launched with Arianespace rocket from Guiana Space Centre launch site LCS. Galileo navigation was created by ESA to provide highly acccurate system under civilian management with extended capabilities in emergency applications. Also being independent from Russian Glonass and American GPS have been developed to provide European Union navigation…
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Beginner’s luck will be enough ? – the 6th Vega mission planned on 27th November 01:23 2015

ESA planned launch of Vega rocket with LISA Pathfinder atop from launch pad ELV in French Guiana. European Space Agency is going to continue tests before finishing eLISA (Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) program in 2034. This time Lisa Pathfinder, technology demonstrator built by Airbus Defense and Space will provide necessary data for measuring gravitational waves. Launched on…
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