SpaceX’s Crew-4 + SpaceX looks to be on target to launch its fourth set of Starlink satellites in a little over two weeks, continuing its unrelenting cadence + Tensions between Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos and its foreign partners reached an all-time high on Monday when American astronauts insulted Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin on Twitter in Russian + Astra think it knows what went wrong during last month’s failed flight, which was the company’s first-ever mission with operational payloads onboard.
SpaceX’s Crew-4 members are completing final preparations for their flight to the International Space Station next month.
NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are planned to launch on Friday, April 15, aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
While Lindgren and Cristoforetti have already gone to space before, Hines and Watkins will be making their first voyage.
SpaceX looks to be on target to launch its fourth set of Starlink satellites in a little over two weeks, continuing its unrelenting cadence.
The mission, known as Starlink 4-10, is slated to launch no earlier than on Tuesday, March 8th. It will also be SpaceX’s 10th launch of 2022, with one launch every 6.6 days on average. SpaceX looks to be on track to maintain its current rate of orbital launches for at least the next month.
Tensions between Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, and its foreign partners reached an all-time high on Monday when American astronauts insulted Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin on Twitter in Russian.
In a tweet posted on March 2, he celebrated the removal of flags of partner nations from Russian rockets, proclaiming the vehicles looked “more beautiful” without them, according to a Google translation.
“Dimon,” responded NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on Monday, using a diminutive form of the name Dmitry. “Without those flags and the foreign exchange they bring in, your space program won’t be worth a damn. Maybe you can find a job at McDonald’s if McDonald’s still exists in Russia.”
In the same threat, NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman said Rogozin has always been a “fool.” Reisman also referenced Rogozin’s 2014 threat to refuse trips to the International Space Station on Russian rockets, in which the Roscosmos chief infamously said American astronauts would need a trampoline to get to space.
“Now Rogozin actually mortally wounds Roscosmos and ends one of the few remaining sources of currency for Russia,” Reisman said in his tweet. “Keep this in mind when your ATM is empty. It will need a trampoline soon.”
Roscosmos is also making moves to abandon its role on the station after completing its current commitments to reach the year 2024, a possibility that would fundamentally reshape the station’s future. For his part, Rogozin leaned into the bad blood that’s developing between Roscosmos and its longstanding collaborators by suggesting that Russia will need to develop its own independent human space program in the future.
“Unfortunately, Scott Kelly, known for keeping a python at home and feeding him live mice, is not the only U.S. astronaut who behaves like this,” Rogozin said in response to Kelly’s tweet.
“Hatred of Russia has broken out,” he added. “In a sense, this is useful: Some of our beautiful-hearted colleagues will lose stupid illusions. The bet on the creation of national, Russian-manned systems is now obvious to everyone.”
Astra thinks it knows what went wrong during last month’s failed flight, which was the company’s first-ever mission with operational payloads onboard.
The 43-foot-tall LV0008 performed well initially but ran into trouble shortly after stage separation, about three minutes into the flight. At this point, a camera on the rocket showed the upper stage begin to tumble. LV0008 was unable to recover from this off-nominal situation, resulting in at the end of the mission and the loss of the satellites.
Astra has been investigating the anomaly for nearly a month now, and the Bay Area company has reached some preliminary conclusions. Investigators have determined that two things went wrong during the flight.
First, LV0008’s payload fairing — the protective “nose cone” that surrounds satellites during launch — didn’t deploy properly.
The firing order was wrong because an engineering diagram had been drawn incorrectly, according to Greg senior director at Astra.
The second problem was a software issue that prevented LV0008’s upper stage engine from using its thrust vector control system, which allows the engine to alter how its thrust is directed. That led to the tumbling and, ultimately, to the end of the mission.
#astra #Crew4 #spacexstarlink #russia #roscosmos #Falcon9