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The Orbital Mechanics Podcast
45 minutes | 7 days ago
Episode 304: WRT Raining, Pouring
Spaceflight news— ISS’s crew of ten (spacepolicyonline.com) (spacenews.com)— Rocket Lab to test booster recovery from space this May (rocketlabusa.com)— Two new Chinese spaceports planned (spacenews.com)— End-to-end testing of Lunar Gateway SEP system completed (americaspace.com)Short & Sweet— Space startup Phase Four wins government contract (spacenews.com)— Biden administration asks for 6.3% increase to NASA’s budget (spacepolicyonline.com)— JWST packs its sunshield in preparation for October launch (satnews.com)— Ingenuity Flight 1 delayed (spacenews.com)Questions, comments, corrections— Ben Hallert via Discord: Spacelab isn’t Skylab.— From the intro: no more fairing catching (twitter.com/Erdayastronaut) (spacexfleet.com)This week in SF history— April 15, 2005: DART Collides with MUBLCOM (nasa.gov) (en.wikipedia.org) — DART stands for Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology — MUBLCOM stands for Multiple Paths, Beyond-Line-of-Sight Communications— Next week (4/20 - 4/26) in 1997: Reduce, reuse, recycle.
50 minutes | 14 days ago
Episode 303: Dramatic Concealed Conflagration
Spaceflight news— Failed data bus on Crew Dragon (HT Kevin Smith: blogs.nasa.gov)— SN11 landing failure (space.com) (twitter.com/Bojay_stellar) (twitter.com/TrevorMahlmann)Short & Sweet— Rocket Lab preparing for Moon Mission (twitter.com/RocketLab) (nasaspaceflight.com)— Everyday people in space (spaceflightnow.com)— NASA buys lunar gravity from Blue Origin (nasa.gov)— HLS award should be here soon (spacenews.com)Questions, comments, corrections— From the intro: ingenuity deployed (space.com)Last week in SF history— 4 Apr, 1983: The launch of TDRS-A aboard STS-6 (space.nss.org) (spacefacts.de) (nasaspaceflight.com) (nasa.gov) (americaspace.com) (americaspace.com) (youtube.com) — Footage of TDRS-E’s deployment in 1991 was shot with much better cameras (youtu.be)— Next week (4/13 - 4/19) in 2005: Bullseye?
46 minutes | a month ago
Episode 302: Debris Mayhem
Spaceflight news— Bill Nelson to be nominated as next NASA head (spacenews.com) (whitehouse.gov)— Debris mayhem — Space Force would hire deorbiting satellites (spacenews.com) — Astroscale’s demo will launch on the GK Launch Services rideshare Soyuz (spacenews.com) — NOAA-17 broke up (spacenews.com) (HT Mike Stewart: archive.org) Short & Sweet— Chang’e 5 orbiter begins extended mission (spacenews.com)— JWST on target for launch in October (spacenews.com) (theatlantic.com)— Super Heavy is being stacked (teslarati.com) (twitter.com/elonmusk)— Capella releases dish deployment video (cnbc.com) (directory.eoportal.org)Questions, comments, corrections— Emory S. via Discord: on-orbit servicing thoughtsThis week in SF history— 24 Mar, 2006. HiRISE takes its first images of Mars (space.com) (newscientist.com) (mars.nasa.gov)— Next week (3/30 - 4/5) in 1983. A little deeper pool.
57 minutes | a month ago
Episode 301: Service Update
Spaceflight news— Ukrainian startup looks at in-orbit servicing (spacenews.com) (kursorbital.com)— Northrup’s MEV-2 prepares for docking attempt with geostationary satellite (spacenews.com)— Market analysis for on-orbit service demand by Northern Sky Research (nsr.com) — CONFERS is working on docking standards (satelliteconfers.org)Short & Sweet— HST back online after software glitch (spacenews.com)— Second hot fire of SLS core scheduled for Thursday (americaspace.com) (spaceflightnow.com)— China successfully launches Long March 7A (spacenews.com)This week in SF history— 21 Mar, 2007: Second launch of Falcon 1 (wikipedia.org) (space.com) (amazon.com) — The second stage engine bell scraped the interstage during separation (youtube.com)— Next week (3/23 - 3/29) in 2006: First sweep of a dusty surface
90 minutes | a month ago
Episode 300: Nikolas Trawny, Ph. D.
Spaceflight news— Rocket Lab reveals Neutron, goes public (americaspace.com) (spacenews.com) (rocketlabusa.com)Short & Sweet— Starship burned down, fell over, and only then sank into the swamp (spacenews.com) (twitter.com/elonmusk)— SpaceX wins a contract (spacenews.com)— Price changes announced for ISS and lunar mission (spacenews.com) (spacenews.com)— Perseverance update (spacenews.com) (nasaspaceflight.com) (youtube.com)Questions, comments, corrections— Ryan via email: Cut cables on Perseverance— Ben Hallert: inclinometer vs gyro (twitter.com/chairboy)— From the intro: Smarter Every Day looks at Mighty Eagle (youtube.com)Interview: Nikolas Trawny, Ph.D., JPL GNC section— ADAPT flight test (jpl.nasa.gov) (arc.aiaa.org) (nasa.gov) — Mars 2020 LVS and TRN (science.nasa.gov)— Dr. Trawny’s LinkedIn (linkedin.com)This week in SF history— 15 March, 1986: Soyuz T-15 docks with Mir, ahead of the first (and only) station-to-station equipment transfer. (spacefacts.de) (spacefacts.de) — Soyuz-T still had an Igla approach system, not Kurs (svengrahn.pp.se)— Next week (3/16 - 3/22) in 2007, This list goes up to eleven, or at least it should.
67 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 299: Dare Mighty Parachutes
Spaceflight news— Perseverance update! — Parachute message (twitter.com) — MATLAB solution (HT trbinsc in the chat: cdn.discordapp.com) — Make your own custom message! (sjwarner.github.io) — Perseverance photos and video (planetary.org) (spacenews.com) (mars.nasa.gov) (youtube.com) — Opportunity visited its heat shield’s crash site (HT Mike Stewart spaceref.com)— Dynetics completes preliminary design review for HLS lander (americaspace.com) (spacenews.com)— NASA’s human spaceflight program and safety (spacenews.com) (twitter.com/wapodavenport) — We talked to Emory Stagmer about Starliner’s issues in episode 241 (theorbitalmechanics.com)Short & Sweet— Culprit identified for failed Falcon 9 booster landing (spacenews.com) — Post-recording followup: sounds like this may have been an issue isolated to retrofire! (HT Mike Stewart: spacenews.com)— Blockchain transaction tested on orbit (parabolicarc.com)— Relativity is going reusable (cnbc.com)Questions, comments, corrections— Hartvik Line via email: Inspiration has 6-DOF sensing— twitter.com/chairboy: The largest spacecraft ever (wikipedia.org)This week in SF history— 5 Mar, 1999. Launch of WIRE space telescope (en.wikipedia.org) (PDF: nasa.gov) (spiedigitallibrary.org) — Making the most of a bad situation (ucolick.org) (PDF: llis.nasa.gov)— Next week (3/9 - 3/15) in 1986. The first stop on our roadtrip.
48 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 298: Tango Delta
Spaceflight news— Perseverance has landed! (arstechnica.com) (americaspace.com) (spacenews.com) (uahirise.org) — HiRISE managed to snap a photo of Perseverance under its parachute (uahirise.org) (HT Mike Stewart: twitter.com/HiRISE) — Interview with Ingenuity’s Operations Lead (HT Colin-in-the-chat: spectrum.ieee.org) — Ingenuity runs open source control software called f’ (github.com/nasa)Short & Sweet— China prepares to launch first segment of space station (spacenews.com)— SpaceX demonstrates more data collection leads to more system knowledge (youtube.com)— Test flight of Starliner slips to April (spacenews.com)This week in SF history— 1 March 2002: Launch of the world’s largest civilian earth observation satellite (earth.esa.int) (en.wikipedia.org) — Succeeded European Remote Sensing Satellites (en.wikipedia.org) (esa.int) — Eventually replaced by Sentinel (wikipedia.org)— Next week (3/2 - 3/8) in 1999: Once you pop, the fun don’t start.
61 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 297: Fleet Arrival
Spaceflight news— Mars Hope and Tianwen-1 arrive — Great video from Tianwen-1 as it passes its first periareion (twitter.com/AJ_FI) — Tianwen-1 will lower to a reconnaissance/landing orbit, then two different science orbits. (twitter.com/PRCMarsRover) — Mars Hope sent back a fantastic image (bbc.com)Mars fleet arriving soon — Perseverance (americaspace.com) (everydayastronaut.com) — Ingenuity (jpl.nasa.gov) (jpl.nasa.gov) (mars.nasa.gov) — We previously talked to Ella Atkins about autonomous robotics (theorbitalmechanics.com)Short & Sweet— DARPA looks into off-earth manufacturing (rocketrundown.com)— Turkey aims for 2023 lunar landing (reuters.com)— The Vulcan pathfinder arrives (spaceflightinsider.com)— Doors open at Blue Origin’s New Glenn factory (HT Andy Z: twitter.com/WordsmithFL)Questions, comments, corrections— Andrew Z and Espen via email: SN9 violation — Andy pointed out debris separation (6:20 and 6:23: youtube.com) — Espen pointed us at some illuminating tweets (HT Espen: twitter.com/wapodavenport)This week in SF history— 22 Feb, 1990. Launch of Ariane 4 V-36/407 (thespacereview.com) (capcomespace.net) — Next week (2/23 - 3/1) in 2002: European cars may be small…
68 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 296: Spectre-2 Incoming
Spaceflight news— Starship SN9 update (spacenews.com) — Lots of leftover LOX visible on IR footage (youtube.com) — SN8’s FAA violation (spacenews.com)— Firefly wins CLPS contract (spacenews.com) (nasa.gov) — They will be flying the Blue Ghost lander and a number of science payloads (firefly.com) — Regolith Adherence Characterization (RAC) (Image at parabolicarc.com) — Lunar Magnetotelluric Sounder (LMS) (hou.usra.edu) — Lunar Instrumentation for Subsurface Thermal Exploration with Rapidity (LISTER) (today.ttu.edu) — Lunar PlanetVac (LPV) (parabolicarc.com) — Blue Ghost Payload User’s Guide (firefly.com) — Space Utility Vehicle will be the service module/kick stage to get BG to the moon (firefly.com)Short & Sweet— Dragon breaks a record (americaspace.com)— Nanoracks’ Bishop airlock powers on (houstonchronicle.com)— OSIRIS-REx to return home (americaspace.com)Questions, comments, corrections— From the intro: Koenigsmann retiring (HT Colin: cnbc.com)— Game night! — Come play Sea of Thieves with Dennis and Ben — Friday 4pm Eastern 1:00p Pacific — Meet on Discord (twitter.com/orbitalpodcast)This week in SF history— 10 Feb, 2001. Ammonia leak during STS-98 spacewalk (nasa.gov) (esa.int) (spacefacts.de) (science.ksc.nasa.gov) — The Early External Active Thermal Control was still being used during this mission (sae.org)— Next week (2/16 - 2/22) in 1990. Potato in the tailpipe
40 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 295: Storybook Titles
Spaceflight news— Starship, Elon, and the FAA — SN8 violated launch license (theverge.com) — SN9 had to contend with the outcome (spacenews.com) (arstechnica.com) (twitter.com/elonmusk)Short & Sweet— Problems revealed for SXM-7 satellite in orbit. (spacenews.com)— Two more Dragon astronaut crews announced. (spacenews.com) (americaspace.com)— Second Green Run Static Fire (spacenews.com) (blogs.nasa.gov)Questions, comments, corrections— Chris Hofmann (via DM), Ben Hallert (twitter.com/chairboy): SLS Core Stage tanking limits (twitter.com/NASA_SLS) (blogs.nasa.gov) — The nine-tank mistake might be traced back to a press call (clickorlando.com)This week in SF history— Soyuz 24 mission to Salyut 5 (wikipedia.org) (astronotix.com) (spacefacts.de) (nytimes.com)— Next week (2/9 - 2/15) in 2001: Do you smell that? No?
93 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 294: DOWNLINK--Panagiotis Tsiotras II
Spaceflight news— SLS Green Test hotfire followup (americaspace.com) (spacenews.com) (spaceflightnow.com) (youtube.com)Short & Sweet— SpaceX buys offshore oil platforms to convert to spaceports. (chron.com) (nasaspaceflight.com)— ThrustMe performs on orbit. (spacenews.com)— Starliner up and running? (spacenews.com) (HT Andrew Z: spaceflightnow.com)Interview--Dr. Panagiotis Tsiotras, IEEE Fellow and Professor and David and Andrew Lewis Chair, Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.— Chapter 8.2 of Ulrich Walter’s Astronautics is a good resource for learning about Lambert Transfers (books.google.com)— Dr. Tsiotras wrote a paper called Optimal Two-Impulse Rendezvous Using Multiple-Revolution Lambert Solutions (PDF: researchgate.net)This week in SF history— 1 Feb, 1990: The first test of the Soviet SPK/21KS maneuvering unit (americaspace.com) (astronautix.com) (astronautix.com) (spacefacts.de) (books.google.com) (russianspaceweb.com)— Next week (2/2 - 2/8) in 1977: A farewell salute
58 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 293: Spacebots, Roll Out!
Spaceflight news— ISS to get more solar panels! (space.com) (spacenews.com) (americaspace.com) (nasa.gov) — 2017 Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) demo (americaspace.com) (en.wikipedia.org) (jettison GIF) — Cassidy and Behnken removed H-fixtures from the base of two port-side arrays Last July (youtu.be)Short & Sweet— InSight’s mole is finally retired. (spacenews.com) (airspacemag.com)— SLS test fire shuts down early. (americaspace.com) (twitter.com/waynehale) (blogs.nasa.gov) (nasa.gov)— China proposes Jupiter mission that may include Callisto landing. (planetary.org)This week in SF history— 20 Jan, 1967. S-IVB-503 explodes at Douglas due to incorrect weld fill material. (astronautix.com) (uah.contentdm.oclc.org)— Next week (1/26 - 2/1) in 1990: Like a маятник.
55 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 292: Ungoogleable
Spaceflight news— NASA selects four small-scale missions to further develop (nasa.gov) (spacenews.com) — Pioneers program (science.nasa.gov) — Aspera (news.arizona.edu) — Pandora (twitter.com/elsisrad) — StarBurst (twitter.com/Dr_ThomasZ) — PUEO - Payload for Ultrahigh Energy Observations (PDF: arxiv.org)Short & Sweet— Dynetics submits details for its HLS bid. (executivebiz.com)— NASA extends Juno and InSight (nasa.gov)— DARPA satellites damaged (HT Mike Stewart: spacenews.com)This week in SF history— 17th January, 1997: Loss of GPS-IIR-1 on Delta II (en.wikipedia.org) (youtube.com) (youtube.com) — Richard Gariott’s interview on Off-Nom (HT Ben Hallert: youtube.com)— Next week (1/19 through 1/25) in 1967: simulated launch, not-so-simulated conflagration
40 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 291: Loss of Legs
Spaceflight news— Landing Super Heavy (twitter.com/elonmusk) (reddit.com/r/SpaceXLounge) — Scott Manley covered this technique (youtube.com) — Possible claw-on-cables steadying mechanism (youtube.com)— Small SN9 update (nasaspaceflight.com)Short & Sweet— Long March 8 successfully debuts (spaceflightnow.com)— Protection of lunar heritage sites signed into law. (spacepolicyonline.com)This week in SF history— 7 Jan, 1985: launch of Sakigake (isas.jaxa.jp) (solarsystem.nasa.gov)— Next week (1/12 through 1/18) in 1997, Rip, or R.I.P.
56 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 290: Get Out and Push
Spaceflight news— Astra makes it to space! (twitter.com/lorengrush) (spacenews.com) (space.com) — Orbital parameters (HT Mike Stewart twitter.com/planet4589)— Chang’e-5 sample recovery (spacenews.com) — Now headed to L1 (with DSCOVR) (HT Sam in the chat: twitter.com/AJ_FI)Short & Sweet— Project Kuiper reaches a milestone (parabolicarc.com)— CSA is sending two astronauts to the Moon (asc-csa.gc.ca) (spacenews.com)Questions, comments, corrections— Call for help reconstructing Apollo 10 software (github.com/virtualagc) — Quick software setup guide and code structure/syntax overview (youtube.com)This week in SF history— 25 Dec, 2003. Beagle 2 lands on Mars (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov) (wikipedia.org) (PDF: sci.esa.int)— Next week (1/5 - 1/11) in 1985: Headed for a first close to home.
55 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 289: Fierce Flip
Spaceflight news— SN8 high-altitude flight (spacenews.com) (youtube.com) (youtube.com) — SNM analysis/discussion (youtube.com) — Accomplished all four main goals (twitter.com/elonmusk) (twitter.com/elonmusk) (twitter.com/elonmusk) — Reduced goal altitude due to high atmosphere winds (HT Mike Stewart: nasaspaceflight.com)Short & Sweet— Artemis astronauts announced! (spacenews.com) (spacenews.com)— Two smallsats selected for 2025 NASA mission. (americaspace.com)— Space RIDER’s construction contracts awarded. (spacenews.com)This week in SF history— 21 Dec, 2004. Maiden flight of Delta IV Heavy (spacedaily.com) (spaceref.com) (PDF: ulalaunch.com) (space.com) — Launch footage (youtube.com)— Next week (12/22 - 12/28) in 2003: 11 years and 5 kilometers.
56 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 288: Sample Bonanza
Spaceflight news— Chang’e-5 lunar sampling (spacenews.com) (spacenews.com) (theverge.com) (spaceflight101.com) — Sample transfer happened shortly after docking (HT Sam in the chat: youtube.com) (twitter.com/050644zf)— Hayabusa2 sample returns (spacenews.com) (hayabusa2.jaxa.jp) (twitter.com/haya2e_jaxa) — Extended mission (smh.com.au) (hayabusa2.jaxa.jp) Short & Sweet— A new plane-launched rocket appears. (spacenews.com) (youtu.be) (thedrive.com) (twitter.com/thesheetztweetz)— ESA signs the world’s first contract for space debris removal. (spacenews.com)— First real-time link between high- and low-Earth orbits. (smallsatnews.com)Questions, comments, corrections— Espen via email: Speculation on Electron interstage TPSThis week in SF history— 9 Dec, 1978. Pioneer Venus Multiprobe enters atmosphere. (adsabs.harvard.edu) (adsabs.harvard.edu) (nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov) (hughesscgheritage.com)— Next week (12/15 through 12/21) in 2004, I get gas when you push me too hard.
58 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 287: Okay With the Hat
Spaceflight news— Rocket Lab recovery (twitter.com/ChrisG_NSF) — A list of direct quotes from the press conference (twitter.com/Erdayastronaut)Short & Sweet— Phobos rover begins landing tests. (space.com)— The first H3 launches face delays. (spacenews.com)— Starship prepares to hop (twitter.com/elonmusk)— Carbice and Relativity raise millions in investment. (spacenews.com) (news.satnews.com) (theorbitalmechanics.com/show-notes/baratunde-cola) (theorbitalmechanics.com/show-notes/jordan-noone)Questions, comments, corrections— Ben Hallert: SN8 burst disc (twitter.com/chairboy)This week in SF history— 2 Dec, 1988. Launch of STS-27, the mission we almost lost Atlantis (youtube.com) (en.wikipedia.org) (spacefacts.de) (americaspace.com) (americaspace.com) (PDF: spaceflight.nasa.gov) (PDF: ntrs.nasa.gov)— Next week (12/8-12/14) in 1978 - zero seconds, zero seconds, two seconds, 4,057 seconds, and N/A.
43 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 286: Rock Blade
Spaceflight news— SN8 follow-up (twitter.com/elonmusk) (twitter.com/elonmusk) (youtube.com) — Martyte is a ceramic-filled epoxy, used to coat the flame trench (ntrs.nasa.gov)— Vega launch failure linked to human error (spacenews.com)Short & Sweet— Russian spacewalk completed to prepare for science module. (space.com)— Loverro exit illuminated (washingtonpost.com)— Skyrora test fires third-stage engine (satnews.com)— Rocket Lab successfully recovers booster. (spaceflightnow.com)Questions, comments, corrections— Andy Z.: Moose, F9 delay for recovery zone weather by NASA or DOD, and Crew Dragon capacity (astronautix.com)— Ben Hallert: VIF at Vandenberg? (twitter.com/chairboy) (spacenews.com)— Don’t forget! 2800-2900 UTC, Dec 5, is the Hayabusa2 capsule reentry (smh.com.au) (hayabusa2.jaxa.jp) This week in SF history— 26 Nov, 1965. Launch of Astérix, the first French satellite (en.wikipedia.org)— Next week (12/1 through 12/7) in 1988: A quarter degree to spill the tea
60 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 285: Trench-rich Combustion
Spaceflight news— Starship SN8 fires a second (and third) time. (space.com) (youtube.com) (twitter.com/elonmusk)— Crew-1 certified (spacenews.com) (spacenews.com) (americaspace.com) (two parter: americaspace.com / americaspace.com)Short & Sweet— Upgraded version of Sherpa tug to fly in mid-2021. (spacenews.com) (satnews.com)— Bridenstein expected to turn down a continued position. (spacenews.com) (aviationweek.com)— Mars Sample Return may be delayed. (spacenews.com)— First Falcon Heavy Extended Fairing sold. (spacenews.com)Questions, comments, corrections— Ben Hallert: Gnome Chompski is 15 cm, not 15 mm (twitter.com/chairboy)— From the intro: Congress does not authorize SOFIA sunset (spacenews.com)This week in SF history— 21 November 2000: Launch of EO-1, Earth Observing 1 (phys.org) (en.wikipedia.org) (earthobservatory.nasa.gov) (space.skyrocket.de)— Lots of thanks to Emory Stagmer for presenting this week’s topic! (twitter.com/vaxheadroom)— Next week (11/24 - 11/30) in 1965: Medaille de Bronze
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