SpaceX’s sixth successful launch in 2017 puts Elon Musk’s company on pace to beat its rivals

Falcon 9 Inmarsat Elon Musk SpaceX Launch

 

Flying the biggest satellite that SpaceX has ever launched, weighing in at more than 6 metric tons, proved a routine piece of business for the company’s Falcon 9 rocket yesterday.

The Inmarsat-owned satellite, built by Boeing, was originally scheduled to fly on a larger rocket, the Falcon Heavy, that SpaceX hopes to debut later this year. Flying the big bird on a smaller rocket required some sacrifices on SpaceX’s part—the first stage booster could not be recovered for potential re-use, for example, since much of the fuel necessary would be used in flight. But the success puts the company on a path to finally hit its long-dreamed-of high-speed launch cadence.

SpaceX has been hoping to out-fly its competitors for the last several years, planning on a dozen to even 18 launches in a single calendar year. But in 2015, a mid-flight explosion grounded SpaceX’s rocket for six months, putting a kibosh on those plans, and a 2016 refueling mishap required four months of work to ensure the rocket was ready for flight.

Now, having launched six rockets before the halfway point of 2017, the company looks set to hit its goals and finally fly more rockets than its incumbent competitors, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance, and the European champion Arianespace. That’s striking, given that SpaceX’s first commercial mission was in 2012. (ULA was formed in 2006, and Arianespace in 1980.)

This year, Arianespace has been the victim of circumstance, with its major spaceport becoming a pawn in a political battle between impoverished French Guianans and the mainland French government. The protests have now been resolved, allowing the company to start launching again.

For the rest of this year, SpaceX has plenty to do. It will launch a Bulgarian television satellite, and communications birds for Intelsat, Iridium, SES, and Echostar. It is expected to launch satellites on behalf of Taiwan and South Korea. And the company plans to launch its own demonstration satellite to provide internet access. Perhaps most importantly, it will fly three missions to the International Space Station for NASA, as well as demonstrating an uncrewed flight of its new astronaut-carrying space capsule. Plus, it expects to fly the experimental Falcon Heavy.

That’s a lot of work—at least a dozen more missions—and it will require the company’s engineers and technicians to move fast and carefully, with no major mishaps. The company’s goal has long been a mission cadence of one flight every two weeks, a pace it hit this month and in March but has yet to sustain over time. The tiny signals of progress are there—during yesterday’s launch, the company began loading liquid oxygen into the rocket ten minutes later than usual, part of an effort to compress and shorten the countdown process.

The rewards of frequent launches are clear: Besides establishing the Falcon 9’s reliability, and the constant stream of data used by engineers after every launch to refine the vehicle, each launch represents revenue won by SpaceX.

While the company brushed off financial concerns after its 2016 mishap, with officials noting that it had no debt and $1 billion in cash on its books, replenishing its coffers will give SpaceX greater security and more resources to tackle big projects ahead—including its mooted satellite internet constellation and an inter-planetary transportation system for reaching Mars.

[“Source-qz”]

IIT-Aspirant Allegedly Commits Suicide In Kota, sixth dying This yr

IIT-Aspirant Allegedly Commits Suicide In Kota, 6th Death This Year

Nirmal Yogi, a class 12 pupil, allegedly dedicated suicide in Kota after appearing poorly in checks
KOTA:
HIGHLIGHTS
Nirmal Yogi allegedly killed self after performing poorly in checks
He became prepping for admission to IITs for the past two years
6 student suicides stated from training hub Kota this year
A 17-yearold scholar prepping for admission to the Indian Institutes of technology or IITs allegedlycommitted suicide via placing himself from a fan at his rented room in Kota in Rajasthan on Monday night time, the police have said.

Nirmal Yogi, a category XII pupil and a resident of Sawai Madhopur district, is the sixth scholar to have died inside the education hub this yr. He was prepping for admission to the surest engineering institute for the past two years.

No suicide notice become determined in his room. however his own family says he became “depressed” after acting poorly in tests performed twice a month to study college studentsprogress.

“He was depressed. each 15 days there’s a test. He did not get proper marks so he changed intodisturbing,” said Nirmal’s uncle.

Nirmal’s body has been sent to clinic for postmortem, the police said, adding that an research has been ordered within the case.

The small barren region metropolis of Kota, nearly 250 km from Jaipur, incorporates a variety of traininginstitutes to prep college students for the IIT and scientific entrance assessments.

almost 11 lakh college students sit down for the IIT entrance every year. of these, two lakh qualify the mains and only 10,000 are eventually popular by using the IITs.

After some other scholar ended her lifestyles notwithstanding having cracked the IIT-JEE mains finalmonth, a senior administration legitimate, Collector Ravi Kumar Surpur, had despatched a letter to themother and father of the 1.five lakh college students enrolled for education in Kota, urging them “not topressure their expectations and goals on their youngsters“.

Seventeen college students taking education dedicated suicide in Kota last 12 months, after whichpointers to coaching institutes to test such deaths were initiated.

Isro Says Countdown for Sixth Navigational Satellite Launch ‘Progressing Normally’

Isro Says Countdown for Sixth Navigational Satellite Launch 'Progressing Normally'

Indian Space agency Isro’s sixth navigation satellite IRNSS-1F is all set to be launched on board trusted workhorse PSLV C32 Thursday at 4 pm.

The 54-and-half hour countdown began yesterday soon after the Mission Readiness Review Committee and Launch Authorisation Board cleared it and currently, it was “progressing normal”, Isro officials said.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C32 on its 34th mission would launch the IRNSS-1F, aimed at providing navigation accurately on par with the US-based Global Positioning System, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at the spaceport of Sriharikota about 110 km from Chennai.

Indian Space Research Organisation to provide independent regional navigation satellite system on par with GPS, had launched five navigation satellites under the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

While four satellites would be sufficient to start operations of the IRNSS system, the remaining three would make it more “accurate and efficient”, an Isro official said.

“With the launch of four satellites, we were able to provide navigation for 18 hours. But after fifth launch we increased the capacity to 24 hours with an accuracy of 20 metres. The sixth IRNSS-1F and seventh launch (IRNSS-1G) will be accurate and more efficient,” an Isro official told PTI.

The five satellites already launched are IRNSS-1A on July 1, 2013, IRNSS-1B on April 4, 2014, IRNSS-1C on October 16, 2014, IRNSS-1D on March 28, 2015 and IRNSS-1E on January 20, 2016.

Isro scientists plan to put all seven navigation satellites into orbit by March 2016. The last in the series is expected to be launched by month end.

For the IRNSS-1F launch, scientists have used the “XL” variant used in previous launches of IRNSS satellites, given its capacity to carry load.

Similar occasions where rocket with XL configuration were used were during launch of Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission, ASTROSAT besides the five IRNSS satellites.

Along with the navigation payload and ranging payload, the satellite also carries a “highly accurate Rubidium atomic clock” with it. The payload will transmit navigation service signals to the users.

The 44.4 metre tall IRNSS-1F has a liftoff mass of 1,425 kg and would be launched in sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (sub GTO). It has a 12 year mission life.

[“Source-Gadgets”]