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Spacecraft, Launch Vehicles & Satellites
 
ISRO SUCCESSFULLY CONDUCTS HIGH ALTITUDE FLIGHT ACCEPTANCE TEST OF CE20 ENGINE
Friday, January 20, 2017
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A GSLV blasting off in September 2016

Source: ISRO


A GSLV blasting off in September 2016

Source: ISRO


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BANGALORE - The first CE20 flight engine acceptance test was successfully conducted for a duration of 25 seconds in high altitude simulation test facility during December 2016. The CE20 is a cryogenic engine that will power the C25 upper stage on the GSLV MKIII.

This engine was conceived, configured, designed, fabricated and developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC). LPSC is the center for design, development and realization of liquid propulsion stages for ISRO's Launch Vehicles. Development of fluid control valves, transducers, propellant management devices for vacuum conditions and other key components of liquid propulsion systems are also under the purview of LPSC.

To test the Engine at flight identical conditions, High Altitude Test (HAT) facility was established at IPRC, Mahendragiri. This facility allows testing of the CE20 engine at its full area ratio in vacuum condition which otherwise would experience flow separation at sea level ambient pressures.

The successful engine testing in the high altitude conditions was preceded by multiple tests on two engines with sea level nozzle divergent (area ratio 10). The development test conducted on these engines provided confidence in their design. The design of the flight nozzle was also validated in the medium duration High Altitude Test program.

The Engine High Altitude Test Program contained a series of high altitude tests (5 hot tests with a cumulative duration of 41.20 sec) to demonstrate the vacuum ignition, validate the nozzle performance, propellant flow build up characteristics, chill down performance and to demonstrate the ignition margins. All the test objectives were successfully achieved in this test program. The testing of engine in HAT facility has also helped in finalizing the engine start and shut down sequence for flight. Summing up, the test program has imparted good confidence on the performance and functioning of CE20 Engine in GSLV MKIII (LVM3)-D1 mission.

The realization of flight stage for the GSLV MKIII (LVM3)-D1 mission is in progress and the first mission is expected by early 2017.

The primary problem facing the GSLV until recently was the lack of a viable domestically-built cryogenic upper stage (CUS). Following a series of failures, India successfully launched a GSLV with an indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage (CUS) in January 2014. However, India has now successfully built multiple cryogenic upper stages. ISRO continues to improve the technology, with the CE20 representing an evolutionary upgrade over previous versions.

Source:  ISRO
Associated URL: http://isro.gov.in/high-altitude-flight-acceptance-test-of-ce20-engine-conducted
Source Date: January 20, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 01/20/2017

 
 
ONEWEB PLANS MASSIVE LEO SATELLITE NETWORK TO PROVIDE BROADBAND INTERNET
Thursday, January 19, 2017
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Artist's rendition of a OneWeb satellite

Source: OneWeb


Artist's rendition of a OneWeb satellite

Source: OneWeb


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NEWTOWN, Conn. - As broadband data connections become an increasingly important part of society, satellite operators are working to expand their presence in that market. Currently there are a number of innovative ways to do that. Some companies are relying on large GEO satellites with frequency re-use and spot beams to provide coverage. O3b is another innovative company that uses satellites in medium Earth orbit (MEO) to provide coverage.

OneWeb's plan to build a massive network of LEO satellites represents the third option. OneWeb hopes to succeed where other companies have failed. In the late 1990s, companies like Teledesic and Skybridge announced ambitious plans to build similarly large networks of satellites to provide internet around the world. In fact, OneWeb is even using spectrum once owned by Teledesic. Those companies were not able to overcome the limitations of satellite Internet when faced with competition from growing terrestrial networks.

However, OneWeb has plans to take on these challenges. The company is taking advantage of advances in miniaturized computer components and declining launch prices to lower its costs. The company has attracted large investment from entrepreneurs and established companies. OneWeb has also formed partnerships with manufacturers and launch providers, providing a source of capital and expertise as it moves forward.

At this time, Forecast International expects production of satellites to begin slowly before ramping up as the company establishes its finances and tests its business model. This means that OneWeb will likely not reach its goal of having hundreds of satellites in orbit until well into the next decade, even though launches will begin as early as 2018.

Source:  Forecast International
Associated URL: www.forecastinternational.com
Source Date: January 19, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 01/19/2017

 
 
BOEING'S STARLINER STA ARRIVES IN CALIFORNIA FOR TESTING
Thursday, January 19, 2017
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CST-100 Starliner STA

Source: NASA


CST-100 Starliner STA

Source: NASA


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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Boeing has shipped a CST-100 Starliner Structural Test Article (STA) from its Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Huntington Beach, California, for testing.

It joined test versions of the service module, the launch vehicle adapter truss structure and other hardware that make up the upper stage of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Testing of the article began shortly after it arrived to Boeing’s Test and Evaluation facility. The first test involved pressurizing the interior of the crew module to 1.5 times the maximum pressure a Starliner spacecraft would face during ascent, orbit, re-entry and landing for missions to and from the International Space Station.

Testing the STA will allow engineers to study how the Starliner will function during operations. According to NASA, Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft will experience a variety of tremendous internal and external forces during missions to and from the International Space Station. Because of the tests, when the Starliner launches in 2018, it won’t be the first time the spacecraft has encountered these forces.

Boeing’s facilities in southern California are outfitted with numerous test chambers that routinely evaluate spacecraft and other vehicles in a variety of environments to make sure they can handle the demands of flight.

Boeing introduced the CST-100 in 2010 to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program. Since then, Boeing has made steady progress developing the vehicle under a series of three development contracts with NASA. Boeing's CST-100 effort culminated in the company being awarded a contract under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) program worth $4.2 billion.

In 2016, Boeing experienced delays on the program. The company lowered weight, improved aerodynamics, and sorted out supply chain issues. While these issues are largely resolved, they delayed the first launch of the CST-100 to 2018 from 2017.

Source:  NASA
Associated URL: https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2017/01/18/starliner-sta-arrives-in-california-for-testing/
Source Date: January 19, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 01/19/2017

 

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