The Space Roundup - Apr 3rd, 2022
Hello, hello, my dear space lovers!
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Are you ready for yet another week of space awesomeness? 3, 2, 1, zero! Lift-off!
This week SpaceX successfully launched its fourth rideshare mission carrying around 40 satellites from multiple organizations and several countries. These missions are amazing as they are very cheap and allow for a variety of budgets to get to orbit.
Their new Starship Booster 7 is now at the launch site for testing, ahead of the first orbital flight. Will this be the one to make it? Or will it be discarded as the previous one? The first Raptor 2, the latest version of the new SpaceX engine, has arrived at Starbase. Tons more of those are expected to be arriving soon!
This week our beloved Hubble Space Telescope has crushed a new record: it detected the most distant star ever seen. The light of this star has taken 12.9 billion years to reach Earth. How amazing is that?
Rocket Lab successfully launched two satellites this week. It is the 25th time they fly its Electron rocket so far!
We need a lift!
The Rosalind Franklin martian rover is now technically ready to go to Mars…but it needs a lift there! After what happened with Russia, the ESA is looking for alternative ways of transporting the rover to the red planet… not an easy task. Let’s hope this is not the end of the mission. Go, ESA!
Blue Origin flew its New Shepard rocket once again this week. It was the fourth crewed mission and everything went according to plan. It flew a crew of six people, five of which were paying customers. Amazing experience that has to be! After flying 14 people in 2021, they plan to at least triple that number this year. Nice!
Updates from China
The construction of the Chinese space station in orbit is going well according to CMSA. The crew is working around the clock to make sure everything goes smoothly while they prepare to return home soon.
The next two astronaut crews that are going to follow up with the work are training heavily before their trips to orbit.
This week, the cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-2 reentered the atmosphere after finalizing its 10-months mission.
Apart from bringing vital cargo for the astronauts, this spacecraft has been extremely useful to test two key technologies: the propellant transfer with Tianhe and Tianhe's robotic arm used to manipulate modules as part of space station construction. Mission accomplished, T-2! You can rest now 🙂
Also this week, China launched for the first time its first Long March 6A, a 50-meter-long rocket with two kerosene-liquid oxygen stages and four solid propellant side boosters, bringing two satellites onboard.
Launches of the week
Here are the launches planned for this week. Let’s see if Axiom makes it this time!
Wednesday, April 6th - SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 | Axiom Space Mission 1
Tuesday, March 29th - China, Long March 4B
And that’s it for this week!
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Cheers from sunny Spain!
Juan, the Curious Astronaut