Max Q: Ocean splashdown

Hello and welcome again to Max Q. TC’s in-person space event is up to us. will you be there? Learn more about the event here. In this difficulty:

  • Rocket Lab’s attempt to capture a helicopter ends in a splash of sea
  • iSpace wants to stake its claim on the moon
  • News from the FCC, Constellar and Extra

Rocket Lab’s second attempt and using a helicopter to capture a rocket booster was aborted in mid-air, although it is unclear at the time of writing what exactly went wrong.

Rocket Lab’s goal is to refuel its rocket boosters using parachutes and helicopters – slightly different from SpaceX, whose boosters return to Earth by touchingdown vertically on the pad. Instead, Rocket Lab’s method is to equip the booster with a parachute to allow it to descend slowly, and to have a helicopter ready to intercept. From there, the plan is to have the helicopter fly the booster directly to the company’s manufacturing center.

But alas, we didn’t see any catch after this launch. Here’s all we know: After a modest launch and payload deployment, the company’s Sikorsky S-92 helicopter tried not to catch on. Instead, the company recovered the booster after towing it down from the sea. More details on what went wrong will be sought in the coming days.

Tokyo-based startup iSpace’s lunar ambitions will soon be put to the test, as the company prepares for its first launch later this month.

The startup will seek to send its “Hakuto-R” lander to the surface of the Moon, launching a formidable lunar exploration program of the same name. Founded in 2010, iSpace is one of many emerging firms looking to foster new markets on and off the moon; On its Web site, it describes its objective as turning it into “a gateway for private sector companies to bring their business to the moon”.

Given the intense interest of both state-run domestic businesses and private companies in lunar exploration, being a middle- and last-mile supply partner to the Moon could prove profitable. But there is a lot of revenue at stake on this first launch; Recent reporting suggested That iSpace is preparing to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange early this fiscal year.

While the company was earlier focusing on a November 9-15 launch window, iSpace noted on Monday that it is now targeting a launch before November 22. The new date was chosen in “careful coordination” with launch partner SpaceX, the startup noted in an announcement. Indeed, iSpace founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada confirmed that the lander had reached Cape Canaveral, Florida via cargo airplane prior to launch.

iSpace M1 Hakuto-R Lander. image credit: iSpace

More news from TC and the past

  • arcsis SBIR and STTR is launching a new program called “EMBARK” for on-orbit payload providers for those entering Phase I. ,arcsis,
  • blue original United Launch Alliance a set of two BE-4 rocket engines that could be used on ULA’s heavy-lift Vulcan Centaur rocket early next year. ,blue original,
  • China Space is issuing issues in orbit using planes, and we don’t know what they are! ,space news,
  • China launched the third and final module for its Tiangong space station, and the rocket booster that carried it into orbit again began its uncontrolled re-entry to Earth. ,new York Times,USSC,
  • constable Raised $10 million in seed funding for its space-based water monitoring system. (thelike)
  • axotrelThe organization that develops last-mile satellite TVs for PC transportation, signed a launch providers settlement with German launch startup Isar Aerospace. ,payload,
  • Firefly Aerospace It is looking to raise up to $300 million in non-public funding at an undisclosed valuation. ,Reuters,
  • of nasa The Space Launch System rocket was re-rolled out to the launch pad on November 14, the first of the following launch attempt. ,CNN,
  • NASA’s Psyche The mission was delayed and an impartial evaluation board was assembled to analyze it. The report is there again, and it’s not good: The evaluation board recognized several staffing points at the company’s jet propulsion lab, along with burnout and an absence of technical experience in key positions. ,NASA,
  • orbex, a small rocket startup based mostly in Scotland, will oversee the development of the primary spaceport for vertical rocket launches at U.O. the mainland. ,orbex,
  • Rocket Lab was contracted by Inmarsat to develop and manufacture L-band radios for NASA; It also gave Maxar the final photo voltaic panels that could find themselves on the house company’s Lunar Gateway orbital platform. ,Rocket Lab,Rocket Lab,
  • Sierra Space and Blue Origin It may be participating in the Aerospace Exploration Agency’s feasibility investigation, exploring G options for Japan to participate in the commercialization of low Earth orbit. ,Baker Mackenzie,
  • SpaceX A NASA official noted that Starship is temporarily concentrating in early December for its first flight. The company is also now building seven Raptor 2 rocket engines per week. ,Ars Technica,
  • SpaceX Launched Falcon Heavy for the fourth time in a mission for the United States Space Force. The double booster touchdown dropped various jaws. (thelike)
  • peak Received a DARPA contract for the initial design of a satellite TV for PC that would carry sensors to measure the ionosphere. ,peak,
  • Terran Orbital Lockheed received a further $100 million in funding from Martin, and it began construction of its larger spacecraft manufacturing facility in California, earlier than in Florida. (thelike)
  • US Federal Communications Division FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said establishing a space bureau to separate satellite TV for PC coverage points from the usual “international bureau” would be a significant organizational shift in response to the explosion of the practice at the business house. ,FCC,
  • Virgin Galactic released its quarterly financial report and details about plans to kickstart its domestic tourism service. ,space,
  • wyvern, a startup building satellites that capture hyperspectral imagery using at-home telescopes, has raised $7 million in Seed Plus Spherical. ,wyvern,

Pic of the Week

Blue Origin's BE-4 rocket engine

Blue Origin’s BE-4 rocket engine. image credit: blue original

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