Sunday, March 15, 2015

We Just Want to Pump...You Up!

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), will soon ship to Kennedy Space Center, as payload aboard a SpaceX rocket.

The inflatable habitat will be tested as a module on the ISS for the next 2 years.

Unfortunately, nobody gets to live in this one.  The astronauts will inhabit it periodically during the test period and, at the conclusion, the module will be jettisoned and burn up in the atmosphere during descent.

---C. Cannick--

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Heavy Lifting

Chinese authorities have confirmed the prototype Long March 5 heavy lift vehicle wills have it's debut launch sometime in early 2016.  This will be China's biggest launch vehicle and the second largest in use, following Boeings Delta IV Heavy.

The Long March 5 can carry up to 25 tons of payload into low earth orbit or 14 tons into geostationary orbit.  This seems consistent with China's plans over the next couple of decades tow put significant hardware on the moon and Mars.

The complete 3-stage launch system stands 60.3 meters tall, weighing in at 643 tons (fueled) and
 providing up to 833 tons of thrust.

--C. Cannick--