Google+ SpaceTravelFoundation: 2014

December 10, 2014

Orion is on its way to Florida after its successful launch and re-entry

Dear reader and followers,


After its successful launch last week , and its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, the Orion spacecraft has been loaded on the USS Anchorage. The spacecraft is nestled inside the well deck of the amphibious ship during the trek from its splashdown point about 970 kilometers southwest of San Diego. Orion’s flight tested many of the systems most critical to crew safety, including key separation events, parachutes and its heat shield. During Orion’s re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft endured speeds of 8400 meters per second and temperatures near 2200°C.


Credit images: +NASA 

President Obama, spoke to Julie Kramer White, the Orion’s chief engineer, for the successful Orion flight test. He also noted the spacecraft’s mission, saying that “when a human is the first to set foot (on Mars), they will have Julie and her team to thank and at that point, I’ll be out of the presidency and I might hitch a ride.” 

The Orion spacecraft was off-loaded from the well deck of the USS Anchorage on Monday December 8th. The ship’s crew along with NASA and Lockheed Martin teams retrieved the spacecraft from the Pacific Ocean at the end of the highly successful Orion flight test that saw the Orion fly about 5800 km above Earth in a 4.5-hour evaluation of critical systems. Now Orion spacecraft , will perform a trip cross-country back to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Credit image: +NASA 

Source: +NASA

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December 9, 2014

ISRO released pictures of comet Siding Spring taken by Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan

Dear readers an followers,

While the +European Space Agency, ESA  had placed a robot Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) released images of Comet Siding Spring, taken by its Mars Orbiter 'Mangalyaan' on October 2014. ISRO's Mars Orbiter had the opportunity to witness the Comet Siding Spring approach Mars on October 19th, for which the spacecraft repositioned itself for its safety.

The Mars Colour Camera on board ISRO's Mars Orbiter has captured the Coma (top bright portion) of the comet partly, as it approached MOM during last 40 minutes of the imaging session before Mars-Comet close encounter, ISRO said in its social networking site along with the pictures.

Credit image: ISRO


The India's Mars Orbiter Mission, the Mangalyaan probe is a spacecraft powered by solar arrays and packed with five instruments to study the surface and atmosphere of Mars. The 1350 kg of the spacecraft has been launched with success from a pad at the agency's Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on November 5th 2013. India was particularly proud that MOM was developed with homegrown technology and for a bargain price of about $75 million, a cost that Modi quipped was lower than many Hollywood film budgets. By comparison, NASA's much larger Maven mission cost nearly 10 times as much at $671 million.

Credit image: ISRO

It also will search Mars for methane, a key chemical in life processes on Earth that could also come from geological processes. None of the instruments will send back enough data to answer these questions definitively, but experts say the data will help them better understand how planets form, what conditions might make life possible and where else in the universe it might exist India wanted the spacecraft, also called Mangalyaan, meaning "Mars craft" in Hindi, to show the world its ability to design, plan, manage and operate a difficult, deep-space mission. India has already conducted dozens of successful satellite launches, including sending up the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, which discovered key evidence of water on the Moon in 2008 and validated few month ago.

The country's space scientists are already planning new missions, including putting a rover on the Moon. But space agency chief K. Radhakrishnan said their main focus would be to continue developing technologies for commercial and navigational satellite applications.

Source: ISRO

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December 4, 2014

Live streaming of Orion space launch

Dear readers and followers,

Earlier this morning, the United Launch Alliance tower used to prepare the Orion spacecraft for liftoff was moved away. You can watch the rollback below: 



Mobile Service Tower rollback from NASA Orion Spacecraft on Vimeo.


The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA’s Orion spacecraft mounted atop is seen here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37, Florida. 

Update in pictures there:








The second stage issue and boat in the range. Delay possible, but 2 hours launch window gives flexibility. This delay is not due to technical or weather problems for launch. It's on a hold due to a boat in range of launch







- New launch time set for 7:17 a.m EST, but it has been delayed again because of wind, as shown in the picture below which show the 1-minute peak wind speed measured at 230-ft above pad 41.

7: 46 am ESTNew T-0 of 7:55 am EST has been decided




7: 43 am EST: Hold hold hold again ... launch delayed

- 8: 16 am EST: New T-0 8:26 am EST, the launch will be for today


- 8: 24 am EST: HOLD AGAIN . Launch team reports the rocket's fill and drain valve did not close.


- 8:39 am EST: The technical problem seems to come from the valves. Fill-&-drain valves on 3 core boosters will be cycled open and closed to see if that solves the problem.

- 9:44 am EST: Launch of the Orion mission scrubbed for today,if the valve issue can be fixed today, NASA will try again tomorrow.


Live launch coverage of Orion begins on NASA TV at 4:30 a.m. EST with the link below: 

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#.VIBKKjGG_so

Source: +NASA


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December 3, 2014

Successful launch of H-IIA with Hayabusa2 Onboard for its asteroid mission

Dear readers and followers,

H-IIA F26 (the Japan space launch vehicle) with the Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa2 onboard launched at 1:22:04 p.m. on Dec 3, 2014 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. The rocket flew smoothly, and, at about approximately one hour, 47 minutes and 21 seconds after liftoff, "Hayabusa2" was separated from the space vehicle H-IIA F26.


H-IIA (H2A) is an active expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( +JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構 ). The several step occurring after the liftoff has been done with success:

1. Liftoff : 0 min. 0 sec.
2. SRB-A burnout *2 : 1 min. 33 sec.
3. SRB-A jettison *3 : 1 min. 47 sec.
4. Payload fairing jettison : 4 min. 11 sec.
5. First stage main engine cutoff (MECO) : 6 min. 36 sec.
6. 1st and 2nd stages separation : 6 min. 44 sec.
7. Second stage engine lock-in (SELI1) : 6 min. 54 sec.
8. Second stage engine cutoff (SECO1) : 11 min. 20 sec.
9. Second stage engine lock-in (SELI2) : 1 hour 39 min. 26 sec.
10. Second stage engine cutoff (SECO2) : 1 hour 43 min. 31 sec.
11. Hayabusa2 separation : 1 hour 47 min. 21 sec.
12. SHINEN2 separation : 1 hour 54 min. 1 sec.
13. ARTSAT2-DESPATCH separation :1 hour 58 min. 11 sec.
14. PROCYON separation : 2 hour 2 min. 21 sec.

While Philae sleeps on the comet 67P, the spacecraft MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) is planned explore asteroid and land on it. The asteroid lander developed by +DLR, German Aerospace Center, the Japan space agency +JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構 and the French space agency, +CNES

In 2018 the Japanese Hayabusa 2 Mission will feature an asteroid landing and will, for the first time, allow for data acquisition at various points of this kind of celestial body, assisted by MASCOT , the hopping landing craft developed by the German Aerospace Center. 


The plan is to send the orbiter to its destination in 2014. Upon arrival in 2018, the spacecraft will initially remain in orbit to scout the unknown terrain. A stable, yet extremely light cover will protect the shoe box-sized lander as it falls to the asteroid’s surface. The four instruments designed to conduct in situ measurements on the asteroid are located inside the DLR landing craft: the infrared spectrometer that will analyse the surface composition magnetometer to investigate the magnetic field a wide-angle camera to record the landing site and the fine structure of the soil a radiometer that will measure surface temperatures, among other things.

Once the initial measurements are complete, MASCOT will hop to the next measurement site, providing scientists with data from different positions on asteroid on 1999 JU 3, gathered over two asteroid days and nights. During its mission, the landing craft will be monitored from the DLR Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC).

1999 JU3 is an Apollo asteroid. The asteroid was discovered in 1999 by the LINEAR project. The Apollo asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo, the first asteroid of this group which was discovered by Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth. 


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November 25, 2014

MASCOT the asteroid lander is ready for its launch on November 30th


Dear readers and followers,

While Philae sleeps on the comet 67P, the spacecraft MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) is ready for its launch on 30 November 2014. MASCOT is an asteroid lander developed by +DLR, German Aerospace Center, the Japan space agency +JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構 and the French space agency, +CNES
In 2018 the Japanese Hayabusa 2 Mission will feature an asteroid landing and will, for the first time, allow for data acquisition at various points of this kind of celestial body, assisted by MASCOT , the hopping landing craft developed by the German Aerospace Center.  



The plan is to send the orbiter to its destination in 2014. Upon arrival in 2018, the spacecraft will initially remain in orbit to scout the unknown terrain. A stable, yet extremely light cover will protect the shoe box-sized lander as it falls to the asteroid’s surface. The four instruments designed to conduct in situ measurements on the asteroid are located inside the DLR landing craft:
  • the infrared spectrometer that will analyse the surface composition
  • magnetometer to investigate the magnetic field
  • a wide-angle camera to record the landing site and the fine structure of the soil
  • a radiometer that will measure surface temperatures, among other things.
Once the initial measurements are complete, MASCOT will hop to the next measurement site, providing scientists with data from different positions on asteroid on 1999 JU 3, gathered over two asteroid days and nights. During its mission, the landing craft will be monitored from the DLR Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC).



1999 JU3 is an Apollo asteroid. The asteroid was discovered in 1999 by the LINEAR project. The Apollo asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo, the first asteroid of this group which was discovered by Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth. 

Source: +CNES

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November 24, 2014

Airbus will develop and built service module of NASA's Orion human space capsule

Dear readers and followers,

The contract for Airbus of about 390 million euros is for the development and construction of the service module for Orion, the future American human space capsule. The service module will provide propulsion, power supply, thermal control and the central elements of the life support system of the American capsule.
Credit image: +NASA 


It is the first time that Europe has been involved in providing system-critical elements for an American space project. In December 2012, US space agency +NASA  and +European Space Agency, ESA had agreed to certify the new US Orion spacecraft in conjunction with the European service module.

This module is based on the design of and the experience gained from the Automated Transfer Vehicle developed and constructed by Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of ESA as a supply craft for the International Space Station.

Francois Auque, Head of Space Systems, told BOB fm: "This follow-on contract is a mark of confidence in our expertise as well as in our ability to deliver reliable state-of-the-art space systems on time and within budget. Thanks to this programme and the continuous investments we make, we are able to maintain our technological lead.

Credit image: +European Space Agency, ESA 

In the wake of the ATV's outstanding five flawless missions to the ISS, this programme is yet another example of the important role that Europe plays globally in the field of human space flight".
The intention is to use the Orion space capsule for human missions to the Moon, to asteroids and into the depths of space. It comes after the success of Stevenage-built spaceship Rosetta, that was able to carry probe Philae close enough to land it on a comet last week. With him was the UK's first astronaut, Tim Peake - who told BOB fm at the Exo-Mars test yard that he was fascinated by flying when working as a test-pilot. 
He added: "It's great to see the Mars Yard at Stevenage Airbus has expanded. It's amazing to see the Mars programme progressing towards its launch in 2016".

Source: +NASA 


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November 18, 2014

Philae discovers organic molecules on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Dear readers and followers,

An instrument aboard the Philae lander detected the molecules after “sniffing” the comet’s atmosphere. An organic compound is one whose molecules contain the carbon atom, the basis of life on earth. Scientists are analysing the data to see whether the organic compounds detected by Philae are simple ones, such as methane and methanol, or a more complex species such as amino acids, the building blocks for proteins.

Credit images: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/

A drill on Philae also obtained some material from the comet’s hard surface, but data about organic molecules from that experiment have yet to be fully analysed. Comets contain some of the most pristine materials in the solar system, dating to about 4.5 billion years ago. Previous studies have suggested that comets forge organic material in their dusty atmospheres.



A study of the comet’s organic materials “will help us to understand whether organic molecules were brought by comets to the early earth,” which could have kickstarted life here, said Stephan Ulamec, the Philae lander manager and scientist at the German Aerospace Centre. The agency runs the lander control centre and oversaw the comet landing last Thursday.

Researchers had expected to find organic molecules on the comet, known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. But thanks to the probe, they are for the first time able to conduct a direct search for organic molecules in both the comet’s gases and its surface material.

The data sent back by Philae, part of a European Space Agency mission. now will be checked against similar information already obtained by the orbiting Rosetta. In early August, when Rosetta was within 200km of the comet, one of its sensors was able to study the coma, or envelope of gases surrounding the comet’s nucleus. Those early measurements detected water, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, which were likely to have been released from below the comet’s surface layer. It also found traces of ammonia, methane and methanol. In October, Rosetta scientists studying the coma said they had picked up traces of the organic compound formaldehyde as well as other molecules, including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs.

An even bigger find would be the discovery of an amino acid on comet 67P. In 2009, a US spacecraft discovered the amino acid glycine on a comet. A similar find on 67P would bolster a view that life on earth was seeded by comets that brought organic compounds with them.

Although Philae’s primary battery ran out of power on Saturday (AEDT), scientists completed a manoeuvre that has positioned one of the probe’s larger solar panels more fully toward sunlight. It means that the probe may yet come to life next year or a bit earlier, as the comet heads closer to the sun.

“We are very confident that in coming months we’ll get more sun and power and Philae can be reactivated,” Dr Ulamec said.

Source: +European Space Agency, ESA


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November 17, 2014

Leonids Meteor shower peak occurs tomorrow Morning

Dear readers and followers,


This year’s Leonids meteor shower peaks tomorrow on the morning of November 18th. If forecasters are correct, the shower should produce a mild but pretty sprinkling of meteors. The waning crescent moon will not substantially interfere with viewing the Leonid shower.



“We’re predicting 10 to 15 meteors per hour,” says Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. “For best viewing, wait until after midnight on November 18th, with the peak of the shower occurring just before sunrise.”


Credit video: +NASA 

Cooke also recommends going to a location away from city lights, dressing warmly, and lie flat on your back and look straight up. No special viewing equipment needed — just your eyes.


Leonids are bits of debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Every 33 years the comet visits the inner solar system and leaves a stream of dusty debris in its wake. Many of these streams have drifted across the November portion of Earth’s orbit. Whenever our planet hits one, meteors appear to be flying out of the constellation Leo.

A live viewing opportunity is available via Ustream from a telescope at Marshall Space Flight Center. The Ustream feed will be live beginning Monday, November 17th at 6:30 p.m. CST here and will continue until sunrise on Tuesday November 18th.

Update:

enjoy these pictures taken by fans




Source: +NASA


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November 13, 2014

Press conference of The French Space Agency about the safety and the location of Philae after its landing

Dear readers and followers,

after the successful touch-down of the lander Philae on the comet 67P Churyumov Gerasimenko yesterday! The french space agency is doing a conference from Toulouse, France, to clarify all the technical points and the safety of the Philae spacecraft since the landing! Sorry for English people, the video is in french.



Credit image: +CNES 


Touchdown was planned to take place at a speed of around 1 m/s after its separation from Rosseta, with the three-legged landing gear absorbing the impact to prevent rebound, and an ice screw in each foot driving into the surface.
But during the final health checks of the lander before separation, a problem was detected with the small thruster on top that was designed to counteract the recoil of the harpoons to push the lander down onto the surface. The conditions of landing, including whether or not the thruster performed, along with the exact location of Philae on the comet are being analysed.
The lander seems be close to a kind of cave which stop its moves after two bound since its this touch-down. 8/10 scientific instruments are working normally for the moment. The two other stay off for the moment because they need to move and drill the comet. For safety of the lander, engineer are still working and analyzing data to determine if they will activate the 2 last instruments.

Credit image: ESA/ROSETTA/PHILAE/CIVA

Source: +European Space Agency, ESA & +CNES


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November 12, 2014

Touch Down on the comet !! confirmation!!

Dear readers and followers,


Today the lander Philae did the touch down on the comet !!! After a 10 year journey of some seven billion kilometers, the Rosetta mission is now the new step : landing and exploration of the comet land !
This morning, Philae separated from Rosetta. Seven hours later, it arrived today at 17:04 CET at the surface of the comet. Hopefully, Philae survived the landing, and will begin to return data from the comet.





Touchdown was planned to take place at a speed of around 1 m/s, with the three-legged landing gear absorbing the impact to prevent rebound, and an ice screw in each foot driving into the surface.
But during the final health checks of the lander before separation, a problem was detected with the small thruster on top that was designed to counteract the recoil of the harpoons to push the lander down onto the surface. The conditions of landing, including whether or not the thruster performed, along with the exact location of Philae on the comet are being analysed.

The first pictures taken by the Philae have been released. The first one shows the comet few hours before to land. The second one has been taken on the land of the comet. The third one has been taken approximately 10 km before landing


ESA/Rosetta/Philae/DLR


ESA/Rosetta/Philae


ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA











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First picture CIVA images of Philae lander

Dear readers and followers,


today you can follow in live the landing of the Rosetta's lander Philae on the comet 67P Churyumov Gerasimenko. After a 10 year journey of some seven billion kilometres, the Rosetta mission is now heading towards its next major milestone : setting the lander Philae on a comet. Rosetta is a robotic space probe built and launched by the +European Space Agency, ESA to perform a detailed study of comet called 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with both an orbiter and lander module (Philae).

ESA just released pictures of the landing step enjoy, more data soon, so stay tuned.


Credit images: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Credit images: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Don't forget that you can follow the live video streaming here


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Live video of the Philae landing on the comet 67P Churyumov Gerasimenko

Dear readers and followers,



today you can follow in live the landing of the Rosetta's lander Philae on the comet 67P Churyumov Gerasimenko. After a 10 year journey of some seven billion kilometres, the Rosetta mission is now heading towards its next major milestone : setting the lander Philae on a comet.  

In French here:



Credit video: +CNES 


In English here:

Rosetta is a robotic space probe built and launched by the +European Space Agency, ESA to perform a detailed study of comet called 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with both an orbiter and lander module (Philae).



This morning, Philae separated from Rosetta. Seven hours later, it will arrive at the surface of the comet. Hopefully, Philae will survive the landing, and begin to return data.


Credit image: +European Space Agency, ESA 


See below the different steps for the landing




The comet is really large, as you can see on the picture below with a comparison with Paris city:




Source: +CNES


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November 5, 2014

Worms of school projects onboard Antares rocket have been also lost

Dear readers and followers,

few days after the terrific failure during take-off of the Antares space rocket, the space community starts to see the consequences for the all projects linked to this dramatic event. The rocket was carrying more than 2200 kg of equipment and supplies for the international space station. No one was injured when the rocket, built and launched by +Orbital Sciences and Technologies, Inc., exploded into what witnesses said looked like a "ball of fire" after lifting off from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Credit image: +NASA 

Actually, over a dozen school projects were onboard the U.S. supply rocket that exploded shortly after liftoff from the Virginia regional space launch pad. Fortunately, a group of California students will have another shot at getting their project. 

Credit image: Urban promise academy middle school

The project, developed by students at the Urban Promise Academy middle school in Oakland, would have sent the worms to the International Space Station to study the effects of space on composting."They were very distressed initially when the rocket blew up. Of all the points of potential failure, that wasn't one that students or staff had anticipated," said Flint, a staff member of the school leading this student project. But Flint added that school officials were assured they would have a second chance to send the project into space on an upcoming launch, though it was not immediately clear when.

The study of life in space is a huge topic and many experiment are done in orbit, such as the last one of the Russian space program with gecko

The project was among 18 student investigations onboard the rocket when it exploded, according to a NASA statement. The winners were selected from a pool of nearly 1500 proposals from across the country, +NASA  said.

It was not immediately clear whether the other projects would also be included on another flight.

Source: +NASA 

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November 4, 2014

Fireball meteor in western Japan sky

Dear readers and followers,



Yesterday evening, on Monday November 3nd, people in western Japan have reported sightings of a sparkling light racing across the sky, as illustrated in the following picture. Experts say it was probably a "fireball" meteor, a piece of an asteroid that ignites upon entering Earth's atmosphere, and any surviving fragments mostly likely ended up in the sea. A remote controlled camera at Fukuoka airport recorded an object emitting a strong green light, while another camera at Hakata port showed a faint orange light.


Credit image: Japan Times


Last year, a fireball meteor has been seen in US. The +American Meteor Society indicated that they received 63 reports of a fireball over the state of Maryland and New Jersey during the night on October 14th 2013 around 8:25 pm


Credit image: +BBC News 



Source: +BBC News

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October 31, 2014

Video of the failed Antares launch taken from a plane

Dear readers and followers,

Everyone saw the videos taken from the ground of the dramatic failed space launch of the Antares rocket, however, this time +Ed Sealing had the opportunity to make the video from a plane. 

Image from the video of +Ed Sealing

The video is really impressive and taken with an iPad Mini from a Cessna 177 Cardinal from an altitude of 914 meters.


Credit video: +Ed Sealing 

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Incident Response Team completed an initial assessment of Wallops Island

Dear readers and follower,


The Wallops Incident Response Team completed today an initial assessment of Wallops Island, Virginia, following the catastrophic failure of Orbital Science Corp.’s Antares rocket shortly after liftoff at 6:22 p.m. (local time, EDT) Tuesday, October 28th , from Pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.



“I want to praise the launch team, range safety, all of our emergency responders and those who provided mutual aid and support on a highly-professional response that ensured the safety of our most important resource, our people,” announced Bill Wrobel, Wallops director. “In the coming days and weeks ahead, we'll continue to assess the damage on the island and begin the process of moving forward to restore our space launch capabilities. There's no doubt in my mind that we will rebound stronger than ever.”

The initial assessment is a cursory look; it will take many more weeks to further understand and analyze the full extent of the effects of the event. A number of support buildings in the immediate area have broken windows and imploded doors. A sounding rocket launcher adjacent to the pad, and buildings nearest the pad, suffered the most severe damage. At Pad 0A the initial assessment showed damage to the transporter erector launcher and lightning suppression rods, as well as debris around the pad.

The Wallops environmental team also is conducting assessments at the site. Preliminary observations are that the environmental effects of the launch failure were largely contained within the southern third of Wallops Island, in the area immediately adjacent to the pad. Immediately after the incident, the Wallops’ industrial hygienist collected air samples at the Wallops mainland area, the Highway 175 causeway, and on Chincoteague Island. No hazardous substances were detected at the sampled locations. Additional air, soil and water samples will be collected from the incident area as well as at control sites for comparative analysis.

The Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Resources Commission reported today they have not observed any obvious signs of water pollution, such as oil sheens. Furthermore, initial assessments have not revealed any obvious impacts to fish or wildlife resources. The Incident Response Team continues to monitor and assess.

Credit image: +NASA Wallops 

Based on initial sweeps conducted by an Orbital safety team, it appears a significant amount of debris remains on the site and it is likely substantial hardware evidence will be available to aid in determining root cause of the Antares launch failure. Some of the Cygnus cargo has also been found and will be retrieved as soon as they have clearance to do so to see if any survived intact. 
After up close visual inspections by the safety team, it still appears the launch site itself avoided major damage. There is some evidence of damage to piping that runs between the fuel and commodity storage vessels and the launch mount, but no evidence of significant damage to either the storage vessels or launch mount. Detailed evaluations by MARS and their engineering team will occur in the next couple of days. An Orbital-led team has begun cataloging and documenting the location of all pieces of debris over the next several days after which the debris will be relocated to storage bays on the island for further evaluation.

Telemetry data has been released to Orbital and their engineers presented a very quick look assessment to the Accident Investigation Board at the end of the day. It appears the Antares vehicle had a nominal pre-launch and launch sequence with no issues noted. All systems appeared to be performing nominally until approximately T+15 seconds at which point the failure occurred. 
Evidence suggests the failure initiated in the first stage after which the vehicle lost its propulsive capability and fell back to the ground impacting near, but not on, the launch pad. Prior to impacting the ground, the rocket’s Flight Termination System was engaged by the designated official in the Wallops Range Control Center.

Source: +Orbital Sciences and Technologies, Inc. and +NASA


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October 29, 2014

Antares rocket failed during its launch to ISS and exploded

Dear readers and followers,


The +Orbital Sciences and Technologies, Inc.'s Antares rocket lifted off to start its third resupply mission to the International Space Station, but suffered a catastrophic anomaly shortly after liftoff at 6:22 p.m. EDT. The Orbital Sciences team is executing its contingency procedures, securing the site and data, including all telemetry from the Antares launch vehicle and Cygnus spacecraft. Before launch the Orbital team was not tracking any issues.No injuries have been reported, and Orbital reports that all personnel around the Wallops Flight Facility launch site have been accounted for.


Credit video: +NASA Wallops 



"Launching rockets is an incredibly difficult undertaking, and we learn from each success and each setback. Today's launch attempt will not deter us from our work to expand our already successful capability to launch cargo from American shores to the International Space Station.” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of +NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, regarding today's Orbital Sciences Corp's launch mishap.



Damage was contained to the hazard area, but there may have been a scattering of debris. Public safety is our number one priority. If people find debris in the vicinity of the launch tonight, please stay away & call the Incident Response Team at 757-824-1295.

Source: +Orbital Sciences and Technologies, Inc. and +NASA


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