quinta-feira, 5 de janeiro de 2017

The Year in Suborbital Launches

Hello reader!

Here is an interesting note published on (01/03) at the site "Parabolic Arc", highlighting the suborbital flights made in the world in 2016.

Duda Falcão

News

The Year in Suborbital Launches

By Doug Messier
January 3, 2017, at 12:48 am

(Credit: Blue Origin)
The New Shepard capsule separates from its
booster as the abort motor fires.

Although orbital launch vehicles get all the glory (and infamy when they fail), 2016 was also a busy year for the far less glamorous suborbital launch sector. There were 19 suborbital launches at various sites around the world, and two more sounding rocket launches of note where the payload didn’t go above 100 km.

The table below shows suborbital launches throughout the year.

SUBORBITAL LAUNCHES IN 2016
DATE
LAUNCH VEHICLE

LAUNCH SITE

PAYLOADS
NATION

OUTCOME

01/15/16
S-310
Uchinoura (Japan)
Ionospheric Research
Japan
Success
01/22/16
New Shepard
Corn Ranch (Texas)
New Shepard Capsule
USA
Success
01/23/16
VSB-30
Esrange (Sweden)
TEXUS-53
Brazil/Sweden/DLR/ESA
Success
02/02/16
VS-30
Esrange (Sweden)
SPIDER/LEEWAVES
Brazil/Sweden
Success
02/22/16
Black Brant IX
White Sands
(New Mexico)
CHESS-2
USA
Success
03/01/16
Terrier Malemute
Wallops Island (Virginia)
Multiple payloads
USA
Success
03/07/16
Terrier Orion
Wallops Island (Virginia)
SOAREX-9, RadPC, VIP
USA
Success
04/02/16
New Shepard
Corn Ranch (Texas)
BORE, COLLIDE
USA
Success
04/26/16
Tianying 3F
Hainan Island (China)
Kunpeng-1B, CSSAR
China
Success
05/18/16
VS-30/Improved Orion
Woomera (Australia)
HiFire-5B
Australia
Success
06/01/16
Black Brant IX
White Sands (New Mexico)
EVE
USA
Success
06/19/16
New Shepard
Corn Ranch (Texas)
Capillary Flow Experiment, EITIC, MEDEA
USA
Success
06/24/16
Terrier Improved Orion
Wallops Island (Virginia)
RockOn/RockSat-C
USA
Success
06/30/16
Improved Malemute
Andoya (Norway)
MaxiDusty 1
Norway
Success
07/08/16
Improved Malemute
Andoya (Norway)
MaxiDusty 1b
Norway
Success
07/19/16
Terrier Improved Orion
Esrange (Sweden)
ROTEX-T
Germany/Sweden
Success
07/27/16
Black Brant IX
White Sands (New Mexico)
Hi-C
USA
Spacecraft Failure
08/17/16
Terrier Improved Malemute
Wallops Island (Virginia)
Rocksat-X
USA
Partial Failure
10/05/16
New Shepard
Corn Ranch (Texas)
New Shepard Capsule (Abort Test)
USA
Success

Eleven launches were conducted in the United States, followed by Sweden with three, Norway with two and Australia, China and Japan with one apiece. The breakdown by launch site is as follows:
  • Corn Ranch, Texas: 4
  • Wallops Island, Virginia: 4
  • Esrange, Sweden: 3
  • White Sands, New Mexico: 3
  • Andoya, Norway: 2
  • Hainan Island, China: 1
  • Uchinoura, Japan: 1
  • Woomera, Australia: 1
Blue Origin Soars in 2016

(Credit: Blue Origin)
Precise thrust vector control and deep throttling
enable pinpoint booster landing.

As usual, Blue Origin got the most attention with four New Shepard flights from its West Texas launch site. The flights included a test in June during which one of the capsule’s three parachutes was deliberately not inflated. The capsule survived the landing just fine.

In October, Blue Origin conducted a spectacular mid-flight test of the capsule’s abort system. The abort rocket fired as planned, pulling the capsule clear of its booster to descend separately under its parachutes.

The booster was not expecting the booster to survive the test, but it did. The rocket descended toward the desert floor, deployed its landing legs and touching down safely.

It was the fifth and final flight of the booster and the sixth flight of the capsule. Blue Origin retired both vehicles immediately after the flight.

The company plans to begin flights of New Shepard in 2017 using test subjects – they won’t be test pilots because the brief suborbital flights are fully automated. If all goes well, Blue Origin will begin flying paying customers on suborbital rides sometime in 2018.

Researchers conducted a number of microgravity experiments aboard New Shepard. The Southwest Research Institute flew the Box of Rocks Experiment (BORE), which consisted of two transparent boxes enclosing two types of rocks that simulate the loose materials that cover small asteroids.

“BORE was designed as a simple, no-moving-parts experiment to study the settling effects of regolith,” said SwRI’s Dan Durda, BORE principal investigator. “We know very little about the low-gravity geological processes on the surfaces of these small bodies. Even watching the jostling behavior during low-speed collisions as these regolith simulants settle in microgravity can teach us a lot about what to expect as we set off to explore them.”


On the same flight, the University of Central Florida sent up the Collisions Into Dust (COLLIDE) experiment that used a bed dust and a marble to better understand collisions in the Solar System.

Hypersonic Research Down Under

Research into hypersonic flight continued in Australia through the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation Program (HiFiRE) program. The HiFire 5B booster hit a speed of Mach 7.5 (9,200 kmph) after launch from the Woomera Test Range.

The program is a collaboration of Boeing, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, University of Queensland and the Defence Science and Technology Group. Additional launches are planned at Woomera in 2017.

India Tests New Technologies

India flew two sounding rockets that, while they did not reach space, allowed engineers to test new space technologies.

In May, the Indian space agency ISRO flew the Hypersonic Flight Experiment (HEX) aboard a HS-9 sounding rocket. The winged, aircraft like vehicle was a scaled prototype for a reusable spacecraft. It reached an altitude of 70 km before crashing into the Bay of Bengal.

In August, ISRO tested a scramjet engine during a five-minute sounding rocket flight. The engine was designed to test technologies for a new rocket booster.


Source: Website of Parabolic Arc - http://www.parabolicarc.com

Comentário: Bom leitor esta matéria é muito interessante sem dúvida, pois mostra as atividades espaciais suborbitais realizadas no mundo no ano de 2016. Entretanto não tenho tanta certeza se o autor da mesma, o Sr. Doug Messier, citou todas as missões suborbitais realizadas, já que esqueceu de citar o voo do VSB-30 da Operação Rio Verde realizada em Alcântara em dezembro do ano passado.  Apesar de citar os voos de foguetes Brasileiros utilizados em missões estrangeiras, curiosamente ou até mesmo convenientemente, o Sr. Doug Messier não cita em sua matéria este voo do VSB-30 realizado no Brasil e se o leitor ler com atenção a matéria acima notará que isto não ocorre pelo fato da missão não ter completado adequadamente o que se esperava dela. Enfim... o mais importante leitor dessa matéria é mostrar como voos suborbitais são importantes e significativos no desenvolvimento espacial de qualquer nação, e que o Brasil precisa investir mais nesses voos em prol deste desenvolvimento, bem como em prol da ciência e tecnologia nacional como um todo.

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