News of

September 1998

September 30
The U.S. State Department reinstates the export license for the Sea Launch program which had been suspended on July 27. Boeing, which leads the venture, will have to pay a US$10-million fine for unapproved technology transfers. First launch of a Zenit 3SL vehicle from the Odyssey off-shore platform is now due during the first quarter of 1999.
September 30
DynCorp is selected by the Commonwealth of Virginia to form a joint venture to develop and operate the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Center at Wallops Island.
 

 For up-to-date information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 ISIR NEWSLINE
 An on-line news service provided by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

September 23
Kaiser Marquardt conducts the first test firing of a rocket engine designed to be operated in the very low temperature conditions of the Martian surface. The 20-kN development engine provides stable combustion by burning MMH with MON-25 at -40°C.
September 23
The Indian Space Research Organisation receives the first of 7 KVD-1-powered cryogenic upper stages delivered by GKNPTs Khrunichev of Russia to be flown atop its new GSLV rocket. First flight of the GSLV is scheduled on the third quarter of 1999.
September 23
Scaled Composites unveils its Proteus aircraft which could be used as a carrier for an ultra-light lift orbital launch vehicle or for a suborbital space vehicle which able to carry astronauts to an altitude of 100 km as part of the X-Prize competition.
September 21
The European Space Agency and CNES, the French space agency, have completed the Launcher Qualification Review for the third qualification flight of Ariane 5. The launch is now due for October 20.
September 17
Japan's National Space Development Agency plans to build a runway on Christmas Island, Republic of Kiribati, for landing of its Hope-X unmanned spaceplane due for launch in 2003.
September 15
Thiokol Propulsion successfully conducts the first of 6 qualification ground firing tests on a Minuteman 3 remanufactured first stage.
 

 For additional information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE INDUSTRY REPORT
 A biweekly newsletter jointly published by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

September 15
Arianespace is awarded a new contract by ISRO for the launch of its new generation Insat 3B communications satellite atop an Ariane 4 or an Ariane 5 vehicle in the second quarter of 1999.
September 15
Delegation Generale pour l'Armement, French ministry of Defense's procurement agency has awarded a series of contract worth FF3.8 billion to an industrial team led by Aerospatiale to proceed with the development of the M51 sea-launched ballistic misssile through 2000. The M51 will replace the current M45 onboard French nuclear submarines in 2008.
September 15
A US$60-million Commercial Spaceport Launch Pad is inaugurated at the Virginia Space Flight Center in Wallops Island.
September 13
Alaska Aerospace Development announces first launch from its commercial launch site in Narrow Cape, Kodiak Island, in early October. Orbital Sciences Corp. will fly the first Atmospheric Interceptor Technology (AIT) demonstrator vehicle onto a suborbital trajectory on behalf of U.S. Air Force's Space & Missile Systems Center.
September 11
South Korea's announces that it will speed up its own national space launch vehicle program to set up a domestic launch capability circa 2005.
September 10
Globalstar LP announces a new launch plan for its low Earth orbit constellation of small satellites for mobile telephony following the loss of 12 spacecraft on a Zenit 2 launcher. On behalf of Globalstar, Space Systems/Loral will exercize options for three additional Soyuz/Ikar launches on a contract with Starsem and one Delta 2/7420 launch with Boeing. Two more Soyuz/Ikar launches and two more Delta 2 launches remain available as options. The two remaining Zenit launches are apparently not rescinded.
 

 For up-to-date information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 ISIR NEWSLINE
 An on-line news service provided by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

September 10
A Zenit 2 launcher carrying 12 mobile telephony satellites for Globalstar LP fails 272 sec. into flight during second stage burn. A computer malfunction apparently caused cut-off of the RD-120 engine. All spacecraft are destroyed. An investigation is underway and may impact on the schedule for the introduction of Sea Launch's Zenit 3SL vehicle.
( September Launch Log).
September 10
NASA's Lewis Research Center is looking for proposals regarding R&D in the area of "breakthrough" propulsion physics.
September 9
Boeing unveils three new commercial versions of the Delta 4 launcher it is developing on behalf of U.S. Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. Dubbed "Delta 4 Medium Plus", the versions will feature two to four GEM-60 boosters provided by Alliant Techsystems to loft 4,700 to 6,700 kg to GTO.
September 8
Bristol Aerospace has been awarded a C$4.4 million contract by NASA to provide 20 Black Brant sounding rockets.
September 7
Thiokol Propulsion begins manufacturing of composite ablative exhaust nozzles for Boeing Rocketdyne's RS-68 low-cost cryogenic engine. The RS-68 is due to power the Common Booster Core of Boeing's Delta 4 family of launchers.
September 5
Israeli intelligence officials claim that Iran is developing a national space launch capability as part of a military observation satellite program.
 

  PHOTO GALLERY: DELTA 3 LAUNCH FAILURE

 

 

     

 

 

 


Boeing
's first Delta 3 failed on August 27 due to a faulty control software which caused hydraulic fluid depletion in its strap-on boosters' thrust vectoring systems while attempting to compensate a roll oscillation it was actually contributing to maintain. Photos © Boeing.

 

September 5
Boeing announces that the Delta 3 failure investigation will be completed in late September. A self-maintained oscillation roll caused hydraulic fluid depletion in the strap-on boosters thrust vectoring system.
September 4
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has selected Boeing North American, Kelly Space & Technology, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Orbital Sciences Corp., and Space Access to conduct studies on space transportation architectures. Total amount of the contracts is US$5 million.
September 4
North Korea claims that its August 31 launch actually an orbital launch. Russia confirms the launch on September 5. U.S. Space Command has not spotted any satellite yet.
September 4
CNES, the French space agency, announces that it is ready to reduce its shareholding in Arianespace from 32.2% to about 20%. Its share would be transferred to the industry.
September 3
Spaceport Florida Authority begins refurbishment of Cape Canaveral's SLC-20 pad into a commercial quick-reaction launch facility for small expendable launchers.
September 3
The cause of the Titan 4 launch failure on August 12 is identified as a power outage from the guidance system's battery.
 

 For additional information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE INDUSTRY REPORT
 A biweekly newsletter jointly published by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

 

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