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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:47 PM

SpaceX Awarded Two EELV-Class Missions from the United States Air Force

Source: Spaceref

The United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center has awarded SpaceX two Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-class missions: DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) and STP-2 (Space Test Program 2). To be launched on SpaceX's Falcon launch vehicles in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the awards mark the first EELV-class missions awarded to the company to date.

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The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

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Read more: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=39427



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Space_Climate_Observatory

Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) (formerly known as Triana, unofficially known as GoreSat) is a NASA satellite proposed in 1998 by then-Vice President Al Gore for the purpose of Earth observation.

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The Bush Administration put the project on hold shortly after George W. Bush's inauguration.

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Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences whether the project was worthwhile. The resulting report stated that the mission was "strong and scientifically vital."

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Triana was removed from its original launch opportunity on STS-107 (the ill-fated Columbia mission in 2003). The $100 million satellite remained in storage for the duration of the Bush administration. In November 2008 the satellite was removed from storage and began recertification for a possible launch on board a Delta II or a Falcon 9.

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12 replies, 1929 views

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Reply SpaceX Awarded Two EELV-Class Missions from the United States Air Force (Original post)
bananas Dec 2012 OP
KamaAina Dec 2012 #1
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #2
Angleae Dec 2012 #4
bananas Dec 2012 #5
bananas Dec 2012 #6
KamaAina Dec 2012 #7
KamaAina Dec 2012 #10
bananas Dec 2012 #12
Posteritatis Dec 2012 #8
Uncle Joe Dec 2012 #3
caveat_imperator Dec 2012 #9
littlemissmartypants Dec 2012 #11

Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:57 PM

1. Whoa there! I thought SpaceX was going to conduct its own private exploration of space

in the tradition of the Hudson's Bay Company, East India Company, etc., on Earth.

I did not know they were planning to privatize our existing space program. That is a whole different kettle of fish.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:01 PM

2. Little bit of both.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:06 PM

4. If they're going to explore space they need funding to do it.

Commercial launches can provide that funding.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:06 PM

5. Satellite launches were privatized a long time ago

Prior to the early 1980s, there was no commercial space transportation industry. Instead, the United States launched commercial satellites on vehicles owned by the government. However, several events during the 1980s prompted the development of this industry, including the creation of a European commercial launch services organization, and the ban of commercial payloads (i.e. satellites) from flying aboard the Space Shuttle after the Challenger disaster.

By the year 2002, U.S. commercial space transportation and the services and industries it enables accounted for more than $95 billion in economic activity in addition to providing many benefits to public consumers (i.e. DirecTV and satellite radio).

ROLE OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

In 1984, Congress passed the Commercial Space Launch Act (the 1984 Act). The 1984 Act sought to encourage the development of the emerging commercial space launch industry and to facilitate compliance with Federal requirements. The Act created a licensing mechanism to enable quick and efficient compliance with existing Federal regulations.

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=15408


... the Commercial Space Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-303), which requires NASA and other Federal agencies to plan missions and procure space transportation services from U.S. commercial providers to the maximum extent practicable.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY11/IG-11-012.pdf

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:28 PM

6. No, Elon Musk wants to enable thousands of people to move to Mars

It's not "exploration", it's "settlement".
The first step is reducing the cost of launching people and supplies into orbit.

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Response to bananas (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:34 PM

7. As long as they're Dems

maybe we can flip the "Red Planet".

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Response to bananas (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:13 PM

10. Mars? Why not Luna?

It's an order of magnitude closer, and we now know there is water ice there. At the bottoms of craters. Which would make nice bases for tunneling into, hobbit-style, so the habitations would be shielded from the intense heat, cold, and radiation. Only the solar panels, comm gear, and spaceports would have to be on the surface.

edit: The ice-bearing craters would function much as oases do in the Sahara.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 05:41 AM

12. Elon Musk's reasons for going to Mars

IEEE Spectrum had a special issue on "Why Mars? Why Now?" with many contributors:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/why-mars-why-now

Elon Musk wrote an article there about why he wants to go to Mars:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/space-flight/risky-business

There's an audio podcast that goes with that article:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/aerospace/space-flight/elon-musk-a-founder-of-paypal-tesla-motors-and-spacex

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:08 PM

8. They can walk and chew gum. Private launches have been going on awhile. (nt)

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:09 PM

3. Good the Earth will finally get a full length mirror, perhaps this will raise

humanity's consciousness.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Space_Climate_Observatory

Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) (formerly known as Triana, unofficially known as GoreSat) is a NASA satellite proposed in 1998 by then-Vice President Al Gore for the purpose of Earth observation. It is intended to be positioned at the Earth's L1 Lagrangian point, at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers. At this location it will have a continuous view of the sunlit side of the Earth.

The satellite's original purpose was to provide a near-continuous view of the entire Earth and make that live image available via the Internet. Gore hoped not only to advance science with these images, but also to raise awareness of the Earth itself, updating the influential The Blue Marble photograph taken by Apollo 17.




Image of Earth from space, Galileo spacecraft, December 11, 1990


In addition to an imaging camera, a radiometer would take the first direct measurements of how much sunlight is reflected and emitted from the whole Earth (albedo). This data could constitute a barometer for the process of global warming. The scientific goals expanded to measure the amount of solar energy reaching Earth, cloud patterns, weather systems, monitor the health of Earth's vegetation, and track the amount of UV light reaching the surface through the ozone layer.

The Bush Administration put the project on hold shortly after George W. Bush's inauguration.



Thanks for the thread, bananas.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 06:20 PM

9. This was meant to be launched during Gore's administration?

Things would be so different today if the info from this was gathered when it was supposed to be gathered.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:17 PM

11. Great Catch. n/t

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