On our own return to flight episode, we discuss several upcoming events ; NASA’s Osiris Rex, a sample return mission to the asteroid Bennu is scheduled for launch on 8 September 2016. The team looks at the mission objectives and the unique configuration of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V carrying the spacecraft. SpaceX too is making news with two upcoming commercial launches out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. OrbitalATK is also returning it’s Antares booster to flight next month launching the Cygnus cargo craft from the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops. We also explore a SpaceNews piece indicating that the USAF awarded two National Reconnaissance Office Launch Contracts for the Delta IV rocket in 2020 and 2023 with SpaceX mysteriously not even filing a protest.
The NASA Advisory Council met during the final week of July and issued a warning concerning the Commercial Crew Program and the dangers of the program falling behind schedule. It may impact US ISS crew access. We also explore completely the recent Government Accounting Office Report on NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion Exploration Vehicle, criticizing budget estimates and schedule.
Don’t forget about the Upcoming Pleiades Meteor Shower, peaking on August 11th and 12th If you are inclined, take a look at a Kickstarter project to help restore the observatory at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona where Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto.
Show Recorded 08-08-2016
Host: Sawyer Rosenstein
Panel Members: Gene Mikulka and Mark Ratterman