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NASA Space Rocket Explodes while Launching, Virginia

NASA

An unmanned commercial rocket headed for the International Space Station to deliver supplies exploded just after launching Tuesday, filling the sky with a massive fireball. The Antares rocket supplied by contractor Orbital Sciences blew up moments after liftoff at NASA‘s space launch facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the space agency said. The explosion destroyed the rocket and spacecraft and immediately raised questions about the future of NASA’s reliance on private commercial ventures to carry vital payloads into space to supply and support the orbiting space station. NASA and Orbital Sciences were gathering data to determine the cause of the failure of the Orbital CRS-3, the space agency said. No injuries were reported.

The launch vehicle, dubbed Antares, exploded at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia after takeoff at 3:22 p.m. PT.

No personnel were in the area and only the launch site suffered damage from the explosion, NASA confirmed. A 1,400 square-mile launch hazard area was cleared prior to liftoff in the event of a rocket failure.

 

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The Antares rocket was made by Orbital Sciences Corp. and carried an Orbital-made Cygnus CRS-3 spacecraft ferrying about 5,000 pounds for resupplying the International Space Station, the heaviest payload to date for the Virginia-based rocket company. The spacecraft was supposed to dock with the ISS on November 2, when the six-person crew of Expedition 41 was to unload the supplies.

Orbital has a $1.9 billion contract with NASA, signed in 2008, as part of the organization’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services. Today’s launch would have marked the third Orbital cargo mission out of a total of eight launches under its NASA contract. Orbital has supplied NASA with launch vehicles for more than two decades with its Pegasus and Minotaur rockets, many iterations of which have 100 percent launch success records.

 

Orbital Sciences is contracted to conduct eight supply missions delivering 20 tons of material to the space station.NASA said engineers from Orbital Sciences were not “tracking any issues” before the launch. NASA said it is investigating the crash and collecting all telemetry and other data, along with the contractor. The National Transportation Safety Board is monitoring, NASA said

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The launch had already been delayed once after a sailboat entered its range on Monday night. Tuesday brought good launch weather, with clear skies and light winds.To guard against the dangers of a failed launch the Nasa facility maintains a hazard area of about 1,400 square miles around the site. Orbital said parts of the mission were covered by insurance and the rocket alone had been worth $200m.

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The company has a $1.9bn contract with Nasa to make eight missions to ferry supplies to the space station and would have completed its third delivery with this launch. Since the US space agency retired its shuttle fleet in 2011 it has relied on private companies and co-operation with Russia for its missions into space.

 

Orbital said the spacecraft suffered a “catastrophic failure” at 6.22pm ET. “It is far too early to know the details of what happened,” said Culbertson in an initial statement. “As we begin to gather information our primary concern lies with the ongoing safety and security of those involved in our response and recovery operations. We will conduct a thorough investigation immediately to determine the cause of this failure and what steps can be taken to avoid a repeat of this incident.

 

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Among the cargo were more than a dozen student research projects, including an experiment from students at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston to test the performance of pea shoot growth in space. NASA is paying the Virginia-based Orbital Sciences and the California-based SpaceX company to keep the space station stocked in the post-shuttle era. This is the first disaster in that effort.

 

 

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Courtesy : NASA Space station, The Guardian, USA today.

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Aerospace

Boeing 777-9 Begins Certification Flight Testing with FAA Onboard

Boeing 777-9 Begins Certification Flight Testing with FAA Onboard

The 777-9 has commenced certification flight testing at Boeing Field in Seattle. This is a crucial step under the supervision of our regulator to certify the airplane and deliver it to customers worldwide.

Amidst Boeing’s current challenges, the B777X stands out as a project that could revitalize the brand. It is highly anticipated, and Boeing is keen to clear FAA certifications to release it as soon as possible.

Boeing 777-8F vs Airbus A350F: Comparing two Premium aircraft : Click here

The aircraft is two years behind its initial commitment date. During this time, the company has rigorously tested it under various conditions to ensure its readiness for commercial service.

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Boeing has announced that the 777X will be used for both passenger and freighter services, depending on customer requirements.

Boeing’s 777X program has achieved a major milestone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granting approval to begin certification flight tests, marking a significant step towards the aircraft’s entry into commercial service.

Mega Comparison of Boeing 777x vs A350-1000 Aircraft : Click here

The European Union granted approval for this merger in February, and Korean Air anticipates U.S. regulatory approval by the end of October.

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Following Airbus’ breakthrough with Korean Air, Reuters reported in April that Korean Air was considering a new Boeing order focused on the 777X, an advanced version of the 777 mini-jumbo.

Boeing 777-9 First certification

The first certification flight test of the 777-9 took place on Friday evening, with FAA personnel onboard alongside Boeing’s pilots and flight test team.

According to The Seattle Times, the aircraft departed from Boeing Field shortly after 6 p.m. and landed nearly two hours later after flying along the Washington and Oregon coast.

The 777X, an upgraded version of the successful 777 twinjet, features new engines and carbon composite wings with folding wingtips to accommodate standard airport gates.

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The first variant, the 777-9X, is designed to carry 426 passengers in a two-class configuration for long-haul international flights.

Comparison of two legendary aircraft Boeing 777x vs Boeing 747 aircraft : Click here

Boeing B777x total orders

Boeing has secured 481 orders for the aircraft, with Emirates being the largest customer, having ordered over 200 units. The planemaker has already built and stored 22 777X jets, with an additional six in various stages of assembly in Everett, Washington.

Boeing is close to finalizing a significant deal to sell approximately two dozen 777X jets to Korean Air, with an estimated value ranging from $4 billion to $6 billion, as reported by Reuters.

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Industry sources suggest that the agreement could be concluded as early as the Farnborough Airshow in July. Korean Air, South Korea’s largest airline, has been in discussions about returning to Boeing for its long-haul aircraft needs.

The Boeing 777X vs A350 is one of the most popular comparisons among aircraft as of now. The Airbus A350 has been operating for more than eight years, and its promising performance helps airlines in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction, particularly in noise and vibrations.

The next generation Boeing 777X can fulfill the same requirements, with 777x first delivery given to Emirates Airlines, the launch customer for this aircraft. It remains to be seen how the Boeing 777X vs Airbus A350 will compete against each other in the future.

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