SpaceX Falcon 9 Positioned as the Most Popular New Launch Vehicle in a Generation

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Carrying Koreasat-5A. Source: Flickr/SpaceX

On October 30, 2017, SpaceX successfully launched the Koreasat-5A satellite from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Falcon 9 delivered the Koreasat-5A to its targeted orbit and the satellite was deployed approximately 36 minutes after liftoff. Continue reading

Elon Musk Unveils More Details about Mars Colony

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

For the second year in a row, Elon Musk has used the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) to unveil plans about his dream of developing a colony on Mars. During this year’s event – held in Adelaide, Australia – Musk disclosed plans that were much more practical than the ones he revealed at last year’s event in Guadalajara, Mexico. However, his plans are still a long way from becoming a reality. Continue reading

SpaceX Files to Build Massive Satellite Network

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Falcon 9 Launch

Falcon 9 Launch

SpaceX has officially filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to build and operate a massive network of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. According to documents submitted to the FCC, the satellite constellation will consist of 4,425 operational satellites along with in-orbit spares. The satellites will operate in 83 orbital planes, at altitudes ranging from 1,110 to 1,325 kilometers. They will operate in Ku- and Ka-bands. Continue reading

Forecast Roundtable – Discussion of Elon Musk’s Mars Colonization Plan

By Matthew Beres and Bill Ostrove, Forecast International.

forecast-roundtable-mars

Welcome to the Forecast Roundtable Podcast. Forecast Roundtable brings together expert analysts, industry professionals, and government officials to discuss the latest issues in the aerospace and defense markets. Produced at the Forecast International headquarters, Forecast Roundtable offers unique and in depth insight and discussion on any range of topics from geopolitics to aerospace and defense markets. Topic suggestions are welcome. Continue reading

Elon Musk Lays Out Ambitious, Challenging Plan to Colonize Mars

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Mars image taken by Hubble. Source: NASA

Mars image taken by Hubble. Source: NASA

Elon Musk has proposed an ambitious plan to make humans a multiplanet species. The announcement of the initiative was made at the International Astronautical Congress on September 27 in Guadalajara, Mexico, to much fanfare. Attendees of the event described the atmosphere as closer to a rock concert than a scientific or business presentation. Continue reading

Reusable Launch Vehicles Remain Appealing

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

RLV-TD blasting off on 5-23-2016

RLV-TD blasting off on 5-23-2016

 

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched a reusable launch vehicle demonstrator, dubbed the RLV-TD.  The RLV-TD is a delta-winged spacecraft designed to lift off vertically and land horizontally.  Its reusability reduces launch costs. Continue reading

Launch Failure Won’t Be a Long-Term Setback for SpaceX

by Bill Ostrove, Space Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

SpaceX Falcon

SpaceX Falcon

On June 27, a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying a Dragon cargo spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) broke apart shortly after launch. The launch vehicle lifted off at 10:21 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral launch site.

The Dragon capsule, the seventh launched under NASA’s Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) contract, was carrying supplies to the ISS, including food, scientific equipment, and station hardware. One of the more important pieces of equipment being carried was the International Docking Adaptor-1 (IDA-1), part of a universal docking system being developed by NASA so more companies can take part in ISS operations. The Dragon also carried eight CubeSats for Planet Labs. Continue reading

ULA Introduces Future Vulcan Launch Vehicle

by Bill Ostrove, Forecast International.

United Launch Alliance's New Vulcan

United Launch Alliance’s New Vulcan (Source: ULA)

U.S. company United Launch Alliance (ULA) has unveiled its next-generation launch vehicle, dubbed Vulcan. In a much anticipated April 13 press conference, CEO Tory Bruno provided details about the new launch vehicle (formerly known as the Next Generation Launch System, or NGLS), including that it will feature a reusable main engine and a redesigned second stage that will extend on-orbit operating times from hours to weeks.

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