The 2017 Space News, Including the Max Polyakov’s Firefly Aerospace
The arrival of the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship at the International Space Station on the morning of Wednesday, Aug 16, could be enough to make anybody believe that space travel will soon become rampant. Only the normal supplies and experiments were involved in the latest payload. But ice cream was also delivered to the orbiting lab staff members.
The European Space Agency's Andreas Morgenson congratulated the team in a radio message from the Mission Control office of NASA in Houston. He told them that they deserved a treat after what they had done.
With this launch, SpaceX succeeded in sending a total of 12 cargo flights as part of the contract for the Commercial Resupply Service which it has with NASA. 8 more commercial launches are still expected. The interests of many other commercial firms in the space arena are being revived by the success of the young space company.
Another up and coming space company, Firefly Aerospace which is supported by Max Polyakov, is set to provide highly effective, and affordable launch solutions. Those who cannot afford the common huge capacity space lifters choose this. The Falcon 9 that belongs to Space X is capable of lifting 22, 000 kilograms payload to space. This may sound very encouraging for those astronauts that are onto huge projects. However, those looking to send smaller satellites to space may see this as overkill.
The popularity of smaller satellites has grown over the years. With microsatellites of a few kilograms, you can now achieve what you could only achieve with huge satellites in the past. The weight of a microsatellite is 10-100 kilograms, the weight of a young child to a mature adult. But, there are picosatellites less than a kilogram. Another method is to make use of a constellation of microsatellites for huge applications, and this relegates the huge satellites of past years into the background.
Yet, some of the developers of these huge earth lifting machines refuse to accept that their relevance is wearing out. The Falcon 9 Heavy will be tested by the Space X later in 2017, and they have said that they will increase the capability of this huge machine. They intend to develop the ITS launch vehicle with the same technology, and this could lift up to 550, 000-kilogram payload into the low-earth space.
The S7 Space Transportation Systems Company of Russia announced not long ago that they will start launching from the Sea Launch floating platform. Zenit-3SL is the only rocket that works with the Sea Launchpad and the payload capacity for the Zenith is 6 000 kilograms. This is larger than the normal size of the biggest microsatellites by 12 times.
Information from the contenders for the $20-million Lunar X Prize lamented that smaller satellites are added as secondary payloads to get them into space. There is an agreement between the Israeli team, Space-IL, and SpaceX, to allow the former to piggyback their entry to the Lunar Xprize on a launch of a Falcon 9. But this may not be possible, as the team will likely not meet the March 31, 2018, extended date. For Max Polyakov of Noosphere Ventures, the significant changes his rocket will bring to this sector will mean that these smaller launches will be available to avoid these unfortunate situations.
Firefly Space Systems is the original company, but they filed for bankruptcy in 2016. But, Max Polyakov of Noosphere Ventures couldn’t stand to see this happen. EOS Launcher is one of the private space firms managed by Mr. Polyakov, and he used it to buy up the assets and technologies of Firefly at auction and renamed it Firefly Aerospace. Also Max Polyakov brought back the CEO, Thomas Markusic, and the senior engineers.
Max Polyakov of Noosphere Ventures, hopes that with a smaller but highly skilled workforce, just like their robots, the company will conquer more ground. They intend to launch their first flight by 2019.