Scroll down to read this post.

 

My July fund-raising campaign, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the start of this website, has now ended. This was the second most successful monthly fund-raising campaign ever. Thank you again to everyone who has who donated or subscribed. It is difficult to explain what your support means to me.

 

You can still donate or subscribe to support my work if you wish, either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are four ways of doing so:

 

1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.

 

2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.
 

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:


5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


Problems with 6 of 72 cubesats launched by Soyuz

Of the 72 cubesats launched by a Russian Soyuz rocket on July 14, 6 have unexpected problems.

Four of the 72 miniature satellites sent into orbit July 14 on a Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket alongside the primary customer, the Kanopus-V-IK Russian Earth-imaging satellite, are not responding to commands from their operators and two additional cubesats are not in their intended orbits.

It appears that a variety of causes are behind the problems, not all of which are related to the Soyuz.

Posted from Torrey, Utah, just outside Capitol Reef.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

One comment

  • Edward

    The extent of the problem seems to be getting worse:
    http://spacenews.com/additional-cubesats-on-july-14-soyuz-flight-are-unresponsive/
    At least eight of the nine cubesats sent by the Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket into a 600-kilometer orbit July 14 alongside a larger spacecraft, the Kanopus-V-IK Russian Earth-imaging satellite, are not responding to commands from their operators.

    What is notable, however, is that “there is no evidence that rocket problems caused the cubesat failures.

    Cubesat failure is not an unexpected problem, at least in general. It seems that off the shelf cubesat parts may not yet be as ready to fly as we thought.

    http://spacenews.com/cubesat-reliability-a-growing-issue-as-industry-matures/
    His [Michael Johnson, chief technologist for the applied engineering and technology directorate of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center] experience with one recent mission, Dellingr, illustrated the problem. … ‘We received components that, out of the box, did not work. We received components that, when they got to a certain temperature, they would cease working. We received components where the data sheets did not agree with them. We received components with all kinds of issues.’

    David Voss of the Air Force Research Lab … recommends a core set of tests of spacecraft power, communications and other essential systems.

    There seems to be a problem with developing parts and assemblies into reliable flight items. There is a “Valley of Death” when it comes to development of spacecraft parts, a problem of getting a new technology from Technology Readiness Level 1 or 2 (TRL-1 or TRL-2), the tech is feasible, to flight operations (TRL-9). The intervening levels, the ground-demonstration and development levels, are the hard part, the Valley of Death part:

    http://spacenews.com/crossing-valley-death-get-new-technology-space/
    Inadequate funding, fear of failure, red tape and high launch costs conspire to make it difficult to take promising new technologies from the laboratory to orbit, officials with some of the leading U.S. space-development institutions said during a panel discussion here.

    JPL engineers are freer to experiment as they shepherd technologies across the ‘valley of death’ to flight readiness, [Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Eugene Tattini, deputy director of JPL] said.

    This previous link is to a 2004 article, but Space News has a July 31 2017 article on the same topic, showing that the “Valley of Death” is still alive and well in spaceflight. This year’s article makes the suggestion that “failure should be an option.

    It seems that the problem is not hopeless. One company may be willing to do what it takes:

    http://spacenews.com/harris-pivots-from-hosted-payloads-to-small-satellite/
    Harris is developing small satellites to test electronics and other systems Harris plans to fly on larger spacecraft.

    Since the problem is lack of willingness to take the risks and expense to develop and fly technology that has only been shown to be feasible, it is good that someone seems willing to take that risk. For them, they are not so worried about the option of failure.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *