Orbit 12.23 Community Input

Hello Community of TMRO!

This Saturday [7/27] for Orbit 12.23 at 1800UTC Jade Kim and I will be talking about the big space stories of the first half of 2019. We’ve already got quite a few ideas as to what we’ll be talking about, but if any of you has something cool or interesting that you think we may end up overlooking, we’d love to hear from you! We just specify that the event happened between January 1st-June 30th, 2019.

Let us know!

first thing that pops into my mind is Hayabusa 2 at Ryugu.
then the crew dragon test mishap…
SpaceIL’s attempt at Moon landing.
Star Link launch and the line of satellites visible from the ground.
crew dragon DM-1
Insight at Mars… would like to hear any updates … especially about the temperature probe problems.
China’s Chang’e-4 lander and rover (Yutu-2) on the Moon

related to hayabusa:

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  • The recent ISRO launch of their Chandrayaan-2 lunar lander/rover. India has jump-started quite strongly into the space and launch realm.
  • Likewise, even though it did not successfully land, the SpaceIL Beresheet lunar lander.

Taken together, the two events above solidify the fact that space is not the sole realm of big established countries any more.

Also note-worthy:

  • I also agree with @FITorion on Hayabusa 2 at Ryugo. Quite an accomplishment.
  • The New Horizons January 1 flyby of Ultima Thule.

Re-living the past:

  • Re-living Apollo 11 (remembered very clearly from my childhood) through “live” tweets, streaming audio/video and other fun ways available today (I was getting nervous if they would make it, but luckily they did splashdown successfully today)

And of course, the good feeling I had when I made my first radio contact bouncing off the SO-50 amateur radio satellite zipping by in orbit. :grinning: (ooops… I just had to sneak that in)

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I agree with all above and I think the SpaceX Starship development progress would be good to touch on. Especially if we get a hop this week!

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And… emerging and continuing stories such as this one today; a private company successful in launching an orbital payload.

Summary: the landscape is shifting under our feet.


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Ouch, I clearly ventured outside of the stated date range. Sorry about that. Oh well, you get the idea, the landscape is changing.

A lot of folks have, and that’s okay, we’re going to go ahead and move it up to now.

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I’d say the two biggest stories are from the last 24 hours.

  1. iSpace got to orbit, and they’re planning on going reusable very soon. This is a big deal. NASA isn’t taking reusability seriously, ULA isn’t taking it seriously, but a startup in China that has actually now achieved orbit is taking it seriously.

  2. SpaceX appears to be moving smoothly ahead with development of Starship/Superheavy/BFR/whatever it is called. The Raptor is the first commercial full flow staged combustion cycle engine around, and the flying watertower flew. Most importantly: if this thing works, and it doesn’t matter if it’s three or five years late, it’s going to take two orders of magnitude out of launch costs, and that’s extremely disruptive. Lots of stuff that was completely impossible before becomes possible.

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Almost all of the chinese “private” startups are taking reusability “seriously” but the only one putting their money where their mouth is is LinkSpace who is skipping the 'buy solid boosters from the government and call it your first vehicle (like LandSpace(attempt failed), OneSpace(attempt failed), i-Space/Interstellar Glory(first success), Xinghe Power/Galactic Energy(yet to attempt maiden launch), …) and work on reusability with their next test of their newest test vehicle RLV-T5 rumored to occur on the 10th of august.

I personally think that a much bigger news in the last 24h from China has been gridfins on the interstage of their old Long March 2C vehicle. The stated purpose is to shrink down the smashzone ((rumored accuracy is 100m*100m area)) but they are likely also using it to learn from the attempts and put it to use with their upcoming reusable vehicles like the Long March 6X.

Can you imagine any other space agency or older launcher company casually adding new tech to their old vehicle?


A great, compelling episode. Thank you.

  • Great stories = check
  • Wonderful production images/video = check
  • Live Community chat interaction = check
  • Constructive pre- and post-show banter = check
  • Good excuse not to do my Saturday chores = check
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