UFO Buster Radio News – 376: Special Guest, Launch Scrubbed, Weapons in Space, and Cosmic Girl Fail

Manny/ May 28, 2020/ From Manny

Mister Ionia joins us tonight to talk about his out of this world experience.
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I witnessed Nikola Tesla’s technology in 2006.

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SpaceX and NASA postpone historic astronaut launch due to bad weather
Link: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/27/spacex-and-nasa-postpone-historic-astronaut-launch-due-to-bad-weather.html

•SpaceX postponed its historic first astronaut launch on Wednesday due to severe weather in the Kennedy Space Center region.
•The mission, called Demo-2, represents the first time SpaceX is attempting to launch NASA astronauts.
•The launch had attracted a full cadre of VIPs, with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump both flying down to Florida.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — With just under 17 minutes to go, SpaceX decided to postpone its historic first astronaut launch on Wednesday due to severe weather in the region.

The launch director announced the Demo-2 mission was a scrub out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the crew on board. It would have been the first time NASA astronauts launched with SpaceX and the first time NASA has launched its own crew since 2011.

The company will try again to launch the Demo-2 mission on Saturday at 3:22 p.m. ET.

In a tweet, NASA said, “we are not going to launch today.”

“Due to the weather conditions, the launch is scrubbing,” NASA wrote. “Our next opportunity will be Saturday, May 30 at 3:22pm ET.”

The launch had attracted a full cadre of VIPs, with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump both flying down to Florida to watch the mission in person. Several members of Elon Musk’s family had joined him in the mission control room to watch, as well.

The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing is giving a 60% probability of favorable weather on Saturday.

What is a space weapon, and who has them?
Link: https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/space/2020/05/27/defining-what-a-space-weapon-is-and-who-has-them/

With the increasing militarization of space, there have been a number of efforts to find an international agreement to create controls on the use of space weaponry. But there’s a problem: How do you create a meaningful framework for a treaty against space weapons if no one defines them the same way?

The report comes at a time when a number of countries, including Japan, France, South Korea and the United States, are expanding or standing up military organizations specifically focused on space, with officials in those nations hinting at, if not outright declaring, the need to expand their respective space weapon capabilities.

While the Partial Test Ban Treaty and the Outer Space Treaty place limits on the weaponization of space, Harrison argues there is no real consensus on what the weaponization of space means — even as it is becoming impossible to deny that a number of nations already have space weapons.

“People are still saying we shouldn’t militarize or weaponize space. When you go through the framework, and you look at what countries have already done, I think you have to stop and say it’s already been weaponized. And it’s been that way for decades.”

The report organizes space-based weapons into six categories, featuring kinetic and non-kinetic versions of Earth-to-space, space-to-space and space-to-Earth systems. Of those, three categories have been proven through testing, deployment or operational use:

•Earth-to-space kinetic: Physical systems launched from Earth, such as the anti-satellite missile test by India in 2019.
•Earth-to-space non-kinetic: Jammers, laser dazzlers or cyberattacks launched from Earth, upward. The effects can vary wildly, but overall the goal is to interfere, temporarily or permanently, with satellite capability.
•Space-to-space kinetic: Satellites physically intercepting other satellites to disrupt or destroy them, or weapons put specifically in space for this purpose.
•Space-to-space non-kinetic: A satellite is placed into orbit and uses non-kinetic, high-powered microwaves, jammers or some other means to disrupt another space-based system.
•Space-to-Earth kinetic: A classic of science fiction, the ability to bombard a terrestrial target from space would give a true upper hand to whatever nation perfected it. Damage can be inflicted using the kinetic energy of the weapon itself (such as dropping a bunch of rods off a satellite and letting them build power during descent).
•Space-to-space non-kinetic: A system that could target down, whether through jamming of signals or through targeting spacecraft or ballistic missiles. The U.S. has talked about a desire for space-based laser systems for missile defense, but there are no open-source examples of such a system being used.

Virgin Orbit’s 1st test launch fails to reach orbit
Link: https://www.space.com/virgin-orbit-first-rocket-launch-failure.html

Something went wrong shortly after the LauncherOne rocket separated from its carrier plane.

Virgin Orbit’s air-launched rocket didn’t earn its wings on its first attempt.

The company, which is part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, aimed to send its LauncherOne rocket to orbit for the first time today (May 25), during a test mission called Launch Demo. However, something went wrong shortly after LauncherOne separated from its carrier plane, which is called Cosmic Girl.

“We’ve confirmed a clean release from the aircraft. However, the mission terminated shortly into the flight. Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and returning to base,” Virgin Orbit representatives said via Twitter today.

The rocket was supposed to fire up its first-stage NewtonThree engine for a 3-minute-long burn. The plan called for LauncherOne’s upper stage to then separate from the first stage and power up its NewtonFour engine, which would take a dummy payload the rest of the way to low-Earth orbit (LEO).

Since debut launches such as this one fail about 50% of the time, Virgin Orbit didn’t risk putting an operational satellite aboard.

Big plans, small satellites
Virgin Orbit plans to claim a large chunk of the growing small-satellite launch market with Cosmic Girl and LauncherOne, which is capable of hauling to LEO payloads that weigh up to about 1,100 lbs. (500 kg).

There’s stiff competition in this sphere already. Rocket Lab offers dedicated rides to orbit with its Electron booster, for example, and SpaceX is making a push to carry smallsats as piggyback customers aboard its powerful Falcon 9 rocket.

But Virgin Orbit’s air-launch strategy gives the company a great chance of success, Hart said, stressing that the system provides flexibility, mobility and responsiveness.

“We can fly to space from anyplace that can host a 747, which is almost any place,” he said. “And we can go to any orbit.”

Virgin Orbit already has a number of customers lined up, including NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the U.K. Royal Air Force. The deals already inked represent hundreds of millions of dollars of business, Hart said.

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