August 3, 2019 was one of our most well-attended meetings yet. Nathan gave an overview of the NSS and a recap of some of the space events since the last meeting. Then our featured speaker Anima Sabale journey of exploring her dream of becoming an astronaut. (Read a summary of Anima’s presentation here.) We closed the meeting with a drawing for Lego Apollo Lunar lander.
Now is an amazing time to be involved in space. Launches that used to happen months apart are now happening multiple times a week. There were 10 launches since the last meeting.
•July 10, 2019 – Soyuz 2-1v – Kosmos 2535-2538 – 4 Russian Military Satellites
•July 10, 2019 – Arianespace Vega rocket – UAE Surveillance Satellite (failed) •July 13, 2019 – Proton – Spektr-RG – X-ray telescope
•July 20, 2019 – Soyuz – ISS 59S – 3 astronauts to the ISS
(Andrew “Drew” Morgan (NASA), Luca Parmitano (ESA), Alexander Skvortsov (Roscosmos))
•July 22, 2019 – GSLV Mk.3 – Chandrayaan 2 – India’s second mission to the moon.
•July 25, 2019 – Hyperbola 1 • Multi-payload – i-Space, a commercial space company in China – launches several small payloads including CAS-7B amateur radio satellite
•July 25, 2019 – Falcon 9 – SpaceX CRS 18 – supplies to the ISS
•July 25, 2019 – Long March 2C – Yaogan 30-05 – surveillance satellites for the Chinese military •July 30, 2019 – Soyuz – Meridian – communications satellite for the Russian Ministry of Defense.
•July 31, 2019 – Soyuz – Progress 73P – Supplies to the ISS
(See SpaceFlight Now’s launch log for details about these and other launches: https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-log/ )
The Planetary Society Announces LightSail 2 is a Success (
The Planetary Society’s ligthsail was launched on a Falcon Heavy as part of the STP-2 Mission.
“The STP-2 multi-manifest (rideshare) launch will demonstrate the capabilities of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle and provide critical data supporting certification for future National Security Space Launch (NSSL) missions. In addition, SMC will use this mission as a pathfinder for the development of mission assurance policies and procedures related to the reuse of launch vehicle boosters. The STP-2 payloads are assembled from a host of mission partners including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), DoD research laboratories, and university research projects. STP-2 provides a unique space access opportunity for DoD and inter-agency science and technology missions that directly enhance the space capabilities of the U.S. and its allies and partners.”
SpaceX performs a free-flying hopper test of StarHopper. This is a key test of the SpaceX Starship which will be able to carry more than 100 people into space at a time. There will be more tests later this year with orbital test flights as early as next year.
The StarShip will revolutionize space travel. It may be hard to truly understand how transformational this will be. But there is something in our past that can help.
Imagine being in the age when airplanes looked like this:
Only carried a single person, didn’t fly so far, maybe wasn’t too safe. Imagine now that I try to convince you that you will be able to get on a plane in Houston, pay only $1,000 and be in Tokyo in less than 14 hours. Imagine how you might dismiss this idea.
But then I show you this:
You will be like “of course the air transportation system will develop into what we have today.”. Well, the starship, 100% reusable, most power rocket built, and cheapest to launch rocket ever will change space transportation (and earth transportation) in a similar way.
SpaceX will be flying a group around the moon in 2023.
She talked about her experience with HERA (Human Exploration and Research Analog).
HERA is a unique three-story habitat designed to serve as an analog for isolation, confinement, and remote conditions in exploration scenarios. Learn more at https://www.nasa.gov/analogs/hera/
You can also volunteer for a mission: https://herastudy.jsc.nasa.gov/
Anima had also participated in Project Possum (https://projectpossum.org/ )
Project PoSSUM operates several programs including:
- Advanced Possum Space Academy –
- PoSSUM Scientist Astronaut Program –
- PoSSUM Graduate Courses –
- Applied Astronautics Program –
Anima also participated in a simulation at the Mars Desert Research Station operated by the MarsSociety
The audience was amazed by her experiences.
Connect with Anima on social media to learn more as she continues her journey.
Thank you Anima for speaking to our group.
And we had a drawing for a Lego Apollo Lunar Lander.