We want to look to the future which are based on the successes of 2019.
Thanks to SpaceX and Blue Origin rocket booster reusability is now beginning to be expected, space planes are returning to space by Virgin Galactic, Sierra Nevada is developing the Shooting Star spacecraft, huge satellite constellations are being built in space by competing companies, NASA’s private – public partnerships are beginning to work, SLS is in production, a national goal of going to the moon to stay is starting to take shape and my favorite the first woman on the moon in 2024 could make this new decade ahead of us as inspiring as the 1960’s were to that generation.
The future is looking bright but it was built on the successes of last year:
SpaceX completed its 13th launch of 2019. In over 4 years 47 Falcon 9 & Heavy boosters from 60 orbital class launches have been relanded on drone ships or on land. Booster B-1048 has flown and relanded four times. SpaceX has also sped up the off loading recovery time on flight proven boosters.
They have recovered and reflown fairing halves adding to their corporate reusability goals. Two successful Falcon Heavy launches occurred on April 13th and June 25th from historic launch pad 39A. An extremely successful unmanned Dragon Crew Demo 1 mission including docking with the ISS was huge corporate achievement for SpaceX.
ULA United Launch Alliance successfully completed five launches in 2019 three with Delta IV Rockets and two with Atlas V rockets marking the 136th successful mission for this company from Vandenberg California & Cape Canaveral Florida.
Northrop Grumman completed two resupply missions to the ISS from Wallops Island Virginia with NG-11 & NG-12 and Cygnus had both cargo ships in space simultaneously for another milestone.
Boeing CST-100 Starliner crew rated capsule accomplished about 70% of the mission objectives including data analysis of both launch and reentry stresses on the capsule. A communication link from the capsule with the ISS was accomplished and a successful parachute & air bag assisted landing on American soil (instead of the normal ocean landing) completed the mission . An anomaly did not allow for docking with the ISS.
A tremendous amount of data was obtained from this mission.
Thank you for your support, interest and help in sharing our content and we all look forward to reporting on the inspiring accomplishments to come in 2020. We hope you come along with us for this ride! Happy New Year.
2019 Recap by Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu