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Welcome to Human Space Exploration | Crew Transport Vehicle

Humanity's interest in the heavens has been universal and enduring. Humans are driven to explore the unknown, discover new worlds, push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, and then push further. The intangible desire to explore and challenge the boundaries of what we know and where we have been has provided benefits to our society for centuries. Human space exploration helps to address fundamental questions about our place in the Universe and the history of our solar system. Through addressing the challenges related to human space exploration we expand technology, create new industries, and help to foster a peaceful connection with other nations. Curiosity and exploration are vital to the human spirit and accepting the challenge of going deeper into space

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Space exploration is the discovery and exploration of celestial structures in outer space by developing and growing space technology. While the study of space is carried out mainly by astronomers with telescopes, the physical exploration of space is conducted both by unmanned robotic space probes and human spaceflight. While the observation of objects in space, known as astronomy, predates reliable recorded history, it was the development of large and relatively efficient rockets during the mid-twentieth century that allowed physical space exploration to become a reality. Common rationales for exploring space include advancing scientific research, national prestige, uniting different nations, ensuring the future survival of humanity, and developing military and strategic advantages against other countries

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SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.

SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It is the only private company capable of returning a spacecraft from low Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in 2010. The company made history again in 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX successfully achieved the historic first reflight of an orbital class rocket in 2017, and the company now regularly launches flight-proven rockets. In 2018, SpaceX began launching Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful operational rocket by a factor of two.
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Falcon 9 HISTORY

Falcon 9 is a two-stage-to-orbit medium lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX in the United States. It is powered by Merlin engines, also developed by SpaceX, burning liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) propellants. Its name is from the Millennium Falcon and the nine engines of the rocket's first stage. The rocket evolved with versions v1.0 (2010–2013), v1.1 (2013–2016), v1.2 "Full Thrust" (2015–2018), and its Block 5 variant, flying since May 2018. Unlike most rockets, which are expendable launch systems, Falcon 9 is partially reusable, with the first stage capable of re-entering the atmosphere and landing back vertically after separating from the second stage. This feat was achieved for the first time on flight 20 with the v1.2 version in December 2015.Falcon 9 can lift payloads of up to 22,800 kilograms (50,300 lb) to low Earth orbit, 8,300 kg (18,300 lb) to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) when expended, and 5,500 kg (12,100 lb) to GTO when the first stage is recovered. The heaviest GTO payloads were Intelsat 35e with 6,761 kg (14,905 lb), and Telstar 19V with 7,075 kg (15,598 lb), although the latter was launched into a lower-energy GTO orbit achieving an apogee well below the geostationary altitude. In 2008, SpaceX won a Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract in NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) using the Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule. The first mission under this contract launched on October 8, 2012. SpaceX intends to certify the Falcon 9 to be human-rated for transporting NASA astronauts to the ISS as part of the Commercial Crew Development program.
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The initial Falcon 9 version 1.0 flew five times from June 2010 to March 2013; version 1.1 flew fifteen times from September 2013 to January 2016. The "Full Thrust" version has been in service since December 2015, with several additional upgrades within this version. The latest variant, Block 5, was introduced in May 2018. It features increased engine thrust, improved landing legs, and other minor improvements to help recovery and reuse. The Falcon Heavy derivative, introduced in February 2018, consists of a strengthened Falcon 9 first stage as its center core, attached to two standard Falcon 9 first stages used as boosters.



As early as October 2005, SpaceX had publicly announced plans to launch Falcon 9 in the first half of 2007. In the event, the first launch would occur in 2010. While SpaceX exclusively spent its own money to develop its previous launcher, the Falcon 1, development of the Falcon 9 was accelerated by NASA funding parts[which?] of development costs and committing to purchase several commercial flights if specific capabilities were demonstrated. The overall contract award was US$278 million to provide development funding for Dragon, Falcon 9, and demonstration launches of Falcon 9 with Dragon. In 2011 additional milestones were added, bringing the total contract value to US$396 million. NASA became an anchor tenant for the vehicle in 2008,when they contracted to purchase 12 Commercial Resupply Services launches to the International Space Station, whereby funds would be disbursed only after the initial COTS demonstration missions were completed and deemed successful. The space logistics delivery contract was worth US$1.6 billion for a minimum of 12 missions to carry supplies to and from the station. Musk has repeatedly said that, without the NASA money, development would have taken longer.
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SpaceX has only come this far by building upon the incredible achievements of NASA, having NASA as an anchor tenant for launch, and receiving expert advice and mentorship throughout the development process. SpaceX would like to extend a special thanks to the NASA COTS office for their continued support and guidance throughout this process. The COTS program has demonstrated the power of a true private/public partnership and we look forward to the exciting endeavors our team will accomplish in the future. In 2014, SpaceX released total combined development costs for both the Falcon 9 and the Dragon capsule. NASA provided US$396 million while SpaceX provided over US$450 million to fund rocket and capsule development efforts. A 2011 NASA report "estimated that it would have cost the agency about US$4 billion to develop a rocket like the Falcon 9 booster based upon NASA's traditional contracting processes" while "a more 'commercial development' approach might have allowed the agency to pay only US$1.7 billion. According to NASA's own independently verified numbers, SpaceX's development costs of both the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets were estimated at approximately US$390 million in total.


SpaceX tests its engines, vehicle structures, and systems at a 4,000-acre state-of-the-art rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. Outfitted with 16 specialized test stands, the facility validates for flight every Merlin engine that powers the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, and every Draco thruster that controls the Dragon spacecraft. Before shipping to the launch site, each rocket booster is tested with all nine Merlin engines firing at 1.71 million pounds of thrust for up to three minutes—the same as actual flight duration. Established in 2003, the site is also equipped to handle post-flight inspections and testing for flight-proven hardware. In addition to qualification testing for flight, the facility oversees development testing, including engines and components for SpaceX’s next generation launch vehicle, which will transport humans to Mars and other destinations.


The company has developed three families of rocket engines — Merlin and the retired Kestrel for launch vehicle propulsion, and the Draco control thrusters. SpaceX is currently developing two further rocket engines: SuperDraco and Raptor. SpaceX is currently the world's most prolific producer of liquid fuel rocket engines.[102] Merlin is a family of rocket engines developed by SpaceX for use on its Falcon rocket family. Merlin engines use LOX and RP-1 as propellants in a gas-generator power cycle. The Merlin engine was originally designed for sea recovery and reuse. The injector at the heart of Merlin is of the pintle type that was first used in the Apollo Program for the lunar module landing engine. Propellants are fed via a single shaft, dual impeller turbo-pump.
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Kestrel is a LOX/RP-1 pressure-fed rocket engine, and was used as the Falcon 1 rocket's second stage main engine. It is built around the same pintle architecture as SpaceX's Merlin engine but does not have a turbo-pump, and is fed only by tank pressure. Its nozzle is ablatively cooled in the chamber and throat, is also radiatively cooled, and is fabricated from a high strength niobium alloy. Both names for the Merlin and Kestrel engines are derived from species of North American falcons: The kestrel and the merlin. Draco are hypergolic liquid-propellant rocket engines that utilize monomethyl hydrazine fuel and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer. Each Draco thruster generates 400 newtons (90 lbf) of thrust. They are used as reaction control system (RCS) thrusters on the Dragon spacecraft. SuperDraco engines are a much more powerful version of the Draco thrusters, which were initially meant to be used as landing and launch escape system engines on the version 2 Dragon spacecraft, Dragon 2. The concept of using retro-rockets for landing was scrapped in 2017 when it was decided to perform a traditional parachute descent and splashdown at sea. Raptor is a new family of methane-fueled full flow staged combustion cycle engines to be used in its future Interplanetary Transport System. Development versions were test fired in late 2016. On April 3, 2019, SpaceX conducted a successful static fire test in Texas on its Starhopper vehicle, which ignited the engine while the vehicle remained tethered to the ground. On July 24, 2019 SpaceX conducted a successful test hop of 20 meters of its Starhopper test vehicle.


SpaceX maintains launch sites at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, and Boca Chica, Texas. Each location offers key benefits to support our customers’ missions.


The site’s location on the southeast coast of the US provides access to a wide range of low and medium inclination orbits frequently used by communications and Earth-observing satellites and by supply missions to the International Space Station. The site also allows access to geostationary orbits, as well as departures to the Moon and interplanetary destinations. Situated on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with Patrick Air Force Base to the south and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the north, SLC-40 benefits from many support services in the region, including security and launch range control, weather monitoring, ground support infrastructure, payload processing facilities, and long-range tracking cameras capable of observing launches from liftoff through stage separation and second-stage ignition out over the Atlantic. Smiley face Smiley face


The site’s location on the California coastline provides customers with access to high inclination and polar orbits, frequently used by satellite communication constellations, defense intelligence and Earth-observing satellites, and some lunar missions. Launches from Vandenberg heading straight south traverse open ocean all the way to the Antarctic, by which time the vehicles have long since reached orbit. SpaceX’s operations at SLC-4E benefit from Vandenberg‘s security and launch range control, weather monitoring, ground support infrastructure, payload processing facilities, and long-range tracking cameras capable of observing launches from liftoff through stage separation and second-stage ignition over the Pacific.


SpaceX is honored to launch from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, home of the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. In addition to commercial satellite launches and space station resupply missions, LC-39A supports crewed launches of the Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX has made numerous modifications to the pad in order to support Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches, including the construction of a massive 54,000 sq ft hangar complete with 34,200 sq ft of integration floor for rocket processing and three overhead bridge cranes. As with Space Launch Complex 40, LC-39A benefits from many local support services including security and launch range control, weather monitoring, ground support infrastructure, payload processing facilities, and long-range tracking cameras. Smiley face Smiley face


SpaceX is building the world’s first commercial launch site designed for orbital missions in the Boca Chica area of South Texas. The site’s southern, coastal location is uniquely optimized for orbital space launches from the continental United States – it is as close to the equator as possible, while remaining distanced from populated areas. SpaceX South Texas will be optimized for commercial launches, and will support launches of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy to low-Earth orbit, geostationary orbit, and beyond.

Blue Origin

Blue Origin, LLC is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the company is led by CEO Bob Smith and is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal to dramatically lower costs and increase reliability. Blue Origin is employing an incremental approach from suborbital to orbital flight, with each developmental step building on its prior work. The company motto is Gradatim Ferociter, Latin for "Step by Step, Ferociously". Blue Origin is developing a variety of technologies, with a focus on rocket-powered vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL) vehicles for access to suborbital and orbital space. The company's name refers to the blue planet, Earth, as the point of origin. Smiley face
Initially focused on suborbital spaceflight, the company has designed, built and flown multiple testbeds of its New Shepard spacecraft at its facilities in Culberson County, Texas. Developmental test flights of the New Shepard, named after the first American in space Alan Shepard, began in April 2015, and flight testing continued into 2018, with its first passenger-carrying spaceflight planned for 2019. On nearly every one of the test flights since 2015, the uncrewed vehicle has reached a test altitude of more than 100 km (330,000 ft) and achieved a top speed of more than Mach 3 (3,675 km/h; 2,284 mph), reaching space above the Kármán line, with both the space capsule and its rocket booster successfully soft landing.

MISSION: Infrastructure For The Creation of Human Spaceflight Capabilities

We are focused on developing infrastructure for the creation of human spaceflight capabilities. If we can build a road to space with our reusable launch vehicles and lower the cost of access, we can enable a future of growth. We are building a road so your children can build the future.


Our reusable launch vehicles and rocket engines have lowered the cost of access to space. New Shepard is currently taking payloads to space and will soon fly astronauts. New Glenn's heavy lift capabilities will bring people and payloads to orbit. These next-generation launch vehicles are powered by our family of high-performance, reusable rocket engines.


By July 2014, Jeff Bezos had invested over US$500 million into Blue Origin. Even by March 2016, the vast majority of funding to support technology development and operations at Blue Origin has come from Jeff Bezos' private investment, but Bezos had declined to publicly state the amount prior to 2017 when an annual amount was stated publicly. Blue Origin has also completed work for NASA on several small development contracts, receiving total funding of US$25.7 million by 2013. As of April 2017, Bezos is selling approximately US$1 billion in Amazon stock each year to privately finance Blue Origin.


with NASA

Blue Origin has contracted to do work for NASA on several development efforts. The company was awarded US$3.7 million in funding in 2009 by NASA via a Space Act Agreement under the first Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program for development of concepts and technologies to support future human spaceflight operations. NASA co-funded risk-mitigation activities related to ground testing of (1) an innovative ‘pusher’ escape system, that lowers cost by being reusable and enhances safety by avoiding the jettison event of a traditional ‘tractor’ Launch Escape System, and (2) an innovative composite pressure vessel cabin that both reduces weight and increases safety of astronauts. This was later revealed to be a part of a larger system, designed for a biconic capsule, that would be launched atop an Atlas V rocket. On 8 November 2010, it was announced that Blue Origin had completed all milestones under its CCDev Space Act Agreement.
In April 2011, Blue Origin received a commitment from NASA for US$22 million of funding under the CCDev phase 2 program. Milestones included
(1) performing a Mission Concept Review (MCR) and System Requirements Review (SRR) on the orbital Space Vehicle, which utilizes a biconic shape to optimize its launch profile and atmospheric reentry.
(2) further maturing the pusher escape system, including ground and flight tests, and (3) accelerating development of its BE-3 LOX/LH2 440 kN (100,000 lbf) engine through full-scale thrust chamber testing.


Blue Origin cooperated with Boeing in Phase 1 of the DARPA XS-1 spaceplane program.

United Launch Alliance

In September 2018, it was announced that Blue Origin's BE-4 engine had been selected by United Launch Alliance to provide first-stage rocket engines for ULA's next-generation booster design, the Vulcan rocket. The BE-4 engine is set to replace the Russian-built RD-180 currently powering ULA's Atlas 5.





The first rocket engine developed by Blue Origin and was used on the company's Goddard development vehicle.
The pressure-fed monopropellant engine was powered by peroxide and produced 9.8 kN (2,200 lbf) of thrust.


It was a pump-fed bipropellant engine burning kerosene and peroxide which produced 140 kN (31,000 lbf) of thrust.
Five BE-2 engines powered Blue Origin's PM-2 development vehicle on two test flights in 2011.


BE-3, in Jan-2013, but the engine had begun development in the early 2010s.
BE-3 is a new liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen (LH2/LOX) cryogenic engine that can produce 490 kN (110,000 lbf) of thrust at full power, and can be throttled down to as low as 110 kN (25,000 lbf) for use in controlled vertical landings.
Acceptance testing was completed by April 2015 with 450 test firings of the engine and a cumulative run time of more than 30,000 seconds (8.3 h).


To use on upper stages of Blue Origin orbital launch vehicles.
The engine will include a nozzle better optimized for operation under vacuum conditions as well as a number of other manufacturing differences since it is an expendable engine whereas the BE-3 is designed for reusability.


BE-4 is a combust liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellants.
Blue Origin signed an agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to co-develop the BE-4 engine.
The new launch vehicle will use two of the 2,400 kN (550,000 lbf) BE-4 engines on each first stage.


The BE-7 engine, currently under development, is being designed for use on a lunar lander. Its first ignition tests are expected by mid-2019.

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is an American privately held electronic systems provider and systems integrator specializing in microsatellites, telemedicine, and commercial orbital transportation services. The Sierra Nevada Corporation is run by Chief Executive Officer, Fatih Ozmen and President, Eren Ozmen. The company contracts with the United States Armed Forces, NASA and private spaceflight companies. It is headquartered in Sparks, Nevada. SNC supports business areas, subsidiaries and affiliates with nearly 3,000 personnel at 34 locations in 19 U.S. states, England, Germany and Turkey.


The company was founded in 1963 by John Chisholm. It started as a small business with a few employees, working out of an airplane hangar in Stead, Nevada. It was acquired in 1994 by husband and wife Fatih Ozmen and Eren Ozmen. Fatih Ozmen was one of the original employees hired by Chisholm in 1981. Sierra Nevada Corporation is now a privately held company under the leadership and sole ownership of Chief Executive Officer, Fatih Ozmen and President, Eren Ozmen. SNC's Space Systems (previously SpaceDev)
On December 16, 2008 SNC announced it had completed its acquisition of SpaceDev.
SNC is now developing an orbital spacecraft called the Dream Chaser.

Dream Chaser Manned Spacecraft

On February 1, 2010, Sierra Nevada Corporation was awarded $20 million in seed money in phase 1 of NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program for the development of the Dream Chaser. Of the $50 million awarded in the phase 1 CCDev program, Dream Chaser's award represents the largest share of the funds. On August 3, 2012, NASA announced new agreements with the Sierra Nevada Corporation and two other companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years. Advances made by these companies under newly signed Space Act Agreements through the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers. As part of this agreement, Sierra Nevada Corporation was awarded $212.5 million, ostensibly to continue development and testing of its Dream Chaser spacecraft. The Dream Chaser is a revival of NASA's HL-20 Personnel Launch System lifting-body design. On July 24, 2014, Sierra Nevada Corporation signed a letter of cooperation with Tuskegee University to collaborate on efforts related to SNC's Dream Chaser. On August 1, 2014, Lockheed Martin and Sierra Nevada Corporation unveiled the composite airframe of the Dream Chaser which will be used to conduct the first orbital launch in 2016. Internally the Dream Chaser program team is frequently referred to as the “Dream Team.” The team includes well-known aerospace industry partners such as Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance, NASA centers and universities across the United States, small businesses such as Craig Technologies, as well as the European, German and Japanese. On September 16, 2014, Sierra Nevada Corporation lost the CCtCap contract to SpaceX and Boeing, which were chosen by NASA as the two companies that will be funded to develop systems to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station. Boeing won $4.2B and SpaceX won $2.6B to complete and certify their spacecraft by 2017.


SNC was the prime contractor on RocketMotorTwo for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, and designed the rocket engine for Scaled Composites, including the one used for SpaceshipOne. On April 29, 2013 SpaceShipTwo completed its first powered flight test using RocketMotorTwo. After losing the bid for NASA commercial crew, Sierra Nevada reduced staff working on RocketMotorTwo in September 2014. In late November, SNC announced the permanent closure of their Poway, California propulsion development facility as they intend to consolidate all propulsion activity in one location, at the facilities of Orbital Technologies Corp.


As announced on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, the United States Department of Defense awarded Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems with a contract to develop and build a next-generation science and technology demonstration satellite, known as STPSat-5, for their Space Test Program.

Key Capabilities, Products & Contracts

On January 2, 2015, SNC announced that the United States Army awarded a $17 million follow-on Low Rate Initial Production contract to manufacture Mobile Tower Systems (MOTS), replacing the Army's aging AN/TSW-7A air traffic control (ATC) towers.

Light Air Support
On February 27, 2013, the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano offered by SNC and its partner Embraer Defense & Security, won a bid for a U.S. Air Force (USAF) Light Air Support (LAS) contract. The program will provide light air support, convoy escort, reconnaissance, and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military. As such, it is a vital element of building the country's indigenous security capabilities. The USAF has designated the LAS version of the aircraft as the A-29 Super Tucano. On September 25, 2014, SNC announced delivery of the first of 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the USAF for use in training Afghan flight and maintenance personnel. The first class of Afghan Super Tucano pilots and maintainers graduated from Georgia's Moody Air Force Base in December 2015. On January 15, 2016, the first four Super Tucanos arrived at Hamid Karzai International Airport for use by the Afghan Security Forces. In October 2015, SNC and Embraer confirmed the acquisition of six A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircraft by the Lebanese Republic. The contract also includes a complete training system for Lebanese Air Force pilots and maintainers.

Persistent Wide-Area Airborne Surveillance

Gorgon Stare is a remotely controlled, aircraft-based Wide-Area Persistent Surveillance (WAPS) system. Gorgon Stare includes the USAF's only operational day/night persistent wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) capability. The system has flown long-duration sorties daily in multiple theaters since March 2011, providing thousands of hours of direct combat support. From its inception, Gorgon Stare's open architecture was purpose-designed by SNC to quickly, but manageably insert new technologies, allowing the USAF to deploy new and evolving best-of-breed capabilities into an operationally mature integrated architecture. In Spring 2014, the U.S. Air Force deployed the latest generation of Gorgon Stare. The fully upgraded system simultaneously provides a four-fold increase in area coverage with a two-fold improvement in resolution compared to its predecessor. The system features two state-of-the-art imaging sensor turrets—an electro-optical (EO) sensor derived from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) ARGUS technology and an infrared (IR) sensor integrating the largest IR arrays available.

Transport Telemedicine System

SNC's Transport Telemedicine System is a new capability that captures and communicates patient care and condition information beginning at the point of injury and continuing until arrival at a medical facility. On September 24, 2014 at the inaugural Nevada Telemedicine Summit, SNC successfully demonstrated the capability for the U.S. Army Medical Material Agency. The Nevada Army National Guard MEDEVAC unit flew the demonstration mission.

Multi-Mission Aircraft

On July 23, 2014, SNC's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) business area located in Centennial, Colorado won a competitive contract to provide and operate two Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) for the State of Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC). Based on the Pilatus PC-12, the DFPC aircraft are equipped with electro-optical sensors and communications equipment that allow firefighters to detect small fires before they grow into large incidents that severely affect Colorado's lives, property, and resources. As a result of the integration of SNC's technology and modifications, the MMA are providing advanced fire detection, location, and behavior monitoring capabilities. Additionally, the aircraft feature a communications system that allows the aircrew to send collected information to all wildfire response personnel using the Colorado Wildfire Information Management System (CO-WIMS), a web-based collaborative information sharing tool that allows any firefighter immediate access to fire location, behavior, and other critical pieces of information. Colorado has also successfully employed the aircraft in search-and-rescue and environmental assessment missions.

Turkish regional jet project

On May 27, 2015, A Memorandum of Understanding was announced between SNC and the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communications to produce the country's first regional jet as part of its Regional Aircraft Project. The Project utilizes a modernized version of the Dornier 328 (the intellectual property for which is owned by SNC), the TRJ328, as a stepping-stone toward production of the Republic of Turkey's first domestically designed passenger aircraft, the TRJ628 concept aircraft. The Project opens a new page for the Turkish aviation and aerospace industry, as well as the global aviation market, and the 628 marks the first domestically produced regional jet in Turkish history. Both Aircraft will be built and certified at a new commercial facility in Ankara, owned by TRJet, a subsidiary of SNC.


1.TRJet Havacilik Teknolojileri A.Ş.7 (TRJet) (June 2015)
2.Kutta Technologies Inc. (April 2015)
3.Kutta Radios Inc. (April 2015)
4.328 Support Services GmbH (328 SSG) (February 2015)
5.Sierra Completions (October 2014)
7.HMA Fire LLC (July 2014)
8.3S Certification LLC (September 2012)
9.3S Engineering (September 2012)
10.SpaceDev, Inc. (December 2008)
11.MicroSat Systems, Inc. (January 2008)
12.Straight Flight, Inc. (February 2007)
13.WaveBand Corporation (May 2005)
14.Aviation Resources Delaware, Inc. (June 2004)
15.Inter-4 (October 2003)
16.Turtle Mountain Communications, Inc. (June 2003)
17.Plano Microwave, Inc. (October 2001)
18.Spectral Systems, Inc. (February 1999)
19.Advanced Countermeasure Systems (March 1998)

Boeing CST-100 Starliner

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner (Crew Space Transportation) crew capsule is a spacecraft under construction by Boeing as its participation in NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program. Its primary purpose is to transport crew to the International Space Station (ISS) and to private space stations such as the proposed Bigelow Aerospace Commercial Space Station. Starliner is similar in concept to the Orion spacecraft being built for NASA by Lockheed Martin. The capsule has a diameter of 4.56 meters (15.0 ft), which is slightly larger than the Apollo command module and smaller than the Orion capsule. The Starliner is to support larger crews of up to seven people and is being designed to be able to remain on-orbit for up to seven months with reusability of up to ten missions. It is designed to be compatible with four launch vehicles: Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9, and Vulcan, and the maiden flight will be launched with the Atlas V N22, from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Starliner is similar in concept to the Orion spacecraft being built for NASA by Lockheed Martin. The capsule has a diameter of 4.56 meters (15.0 ft), which is slightly larger than the Apollo command module and smaller than the Orion capsule. The Starliner is to support larger crews of up to seven people and is being designed to be able to remain on-orbit for up to seven months with reusability of up to ten missions. It is designed to be compatible with four launch vehicles: Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9, and Vulcan, and the maiden flight will be launched with the Atlas V N22, from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
In the first phase of its CCDev program NASA awarded Boeing US$18 million in 2010 for preliminary development of the spacecraft. In the second phase Boeing was awarded a $93 million contract in 2011 for further spacecraft development. On August 3, 2012, NASA announced the award of $460 million to Boeing to continue work on the CST-100 under the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) Program. On September 16, 2014, NASA selected the CST-100, along with SpaceX's Dragon V2, for the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) program, with an award of $4.2 billion.
As of April 2019, the spacecraft is expected to conduct an automated test mission to the ISS in August 2019.


The design draws upon Boeing's experience with NASA's Apollo, Space Shuttle and ISS programs as well as the Orbital Express project sponsored by the Department of Defense. The CST-100 has no Orion heritage, but it is sometimes confused with the earlier and similar Orion-derived Orion Lite proposal that Bigelow Aerospace was reportedly working on with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin. It will use the NASA Docking System for docking and use the Boeing Lightweight Ablator for its heatshield. The Starliner's solar cells will provide more than 2,900 watts of electricity, will be placed on top of the micro-meteoroid debris shield located at the bottom of the spacecraft's service module. It is designed to be compatible with multiple launch vehicles, including the Atlas V, Delta IV, and Falcon 9, as well as the planned Vulcan. Unlike earlier U.S. space capsules, the CST-100 will make airbag-cushioned landings on the ground rather than into water. Five landing areas are planned in the Western United States, which will give the CST-100 about 450 landing opportunities every year. The CST-100 includes one space tourist seat, and the Boeing contract with NASA allows Boeing to price and sell passage to low Earth orbit on that seat.


The CST-100 name was first used when the capsule was revealed to the public by Bigelow Aerospace CEO Robert Bigelow in June 2010. The letters CST stand for Crew Space Transportation. Although it has been reported that the number 100 in the name stands for 100 km, the height of the Kármán line which is one of several definitions of the boundary of space,the naming was in fact an arbitrary designation created by the corporate office. The Rocketdyne RS-88 (Bantam) engine will be used for its launch escape system. Receiving the full fixed-price payments for the CCDev Phase 1 Space Act Agreement required a set of specific milestones to be met during 2010:needs update] (i)Trade study and down-select between pusher-type and tractor-style launch escape system
(ii)System definition review
(iii)Abort System Hardware Demonstration Test
(iv)Base Heat Shield Fabrication Demonstration
(V)Avionics Systems Integration Facility demonstration
(Vi)CM Pressure Shell Fabrication Demonstration
(Vii)Landing System Demonstration (drop test and water uprighting test)
(Viii)Life Support Air Revitalization demonstration
(Xi)Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking (AR&D) hardware/software demonstration
(X)Crew Module Mockup demonstration
In July 2010, Boeing stated that the capsule could be operational in 2015 with sufficient near-term approvals and funding, but also indicated they would proceed with development of the CST-100 only if NASA implemented the commercial crew transport initiative that was announced by the Obama administration in its FY11 budget request. Boeing executive Roger Krone stated that NASA investment would allow Boeing to close the business case, while this would be very difficult without NASA. In addition a second destination besides the ISS would be needed to close the business case and Krone said that cooperation with Bigelow was crucial for this. CST-100 pressure vessel at the former Orbiter Processing Facility 3 in October 2011 Boeing was awarded a $92.3 million contract by NASA in April 2011 to continue to develop the CST-100 under CCDev phase 2. On August 3, 2012, NASA announced the award of $460 million to Boeing to continue work on the CST-100 under the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) Program. Wind tunnel testing of CST-100's outer mold line in December 2011 On October 31, 2011, NASA announced that through a partnership with Space Florida, the Orbiter Processing Facility-3 at Kennedy Space Center would be leased to Boeing for manufacture and test of CST-100 spacecraft. On September 16, 2014, NASA chose Boeing (CST-100) and SpaceX (Dragon V2) as the two companies that will be funded to develop systems to transport U.S. government crews to and from the International Space Station. Boeing won a $4.2 billion contract to complete and certify CST-100 spacecraft by 2017, while SpaceX won a $2.6 billion contract to complete and certify their crewed Dragon spacecraft. The contracts include at least one crewed flight test with at least one NASA astronaut aboard.

CST-100 pressure vessel at the former Orbiter Processing Facility 3 in October 2011

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Once the Starliner achieves NASA certification, the contract requires Boeing to conduct at least two, and as many as six, crewed missions to the space station. NASA's William H. Gerstenmaier considers the CST-100 proposal as stronger than the two others. Part of the agreement with NASA allows Boeing to sell seats for space tourists. Boeing proposed including one seat per flight for a space flight participant at a price that would be competitive with what Roscosmos charges tourists. On September 4, 2015, Boeing announced that the CST-100 would officially be called the CST-100 Starliner, a name that follows the conventions of the 787 Dreamliner produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In November 2015, NASA announced it had dropped Boeing from consideration in the multibillion-dollar Commercial Resupply Services second-phase competition to fly cargo to the International Space Station. In May 2016, Boeing delayed its first scheduled CST-100 launch from 2017 to early 2018. Then in October 2016, Boeing delayed its program by six months, from early 2018 to late 2018, following supplier holdups and a production problem on the second CST-100. By 2016, they were hoping to fly NASA astronauts to the ISS by December 2018. In April 2018, NASA suggested the first planned two-person flight of the CST-100 Starliner, slated for November 2018, was now likely to occur in 2019 or 2020. If the delays are maintained it would be expected to carry one additional crew member and extra supplies. Instead of staying for two weeks as originally planned, NASA said the expanded crew could stay at the station for as long as six months as a normal rotational flight. Smiley face

Wind tunnel testing of CST-100's outer mold line in December 2011


A variety of validation tests have been underway on test articles since 2011. In September 2011, Boeing announced the completion of a set of ground drop tests to validate the design of the airbag cushioning system. The airbags are located underneath the heat shield of the CST-100, which is designed to be separated from the capsule while under parachute descent at about 5,000 feet (1,500 m) altitude. The airbags are deployed by filling with a mixture of compressed nitrogen and oxygen gas, not with the pyro-explosive mixture sometimes used in automotive airbags. The tests were carried out in the Mojave Desert of southeast California, at ground speeds between 10 and 30 miles per hour (16 and 48 km/h) in order to simulate crosswind conditions at the time of landing. Bigelow Aerospace built the mobile test rig and conducted the tests. In April 2012, Boeing dropped a mock-up of its CST-100 commercial crew capsule over the Nevada desert at the Delamar Dry Lake near Alamo, Nevada, successfully testing the craft's three main landing parachutes from 11,000 feet (3,400 m). In August 2013, Boeing announced that two NASA astronauts evaluated communications, ergonomics, and crew-interface aspects of the CST-100, showing how future astronauts will operate in the spacecraft as it transports them to the International Space Station and other low Earth orbit destinations. Boeing reported in May 2016 that its test schedule would slip by eight months in order to reduce the mass of the spacecraft and aerodynamics issues anticipated during launch and ascent on the Atlas V rocket.[46] The Orbital Flight Test is scheduled for spring 2019. The booster for this Orbital Flight Test, an Atlas V N22 rocket, is being assembled at ULA's facility at Decatur, Alabama. The first crewed flight (Boe-CFT) is scheduled for summer 2019, depending on test results from Boe-OFT. It is planned to last 14 days and carry one NASA astronaut and one Boeing test pilot to the ISS.
On April 5, 2018, NASA announced that the first planned two-person flight, originally slated for November 2018, is now likely to occur in 2019 or 2020. If this delay occurs the mission could be expected to carry one additional crew member and supplies. NASA said the expanded crew could stay at the station for as long as six months as a normal rotational flight. This is due to the ending of the agreement for Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station in late 2019. NASA has named its first Commercial Crew astronaut cadre of four veteran astronauts to work with SpaceX and Boeing: Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Sunita Williams, and Douglas Hurley. In July 2018 Boeing announced the assignment of former NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson to the Boe-CFT mission.
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In July 2018, a test anomaly was reported in which there was a hypergolic propellant leak due to several faulty abort system valves. Consequentially the first unpiloted orbital mission was delayed to April 2019, and the first crew launch rescheduled to August 2019. In March 2019, Reuters reported these test flights had been delayed by at least three months, and in April Boeing announced that the unpiloted orbital mission is now scheduled for August 2019. In May 2019, all major hotfire, including simulations of low-altitude abort thruster testing, was completed using a full up service module test article that was "flight-like", meaning that the service module test rig used in the recent hotfire testing included fuel and helium tanks, reaction control system, orbital maneuvering and attitude control thrusters, launch abort engines, and all necessary fuel lines and avionics that the ones that will be used for crewed missions will have. This clears the way for the pad abort test and the subsequent uncrewed and crewed flights later in the year.


On August 3, 2018, NASA announced the astronauts who will participate in the first Starliner flights. Eric Boe was one of those initially selected, but was replaced by Michael Fincke in January 2019 due to "personal medical reasons".

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CST-100 Starliner mockup and the astronauts initially selected for the first two missions, from left to right: Sunita Williams, Josh Cassada, Eric Boe, Nicole Mann, and Christopher Ferguson.

First test crew - Boe-CFT: Michael Fincke, Christopher Ferguson, Nicole Aunapu Mann
First mission crew - USCV-2: Sunita Williams, Josh Cassada, Thomas Pesquet, TBA

Space exploration is the discovery and exploration of celestial structures in outer space by developing and growing space technology. While the study of space is carried out mainly by astronomers with telescopes, the physical exploration of space is conducted both by unmanned robotic space probes and human spaceflight. While the observation of objects in space, known as astronomy, predates reliable recorded history, it was the development of large and relatively efficient rockets during the mid-twentieth century that allowed physical space exploration to become a reality. Common rationales for exploring space include advancing scientific research, national prestige, uniting different nations, ensuring the future survival of humanity, and developing military and strategic advantages against other countries

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Soyuz (Russian: Сою́з, IPA: [sɐˈjus], lit. Union) is a series of spacecraft designed for the Soviet space program by the Korolev Design Bureau (now RKK Energia) in the 1960s that remains in service today. The Soyuz succeeded the Voskhod spacecraft and was originally built as part of the Soviet crewed lunar programs. The Soyuz spacecraft is launched on a Soyuz rocket, the most reliable launch vehicle in the world to date. The Soyuz rocket design is based on the Vostok launcher, which in turn was based on the 8K74 or R-7A Semyorka, a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile. All Soyuz spacecraft are launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Soyuz is currently the only means for crewed space flights in the world and is heavily used in the International Space Station program.
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The first Soyuz flight was uncrewed and started on November 28, 1966. The first Soyuz mission with a crew, Soyuz 1, launched on 23 April 1967 but ended with a crash due to a parachute failure, killing cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. The following flight was uncrewed. Soyuz 3, launched on October 26, 1968, became the program's first successful crewed mission. The only other flight to suffer a fatal accident, Soyuz 11, killed its crew of three when the cabin depressurized prematurely just before reentry. These were the only humans to date to have died above the Kármán line. Despite these early incidents, Soyuz is widely considered the world's safest, most cost-effective human spaceflight vehicle, established by its unparalleled length of operational history. Soyuz spacecraft were used to carry cosmonauts to and from Salyut and later Mir Soviet space stations, and are now used for transport to and from the International Space Station (ISS). At least one Soyuz spacecraft is docked to ISS at all times for use as an escape craft in the event of an emergency. The spacecraft is intended to be replaced by the six-person Federation spacecraft.


A Soyuz spacecraft consists of three parts (from front to back):
1.A spheroid orbital module, which provides accommodation for the crew during their mission;
2.A small aerodynamic reentry module, which returns the crew to Earth;
3.A cylindrical service module with solar panels attached, which contains the instruments and engines.
Soyuz can carry up to three crew members and provide life support for about 30 person days. The life support system provides a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere at sea level partial pressures. The atmosphere is regenerated through potassium superoxide (KO2) cylinders, which absorb most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) and water produced by the crew and regenerates the oxygen, and lithium hydroxide (LiOH) cylinders which absorb leftover CO2. The vehicle is protected during launch by a payload fairing, which is jettisoned along with the SAS at 2 1⁄2 minutes into launch. It has an automatic docking system. The ship can be operated automatically, or by a pilot independently of ground control.

Spacecraft systems

Thermal control system – Sistema Obespecheniya Teplovogo Rezhima, SOTR
Life support system – Kompleks Sredstv Obespecheniya Zhiznideyatelnosti, KSOZh
Power supply system – Sistema Elektropitaniya, SEP
Communication and tracking systems – Rassvet (Dawn) radio communications system, onboard measurement system (SBI), Kvant-V spacecraft control, Klyost-M television system, orbit radio tracking (RKO)
Onboard complex control system – Sistema Upravleniya Bortovym Kompleksom, SUBK
Combined propulsion system – Kompleksnaya Dvigatelnaya Ustanovka, KDU
Chaika-3 motion control system (SUD)
Optical/visual devices (OVP) – VSK-4 (Vizir Spetsialniy Kosmicheskiy-4), night vision device (VNUK-K, Visir Nochnogo Upravleniya po Kursu), docking light, pilot's sight (VP-1, Vizir Pilota-1), laser rangefinder (LPR-1, Lazerniy Dalnomer-1)
Kurs rendezvous system
Docking system – Sistema Stykovki i Vnutrennego Perekhoda, SSVP
Teleoperator control mode – Teleoperatorniy Rezhim Upravleniya, TORU
Entry actuators system – Sistema Ispolnitelnikh Organov Spuska, SIO-S
Landing aids kit – Kompleks Sredstv Prizemleniya, KSP
Portable survival kit – Nosimiy Avariyniy Zapas, NAZ, containing a TP-82 Cosmonaut survival pistol or Makarov pistol
Soyuz launch escape system – Sistema Avariynogo Spaseniya, SAS

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Orbital module (A)

Descent module (B)

Service module (C)

1.Docking mechanism
2.4 Kurs rendezvous radar antenna
3.Television transmission antenna

6.Parachute compartment
9.Heat shield

10.18 attitude control engines
11.Earth sensors
12.Sun sensor
13.sSolar panel attachment point
14.thermal sensor
15.Kurs antenna
16.Main propulsion
17.Communication antenna
18.Fuel tanks
19.Oxygen tank

Launch Escape System

The Vostok spacecraft utilized an ejector seat to bail out the cosmonaut in the event of a low-altitude launch failure, as well as during reentry, however it would probably have been ineffective in the first 20 seconds after liftoff when the altitude would be too low for the parachute to deploy. Inspired by the Mercury LES, Soviet designers began work on a similar system in 1962. This included developing a complex sensing system to monitor various launch vehicle parameters and trigger an abort if a booster malfunction occurred. Based on data from R-7 launches over the years, engineers developed a list of the most likely failure modes for the vehicle and could narrow down abort conditions to premature separation of a strap-on booster, low engine thrust, loss of combustion chamber pressure, or loss of booster guidance. The Spacecraft Abort System (SAS; Russian: Система Аварийного Спасения, romanized: Sistema Avarijnogo Spaseniya) could also be manually activated from the ground, but unlike American spacecraft, there was no way for the cosmonauts to trigger it themselves. Four folding stabilizers were added to improve aerodynamic stability during ascent. Two test runs of the SAS were carried out in 1966-67.
The basic design of the SAS has remained almost unchanged in 50 years of use and all Soyuz launches carry it. The only modification was in 1972 when the aerodynamic fairing over the SAS motor nozzles was removed for weight-saving reasons as the redesigned Soyuz 7K-T spacecraft carried extra life support equipment. The crewed Progress resupply ferry has a dummy escape tower and removes the stabilizer fins from the payload shroud. There have been three failed launches of a crewed Soyuz vehicle, Soyuz 18-1 in 1975, Soyuz T-10-1 in 1983 and Soyuz MS-10 in October 2018. The 1975 failure was aborted after escape tower jettison. In 1983, Soyuz T-10-1's SAS successfully rescued the cosmonauts from an on-pad fire and explosion of the launch vehicle. Most recently in 2018, the SAS sub-system in the payload shroud of Soyuz MS-10 successfully rescued the cosmonauts from a rocket failure 2 minutes and 45 second after liftoff after the escape tower had already been jettisoned.

Orbital module

The forepart of the spacecraft is the Orbital Module (Russian: бытовой отсек, romanized: bytovoi otsek), also known as habitation section. It houses all the equipment that will not be needed for reentry, such as experiments, cameras or cargo. The module also contains a toilet, docking avionics and communications gear. Internal volume is 6 m3 (212 cu ft), living space 5 m3 (177 cu ft). On the latest Soyuz versions (since Soyuz TM), a small window was introduced, providing the crew with a forward view. The convention of orientation in a micro-g environment differs from that of the Descent Module, as crew members stand or sit with their heads to the docking port. Also the rescue of the crew whilst on the launch pad or with the SAS system is complicated because of the orbital module. However, after the problematic landing of Soyuz TM-5 in September 1988 this procedure was changed and the Orbital Module is now separated after the return maneuver. This change was made as the TM-5 crew could not deorbit for 24 hours after they jettisoned their Orbital Module, which contained their sanitation facilities and the docking collar needed to attach to Mir. The risk of not being able to separate the Orbital Module is effectively judged to be less than the risk of needing the facilities in it, following a failed deorbit.
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Soyuz spacecraft's Orbital Module

Descent module

The Descent Module (Russian: Спуска́емый Аппара́т, tr. Spuskáyemy Apparát), also known as a reentry capsule, is used for launch and the journey back to Earth. Half of the Descent Module is covered by a heat-resistant covering to protect it during reentry; this half faces the Earth during reentry. It is slowed initially by the atmosphere, then by a braking parachute, followed by the main parachute which slows the craft for landing. At one meter above the ground, solid-fuel braking engines mounted behind the heat shield are fired to give a soft landing. One of the design requirements for the Descent Module was for it to have the highest possible volumetric efficiency (internal volume divided by hull area). The best shape for this is a sphere — as the pioneering Vostok spacecraft's Descent Module used — but such a shape can provide no lift, which results in a purely ballistic reentry. The nickname was thought up at a time when nearly every headlight was circular. The small dimensions of the Descent Module led to it having only two-man crews after the death of the Soyuz 11 crew. The later Soyuz T spacecraft solved this issue. Internal volume of Soyuz SA is 4 m3 (141 cu ft); 2.5 m3 (88 cu ft) is usable for crew (living space).


The Soyuz spacecraft has been the subject of continuous evolution since the early 1960s. Thus several different versions, proposals and projects exist. Smiley face

Launch Vehicle Fleet

During the 1960s and 1970s, India initiated its own launch vehicle programme owing to geopolitical and economic considerations. In the 1960s–1970s, the country developed a sounding rocket programme, and by the 1980s, research had yielded the Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 and the more advanced Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), complete with operational supporting infrastructure. ISRO further applied its energies to the advancement of launch vehicle technology resulting in the creation of the successful PSLV and GSLV vehicles.

Comparison of Indian carrier rockets. Left to right: SLV, ASLV, PSLV, GSLV, GSLV Mk.III

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Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV)

The Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV or SLV-3) was a 4-stage solid-propellant light launcher. It was intended to reach a height of 500 kilometres (310 miles) and carry a payload of 40 kilograms (88 pounds). Its first launch took place in 1979 with two more in each subsequent year, and the final launch in 1983. Only two of its four test flights were successful.

Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV)

The Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) was a five-stage solid propellant rocket with the capability of placing a 150-kilogram (330-pound) satellite into Low Earth Orbit. This project was started during the early 1980s to develop technologies needed for a payload to be placed into a geostationary orbit. Its design was based on Satellite Launch Vehicle. The first launch test was held in 1987, and after that three others followed in 1988, 1992 and 1994, out of which only two were successful, before it was decommissioned.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is an expendable launch system developed by ISRO to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites into Sun synchronous orbits. PSLV can also launch small satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The reliability and versatility of the PSLV is proven by the fact that it has launched, as of 2014, seventy-one satellites/spacecraft (thirty-one Indian and forty foreign) into a variety of orbits. The maximum number of satellites launched by the PSLV in a single launch is 104, in the PSLV-C37 launch on 15 February 2017.

Decade-wise summary of PSLV launches:


























Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) is an expendable launch system developed to enable India to launch its INSAT-type satellites into geostationary orbit and to make India less dependent on foreign rockets. At present, it is ISRO's second-heaviest launch vehicle and is capable of putting a total payload of up to 5 tons to low Earth orbit. The vehicle is built by India, originally with a cryogenic engine purchased from Russia, while the ISRO developed its own cryogenic engine.
The first version of the GSLV (GSLV Mk.I), using the Russian cryogenic stage, became operational in 2004, after an unsuccessful first launch in 2001 and a second, successful development launch in 2003. The first attempt to launch the GSLV Mk.II with an Indian built cryogenic engine, GSLV-F06 carrying GSAT-5P, failed on 25 December 2010. The initial evaluation indicated that loss of control for the strap-on boosters caused the rocket to veer from its intended flight path, forcing a programmed detonation. Sixty-four seconds into the first stage of flight, the rocket began to break up due to the acute angle of attack. The body housing the 3rd stage, the cryogenic stage, incurred structural damage, forcing the range safety team to initiate a programmed detonation of the rocket.
On 5 January 2014, GSLV-D5 launched GSAT-14 into its intended orbit. This marked the first successful flight using the indigenous cryogenic engine CE-7.5, making India the sixth country in the world to have this technology.
Again on 27 August 2015, GSLV-D6 launched GSAT-6 into a transfer orbit. ISRO used the indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) for third time in this GSLV flight.
On 8 September 2016, GSLV-F05 launched INSAT-3DR, a weather satellite weighing 2,211 kg (4,874 lb) into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). GSLV is designed to inject 2–5 tonnes (2.2–5.5 tons) -class of satellites into GTO. The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota. The GSLV-F05 flight was the first operational flight of GSLV carrying the Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS). The indigenously developed CUS was carried on board for the fourth time during a GSLV-F05 flight. The GSLV-F05 vehicle is configured with three stages, including the CUS similar to the ones flown during the previous GSLV-D5 and D6 missions in January 2014 and August 2015.

Decade-wise summary of GSLV Launches:
















Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV-Mk III)

GSLV-Mk III is a launch vehicle capable to launch four-tonne satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). GSLV-Mk III is a three-stage vehicle with a 110-tonne (120-ton) core liquid propellant stage (L-110) flanked by two 200-tonne (220-ton) solid propellant strap-on booster motors (S-200). The upper stage is cryogenic with a propellant loading of 25 tonnes (C-25). The vehicle has a lift-off mass of about 640 tonnes and is 43.43 metres tall. The payload fairing has a diameter of 5 metres and a payload volume of 100 cubic metres. It allows India to become less dependent on foreign rockets for heavy lifting.
On 18 December 2014, ISRO conducted an experimental test-flight of GSLV MK III carrying a crew module, to be used in future human space missions. This suborbital test flight demonstrated the performance of GSLV Mk III in the atmosphere.
A GSLV Mk III-D1 carrying the communication satellite GSAT-19 lifted off from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on 5 June 2017, and placed the communication satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit sixteen minutes after takeoff. GSAT-19 satellite has a mass of 3,136 kg (6,914 lb), and is configured around ISRO's standard I-3K bus. On 14 July GSLV-Mk III was supposed to launch Chandrayaan 2 but due to some technical issues regarding the helium tank it was postpone to 22 July 2019. On 22 July 2019 the GSLV-Mk III launched India's second Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2.

Decade-wise summary of GSLV III launches:











Human Spaceflight Programme

In 2009, the Indian Space Research Organisation proposed a budget of ₹12,400 crore (US$1.8 billion) for its human spaceflight programme. According to the Space Commission, which recommended the budget, an uncrewed flight will be launched after seven years from the final approval and a crewed mission will be launched after 7 years of funding. If realised in the stated time-frame, India will become the fourth nation, after the USSR, USA and China, to successfully carry out crewed missions indigenously. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced in his Independence Day address of August 15, 2018 that India will send astronauts into space by 2022 on the new Gaganyaan spacecraft. After the announcement, ISRO chairman, Sivan, said ISRO has developed most of the technologies needed such as crew module and crew escape system, and that the project would cost less than Rs. 10,000 crore and would include sending at least 3 Indians to space, 300–400 km above in a spacecraft for at least 7 days using a GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle. The chance of a female being a member of the first crew is "very high" according to the Scientific Secretary to the Indian Chairman, R. Umamaheswaran.

Technology Demonstrations

The Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SCRE or more commonly SRE or SRE-1)is an experimental spacecraft that was launched on January 10, 2007 using the PSLV C7 rocket, along with three other satellites. It remained in orbit for 12 days before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere and splashing down into the Bay of Bengal. The SRE-1 was designed to demonstrate the capability to recover an orbiting space capsule, and the technology for performing experiments in the microgravity conditions of an orbiting platform. It was also intended to test thermal protection, navigation, guidance, control, deceleration and flotation systems, as well as study hypersonic aerothermodynamics, management of communication blackouts, and recovery operations. A follow-up project named SRE-2 was cancelled mid-way after years of delay. On 18 December 2014, ISRO launched the Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment aboard the GSLV Mk3 for a sub-orbital flight. The crew module separated from the rocket at an altitude of 126 km and underwent free fall. The module heat shield experienced temperature in excess of 1600 °C. Parachutes were deployed at an altitude of 15 km to slow down the module which performed a splashdown in the Bay of Bengal. This flight was used to test orbital injection, separation and re-entry procedures and systems of the Crew Capsule. Also tested were the capsule separation, heat shields and aerobraking systems, deployment of parachute, retro-firing, splashdown, flotation systems and procedures to recover the Crew Capsule from the Bay of Bengal. On 5 July 2018, ISRO conducted a pad abort test of their launch abort system (LAS) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. This is the first in a series of tests to qualify the critical crew escape system technology for future crewed missions. The LAS is designed to quickly pull out the crew to safety in case of emergency.

Astronaut Training and Other Facilities

The newly established Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) will coordinate the IHSF campagn. ISRO will set up an astronaut training centre in Bengaluru to prepare personnel for flights on board the crewed vehicle. The centre will use simulation facilities to train the selected astronauts in rescue and recovery operations and survival in zero gravity, and will undertake studies of the radiation environment of space. ISRO will build centrifuges to prepare astronauts for the acceleration phase of the launch. Existing launch facilities in Satish Dhawan Space Centre will be upgraded for the Indian Human Spaceflight campaign. Human Space Flight Centre and Glavcosmos signed an agreement on July 1, 2019 for the selection, support, medical examination and space training of Indian astronauts. An ISRO Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) will be setup in Moscow to facilitate the development of some key technologies and establishment of special facilities which are essential to support life in space.

Crewed spacecraft

ISRO is working towards an orbital crewed spacecraft that can operate for seven days in a low Earth orbit. The spacecraft, called Gaganyaan (गगनयान), will be the basis of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. The spacecraft is being developed to carry up to three people, and a planned upgraded version will be equipped with a rendezvous and docking capability. In its maiden crewed mission, ISRO's largely autonomous 3-ton spacecraft will orbit the Earth at 400 km in altitude for up to seven days with a two-person crew on board. The crewed mission is planned to be launched on ISRO's GSLV Mk III in 2022.

Space Station

India plans to build a space station as a follow-up programme of the Gaganyaan mission. ISRO Chairman K. Sivan has said that India will not join the International Space Station program and will instead build a 20 tonne space station on its own.

Launch Vehicle Fleet

Long March (rocket family)
A Long March rocket is any rocket in a family of expendable launch systems operated by the People's Republic of China. Development and design falls under the auspices of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. In English, the rockets are abbreviated as LM- for export and CZ- within China, as "Chang Zheng" means "Long March" in Chinese pinyin. The rockets are named after the Long March of Chinese communist history. (In simplified Chinese: 长征系列运载火箭; traditional Chinese: 長征系列運載火箭; pinyin: Chángzhēng xìliè yùnzài huǒjiàn or Changzheng rocket.)


China used the Long March 1 rocket to launch its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong 1 (lit. "The East is Red 1"), into Low Earth orbit on April 24, 1970, becoming the fifth nation to achieve independent launch capability. Early launches had an inconsistent record, focusing on the launching of Chinese satellites. The Long March 1 was quickly replaced by the Long March 2 family of launchers.

Commercial Launch Market

After the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed in 1986, a growing commercial backlog gave China the chance to enter the international launch market. In September 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan agreed to allow U.S satellites to be launched on Chinese rockets. AsiaSat 1, which had originally been launched by the Space Shuttle and retrieved by another Space Shuttle after a failure, was launched by the Long March 3 in 1990 as the first foreign payload on a Chinese rocket. However, major setbacks occurred in 1992–1996. The Long March 2E was designed with a defective payload fairing, which collapsed when faced with the rocket's excessive vibration. After just seven launches, the Long March 2E destroyed the Optus B2 and Apstar 2 satellites and damaged AsiaSat 2. The Long March 3B also experienced a catastrophic failure in 1996, veering off course shortly after liftoff and crashing into a nearby village. At least 6 people were killed on the ground, and the Intelsat 708 satellite was also destroyed. A Long March 3 also experienced a partial failure in August 1996 during the launch of Chinasat-7.

Investigations on Chinese Launches

The involvement of U.S. companies in the Apstar 2 and Intelsat 708 investigations caused great controversy in the United States. In the Cox Report, the U.S. Congress accused Space Systems/Loral and Hughes of transferring information that would improve the design of Chinese rockets and ballistic missiles. Although the Long March was allowed to launch its commercial backlog, the U.S. State Department has not approved any satellite export licenses to China since 1998. ChinaSat 8, which had been scheduled for launch in April 1999 on a Long March 3B rocket, was placed in storage, sold to the Singapore company ProtoStar, and finally launched on a French rocket in 2008. From 2005 to 2012, Long March rockets launched ITAR-free satellites made by the European company Thales Alenia Space. However, Thales Alenia was forced to discontinue its ITAR-free satellite line in 2013 after the U.S. State Department fined a U.S. company for selling ITAR components. Thales Alenia had long complained that "every satellite nut and bolt" was being ITAR-restricted, and the European Space Agency accused the United States of using ITAR to block exports to China instead of protecting technology. In 2016, an official at the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security confirmed that "no U.S.-origin content, regardless of significance, regardless of whether it’s incorporated into a foreign-made item, can go to China. " The European aerospace industry is working on developing replacements for U.S. satellite components.

Long March (Failure to Successfull)

After the failures of 1992–1996, the troublesome Long March 2E was withdrawn from the market. Design changes were made to improve the reliability of Long March rockets. From October 1996 to April 2009, the Long March rocket family delivered 75 consecutive successful launches, including several major milestones in space flight: On October 15, 2003, the Long March 2F rocket successfully launched the Shenzhou 5 spacecraft, carrying China's first astronaut into space. China became the third nation with independent human spaceflight capability, after the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States. On June 1, 2007, Long March rockets completed their 100th launch overall. On October 24, 2007, the Long March 3A successfully launched (18:05 GMT+8) the "Chang'e 1" lunar orbiting spacecraft from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The Long March rockets have subsequently maintained an excellent reliability record. Since 2010, Long March launches have made up 15–25% of all space launches globally. Growing domestic demand has maintained a healthy manifest. International deals have been secured through a package deal that bundles the launch with a Chinese satellite, circumventing the U.S. embargo.


The Long March is China's primary expendable launch system family. The Shenzhou spacecraft and Chang'e lunar orbiters are also launched on the Long March rocket. The maximum payload for LEO is 12,000 kilograms (CZ-3B), the maximum payload for GTO is 5,500 kg (CZ-3B/E). The next generation rocket – Long March 5 variants will offer more payload in the future.


Long March 1's 1st and 2nd stage uses nitric acid and UDMH propellants, and its upper stage uses a spin-stabilized solid rocket engine. Long March 2, Long March 3, Long March 4, the main stages and associated liquid rocket boosters use dinitrogen tetroxide as the oxidizing agent and UDMH as the fuel. The upper stages (third stage) of Long March 3 rockets use YF-73 and YF-75 engines, using Liquid hydrogen (LH2) as the fuel and Liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidizer. The new generation of Long March rocket family, Long March 5, and its derivations Long March 6, Long March 7 will use LOX and kerosene as core stage and liquid booster propellant, with LOX and LH2 in upper stages. Long March 11 is a solid-fuel rocket.

Long March Rockets Series

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The Long March 1 rocket is derived from earlier Chinese 2-stage IRBM DF-4, or Dong Feng 4 missile, and Long March 2, Long March 3, Long March 4 rocket families are derivatives of the Chinese 2-stage ICBMs DF-5, or Dong Feng 5 missile. However, like its counterparts in both the United States and in Russia, the differing needs of space rockets and strategic missiles have caused the development of space rockets and missiles to diverge. The main goal of a space rocket is to maximize payload, while for strategic missiles increased throw weight is much less important than the ability to launch quickly and to survive a first strike. This divergence has become clear in the next generation of Long March rockets, which use cryogenic propellants in sharp contrast to the next generation of strategic missiles, which are mobile and solid fuelled. The next generation of Long March rocket, Long March 5 rocket family, is a brand new design, while Long March 6 and Long March 7 can be seen as derivations because they use the liquid rocket booster design of Long March 5 to build small-to-mid capacity launch vehicles.


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Launch Development

Rocket History
Japan launched its first satellite, Ohsumi, in 1970, using ISAS' L-4S rocket. Prior to the merger, ISAS used small solid-fueled launch vehicles, while NASDA developed larger liquid-fueled launchers. In the beginning, NASDA used licensed American models. The first model of liquid-fuelled launch vehicle indigenously developed in Japan was the H-II, introduced in 1994. However, at the end of the 1990s, with two H-II launch failures, Japanese rocket technology began to face criticism.

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Early H-IIA missions
Japan's first space mission under JAXA, an H-IIA rocket launch on 29 November 2003, ended in failure due to stress problems. After a 15-month hiatus, JAXA performed a successful launch of an H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center, placing a satellite into orbit on 26 February 2005.

Epsilon Rocket
To be able to launch smaller mission on JAXA developed a new solid-fueled rocket, the Epsilon as a replacement to the retired M-V. The maiden flight successfully happened in 2013. So far, the rocket flew four times without any launch failures.

Orbital SS-520 mission
In January 2017, JAXA attempted and failed to put a miniature satellite into orbit atop one of its SS520 series rockets. A second attempt on February 2, 2018 was successful, putting a ten-pound CubeSat into Earth orbit. The rocket, known as the SS-520-5, is the world's smallest orbital launcher.

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