Home > Commercial space flight, Ephemeris Program > 11/04/2014 – Ephemeris – Last week was a bad one for commercial space

11/04/2014 – Ephemeris – Last week was a bad one for commercial space

November 4, 2014

Ephemeris for Election Day, Tuesday, November 4th.  The sun will rise at 7:24.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 5:27.   The moon, 2 days before full, will set at 5:46 tomorrow morning.

Last week was not a happy one for commercial space companies.  First, last Tuesday the Orbital Science’s Antares blew up (or in space-talk: “Suffered an anomaly”) attempting to deliver it’s third contracted commercial cargo to the International Space Station.  No one was killed because it was an unmanned rocket and the spectators were kept at a safe distance.  Then on Friday an anomaly occurred during a test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.  In that mishap the co-pilot, Michael Alsbury, was killed.  “Space is hard.” was the phrase heard quite often last week.  And it’s true.  I’ve found that the natural state of any mechanism is not to work.  The more complicated the device is, like a rocket, the harder it is to get it to work.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Antares

The initial signs that the Antares rocket was in trouble. Credit: Parabolic Arc.

SpaceShipTwo

A sequence of photos of the flight and breakup of SpaceShipTwo. Credit: Kenneth Brown/Reuters.

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