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July 30, 2021 Archives

Friday, July 30, 2021

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Inside a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A Turboshaft Engine

You'll probably never guess the airflow from observing the engine from the outside. Through November 2015, 51,000 of these engines have been delivered, logging more than 400 million flight hours, with an in-flight shutdown rate of around one per 300,000 hours.

Posted at 14:17 Permalink

THE HAPPENING WORLD: Orbital Tug of War—Nauka Module vs. International Space Station

Yesterday, 2021-07-29, the Russian Nauka laboratory module docked with the Zarya core module of the International Space Station. Several hours later, as the process of opening the hatch was under way, attitude control thrusters on Nauka, which were supposed to have been disabled after the docking was complete, started to fire, rotating the entire space station out of its correct orientation. The station's attitude control system detected the deviation and fired thrusters on Zarya to attempt to correct and, when they proved inadequate, also fired thrusters on a docked Progress cargo ship. At the peak, the station was rotating around half a degree a second.

Nobody knows what caused Nauka's thrusters to fire. What caused them to stop was not a command, but rather running out of propellant, after which the station's thrusters, unopposed, restored its normal orientation. Here is a NASA report on the events.

“This is how we fix problems in Russian space station!”

Posted at 13:01 Permalink

CONTINUITY: Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: 1953–1983

Posted at 12:08 Permalink

CONTEXT: SpaceX: Exploring Lunar Starship Mission Modes

Posted at 11:31 Permalink