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Archive of posts published in the category: Launch
Apr
11

launch vehicle | Types & Definition

Launch vehicle, in spaceflight, a rocket-powered vehicle used to transport a spacecraft beyond Earth’s atmosphere, either into orbit around Earth or to some other destination in outer space. Practical launch vehicles have been used to send crewed spacecraft, uncrewed space probes, and satellites into space since the 1950s. They include the Soyuz and Proton launchers of Russia as well as several converted military missiles; Russia is developing a new family of launchers called Angara. Europe operates the Ariane V and Vega launchers. The United States operated the space shuttle until its retirement in 2011. Current U.S. launch vehicles include the Atlas, Delta, Falcon, and Antares expendable boosters.

In order to reach Earth orbit, a launch vehicle must accelerate its spacecraft payload to a minimum velocity of 28,000 km (17,500 miles) per hour, which is roughly 25 times the speed of sound. To overcome Earth’s gravity for travel to a destination such as the Moon or Mars, the spacecraft must be accelerated to a velocity of approximately 40,000 km (25,000 miles) per hour. The initial acceleration must also be provided very rapidly in order to minimize both the time that a launch vehicle takes to transit the stressful environment of the atmosphere and the time during which the vehicle’s rocket engines and other systems must operate near their performance limits; a launch from Earth’s surface or atmosphere usually attains orbital velocity within 8–12 minutes. Such rapid acceleration requires one or more rocket engines burning large quantities of propellant at a high rate, while at the same time the vehicle is controlled so that it follows its planned trajectory. To maximize the mass of the spacecraft that a particular launch vehicle can carry, the vehicle’s structural weight is kept as low as possible. Most of the weight of the launch vehicle is actually its propellants—i.e., fuel and the oxidizer needed to burn the fuel. Designing reliable launch vehicles is challenging. The launchers with the best recent records have a reliability rate between 95 and 99 percent.

With the exception of the partially reusable U.S. space shuttle and the Soviet Buran vehicle (which was flown only once), all launch vehicles to date have been designed for only a single use; they are thus called expendable launch vehicles. With costs ranging from more than 10 million dollars each for the smaller launch vehicles used to put lighter payloads into orbit to hundreds of millions of dollars for the launchers needed for the heaviest payloads, access to space is very expensive, on the order of many thousands of dollars per kilogram taken to orbit. The complexity of the space shuttle made it extremely expensive to operate, even though portions of the shuttle system were reusable. Attempts to develop a fully reusable launch vehicle in order to reduce the cost of access to space have so far not been successful, primarily because the

Apr
10

Good News from the Industry as it Rallies Against the Spread of Covid-19 [Update: Muc-Off Launch Anti-Bac Fight Back Program]

Among the constant bad news about the worsening spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, brands and people in the bike industry are trying to make the most of a bad situation. Check out some of the positive news stories to come through our inbox.

Muc-Off launch ‘Anti Bac Fight Back’ project

Muc-Off has added to their recent efforts of assisting with the shortage of plastic bottles for hand sanitiser by launching their new ‘Anti Bac Fight Back’ project. The new program from the UK based company sees them take three different approaches to the situation. Support front line workers, protecting people and global support.

Adding to their previous efforts Muc-Off is now providing ITU nurses with anti-bacterial moisturising creams to help with the soreness creating by wearing face masks during their shifts. The aim is to donate 100,000 products to front line health workers.

They have also released a new range of anti-bacterial sanitisers and gels for everyone which will see 10% of profits from the products go to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Finally, they have also started using their R&D team’s 3D printer to produce PPE faceguards for local hospitals.

You can find out more here.


Oakley Donate 20000+ units of protective eyewear to Healthcare Workers while also developing protective shield for front line health workers.
Oakley has announced on social media that they have so far donated over 20000 units of protective eyewear that will be sent across America and Europe. In addition to their sizeable donation, the company have also put their R&D and Manufacturing teams to work on a protective shield that they hope to mass produce for first responders and front line medical staff.

bigquotes Wanting to help in these trying times, the R&D and Manufacturing teams here at Oakley, have been working diligently to put their time and talents to good use. In collaboration with the local medical community, the teams have developed a protective shield that will be mass-produced and provided to our first responders and front-line medical workers. In addition to this we have also made a donation of 20,000 units of protective eyewear that will be shipped across North America and Europe. We will continue to offer our support wherever possible throughout this crisis. We’re all in this together. Oakley

Santa Cruz Bicycles’ R&D Team Uses CNC Machinery to Produce Face Shields for Local Medical Staff

Although Santa Cruz, California is in a shelter-in-place like most of the world, Santa Cruz Bicycles’ R&D team is at work producing face shields (PPE) for local medical staff using sheets of plastic cut using their CNC machinery typically used for cutting carbon fiber as well as 3D printers used for prototyping.

The equipment is able to make up to 20 face shield lenses every 9 minutes, yielding ~1000 shields per day. Ten days were spent evaluating designs, developing multiple prototypes and getting feedback from local healthcare professionals to ensure the end product suited their needs. 3D printers are used to make