Former Juniper Exec, DISA Vet David Mihelcic Named to Competitive Range Solutions’ Advisory …

David Mihelcic, an 18-year Defense Information Systems Agency veteran and former federal chief technology and strategy officer at Juniper Networks …
David Mihelcic

David Mihelcic, an 18-year Defense Information Systems Agency veteran and former federal chief technology and strategy officer at Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) , has joined the advisory board of veteran-owned technology company Competitive Range Solutions.

He aims to strengthen CRS’ technical approach to support customers and brings more than three decades of information technology and cybersecurity experience in the defense sector, the company said Saturday. At Juniper, he led a team of direct sales engineers and the technology aspects of the networking provider’s federal division.

Mihelcic worked as chief executive engineer of network services at DISA for two years, then served as deputy program director for the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program for four years before he was promoted to the CTO position in 2005. Alton, Ill.-based CRS offers program management, acquisition and operations support services to the government sector.

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NASA and SpaceX are Developing Tech to Refuel Spacecrafts While in Orbit

NASA has just announced that it is working with SpaceX “to advance technology needed to transfer propellant in orbit.” Refueling in space, the …

NASA has just announced that it is working with SpaceX “to advance technology needed to transfer propellant in orbit.”

Refueling in space, the company says, is “an important step in the development of the company’s Starship space vehicle.”

RELATED: VIRAL VIDEO SHOWS SPACEX STARLINK SATELLITES IN NIGHT SKY OVER NETHERLANDS

Planning for 2024

NASA’s Artemis program is planning to take humans back to the Moon by 2024. As part of their preparations, the iconic space company has just announced a list of 13 private U.S. companies they will be collaborating with.

“NASA’s proven experience and unique facilities are helping commercial companies mature their technologies at a competitive pace,” Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) said in a NASA statement. “We’ve identified technology areas NASA needs for future missions, and these public-private partnerships will accelerate their development so we can implement them faster.”

NASA and SpaceX are Developing Tech to Refuel Spacecraft While in Orbit
An artist rendering of NASA’s Artemis program. Source: NASA

Starship partnership

As BGR reports, perhaps the most notable amongst these is SpaceX, who has been tasked with creating technologies that will help spacecraft refuel while in orbit.

Being able to refuel a spacecraft while it’s in space would greatly improve the efficiency of space travel — pulling away from Earth’s gravity is typically the most intensive part of space travel, where rocket boosters need to use the most fuel.

Starship having the capability to refuel in space would mean a far greater range for space missions as well. If NASA and SpaceX successfully collaborate to create the technology, it will no doubt also become a big part of their efforts to get humans to Mars.

“NASA’s proven experience and unique facilities are helping commercial companies mature their technologies at a competitive pace,” NASA’s Jim Reuter said in the statement.

“We’ve identified technology areas NASA needs for future missions, and these public-private partnerships will accelerate their development so we can implement them faster.”

NASA and SpaceX have long been collaborating, and this is just one more step to getting humans back to the Moon and then beyond.

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SpaceX test-fires Falcon 9 for expendable Block 5 launch as bad weather threatens delays

SpaceX has fired up twice-flown Falcon 9 booster B1047 ahead of Block 5’s second expendable launch ever, but the company avoided its usual …

SpaceX has fired up twice-flown Falcon 9 booster B1047 ahead of Block 5’s second expendable launch ever, but the company avoided its usual confirmation that a ‘quick look’ data analysis shows the vehicle as ready for launch.

Aside from the unusual phrasing of SpaceX’s static fire confirmation, stating instead that the company “is assessing data”, the weather forecast for the launch of AMOS-17 is looking about as dreary as it was during SpaceX’s most recent July 25th launch, CRS-18. CRS-18 was scrubbed once before the instantaneous launch window luckily coincided with an only partially metaphorical gap in the clouds. However, scheduled to lift off no earlier than 6:52 pm EDT (22:52 UTC), August 3rd, the AMOS-17 commsat launch features a comparatively luxurious ~90-minute window, giving SpaceX a much better shot at ‘threading the needle’.

Yeah, this combined with the delay from ignition to tweet suggests that August 3rd be taken with a grain of salt. As anyone can understand, SpaceX is probably being as cautious as physically possible with this launch. https://t.co/KDwT03Dgrp

— Eric Ralph (@13ericralph31) August 1, 2019

Still, as indicated in the tweet above, the combination of a horrible weather forecast (70% chance of weather violation on Aug. 3, 60% on Aug. 4), uncertainty surrounding Falcon 9’s static fire test results, and the gravity of this particular launch all suggest that delays are likely.

SpaceX test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket at 8pm EDT (0000 GMT) at Cape Canaveral in preparation for a liftoff as soon as Saturday evening with the Amos 17 communications satellite. https://t.co/8QWcFEQgyLpic.twitter.com/GjLzTNnZUw

— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) August 1, 2019

With most things in rocketry, the adage, “Better late than never!” almost invariably holds true when dealing with late-stage launch vehicle processing, and SpaceX will be taking that to the extreme with this launch for reasons that will become clear. If SpaceX can avoid the growing probability of minor delays, generally an annoying non-issue more than anything else, customer Spacecom will certainly be appreciative, but the most important thing is ensuring the safe orbital delivery of AMOS-17.

Weighing roughly 6500 kg (14,300 lb) fully-fueled, AMOS-17 is a relatively large geostationary communications satellite built by Boeing and, practically speaking, is meant to replace Amos-6, an Israeli-built satellite that was destroyed in September 2016 during a catastrophic Falcon 9 failure. Spacecom effectively took the insurance funds it received from the loss of Amos-6, purchased AMOS-17 via Boeing, and then chose a contract option that gave the company a free Falcon 9 launch instead of taking a cash payout of $50M.

The AMOS-17 Encapsulation process – the Movie! The launch is getting closer… and closer… #AMOS17#satellite#Spacecom#Launchpic.twitter.com/BFuXizzqxp

— AMOS Spacecom (@AMOSSpacecom) July 30, 2019

Be it financial necessity or a genuine decision to trust SpaceX that led Spacecom to manifest its replacement satellite on Falcon 9, a second failure and loss of payload (AMOS-17) during this launch would be a spectacular embarrassment and a major wound to SpaceX’s growing reputation as a reliable launch provider. If there is any launch in particular that SpaceX explicitly wants to avoid a failure on, it’s probably AMOS-17.

Perhaps to this end, SpaceX has actually chosen – presumably at the request or suggestion of Spacecom – to expend a Falcon 9 Block 5 booster in support of the AMOS-17 launch. Confirmed by SpaceX to be B1047.2, the company will preclude a landing attempt and instead sacrifice a booster that might otherwise fly a dozen more launches to give Spacecom a larger safety margin and help AMOS-17 start serving customers as quickly as possible. The sooner AMOS-17 can reach its final geostationary orbit (GEO), the sooner Spacecom can begin generating revenue from the satellite.

Sans grid fins or landing legs, Falcon 9 B1047.2 and a fresh upper stage arrived at SpaceX’s LC-40 pad around July 28th. (Spacecom/SpaceX)

Finally, SpaceX fairing recovery vessel GO Ms. Tree (formerly Mr. Steven) has just departed Port Canaveral (c. August 1st) and is headed nearly 1000 km (600 mi) east into the Atlantic Ocean for what could be the ship’s second successful fairing catch ever. Stay tuned as SpaceX provides updates and we near AMOS-17’s tentative launch date.

IT’S CATCH TIME!

Ms. Tree is underway and will attempt to catch a fairing half during the AMOS-17 mission this weekend. pic.twitter.com/UzXRDnCiEh

— SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) August 1, 2019

Check out Teslarati’s newsletters for prompt updates, on-the-ground perspectives, and unique glimpses of SpaceX’s rocket launch and recovery processes.

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SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft With Crew Docking Port Arrives at International Space Station

SpaceX‘s Dragon spacecraft reached the International Space Station Saturday to deliver more than 5K pounds of research supplies and equipment …
Jeff Brody

SpaceX‘s Dragon spacecraft reached the International Space Station Saturday to deliver more than 5K pounds of research supplies and equipment including a new crew docking port.

NASA said Saturday it will work with the Canadian Space Agency to remotely position the International Docking Adapter-3 over the orbiting laboratory’s Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 linked to the Harmony module in preparation for the final installation in mid-August.

IDA-3 will be the second docking port installed at ISS and will work to provide an automated system designed to monitor crew docking operations at the outpost.

Dragon also transported scientific equipment to the space station to support several investigations, including the mechanisms of moss in microgravity and effects of microgravity on microglia 3D models.

SpaceX launched the spacecraft Thursday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket as part of its 18th resupply mission with NASA.

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CRS-18 Dragon Capsule Arrives at the International Space Station

On the 18th Commercial Resupply Mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX’s CRS-18 Dragon capsule is now connected with the ISS.

On the 18th Commercial Resupply Mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX’s CRS-18 Dragon capsule is now connected with the ISS. This is the 19th Crew Resupply Mission at the International Space Station. In this mission, the capsule is filled with necessary supplies like food, water, machinery, and other tools. The SpaceX’s CRS-18 Dragon launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on Thursday, 24 July 2019 and today, the astronauts aboard the Space Station captured the capsule. SpaceX conducted this mission on behalf of NASA, who currently is not operating any space flights and relying on third-party space services providers.

The Falcon 9 rocket received an incremental update before the CRS-18 Dragon cargo mission to the international space station. The grey band has been added to the bottom of the second stage, which serves as the update and helps the rocket. The grey band works with the thermal conductivity of RP-1 kerosene propellant tank portion of the second stage of the rocket. After deploying the payload in orbit, the second stage of the rocket comes back to the earth with the maneuvers to land correctly on the base. The grey band helps the rocket to retain the fuel for reentry burn.

After deploying the payload, the booster rockets and second stage landed on the ASDS drone ship, Of Course, I Still Love You. The droneship or mothership as SpaceX loves to call it was parked 12km away from the coast of Florida. The core is being reused for the next mission after completing all of the necessary refurbishment processes. As the Falcon 9 core is back on earth and reusable for the next mission, it is being readied for the CRS-19 mission which is scheduled later this year. With this mission, the astronauts at the ISS Received 2,500kg of cargo, including food and consumables and several major scientific experiments.

Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar

Tajammul Pangarkar is a tech blogger, and has contributed to numerous tech magazines. Tajammul longstanding experience in the field of mobile technology and industry research is reflected in his insightful news articles as presented on News.market.us. His interest lies in understanding the tech trends, mobile applications and technical consciousness on these increasingly consumer-oriented industries. When he is not ruminating about the tech world, he can be found playing table tennis or hanging out with his friends.

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