US Returns to Manned Space Flight This Week

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Spacex Dragon

Tech weeks calls it a “Huge Week Ahead for Spacex and Virgin Orbit.” The industry new outlet says “This week could be the biggest week to date for private spaceflight, with landmark launch attempts coming from both Virgin Orbit and SpaceX. Virgin Orbit is looking to join the elite club of private launch companies that have actually made it to space, with a full flight test of its combined Cosmic Girl and LauncherOne system. Meanwhile, SpaceX is looking to launch its Crew Dragon spacecraft with people on board – achieving a number of milestones, including returning U.S. crew launch capabilities, and human-rating its Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX passed its first crucial flight readiness review (FRR) on Friday for its first ever crewed astronaut launch, setting it up for a full rehearsal of the mission on Saturday leading up to the actual launch Now it’s set for another FRR with partner NASA on Monday, and then the launch should take place on Wednesday – weather and checkouts permitting. This will definitely be one to watch.”

But The Wall Street Journal is sounding alarms for smaller startup companies entering the space race. “With SpaceX Poised for Takeoff, Small Rocket Startups Fall Behind.  SpaceX and NASA are scheduled to launch the first orbital human spaceflight from U.S. soil since the Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011. But as SpaceX dominates the headlines, a large number of small launch startups are poised to fail.” WSJ’s Liz Ornitz explains.

Perhaps CBS News best captures the sentiment of the county — “It’s tremendously exciting”: NASA astronauts counting down to historic launch aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon this week.  The mission, known as Demonstration Test Flight No. 2 — Demo 2 — will mark the second launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon and the first with astronauts on board. If no major problems are found, the agency is expected to certify the spacecraft for operational space station crew rotation missions, clearing the way for launch of a three-man, one-woman crew this fall.Longer term, NASA also expects the Commercial Crew Program, under which SpaceX and, eventually, Boeing, will launch private citizens as well as professional astronauts, to open up the high frontier to private sector development, including privately operated space stations.

“This is a new generation, a new era in human spaceflight,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “NASA has long had this idea that we need to build, own and operate hardware to get to space. And in the past that has been true.

Spacex Headquarters

For the engineering and manufacturing team at Coaxial Components Corp, its Florida proximity to the launch makes for perfect viewing of the historic event.  Although traditional gatherings along Florida’s east coast will be limited due to Social Distancing Guidelines, the viewing will be just right from the Coaxicom facility.  “We all feel a personal connection to the launch” says Julian Andrews, Coaxicom’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re proud to be one of the suppliers of RF components to the Spacex team.”  Coaxicom is an industry leading custom manufacturer of RF microwave components and cable assemblies, but on Wednesday, the Coaxicom staff will join team America as we collectively celebrate the return to space through American innovation and adventure.