EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 wrap-up

This year’s AirVenture was outstanding, and the perfect weather didn’t hurt.

  • Attendance: Approximately 550,000, with a total attendance increase of approximately 2 percent
  • Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arriving at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.
  • Total showplanes: 2,668 (up 1 percent over 2014) – including 1,031 homebuilt aircraft, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft.
  • Forums and Workshops: A total of 1,048 sessions attended by more than 75,000 people.
  • Guests registered at International Visitors Tent: 2,299 visitors registered from a record 80 nations.


  • F-22
  • F-35
  • B-52
  • F-100 Super Sabre
  • Mosquito
  • Lancaster
  • Goodyear’s Wingfoot One
  • Airbus A350
  • Junkers F13 replica
  • Apollo 13 reunion
  • Burt Rutan

Last year, Lane Wallace had some thoughtful commentary about Oshkosh.


NASA’s superb outreach on the internet

How they did it.

Progress 60 supply mission to ISS

After the failure of Progress, Cygnus/Antares and Falcon 9/Dragon resupply missions to ISS, Progress 60 successfully launched at 12:55 AM EDT today to bring supplies to the ISS.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fails on ascent; CRS-7 mission is a failure

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon resupply vehicle for the International Space Station failed today on ascent.

Dragon and Falcon 9 ready for launch on CRS-7 mission Image credit: SpaceX

Dragon and Falcon 9 ready for launch on CRS-7 mission
Image credit: SpaceX

First American EVA

50 years ago today, astronaut Ed White became the first American spacewalker on the Gemini 4 mission.


Year-long spaceflight begins

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka joined their Expedition 43 crewmates when the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft and the International Space Station opened at 11:33 p.m. EDT Friday, March 27. Kelly and Kornienko will spend about a year on the space station to better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space. This mission will provide bio-medical information for future long-duration human spaceflights such as a mission to Mars.

Gemini-Titan 3 launch, 50 years ago today

The first crewed Gemini flight, Gemini III, lifted off Launch Pad 19 at 9:24 a.m. EST on March 23, 1965. The spacecraft “Molly Brown” carried astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, command pilot, and John W. Young, pilot, on three orbits of Earth. Gemini III’s primary goal was to test the new, maneuverable spacecraft. In space, the crew members fired thrusters to change the shape of their orbit, shift their orbital plane slightly, and drop to a lower altitude. The revolutionary orbital maneuvering technology paved the way for rendezvous missions later in the Gemini Program and proved it was possible for a lunar module to lift off the moon and dock with the lunar orbiting command module for the trip home to Earth. It also meant spacecraft could be launched to rendezvous and dock with an orbiting space station.


Orbital ATK Successfully Complete QM-1 for the SLS Solid Rocket Booster

A big step forward for the Space Launch System.

Image credit: Orbital ATK


Video Credit & Copyright: NASA.

The largest, most powerful rocket booster ever built successfully fired up Wednesday for a major-milestone ground test in preparation for future missions to help propel NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft to deep space destinations, including an asteroid and Mars. The booster fired for two minutes, the same amount of time it will fire when it lifts the SLS off the launch pad, and produced about 3.6 million pounds of thrust. The test was conducted at the Promontory, Utah test facility of commercial partner Orbital ATK.

My writeup on QM-1: http://danspace77.com/2015/03/10/another-step-to-moving-humans-beyond-leo-takes-place-wednesday-with-qm-1/

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Orion EFT-1 successful

The NASA/Lockheed Martin Orion spacecraft had a completely successful unmanned orbital test mission on December 5, 2014, after the launch was scrubbed the previous day. Launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy booster, the Orion conduct low and high apogee orbital operations before its high-energy reentry and splashdown.

Image credit: United Launch Alliance

Image credit: United Launch Alliance

Image credit: NASA

Image credit: NASA

SpaceShipTwo Probe Focuses On Human Factors, Test Procedures

The investigation continues into the SpaceShipTwo mishap that killed copilot Mark Alsbury and injuried pilot Pete Siebold.

The NTSB determined that shortly after the ignition of its rocket motor, the vehicle’s movable twin tail-booms unexpectedly deployed into an upward-canted “feathering” position, over-stressing the airframe and causing it to break apart. Although the tail-booms on SS2 are designed to move upward as part of the reentry system, the feathering device is normally activated outside of the sensible atmosphere before the vehicle begins its descent.