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Elon Musk: Our future in space depends on reusable rockets

Elon Musk: Our future in space depends on reusable rockets | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

Austin, Texas (CNN) -- The future of space travel will depend on our ability to make rockets that can be used more than once, says SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. And on Saturday, he gave a crowd at the South by Southwest Interactive festival the world's first look at a step in that direction.

 

Musk, whose SpaceX Dragon is currently docked on the International Space Station, showed a packed exhibit hall a two-day-old video of Grasshopper, an experimental rocket. If fully realized, the rocket would propel spacecraft out of the earth's atmosphere, then flip around, sprout landing gear and return intact to the launch pad.

 

In the video, a 10-story-high Grasshopper rocket did just that -- except for the leaving-the-atmosphere part. It blasted off, hovered, and then set itself down at virtually the same spot where it began. The video, with its Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire" soundtrack, drew cheers from the crowd.

 

 


Via Stratocumulus
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Elon Musk describes SpaceX's recent jaw-dropping save of Dragon spacecraft.

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The 2014 Public Symposium of the 100 Year Starship; September 18th - 21st in Houston, TX.

The 2014 Public Symposium of the 100 Year Starship; September 18th - 21st in Houston, TX. | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

100YSS designs and implements independent, collaborative and open-source projects to advance and promote the public engagement, research, development and capabilities needed for humans to reach another star...


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NASA Commercial Crew Partners Complete Space System Milestones | Parabolic Arc

NASA Commercial Crew Partners Complete Space System Milestones | Parabolic Arc | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s commercial space partners continue to meet milestones under agreements with the agency’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), as they move forward in their development of spacecraft and rockets that will transport humans to destinations in low-Earth orbit.

The achievements in February are the latest development in a cycle that is seeing all four industry partners meet their milestones in their Commercial Crew Integrated Capability and Commercial Crew Development Round 2 agreements with the agency.

Blue Origin, The Boeing Company, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Space Exploration Technology (SpaceX) are developing unique transportation systems and face challenging evaluations and tests in 2014. CCP’s engineering team is working closely with its partners as they develop the next generation of crewed spacecraft. Ultimately, NASA intends to certify and use commercial systems to fly astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station, and back.

 


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"This is so step in the right direction!"

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NASA Halts Work on its New Nuclear Generator for Deep Space Exploration

NASA Halts Work on its New Nuclear Generator for Deep Space Exploration | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
MSL’s Pu-238 fueled MMRTG in the laboratory. (Credit: NASA).
Another blow was dealt to deep space exploration this past weekend. The announcement comes from Jim Green, NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director.

Via Allen Taylor
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All the wrong moves.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, November 22, 2013 4:27 AM

NASA's future deep space missions are all in jeopardy after the decision to halt work on flight-capable nuclear power generators.

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64th International Astronautical Congress Opens Monday

64th International Astronautical Congress Opens Monday | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
BEIJING, China — The International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the largest international space congress in the world, will open Monday, September 23rd, in Beijing.

Via Chuck Black
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An Astronautical Congress would be AMAZING to attend.

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Revisiting SLS/Orion launch costs | The Space Review

Revisiting SLS/Orion launch costs | The Space Review | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

A year and a half ago, I wrote an article very critical of the Space Launch System (see “The SLS: too expensive for exploration?”, The Space Review, November 28, 2011). To see if this assessment should now be updated, I checked a series of sources and found that little in the situation has changed, with no reliable cost estimates of an SLS launch yet available anywhere. It is actually amazing how hard it is to get cost estimates for any part of the SLS/Orion system. Another assessment corroborates this problem. While I was working on this article, two startling pieces of information came to light.

 

It is hard to see how a large rocket like the SLS, which is, with all of its components, destroyed in the course of a launch, could possibly cost a lot less than the Space Shuttle on a per-launch basis. It will probably cost considerably more, since all of the expensive rocket engines and other equipment will either smash into the ocean at high speed or reenter the atmosphere and burn up.


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Stratocumulus's curator insight, July 16, 2013 1:42 AM

So, bottom line, the author of this article, John Strickland, estimates that, at the current projected flight rate, the SLS will cost the American taxpayer around $5 BILLION per launch. That's $5 BILLION! That's BILLION with a B! Have our so-called leaders in Washington completely lost their minds? This is beyond absurd.

 

Meanwhile, the inaugural launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy (53 metric tons to Low Earth Orbit at an estimated cost between $83 Million to $128 Million per launch) is currently projected for early 2014; four full years before the SLS is scheduled to fly. There's gonna be a whole lotta 'splainin' to do by certain members of Congress if Elon hits another home run and if SLS falls further and further behind schedule.

Vincent Lieser's curator insight, July 16, 2013 3:28 PM

Another exemple of the inanity of the SLS launch system. 

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What are Cubesats?

A CubeSat is a small satellite in the shape of a 10 centimeter cube and weighs just 1 kilogram. That's about 4 inches and 2 pounds. The design has been simplified so almost anyone can build them and the instructions are available for free online. CubeSats can be combined to make larger satellites in case you need bigger payloads. Deployable solar panels and antennas make Cubesats even more versatile. The cost to build one? Typically less than $50,000.

 

 


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Russ Roberts's curator insight, June 24, 2013 12:26 PM

An informative video that explains the construction and function of CubeSats.  Compared to satellites costing millions of dollars to build, CubeSats are moderately priced (around $50,000) and affordable under many university budgets.  This will be the satellite of choice for educational and research projects.  Aloha de KH6JRM.

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It's Time to Tackle Insterstellar Spaceflight, Experts Say

It's Time to Tackle Insterstellar Spaceflight, Experts Say | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

The Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress will be held in Dallas TX from August 15th - 18th.

 

It will bring together space scientists, engineers and other experts to discuss the possibilities and implications of interstellar flight...


Via Chuck Black
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"Thanks for scooping this, Chuck! Starship Congress in August is the most exciting thing going for supporters of interstellar space exploration—and I'm one of them!"

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Vincent Lieser's curator insight, June 14, 2013 5:21 PM

Well, it's not as if there was a solar system to explore. 

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Austria Aims For Mars Via Morocco

Austria Aims For Mars Via Morocco | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
Vienna, Austria (SPX) May 10, 2013
Mars 2013 analog field simulation, held by the Austrian Space Forum in Morocco this February is over, and now the organizers have published the full report from the mission.

Via Chuck Black
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First space hacker workshop to happen in Silicon Valley on May 4-5

First space hacker workshop to happen in Silicon Valley on May 4-5 | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
An announcement from Silicon Valley Space Center and Citizens in Space : The Final Frontier for Citizen Science First Space Hacker Workshop to Take Place in Silicon Valley Mountain View, California...

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Focus on growing threat of space debris

Focus on growing threat of space debris | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
Paris (ESA) Apr 19, 2013
The continuing growth in space debris poses an increasing threat to economically vital orbital regions.

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Why We Need Space Tom Horn - TEDxBeaconStreet

Why We Need Space Tom Horn - TEDxBeaconStreet | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
Having grown up studying the night sky at the Mt. Haleakala observatory in Hawaii, it is little surprise that Tom Horn pursued a career in space. Shortly after graduating from Virginia Tech, he was hired by NASA as a Flight Controller for the ...
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Britain still owes Alan Turing a debt - Telegraph

Britain still owes Alan Turing a debt - Telegraph | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
Alan Turing was a remarkable British hero who helped create the modern world. Now known as the father of computer science, his inventions contributed greatly to the groundwork for the modern computer.
MikeMongo's insight:

Let's be honest with ourselves: Without Alan Turing we may not have a free world much less an internet. #FreeAlanTuring

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Space Celebrities Headline SxSW Panels

Space Celebrities Headline SxSW Panels | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
AUSTIN, Texas — Citizen space explorers and space entrepreneurs will appear at the prestigious South By Southwest (SxSW) film, music, and interactive-media festival, which takes place in Austin next month.

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ISEEE-3 Reboot Project Connects to Satellite

ISEEE-3 Reboot Project Connects to Satellite | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

On May 30th , a volunteer team of scientists, engineers and programmers reestablished contact with a 30+-year old NASA spacecraft and are now working to make it do science again.

Originally launched in 1978, the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEEE-3) was (along with two other satellites, ISEEE-1 and 2) part of a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Research Organization (the predecessor of today's European Space Agency) to study the interaction between Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind...


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Paul Allen Names New Head Honcho for Stratolaunch

Paul Allen Names New Head Honcho for Stratolaunch | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
DoD Veteran Tasked with Bringing Revolutionary Launch System Online
SEATTLE, Wash. — Vulcan Inc., the investment and project management company founded by Paul G.

Via Allen Taylor
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New space startup is yet another sign that space is the industry and career to promote to students.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, February 27, 11:10 PM

We haven't heard much from Stratolaunch lately. Now, with a new leader for the effort, perhaps we will see more of what is going on inside their huge hanger in Mojave.

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The public’s views on human spaceflight | The Space Review

The public’s views on human spaceflight | The Space Review | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

This week, the National Academies’ Committee on Human Spaceflight will hold the latest in its ongoing series of meetings. The committee, established by a provision in NASA’s 2010 authorization act, has been working for ten months to examine the goals and rationale for the nation’s human spaceflight program. Like some past meetings of the committee and its technical and public opinion panels, much of this week’s three-day meeting is closed: only Monday’s sessions, featuring NASA administrator Charles Bolden among other speakers, and a presentation Wednesday morning by Neil deGrasse Tyson, are open to the public.

 

While many of the committee’s deliberations take place behind closed doors, the committee did offer the public another way to provide input. In the summer, the committee solicited white papers from the public, asking them to summarize, in no more than four pages, three broad questions: what the important benefits of human spaceflight are, what are the greatest challenges for sustaining an American human spaceflight program, and what the ramifications would be if NASA ended its human spaceflight program.


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The 7 fastest growing industries of 2013 (infographic)

The 7 fastest growing industries of 2013 (infographic) | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

MyCorporation and Visual.ly have created an infographic detailing the seven fastest growing industries in 2013. The report is based on data collected by market research firm Ibis World, which said “these industries are expected to continue their meteoric rise and far outpace the rest of the economy.”

 

Five of these seven sectors relate to emerging forms of technology — green tech, online education, social games, mobile apps, and 3D printing — underscoring the idea that innovation leads to job creation...


Via Chuck Black
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Chuck Black's curator insight, July 28, 2013 11:24 AM

Many of these new industies will grow from and be popularized through new uses supplied from space activities.

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Stuck to the ground by red tape

Stuck to the ground by red tape | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
IN THE past year commercial space start-ups have proposed everything from asteroid mining and lunar space-elevators to home-made satellites and private moonshots....

Via Vincent Lieser
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Vincent Lieser's curator insight, June 19, 2013 11:49 AM

Companies spend as much on navigating the legal and regulatory paperwork as they do on making rockets.

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A Conference on Time, Space, and Faith: Religion and Doctor Who in Manchester UK on November 2nd

A Conference on Time, Space, and Faith: Religion and Doctor Who in Manchester UK on November 2nd | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

Doctor Who is a cultural phenomenon in both the UK and the United States, continuing to go from strength-to-strength as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in November 2013. Over the show’s long history on television—and in various spin-off TV shows, audio adventures, novels and comic books—religion and religious themes have consistently been a subject of interest. From early depictions of Buddhism and pagan religion to recent years when the show has attracted everything from Church of England conferences dedicated to its use in preaching to guest appearances by Richard Dawkins, religion has always had some role within the universes of Doctor Who.

 

Proposals for 20 minute papers are therefore invited for a day conference on this theme to be held at the historic John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester on November 2nd 2013...


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Orion Passes Static Loads Tests

Orion Passes Static Loads Tests | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
NASA's Orion Spacecraft Proves Sound Under Pressure, NASA
"After a month of being poked, prodded and pressurized in ways that mimicked the stresses of spaceflight, NASA's Orion crew module successfully passed its static loads tests on Wednesday.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, June 6, 2013 3:55 PM

NASA's Orion spacecraft passes its static load tests. This is an important milestone in making it ready for flight.

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Watch SpaceX's Record-Breaking Rocket Launch

Watch SpaceX's Record-Breaking Rocket Launch | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
SpaceX's Grasshopper rocket soared more than 800 feet into the air, held steady against winds and finally landed safely.

Via Vincent Lieser
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Planetary Resources – The Asteroid Mining Company – Bechtel Partners with Planetary Resources for Space Initiative

Planetary Resources – The Asteroid Mining Company  – Bechtel Partners with Planetary Resources for Space Initiative | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it
Joins other visionaries for next chapter in resource development Bellevue, Wash. – April 16, 2013 – Planetary Resources, Inc.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, April 16, 2013 4:54 PM

Adding Bechtel to the group of investors backing Planetary Resources adds massively to the credibility of the venture.

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To the moon? Bigelow Aerospace and NASA look at private exploration

To the moon? Bigelow Aerospace and NASA look at private exploration | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

Bigelow Aerospace and NASA say they've agreed to look at ways for private ventures to contribute to human exploration missions, perhaps including construction of a moon base. But the space agency emphasized that it's keeping its own focus squarely on corraling an asteroid and then going to Mars.

 

The moon, however, ranks high among the targets that Bigelow Aerospace has in mind. The Nevada-based company has been working on moonbase concepts for years. During a recent interview on the "Coast to Coast AM" radio show, billionaire founder Robert Bigelow said the potential objectives for private-sector space efforts include a lunar base as well as space stations or refueling depots placed at gravitational balance points in the Earth-moon system.

 

"We're making no bones about it, that's what we're out to try to accomplish," Bigelow said.

 

 


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Elon Musk: Our future in space depends on reusable rockets

Elon Musk: Our future in space depends on reusable rockets | Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher | Scoop.it

Austin, Texas (CNN) -- The future of space travel will depend on our ability to make rockets that can be used more than once, says SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. And on Saturday, he gave a crowd at the South by Southwest Interactive festival the world's first look at a step in that direction.

 

Musk, whose SpaceX Dragon is currently docked on the International Space Station, showed a packed exhibit hall a two-day-old video of Grasshopper, an experimental rocket. If fully realized, the rocket would propel spacecraft out of the earth's atmosphere, then flip around, sprout landing gear and return intact to the launch pad.

 

In the video, a 10-story-high Grasshopper rocket did just that -- except for the leaving-the-atmosphere part. It blasted off, hovered, and then set itself down at virtually the same spot where it began. The video, with its Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire" soundtrack, drew cheers from the crowd.

 

 


Via Stratocumulus
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Elon Musk describes SpaceX's recent jaw-dropping save of Dragon spacecraft.

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Solve for X: Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson on space exploration

Problem: If humanity is to move off Earth and become an interplanetary species, it will need an economic reason to do so.

Solution: Near-earth asteroids contain (literally) trillions of dollars worth of resources and materials that could be harvested and brought back to Earth. A number of them are also energetically easier to get to than the surface of the Moon. That tremendous bounty creates a huge incentive for the private sector to create the requisite detection, propulsion and harvesting technology to capture these precious metals and minerals.

Technology: Planetary resources led by Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson is developing the technology and spacecraft to detect, harvest, capture and bring back these resources from Near-Earth asteroids.


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