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Researcher: Commercial spaceflight could be $1.6 billion industry

Researcher: Commercial spaceflight could be $1.6 billion industry | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON--Commercial spaceflight is not only possible, it could become a $1.6 billion industry in the next decade, a researcher told Congress on Wednesday.Carissa Bryce Christensen of the Tauri Group said 925 reservations for suborbital trips already have been purchased. Some customers have paid the full $200,000 cost in advance, while others have put down a $20,000 deposit.

 

The Tauri Group and the Federal Aviation Administration released a joint study that found demand at these prices to be “genuine, sustained, and ... sufficient to support multiple providers.”

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Orbcomm OG2 - Falcon 9 Satellite Launch | YouTube

Webcast of the successful SpaceX Falcon 9v1.1 launch of the ORBCOMM OG2 Mission 1 on Monday, June 14, 2014.



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Donald Schwartz's curator insight, July 17, 9:04 AM

Great into space video, not animation.

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Sierra Nevada Enlists Japan for Dream Chaser Study | SpaceNews.com

Sierra Nevada Enlists Japan for Dream Chaser Study | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Space Systems added the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to the expanding stable of international space agencies exploring mission concepts for the Louisville, Colorado-based company’s Dream Chaser lifting-body spacecraft, SNC announced July 23. 


SNC is developing Dream Chaser, which the company describes as “the only multi-mission space utility vehicle in the world,” under a funded cooperative agreement with NASA as a possible means of transporting astronauts to and from the international space station. The vehicle is designed to launch atop an expendable rocket and, after re-entry, glide back to Earth for a runway landing.

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Masten Space Systems selected by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for XS-1 Program

Masten Space Systems selected by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for XS-1 Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Mojave, CA (July 23, 2014) — Masten Space Systems, Inc. (Masten) announced today that the company has been awarded a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of Phase 1 of the Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program to develop a reusable launch vehicle.


Over the last decade, Masten has built three highly operable, vertical takeoff/vertical landing, reusable rockets which are flown by small teams of five to seven people. Masten’s experience with vertical takeoff/vertical landing rockets has shown that the company’s flight vehicles can offer greater flexibility than reusable launch vehicles that require runways to land. Masten has logged well over 300 flights to date with its Xoie, Xombie and Xaero reusable rockets.


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Orbcomm pleased with SpaceX rocket performance | Spaceflight Now

Orbcomm pleased with SpaceX rocket performance | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The six Orbcomm communications satellites launched last week are in good shape after an ultra-precise orbital delivery by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, according to Orbcomm's chief executive.


Marc Eisenberg, head of New Jersey-based Orbcomm Inc., said the Falcon 9 rocket placed its six payloads in an orbit just a half-kilometer off prelaunch predictions, ending up in an orbit with a high point of 740.5 kilometers (460 miles), a low point of 619.5 kilometers (385 miles) and an inclination five one-thousandths of a degree off the rocket's target of 47 degrees.


The satellites will not need to use extra propellant loaded into their fuel tanks to correct a potential orbit injection error, Eisenberg said.

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Opinion: Only Collective Action Can Save Near-Earth Space | Aviation Week

For the first several decades of human space activity, the economically and militarily valuable region of near-Earth orbit seemed like an infinite resource. But in the 21st century, the rapid increase in countries, companies and even private individuals active in space has made us realize how finite this region actually is, raising risks of collisions and conflict. In short, the space community today faces a “collective action” problem—too many people using a shared resource without adequate and enforceable rules. Will safe access to near-Earth space be put into jeopardy?


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NASA Partners Punctuate Summer with Spacecraft Development Advances

NASA Partners Punctuate Summer with Spacecraft Development Advances | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA's aerospace industry partners for the agency's Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their Space Act Agreements with the agency.


NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move ahead with plans to develop the first American spacecraft designed to carry people into space since the space shuttle.


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Falcon 9 First Stage Return - ORBCOMM Mission | YouTube

Video of the Falcon 9 first stage reentry and landing following successful delivery of six ORBCOMM satellites to orbit. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.

After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.


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The dog days of summer launch debates | The Space Review

The dog days of summer launch debates | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two of the key issues surrounding access to space in the US this year have been reliance on the Russian-built RD-180 engine and a dispute between the Air Force and SpaceX. Jeff Foust reports that, despite a number of hearings and other events, there’s no clear resolution to either issue on the horizon.

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Review: No Requiem for the Space Age | The Space Review

Review: No Requiem for the Space Age | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Forty-five years after Apollo 11, people still contemplate why that historic mission didn’t open a new era of space exploration. Jeff Foust reviews a book that argues that Apollo, and human space exploration, were victims of a change in cultures in America at the time of the Moon landing.

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Today’s space race: Google Lunar X Prize

Today’s space race: Google Lunar X Prize | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Msnbc’s Craig Melvin dives into today’s space competition organized by the X Prize foundation and sponsored by Google. Joined by Astrobotic CEO John Thornton, the pair discusses a $30 million dollar prize awarded to the team that lands a robot safely on the moon, moves 500 meters on, above, or below the Moon’s surface and sends back HDTV Mooncasts for everyone to enjoy.


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Russ Roberts's curator insight, July 20, 8:40 PM

The commercialization of the moon is definitely on its way.  One of these days, someone will put a repeater on the moon....talk about a huge satellite.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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NASA’s new rocket drives ambition, fuels doubt

NASA’s new rocket drives ambition, fuels doubt | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Houston Chronicle Science Writer Eric Berger takes an inside look at NASA new super booster, the SLS, which may be too expensive to actually fly.


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Bezos Investment in Blue Origin Exceeds $500 Million | SpaceNews.com

Bezos Investment in Blue Origin Exceeds $500 Million | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has invested at least half a billion dollars of his own money into Blue Origin, his spaceflight venture, a company official said July 17.


“We’re very fortunate to have a founder who has a vision and the funding and resources to match it,” Brett Alexander, director of business development and strategy at Blue Origin, said during a panel session of the Future Space 2014 conference in Washington. Bezos, best known as the founder and chief executive of Amazon.com, established Blue Origin in 2000.

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NASA Considers Mars Mission With Help Of Tesla’s Elon Musk, While Celebrating 45 Years Since Apollo 11 Moon Landing | CBS San Francisco

NASA Considers Mars Mission With Help Of Tesla’s Elon Musk, While Celebrating 45 Years Since Apollo 11 Moon Landing | CBS San Francisco | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


45 years ago, America landed a man on the moon, and years from now, NASA and Tesla founder Elon Musk hope to have already landed a man on Mars, using Musk's SpaceX rocket in a public-private partnership that turns the Apollo program model on its head.


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The Future of Moon Exploration, Lunar Colonies and Humanity

The Future of Moon Exploration, Lunar Colonies and Humanity | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A rocket carrying more than a dozen privately built probes touches down on the moon. The robots burst from the vehicle in a race to beam back high-definition video and other data while roving the surface of Earth's nearest natural satellite. The people of Earth watch a broadcast of the race as the rovers roam (or stall) in the lunar dust.


The motives that drove teams to send these robotic emissaries to the moon might be different — ranging from inspiring a country to starting a sustainable, commercial endeavor — but they have all flown the more than 200,000 miles (321,000 kilometers) to the moon, riding on a wave of commercial hopes that rest on the lunar surface.


Could this be what the start of a lunar revolution looks like 45 years after the Apollo 11 moon landing? For some of the people involved with a private race to the moon, that hypothetical scenario could become reality in a little more than a year.


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Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces Cooperative Understanding with Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency for th Dream Chaser® Space System

Sparks, Nev., July 23, 2014Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced today the expansion of its Dream Chaser® Space System’s global partnership to include Asia and the Pacific Rim through a recently signed memorandum of cooperative understanding with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). SNC will work with JAXA on potential applications of Japanese technologies and the development of mission concepts for the Dream Chaser spacecraft. Additionally, SNC and JAXA will explore the possibility of launching and landing the Dream Chaser spacecraft in Japan. This international collaboration will widen the breadth of the global capabilities offered by SNC’s Dream Chaser reusable, lifting-body spacecraft.

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GAO Warns NASA $400 Million Short to Finish SLS by 2017

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) praised NASA's technical progress in building the Space Launch System (SLS) in a report released today, but warned that the agency does not have enough funding to complete the rocket in time for its promised first flight in 2017.


GAO pointed out that most NASA programs are required to have a funding and schedule profile that affords at least a 70 percent chance of success -- a "joint confidence level" or JCL -- and SLS does not have that.  The program may be $400 million short of what it needs in order to be ready for the first test launch in 2017 at a 70 percent confidence level, GAO concluded using analysis by the SLS program itself.


Stratocumulus's insight:


On schedule maybe, but definitely over budget.

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Video shows Falcon 9's rocket-assisted splashdown | Spaceflight Now

Video shows Falcon 9's rocket-assisted splashdown | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX released a video clip Tuesday showing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket descending back to Earth for a controlled, low-speed splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral following launch last week.


The company says the rocket-assisted touchdown is the second consecutive time it has achieved a soft landing of the 12-foot-diameter first stage after a launch, putting SpaceX closer to returning a first stage to a landing pad near Cape Canaveral.

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Dream Chaser flies through major CCiCAP challenge | NASASpaceFlight.com

Dream Chaser flies through major CCiCAP challenge | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) are one step closer from allowing a human crew to fly inside the Dream Chaser spacecraft, as the vehicle passed yet another Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) milestone. While Milestone 9 has the rather mundane title of Risk Reduction and Technology Readiness Level (TRL), it provided the baby orbiter with a major review of her key systems.


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SpaceX Critics in the House Keep the Pressure on | SpaceNews.com

SpaceX Critics in the House Keep the Pressure on | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s bid for access to the U.S. Defense Department launch market has many champions on Capitol Hill, but the chairman of the House Armed Services strategic force subcommittee, which oversees military space activities, remains firmly in the skeptics’ camp.


Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.), whose home state hosts a major production facility of SpaceX archrival United Launch Alliance, said Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX “has a ways to go” before it can be entrusted with billion-dollar national security satellites.

Stratocumulus's insight:


"In her May 20 letter to Rogers, James says one of the most significant anomalies on a SpaceX certification flight occurred on the maiden launch of the Falcon 9 v1.1 variant Sept. 29. The mission successfully placed a Canadian satellite into low Earth orbit, but a postdeployment reignition of the rocket’s upper stage — intended as a demonstration of the Falcon 9’s ability to deploy geostationary-orbiting spacecraft — did not take place as planned."


If that's the best that Rogers has then he has absolutely nothing. A slight upgrade in insulation on the Falcon 9v1.1's upper stage engine fixed this problem entirely. It performed flawlessly on its first mission to place the SES-8 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit on December 3, 2013, and then flawlessly again one month later when it placed the Thaicom 6 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit on January 6th of this year. It has performed flawlessly ever since. As usual, Congress wasting taxpayers' money with partisan, parochial, dishonest dog and pony shows.

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Ron Morris's comment, Today, 12:42 AM
Mike D. Rogers has stupid fake hair
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#Apollo45 - TMRO 7.21 | YouTube

Our main topic today is Apollo 45 years later and why we don't want a repeat of the past. Our next humans on the Moon or Mars should be there to stay, not just flags and footprints!

In Space News we have:


Orbital Sciences Antares Cygnes Launch, SpaceX Falcon 9 Orbcomm launch, Russia launches a Foton satellite via Soyuz, ESA Rosetta Update, UAE going to Mars in 2021, ISRO going to Mars again, UKs first Space Port and a Bonsai tree in space?


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New Fort Knox: A means to a solar-system-wide economy | The Space Review

New Fort Knox: A means to a solar-system-wide economy | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

While space advocates are never short of bold visions for future space development projects, funding them has long been a major challenge. Richard Godwin offers one approach to bootstrap long-term use of space resources though smaller initial steps and a key financial measure.

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45 years after Tranquility: One small step to a bright future | NASASpaceFlight.com

45 years after Tranquility: One small step to a bright future | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Forty-five years ago tonight, people across the world held their breaths as a hair-raising, heart-pounded descent occurred a quarter of a million miles away from Earth. At the Sea of Tranquility, on 20 July 1969, two humans succeeded in what many had considered impossible: landing and walking on the surface of another world.



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Russ Roberts's curator insight, July 20, 8:37 PM

I remember that night 45-years ago. I was stationed at Mather Air Force Base near Sacramento, California and watched this over a television set in my squadron's briefing room.  I wished I could have been there, but as a "desk commando" (admin type), I was in no way qualified to be part of that historic mission.  I was so glad when the landing and departure were a success.  We were back in the space game again!  Those were the days.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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While NASA fixates on Mars, space rivals shoot for the moon

While NASA fixates on Mars, space rivals shoot for the moon | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

“I just have to say pretty bluntly here, we’ve been there before,” the President said, raising his right hand for emphasis. “Buzz has been there before.”


With this single line from his 2010 speech Obama reinforced the modern zeitgeist of the moon as a dead end on humanity’s path to the stars.


Yet much of the spaceflight community, many planetary scientists and all other space-faring nations do not share that view. The President, they say, had it all wrong. The moon, rather, offers an essential base camp for human exploration deeper into the solar system. From an outpost there explorers could fuel rockets, take on supplies and venture deeper into the solar system.


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Scott Baker's curator insight, July 20, 6:36 AM

Obama would be more believable if we still had the capability of reaching the Moon, but were just choosing to go to Mars.  Unfortunately, we can do neither, and can't even send people into orbit presently.  Pathetic excuse and rationalization, that's all this is, and everyone sees through it.

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Will Pomerantz: How the Second Space Age Promises to Open up a New World of Exciting Opportunities | YouTube


Will Pomerantz, Virgin Galactic's VP of Special Projects, explains how the second space age promises to open up a new world of exciting opportunities.


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Opinion: Spaceport support? | The Engineer

Opinion: Spaceport support? | The Engineer | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

This week’s announcement of eight shortlisted sites for a potential UK spaceport caused much excitement. And it’s easy to see why.


The image of Britain as a hub for reusable spaceplanes embarking on science, travel and tourism missions is certainly an exciting one from an economic, scientific and plain patriotic point of view.


But there was also some confusion over whether it was actually feasible to launch vehicles into space from the UK. And while the government was enthusiastically championing the idea, the companies actually developing spaceplanes didn’t appear to show the same level of support. So is a UK spaceport likely or even possible?


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Column: Apollo program a flameout at 45 | USA Today

Column: Apollo program a flameout at 45 | USA Today | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Forty-five years ago this coming Sunday, in a stunning, unimaginable historical achievement, men from earth first walked on its moon. But for over four decades now, no one has gone further than a couple hundred miles or so, a thousand times less distant, from our home planet.


Why did we spend so much to go to another world, and then almost completely abandon the effort?


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