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Falcon launches, but Dragon having some problems | NewSpace Journal

This time it’s the spacecraft that’s causing some problems for SpaceX. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on time at 10:10 am EST (1510 GMT) after a trouble-free countdown and placed the Dragon into orbit nine minutes later, all according to plan. However, SpaceX reported a problem with the Dragon immediately after separation, offering no additional details. SpaceX CEO and CTO Elon Musk tweeted the most details offered to date about the issue, which may be software related.

Stratocumulus's insight:

From Twitter:

 

1 March 2013, 11:43am EST: RT @elonmusk: Thruster pod 3 tank pressure trending positive. Preparing to deploy solar arrays.

 

1 March 2013, 11:52am EST: RT @elonmusk: Solar array deployment successful

 

(Yay!!!)

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The NewSpace Daily
NewSpace: A New Era In Space Exploration. As one era ends a new one begins: a new golden era in spaceflight. Join us for all the latest headlines in this bold new adventure.
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Press conference on SpaceShipTwo deadly crash | YouTube

One person is dead, one is severely injured after SpaceShipTwo crashed during a test flight in the Mojave Desert.

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Satellite internet is a space business widow-maker—so why does Elon Musk want in?

Satellite internet is a space business widow-maker—so why does Elon Musk want in? | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Like space itself, the satellite-communications business can be a rather inhospitable environment.

Mobile networks Iridium and GlobalStar, the firms with the largest commercial satellite constellations, both spent time in bankruptcy proceedings before re-emerging as going concerns. Teledesic, a satellite-internet company backed by Microsoft, halted work in 2002, while SkyBridge, an Alcatel satellite internet project, went bankrupt in 2000.

So why is Elon Musk so eager to see his SpaceX commercial space transport company take a crack at a business that has been so troublesome?

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XCOR Aerospace Announces Latest Milestone in ULA Program

XCOR Aerospace Announces Latest Milestone in ULA Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Mojave, CA, November 20, 2014 – XCOR Aerospace today announced it has completed the latest test series for the liquid hydrogen engine it is developing for United Launch Alliance (ULA). This is an important milestone in the long-running LH2 (liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen) program. It is also a step toward running the engine in a fully closed cycle mode. In its most recent milestone, XCOR successfully performed hot fire testing of the XR-5H25 engine’s regeneratively cooled thrust chamber, with both liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants supplied in pump-fed mode, using XCOR's proprietary piston pump technology.

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ATK Exec Hints at Antares Engine Selection in Endorsing Orbital’s Failure Recovery Plan | SpaceNews.com

ATK Exec Hints at Antares Engine Selection in Endorsing Orbital’s Failure Recovery Plan | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — Alliant Techsystems (ATK) Chief Executive Mark W. DeYoung on Nov. 19 said there are no near-term liquid-propulsion alternatives to Russian engines for U.S. rockets.

In a conference call with investors to explain why ATK still believes in its planned merger with Orbital Sciences Corp. despite the Oct. 28 failure of Orbital’s Antares rocket, DeYoung said his company continues to hunt for rockets to use ATK’s solid-propulsion systems. But for liquid propulsion, he said, Russia is unavoidable for now.

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Back-To-Back Failures Were A Coincidence, Not An Indictment | Aviation Week

Back-To-Back Failures Were A Coincidence, Not An Indictment | Aviation Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The inevitable has happened in the U.S. attempt to move the economy off the planet. That it happened twice in less than a week is driving a needed element of reality into the endeavor. With hope, the marketing sunshine that accompanied the Obama administration’s decision to expand space-commercialization programs that were started under President George W. Bush will give way to wider public understanding and acceptance of the risks of spaceflight.

Fortunately, the professionals in the industry understood it all too well before the inflight failures of Antares and SpaceShipTwo (SS2).

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UK team announces plan to crowd-source moon mission | Spaceflight Now

UK team announces plan to crowd-source moon mission | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Scientists hope private backers will kick-start a mission to land a robotic probe on the South Pole of the moon within the next 10 years, drill deep into lunar bedrock and analyze primordial core samples to study the origins of the solar system, officials announced Wednesday.

A team of British researchers and industry unveiled plans for the mission Wednesday, asking the public to contribute money through the online crowd-sourcing platform Kickstarter to move the project into the next phase.

The objective of the Lunar Mission One project is to build and launch a spacecraft to land on the moon by 2024.

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Doves Hitch Ride with SpaceX

Doves Hitch Ride with SpaceX | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

On October 28, Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket failed on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). This was a difficult event and our condolences went out to all those affected. That said, since the failure, the response by those affected has been nothing short of amazing: Orbital Sciences stated that they will fulfill their NASA contract obligations by the end of 2015; Planetary Resources intends to be flying in space in September; and in just 9 days, Planet Labs built and delivered two spacecraft to Houston, and has received a preliminary go-ahead from NASA to manifest the satellites on SpaceX-5.

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Editorial: Responding to SpaceShipTwo Tragedy | SpaceNews.com

Editorial: Responding to SpaceShipTwo Tragedy | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Oftentimes it takes a serious incident to bring related underlying issues into stark relief, and this looks to be the case with the Oct. 31 fatal mishap involving Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane.

This has nothing to do with the cause of the accident, which is the subject of a U.S. National Transportation Safety Board-led investigation that could take the better part of a year. This concerns the response, in particular by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, or AST, which regulates the U.S. commercial launch and spaceflight industries.

Coupled with the Oct. 28 failure of Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Antares rocket on a commercial resupply flight to the international space station, the SpaceShipTwo accident has exposed funding issues at AST. Although the office is not leading either failure investigation — Orbital is leading the Antares probe — its supporting role in both is stretching its resources thin.

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Google Lunar XPRIZE Team Hangout 010: Disruptive Innovation From Brazil | YouTube

main link: https://plus.google.com/events/cppufr4p54oqg5fiobvq2emnr0g
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Orbital’s Three Poker Games | SpaceNews.com

"Orbital Sciences Chief Executive David W. Thompson is not a guy I would ever want to play poker with. Discussing the company’s “go-forward” Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) cargo contract for the international space station and its Antares plans with Wall Street analysts Nov. 5 — less than a week after the smoke had cleared over Wallops Island, Virginia, from the rocket’s Oct. 28 launch failure — Thompson was confident the company would be able cover its commitment to NASA with minimal cost out of its own pocket. Clearly, Orbital continues to hold cards close to its vest as it juggles not one, not two, but three different hands. And I’m not quite sure where it may be bluffing."

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Lunar Mission One Aims to Send Crowdfunded Probe to Drill on Moon | NBC News

Lunar Mission One Aims to Send Crowdfunded Probe to Drill on Moon | NBC News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Move over, Mars: A British-led venture called Lunar Mission One has begun a crowdfunding effort to send a robotic lander to the moon with a monster drill.

The first step of the plan is to raise $950,000 (£600,000) through a Kickstarter campaign. That money would finance Lunar Mission One's planning and management activities during the initial phase of what backers expect will be 10 years of preparation. The plan calls for additional sales, marketing, planning and development efforts to build up toward launch in 2024.

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Virgin Galactic, a Brief History

Virgin Galactic, a Brief History | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


On October 31, 2014, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo broke up during a test flight, killing the co-pilot and injuring the pilot. The tragedy signals a setback for Branson’s persisting dream of human spaceflight. This article tracks back the company’s story, from its foundation to date.

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NASA Extends Commercial Crew Agreement with Blue Origin | SpaceNews.com

NASA Extends Commercial Crew Agreement with Blue Origin | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — NASA announced Nov. 14 that it has extended its unfunded agreement with Blue Origin to support to that company’s effort to develop a commercial crew spacecraft, even though the company is not competing for a NASA contract to provide transportation to the international space station.

NASA and Blue Origin signed an extension Oct. 31 of their existing Space Act Agreement, originally part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) award made in April 2011. This extension, like previous ones dating back to February 2013, is an unfunded one where NASA provides technical guidance but no money to Blue Origin.

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FAITH, Hope and Tragedy: Engineers Cope With SpaceShipTwo Loss | NBC News

FAITH, Hope and Tragedy: Engineers Cope With SpaceShipTwo Loss | NBC News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


"It feels like you physically lost a baby," structural engineer Samira Virani told NBC News at Virgin Galactic's Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar, or FAITH. "You think about it like that. It used to be physically behind me in the hangar, and now it's no more."

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Top 5 Companies To Watch | SpaceNews.com

Top 5 Companies To Watch | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


This year’s Top 5 Companies to Watch group has a heavy focus on firms facing challenges that could come to a head in the next year or two.

Orbital Sciences Corp. and Virgin Galactic recently experienced flight hardware failures, which in Orbital’s case will force key decisions in the coming months affecting its Antares rocket and space station logistics business. Virgin Galactic has promised to forge ahead following the fatal crash of its SpaceShipTwo vehicle, but the duration and outcome of the U.S. government-led failure investigation are bound to affect the company’s plans.

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NM lawmakers press spaceport boss

NM lawmakers press spaceport boss | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Lawmakers demanded more details Thursday about how the New Mexico Spaceport Authority plans to succeed now that the nearly quarter-billion-dollar Spaceport America stands empty and commercial fights by anchor tenant Virgin Galactic have been delayed indefinitely.

Members of a legislative finance oversight committee grilled spaceport Executive Director Christine Anderson after she handed them a presentation filled mostly with photographs.

Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, of Gallup, the committee’s vice-chairwoman, questioned the business plan and said the point of the meeting was to go over hard numbers and cover how the state should move forward.

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ATK Body Language Hints at Russian engine for Antares | Aviation Week


With ATK and Orbital Sciences Corp. set to merger early next year, the solid-propulsion giant is understanably sensitive to the shareholder concern over the Oct. 28 failure or Orbital's Antares rocket, a catastrophe likely caused by the AJ26 engines that power its first stage.

ATK told investors Nov. 17 it still endorses the merger, though both companies have postponed a Dec. 9 shareholder meeting set to vote on the proposal until Jan. 27. The deal is now set to close in February, and ATK says it has throughly reviewed Orbital's Nov. 5 recovery plan, including an accelerated effort to replace the AJ26 – a liquid engine based on Russia's NK-33 and modified by Aerojet Rocketdyne for Antares.

Even before the launch failure Orbital said it had selected a new engine, though the company has yet to publicly disclose the supplier. Among propulsion options considered were the restart of NK-33 production in Russia, a solid-motor solution proposed by ATK, and a variant of the Russian RD-180 that powers the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5.

But during a Nov. 19 investor update, ATK CFO Neal Cohen said something odd about Orbital's recovery strategy, including the new engine choice, citing “political risks” as one of the criteria used in ATK's recent assessment of Orbital's plan.

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Return to the Moon: Lunar Mission One will crowd-source its way to space | Sen.com

Return to the Moon: Lunar Mission One will crowd-source its way to space | Sen.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sen—An ambitious new venture to explore the South Pole of the Moon was unveiled on 19 November 2014. Lunar Mission One, backed by space professionals, industry and educators, hopes to crowd-source enough funding for the initial development of an exploratory robotic mission to the Moon, to launch in 2024.

“Up until now we have not explored the lunar polar regions” says Professor Ian Crawford of Birkbeck College, University of London, who is one of those endorsing the project. “All previous lunar missions have literally just scratched the surface.”

Lunar Mission One aims to use innovative new technology to drill to at least 20 metres below the Moon’s surface—and perhaps as deep as 100 metres. This will allow the analysis of lunar rock that dates back around 4.5 billion years. “By drilling we will unlock billions of years of geological history related to the origin and evolution of the Earth-Moon system” says Crawford.

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British Company Announces Crowdfunded Lunar Mission | SpaceNews.com

British Company Announces Crowdfunded Lunar Mission | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — Hoping to leverage what they believe to be increased public enthusiasm for science and space exploration, a British company announced plans Nov. 19 to raise nearly $1 million through crowdfunding to start work on a private lunar lander mission that will ultimately cost about $1 billion.

Lunar Missions Ltd. is seeking to raise 600,000 British pounds ($940,000) over the next month via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to support studies of Lunar Mission One, a lunar lander mission planned for 2024 with both science and public outreach goals. The campaign raised more than 75,000 British pounds in its first 12 hours.

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Meet Andy: Lunar Rover Unveiling and Tech Fair Slated for Monday

Meet Andy: Lunar Rover Unveiling and Tech Fair Slated for Monday | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Carnegie Mellon University will unveil its latest robot and present lunar exploration technologies at a technology fair, “Meet Andy: Technology for the New Moon,” from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 24, in the Planetary Robotics Laboratory, located on the first floor of the Gates and Hillman centers.

The robot is Carnegie Mellon’s contribution to an effort led by Pittsburgh’s Astrobotic Technology to land a robot on the Moon and win the $20 million-plus Google Lunar XPrize. The three-foot-long rover is designed to scramble up steep slopes and survive the temperature swings and high radiation encountered while exploring the Moon’s pits, caves and polar ice.

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ATK Continues To Support Merger with Orbital Sciences


In an investors call this afternoon, ATK confirmed that its Board of Directors continues to support its merger with Orbital Sciences Corporation despite the October 28 Antares launch failure. The shareholder vote has been postponed to January 27, 2015, but the ATK Board recommends that the merger go forward.

ATK has concluded that risks associated with Orbital's recovery plan are "manageable," and successful execution is "likely."

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Profile: Chad Anderson, Managing Director, Space Angels Network | SpaceNews.com

Profile: Chad Anderson, Managing Director, Space Angels Network | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


When Chad Anderson initially enrolled in Oxford University to obtain a master’s degree in business administration, his focus was social entrepreneurship.

“I was looking to apply my business skills to do something big, to change the world,” Anderson said. Gradually, he became convinced he could achieve that impact by supporting the entrepreneurial space industry.

During the next few years, commercial suborbital flights planned by Virgin Galactic, XCOR Aerospace and World View Enterprises are expected to give an unprecedented number of people a unique view of Earth. After seeing their home planet from space, astronauts often report a sense of wonder and a desire to safeguard the planet. When this reaction, called “the overview effect,” is applied on a mass scale, it will have “a profound and enlightening impact on mankind,” Anderson said.

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Gwynne Shotwell and Franklin Leonard talk creativity

Gwynne Shotwell and Franklin Leonard talk creativity | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

To celebrate Marketplace’s 25th anniversary, we hit the road with a series of live events across the country. The final stop on the “How I Learned…” tour brought us back to Los Angeles, where we talked about creativity in business with Gwynne Shotwell, the President and COO of SpaceX, and Franklin Leonard, founder and CEO of The Black List.

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Smart Robots Could Build ‘Snow Forts’ On The Moon One Day

Smart Robots Could Build ‘Snow Forts’ On The Moon One Day | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Moon is so close to us, and yet so far. Just last year the Chang’e-3 spacecraft and Yutu rover made the first soft landing on the surface in more than a generation. Humans haven’t walked in the regolith since 1972. But that hasn’t decreased the desire of some to bring people back there — with an armful of new technologies to make life easier.

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The ISS gets its Zero-G 3D printer | CNET

The ISS gets its Zero-G 3D printer | CNET | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Astronauts aboard the ISS will soon be experimenting with additive manufacturing in microgravity, with the installation of the very first 3D printer in space.


Commander Barry Wilmore unpacked and installed the printer, built by Made in Space and about the size of a small microwave oven, in the Microgravity Science Glovebox on board the space station's Destiny module, over the course of Monday, November 17.


This is the next step towards self-sufficiency for the ISS: a 3D printer capable of operating in microgravity would be able to help the astronauts manufacture their own components and tools, right there on the station.

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ATK, Orbital Sciences Postpone Merger Vote to Late January | SpaceNews.com

ATK, Orbital Sciences Postpone Merger Vote to Late January | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — ATK on Nov. 17 said its special due-diligence assessment of Orbital Sciences following the Oct. 28 failure of Orbital’s Antares rocket has concluded that the merger of ATK’s Aerospace and Defense group with Orbital remained a good idea.

Orbital and ATK jointly announced that they are nonetheless giving their shareholders additional time to evaluate the merger, and that the planned Dec. 9 votes by both companies had been rescheduled for Jan. 27.

The merger involves ATK’s spinning off of its Sporting Goods division into a new company, called Vista Outdoor. ATK’s Aerospace and Defense group would then merge with Orbital, with the combined company becoming a wholly owned ATK subsidiary.

The two companies said the transaction is expected to close in February.

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