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CASTOR 30XL prepares for static fire ahead of providing Antares boost | NASASpaceFlight.com

CASTOR 30XL prepares for static fire ahead of providing Antares boost | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

ATK’s CASTOR 30XL Upper Stage motor is deep into preparations for a static fire test, set to take place this spring at the Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee. The large Upper Stage was designed and built by ATK within a two year period, with six production units on order to boost the power of Orbital’s Antares launch vehicle.

 

Orbital’s Antares launch vehicle is preparing for its debut flight, likely to take place next month.

 

The push towards launch follows the successful hot fire test of an Antares first stage with its AJ-26 main engines at the Wallops launch site.

This opening flight of the vehicle, formerly known as Taurus II, will be tasked with lofting a Cygnus mass simulator payload, heavily instrumented to gather data on the launch environment aboard the vehicle.

 

Orbital will then move on to their final requirement under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract – a full demo mission.

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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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Please click here to support The NewSpace Daily

Please click here to support The NewSpace Daily | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

This April marks the 3 year anniversary of The NewSpace Daily. I started this website back in April 2011 to chronicle the daily headlines of one of the most exciting adventures of the 21st Century: a new era of space exploration that will one day be open to all of us thanks to the enterprising efforts of visionary entrepreneurs, innovative new technologies and bold new ways of doing business. It has been a labor of love...

 

 

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Land Rover and Virgin Galactic Partnership: The Designers | Land Rover USA | YouTube

Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, and Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's Design Director, elaborate on the importance of interior design and function.

Join the conversation at www.Facebook.com/LandRoverUSA or on Twitter and Instagram @LandRoverUSA with #ReadyToDiscover


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Land Rover and Virgin Galactic Partnership | Land Rover USA | YouTube

Two of the greatest adventures on, and off, the planet. See how the Land Rover and Virgin Galactic partnership was born.

Join the conversation at www.Facebook.com/LandRoverUSA or on Twitter and Instagram @LandRoverUSA with #ReadyToDiscover



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An Overview of Blue Origin’s Commercial Crew Milestones | Parabolic Arc

An Overview of Blue Origin’s Commercial Crew Milestones | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

As one of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program partners, Blue Origin doesn’t get as much attention as Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX. That’s partly by design; the secretive company tries to fly under the radar as much as possible.

The other reason is that while Blue Origin received $25.38 million in funding for its orbital vehicle during the first two phases of Commercial Crew, it was not selected for the third round. The company has been working with NASA on an unfunded Space Act Agreement under which the space agency is providing support but not any funding.

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Up and down and up again

Up and down and up again | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

EVERYTHING about space flight is superlative. Even relatively modest rockets are hundreds of feet high. The biggest (the Saturn V, which launched astronauts to the Moon) remains the most powerful vehicle ever built. But space flight is superlatively expensive, too. One reason is that, for all their technological sophistication, rockets are one-shot wonders. After they have fired their engines for a few minutes they are left to fall back to Earth, usually splashing ignominiously into the ocean.


Rocket scientists have therefore long dreamed of making something able to fly more than once. Such a reusable machine, they hope, would slash the cost of getting into space. The only one built so far, America’s space shuttle, proved a dangerous and costly disappointment, killing two of its crews and never coming close to the cost savings its designers had intended. But hope springs eternal, and several of America’s privately run “New Space” firms are planning to try again.


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SpaceX, NASA realign launch and EVA scenarios | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX, NASA realign launch and EVA scenarios | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX managers have confirmed a second attempt to launch their Falcon 9 v1.1 with the CRS-3 Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) will take place on Friday, with Saturday as a back-up opportunity. Meanwhile, Station managers have created an EVA schedule to work around when Dragon finally sets sail. Currently, EVA-26 – which will replace a failed Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM) – will now likely take place on April 23.


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SpaceX CRS-3 Cleared for Friday Launch, Spacewalk on Wednesday

SpaceX will try again to launch its third operational cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday.  The launch window opens at 3:25 pm ET, but the weather forecast is poor.  Meanwhile, the ISS spacewalk needed to fix a broken computer on the exterior of the space station is now planned for Wednesday, April 23.


The SpaceX CRS-3 launch was scrubbed on Monday because a helium valve in the stage separation pneumatic system in the Falcon 9 first stage was not holding the correct pressure, the company said in a statement today.  It added that the launch could have gone ahead and relied on a backup check valve, but "SpaceX policy is not to launch with any known anomalies."


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SpaceX Signs 20-Year Lease for Historic Launch Pad 39A | NBC News

SpaceX Signs 20-Year Lease for Historic Launch Pad 39A | NBC News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Marking the end of a billionaire tug of war, the SpaceX commercial rocket venture signed a 20-year agreement on Monday to take over NASA's historic Launch Pad 39A, the point of origin for Apollo moon missions as well as the first and last space shuttle flights.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, said her company could start launching its Falcon Heavy rocket from 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center as early as next year. NASA astronauts could be launched from there as well in the 2017-2018 time frame, if SpaceX is selected as a contractor.


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SpaceX's mega-rocket to debut next year at pad 39A | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX's mega-rocket to debut next year at pad 39A | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX signed a 20-year lease Monday to operate and maintain one of Kennedy Space Center's historic launch pads, and the California-based company plans to debut the world's most powerful rocket at the facility next year.


The agreement turns over control of Launch Complex 39A to the commercial space transportation firm, which plans to use the launch pad for the the initial flights of the Falcon Heavy, a mega-rocket featuring 27 first stage engines generating nearly 4 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.


"We'll make great use of this pad, I promise," said Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, in remarks to the media moments after signing the lease. "We've had architects and our launch site engineering [team] working for many months on the sidelines. We will launch the Falcon Heavy from here first -- from this pad -- early next year."

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NASA Signs Agreement with SpaceX for Use of Historic Launch Pad

NASA Signs Agreement with SpaceX for Use of Historic Launch Pad | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site.


NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for use and occupancy of the seaside complex along Florida's central east coast. It will serve as a platform for SpaceX to support their commercial launch activities.


"It's exciting that this storied NASA launch pad is opening a new chapter for space exploration and the commercial aerospace industry," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "While SpaceX will use pad 39A at Kennedy, about a mile away on pad 39B, we're preparing for our deep space missions to an asteroid and eventually Mars. The parallel pads at Kennedy perfectly exemplify NASA's parallel path for human spaceflight exploration -- U.S. commercial companies providing access to low-Earth orbit and NASA deep space exploration missions at the same time."


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Blue Origin: Forward Innovations | Commercial Crew Program

Blue Origin: Forward Innovations | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Blue Origin is one of four NASA partners working with the agency’s Commercial Crew Program to develop new capabilities to transport people to low-Earth orbit. Ultimately, NASA intends to certify and use commercial systems to fly astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station and back. Click here for a printable version of this poster.

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Land Rover Announces Global Partnership With Virgin Galactic

Land Rover Announces Global Partnership With Virgin Galactic | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Land Rover, the British brand synonymous with adventure, has revealed a long-term global partnership with Richard Branson's pioneering commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic.


Demonstrating their shared vision of pioneering spirit, technological innovation and sense of adventure, the ground breaking partnership was announced against the backdrop of SpaceShipTwo, the world's first commercial passenger carrying spacecraft, together with Land Rover's new Discovery Vision Concept vehicle.  The announcement illustrates the commitment that both brands share to iconic design and engineering excellence and a desire to push the boundaries of travel for the next generation.


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Hawthorne unveils 37-foot-tall Space X rocket monument

Hawthorne unveils 37-foot-tall Space X rocket monument | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Hawthorne city leaders on Monday afternoon unveiled a towering monument of a rocket on the city’s main drag to honor its most celebrated corporate citizen — the space transportation company SpaceX.


“Space X is not just a tenant, they are a partner in the city of Hawthorne,” Mayor Chris Brown said during a brief address before the unveiling.


Erected on Hawthorne Boulevard just south of El Segundo Boulevard, the monument is a 25-foot replica of a Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket. Resting at a 45-degree angle on a thick support column, the tip of the rocket reaches 37 feet at its highest point.


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Discovery Vision Concept Live Reveal (Full Film) | Land Rover USA | YouTube

The Discovery Vision Concept was revealed April 14, 2014 in New York City. From 2015 onwards, the Discovery nameplate will be a distinct range of vehicles that symbolize the essence of the premium SUV: modern, versatile, practical and desirable, with the unmistakable DNA of Land Rover at its core.

Join the conversation at www.Facebook.com/LandRoverUSA or on Twitter and Instagram @LandRoverUSA with #ReadyToDiscover


Stratocumulus's insight:


More about the SUV than the SpaceShip but still some pretty amazing video.

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Land Rover And Virgin Galactic Partnership Vision | Land Rover USA | YouTube

Phil Popham, Land Rover's Group Marketing Director, and George T. Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, discuss the vision behind the partnership.

Join the conversation at www.Facebook.com/LandRoverUSA or on Twitter and Instagram @LandRoverUSA with #ReadyToDiscover


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Sierra Nevada Plans Additional Dream Chaser Flight Tests in Fall | Parabolic Arc

Sierra Nevada Plans Additional Dream Chaser Flight Tests in Fall | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sierra Nevada Corporation will conduct additional drop tests of its Dream Chaser space shuttle at Edwards Air Force Base in the fall, Co-program Director John Curry said during the recent Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, Calif.

The approach and landing tests will be conducted using an upgraded engineering test vehicle that glided to a landing at Edwards last October.  The upgrades will include the avionics, software, and guidance, navigation and control systems designed for use on the orbital Dream Chaser spacecraft, Curry said.

The schedule puts completion of Dream Chaser’s drop test milestone at least 17 months behind the original schedule, which called for free flights to be complete in April 2013. The tests could also be conducted after NASA has already decided on which of three competitors to continue funding in the next round of it Commercial Crew Program.


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Dick Rutan Resigns From Mojave Spaceport Board | Parabolic Arc

Dick Rutan Resigns From Mojave Spaceport Board | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Long-time Mojave Air and Space Port board member Dick Rutan has resigned from that body, citing a business opportunity he had become involved in that could present a conflict of interest with his governing duties.

“It has been challenging and rewarding to be part of this team as we have transitioned from an airport to a Space Port, and it is with a heavy heart that I separate myself from this incredible assemblage of visionaries, fellow flyers and friends,” Rutan wrote in his resignation letter.


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SpaceX presses ahead for Friday launch attempt | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX presses ahead for Friday launch attempt | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX is pressing ahead for another attempt Friday to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a commercial cargo craft bound for the International Space Station, setting up an Easter Sunday rendezvous and berthing.

 
Launch from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is targeted for 3:25:21 p.m. EDT (GMT-4). If all goes well, the Dragon cargo ship, loaded with nearly 5,000 pounds of equipment and supplies, will be grappled by the space station's robot arm around 7:15 a.m. Sunday and pulled in for berthing at the Earth-facing port of the forward Harmony module.

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Falcon 9 Launch Reset for Friday | Parabolic Arc

Falcon 9 Launch Reset for Friday | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA and SpaceX have confirmed Friday, April 18 for the next launch attempt for the Falcon 9 rocket to send the Dragon spacecraft on the company’s third commercial resupply mission and fourth visit to the space station. Launch is targeted for 3:25 p.m. ET. The launch will be webcast live at www.spacex.com/webcast beginning at 2:45 p.m. ET.

A launch on Friday results in a rendezvous with the space station on Sunday, April 20 and a grapple at 7:14 a.m ET.


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Houston finds a potential user of its proposed spaceport | NewSpace Journal

Houston finds a potential user of its proposed spaceport | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Ellington Airport in Houston is a former military base best known as being the airfield used by NASA astronauts at the nearby Johnson Space Center (JSC) for training flights on their T-38 jets. In the last couple of years, the Houston Airport System (HAS), the agency that operates Ellington as well as the city’s two major commercial airports, has expressed an interest in using Ellington as a spaceport, an interest that extends to doing the groundwork for a spaceport license application to the FAA. But who would be interested in using a facility limited to horizontal takeoffs and/or landings that hasn’t already made arrangements with other facilities, like Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America, or XCOR Aerospace and Midland Airport in west Texas?


Late last week, HAS announced it had found someone who at least showed an initial interest in the site. At a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Rice University Space Institute, HAS and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) signed a letter of intent to study using Ellington as a landing site for SNC’s Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle. While Dream Chaser will still launch from Cape Canaveral, HAS and SNC will look at the feasibility of having Dream Chaser land at Ellington.

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NASA Officially Leases Old Shuttle Launch Pad to SpaceX | SpaceNews.com

NASA Officially Leases Old Shuttle Launch Pad to SpaceX | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — As expected, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will get control of the Kennedy Space Center’s historic launchpad 39A under a 20-year lease, NASA said in an April 15 press release.


The agency first made the announcement April 14 in a press briefing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event was timed to coincide with a SpaceX cargo launch to the international space station that was slated to occur that day but wound up being rescheduled.


SpaceX will use the pad, originally built for the Apollo program and later used by the space shuttle, for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. NASA did not disclose the financial terms of the lease, although the agency did note that SpaceX will maintain and operate the pad at its own expense.

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SpaceX takes over KSC pad 39A

SpaceX takes over KSC pad 39A | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A powerful new SpaceX rocket could blast off from Kennedy Space Center early in 2015, nearly four years after a shuttle last roared from the same pad.


The company on Monday signed a 20-year lease of historic pad 39A, the launching point for the Apollo moon landings and numerous shuttle missions.


"I promise everybody, we're going to make great use of this pad," said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and chief operating officer.


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Two Companies Take Radically Different Approaches to Launcher Reusability | SpaceNews.com

Two Companies Take Radically Different Approaches to Launcher Reusability | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PARIS — Two companies actively working on reusable launch vehicles on April 11 described their strategies, with one starting in small increments of reusability and the other beginning with a fully formed — if untested — spaceplane.


Both companies — Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, Calif., and Britain’s Reaction Engines — said the goal is to reduce launch costs by developing reusable hardware.


U.S. and European government officials said they remain believers, if not currently big investors, in the two systems but stressed that the past 20 years of rocket history is littered with designs and flight vehicles — including the U.S. space shuttle — that never met the economic promise of reusable systems.

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Virgin Australia Offers Space Class for SpaceShipTwo Flight | Parabolic Arc

In a world first for a frequent flyer program, Velocity is offering members the ultimate upgrade to ‘Space Class’. This is an exclusive seat on board SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial spaceline with Virgin Galactic and certified astronaut status.

To be eligible*, simply register your Velocity membership number and tell us what you would do for an upgrade to Space Class between 14 April and 30 June 2014 (inclusive) and fly Virgin Australia between 1 May and 30 June (inclusive).

The eligible entrant with the most creative response to the question will be awarded the Space Class Upgrade.

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Land Rover Gives Virgin Galactic a Lift on Road to Space | NBC News

Land Rover Gives Virgin Galactic a Lift on Road to Space | NBC News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic's customers will be riding Land Rover vehicles over rugged roads en route to their rendezvous with outer space, thanks to a newly announced partnership between the space travel company and the British automaker.

The deal was announced Monday night at a glittering event aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, a converted aircraft carrier that's docked at Pier 86 in New York City.

To mark the occasion, a full-size replica of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane was unveiled alongside Land Rover's Discovery Vision Concept SUV.


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Senate committee approves commercial launch license/permit bill | Space Politics

Largely overlooked last week in the hubbub about hearings on the NASA budget proposal, a new NASA authorization bill, and relations with Russia was a move by a Senate committee on Wednesday to approve legislation to adjust the commercial launch licensing system for reusable suborbital vehicles.


S. 2140, introduced last month by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) with several bipartisan co-sponsors, would allow suborbital RLVs to hold both an experimental permit and a launch license. Under current law, vehicles that hold an experimental permit—which allows for test, but not revenue-generating, flights—have to surrender that permit when receiving a full-fledged launch license.

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