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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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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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SpaceX Launches CRS-6 with a Bang | Space Pod 04/16/15 - YouTube


SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon capsule bound for the International Space Station. They attempted to safely land and recover the 1st stage, but the rocket tipped over and exploded.

TMRO is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to http://www.patreon.com/tmro for information, goals and reward levels.

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Battle of the Collossi: SLS vs Falcon Heavy | The Space Review

Battle of the Collossi: SLS vs Falcon Heavy | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Many in the space community like to debate the merits of two heavy-lift vehicles under development, NASA’s SLS and SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. Dale Skran offers a tale of the tape of the two heavyweights, comparing their planned capabilities and costs.

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XPRIZE Contender Astrobotic Strives To Be FedEx To The Moon

XPRIZE Contender Astrobotic Strives To Be FedEx To The Moon | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Astrobotic Technology, a leading Google Lunar XPRIZE competitor, is setting up to become the first delivery service to the Moon.

With a low-cost launch, they now have a lander with the potential for precision landings driven by new system on a chip (SOC) technologies developed by Nvidia with help from General Electric.

Astrobotic knows that space and robotics are not that easy, but at a recent Nvidia-sponsored technology conference, the company’s engineers were presenting technologies that it argues could ease and accelerate the path to the Moon.

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SpaceX Rocket Launches Turkmenistan's First Satellite

SpaceX Rocket Launches Turkmenistan's First Satellite | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX launched Turkmenistan's first telecom satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Monday, after taking a chance on some touch-and-go weather in Florida.

The launch of the TurkmenÄlem 52E spacecraft came just 13 days after SpaceX used a different Falcon 9 to send a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station.

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Tory Bruno Spells Out Logic Behind Vulcan Design Choices

Tory Bruno Spells Out Logic Behind Vulcan Design Choices | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — By the time United Launch Alliance’s corporate parents, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, tapped Tory Bruno to take over the government launch services provider last July, the handwriting was on the wall: ULA was going to need a new rocket if it hoped to remain in business for the long haul.

Congress by that time had drafted legislation banning future use of the Russian-built RD-180 main engine that powers ULA’s main workhorse, the Atlas 5. The measure, prompted by Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, would become law by the end of the year.

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Decision on new space station cargo contracts deferred | Spaceflight Now

Decision on new space station cargo contracts deferred | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


NASA expects to select commercial contractors to resupply the International Space Station in September, three months later than the agency’s previous timetable under a competition for cargo deliveries beginning in 2018.

NASA was scheduled to pick new cargo providers in June, and the three-month delay is needed to “allow additional time to evaluate proposals,” according to Stephanie Schierholz, a NASA spokesperson.

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ULA needs commercial business to close Vulcan rocket business case | Spaceflight Now

ULA needs commercial business to close Vulcan rocket business case | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


United Launch Alliance will need to lure commercial customers to ensure the economic viability of its new Vulcan rocket, which is set to debut in 2019 just as the rate of U.S. military satellite launches is due to take a dip.

The Vulcan rocket must fly at least 10 times per year to keep factory and launch crews operating at the efficiencies needed to reach ULA’s price goal of $100 million per mission, according to Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and chief executive.

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SpaceX targets May 5 for Dragon pad abort test

SpaceX targets May 5 for Dragon pad abort test | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX as soon as May 5 will shoot a Dragon capsule from a Cape Canaveral in a test of a key safety system needed for astronaut launches in the next two or three years.

The so-called "pad abort" test will launch a prototype crew spacecraft from a stand at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40, simulating a launch pad emergency.

The Dragon will fire SuperDraco thrusters designed to enable the capsule and its crew to escape from a rocket failing on the pad or during flight.

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Dragon pad abort test set for early May | Spaceflight Now

Dragon pad abort test set for early May | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


A major test of the system that would shoot SpaceX astronaut crews away from a failing rocket is scheduled for no earlier than May 5 from a specially-built mount at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad, NASA announced Tuesday.

The four-hour window for the test opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT). A backup opportunity is available May 6, NASA officials said.

The Dragon capsule test unit will fire SuperDraco thrusters to blast off from a truss mimicking a Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad, then deploy three main parachutes and splash down in the Atlantic Ocean approximately one mile offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Blue Origin To Begin Test Flights Within Weeks | SpaceNews.com

Blue Origin To Begin Test Flights Within Weeks | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — Blue Origin, the commercial spaceflight company backed by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, will soon start flight tests of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle, a Federal Aviation Administration official said April 21.


George Nield, FAA associate administrator for commercial space transportation, said at a meeting of the National Research Council’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board here April 21 that he expected Blue Origin to begin test flights in a “couple of weeks.”

“They’ll be flying their reusable launch vehicle in the next couple of weeks. Watch the news for that,” Nield said. He did not provide additional details about those test plans, but praised the company’s “really professional, first-class organization.”

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Man Behind Moore’s Law Bankrolling Cubesat Mission

Man Behind Moore’s Law Bankrolling Cubesat Mission | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — Clyde Space of Scotland will build two 4-kilogram cubesats to be launched in 2017 to study ocean color worldwide in a mission financed by a private U.S. foundation, Glasgow-based Clyde announced April 20.


Financing is from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, created by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife. Moore’s Law about computer power doubling every 18 months or so is one of the reasons why cubesats today are able to perform functions that would require much larger satellites even a few years ago.

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Throttle valve blamed for Falcon 9’s unsuccessful landing | Spaceflight Now


SpaceX engineers have narrowed the cause of last week’s unsuccessful landing of a Falcon 9 rocket booster on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean on a commanding issue with an engine throttle valve, according to Elon Musk, the company’s founder and chief executive.

Musk posted the update on Twitter late Saturday, and he confirmed the next try to recover the Falcon 9’s first stage booster will come in two months.

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Blue Origin’s suborbital plans are finally ready for flight | The Space Review

Blue Origin’s suborbital plans are finally ready for flight | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Last week, Blue Origin announced a milestone in the development of an engine intended for its suborbital vehicle. Jeff Foust reports on the company’s plans for testing that suborbital vehicle, as well as its orbital vehicle and engine plans.

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Falcon 9 Rocket Launches Satellite for Turkmenistan and Monaco

Falcon 9 Rocket Launches Satellite for Turkmenistan and Monaco | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on April 27 successfully placed a telecommunications satellite jointly owned by Turkmenistan and Monaco into geostationary transfer orbit.

The satellite’s builder, Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy — which was SpaceX’s customer for the launch — said the TurkmenAlem 52E MonacoSat satellite was healthy in orbit and sending signals after separation from the Falcon 9.

Dodging cloud decks that threatened to cancel the launch, the Falcon completed its fifth launch of 2015 and its 18th since its 2010 inaugural flight, placing the 4,707-kilogram spacecraft close enough to its ideal position to permit its owners to hope for 18 years of service life.

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Commercial Lunar Transportation Services: a speculation | The Space Review

Commercial Lunar Transportation Services: a speculation | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

There remains interest in carrying out human missions to the surface of the Moon, even though that is not an official goal of the present administration. Anthony Young discusses how a commercial model for lunar transportation, based on the COTS and commercial crew programs, might be the most cost-effective, and perhaps the only, way to carry out such missions.

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Satellite industry aims smaller and lower | FT.com

Satellite industry aims smaller and lower | FT.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Change was in the air at the recent Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Suspended from the ceiling, the exhibits showed scaled-down models of the manufacturers’ vast, multi-tonne satellites. But some items required no reduction.


The main body of the SN-50 Nanosat on Sierra Nevada Corporation’s stand was only 40cm by 40cm. Booz Allen Hamilton, the consultancy, displayed a satellite featuring two antennas sprouting from a 10cm cube.


These tiny satellites testify how the miniaturisation that has transformed consumer electronics over the past decade has begun to reshape the once forbiddingly expensive business of putting a satellite into space. The field has been particularly transformed by the invention in 1999 of the CubeSat — 10cm boxes such as the one on the Booz Allen Hamilton stand — which can be joined together to make larger devices, depending on requirements.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 ready to loft Turkmenistan’s first satellite | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 ready to loft Turkmenistan’s first satellite | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Making its second launch in less than a fortnight, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will carry Turkmenistan’s first satellite to orbit Monday evening following a liftoff from Cape Canaveral. The launch, scheduled to take place at 18:14 local time (22:14 UTC), will deploy the TurkmenÄlem 52E satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

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Investigations into October Launch Accidents Entering Final Phases

Investigations into October Launch Accidents Entering Final Phases | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — Separate investigations into two high-profile commercial launch accidents six months ago are entering their final phases and will be completed in the next few months or, in some cases, weeks.

George Nield, head of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, said April 21 that he expected to soon receive a report on the Oct. 28 failure of an Orbital ATK Antares rocket launched from Wallops Island, Virginia.

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SpaceX ready for another launch and key Commercial Crew test | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX ready for another launch and key Commercial Crew test | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX has conducted a Static Fire test on the next Falcon 9 rocket set to launch out of Florida, tasked with the lofting of the TurkmenistanSat spacecraft on April 27. SpaceX also passed a Test Readiness Review (TRR) for its Dragon 2 Pad Abort test, which is currently scheduled to take place on May 5. Both events will be conducted from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral.

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A Connection for the Future | Commercial Crew Program

A Connection for the Future | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


In the next year, the International Space Station will gain two new docking ports for spacecraft visiting the orbiting laboratory, including the Boeing CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon under development in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Earlier this year, NASA astronauts conducted three spacewalks to rig the power, data, and communications cables for the docking ports.

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Op-ed | A Not-so-final Hubble Servicing Mission

Op-ed | A Not-so-final Hubble Servicing Mission | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


With two commercial crew vehicles being prepared for flight, in addition to NASA’s Orion spacecraft, we are entering a period when human spaceflight will be relatively routine and low-cost.

There is no longer any excuse to wastefully abandon major assets — built and placed in orbit at great expense — and let them fall into the ocean. After refurbishing Hubble, NASA should also consider using Orion to maintain the JWST, utilizing a docking ring that was added to the telescope for just such a contingency.

As we approach Hubble’s 25th anniversary on April 25, it is time to start planning for the observatory’s next 25 years.

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SpaceX Pad Abort Test Set for NET May 5


SpaceX is planning to conduct a much-anticipated pad abort test on May 5, 2015 as part of its development of a crew version of its Dragon capsule. There is a four-hour launch window that day and a backup opportunity on May 6,

Apparently to moderate expectations, the NASA press release announcing the date cautions that as a "development test, the likelihood of encountering an issue is higher than with operational missions." As typical, May 5 is designated as a "no earlier than" (NET) date, meaning that is the first opportunity for the test, but it could be later.

The window opens at 9:30 am ET and live coverage will be provided on NASA TV.

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NASA Delays Award of Commercial Cargo Follow-On Contracts | SpaceNews.com

NASA Delays Award of Commercial Cargo Follow-On Contracts | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — NASA has pushed back by three months a decision on a new series of contracts to transport cargo to and from the International Space Station, claiming it needs more time to review the proposals it received.

NASA posted a message April 16 on the procurement website for the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 2 contract stating that the estimated award date was now Sept. 16. The site had previously listed an award date of June. That message stated that the agency revised the date “due to additional time required to evaluate proposals.”

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What does employee wellbeing at the world's first commercial spaceline look like? | Virgin.com

What does employee wellbeing at the world's first commercial spaceline look like? | Virgin.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Jim Vanderploeg is the chief medical officer at the world’s first commercial spaceline and is charged with looking after not just future astronauts but the staff at Virgin Galactic.

With years of experience at orgainsations such as NASA, what does Jim view as the key to ensuring that a team which is preparing for space is happy and healthy?

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Space Solar Power Initiative Established by Northrop Grumman and Caltech

Space Solar Power Initiative Established by Northrop Grumman and Caltech | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PASADENA, Calif., April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) has signed a sponsored research agreement with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the development of the Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI). Under the terms of the agreement, Northrop Grumman will provide up to $17.5 million to the initiative over three years.

Working together, the team will develop the scientific and technological innovations necessary to enable a space-based solar power system capable of generating electric power at cost parity with grid-connected fossil fuel power plants. SSPI responds to the engineering challenge of providing a cost-competitive source of sustainable energy. SSPI will develop technologies in three areas: high-efficiency ultralight photovoltaics; ultralight deployable space structures; and phased array and power transmission.

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