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Airport chief: Ellington spaceport 'definitely doable'

Airport chief: Ellington spaceport 'definitely doable' | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

With its goal of "going global" all but achieved, the Houston Airport System says it is now time to go extraterrestrial.

 

Director Mario Diaz on Wednesday said the system is officially moving forward with a plan to turn Ellington Airport into one of the nation's first spaceports and is seeking certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

 

The system completed a feasibility study last year that found it would cost an estimated $48 million to $122 million to equip Ellington for launching small space vehicles full of joyriders out over the Gulf of Mexico, more than 60 miles above Earth.

 

"It is definitely doable because, you see, space is not the final frontier, it just happens to be our next destination," Diaz said told business leaders in a State of the Airports speech hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership.

 

 

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Landed Falcon 9 First Stage Test Firing

Published on Jul 28, 2016 - Falcon 9 first stage from May JCSAT mission was test fired, full duration, at our Texas rocket development facility today.

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NASA orders second SpaceX crew ferry ship | Spaceflight Now

NASA orders second SpaceX crew ferry ship | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

ASA has ordered a second commercial crew ferry ship from SpaceX, NASA announced Friday, as the agency continues its on-going push to develop U.S.-built spacecraft to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, ending sole reliance on Russian Soyuz vehicles.

Not counting planned test flights, Boeing was awarded contracts last year to build two post-certification CST-100 “Starliner” ferry ships and the second order for a SpaceX piloted Dragon capsule completes the minimum number guaranteed under NASA’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability program. The current contracts include options for up to four additional spacecraft from each company.

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Starliner spacecraft engines successfully hot-fire tested

Starliner spacecraft engines successfully hot-fire tested | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is one step closer to carrying astronauts to space from American soil as its engines have recently undergone a series of hot-fire development tests. The tests were carried out by Aerojet Rocketdyne at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.

 

The three Reaction Control System (RCS) engines successfully hot-fired are part of the spacecraft’s service module propulsion system, being currently developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne. The Sacramento, California-based rocket propulsion manufacturer announced on Monday, July 25, each RCS engine was tested up to 4,000 pulses and 1,600 seconds. According to the company, it was the longest accumulated time ever conducted on a lightweight thruster with a composite chamber.

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Sierra Nevada achieves second Commercial Cargo milestone

Sierra Nevada achieves second Commercial Cargo milestone | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A couple of weeks after completing their first Integration Certification Review for NASA’s Commercial Cargo Program to support the International Space Station (ISS), Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has completed its second such review for the Dream Chaser spacecraft.

As a result of this second review milestone, NASA and SNC have agreed on the certification criteria used to confirm that the Dream Chaser design meets CRS-2 mission requirements. The qualification and verification plans delivered at this second milestone will be used to validate Dream Chaser during future integrated design and test milestones.

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APT and Chinese partners plan global mobile broadband network | SpaceNews.com

APT and Chinese partners plan global mobile broadband network | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PARIS – Satellite fleet operator APT Satellite Holdings of Hong Kong has created a joint venture with mainland Chinese institutions to launch a global mobile broadband satellite network aimed principally at the aeronautical and maritime markets, APT said July 23.

The network, if launched as planned, would catapult APT from its current position as a midsize regional satellite operator into a global player. Other companies with similar global-mobility ambitions include fleet operators ViaSat Inc., Intelsat, SES and Inmarsat.

APT has been among the early adopters in Asia of high-throughput-satellite (HTS) technology, which slices its coverage into dozens or hundreds of small spot beams to permit the reuse of radio spectrum and multiply total throughput capacity.

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2016 Advances Mark Commercial Crew's Path to Flight

2016 Advances Mark Commercial Crew's Path to Flight | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Hundreds of engineers and technicians with NASA, Boeing, and SpaceX have ramped up to complete the final designs, manufacturing, and testing as they continue the vital, but meticulous work to prepare to launch astronauts to the International Space Station.

Halfway through the pivotal 2016 year, the companies building the next generation of human-rated spacecraft and launch vehicles are testing systems in more demanding, flight-like environments. Boeing and SpaceX are manufacturing the systems that will return America’s human launch capability, while they simultaneously build and modify launch facilities, and complete mission simulators. All while continuing to test and refine their designs, and analyze the results to ensure they are meeting NASA's requirements.

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The future of spacesuits: Space Angels Network’s fascinating report

The future of spacesuits: Space Angels Network’s fascinating report | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Last year, a total of 50 spacesuits were sold globally, amounting to a value of around $100 million. Spacesuits are currently a high margin, low volume business, but according to a report just released by the Space Angels Network, a VC firm that funds space ventures, change is around the corner.

 

As more private manned missions take off, there will be an increased demand for spacesuits. The report predicts that there will soon be a spike in spacesuit innovation, which will reduce the time to bring a new product to market.

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Jeff Bezos touts results from Blue Origin spaceship’s test, even with one less chute

Jeff Bezos touts results from Blue Origin spaceship’s test, even with one less chute | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Last month’s test flight of a Blue Origin rocket ship to space and back was aimed at seeing how safely it could land even if one of its three parachutes went out. Today, the results got a thumbs-up from Jeff Bezos, who’s the founder of the Blue Origin space venture as well as the Amazon online retailing giant.

“We’ve designed the capsule to ensure astronaut safety not just for the failure of one parachute, but even for the failure of two parachutes,” Bezos said in an email update that was addressed to fans and potential spacefliers.

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Dragon cargo craft reaches port at International Space Station | Spaceflight Now

Dragon cargo craft reaches port at International Space Station | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A commercial resupply freighter owned and operated by SpaceX wrapped up a two-day trip to the International Space Station on Wednesday, delivering a new docking port and two tons of other equipment to research laboratory more than 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.

The equipment will support more than 250 science investigations in the coming months, and help ready the space station to receive new U.S.-built space capsules carrying astronauts as soon as next year.

The Dragon spacecraft, measuring 12 feet (3.7 meters) in diameter and nearly 24 feet (7.2 meters) long, approached the space station from below, its outline growing in size backdropped by the blue hues of Earth.

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Naina Sharma's comment, July 23, 6:13 AM
Great.. @Stratocumulus
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NASA and SpaceX prepare for Dragon’s arrival at Space Station | NASASpaceFlight.com

NASA and SpaceX prepare for Dragon’s arrival at Space Station | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

After just over two days of orbital rendezvous activities, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule is preparing for rendezvous and proximity operations with the International Space Station (ISS) ahead of being grappled by the Station’s robotic arm and berthed to the orbital outpost. Grappling is planned for 07:00 EDT, with berthing planned for approximately three hours later.

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SpaceX seeks approval for two additional landing pads on Space Coast

SpaceX seeks approval for two additional landing pads on Space Coast | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Second and third landing zones for incoming SpaceX rockets could be on their way to Florida’s Space Coast.

The space launch company is seeking federal permission for two new areas for landing spent rockets, as SpaceX did early Monday morning.

The company told the Sentinel that the new landing areas are needed to prepare for the possibility of landing three rockets – all within minutes of each other.

“SpaceX expects to fly Falcon Heavy for the first time later this year,” the company said in a statement responding to questions. “We are also seeking regulatory approval to build two additional landing pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. We hope to recover all three Falcon Heavy rockets, though initially we may attempt drone ship landings” at sea.

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Social media blitzes lift SpaceX, ULA on launch days

Social media blitzes lift SpaceX, ULA on launch days | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Space companies such as SpaceX and United Launch Alliance would like a word with you.

The commercial space giants have leveraged social media to encourage direct conversation with the public, using tools that were not available to government space agencies in the days of the lunar landings and the space shuttle.

A major goal for the new space race is to engage a new generation through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Using social media is a way to convey the drama of a launch, communicate accurately and build support for the emerging private space race.

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Post-Launch Status of SpaceX Resupply Mission to the ISS | YouTube

Published on Jul 17, 2016 - A post-launch news conference was held July 18 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, following the launch of the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station. Dragon launched atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida, carrying science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the station’s Expedition 48 and 49 crews.

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I Will Launch America: Jon Cowart

I Will Launch America: Jon Cowart | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it
In the near future, Jon Cowart will lead mission-related activities on Kennedy Space Center in Florida for NASA as astronauts on Launch Pad 39A move through their procedures inside a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. While SpaceX controllers and NASA work through their respective processes, the teams will perform go or no-go polling that will establish whether everyone agrees that the time to launch is at hand. Cowart will serve as mission manager, meaning he will support NASA’s efforts in determining “go” to confirm that the company’s rocket and spacecraft are ready to carry astronauts into orbit.

"NASA and the companies share responsibility for the missions. But, as mission manager, I will be trying to make sure that everything goes as planned," said Cowart. “There are thousands and thousands of things that have to happen. It’s my goal to understand every single one of them.”
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From double to triple: Why the landing Falcon 9 creates three sonic booms

From double to triple: Why the landing Falcon 9 creates three sonic booms | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

One of the iconic sounds of the Space Shuttle era has returned to the Space Coast—the sonic boom. The returning Shuttle orbiter produced a signature double sonic boom on its approach to Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility. Similar sounds were heard again in the early morning hours of July 18 as SpaceX’s Falcon 9 first stage returned to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s (CCAFS) Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1), formerly Launch Complex 13, creating a triple sonic boom.

image:

 

According to a NASA fact sheet, a sonic boom is the thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound or supersonic. The air reacts like a fluid to supersonic objects. As objects travel, the air molecules are pushed aside with great force and this forms a shock wave much like a boat creates a bow wave. The bigger and heavier the aircraft, the more air it displaces.

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SpaceX estimated to spend $300 million on Red Dragon mission | SpaceNews.com

SpaceX estimated to spend $300 million on Red Dragon mission | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — NASA estimates that SpaceX is spending on the order of $300 million on its Red Dragon Mars lander mission, a down payment on the company’s long-term ambitions for human Mars missions.

At a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s technology committee in Cleveland July 26, Jim Reuter, deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA’s space technology mission directorate, provided an overview of NASA’s agreement with SpaceX, announced in April, to support that company’s plans for an uncrewed Mars landing mission that could launch as soon as May 2018.

That agreement, in the form of an unfunded Space Act Agreement, does not include any exchange of funds between NASA and SpaceX. Reuter said NASA estimates it will spend approximately $32 million over four years, primarily in the form of NASA personnel providing technical support for SpaceX. About $6 million of that will be spent this fiscal year.

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Sierra Nevada Corporation Passes Second Milestone | SNC

Sierra Nevada Corporation Passes Second Milestone | SNC | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SPARKS, Nev. (July 25, 2016) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has passed the second Integration Certification Milestone under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract. NASA assessed and fully approved SNC’s detailed approach for getting the Dream Chaser Cargo System to the International Space Station (ISS). SNC’s approved strategy demonstrates a thorough understanding of design requirements and available resources on both a system and subsystem level.  Dream Chaser will provide a minimum of six cargo delivery missions to and from the ISS between 2019 and 2024.  The first milestone was passed several weeks ago and outlined technical, logistic and schedule procedures for the program.

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Commercial Crew Progress, Summer 2016

NASA's Commercial Crew Program and its partners are working quickly and carefully to build the new generation of spacecraft, launch systems and infrastructure, all with an eye on launching American astronauts to the International Space Station from the United States.

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Naina Sharma's comment, July 25, 7:31 AM
NASA brings a unity to the world which is exceptional.
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Under Pressure: Spacesuit Market - Space Angels

Under Pressure: Spacesuit Market - Space Angels | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Space Angels Network continually endeavors to understand new market opportunities for investment. Our position, at the forefront of early-stage space investing, gives us a unique vantage point from which to assess nascent markets. And this knowledge provides our investor members with the insights they need to make informed investment decisions in this dynamic industry.

With the proliferation of new in-space destinations coming online (Bigelow BA330, Axiom, ROS, Tiangong, cis-lunar, lunar surface, Mars surface) and new crewed launch vehicles (SpaceX Dragon, Boeing Starliner, Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, Blue Origin New Shepard), we are at an inflection point for human spaceflight. Therefore, we believe the market for spacesuits is growing and could present an attractive opportunity for investment.

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One-out parachute test doesn’t crush Blue Origin’s hopes

One-out parachute test doesn’t crush Blue Origin’s hopes | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Landing with a failed parachute is not a condition a company would normally want their spacecraft to encounter, but that was exactly the scenario Blue Origin planned for the fourth test flight of their New Shepard vehicle last month. After a month of analysis, Blue Origin’s founder, Jeff Bezos, gave word in an email update that the test was a success

Blue Origin intentionally hobbled the spacecraft’s landing system for the June 19, 2016, flight by disabling one of the vehicle’s three descent parachutes in order to determine the impact—literally—on New Shepard should such an off-nominal landing occur.

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SpaceX Dragon cargo ship delivers DNA sequencer and new door to space station

SpaceX Dragon cargo ship delivers DNA sequencer and new door to space station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two days after its launch, SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule was pulled in for its hookup to the International Space Station today as the spacecraft soared 252 miles above the California-Oregon state line.

Among the nearly 5,000 pounds of cargo were the first DNA sequencer destined for use in space, and a 5-foot-wide docking adapter that will accommodate future commercial space taxis – including an upgraded version of the uncrewed Dragon that pulled in today.

“We’ve captured us a Dragon,” said NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, who grappled the capsule with the station’s robotic arm. “We look forward to the work it brings.”

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Republican platform endorses commercial space partnerships | SpaceNews.com

Republican platform endorses commercial space partnerships | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — The new platform of the Republican Party includes language supporting the use of public-private partnerships to develop space capabilities, an approach that has been used by administrations of both major political parties.

The platform, formally approved by delegates at the Republican party convention July 18 in Cleveland, also features language supporting “unfettered access” to space and increasing the number of scientific missions.

The 54-page document includes two paragraphs about space in a section about technology policy nearly one page long. One paragraph focuses on the use of public-private partnerships.

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Dragon Chasing Station with Science, Docking Adapter | Space Station

Dragon Chasing Station with Science, Docking Adapter | Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The SpaceX Dragon is chasing the International Space Station and the Expedition 48 crew is getting ready for its approach and capture Wednesday morning. This follows Monday evening’s rendezvous and docking of the Progress 64 resupply ship from Roscosmos.

Dragon is delivering several science experiments including a DNA sequencing study and the Heart Cells investigation. The private space freighter is also carrying one of two International Docking Adapters. The adapters will enable future crewed vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX to dock to the space station.

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SpaceX Will Attempt to Land Three Rockets at Once

SpaceX Will Attempt to Land Three Rockets at Once | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Having successfully launched and landed a few single rockets, SpaceX is now planning a simultaneous triple rocket landing. This is going to look cool.

SpaceX told The Orlando Sentinel that it’s seeking government permission for two extra landing pads in preparation for the launch of the new Falcon Heavy rocket. The private spaceflight company says that it might attempt to land its Falcon Heavy rockets on one of its drone barges—a protocol that the SpaceX has nearly perfected in the past year. Eventually, however, SpaceX wants to land three rockets on solid ground. The extra two ports SpaceX hopes to build at Cape Canaveral’s Air Force Base, where the company already has one port, would give it the real estate to do that.

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Blue Origin and SpaceX vets raise cash for Relativity Space, a stealthy startup aiming to build rockets ‘with zero human labor’

Blue Origin and SpaceX vets raise cash for Relativity Space, a stealthy startup aiming to build rockets ‘with zero human labor’ | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two engineers with experience at Blue Origin and SpaceX have raised almost $10 million for their own rocket startup, Relativity Space, which promises to build orbital rockets “with zero human labor.”

The funding rounds are described in two documents filed in May and this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The first filing reports that $1.1 million in equity was sold to investors. The second filing serves as a new notice of $8.4 million in equity sold, out of a $9.6 million offering.

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