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Branson: VG Has No Competition, Everyone Else Years Behind Us | Parabolic Arc

Branson: VG Has No Competition, Everyone Else Years Behind Us | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Wired UK has a story on Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic. It’s actually a really good piece that goes through the whole history of the program up to the preparations for powered flights later this year.

 

The article documents in detail the years of delay, massive cost overruns, engine problems and the tragic deaths of Scaled Composites engineers along the way. You’ll be happy to know that despite all those setbacks, Branson has lost none of his bravado or disdain for competition he can barely acknowledge exists:

 

 

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Hans Koenigsmann | SpaceX, Exploration through Innovation | NEAF Talks

Dr. Koenigsmann leads the Flight Reliability Team at SpaceX and serves as Launch Chief Engineer during the launch campaigns. The Flight Reliability team resolves anomalies, evaluates and mitigates risk and performs other functions on the vehicle system level. SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.

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NASA TV Coverage Set for US Cargo Ship Departure from Space Station

NASA TV Coverage Set for US Cargo Ship Departure from Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

After delivering almost 5,000 pounds of supplies, experiments and equipment – including a docking adapter for future American commercial crew spacecraft – a SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is set to leave the International Space Station Friday, Aug. 26. NASA Television will provide coverage of Dragon’s departure beginning at 5:45 a.m. EDT.

 

SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Service-9 mission arrived on station July 20. The Dragon spacecraft will be detached from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module using the station’s Canadarm 2 robotic arm. Robotics controllers will send commands to maneuver the spacecraft into place before it’s released by Expedition 48 Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at 6:10 a.m.

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SpaceX eyeing facility for reused Falcon 9 stages

SpaceX eyeing facility for reused Falcon 9 stages | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., — Port Canaveral’s Chief Executive Officer John Murray told Florida Today that SpaceX will be moving some of its operations to the Florida Space Coast. The plans include leasing a building that once housed Spacehab and building a new building next door to that site to support refurbishment of the rocket stages they are landing at Cape Canaveral.

According to the Florida Today story, SpaceX has needed more room for its operations in Florida since it started landing the first stages of Falcon 9 rockets back at Cape Canaveral after they have sent their payloads to orbit.

 

SpaceX has recovered six stages since December 2015, two on land, four on an autonomous spaceport drone ship positioned out in the Atlantic Ocean.

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I Will Launch America: Brittani Sims

I Will Launch America: Brittani Sims | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Brittani Sims is one of the many dedicated employees supporting NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

An electrical engineer by education, Sims developed a passion for safety and human spaceflight in high school after watching the space shuttle on TV.

“I was just sitting on the couch watching TV and the news was covering the return of the space shuttle,” said Sims. “I wasn’t even aware what NASA did at the time. I remember asking my mom, ‘Did you know that we put people into space?’ When I went to school the next week, I told people that I wanted to work for NASA, and a lot of them didn’t really believe me.”

Sims says those doubts only served as additional motivation for her to achieve her goals.

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NASA classes MMOD as primary threat to commercial crew vehicles | NASASpaceFlight.com

NASA classes MMOD as primary threat to commercial crew vehicles | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA has claimed the threat of MicroMeteoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) – small pieces of space debris capable of punching bullet hole wounds into spacecraft – is the “primary” threat to the safety of Commercial Crew vehicles. The claim was made as the Agency works on closing the gap between the current analysis of the Loss Of Crew (LOC) numbers with the Program’s goal.

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Another Falcon 9 rocket returns to perch in Port Canaveral | Spaceflight Now

Another Falcon 9 rocket returns to perch in Port Canaveral | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The sixth Falcon 9 rocket booster recovered by SpaceX has returned to Port Canaveral after an up-and-down flight Aug. 14 that sent a commercial Japanese broadcasting satellite toward orbit.

The 15-story first stage of the Falcon 9 launcher touched down on SpaceX’s landing vessel nearly 400 miles east of Cape Canaveral less than nine minutes after blastoff at 1:26 a.m. EDT (0526 GMT).

After detaching from the Falcon 9’s upper stage, the booster flipped around and ignited three of its nine Merlin engines for a re-entry burn, then fired its center engine just before landing to slow down before reaching the football field-sized barge.

Aerodynamic grid fins helped steer the rocket, and four landing legs popped open seconds before touchdown.

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The inside story of how billionaires are racing to take you to outer space

The inside story of how billionaires are racing to take you to outer space | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Later this year, tech entrepreneur turned space pioneer Elon Musk is planning the blastoff of a new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, that would be twice as powerful as any other in use and one of the biggest since the Apollo era’s mighty Saturn V. The stage for the rocket’s debut: the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A, where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took off for the moon in 1969.

SpaceX’s use of 39A is the ultimate symbol that the government’s monopoly on space travel is over. To Musk, it also is proof of an additional triumph — over his fellow billionaire and rival Jeffrey P. Bezos, who had fought to secure the launchpad for himself.

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New ‘front porch’ added to International Space Station

New ‘front porch’ added to International Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 48 crew stepped outside the orbital complex to install a new “front porch.” The nearly six-hour long spacewalk started at 7:04 a.m. CDT (12:04 GMT) Aug. 19 with a goal to install International Docking Adapter-2 (IDA-2) to the forward end of the station.

 

NASA astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins, commander and flight engineer respectively, each tag-teamed to install IDA-2 as the primary task of the mission. The adapter was brought to the space station by way of SpaceX’s CRS-9 Dragon. It has remained inside the trunk since arriving at the outpost one month ago.

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Spacewalkers attach docking adapter to space station for commercial vehicles | Spaceflight Now

Spacewalkers attach docking adapter to space station for commercial vehicles | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two spacewalkers attached a new docking port to the International Space Station Friday, clearing the way for U.S. crew ferry ships being built by Boeing and SpaceX to begin test flights to the lab complex next year. It was a key step in NASA’s drive to regain independent access to the lab complex for the first time since the shuttle fleet was retired in 2011.

Attached to the station’s no-longer-needed shuttle port at the front of the station, the Boeing-built International Docking Adapter will allow spacecraft from both companies to bring crews to the outpost, ending NASA’s sole reliance on Russian Soyuz ferry ships. A second IDA is expected to be attached in 2018.

“It is amazing that now we’ve opened up a new chapter in the story of the International Space Station, putting the front door on this for future commercial vehicles,” radioed station commander Jeff Williams, who worked with astronaut Kate Rubins to attach and outfit the IDA. “Congratulations to the entire team.”

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Industry remains optimistic about continued growth of cubesats | SpaceNews.com

Industry remains optimistic about continued growth of cubesats | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

LOGAN, Utah — Despite concerns about reliability and access to launch vehicles, the small satellite industry expects the number of cubesats to continue to grow as they find new commercial and government applications.

In a presentation at the Conference on Small Satellites at Utah State University here Aug. 8, Bill Doncaster of SpaceWorks Engineering said his company was maintaining a forecast issued earlier this year that predicted about 200 satellites weighing between 1 and 50 kilograms would launch this year, a number that would break the record of 158 set in 2014. That vast majority of those satellites would be versions of cubesats weighing 10 kilograms or less.

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Ron Howard Will Produce ‘Mars,’ A National Geographic Six-Part Miniseries Based On Elon Musk’s Plan To Colonize The Red Planet

Ron Howard Will Produce ‘Mars,’ A National Geographic Six-Part Miniseries Based On Elon Musk’s Plan To Colonize The Red Planet | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are producing an exciting new miniseries for National Geographic. Simply titled Mars, this film is an eclectic mix of documentary, scripted drama, and exciting interviews with Andy Weir, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Peter Diamandis, according to Mashable. The production will combine science fiction and science fact and tell a true story about something that hasn’t happened yet.
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[Updated] SpaceX not ready to confirm large purchase of carbon fibers

[Updated] SpaceX not ready to confirm large purchase of carbon fibers | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Update: On Tuesday evening SpaceX would not confirm that a large deal had been reached. "Toray is one of a number of suppliers we work with to meet our carbon fiber needs for Falcon rocket and Dragon spacecraft production, and we haven’t announced any new agreements at this time," a company spokesman told Ars. "As our business continues to grow, the amount of carbon fiber we use may continue to grow."

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Exclusive: Toray carbon fiber to carry SpaceX's Mars ambitions | Nikkei Asian Review

Exclusive: Toray carbon fiber to carry SpaceX's Mars ambitions | Nikkei Asian Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Japanese materials maker Toray Industries has agreed to supply carbon fiber to U.S. startup SpaceX for use in the bodies of rockets and space vehicles.

The multiyear deal with Tesla founder Elon Musk's 14-year-old venture is estimated to be worth 200 billion yen to 300 billion yen ($1.99 billion to $2.98 billion) in total. The two sides are aiming to finalize the agreement this fall after hammering out prices, time frames and other terms.

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The next step for human spaceflight | Space Angels

The next step for human spaceflight | Space Angels | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

This month has been a significant one for Virgin Galactic. On August 1st it was announced that the company had received its Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) license for testing of SpaceShipTwo. The license covers test flights over the next two years from the Mojave Air and Spaceport in California, and will ultimately see commercial operations of the craft. The announcement came the same day as the second version of SpaceShipTwo – VSS Unity – conducted its first taxi test. This is a test designed to evaluate and calibrate the navigation and communications and telemetry systems ahead of flights.

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CRS-9 Dragon prepares for homecoming to conclude successful mission | NASASpaceFlight.com

CRS-9 Dragon prepares for homecoming to conclude successful mission | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX’s CRS-9 Dragon spacecraft is preparing to depart from the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, following a highly successful Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbital outpost. Known as End Of Mission (EOM) operations, Dragon’s safe return will be marked by a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean later in the day.

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SpaceX to lease building at Port Canaveral, may build another one

SpaceX to lease building at Port Canaveral, may build another one | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX is moving some of its operations to Port Canaveral, port Chief Executive Officer John Murray said Wednesday.

The space launch company plans to lease the now-vacant former Spacehab building on the north side of the port, and is looking at constructing a second building on vacant land adjacent to that site, Murray told port commissioners.

SpaceX is expected to process and refurbish rockets, as well as potentially perform other functions, at the port, Murray said.

“We’re happy to announce that they’re onboard,” he said. “It’s good for the port, it’s good for the community, and it's a high-visibility project. So we’re really excited about that. They're a great client to have on our port. It's a win-win for everybody."

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DARPA to establish satellite-servicing consortium to discuss on-orbit repair standards | SpaceNews.com

DARPA to establish satellite-servicing consortium to discuss on-orbit repair standards | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Defense Research Projects Agency plans to establish a consortium to discuss standards and practices for on-orbit satellite servicing as a corollary to Robotic Servicing of Geostationary Satellites (RSGS), an effort to develop robotic spacecraft to inspect, repair and move other satellites.


“Our fear was that we would create a robotic servicing capability through RSGS and when our industry partner went to Lloyds of London for insurance, someone would say, ‘You have no authority to conduct that mission,’” said Brad Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office.

Through the construction and operation of the International Space Station, the international community has established laws and regulations concerning government spacecraft conducting rendezvous and proximity operations with other government spacecraft as well as government spacecraft conducting rendezvous and proximity operations with commercial spacecraft.

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SpaceX puts historic flown rocket on permanent display | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX puts historic flown rocket on permanent display | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Crews outside the SpaceX’s headquarters in Southern California on Saturday positioned the booster that stuck the first Falcon 9 rocket landing for vertical display, and now the launcher is an unmistakable Space Age trophy visible to passersby on nearby streets and freeways.

Workers put the rocket near the southeast corner of SpaceX headquarters at the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd. and Jack Northrop Ave. in Hawthorne, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.

The 156-foot-tall (47-meter) rocket stage landed at Cape Canaveral after a Dec. 21 launch with 11 Orbcomm communications satellites.

It was the first launcher stage SpaceX recovered after years of effort, during which the company switched from a plan to retrieve rockets with parachutes to an outside-the-box scheme involving multiple engine restarts, landing legs, and precision landing algorithms.

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A Decade of Commercial Transportation Blazes a Path for Successful Space Ventures

In 2006, a new vision for space transportation in low-Earth orbit took form. Ten years later, the landscape of humanity’s doorstep into the cosmos has fundamentally changed, thanks to efforts by NASA and American commercial companies.

 

At the time of the first Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) award in August 2006, NASA officials envisioned that commercial companies would take over low-Earth orbit transportation services while the agency focuses its research and development resources on deep space exploration.

 

NASA employed a two-phase strategy for developing commercial capabilities to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.  COTS was a demonstration of a commercial partners’ capability, providing NASA an opportunity to assess performance prior to purchasing services.  NASA then awarded Orbital ATK and SpaceX commercial resupply services contracts to each deliver at least 20 metric tons of cargo to the orbiting laboratory on their Dragon and Cygnus spacecraft, respectively.

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SpaceX Conducts Successful Crew Dragon Parachute System Test | Commercial Crew Program

SpaceX Conducts Successful Crew Dragon Parachute System Test | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A Crew Dragon test article successfully deployed its four main parachutes as planned during a test that saw the SpaceX-made test article dropped from a C-130 aircraft 26,000 feet above Delamar Dry Lake, Nevada. The Crew Dragon, designed to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, will use four parachutes when returning to Earth. SpaceX plans to land the initial flight tests and missions in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX is working on a propulsive landing system the company intends to use in the future missions to propulsively land on land using its SuperDraco engines.

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Spacewalk installs docking adapter to ready ISS for commercial crew | NASASpaceFlight.com

Spacewalk installs docking adapter to ready ISS for commercial crew | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The International Space Station (ISS) has finally received a new docking adapter on Friday, which will enable the orbital outpost to welcome the first of a new generation of crew vehicles. The spacewalkers of EVA-36 installed the long-awaited International Docking Adapter (IDA) via efforts that got underway at 12:04 PM GMT and ended just under six hours later.

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Spacewalk Concludes After Commercial Crew Port Installation | Space Station

Spacewalk Concludes After Commercial Crew Port Installation | Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins concluded their spacewalk at 2:02 EDT. During the five-hour and 58-minute spacewalk, the two NASA astronauts successfully installed the first of two international docking adapters (IDAs).

The IDAs will be used for the future arrivals of Boeing and SpaceX commercial crew spacecraft in development under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Commercial crew flights from Florida’s Space Coast to the International Space Station will restore America’s human launch capability and increase the time U.S. crews can dedicate to scientific research, which is helping prepare astronauts for deep space missions, including the journey to Mars.

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By sea, land and space – Busy week for SpaceX hardware | NASASpaceFlight.com

By sea, land and space – Busy week for SpaceX hardware | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

As the landed booster from the JCSAT-16 mission sailed into Port Canaveral on Wednesday, the next first stage – set to launch September’s Amos-6 mission – is expected to complete a road trip to Cape Canaveral over the coming days. Meanwhile, robotic assets on the ISS are preparing to remove the IDA-2 payload from the trunk of the CRS-9 Dragon on Wednesday evening.

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Diners and Dinners | SpaceNews Magazine

Diners and Dinners | SpaceNews Magazine | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Industry dynamics are one of the key elements that financial institutions, venture capitalists and investment bankers study when looking at the health of an industry and where it is likely headed. In the current space, industry people often delineate between “old space” and “new space.” This is largely due to the fact that the company sizes and capital structures are dramatically different but also, and perhaps most importantly, the industry dynamics are very different. What do we mean when we say industry dynamics? Well, essentially it is both the competitive landscape (markets, clients, pricing) as well as the interplay between the different players within an industry. The chart shows typical industry dynamics overtime.

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Carbon fiber report whips up interest in SpaceX’s plans for a colony on Mars

Carbon fiber report whips up interest in SpaceX’s plans for a colony on Mars | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Is SpaceX planning to buy billions of dollars’ worth of carbon fiber for future Mars-bound spaceships? The answer’s up in the air, but a report to that effect from Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review has set SpaceX’s fans abuzz..

The report claims that SpaceX and Toray Industries, a Japan-based fiber manufacturer, are working on a multiyear deal that could eventually be worth $2 billion to $3 billion (200 billion to 300 billion yen). “The two sides are aiming to finalize the agreement this fall after hammering out prices, time frames and other terms,” Nikkei Asian Review’s Yuichiro Kanematsu reported.

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