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Bill shoots for SpaceX commercial spaceport in Texas | Houston Business Journal

Bill shoots for SpaceX commercial spaceport in Texas | Houston Business Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

While NASA's future remains cloudy in Houston, private-sector spaceflight may be in the cards for Texas. A state lawmaker has filed legislation to lure the world's first commercial orbital launch site to Brownsville, just days after the Houston Airport System said it sees commercial space flight as a viable option in the long-term future.

 

State Rep. Rene Oliveira filed House Bill 2623 to give certain counties and the General Land Office the authority to temporarily close a beach or a beach access point, enabling the launching of rockets from a proposed spaceport for the next generation of rockets built by entrepreneur and visionary Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.

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Rosamaria's curator insight, April 21, 2013 12:41 PM

Private space programs are on!

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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Pad Abort Test | Point of View | YouTube


The Pad Abort Test was the first key flight test of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, a vehicle designed to carry astronauts to and from space.

Dragon traveled from 0-100 mph in 1.2 seconds, reaching a max velocity of 345 mph.

The test simulated how Dragon would carry astronauts to safety if an emergency occurred on the launch pad. Crew Dragon’s abort system is powered by eight SuperDraco engines which together produce 120,000 pounds of axial thrust. The engines are integrated directly into the sides of the vehicle rather than carried on top of the vehicle as with previous launch abort systems. This configuration provides astronauts escape capability from the launch pad all the way to orbit and allows the spacecraft to use the same thrusters to land propulsively on land at the end of a mission. For more information on the test, see: http://www.spacex.com/news/2015/05/06/crew-dragon-completes-pad-abort-test

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Space Coast Pads transitioning for the new era | NASASpaceFlight.com

Space Coast Pads transitioning for the new era | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Physical changes to a number of historic pads located on Florida’s Space Coast are progressing apace, with Cape Canaveral’s SLC-41 now enjoying modification work to prepare it for crewed launches of Boeing’s CST-100. The work is being conducted at the same time as two nearby pads – LC39A and 39B – continue their conversations to host SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy and NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS).

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Get an Astronaut's-Eye View of SpaceX's Dragon Launch Abort Test

Get an Astronaut's-Eye View of SpaceX's Dragon Launch Abort Test | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship is being built to zoom astronauts out of harm's way in the event of a launch pad emergency — but based on newly released video that was captured during this month's pad abort test, it could be the kind of ride people would pay for, even if they're not going into space.

The May 6 test flight at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida marked the first on-the-pad trial for the Crew Dragon "pusher" system, powered by the next-gen capsule's eight SuperDraco thrusters. The Dragon accelerated from zero to 100 mph (160 kilometers per hour) in just 1.2 seconds and reached a top speed of 345 mph (555 kilometers per hour).

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Draper To Test Spacesuit Tech on NASA-funded Zero-g Flight

Draper To Test Spacesuit Tech on NASA-funded Zero-g Flight | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Draper Laboratory is getting a fresh $250,000 from NASA to test gravity-imitating spacesuit technology on a commercial parabolic research flight perhaps as soon as this fall.

The April 22 grant from NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program follows a $500,000 award Draper received from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program in late 2012 for a two-year effort to develop technology that could be integrated into an astronaut’s clothing to better adapt to the disorienting effects of weightlessness.


Seamus Tuohy, director of Draper’s space systems division here, said the lab has matched NASA’s money with about $500,000 of its own to further develop the Variable Vector Countermeasure Suit, which could one day give astronauts a sense of “down” while floating in space.

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SpaceX Dragon completes CRS-6 mission with splashdown | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX Dragon completes CRS-6 mission with splashdown | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX’s CRS-6 Dragon unberthed from the International Space Station (ISS) and was released from the grip of the Station’s “Big Arm” on Thursday. The resupply ship then completed homeward leg of her trouble-free orbital adventures, with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean expected less than six hours after parting ways with the orbital outpost.

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House Approves Commercial Space Bill | SpaceNews.com

House Approves Commercial Space Bill | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill with a number of commercial space policy provisions May 21, despite objections from some Democratic members about the bill’s language and warnings that the Senate is unlikely to adopt it.

The House passed H.R. 2262, the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act, on a 284–133 vote after nearly two hours of debate. Nearly 50 Democrats joined almost all the chamber’s Republicans in voting for the bill.

The act combines four commercial space bills approved by the House Science Committee in a May 13 markup. The cornerstone of the bill is a section dealing with commercial launch issues, including extending the “learning period” limiting safety regulations for people flying on commercial spacecraft, and indemnification for third-party damages from commercial launches, through 2025.

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Commercial Space Legislation Clears Senate Committee, Set for Vote in House Tomorrow

Bipartisan legislation affecting commercial space activities cleared the Senate Commerce Committee this morning.  The House is scheduled to debate its own commercial space bill on the floor tomorrow, May 21, but although it addresses many of the same topics, it is quite different from the Senate bill and does not have bipartisan support.


The Senate bill, S. 1297, the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, is sponsored by Republican Senators Ted Cruz (TX), Marco Rubio (FL), and Cory Gardner (CO), and Democratic Senators Bill Nelson (FL) and Gary Peters (MI).   It was adopted by voice vote, along with a Wicker (R-MS) amendment that adds another topic -- as assessment of existing private and government infrastructure -- to be included in a report required in Section 6.  The bill covers a broad range of issues affecting commercial space launch activities and commits the United States to utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) at least through 2024 as proposed by the Obama Administration last year.

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Review: Elon Musk | The Space Review

Review: Elon Musk | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

He is one of the major figures in the space industry today, but Elon Musk remains something of an enigma to people who are puzzled by his way of doing business and his passion for Mars. Jeff Foust reviews a new biography that covers Musk’s life and his work at SpaceX.

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Fiscal Uncertainty, Global Challenge, and the Value of Commercialization | SpaceNews.com

Fiscal Uncertainty, Global Challenge, and the Value of Commercialization | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


... "The U.S. government must press even harder for greater reliance on commercial space capabilities. The benefits are more relevant now than ever. The billions of dollars of taxpayer investment in technology and material improvements are now coming of age in robust commercial space systems. In remote sensing, space situational awareness, weather, and of course, satellite communications, commercial companies can provide affordability, resilience, rapid technology refresh and many additional launch opportunities.

"By embracing a greater reliance on commercial capabilities for a vast diversity of missions, the DoD can save money, while improving capability. It can increase resilience and survivability against a growing array of threats. And it can reduce the trend of technological and material decline. Greater reliance on commercial can help address staffing problems, and free up precious uniformed personnel for more challenging issues related to the growing threat."

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SpaceX has ‘aggressive’ schedule leading up to crew flights | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX has ‘aggressive’ schedule leading up to crew flights | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Staying true to a corporate philosophy that favors high-visibility flight tests, SpaceX plans to continue wringing out major parts of the company’s human-rated Dragon spaceship in a sequence of dramatic flights leading up to the capsule’s first crewed mission scheduled for 2017.

“We have a very aggressive and exciting year ahead of us,” said Garrett Reisman, SpaceX’s director of crew operations and a former space shuttle astronaut.

If everything goes according to plan, SpaceX says it can send an unmanned version of the next-generation Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station by the end of 2016. An orbital test flight with two pilots will follow in early 2017 to cap a series of test milestones leading to NASA’s certification of the capsule to carry space station crews.

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Two More Failures in One Day Bedevil Russian Space Program


Russia's space program suffered two more failures in the past day. First, the engines of a Progress cargo spacecraft attached to the International Space Station (ISS) did not fire when commanded to raise the orbit of the ISS. Then, the launch of a Proton rocket carrying a Mexican communications satellite failed. These are on top of the failure of a different Progress cargo ship that made an uncontrolled reentry over the Pacific Ocean last week.

Russia launches four or five Progress cargo spacecraft to the ISS each year. Progress M-26M is currently attached to the ISS. These spacecraft deliver food, fuel and other supplies and also are used to periodically raise the space station's orbit by firing their engines. It is a routine reboost operation that dozens of Progress spacecraft have executed for space stations beginning with the Soviet Union's Salyut 6 in the late 1970s and progressing through the Salyut 7, Mir and now ISS programs.

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Russian Proton rocket fails on satellite mission | Sen.com

Russian Proton rocket fails on satellite mission | Sen.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Sen—The Russian space program has suffered another launch failure, crippling its commercial operations, just weeks after a major accident grounded the main carrier of its human missions.

The Proton rocket lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday, May 16, carrying the MexSat-1 communications satellite for the Mexican government. The initial phase of the flight seemed to go smoothly until an official commentator suddenly declared a "non-nominal situation" and interrupted the live broadcast of the launch slightly more than eight minutes into the flight, during the operation of Proton's third stage.

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ISS orbit correction not completed as Progress spacecraft engines fail to start — source

ISS orbit correction not completed as Progress spacecraft engines fail to start — source | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Progress M-26M cargo spacecraft’s engines did not start today to lift the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS), a source in the space industry told TASS on Saturday.

"Services on the ground [Mission Control Center in the Moscow Region] gave a command to perform the maneuver, but Progress spacecraft engines failed to start, according to the US. The reasons are under investigation," the source said.


Stratocumulus's insight:


The Good News: Congress is still sending millions of taxpayer dollars to the Russian Space Program every year rather than fully invest in America's Commercial Crew Program.

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Space Station Module Move Makes Way for Commercial Crew Spacecraft

Space Station Module Move Makes Way for Commercial Crew Spacecraft | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The International Space Station Program will take the next step in expanding a robust commercial market in low-Earth orbit when work continues Wednesday, May 27, to prepare the orbiting laboratory for the future arrival of U.S. commercial crew and cargo vehicles. NASA Television will provide live coverage of the activity beginning at 8 a.m. EDT.

NASA is in the process of reconfiguring the station to create primary and back up docking ports for U.S. commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by Boeing and SpaceX to once again transport astronauts from U.S. soil to the space station and back beginning in 2017. The primary and backup docking ports also will be reconfigured for U.S. commercial spacecraft delivering research, supplies and cargo for the crew.

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Video: You May Be Able to Travel to Space for $100K


Find out the new company that is trying to make space travel for civilians possible from the Mojave desert.

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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo 2.0 Puts 'Weight on Wheels'

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo 2.0 Puts 'Weight on Wheels' | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Nearly seven months after a fatal breakup destroyed Virgin Galactic's first SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, the second SpaceShipTwo reached a construction milestone on Thursday: "weight on wheels," the point at which the structure is able to stand on its own landing gear rather than resting on supports.

"Although there's still much work to be done, this was a powerful and emotional moment for our team to reflect on how far we have come," the company wrote in a Facebook post.

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SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


A SpaceX cargo capsule loaded with 3,100 pounds of research samples, no-longer-needed equipment and trash returned to Earth Thursday after a month-long stay at the International Space Station, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Long Beach, Calif., after a fiery descent from orbit.

Astronaut Scott Kelly, operating the station’s 58-foot-long robot arm, released the cargo ship at 7:04 a.m. EDT (GMT-4) as the two spacecraft sailed 250 miles above the southern coast of Australia. The computer-controlled capsule then moved a safe distance away and fired its braking rockets at 11:49 a.m., dropping the far side of its orbit deep into the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

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Mars One vs. Fighting a Dragon: Which is Less Realistic?

Mars One vs. Fighting a Dragon: Which is Less Realistic? | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Welcome to Dragon One, a mission to send humans to fight a dragon in 2025. Which is plenty of time for the checks to clear. This is the tale of human progress, the heroic story of brave souls saving the Earth from a mythical creature, and the outright epic saga of a marketing team selling this idea in 2015 when it isn’t even remotely possible.

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NASA: Spending bill would prolong dependence on Russia

NASA: Spending bill would prolong dependence on Russia | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — A key House panel voted Wednesday not to fully fund NASA's request for replacing the space shuttle, likely prolonging U.S. reliance on Russian rockets to get to the International Space Station.

The House Appropriations Committee approved $18.5 billion for NASA in fiscal 2016, roughly the amount the Obama administration sought for the agency.

But the Republican-led committee diverted more money to deep-space exploration and planetary science at the expense of Earth science research and the Commercial Crew program, which is funding development of private rockets by SpaceX and Boeing to take astronauts to the space station.

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Beam me up

Beam me up | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The BEAM was developed by ­Bigelow Aerospace, a 16-year-old Las Vegas company whose founder, ­Robert Bigelow, has made a fortune in ­real-­estate and hotel development. Bigelow has pledged $500 million of his own fortune to developing low-cost, long-term habitats for low-Earth-orbit (LEO) missions and those beyond LEO to the moon and Mars.

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Two small steps for humankind | The Space Review

Two small steps for humankind | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Getting humans to live beyond Earth in a sustainable manner is a long-term effort with many steps involved. Derek Webber proposes that NASA focus on two initial steps, supporting key technologies that can enable eventual human space settlement.

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ISS orbit adjustment maneuver conducted successfully

ISS orbit adjustment maneuver conducted successfully | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Mission Control Centre (MCC) has successfully conducted an operation to adjust the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS), a rocket and space industry source told TASS on Monday. The orbit correction was made with the Progress M-26M spacecraft engines.

"The manoeuvre has been completed," the source said.

According to him, the spacecraft’s engines worked for 23 minutes. During this time the ISS orbit was lifted by 2.8 km to reach 405 km on the average.

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Komarov to Head Proton Failure Investigation, Second Try For ISS Reboost Tonight EDT

Russia is moving forward in its attempts to understand and remedy the two setbacks it suffered yesterday -- the failure of Progress M-26M to boost the International Space Station's (ISS's) orbit and the failure of a Proton-M rocket that destroyed Mexico's MexSat-1 communications satellite.

A second attempt at the ISS orbit reboost will be made tonight (May 17) beginning at 8:30 pm EDT (May 18, 03:30 Moscow Time) according to Russia's official news agency TASS.  The Progress M-26M spacecraft that is attached to the ISS was supposed to raise the ISS orbit by 2.8 kilometers yesterday (Moscow Time, Friday evening EDT) by firing its engines for about 15 minutes.  The routine operation failed, however, because the engines did not ignite.

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ILS Proton Failure Destroys Centenario Satellite, Leaves Inmarsat in Lurch

ILS Proton Failure Destroys Centenario Satellite, Leaves Inmarsat in Lurch | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


BOSTON — An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket carrying Mexico’s Centenario mobile communications satellite failed about eight minutes and 10 seconds after liftoff May 16 in what early reports said was a problem with the rocket’s third stage.

Russia’s Roscosmos space agency declined immediately to list possible causes, saying it would do so after more information becomes available.

Reston, Virginia-based ILS said in a statement that “preliminary flight information indicates that the anomaly occurred during the operation of the third stage, approximately 490 seconds after liftoff.” The launch, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, occurred at 11:47 a.m. local time (1:47 a.m. EDT).

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ISS Orbit Correction Failed | Russian Space Agency Source / Sputnik International

ISS Orbit Correction Failed | Russian Space Agency Source / Sputnik International | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Engines of the Progress M-26M cargo spacecraft, which is currently docked to the International Space Station (ISS), did not start on time, and a planned correction of the ISS orbit could not be carried out, a source in the Russian Federal Space Agency said Saturday.

Experts are currently trying to figure out the reason behind this malfunction, the source added.

A problem with the control system likely made it impossible to start the engines of the Progress M-26M cargo craft that was set to raise the orbit of the International Space Station.

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