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ASTS to lead SpaceX certification activities at Vandenberg | SpaceRef

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation and the U.S. Air Force reached an agreement June 7 that will allow the company to compete for national security space payload contracts after it completes a certification process that will be led, at Vandenberg, by the 1st Air and Space Test Squadron.

While the official agreement signing ceremony was held at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., the 1 ASTS and Vandenberg SpaceX team held a local event at Space Launch Complex 4 to mark the start of the certification process.

 

 

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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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2014 Bigelow Aerospace Promotional Video | YouTube

Founded in 1999 by visionary entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, the goal of Bigelow Aerospace is to create a new paradigm in space commerce and exploration via the development and use of revolutionary expandable habitat technology. Expandable habitats offer dramatically larger volumes than rigid, metallic structures as well as enhanced protection against both radiation and physical debris. Additionally, expandable habitats are lighter than traditional systems, take up less rocket fairing space, and most important of all in today’s fiscally constrained environment, Bigelow habitats are extremely affordable.

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SpaceX postpones next Falcon 9 to review vehicle data | NewSpace Journal

SpaceX postpones next Falcon 9 to review vehicle data | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has postponed a Falcon 9 launch of an AsiaSat communications satellite that was scheduled for just after midnight Wednesday in order to “review all potential failure modes and contingencies again” but adding there is no specific issue with the rocket nor a link to last Friday’s loss of an experimental vehicle in a test flight.


In a statement issued around 10 pm Eastern time Tuesday evening by SpaceX, company CEO Elon Musk said the launch of AsiaSat 6 would be delayed by one to two weeks in order to “triple-check” potential issues that could cause problems. “We are not aware of any issue with Falcon 9, nor the interfaces with the spacecraft, but have decided to review all potential failure modes and contingencies again,” Musk said in the statement.

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SpaceX makes late call to delay ASIASAT-6 launch | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX makes late call to delay ASIASAT-6 launch | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has delayed the launch of its latest Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket – tasked with lofting the ASIASAT-6 satellite into orbit – for at least several days. The call was made by CEO Elon Musk shortly after the rocket had been erected at her Space Launch Complex -40 (SLC-40) pad, with the rationale based on giving the team more time to evaluate the health of the launch vehicle.


No specific reasons have been provided as to why the call was made, although engineers had been working on a helium leak throughout the past 24 hours or so.


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The downhill slide of NASA’s “rocket to nowhere” | The Space Review

The downhill slide of NASA’s “rocket to nowhere” | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

As predicted years ago, it appears the beginning of the end has begun for the gigantic rocket and Congressional boondoggle called the Space Launch System (SLS). This launcher is also known by its detractors as the “Rocket to Nowhere” because there are no payloads in development that are large enough to justify a rocket of its size.

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SpaceX test mishap prompts delay of Falcon 9 launch | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX test mishap prompts delay of Falcon 9 launch | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX says it has delayed liftoff of the next Falcon 9 rocket until Wednesday to ensure the problem that caused a prototype rocket to self-destruct in a test flight Friday will not pose a risk to the launch of a telecommunications satellite for AsiaSat.


Launch is now set for 12:50 a.m. EDT (0450 GMT) Wednesday from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad. The launch window extends for 3 hours, 15 minutes.

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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 25, 10:30 PM

SpaceX says it's delaying this weeks's Falcon 9 rocket launch until Wednesday morning to review circumstances behind a test flight that ended in a spectacular explosion on Friday.  SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said the space launch company is aiming to launch the Asia 6 telecommunications satellite at 0450 UTC Wednesday from the Cape Canaveral Complex, launch pad number 40.  Aloha de Russ.(KH6JRM).

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SpaceX now targeting Wednesday launch from Cape

SpaceX now targeting Wednesday launch from Cape | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has confirmed it is now targeting early Wednesday for launch of the AsiaSat 6 commercial communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a day later than previously planned.


The launch is set for 12:50 a.m. Wednesday from Launch Complex 40, at the opening of a window to 4:05 a.m.


The weather outlook is uncertain given the potential development of a tropical storm that could influence local conditions. An early forecast predicts a 60 percent chance of favorable conditions.


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10 Things to Know about Commercial Crew Transportation | Commercial Crew Program

10 Things to Know about Commercial Crew Transportation | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

CCtCap stands for Commercial Crew Transportation Capability. It is a contract for one or more U.S. aerospace companies to complete development of a human space transportation system capable of carrying people into orbit, specifically to transport astronauts to the International Space Station and return them safely to Earth. To be certified to carry NASA astronauts, the systems must meet NASA safety standards. It’s the last step in a cycle of five separate spacecraft transportation development Space Act Agreements and certification contracts NASA began in 2010.

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A Tiny 3-D Printed Space Camera To Fit Inside CubeSats | Popular Science

A Tiny 3-D Printed Space Camera To Fit Inside CubeSats | Popular Science | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

“ NASA is experimenting with small space cameras made almost entirely of 3-D printed parts. One experimental telescope, sized to fit inside a four-inch CubeSat, will likely be finished this September, according to the agency.”


Via iz1crr, Fabrice Chenille
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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 23, 10:06 PM

The manufacturing of ultra small parts for space cameras, transmitters, and motors is becoming a major mission of 3D technology.  Once these products are put inside a CubeSat, you will have a fully functional and sophisticated research vessel at a reasonable price.  I wonder if AMSAT is considering something such as this.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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SpaceX rocket prototype explodes in test flight | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX rocket prototype explodes in test flight | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A SpaceX rocket prototype designed to fine-tune vertical landing technology for reusable launchers exploded in a test flight in Central Texas on Friday, according to multiple eyewitness reports.


Photos posted to social media showed a fireball above SpaceX's rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas, about halfway between Dallas and Austin. Videos apparently depicted debris falling from the sky and firefighters responding to grass fires at the test site.

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Falcon 9 test vehicle destroyed in accident | NewSpace Journal

Falcon 9 test vehicle destroyed in accident | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

An experimental version of a Falcon 9 first stage used to test technologies for future reusable versions of that launch vehicle was destroyed during a flight Friday at SpaceX’s Texas test site, the company confirmed Friday evening.


The vehicle, known as F9R-Dev, was performing the latest in a series of test flights at the McGregor, Texas, site when the vehicle suffered an unexplained “anomaly,” according to a SpaceX statement issued Friday evening. Video of the flight published by local news media showed the stage perhaps tipping too far during a maneuver to translate, or fly sideways, during the test.

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Northrop Unveils XS-1 Spaceplane Design For Darpa | Aviation Week

Northrop Unveils XS-1 Spaceplane Design For Darpa | Aviation Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Northrop Grumman has unveiled its vertical-launch, horizontal-landing reusable booster design for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (Darpa) XS-1 experimental spaceplane program.


Northrop, teamed with subsidiary Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic, is working under a 13-month, $3.9 million Phase 1 preliminary-design contract, awarded in July. Contracts also went to Boeing with Blue Origin, and Masten Space Systems with XCOR Aerospace.


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ULA Takes Delivery of Two RD-180 Rocket Engines from Russia | SpaceNews.com

ULA Takes Delivery of Two RD-180 Rocket Engines from Russia | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — United Launch Alliance took delivery of a pair of Russian-built RD-180 rocket engines Aug. 20, boosting the inventory at the company’s Decatur, Alabama, assembly facility to 15, the company said in a statement.


Denver-based ULA, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, uses the Atlas 5 along with its Delta 4 rocket to launch the vast majority of U.S. government payloads. Future availability of the RD-180, particularly for U.S. military missions, has come into question amid a decline in U.S.-Russian relations following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continuing threats to Ukraine. 


The uncertainty has put momentum behind proposals to develop a new liquid-fueled main engine in the United States.

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What you need to know about commercial spaceflight

What you need to know about commercial spaceflight | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

In May 2012, the International Space Station's robotic claw, the Canadarm2, caught and secured the first commercial spacecraft to ever dock with the ISS: SpaceX's Dragon capsule. The bullet-shaped vehicle flew to the ISS carrying cargo for its crew, making history for the private space sector in the process. SpaceX has grown leaps and bounds since then, signing contracts with NASA and other government agencies and developing more advanced technologies for space travel. It's even in the midst of designing Dragon version 2, which, unlike its unmanned predecessor, will be able to fit up to seven passengers. While Elon Musk's company is the most well-known commercial spaceflight firm today, it's hardly the only one. The private space industry is huge and it continues to grow; read on to know more about it.

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SpaceX Puts AsiaSat 6 Launch on Hold for 'Triple-Check' | NBC News

SpaceX Puts AsiaSat 6 Launch on Hold for 'Triple-Check' | NBC News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX postponed its launch of the AsiaSat 6 telecommunication satellite on Tuesday, just hours before its Falcon 9 rocket was due to lift off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. In a statement, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said "we are not aware of any issue ... but have decided to review all potential failure modes and contingencies again." He expected the process to be completed within two weeks.


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Update on AsiaSat 6 Mission

Update on AsiaSat 6 Mission | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has decided to postpone tomorrow's flight of AsiaSat 6. We are not aware of any issue with Falcon 9, nor the interfaces with the Spacecraft, but have decided to review all potential failure modes and contingencies again. We expect to complete this process in one to two weeks.


The natural question is whether this is related to the test vehicle malfunction at our development facility in Texas last week. After a thorough review, we are confident that there is no direct link. Had the same blocked sensor port problem occurred with an operational Falcon 9, it would have been outvoted by several other sensors. That voting system was not present on the test vehicle.


What we do want to triple-check is whether even highly improbable corner case scenarios have the optimal fault detection and recovery logic. This has already been reviewed by SpaceX and multiple outside agencies, so the most likely outcome is no change. If any changes are made, we will provide as much detail as is allowed under US law.


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SpaceX Fail? Great!

SpaceX Fail? Great! | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Congratulations are due to Elon Musk and his Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) for generating an amazingly cool explosion over Central Texas Saturday morning when an experimental Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) self-destructed after a launch anomaly. This temporary setback involved no risk to humans and followed an impressive number of successful tests on the path to dramatically lowering space launch costs via the development of a reusable launch vehicle.


While NASA's space shuttle demonstrated that an orbital spacecraft can be reused, and at least two other commercial firms are developing exciting new vehicles that can be reflown, these systems dispose of nearly all of the hardware required to put them into space in the first place. By accepting the long-standing assumption of a single-use launcher, they are locked into a cold war paradigm where every orbital launch is a $100 million event. Only SpaceX has been pushing to completely redefine the economics of space by returning the first and possible second stage assemblies and engines safely back to Earth. If perfected, such a system could reduce the cost of launching payloads or astronauts by an order of magnitude.


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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 26, 1:33 PM

Despite the recent failure of its Falcon 9 Reusable Launch Vehicle, SpaceX is firmly committed to reusing as much of the launch system as possible.  At $100 million per NASA Shuttle Launch, the new Falcon 9 system marks a radical departure for sending payloads into space. If SpaceX perfects its Reusable Launch Vehicle, the new launch system "could reduce the cost of launching payloads or astronauts by an order of magnitude.   I trust that AMSAT is listening and will, investigate lower cost launch vehicles.  A low-cost constellation of amateur radio satellites similar to the old IMARSAT system would do a lot for emergency communications and the promotion of amateur radio.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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The unsettled launch industry | The Space Review

The unsettled launch industry | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

To the average person, a launch is an exciting event: a spectacle of fire and thunder as the rocket lifts off and ascends into the sky at an ever-increasing speed. To many customers of those launches, a launch can instead be a nerve-wracking event: hundreds of millions of dollars, and years of work, are sitting atop that controlled explosion. No doubt many commercial launch customers—who are not really in the space business but, rather, in the communications business—would be happy to trade in that spectacle for something less visually compelling but with a higher probability of success.

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SpaceX Delays Falcon 9 Satellite Launch After Rocket Blowup | NBC News

SpaceX Delays Falcon 9 Satellite Launch After Rocket Blowup | NBC News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX says it's delaying this week's Falcon 9 rocket launch by a day to review the circumstances behind a test flight that ended in a spectacular explosion on Friday. In a statement issued on Sunday, SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said the company is aiming to launch the AsiaSat 6 telecommunications satellite during a 3-hour, 15-minute window beginning at 12:50 a.m. ET Wednesday. That's a day later than previously planned.


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Cover the Next SpaceX Launch In-Person

Cover the Next SpaceX Launch In-Person | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

We’re inviting social media users to apply for credentials to attend the Sept. 19 launch for the next cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). Photographer on Instagram? Come photograph the launch. Prolific tweeter? Come live tweet the event. Long read writer on your blog? Come write about NASA. We invite you to the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, targeted to liftoff at 2:38 a.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 19, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 23, 10:21 PM

If you maintain an amateur radio blog, a social media presence, or work in the communications field, you may be eligible for press credentials to cover the 19 September 2014 launch of the next cargo resupply ship to the International Space Station (ISS).  Why not give this a try?  If you're interested, contact NASA--http://www.nasa.gov.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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F9R Dev1 [moment of explosion] | YouTube

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SpaceX Rocket Detonates After 'Anomaly' During Test Flight in Texas | NBC News

SpaceX Rocket Detonates After 'Anomaly' During Test Flight in Texas | NBC News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A SpaceX prototype rocket automatically detonated after an "anomaly" was detected during a test flight Friday in McGregor, Texas, the company told NBC News on Friday night. No one was injured.

John Taylor, a spokesman for SpaceX, said the rocket was a three-engine version of the F9R test vehicle, the successor to the company's Grasshopper, a prototype intended to pave the way for fully reusable rockets that would fly themselves back home. It's similar to the Falcon 9, which SpaceX uses to launch unmanned cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.


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Eventful Friday for SpaceX amid Static Fire and Test Failure | NASASpaceFlight.com

Eventful Friday for SpaceX amid Static Fire and Test Failure | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has had a dramatic end to the week, with a successful Static Fire test of their Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket at Cape Canaveral, concluded just hours after the F-9R Dev-1 test rocket failed during testing in Texas. The test failure holds no impact to next week’s ASIASAT-6 mission, currently targeting Wednesday.


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Executives talk about Midland’s space venture

Executives talk about Midland’s space venture | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The idea of a West Texas oil town as the future site of space travel, much less a place with a secondary industry, is not that far-fetched in the minds of two prominent private space industry insiders.


Orbital Outfitters CEO Jeff Feige and Holder Aerospace partner Livingston Holder talked with the Reporter-Telegram on Wednesday after presenting the design of the altitude chamber complex to be constructed at Midland International Airport’s spaceport. They discussed how fitting a spaceport would be for Midland.


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SNC Abandons Own Hybrid Motors on Dream Chaser | Parabolic Arc

SNC Abandons Own Hybrid Motors on Dream Chaser | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sierra Nevada Corporation won’t be using its own hybrid rockets for its Dream Chaser space shuttle, making it the second company in recent months after Virgin Galactic to dump the nitrous oxide-rubber motors.

Kathy Lueders, program manager for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), revealed the change in an update during the third quarterly meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) on July 24.

“SNC has also baselined a new propulsion system design (a pure liquid system design rather than a hybrid) in conjunction with their purchase of ORBITEC,” according to the meeting minutes.

Dream Chaser would have used two small hybrid motors per flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo would have used one larger nitrous oxide-rubber hybrid motor.

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Deep Space Industries Opens Lab in Silicon Valley

Deep Space Industries Opens Lab in Silicon Valley | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Deep Space last month opened a lab and office at the NASA Ames Research Park at Moffett Field in Silicon Valley, and expanded its staff.  The new facility provides space to begin assembly of the company’s initial spacecraft for an exciting project to be announced next month, with room to expand.  The new location enhances the visibility of Deep Space with the NASA-Ames leadership for partnering and contracting.  Ames is NASA’s lead center for small spacecraft and hosts a number of agency experts in commercial space.  The new facility is in close proximity to technology-savvy investors, partners and a skilled technology workforce.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX Is Raising Money At A Valuation Approaching $10B | TechCrunch

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Is Raising Money At A Valuation Approaching $10B | TechCrunch | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Space Exploration Technologies, the commercial space transportation startup founded by Elon Musk with ambitions to land people on Mars, is raising investment that values the company somewhere south of $10 billion, TechCrunch has learned.


These new details are emerging while SpaceX, as the company is more commonly known, continues to make advances with its own spacecraft and rack up more agreements for future commercial and government launches. The company also potentially faces stiffer competition from other commercial firms that are looking to compete more aggressively in the new space race.

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