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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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The Plan to Launch America | YouTube


On Monday, January 26th, 2015, NASA, Boeing and SpaceX held a news briefing on NASA Television at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to highlight key development activities, test plans and objectives for achieving certification of two American crew transportation systems. Under Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts for NASA’s Launch America initiative, Boeing and SpaceX will develop safe and reliable crew transportation to and from the International Space Station on American spacecraft launched from the United States.

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Christian Albrecht's curator insight, January 27, 3:56 PM

Very exciting times ahead!

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Falcon Heavy | Flight Animation - YouTube


Falcon Heavy will be the world’s most powerful rocket, a launch vehicle of scale and capability unequaled by any other currently flying.

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Christian Albrecht's curator insight, January 28, 4:40 PM

Absolutely Amazing!

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SpaceX Pad Abort Test Article Readied For Flight | Commercial Crew Program

SpaceX Pad Abort Test Article Readied For Flight | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX is preparing a test version of its Crew Dragon for an upcoming flight that will simulate an emergency abort from the launch pad. The Crew Dragon is designed to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, and the ability to abort from a launch or pad emergency and safely carry crew members out of harm’s way is a critical element for NASA’s next generation of crewed spacecraft. The pad abort test will take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 in under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA, but some data gathered during the development flight will be critical for the company as it continues on the path to certification.

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Boeing expected to win first operational space taxi order | Spaceflight Now

Boeing expected to win first operational space taxi order | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Boeing is poised to win NASA’s first order for operational commercial missions to send up astronauts to the International Space Station, a NASA official said Monday.

The aerospace giant is one of two companies NASA selected to build commercial space taxis to transport crews to and from the space station. SpaceX, a newcomer to human spaceflight, cinched a separate contract with NASA.

NASA announced Boeing and SpaceX as the winners of deals worth a maximum combined value of $6.8 billion. The contracts guarantee each company at least two full-up crew rotation missions to the space station — plus options for up to six flights — through 2019.

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Editorial | Finding the Right Formula for Certification


U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James was wise to order up an independent review of the service’s ponderous process for certifying new entrants in the national security launch market.

The study was prompted by delays in certifying SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to carry military payloads. Air Force officials, who as of mid-December were still hoping to complete the process by the end of 2014, recently acknowledged that SpaceX would have to wait a while longer, perhaps until the middle of this year.

The delay appears to have held up what would be the Air Force’s first truly competitive launch contract award in some 15 years. Bids for that National Reconnaissance Office launch — presumably from SpaceX and arch-nemesis United Launch Alliance — were due last August and industry sources were expecting a contract award in early January.

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The Next Space Race: Video

The Next Space Race: Video | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


(Bloomberg) -- “The Next Space Race” is a journey through the booming business of space exploration. The International Space Station is a near zero-gravity laboratory dedicated to scientific research. The end of NASA's shuttle program left the world with only one way to get there, buy a seat from the Russians. Now NASA is holding a billion dollar competition challenging private enterprise to build America's next spacecraft. Boeing, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada are all multi-billion dollar aerospace companies and are each determined to win the NASA contract in order to become the leader in the emerging space industry. Bloomberg gets rare access to these space pioneers, including a tour of SpaceX with CEO Elon Musk.

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SpaceX preparing for the crewed Dragon abort tests | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX preparing for the crewed Dragon abort tests | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX has revealed more details into its upcoming drive to bring the crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft on line, in its bid to return a domestic crew transportation system to the United States. Near term milestones include two abort tests, ahead of launching a crew on the Dragon V2, following what SpaceX estimates will have been after 50 flights of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

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10 More Things To Know About Commercial Crew Transportation

10 More Things To Know About Commercial Crew Transportation | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


American industrialization has long shown the benefits to customers of competitive markets, and NASA is capitalizing on that approach through the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts. The agency selected two independent systems designed by Boeing and SpaceX that, once certified, will add to the fleet of ships serving the International Space Station. Multiple awards maximizes meeting the program objectives, provides more options and flexibility for the agency throughout contract performance, reduces overall risk to the program, and best ensures successfully accomplishing safe, reliable missions to the station. Boeing and SpaceX are moving forward on their respective plans, providing NASA options for its transportation service needs while meeting the agency’s rigorous demands for safety.

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Video: Space-X, Boeing, NASA joint announcement

Video: Space-X, Boeing, NASA joint announcement | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

HOUSTON (FOX 26) - To the International Space Station and beyond! That's where America's astronauts are headed with the help of private industry.

Johnson Space Center was the location of a joint news conference Monday with SpaceX, and Boeing, the two companies under contract now to transport astronauts to and from the ISS. Both companies are still testing their astronaut capsules, but manned missions are expected to begin in 2017.

"As a result of the performance of our providers, this is not a hoax. This is not a myth. Not a dream," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

This would also mark the end of the United States dependence on Russia for astronaut transportation. Both companies say they can do so for millions of dollars less than the US pays the Russians on a per astronaut basis.

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NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Outline Objectives to Station Flights

NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Outline Objectives to Station Flights | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


American spacecraft systems testing followed by increasingly complex flight tests and ultimately astronauts flying orbital flights will pave the way to operational missions during the next few years to the International Space Station. Those were the plans laid out Monday by NASA's Commercial Crew Program officials and partners as they focus on developing safe, reliable and cost-effective spacecraft and systems that will take astronauts to the station from American launch complexes.

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With innovators from around the globe digging in, moon travel may be only 20 years away

With innovators from around the globe digging in, moon travel may be only 20 years away | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Five teams competing for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE have just been awarded a combined $5.25 million for meeting significant milestones in developing a robot that can safely land on the surface of the moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send mooncasts back to the Earth. A tiny startup from India, Team Indus, with no experience in robotics or space flight just won $1 million of this prize. It stood head to head with companies that had been funded by billionaires, had received the assistance of NASA, and had the support of leading universities.


The good news is that governments no longer have a monopoly on space exploration. In two or three decades, we will have entrepreneurs taking us on private spaceflights to the moon. That is what has become possible.

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Google Lunar XPrize Milestone Awards Announced

Google Lunar XPrize Milestone Awards Announced | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Since 2007, teams of entrepreneurs from around the world have been working towards a dream: To kick-start a new era of commercial exploration on the moon. Today, with the awarding of the Google Lunar XPrize Milestone Prizes, five talented teams have proved that those dreams may become a reality sooner than later.

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Private Moon Race Heats Up As Five Google Lunar XPRIZE Teams Take Home $5.25 Million For Key Technological Advancements

Private Moon Race Heats Up As Five Google Lunar XPRIZE Teams Take Home $5.25 Million For Key Technological Advancements | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


San Francisco (January 26, 2015) — XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competition, today announced that five Google Lunar XPRIZE teams have been awarded a combined US$5.25 million in recognition of key technological advancements toward their quest to land a private spacecraft on the surface of the moon. Determined by a judging panel of science, aeronautics and space industry experts that evaluated numerous tests over the past year, the Milestone Prizes honor hardware and software innovations needed to overcome technical risks in the three crucial areas—Imaging, Mobility and Landing systems—all of which are necessary to complete a successful Google Lunar XPRIZE mission.

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Back To The Moon For Good – The New Space Race | YouTube


Watch our cool movie about going back to the Moon. In case you haven’t heard, the Moon is trending again… and in a big way. Narrated by Tim Allen (voice of Buzz Lightyear), this is a complete behind-the-scenes feature on the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized prize in history. Adapted from the award-winning digital planetarium show, the 24-minute movie chronicles 18 teams from around the world looking to make history by landing a privately funded robotic spacecraft on the Moon. This global competition is designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world. 

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$6 Million Milestone Prize Awards | YouTube


XPRIZE and Google have incorporated Milestone Prizes into the Google Lunar XPRIZE in order to reward teams who achieve key milestones on their way to ready their subsystems for launch.

The Milestone Prizes, totalling US$6 million, are for demonstrating (via actual testing and analysis) robust hardware and software to overcome key technical risks in the areas of imaging, mobility and lander systems — all three being necessary to achieve a successful Google Lunar XPRIZE mission.

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SpaceX confirms first Crew Dragon flights will return to ocean landings | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX confirms first Crew Dragon flights will return to ocean landings | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft being developed by SpaceX will return to Earth under parachutes for splashdowns in the ocean, and not execute helicopter-like propulsive touchdowns on land, a SpaceX official confirmed Monday.

SpaceX unveiled the Crew Dragon spaceship — also called the Dragon V2 — in a glitzy event held at the company’s Southern California headquarters in May 2014.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and chief executive, said the capsule would be outfitted with powerful new SuperDraco thrusters that double as a launch escape system and braking rockets for landing.

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ATK and Orbital Shareholders Approve Merger | SpaceNews.com


WASHINGTON — Shareholders of ATK and Orbital Sciences Corp. approved the merger of the two companies in separate votes Jan. 27, clearing the way for the merger to close in early February.

ATK announced that approximately 97 percent of votes cast by its shareholders, representing 77 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, were in favor of the merger. Orbital said that about 99 percent of votes, representing 85 percent of its shares, approved the merger.

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An exclusive live chat with Google Lunar XPrize teams! - YouTube


The Milestone phase of the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize is coming to a close, so we're gathering representatives from the five prize-winning teams to talk about how they plan to get to the moon by next year.

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Boeing, SpaceX on track for commercial crew flights to station in 2017 | Spaceflight Now

Boeing, SpaceX on track for commercial crew flights to station in 2017 | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


NASA expects to spend some $5 billion underwriting development of commercial spacecraft built by Boeing and SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, officials said Monday, ending sole reliance on the Russians for crew ferry flights and eventually lowering the average cost per seat to around $58 million.

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NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Share More Details on Commercial Crew Plans | SpaceNews.com

NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Share More Details on Commercial Crew Plans | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — With a legal challenge now behind them, two companies that won NASA contracts offered more details Jan. 26 about their plans to develop and test commercial crew vehicles, while the agency expressed optimism those vehicles will be ready for service by 2017.

At a press conference at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, both NASA and company officials offered new details about Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts the agency awarded to Boeing and SpaceX in September. Those details had largely been under wraps while a third company, Sierra Nevada Corp., filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

On Jan. 5, the GAO denied the protest, a decision NASA commercial crew program manager Kathy Lueders described as a “late Christmas present” for the program. “It’s great to be able to finally talk openly about what the commercial crew program is doing,” she said.

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'Orange is Not Going To Be the New Black for Shotwell'

'Orange is Not Going To Be the New Black for Shotwell' | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


At a NASA press conference Jan. 26 to discuss the U.S. space agency’s commercial crew transportation efforts, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said that SpaceX anticipated performing at least 50 launches of its Falcon 9 rocket before the first test flight of a Dragon spacecraft carrying crew, planned for early 2017.

During a question-and-answer session that followed, one reporter asked Shotwell if that estimated number of Falcon 9 launches included Air Force missions that the company might win as a result of a settlement the Air Force and SpaceX reached Jan. 23, about which neither side has revealed many details.

Shotwell, in her response, indicated no desire to get into trouble with the government by offering more details about that settlement.

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Commercial Crew To Be Ready by 2017, But NASA Will Keep Flying on Soyuz Too

NASA held a press conference on Monday with its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCAP) partners Boeing and SpaceX to highlight progress on developing U.S. systems to take astronauts to space.  Both companies said they will be ready by the end of 2017, but CBS News adds that NASA still plans to use one seat on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft for the duration of the space station program and for Russians to fly on the U.S. systems.


Launching American astronauts on American vehicles from American soil has been a NASA goal since the Obama Administration terminated the space shuttle program in 2011.   NASA currently pays Russia approximately $75 million per seat to launch U.S. astronauts (and those from its Canadian, European and Japanese ISS partners) on Soyuz spacecraft.  Russia is the only ISS partner capable of launching humans into space today.

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Google Lunar Xprize Awards $5.25 Million In Competitive Race To The Moon

Google Lunar Xprize Awards $5.25 Million In Competitive Race To The Moon | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Google Lunar Xprize wants to do something that has never been done before in the history of mankind: land a private spacecraft on the moon that can travel at least 500 meters and transmit both high-definition video and imagery back to Earth, once there.


Today, Xprize handed 5 of the competing teams a combined $5.25 million of the $30 million total in prize money for overcoming key technical risks in landing, mobility and imagery.


The prize money is part of a series of interim Milestone Prizes meant to reward teams who meet certain requirements necessary at this stage in the competition. They are an optional reward, designed to recognize advanced progress in each team’s spacecraft.

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Google Lunar X Prize Milestone Prizes

Google Lunar X Prize Milestone Prizes | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The Milestone Prizes, totaling US$6 million, demonstrated (via actual testing and analysis) robust hardware and software to overcome key technical risks in the areas of imaging, mobility and lander systems — all three being necessary to achieve a successful Google Lunar XPRIZE mission. Milestone Prizes were available in each of those three categories. The prize value and winning teams are:

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Moon Race Heats Up as Five Teams Take Home $5.25 Million

Moon Race Heats Up as Five Teams Take Home $5.25 Million | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Although humanity first set foot on the moon decades ago, people forget that getting there is difficult. The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE is asking teams to do something that has never been accomplished--landing a private spacecraft on the surface of the moon that travels at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and imagery back to Earth. This is a feat that only the world's three largest space powers have accomplished, and in success, this accomplishment will bring the cost of landing on the moon down from a $1 billion effort to a $50 million effort--making it 20 times cheaper and enabling individuals, universities and private companies to access to the moon.

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