Truth or Consequences hopes the spaceport will be the economic boost the low-income area desperately needs, but some of the project's supporters think the New Mexico Spaceport Authority isn’t honoring promises it made to the town.
With the SES-8 satellite happily undergoing initial preparations for its life in geostationary orbit, SpaceX is already preparing for the next mission – and many other wide-ranging missions into the future. While SES-8′s ride uphill mirrored the successes already achieved by other launch services companies, this mission propelled SpaceX’s stature to new heights within the industry.
The first US companies to launch people into space from American soil may have been in the room Wednesday when NASA officials discussed an upcoming opportunity that culminates with operational missions carrying astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
A pre-proposal conference by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida occurred approximately two weeks after CCP asked for proposals from aerospace companies that would lead to crewed missions to the ISS in 2017 or earlier.
Proposals from commercial companies will result in award of one or more contracts for the development and certification of a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap). CCtCap is the second phase of a two-phase certification plan for commercially built and operated integrated crew transportation systems.
12/4/2013 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing provided flawless Eastern Range support as Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) completed a successful launch of the SES-8 communications satellite from Launch Complex 40 here at 5:41 p.m. Dec. 3.
Airmen, Air Force civilians and contractors from throughout the 45th Space Wing provided vital support, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety, medical and public affairs. The wing also provided its vast network of radar, telemetry, optical and communications instrumentation to facilitate a safe launch on the Eastern Range.
Launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the payload flew on the Falcon 9 v1.1 configuration with upgraded Merlin 1D engines, stretched fuel tanks, and a payload fairing.
Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Cory Johnson and Bloomberg Businessweek's Ashlee Vance discuss the implications of SpaceX's launch of the Falcon 9 rocket. They speak on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)
Moon Express is a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company based at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. The company plans to send a series of robotic spacecraft to the moon for ongoing exploration and commercial development focused on benefits to Earth and has signed a partnership agreement with NASA for the development of its lunar lander system.
Moon Express, Inc., a privately funded lunar resources company, unveiled its "MX-1" lunar lander spacecraft today as a breakthrough robotic space vehicle capable of a multitude of applications including delivering scientific and commercial payloads to the Moon at a fraction of the cost of conventional approaches.
The spacecraft design is being unveiled today at the closing session of Autodesk University in Las Vegas in front of an audience of over 10,000 attendees.
The MX-1 synthesizes proprietary robotic technologies, advanced micro-avionics, and a unique toroidal structure to produce a "green" robotic spacecraft that is powered by sunlight and uses hydrogen peroxide as rocket fuel. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)is an oxygen enriched water compound commonly found in nature and biological systems. With the recent discovery of water on the Moon, the MX-1 has a potential source of rocket fuel on the lunar surface, a scenario that would be a game changer in the economics of lunar resources and solar system exploration.
"... If passed into law, H.R. 3625 would make it exceptionally difficult to ever halt SLS, Orion, or Webb or to adjust funds internally by treating them in a way that is utterly different than other NASA programs. Indeed it would make these programs into Zombies that can never be killed."
Going to the moon "might not have brought direct commercial value" to the United States, said Chad Anderson, director of European Operations at the Space Angels Network, "but the impact on the economy was huge."
That may be especially true now, as the space race shifts from nations to commercial enterprise. Space offers plenty of business opportunities, at least in the eyes of the space enthusiasts coming to the International Space Commerce 2013 Summit in London, where entrepreneurs, investors and state-sponsored space organizations gathered to discuss ways of making space exploration profitable.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Blue Origin, a startup commercial spaceflight company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, completed a full-duration burn of a liquid hydrogen-fueled engine developed for the New Shepard suborbital spaceship and planned orbital vehicles, president and program manager Rob Meyerson said Dec. 3.
The test, which took place at Blue Origin’s facility near Van Horn, Texas, simulated what an engine powering New Shepard would be required to do in flight, namely thrust at 110,000 pounds for 145 seconds to boost the ship, shut down for 4.5 minutes to allow the vehicle to coast beyond the atmosphere, restart and throttle down to 25,000 pounds of thrust to make a controlled, vertical landing.
The full-duration simulation, which occurred Nov. 20, capped an 11-month series of tests during which the engine was powered up 160 times and operated for a cumulative total of more than 2.5 hours.
“This is a very significant milestone for us,” Meyerson told reporters on a Dec. 3 conference call. “It gets us over a major hurdle, a major risk area for the development. It clears the way for moving forward into final checkout of the vehicle and readying it for flight test.”
Blue Origin is a private spaceflight company founded by Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos to develop commercial rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2000, but came to public attention in 2003 when it began buying land in Texas for its testing grounds.
Here, Blue Origin's pusher escape system rockets the Crew Capsule away from the launch pad, demonstrating a key safety system for both suborbital and orbital flights. Image released Oct. 22, 2012.
Blue Origin reached a key milestone in the development of the liquid-fueled BE-3 engine successfully demonstrating deep throttle, full power, long-duration and reliable restart all in a single-test sequence.
The BE-3 is the first completely new liquid hydrogen-fueled engine to be developed for production in the U.S. since the RS-68 more than a decade ago.
The test demonstrated a full mission duty cycle, mimicking flight of the New Shepard vehicle by thrusting at 110,000 pounds in a 145-second boost phase, shutting down for approximately four and a half minutes to simulate coast through apogee, then restarting and throttling down to 25,000 pounds thrust to simulate controlled vertical landing. To date, the BE-3 has demonstrated more than 160 starts and 9,100 seconds of operation at Blue Origin's test facility near Van Horn, Texas.
Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who commanded the second-last space shuttle mission — and spent months at the side of his wife, Gabrielle Giffords, while the congresswoman recovered from a near-fatal shooting in 2011 — has joined a venture to send tourists 100,000 feet up to get their own space-style view of Earth.
"This is the next step," Kelly told NBC News on Sunday.
Kelly will serve as director of crew operations for Arizona-based World View Enterprises, which is developing a high-altitude balloon and capsule that would take passengers to an altitude of roughly 30 kilometers (19 miles, or 100,000 feet) for an hours-long view of the curving Earth beneath the black sky of space. World View says its flight system could also be used for high-altitude research.
Subscale tests of the system are scheduled to begin next year, with commercial flights due to start as early as 2016. World View said it will start taking flight reservations on Wednesday, at $75,000 a ticket.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Twenty-three people are now the proud recipients of free trips to space and back again.
For the past week, more than 100 participants from over 60 countries around the world have taken part in mental aptitude tests, combat training in a fighter jet and zero-gravity flights to distinguish themselves as the most worthy of one for one of the coveted tickets to space with Space Expedition Corporation under a project by the makers of Axe Apollo body spray. SXC manages trips aboard the reusable XCOR Aerospace Lynx spacecraft, a commercial space plane that is expected to begin flying customers in 2014 or 2015.
Unlike some of its fellow NewSpace companies, Blue Origin keeps a very low, even secretive profile about its activities. The company, founded and funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, has gained a reputation for saying very little about what it’s up to. ““We like to talk about things after we’ve done them, and not before that, and hopefully you’ll be hearing a lot from us in the future,” Brett Alexander, director of business development and strategy at the company, said at a human spaceflight symposium in October at the US Naval Academy.
And, earlier this week, we did hear a little more from Blue Origin. The company held a rare teleconference with reporters tied to a press release—itself a rare event—about the latest tests of the company’s BE-3 engine. The engine, which uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants, will power the company’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle and, eventually, the upper stage of a planned orbital launch vehicle.
The Washington DC-based National Space Society (NSS) congratulates Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) on the successful launch of the SES-8 telecommunications satellite. It was launched Tuesday, December 3, 2013 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:41 PM Eastern Time.
Bruce Pittman, NSS Senior Vice President, said, "This milestone injects a new US competitor into the international commercial satcom launch market, and is an important step toward lowering the cost of access to space, which in turn will help drive space development and settlement."
SpaceX launched its seventh Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad, lofting the SES 8 communications satellite into a supersynchronous transfer orbit stretching more than 50,000 miles above Earth.
See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the mission.
Video Caption: Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) –- On today’s “Reganomix,” Former NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Space Adventures President Tom Shelley and Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson discuss Spacex’s successful launch of a satellite and the future of private space travel. They speak with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)
A commercial space company has revealed the design of the lunar lander that it aims to send to the moon in 2015.
California-based Moon Express unveiled the blueprint and first images of its MX-1 lunar lander today (Dec. 5) in Las Vegas, during the last day of the Autodesk University computer-aided design conference. In addition to delivering payloads to the lunar surface, the coffee-table-size MX-1 could also help service satellites, deploy tiny "cubesats" in Earth orbit and clean up space junk, company officials say.
"We really have tried to create a multifaceted, flexible and scalable spacecraft that can be utilized by other people for a number of different business applications," Moon Express co-founder and CEO Bob Richards told SPACE.com.
A U.S. spacecraft hasn’t made a controlled landing on the moon since Apollo 17 left the lunar surface on Dec. 14, 1972. That’s about to change.
Moon Express will unveil the MX-1 spacecraft at the Autodesk University show in Las Vegas on Thursday evening -- a micro-spacecraft that will in 2015 mark the first U.S. "soft" landing since the days of the Apollo program, FoxNews.com has learned.
The craft looks for all the world like a pair of donuts wearing an ice cream cone, and the tiny vehicle clearly isn’t big enough for a human being. But it is big enough to scoop up some rocks and dirt, store them in an internal compartment, and return it to Earth. After all, the moondirt Gene Cernan, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin once trod holds a king’s ransom of titanium, platinum, and other rare elements.
Blue Origin reached a key milestone in the development of the liquid-fueled BE-3 engine by successfully demonstrating deep throttle, full power, long-duration and reliable restart all in a single-test sequence.
Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates the team at Blue Origin for their successful full mission static firing of the BE-3 liquid hydrogen rocket engine. In a test at the company’s West Texas test facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated deep throttle, full power, long-duration and restart operations. The BE-3 is the first large scale liquid hydrogen-fueled engine to be developed for production in the U.S. since the RS-68 more than a decade ago. The engine development was supported by NASA as part of its Commercial Crew Program.
A group of would-be astronauts are heading down to Florida this week for the chance to win the opportunity of a lifetime: a free trip to the edge of space and back.
More than 100 participants from all over the world are converging on NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the AXE Apollo Space Academy — the final step in a yearlong contest designed to send 23 lucky winners to the edge of space. In total, 25 people will travel to space with AXE.
The 23 winners — chosen from the larger group in Florida — will receive tickets to fly from Space Expedition Corporation. SXC manages trips aboard the XCOR Aerospace Lynx aircraft, a reusable shuttle that is expected to start flying customers to space in 2015, according to reports. It costs $95,000 for a ticket on the Lynx spacecraft and more than 250 tickets have already been sold, according to XCOR officials.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space venture said on Tuesday that it reached a key milestone in the development of its home-grown, hydrogen-fueled rocket engine.
Blue Origin fired its BE-3 engine on Nov. 20 for the full cycle that would be expected during a suborbital space journey — including a 145-second burn at 110,000 pounds of thrust, a four-minute shutdown, and then a restart at 25,000 pounds of thrust for a minute to simulate a controlled vertical landing.
"We intend to upgrade this engine for a variety of applications," the company's president, Rob Meyerson, told NBC News during Tuesday's teleconference.
For more than a decade, Blue Origin has been working on a launch system known as "New Shepard" that could send tourists and researchers on suborbital flights to the edge of space, more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) up. The company plans to leverage that technology into an orbital launch system capable of carrying astronauts to the International Space Station, starting sometime after 2018.