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The Space Review: The Silicon Valley of space could be Silicon Valley

The Space Review: The Silicon Valley of space could be Silicon Valley | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

...The aerospace industry, to be certain, has had a presence in Silicon Valley for decades.

 

What’s different this time around is that the space companies taking root in the region are looking less like the large, established aerospace companies—sometimes dubbed, at least somewhat pejoratively, as “OldSpace”—but more like the other entrepreneurial companies in the region.

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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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Simulators Offer Astronauts Glimpse of Future Flight

NASA Commercial Crew astronauts Eric Boe and Suni Williams practiced mission operations for Boeing's CST-100 Starliner using a part-task trainer designed to mimic the controls and behavior of the spacecraft. They are part of a suite of cloud-based and hands-on trainers that Boeing has built to prepare astronauts and mission controllers. The trainers will be shipped to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston this year so astronauts can use them daily to practice numerous situations from normal operations to unlikely emergencies. The Starliner is one of two spacecraft in development in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program that will enable astronauts to fly to the International Space Station on a new generation of spacecraft made in America and launching from Florida's Space Coast. Working at Boeing's St. Louis facility, Boe and astronaut Suni Williams ran through numerous mission phases to assess the simulators.

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A launch company, and industry, in transformation | The Space Review

A launch company, and industry, in transformation | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

United Launch Alliance found itself on the hot seat last month after a executive made controversial comments at a university seminar that leaked out. Jeff Foust reports that behind the controversy are insights into the transformation that company, and the broader launch industry, are undergoing.

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An overview of the American Space Renaissance Act (part 1) | The Space Review

An overview of the American Space Renaissance Act (part 1) | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, Congressman Jim Bridenstine introduced a wide-ranging space policy bill. Michael Listner begins a three-part examination of its contents by looking at the section discussing military space issues.

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SpaceX's new 360 video puts you on the drone ship as a rocket lands

SpaceX's new 360 video puts you on the drone ship as a rocket lands | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

This is something else.

An incredible new 360 video from Elon Musk's SpaceX puts you right on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean as the company's Falcon 9 rocket came in for its successful landing on April 8.

The new video shows everything from the rocking of the ship as the rocket comes down to the deployment of its landing legs just before touchdown.

And the roar of the rocket is deafening:

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Simulators Give Astronauts Glimpse of Future Flights

Simulators Give Astronauts Glimpse of Future Flights | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA's commercial crew astronauts Suni Williams and Eric Boe tried out a new generation of training simulators at the Boeing facility in St. Louis Tuesday that will prepare them for launch, flight and returns aboard the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The training also brought recollections of earlier eras when NASA's Mercury and Gemini spacecraft were built in St. Louis and astronauts routinely travelled to the city for simulator time.

NASA selected Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, Boe and Williams in July to train for test flights aboard the Starliner ‎and SpaceX Crew Dragon to the International Space Station. The flight assignments have not been set, so all four of the astronauts are rehearsing for the Starliner and Crew Dragon test flights to the space station.

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Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities (CCSC)

Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities (CCSC) | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

In pursuit of the goals of the National Space Policy and NASA’s strategic plan, NASA is continuing its efforts to foster the development of new industrial space-related capabilities that will lead to education and job growth in science and engineering and spur economic growth as capabilities for new space markets are created.

The Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate established the Commercial Space Capabilities Office at the Johnson Space Center to solicit and manage Space Act Agreements with U.S. private sector enterprises that wish to collaborate with NASA on the development of new space-related capabilities.

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Achieving Science Goals with CubeSats

An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the National Research Council will review the current state of the scientific potential and technological promise of CubeSats. CubeSats are small satellites built in increments of 10 cm cubes (1 cube is called 1U or "unit," two 10 cm cubes together are known as 2U, and so on). In particular, the committee will review the potential of CubeSats as platforms for obtaining high priority science data including, but not limited to, the priority science challenges identified in (a) recent NRC decadal surveys in astronomy and astrophysics, Earth science, planetary science, and solar and space physics (heliophysics) and (b) the science priorities identified in the 2014 NASA Science Plan. The committee’s review will provide a set of recommendations on how to assure the scientific return on future federal agency support of CubeSat programs.

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SpaceX announces plan to send mission to Mars in 2018 | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX announces plan to send mission to Mars in 2018 | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Elon Musk’s space transport company — chartered with a long-term goal of colonizing Mars — plans to send the first commercial mission to the red planet as soon as 2018 with assistance from NASA, SpaceX announced Wednesday.

Measuring about 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide, the Red Dragon spacecraft will not carry astronauts, but it will land on Mars to show the new capsule’s ability to reach far-flung destinations throughout the solar system, SpaceX said.

Musk plans to reveal SpaceX’s concept for sending humans to Mars in September at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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SpaceX plans to send a spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to send a spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX plans to send its Dragon spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018, the company announced on Wednesday — marking a major first step toward CEO Elon Musk’s goal of sending humans to the Red Planet. The company didn’t say how many spacecraft it will send, but hinted it would conduct a series of these Dragon missions and that it would release more details soon. In a tweet, the company indicated that the capsules would fly on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, a bigger version of its Falcon 9; the rocket will launch the capsules to the planet to test out how to land heavy payloads on Mars. If successful, the endeavor would make SpaceX the first private spaceflight company to land a vehicle on another planet.

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SpaceX plans to debut Red Dragon with 2018 Mars mission | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX plans to debut Red Dragon with 2018 Mars mission | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has entered into an agreement with NASA for a Dragon mission to Mars, set to take place as early as 2018. Known as “Red Dragon”, the variant of the Dragon 2 spacecraft will be launched by the Falcon Heavy rocket, ahead of a soft landing on the surface of Mars. The mission is also part of an agreement with NASA to gain further data on Mars landings.

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Falcon 9 rocket wins landmark U.S. Air Force launch contract | Spaceflight Now

Falcon 9 rocket wins landmark U.S. Air Force launch contract | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch a third-generation GPS navigation satellite for the U.S. military in 2018, the Air Force said Wednesday, breaking a monopoly held by United Launch Alliance since its formation nearly a decade ago.

The second satellite in the Air Force’s GPS 3 series, GPS 3-2, will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in May 2018.

The Air Force’s announcement came hours after SpaceX unveiled a plan to send the first commercial mission to Mars in 2018, when it hopes to send an uncrewed “Red Dragon” capsule to land there.

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SpaceX is ready to try another rocket landing

SpaceX is ready to try another rocket landing | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space on April 8, and after the first stage delivered its payload, the vehicle descended back to Earth and landed on an autonomous drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Now the company hopes to repeat that sea-based feat under more dynamically challenging conditions. The launch earlier this month carried a Dragon spacecraft, destined for the International Space Station about 400km above the surface. With a launch presently set for May 4 during the early morning hours, SpaceX plans to deliver a Japanese broadcast satellite into orbit 22,000km above the planet's surface.

This means that the first stage will accelerate to a greater velocity, moving almost parallel to the surface and away from the launch site, before it releases the second stage and the primary payload. This trajectory will leave the vehicle with far less fuel to arrest this horizontal motion, and to control its descent to the barge waiting below.

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Statement by General John E. Hyten on proposed use of excess ICBM Motors for commercial launch

4/25/2016 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, COLO. -- At the 32nd Space Symposium I was asked whether I supported the US government making decommissioned ICBM motors available to the commercial space industry. I want to clearly state that I believe this decision is a matter of national policy and law which rests with Congress. We look forward to working with Congress as this matter is considered.

I stated that I believe it's appropriate to consider leveraging the considerable investment that the American taxpayer has made in developing, manufacturing and maintaining these motors. However, in doing so, we must not put the small launch market at risk. We should study the issue carefully to determine if the engines could be sold to commercial industry at a reasonable price, and in reasonable numbers that do not provide an unfair competitive advantage. Doing so would recoup some of the investment that the taxpayers have made, rather than waiting until the motors become unusable and have to be destroyed.

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Review: The Value of the Moon | The Space Review

Review: The Value of the Moon | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

ESA’s “Moon Village” concept is just the latest proposal in long-running efforts to develop viable, sustainable plans for a human return to the Moon. Jeff Foust reviews a book by a leading American lunar exploration advocate who argues that a return to the Moon should be rooted in efforts to make use of its resources to expand human presence beyond Earth.

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Of India and ICBMs: two current concerns for American small-satellite launch | The Space Review

Of India and ICBMs: two current concerns for American small-satellite launch | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Developers of small launch vehicles in the US have recently raised two policy concerns: easier access by American satellite to Indian rockets, and the potential commercial use of excess ICBM motors. Cody Knipfer explores those issues and how they could influence the development of a new generation of commercial launchers.

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First batch of Iridium Next satellites good to go for July SpaceX launch | SpaceNews.com

First batch of Iridium Next satellites good to go for July SpaceX launch | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on April 28 said the contracting team for its second-generation Iridium Next constellation had put past delays behind it and would be ready for a first launch of 10 satellites in late July aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

McLean, Virginia-based Iridium said the launch date could slip by a few weeks, depending on SpaceX’s management of its busy manifest. But satellite prime contractor Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, and Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia, which is handling the satellites’ assembly, integration and test, will have 10 satellites ready for the July rendezvous.

Iridium said that by midsummer, the Iridium Next builders should be producing five Iridium Next satellites per month to meet Iridium’s aggressive schedule.

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Starliner Simulators: Astronauts 'Fly' Boeing Spacecraft Trainers

Starliner Simulators: Astronauts 'Fly' Boeing Spacecraft Trainers | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

ST. LOUIS — With the flick of a few virtual switches and the use of a control stick, two NASA astronauts undocked Boeing's new commercial spacecraft from the International Space Station on Tuesday (April 26) — until thunderstorms over St. Louis cut the simulation short.

The (real-life) weather aside, astronauts Eric Boe and Suni Williams said their simulated spaceflight experience was a success as they concluded the acceptance evaluations for the two CST-100 Starliner Crew Part Task Trainers (CPTT) at Boeing's St. Louis facilities.

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Vector Space Systems raises funds to develop small launch vehicle | SpaceNews.com

Vector Space Systems raises funds to develop small launch vehicle | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — A company led by a number of space industry veterans is the latest to enter the crowded small launch vehicle field, hoping to stand out by focusing on the very small end of the market.

Vector Space Systems announced April 26 that it has raised a seed round of more than $1 million from a group of angel investors. The Tucson, Arizona-based company plans to use the funding to continue development of its Vector small launch vehicle.

Vector is designed to provide dedicated launches of very small spacecraft. The vehicle is capable of placing satellites weighing up to 45 kilograms into a basic low Earth orbit, and 25 kilograms into a standard sun synchronous orbit. Those launches will cost $2–3 million each, with the higher price reserved for “first class” launches reserved as little as three months in advance.

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SpaceX announces plans for Dragon mission to Mars | SpaceNews.com

SpaceX announces plans for Dragon mission to Mars | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — SpaceX announced April 27 it plans to send an uncrewed Dragon spacecraft to the surface of Mars as soon as 2018 on a technology demonstration mission aided by expertise, but not funding, from NASA.

The company said it planned to launch a Dragon 2 spacecraft dubbed “Red Dragon” to Mars on a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle as soon as the next launch window for Mars missions, which opens in the spring of 2018. The company released few other details about that proposed mission, including its cost and funding source.

“Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come,” the company said in a tweet accompanied by illustrations of a Falcon Heavy launch and a Dragon spacecraft resting on the Martian surface. The “overall Mars architecture” appears to refer to SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk’s long-term vision of establishing a permanent human presence on Mars.

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SpaceX could send Red Dragon to Mars in 2018

SpaceX could send Red Dragon to Mars in 2018 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX is teasing plans to send robotic Red Dragon capsules to Mars atop its Falcon Heavy rocket, starting as soon as 2018.


The Red Dragon mission concept has been on the agenda for years: Researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Center have talked about using a modified SpaceX Dragon capsule to grab samples from Mars and bring them back to Earth. Others see the Red Dragon as part of an advanced search for life on the Red Planet.

In the past, actually executing the concept was dependent on funding from NASA. But now it looks as if SpaceX may go ahead with a mission –and put up the money – under the terms of an unfunded Space Act Agreement with NASA. The space agency and SpaceX signed off on a Mars-centric amendment to that agreement just this week.

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SpaceX Aims to Land Robotic Dragon Spacecraft on Mars In 2018

SpaceX Aims to Land Robotic Dragon Spacecraft on Mars In 2018 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX announced on Wednesday that it plans to send a robotic version of its Dragon spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018. Launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, the "Red Dragon" would land on Mars using its own Super Draco rocket engines. It is a SpaceX mission, but the company has an unfunded Space Act Agreement with NASA for technical assistance.

Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and lead designer, has made no secret that his overall space goal is sending thousands of people to Mars as a "backup plan" in case a catastrophe destroys Earth or makes it uninhabitable. He plans to lay out details of his plan at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico at the end of September.

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Exploring Together | Deputy Administrator Dava Newman

Exploring Together | Deputy Administrator Dava Newman | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"Among the many exciting things we’re doing with American businesses, we’re particularly excited about an upcoming SpaceX project that would build upon a current 'no-exchange-of-funds' agreement we have with the company. In exchange for Martian entry, descent, and landing data from SpaceX, NASA will offer technical support for the firm’s plan to attempt to land an uncrewed Dragon 2 spacecraft on Mars."

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SpaceX wins $82 million contract for 2018 Falcon 9 launch of GPS 3 satellite | SpaceNews.com

SpaceX wins $82 million contract for 2018 Falcon 9 launch of GPS 3 satellite | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — SpaceX has won an $82.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to launch a next-generation GPS satellite aboard its Falcon 9 rocket in May 2018, the first of nine launch contracts the Defense Department plans to put out for bid over the next three years.

The award announced April 27 by the Pentagon was all but certain to go to SpaceX since the only other qualified bidder, United Launch Alliance, sat out the competition saying, in part, it didn’t think it could win a cost shootout with SpaceX.

The contract also marks a significant first for Elon Musk’s rocket company, which DoD had previously only entrusted with small, experimental satellites. The deal is SpaceX’s first award under the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program, which since its inception has divided the launch of big-ticket national security satellites between the Atlas and Delta rockets.

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SES announces Facebook order for African satellite capacity | SpaceNews.com

SES announces Facebook order for African satellite capacity | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES on April 27 said Internet social-media giant Facebook had leased capacity on three in-orbit SES satellites to provide Wi-Fi connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa.

The announcement is the latest Facebook surprise for the satellite industry, which had long viewed Facebook’s Internet.org ambition of providing broadband to poor rural areas worldwide as a huge opportunity for satellite operators.

The SES deal is all the more surprising in that it is apparently for Ku-band capacity. Menlo Park, California-based Facebook last October joined forces with satellite fleet operator Eutelsat of Paris to lease, together, the Ka-band payload on Israel-based Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite. The two companies will provide, in separate marketing efforts, broadband connectivity to 14 African nations.

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