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Cygnus is on its way to the ISS | NewSpace Journal

Cygnus is on its way to the ISS | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is now on its way to becoming the second commercial cargo vehicle to service the International Space Station. The Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft lifted off on schedule at 10:58 am EDT (1458 GMT) Wednesday and placed the Cygnus spacecraft into earth orbit. The countdown and launch went well: the only concern was during a time in the countdown when it appeared that, in a worst-case scenario, a launch failure could, given atmospheric conditions, create enough overpressure that occupants of several houses were asked, if they were home. to stand outside in the event windows broke.

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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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Antares rocket explosion from the launch pad | YouTube


On October 28, 2014 an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket launched to the ISS on the company's fourth contracted resupply mission for NASA. Just a few seconds after liftoff there was a failure in a first stage booster AJ26 engine, causing the rocket to lose thrust and become engulfed in flames as it fell back to the ground. As you will see, upon hitting the ground the rocket exploded in a huge fireball, showering the launch site with debris.

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NASA Coverage Set for Fifth SpaceX Resupply Mission to Space Station

NASA Coverage Set for Fifth SpaceX Resupply Mission to Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The fifth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch Tuesday, Dec. 16, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 1:15 p.m. EST.

The company's Falcon 9 rocket will lift off at 2:31 p.m., carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft. It is loaded with more than 3,700 pounds of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations and supplies, including critical materials to support 256 science and research investigations that will take place on the space station during ISS Expeditions 42 and 43.

In addition to launch coverage, NASA also will host a series of prelaunch news conferences Monday, Dec. 15, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All briefings, which are subject to a change in time, will air live on NASA TV and the agency's website.

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Sierra Nevada To Close California Propulsion Facility | SpaceNews.com

Sierra Nevada To Close California Propulsion Facility | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) is in the process of closing a California facility that has worked on hybrid propulsion systems, a move the company said Nov. 25 will not result in staff cuts beyond a previously announced round of layoffs.

In a statement provided to SpaceNews, SNC spokeswoman Krystal Scordo said the company plans to close its Poway, California, office as it consolidates propulsion work across the company. The closure of the office is “ongoing,” she said, and will be completed early next year.

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Orbital Sciences Entitled To Partial NASA Payment for Antares Failure | SpaceNews.com

Orbital Sciences Entitled To Partial NASA Payment for Antares Failure | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — Orbital Sciences Corp. will get most of its planned revenue from NASA for the Oct. 28 launch of Orbital’s Antares rocket despite the rocket’s failure because the milestone that triggered payment was the rocket’s ignition and liftoff, not launch success, Orbital and its prospective merger partner, Alliant Techsystems (ATK), said Nov. 24.

Under Orbital’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) with NASA, Orbital’s obligations are not counted in launches, but in kilograms delivered to the space station.

The Oct. 28 launch was the third of a then-planned eight cargo runs for NASA to meet the 20,000-kilogram requirement, with subsequent missions using a larger version of the Cygnus payload module, built by Thales Alenia Space in Italy.

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ISS 3D Printer Creates First Product | Parabolic Arc

ISS 3D Printer Creates First Product | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Made in Space PR) — History was made on November 24th at 9:28pm GMT, when the first 3D printer built to operate in space successfully manufactured its first part on the International Space Station (ISS). This is the first time that hardware has been additively manufactured in space, as opposed to launching it from Earth.

“When the first human fashioned a tool from a rock, it couldn’t have been conceived that one day we’d be replicating the same fundamental idea in space,” said Aaron Kemmer, CEO of Made In Space, Inc. “We look at the operation of the 3D printer as a transformative moment, not just for space development, but for the capability of our species to live away from Earth.”

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Science Takes off as XCOR Lynx Lands at American Geophysical Union’s 2014 Fall Meeting | Parabolic Arc

Science Takes off as XCOR Lynx Lands at American Geophysical Union’s 2014 Fall Meeting | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


MOJAVE, Calif., November 24, 2014 (XCOR PR) — XCOR Aerospace will be at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) annual meeting – and taking its full scale Lynx® spacecraft model along for the ride. The model will be on display December 15-19 at the AGU Exhibit Hall in San Francisco.

XCOR’s Director of Payload Sales and Operations Khaki Rodway will be on site to present an overview of space-based research the AGU community will be conducting on Lynx. The session is titled Next Generation Instrumentation in Solar and Space Physics: Critical Measurements from Low-Cost Missions/Platforms.

AGU Fall Meeting attendees are invited to explore and sit inside the model Lynx cockpit, examine payload experiments, and discover for themselves the research potential of Lynx.

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INSIDE THE FIREBALL! GoPro Hero 2 & The Inferno When Antares Orb-3 Rocket Blows Up | YouTube


A GoPro Hero 2 captures the inferno iInside the fireball of the failure and explosion of an Antares rocket after launch from Wallops Island.

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Crowdfunding a billion-dollar Moon mission | The Space Review

Crowdfunding a billion-dollar Moon mission | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The concept of commercial missions to the Moon is not a new one: while none have yet flown, a number are under development, thanks primarily to the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) competition. In the last couple of years, crowdfunding—soliciting the public for funding of particular projects, in exchange for merchandise, experiences, or simply recognition—has been increasingly used by space ventures. The two have even come together: one GLXP competitor, Israel’s SpaceIL, raised more than $280,000 earlier this year to support development of its lunar lander.


Those efforts, though, pale in comparison to what a British company unveiled last week. Lunar Missions Ltd. announced plans to fly its own lunar lander mission, dubbed simply Lunar Mission One. That spacecraft, planned for launch in 2024, will land on the rim of the South Pole-Aiken Basin—the solar system’s largest impact crater—on a scientific mission, but one funded primarily by the general public.

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SpaceX’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship ready for action | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship ready for action | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The mystery behind the “floating platform” – set to welcome home a returning Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage – has been solved via a series of fascinating comments by SpaceX’s Elon Musk. Known as the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship, the ocean faring platform will be the new propulsive landing target for a Falcon 9, possibly as soon as the CRS-5/SpX-5 Dragon mission in December.

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Moon Rover Reporting for Duty: 'Andy' Joins Astrobotic Team | NBC News

Moon Rover Reporting for Duty: 'Andy' Joins Astrobotic Team | NBC News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Carnegie Mellon University has unveiled a four-wheeled moon rover that its creators hope will win the lion's share of the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize — and explore the moon's mysterious pits and caves in the process.

"We don't do anything just to win a prize. If we're on the moon anyway, we're going to do something while we're up there," William "Red" Whittaker, a robotics professor at CMU and director of the Field Robotics Center, said Monday in a news release.


Whittaker led the team that won the $2 million DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007 with a robo-car that could drive itself through an urban obstacle course. That demonstration helped blaze a trail for a new generation of autonomous road vehicles. Similarly, Whittaker hopes Andy will blaze a trail on the moon for Astrobotic Technology, one of 18 teams entered in the Lunar X Prize challenge.

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NASA Encourages Asteroid Mining

NASA Encourages Asteroid Mining | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Two private companies have received contracts from NASA to study asteroid redirection and will pursue their plans of asteroid mining. The companies are Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources. Planetary Resources is a company from the U.S., more specifically from Washington State, and it will launch two satellites, called Arkyd 6 and Arkyd 3, to analyze the design and systems of their telescopes.

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Sierra Nevada Shuts Down Poway, Lays Off More Than 100 | Parabolic Arc

Sierra Nevada Shuts Down Poway, Lays Off More Than 100 | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Sources report that Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has shut down its rocket engine test facility in Poway, Calif., where the company has tested propulsion systems for the Dream Chaser space shuttle and Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle.

The company laid off more than 100 employees last week, including around 70 in Poway with the rest in Colorado, sources report.

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Private CubeSat start-ups join the space race

Private CubeSat start-ups join the space race | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Space start-ups around the world are harnessing an unabashed Silicon Valley mentality. They pride themselves on small staff cohorts, cheap technology and quick deployment, factors that would traditionally make NASA gag at the mere mention.

But for now, start-ups are leaving human space travel to the multi-billionaires. Instead, they hope to solve smaller, more immediate problems faced by those on earth.

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SNC, Stratolaunch expand on proposed Dream Chaser flights | NASASpaceFlight.com

SNC, Stratolaunch expand on proposed Dream Chaser flights | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


As Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) continues forward with efforts to develop numerous mission scenarios for its Dream Chaser space plane, a study – in collaboration with Stratolaunch Systems – expands on the scaled-down version of Dream Chaser launched into orbit via the air-launch vehicle for a variety of mission including ISS emergency crew rescues and micro-gravity research missions.

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Welcoming the Era of In-Space Manufacturing

Welcoming the Era of In-Space Manufacturing | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"Human spaceflight reached an important milestone this week. An additive manufacturing device, or 3D printer, was turned on, and initiated the first official 3D print on the International Space Station (ISS). 


"The print took slightly more than an hour, and once it finished, the world changed. At the Made In Space Operations Center in Moffett Field, California, the rest of the team and I had the ability to command the printer and see inside it as the machine received and executed our commands. For the first time, humans demonstrated the ability to manufacture while in space. At this moment, if the space station absolutely needs a part that the 3D printer can build, I can start producing the part onboard the ISS within minutes — from my chair in California."

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Elon Musk shows off rockets with 'X-wings' and landing pads in the sea

Elon Musk shows off rockets with 'X-wings' and landing pads in the sea | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk couldn't resist showing off some of his new toys on Twitter yesterday. First up is the latest version of SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9R rocket, which is now fitted with a set of four independently-adjustable fins. Or, as Musk described them: real-life X-wings. The grid fins are designed to deploy only after takeoff, when they'll work together with thrusters to help the rocket maneuver itself into position for those spectacular vertical landings. Musk says the hypersonic grid fins are similar to a set used on a test earlier this year.

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The First 3-D Printer in Space Makes Its First Object: A Spare Part

The First 3-D Printer in Space Makes Its First Object: A Spare Part | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

After a series of calibration tests, the first 3-D printer to fly to outer space has manufactured its first potentially useful object on the International Space Station: a replacement faceplate for its print head casing.

"An astronaut might be installing it on the printer," said Aaron Kemmer, the chief executive officer of Made In Space, which built the 3-D printer for NASA's use.

The 9.5-inch-wide contraption was delivered to the space station by a robotic SpaceX Dragon cargo ship in September, and NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore set it up inside the station's experimental glovebox a week ago.

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@dpleacoff's curator insight, November 26, 5:01 AM

Houston we have a..uh no yea wait, we're good! We just printed new re-enty shield. We should be ok.. 

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NASA Launches $5 Million Cube Quest Challenge | Parabolic Arc

NASA Launches $5 Million Cube Quest Challenge | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Registration now is open for NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge, the agency’s first in-space competition that offers the agency’s largest-ever prize purse.

Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to participate in space exploration and technology development, to include a chance at flying their very own CubeSat to the moon and beyond as secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

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Launch Pad Video Cameras Capture Spectacular Antares Rocket Explosion

Launch Pad Video Cameras Capture Spectacular Antares Rocket Explosion | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

It's been almost four weeks since Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Antares rocket blew up just seconds after liftoff, but a new series of videos, recovered from cameras that were placed near the launch pad, shows just how much of an inferno it was. One compilation, posted to YouTube on Monday, combines video from AmericaSpace.com and Zero-G News. AmericaSpace's Mike Killian said the video from Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia had been impounded for the accident investigation and was only recently released to photographers.

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Antares ORB-3 launch explosion from beach side using a now slightly melted GoPro 2 | YouTube


Antares ORB-3 launch explosion from beach side using a now slightly melted GoPro 2.

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Redux: It’s time to rethink international space law | The Space Review

Redux: It’s time to rethink international space law | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"In 2005, I wrote my first piece for this publication focusing on the need to rethink the current body of international space law (see “It’s time to rethink international space law”, The Space Review, May 31, 2005). Since then, I have reevaluated my position, particularly regarding the solutions I proposed in that piece. That reassessment leads me to deem that while the issues presented have not fundamentally changed, the solutions I offered to address those issues have evolved. The purpose of this essay is to explore the issue of outer space security and norms, and present an alternative means to the traditional methods of creating norms to address those challenges."

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Orbital's Cygnus - on a SpaceX Falcon 9?

Orbital's Cygnus - on a SpaceX Falcon 9? | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceFlight Insider has received word that the potential prime “contender” to ferry Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft to orbit, and thus allow Orbital to complete its requirements under the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS ) contract – is none other than fellow CRS participant – SpaceX. If this turns out to be true, it would mean that both current CRS firms – would be flying on the same rocket.

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Carnegie Mellon Unveils Lunar Rover "Andy" | Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon Unveils Lunar Rover "Andy" | Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University on Monday unveiled Andy, a four-wheeled robot designed to scramble up steep slopes and survive the temperature swings and high radiation encountered while exploring the moon's pits, caves and polar ice.

"Every extraterrestrial robot carries some DNA from Carnegie Mellon, but Andy would be the first true CMU robot to make the leap from Earth," said William "Red" Whittaker, professor of robotics and director of the Field Robotics Center. "This is the culmination of lots of work by lots of people and is the next step toward Carnegie Mellon becoming a spacefaring university."

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Branson Backs Virgin Galactic Boss George Whitesides | Parabolic Arc

Branson Backs Virgin Galactic Boss George Whitesides | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


"We are fortunate at Galactic to have an extraordinary leader in chief executive officer George Whitesides. His calm, compassion and determination should be a model for any aspiring chief executive; Virgin Galactic’s unwavering focus and culture of teamwork, which George has helped to foster, are the foundations of any strong business."

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Commercial spaceflight setbacks and why we still need to go to space

Commercial spaceflight setbacks and why we still need to go to space | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"Whether or not the Oct. 31 crash was preventable, it was far from pointless. It is worth considering that to a striking degree, the criticism of 'space tourism' today echoes the scoffing of a century ago that greeted the arrival of powered flight.

"Certainly the Wright brothers and others like them were involved in what we now view as an epic quest, but many experts of the day were certain that flight, however interesting, was destined to be not much more than a rich man’s hobby with no practical value."

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