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Real-time data in the bunker | XCOR Aerospace blog

Real-time data in the bunker | XCOR Aerospace blog | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Testing the rocket engine on the firewall test stand includes a number of other sub-systems. Here in the XCOR test bunker, the Lynx Electronic Flight Information System, or EFIS, displays real-time engine data on temporary panels, just as they will in the final cockpit design.

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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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Reusable Falcon 9 Launcher from Space X | YouTube

Just in case  you never saw this one before.

Don't give up SpaeX. Don't ever give up.

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SpaceX Still Looking for Theory to Fit Data in CRS-7 Falcon 9 Failure

SpaceX is still trying to find a theory that fits the data transmitted back to Earth on June 28 as its Falcon 9 rocket failed 139 seconds after launch.   It hopes to have preliminary findings by the end of this week as it works to establish an extremely detailed timeline of events.

SpaceX founder, CEO and lead designer Elon Musk spoke at the 4th International Space Station R&D conference in Boston this morning.  The conference is organized by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) in cooperation with NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).

Musk's message this morning repeated what the company said last week -- there was an overpressure event in the upper stage (or second stage) liquid oxygen tank, but apart from that, the data do not fit any known theories of what could have happened.

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Musk: Preliminary Conclusion Expected by End of Week

SpaceX founder, CEO and lead designer Elon Musk said on Sunday night that he expects preliminary conclusions about the cause of the June 28 Falcon 9 failure by the end of the week.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket failed 139 seconds into flight last Sunday, carrying a Dragon spacecraft full of supplies for the International Space Station (ISS). It was the company's seventh operational Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission under contract to NASA -- SpaceX CRS-7 or SpX-7. The first six, and an initial demonstration flight, were all successful.

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After Virgin Galactic's Tragic Setback, Spaceport America Goes to Plan B

After Virgin Galactic's Tragic Setback, Spaceport America Goes to Plan B | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"It was October 31st, and it was etched in our brains," Christine Anderson, Spaceport America's CEO, told NBC News last week. "You know, we had high hopes that Virgin Galactic would be here by now, flying passengers. And that didn't happen."

If everything had proceeded according to plan, Spaceport America would be receiving millions of dollars in lease payments from Virgin Galactic. Instead, Virgin Galactic is having to start from scratch with a second SpaceShipTwo that's still under construction in California. There's no firm timetable for commercial spaceflights from New Mexico. And Anderson is now working on Plan B for Spaceport America.

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Buzz Aldrin: SpaceX Failure Shows We Need More Commercial Space Travel—Not Less

Buzz Aldrin: SpaceX Failure Shows We Need More Commercial Space Travel—Not Less | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The recent failure of the commercial SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is a near-term setback. But getting that vehicle back in the air means something more for the tomorrows to come. It means getting down to business concerning the future of America’s space program.

I was witness to the Falcon 9’s failed flight on June 28. Sitting there at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, I had a front-row seat to the mishap. However disappointing is the loss of the SpaceX booster and destruction of the Dragon-carrying cargo ship headed for the International Space Station (ISS), it is a teachable moment. I think it punctuates the need for providing more appropriate budgetary funding for commercial space activities.

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SpaceX moves launch of Dragon abort test to KSC

SpaceX moves launch of Dragon abort test to KSC | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - SpaceX plans to launch a test of an important astronaut safety system from Kennedy Space Center instead of California, NASA announced earlier this week.

Local 6 News partner Florida Today says the second test of a Dragon capsule’s launch abort system now will lift off from KSC’s historic pad 39A atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

The timing of the “in-flight abort” test is unknown, especially after the first failed Falcon 9 launch on Sunday, more than two minutes after a liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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'Nominal!' Russia Launches Crucial Progress Cargo Ship to Space Station

'Nominal!' Russia Launches Crucial Progress Cargo Ship to Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


After two straight failures of space station resupply missions, a Russian Progress cargo ship was successfully sent into orbit on Friday — much to the relief of the International Space Station's managers and crew members.

"Everything went by the book," NASA spokesman Rob Navias reported after the 12:55 a.m. ET launch of an uncrewed Soyuz rocket from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. "Everything is nominal."

The robotic Progress capsule is due to deliver more than three tons of fuel, oxygen, water, experiments and other supplies to the station at 3:13 a.m. ET Sunday.

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Air Force stays the course with SpaceX rocket certification | Spaceflight Now

Air Force stays the course with SpaceX rocket certification | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Sunday’s Falcon 9 rocket failure may have blemished SpaceX’s success record, but the mishap will not keep the entrepreneurial space company from competing for U.S. military launch contracts with rival United Launch Alliance, according to an Air Force general.

SpaceX won certification from the Air Force in May to haul up sensitive and costly military satellites, and Pentagon officials announced it would accept bids from ULA and SpaceX this year for the right to launch a future GPS navigation satellite. The GPS mission is the first competitive procurement for a U.S. national security launch in more than a decade.

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Russian Progress M-28M vehicle prepares for critical ISS cargo run | NASASpaceFlight.com

Russian Progress M-28M vehicle prepares for critical ISS cargo run | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


A Russian Soyuz-U launch vehicle is tasked with lofting the Russian Progress M-28M cargo ship on a critical resupply run to the International Space Station (ISS) – with launch set for 04:55 GMT. The mission will return the Progress to flight following a previous failure that exacerbated the Station’s logistical constraints, further impacted by the recent CRS-7 failure.

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NASA And SpaceX Delay Dragon In-Flight Abort Test | SpaceNews.com

NASA And SpaceX Delay Dragon In-Flight Abort Test | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — NASA and SpaceX plan to postpone an in-flight abort test of the crewed version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft until after an orbital test flight, a decision they say is not linked to the June 28 Falcon 9 launch failure still in the early phases of its investigation.

In a July 1 statement, NASA announced SpaceX was delaying the test, where a Dragon spacecraft separates from its Falcon 9 launch vehicle during ascent, from later this year until after an orbital test flight of the crewed version of the Dragon vehicle. That test flight, which would not carry people onboard, is currently planned for late 2016 under SpaceX’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with NASA.

SpaceX’s original plans for the in-flight abort test called for using the same Dragon spacecraft that flew in a pad abort test in May from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. However, the Dragon design has changed since construction of that spacecraft started more than two years ago, so SpaceX will instead use the Dragon that flies the uncrewed test flight.

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Data, not debris, takes spotlight in Falcon 9 failure investigation | Spaceflight Now

Data, not debris, takes spotlight in Falcon 9 failure investigation | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Although recovery teams in the Atlantic Ocean have retrieved wreckage from Sunday’s Falcon 9 launch failure, the best clues to the cause of the crash lie in raw data transmitted from the rocket as it disintegrated, SpaceX officials said Wednesday.

Officials with the California-based rocket company said there is no breakthrough in the investigation into the failure, the first mishap in 19 launches by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

“The process for determining the root cause of Sunday’s mishap is complex, and there is no one theory yet that is consistent with the data,” said John Taylor, a SpaceX spokesperson. “Our engineering teams are heads down reviewing every available piece of flight data as we work through a thorough fault tree analysis in order to identify a root cause.”

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The Internet of Satellites


Despite the failure of the SpaceX Falcon9 launch on Sunday, the skies above us are slated to be filled with large constellations of small satellites over the next five years. It's going to be data center heaven if even half the announced networks end up in orbit, bringing back weather and imaging data in some insane amount translating to multiple terabytes per hour.

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Rocket Lab Selects New Zealand Site for Orbital Launches

Rocket Lab Selects New Zealand Site for Orbital Launches | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Rocket Lab says it plans to build its own launch site on New Zealand's Pacific coast by the end of the year.

"It's an opportunity to create the world's first commercial orbital launch range," the company's CEO, Peter Beck, told NBC News.

The site will be developed on Kaitorete Spit in the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island — in a spot that NASA used for suborbital rocket launches in the 1960s. Beck said the New Zealand location provides technical, logistical and economic advantages — for example, the ability to put satellites into a wide range of orbital inclinations, the relaxed regulatory environment and reduced pressure from air and sea traffic.

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Musk: No Clear Explanation Yet for Falcon 9 Failure | SpaceNews.com

Musk: No Clear Explanation Yet for Falcon 9 Failure | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


BOSTON — The ongoing investigation into the June 28 Falcon 9 launch failure has yet to find a cause for the accident based on the available data, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said July 7.

Musk, speaking at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference here, said that the destruction of the vehicle nearly two and a half minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral did not appear to have a straightforward cause, and that the data the company had was difficult to interpret.

“Whatever happened is clearly not a sort of simple, straightforward thing,” he said in his most extensive public comments to date on the launch failure. “There’s still no clear theory that fits with all the data.”

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BE-4 Engine Remains Front Runner for ULA’s Next Rocket | SpaceNews.com

BE-4 Engine Remains Front Runner for ULA’s Next Rocket | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON – Blue Origin continues to have the upper hand in a competition with Aerojet Rocketdyne to build a new engine for United Launch Alliance’s next-generation rocket, ULA chief executive Tory Bruno said June 27.

Testifying before the U.S. House Armed Services committee strategic forces subcommittee, Bruno said Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine development program is 16 months ahead of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 effort.

Congress mandated last year that the Defense Department develop a kerosene-fueled main rocket engine to replace the Russian RD-180, which powers the main stage of the ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket, by 2019. The Atlas 5 launches a majority of the Defense Department’s national security satellites.

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SpaceX working toward Falcon 9 diagnosis ahead of treatment | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX working toward Falcon 9 diagnosis ahead of treatment | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX is deep into an internal mishap investigation following the loss during First Stage flight of a Falcon 9 rocket with the CRS-7 Dragon. While the Second Stage is considered to be the main culprit for the failure, investigators are currently gathering data to reconstruct the final moments of Falcon 9’s flight as recovery teams attempt to retrieve the rocket’s remains to further aid the fault tree data.

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Watch: Audi and Part-Time Scientists! Four Great Videos

Watch: Audi and Part-Time Scientists! Four Great Videos | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

As you may have heard, brilliant German automaker Audi has joined Google Lunar XPRIZE team Part-Time Scientists' mission as a major partner!

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How SpaceX’s launch failure is also a measure of success

How SpaceX’s launch failure is also a measure of success | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX’s rocket explosion marks a setback for U.S. spaceflight, but it also represents an industry unafraid to push the envelope.

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Air Force ‘Invited’ To Observe Investigation Of SpaceX Launch Failure

Air Force ‘Invited’ To Observe Investigation Of SpaceX Launch Failure | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PENTAGON: Word from the Air Force is that SpaceX “remains certified” to launch the nation’s most expensive and heaviest intelligence and Air Force satellites.

It took a few days, which is not surprising how politically and legally sensitive everything involving Elon Musk and SpaceX national security launch certification is and will be, but we got responses from Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves, commander of Space and Missile Systems Center, about SpaceX certification and the effects of the destruction of the CRS-7 mission to resupply the International Space Station.

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Astronaut Mark Kelly: SpaceX Will Learn From Failure ... and Then Move Ahead

Astronaut Mark Kelly: SpaceX Will Learn From Failure ... and Then Move Ahead | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"We need to get back to the business of Americans sending Americans to the space station. There is no doubt in my mind that companies like SpaceX and the Boeing Co. will be the ones to do it — and safely.


"We will learn some valuable lessons from these mishaps. And then it will be time to get back to the risky but worthy endeavor of expanding America's space program and our reach into the solar system."

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Shelton Versus McCain on Import of SpaceX Failure

Shelton Versus McCain on Import of SpaceX Failure | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and Gen. William Shelton (Ret.) view the June 28 SpaceX launch failure very differently. In a McCain statement and a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Shelton, the two take opposite positions on what should be learned from the failure in terms of national security space launches and how long Russian RD-180 engines are needed by the U.S. military to have assured access to space.

The congressional push to end reliance on RD-180s began while Shelton was still on active duty and Commander of Air Force Space Command and he and McCain differed on these issues all along. At the last congressional hearing on the topic during Shelton's tenure, in July 2014, they were fully were on display. Apparently nothing has changed.

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SpaceX Still Looking for Cause of Falcon 9 Failure as Russia Readies Next Progress

SpaceX continues to sort through reams of data to determine what happened on June 28 to its Falcon 9 rocket that was to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).  A SpaceX spokesman said there is "no one theory yet that is consistent with the data" they have looked at so far.   Meanwhile, Russia plans to launch its next cargo mission to the ISS, Progress M-28M, in less than 24 hours.  The launch comes just over two months after the previous mission, Progress M-27M, failed.

SpaceX's Falcon 9, carrying a Dragon capsule full of supplies for the ISS, failed 139 seconds into flight on Sunday, June 28.  It was the 19th Falcon 9 launch after 18 consecutive successes.  SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said shortly thereafter that "there were pressurization indications in the second stage" and the first stage is not suspect.

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More Fidelity for SpaceX In-Flight Abort Reduces Risk

More Fidelity for SpaceX In-Flight Abort Reduces Risk | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Following the successful pad abort test in May, SpaceX began developing a plan that would move its in-flight abort test to provide higher fidelity data and reduce risk to future crews launched to the International Space Station in the Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA and SpaceX agreed to consider this proposed change prior to the mishap of SpaceX’s seventh commercial resupply services mission.

The change comes after the company’s successful pad abort test May 6 demonstrating the effectiveness of the Crew Dragon launch abort system. SpaceX is using the data collected during the test to confirm analysis models and inform the final spacecraft design.

"Testing the actual flight design always results in higher fidelity data and ultimately reduces risk for later crew flights,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. “This change supports a philosophy of testing as you fly, which our experience has shown to be a good strategy for development and complements well the earlier system information gained from the pad abort test.”

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McCain’s RD-180 Stance Unaltered by SpaceX Failure | SpaceNews.com

McCain’s RD-180 Stance Unaltered by SpaceX Failure | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the June 28 failure of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket should not be used as “leverage” to buy more of the Russian rocket engines that power United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket.

“I am confident that this minor setback will in no way impede the future success of SpaceX and its ability to support U.S. national security space missions,” McCain said in a statement. “There will be those that will seek to leverage this incident to argue for deepening America’s dependence on Russian rocket engines for national security space launches. This mishap in no way diminishes the urgency of ridding ourselves of the Russian RD-180 rocket engine.”

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Paragon Space Dev Corp releases study of Mars One habitat life support design


Amersfoort, 1st July 2015 – Mars One is pleased to present the initial conceptual design of the Surface Habitat Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) performed by Paragon Space Development Corporation®. The ECLSS is one of the key systems required to support a human settlement on Mars and will create a safe environment for the future Mars inhabitants, supplying them with clean air and water while recycling wastes.

Mars One contracted Paragon due to their specialization in engineering and manufacturing thermal control and life support systems with a specific focus on extreme environments.

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Rocket Lab Selects New Zealand Launch Site | SpaceNews.com

Rocket Lab Selects New Zealand Launch Site | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab Ltd., a U.S.-New Zealand company developing a small launch vehicle, announced July 1 it will carry out initial launches of that rocket from a new site on the east coast of New Zealand.

The company said it will build a launch site for its Electron rocket on Kaitorete Spit, a narrow strip of land between a lake and the Pacific Ocean on New Zealand’s South Island, south of the city of Christchurch. The company expects the site to be ready by the fourth quarter of this year.

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