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Super Sunday for Commercial Spaceflight

"Over the last year, the company has been flight testing an experimental vehicle at its test facility in rural Texas. Designated “Grasshopper,” it is a variant on a Falcon 9 first stage, with landing legs. It’s teaching SpaceX how to not just launch a vehicle vertically, but to land it as well, and the test program seems to have been going well. The goal is to eventually return the first stage of an operational Falcon 9 (and later, when it flies, the three cores of the Falcon Heavy) to the launch site, and reuse them."

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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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Soar with Blue Origin | YouTube


Blue Origin offers the adventure of a lifetime with a historic rocket experience that re-creates the sights, sounds and sensations experienced by the great early space pioneers.

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SpaceX Pad Abort Test Lifts Off Successfully

SpaceX Pad Abort Test Lifts Off Successfully | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The pad abort test for SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft lifted off on time at 9:00 am ET this morning at Cape Canaveral, FL. The test is related to readying the crew version of Dragon to take astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

The test lasted about 1.5 minutes as the Dragon capsule lifted off from its launch pad -- minus a rocket -- firing its eight integrated Super Draco engines to simulate the capsule's ability to escape from an emergency situation at launch.

Everything appeared to take place as planned, with Dragon reaching an altitude of about 5,000 feet, deploying its parachutes, and splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean about one mile off shore. It will be recovered and returned to SpaceX's McGregor, TX facility for analysis.

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Op-ed: We Must Be Our Own Kennedy

Op-ed: We Must Be Our Own Kennedy | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Sometimes you have to change course to get on course. And the first small step in doing so may be to realize you didn’t really know where you were going in the first place — and why.

When President John F. Kennedy set us on a path to the moon in the 1960s, he knew exactly why — to produce a photo op that would clearly show America would be the winner in the decades-long battle of political systems called the Cold War.

Whatever else followed (or didn’t), his goal was clear, those assigned the job understood the strategy needed to succeed and it was magnificently achieved.

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Photos: Dragon prototype poised for abort test | Spaceflight Now

Photos: Dragon prototype poised for abort test | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


A test model of SpaceX’s Dragon crew ferry craft is in position for a key test Wednesday of the capsule’s safety system designed to whisk astronauts away from a dangerous rocket mishap during launch.

Standing roughly 20 feet tall with a takeoff weight of approximately 10.5 tons, the Dragon capsule is a prototype of the spaceship SpaceX is developing to take U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the end of 2017.

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Dragon 2 preparing for Pad Abort leap in key SpaceX test | NASASpaceFlight.com

Dragon 2 preparing for Pad Abort leap in key SpaceX test | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX’s Dragon 2 test vehicle will conduct her maiden flight on Wednesday, leaping off a truss structure under the power of eight SuperDraco engines. Known as the Pad Abort test, the objectives of the flight involve the gathering of key test data to help graduate the vehicle to be ready to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

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Setting the Scene at SLC-40 | Commercial Crew Program

Setting the Scene at SLC-40 | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Reporters and photographers went out to Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station this morning to set up equipment ahead of tomorrow’s pad abort test by the SpaceX Crew Dragon. The Crew Dragon is on a platform above the launch pad. For more photos throughout the test, go to our Flickr album.

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Mojave Update: SpaceShipTwo Construction | Virgin Galactic

Mojave Update: SpaceShipTwo Construction | Virgin Galactic | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


This weekend marked the six month anniversary of the tragic loss of Michael Alsbury during the VSS Enterprise‘s 55th test flight. Over those six months, we’ve made steady progress towards advancing the dream of opening the space frontier, an extremely difficult but also extremely worthwhile endeavor.

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Antares and SpaceShipTwo, six months later | The Space Review

Antares and SpaceShipTwo, six months later | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Six months ago, the commercial spaceflight industry suffered a double dose of accidents, just days apart. Jeff Foust reports on the progress made in the investigations of the Antares and SpaceShipTwo failures, and plans for them to resume flights.

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What Will SpaceX’s Pad Abort Test Look Like? | Commercial Crew Program

What Will SpaceX’s Pad Abort Test Look Like? | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

During a pad abort test preview last week, engineers with NASA and SpaceX told us what they hope to learn from the demonstration of the company’s escape system.

The biggest takeaway is that this test will be quick! And that’s the point – SpaceX wants to demonstrate its ability to carry crew members away from a dangerous situation on the launch pad in a hurry. For context, Crew Dragon will accelerate from 0 to nearly 100 mph in one second. The entire test is less than two minutes long, with Dragon traveling over one mile in the first 20 seconds alone.

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Europe's Next Space Chief Wants a Moon Colony on the Lunar Far Side

Europe's Next Space Chief Wants a Moon Colony on the Lunar Far Side | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The incoming leader of the European Space Agency is keen on establishing an international base on the moon as a next-step outpost beyond the International Space Station (ISS).

Johann-Dietrich Wörner expressed his enthusiasm for a moon colony at the Space Foundation’s National Space Symposium, a gathering of global, commercial, civil, military and "new space" experts that was held here from April 13 to April 16.


"It seems to be appropriate to propose a permanent moon station as the successor of ISS," Wörner said. This station should be international, "meaning that the different actors can contribute with their respective competencies and interests."

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David Pressler's curator insight, May 4, 12:34 PM

Water filled inflatable housing ICE becomes a barrier plus fuel Steam large 60 feet or more in diameter ice filled balloons will work let me know when completed

 

By the way same type of inner space vehicle ICE filled inflatable with a steam engine  My 2 Cents

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Proposed Legislation Would Make Space Settlement a National Goal | SpaceNews.com

Proposed Legislation Would Make Space Settlement a National Goal | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — Legislation that one congressman plans to introduce in the near future would make space settlement a national goal and require NASA to take action to support it.

The Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2015, drafted by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), would mark the second time in the last three decades that Congress has directed NASA to support efforts for permanent human settlements beyond Earth orbit.

A version of the bill circulated in the space advocacy community would amend the National Aeronautics and Space Act, the “organic” legislation that created NASA in 1958, to include space settlement among national space policy goals and objectives.

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Progress Failure Puts Burden on Upcoming Resupply Missions | SpaceNews.com

Progress Failure Puts Burden on Upcoming Resupply Missions | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — The failure of a Russian Progress spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station is unlikely to have a significant near-term effect on station operations, but will place a greater burden on upcoming resupply missions and could alter the cargo those missions carry.

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307,000 Feet | YouTube


Long distance tracking of Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle as it makes its first flight, carrying its crew capsule to 307,000 feet and returning it safely to Earth.

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SpaceX crew capsule completes dramatic abort test | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX crew capsule completes dramatic abort test | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


A rocket-powered prototype of SpaceX’s human-rated crew capsule vaulted off a launch pad at Cape Canaveral on Wednesday for a brief mile-high test flight of the spaceship’s emergency crew safety system.

Firing eight powerful SuperDraco rocket thrusters — together producing 120,000 pounds of thrust — the 20-foot-tall spacecraft took off at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) Wednesday from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad.

No astronauts were aboard the capsule for Wednesday’s test, but SpaceX installed a human-sized crash test dummy fastened inside the ship’s crew cabin to mimic the ride passengers could encounter during an abort from the launch pad.

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SpaceX Pad Abort Test Window Begins Two Hours Later at 9 a.m. EDT | Commercial Crew Program

SpaceX Pad Abort Test Window Begins Two Hours Later at 9 a.m. EDT | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX reported this evening that it has moved the start of its Pad Abort Test window two hours to 9 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 6, from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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Op-ed: Misdirection on Mars

Op-ed: Misdirection on Mars | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


In the history of warfare, it has sometimes been the practice of armies to dress themselves in the uniforms of their adversaries and then commit atrocities in order to discredit the other side. Alternatively, such falsely uniformed war criminals have placed themselves among opposing forces, so that, posing as friends, they could misdirect them to their doom.

It is in this tradition that O. Glenn Smith and Paul Spudis, two die-hard opponents of Mars exploration, recently chose to costume themselves as advocates in their Commentary “Mars for Only $1.5 Trillion” [March 9, page 19], which is designed to make a feasible enterprise appear utterly unfeasible.

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Don’t blink: SpaceX crew escape demo will go by in a flash | Spaceflight Now

Don’t blink: SpaceX crew escape demo will go by in a flash | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX plans to launch an unmanned test model of the company’s Dragon crew capsule Wednesday on a whirlwind 107-second flight through the skies over Cape Canaveral.

The 10.5-ton prototype spaceship will only reach a mile in altitude, but the trial aims to verify the Dragon capsule can safely escape from a launch failure and save its occupants from a potentially explosive mishap.

SpaceX says the human-rated spacecraft, which it calls Crew Dragon, will be ready to haul astronauts to the International Space Station in 2017, and Wednesday’s test of the capsule’s abort mechanism is key to proving the ship is safe enough for people.

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SpaceX preps for test of Dragon capsule’s life-saving abort system | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX preps for test of Dragon capsule’s life-saving abort system | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


A commercial spaceship designed to ferry U.S. astronauts into orbit by 2017 is set for a major test Wednesday, when SpaceX plans to blast the capsule away from a launch mount at Cape Canaveral on a mile-high demo flight to simulate the craft’s ability to protect occupants in the event of a catastrophic rocket mishap on the pad.

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will not travel far, but data from Wednesday’s test should arm engineers with results to prove the capsule’s emergency safety system can save astronauts from an explosive launch failure.

The test is scheduled for 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) Wednesday from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad, the same facility used by SpaceX for operational flights of the Falcon 9 booster.

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SpaceX Pad Abort Test Still On For Wednesday


The pad abort test of SpaceX's Dragon capsule is still on schedule for tomorrow, May 6, 2015. The window is open from 7:00 am - 2:30 pm ET. The weather is 70 percent favorable.

The test is part of SpaceX's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCAP) agreement with NASA to develop a crew version of its Dragon spacecraft for taking astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX also hopes there will be a market for taking other people to and from space, but in this case the test is directly related to its goal of servicing the ISS for NASA.

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The future and the past: comparing Dragon and Orion | The Space Review

The future and the past: comparing Dragon and Orion | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

On Wednesday, SpaceX is scheduled to perform a pad abort test of the crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft it is developing as part of NASA’s commercial crew program. Rick Boozer compares the capabilities of Dragon with NASA’s own Orion spacecraft.

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5 Things to Know About SpaceX’s Pad Abort Test

5 Things to Know About SpaceX’s Pad Abort Test | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Crew Dragon's first critical flight test, known as a Pad Abort Test, is expected to take place this Wednesday, May 6, from SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Cape Canaveral, Florida. While the test is originating from the same launch pad we use for operational missions, this is not an operational flight.


This will be the first flight test of SpaceX’s revolutionary new launch abort system, and the odds of encountering delays or issues are high. Fortunately the test doesn’t need to be perfect to be valuable—our primary objective is to capture as much data as possible as the data captured here will be key in preparing Crew Dragon for its first human missions in 2017.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Space Ventures Will Spawn First Trillionaire

Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Space Ventures Will Spawn First Trillionaire | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


A passion for exploration is the fuel to an innovative economy, says astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

In an interview with CNBC's On the Money, the host of the new National Geographic Channel show StarTalk — based on Tyson's podcast and Sirius XM radio show of the same name — described the dynamic implications of scientific discovery.

"You have to innovate," said Tyson, arguably the most famous astrophysicist in America. When "an engineer comes out with a new patent to take you to a place — intellectually, physically … that has never been reached before, those become the engines of tomorrow's economy."


Stratocumulus's insight:


Tyson is not the first one to propose this. Perhaps he's finally jumping on the NewSpace "Bandwagon."

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Pad Abort Test a Unique Evaluation Opportunity

Pad Abort Test a Unique Evaluation Opportunity | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX and NASA teams will gain important insight into how the Crew Dragon spacecraft and its abort system perform during a test slated for May 6, engineers said today.

Next week's flight test is to see a Crew Dragon and trunk – together about 20 feet tall - fly on the power of eight SuperDraco engines from a platform at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The test will not have crew members aboard the spacecraft, but will simulate an emergency escape from the launch pad in the unlikely case of booster failing at liftoff or other scenario that would threaten astronauts inside the spacecraft.

The SuperDracos, each producing 15,000 pounds of thrust, are expected to lift the spacecraft about 5,000 feet above the launch pad before it parachutes into the Atlantic Ocean about a mile offshore. The whole test will take about a minute and a half. Recovery teams will retrieve the Crew Dragon from the ocean at the end of the test.

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David Pressler's comment, May 4, 12:38 PM
As a firefighter I would rather fight a leak than a fire My 2 cents
David Pressler's comment, May 4, 12:40 PM
I once heard a person describe how in space you could inflate a craft with LARGE inflatables filled with water that would serve a multitude of problems and because these large inflatables are of ice they become pretty tough My 2 Cents
David Pressler's comment, May 4, 12:41 PM
How does salt water react in space?
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Virgin Galactic Considers Changing SpaceShipTwo Fuels Again

Virgin Galactic Considers Changing SpaceShipTwo Fuels Again | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PHOENIX — Nearly one year after changing the fuel used on its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle, a Virgin Galactic executive said April 30 the company was open to switching back depending on its performance.


Will Pomerantz, vice president of special projects for Virgin Galactic, said in a presentation at the Space Access ’15 conference here that the company has an “internal horse race” between a rubber-based fuel, formally known as hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), originally selected for SpaceShipTwo’s hybrid rocket motor and a nylon-based one the company switched to last year.

“The one we’ll fly is the one that’s best,” he said. “If I had to guess, my personal guess would be HTPB” when SpaceShipTwo test flights resume.

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David Pressler's comment, May 4, 12:42 PM
How does salt water react in space once heated steam wise?
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New Shepard First Flight | YouTube


Highlights from Blue Origin's New Shepard space vehicle as it makes its first developmental test flight.

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SpaceX Targets May 6 for Pad Abort Test of New Crew Spacecraft

SpaceX Targets May 6 for Pad Abort Test of New Crew Spacecraft | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX now is targeting Wednesday, May 6, for a pad abort test of its Crew Dragon, a spacecraft under final development and certification through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The test window will open at 7 a.m. EDT.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the test, which will simulate an emergency abort from a test stand on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

The media briefing previewing the test will take place at 10 a.m., Friday, May 1 in the Press Site TV auditorium at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This briefing will air live on NASA TV.

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