NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation have confirmed the October 27, 2014 launch date for Orbital's Orb-3 cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch date was dependent on whether a tracking station on Bermuda withstood Hurricane Gonzalo. Inspectors have determined it will be ready for the launch next week.
This is Orbital's third operational cargo mission to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Orbital launches its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the coast of Virginia. The Bermuda tracking station is required for such launches.
Launch is scheduled for 6:45 pm Eastern Daylight Time on October 27.
Rough seas in the Pacific Ocean will keep SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule in space a few days longer than planned, with the unpiloted supply ship's return to Earth now set for Saturday hauling a load of research specimens from the International Space Station back to the ground.
Landing was scheduled for Tuesday in a splashdown zone in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California, but officials opted to delay the return to Saturday due to high sea states in the area, NASA said Monday.
Fox is going for a new take on space race with a drama from writer Eli Attie (The West Wing), Pete Berg and Sarah Aubrey’s Film 44 and 20th Century Fox TV. The untitled project, from 20th Century Fox TV where Attie is under an overall deal, has received a script commitment with penalty. It falls under a deal Film 44 inked with the Fox network at the beginning of the summer. Written by Attie, the present-day drama us about a space race — but between people instead of nations, as two wildly ambitious egos with a long and ugly personal history battle to control the future of space exploration. Attie, Berg and Aubrey executive produce.
The Space Exploration Technology rocket factory is a large, white hangar-like building near Los Angeles international airport, with a parking lot filled with late-model motorcycles and Tesla electric cars. The vast metal structure once churned out 737 fuselages for Boeing. When you get through the front doors, past security and a cubicle farm stretching the width of the building, there it is: Science fiction being wrought into shape, right in front of you.
NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission plans to use xenon as the propellant for ion propulsion systems that will nudge a small asteroid into lunar orbit. Ronald Menich argues that using NEO materials themselves is a more sustainable approach to developing long-term cislunar infrastructure.
After delivering almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station during a month-long stay, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is set to leave the orbital laboratory on Saturday, Oct. 25.
The Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to detach from the Earth-facing side of the station's Harmony module and unberth through commands sent by robotic ground controllers in mission control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston operating the Canadarm 2 robotic arm. Mission control will maneuver Dragon into place then turn it over to Expedition 41 robotic arm operators Reid Wiseman and Barry Wilmore of NASA for release, which is scheduled for 9:56 a.m. EDT.
"Richard Branson, one of the most exuberant and successful entrepreneurs of the last 50 years, stopped by our offices recently. As the conversation below suggests, one of his greatest strengths may be his ability to grasp all that's thrilling and inspiring to people, be they his customers, his employees or anyone he happens to meet."
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Ten years after the completion of the Ansari X Prize appeared to open a new era of commercial human spaceflight, company executives and government officials at a commercial space conference expressed a mixture of optimism about the future of the industry and impatience at the perceived lack of progress over the last decade.
“I’m actually quite frustrated with the pace of commercial space,” said Brett Alexander, director of business development and strategy for Blue Origin, the privately funded spaceflight company led by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.
“It really has been frustrating to be 10 years into commercial space, 10 years from the X Prize, and not see a proliferation of activity, of people flying regularly,” he said in a presentation at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) here Oct. 15.
“We expect to get to space altitude in a short number of flights, assuming the rocket performs as expected. Scaled made it to space in four flights with SpaceShipOne. I believe it will be a little more than that for us, but not dramatically so.”
At IMTS 2014, Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser® Scale Replica was at display. Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President, SNC's Space Systems talked about the role of private companies in future space missions. He also talked about the role of PLM in space systems development.
Orbital Sciences Corp. is set to launch its next commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station on Monday after inspections revealed a rocket tracking station in Bermuda weathered a direct hit from Hurricane Gonzalo last week.
Liftoff of Orbital's third commercial cargo flight to the orbiting research laboratory is set for 6:45 p.m. EDT (2245 GMT) Monday from launch pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Va.
WASHINGTON -- NASA’s radar tracking facility in Cooper’s Island, Bermuda, escaped damage from Hurricane Gonzalo and will be ready to support Orbital Sciences Corp.’s scheduled Oct. 27 cargo launch to the international space station from Wallops Island, Virginia, the company said Oct. 22.
“Following an inspection of the tracking station in Bermuda used for Antares launches after Hurricane Gonzalo, Orbital and NASA together have established October 27 as the launch date for the upcoming Orb-3 Commercial Resupply Services,” the Dulles, Virginia, company wrote in a post on its website.
Hurricane Gonzalo struck Bermuda Oct. 17, but crews from NASA Wallops had already battened down the agency’s Cooper’s Island radar tracking station ahead of the storm. On Oct. 21, Wallops personnel flew out to investigate the damage and, ultimately, deemed the facility fit to support the upcoming launch.
WASHINGTON — A federal court ruled against a motion by Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Oct. 21 to reinstate a suspension of work by two companies on commercial crew contracts awarded by NASA last month.
Judge Marian Blank Horn issued the order after a hearing earlier in the day on a motion filed by Sierra Nevada with the Court of Federal Claims here Oct. 15 requesting that a stop-work order on two Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts that NASA overrode earlier this month be restored.
“Given the urgency to resolve the override issue, the court provided the parties with a verbal decision declining to overrule the override,” Horn wrote in a brief order issued by the court. The order did not explain the rationale for the decision, and the hearing was closed to the public.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued a verbal decision today declining to overrule NASA on its decision to allow SpaceX and Boeing to proceed in executing the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCAP) contracts. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is suing the government over NASA's October 9 decision to rescind a previously issued stop-work order while SNC's protest of the contract awards is under consideration by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
In a terse statement, Judge Marilyn Blank Horn said:
"On October 21, 2014, the court held a hearing in the above captioned protest. Given the urgency to resolve the override issue, the court provided the parties with a verbal decision declining to overrule the override."
Last month, NASA awarded contracts for commercial crew systems that were expected to end months of uncertainty about the program’s future. However, Jeff Foust reports that the uncertainty lingers today, as one company protests those awards while also working on alternative plans for its vehicle design.
Hurricane Gonzalo, the first major Atlantic Ocean basin hurricane in three years, has strengthened to a dangerous Category 4 storm, threatening Bermuda and forcing a postponement of the upcoming launch of the Orbital Sciences Antares rocket to the space station from the Virginia shore to no earlier than Oct. 27.
NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars.
Call it the New Space Age. There's a reignited fervor for all things extraterrestrial, and entrepreneurs are leading the charge. From zero-gravity tourism to satellite and software development, themed entertainment and beyond, commercial enterprises are capitalizing on opportunities in the burgeoning space industry. As costly and risky as these endeavors may be, the possibility for reward is out of this world.
U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn heard initial arguments on Friday on a motion by Sierra Nevada Corporation to stop Boeing and SpaceX from continuing work on recently awarded NASA commercial crew contracts pending an appeal of the awards.
The judge did not rule on the motion, but set an additional hearing on Tuesday to hear further arguments, according to press reports.