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Orbital Gets NASA OK for Commercial Cargo Delivery Flight | Parabolic Arc

Orbital Gets NASA OK for Commercial Cargo Delivery Flight | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

International Space Station (ISS) astronauts opened the hatch to the newly arrived Cygnus freighter on Monday and began unloading cargo as NASA officials gave Orbital Sciences Corporation permission to proceed with a commercial cargo delivery flight in two month’s time.

 

“They are good to go,” said Alan Lindenmoyer, program manager for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. “The station has a spot ready for them in December. We’re getting the cargo ready to ship out. They’ve demonstrated a system that certainly can deliver. There will be no delays in proceeding toward the next mission.”

 

 

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Photos: SpaceX’s debris-strewn landing barge back in port | Spaceflight Now

Photos: SpaceX’s debris-strewn landing barge back in port | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Returning to port late Thursday under the cover of darkness, SpaceX’s rocket recovery platform has moored at a dock in Jacksonville, Florida, for unloading of charred debris from Tuesday’s crash landing of a Falcon 9 booster.

The 14-story booster was programmed to descend back to Earth, light its engines to slow down, then touch down vertically on the ship on four landing legs. SpaceX billed the maneuver as a purely experimental, and the rocket accomplished its primary job of sending a cargo capsule toward the International Space Station.

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SpaceX supply ship joins up with space station | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX supply ship joins up with space station | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Packed with an array of experiments and provisions, including a custom-made Italian espresso maker, SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo capsule reached the International Space Station on Friday after a precise laser-guided rendezvous more than 250 miles above Earth.

The commercial supply ship launched from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday, sailed into orbit a few minutes later, then kicked off a series of thruster burns to fine-tune its path toward the space station with nearly 2.2 tons of equipment inside its pressurized cabin.

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Sierra Nevada Corporation and the German Aerospace Center Announce New Dream Chaser® Program

Sierra Nevada Corporation and the German Aerospace Center Announce New Dream Chaser® Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

rSPARKS, Nev. (April 16, 2015) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC’s) Space Systems and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) announce the signing of a new Dream Chaser® program cooperation during the U.S. German Aerospace Roundtable (UGART) at the 31st annual Space Symposium hosted by the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We highly value our partnership with the German Aerospace Center,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president, SNC’s Space Systems. “This relationship is a great example of the best-in-industry and government agency partnerships, both domestic and international, that we have sought.  Our Dream Team will continue the advancement of the Dream Chaser, which is a true global program. We look forward to the next phase of our cooperation with DLR as we enter this new agreement.”

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CRS-6 Dragon prepares for arrival and berthing with the ISS | NASASpaceFlight.com

CRS-6 Dragon prepares for arrival and berthing with the ISS | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


While the internet community continues its fascination with the Falcon 9 First Stage landing attempt on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), SpaceX’s primary mission objective – the CRS-6/SpX-6 Dragon – is preparing to berth with the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft is performing well and set to be grappled by the Station’s “Big Arm” at around 7am Eastern on Friday.

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Falcon landing

GoPro Video from the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship.

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SpaceX Videos of Attempted Falcon 9 Landing April 14, 2015

SpaceX has been releasing videos of the April 14, 2015 attempt to land a Falcon 9 first stage on its autonomous drone ship "Just Read the Instructions" in the Atlantic Ocean.  Here are links to the three released so far; more will be added to the list if they become available.

The first video was released within about an hour of the attempted landing and shows a rather grainy photo from a chase plane.

The second video, released the next day, is a much better view from the chase plane.

The third video, released April 16, is from a camera on the drone ship itself.

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Would-be Small Sat Launcher: Don’t Count Out LEO Constellations

Would-be Small Sat Launcher: Don’t Count Out LEO Constellations | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Technology advances since the space-telecom bust of the 1990s make it unfair to compare low-orbit communications constellations proposed by OneWeb and SpaceX to those that either evaporated from the drawing board or got bullied into bankruptcy by terrestrial competitors before the turn of the century, the chief technology officer of an aspiring launch services company said here April 15.

“Please don’t compare this go-round of [low Earth orbit] constellations with what happened with Iridium and all that,” Shey Sabripour, chief technology officer of Austin, Texas-based Firefly Space Systems said during a panel discussion at the 31st Space Symposium here. “The technologies available today are far different than what was available in the 1990s.”

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Texan with shot at red planet residency talks of life, not death on Mars

Texan with shot at red planet residency talks of life, not death on Mars | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


“I’m not going to Mars to die. None of us are. We’re going there to live,” she said. “Where our bodies are laid to rest is a footnote.”

And she wants her footnote, and footprints, to be on Mars.

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ULA gets futuristic | Spaceflight Now

ULA gets futuristic | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


CAPE CANAVERAL — United Launch Alliance revealed a visionary approach to space exploration in the next decade courtesy of the Vulcan rocket’s new, long-duration upper stage that can be fitted with as many as four engines to perform cargo resupply and astronaut transportation to far-flung destinations.

“This is the real game-changer,” Tory Bruno, the CEO and president of ULA, said in unveiling the company’s next-generation rocket on Monday.

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Op-ed | Prescription for Mars: Stay the Course, Don’t Screw Up

Op-ed | Prescription for Mars: Stay the Course, Don’t Screw Up | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Recently, a diverse group of individuals from the aerospace industry, the entertainment industry and finance, among other disciplines, came together on the West Coast to discuss the future of space exploration. This event stimulated a lot of frank discussion, but one quote seemed to resonate at the end of the gathering — “Stay the course and don’t screw up!”

What does this mean? Put simply, it means that we must not reinvent the space program over and over again. While everything is not perfect, we can’t afford another reset of U.S. space policy when the next president takes office. That would not benefit anyone in the space community and could permanently delay or derail efforts to explore beyond low Earth orbit.


Stratocumulus's insight:


I believe we CAN send humans to Mars by the 2030's, even with NASA being funded at its current levels, with more reliance on commercial spaceflight alternatives and less dependency on congressionally-mandated government solutions, such as the Space Launch System.

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SpaceX To Land Reusable Launcher on Ground

SpaceX To Land Reusable Launcher on Ground | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — SpaceX hopes that the next attempt to land its Falcon 9 reusable launch vehicle will occur on solid ground.

While not providing details of when or where that attempt would occur, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO, told Defense News on Wednesday that the company hopes its next attempted landing will take place on land, not at sea.

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Established Companies Feeling ‘Déjà Vu’ on Mega constellations

Established Companies Feeling ‘Déjà Vu’ on Mega constellations | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Major satellite builders and operators gathered here for the 31st Space Symposium invoked the specter of the 1990s space-telecom bust when asked about potentially disruptive low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations planned by upstarts OneWeb and SpaceX.

“Many of us who have lived through the decade of the ’90s do have a certain sense of déjà vu all over again,” Mike Hamel, vice president and general manager of commercial space at Lockheed Martin, said April 14 during the symposium’s “Commercial Satellite Mega-Panel” discussion.

Hamel was alluding to the large low-orbiting satellite constellations conceived in the 1990s that either never got off the ground or whose companies went bankrupt shortly after the satellites launched.

Hamel was perhaps the most optimistic panelist here.

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Astronauts share views of Dragon cargo capsule | Spaceflight Now

Astronauts share views of Dragon cargo capsule | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The International Space Station got a new shipment of supplies Friday, and astronauts living on the outpost shared their photos of the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft during the rendezvous.

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DLR Renews Cooperation with SNC on Dream Chaser

DLR Renews Cooperation with SNC on Dream Chaser | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — The German Space Center, DLR, and Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) have renewed for another two years their cooperation on SNC’s Dream Chaser lifting-body spacecraft to focus on both crewed and uncrewed mission applications.

The agreement, which stretches through 2017, follows a 2013 no-exchange-of-funds arrangement in which DLR, which is Germany’s space agency, and Sparks, Nevada-based SNC investigated possible European contributions to the Dream Chaser. OHB SE of Bremen, Germany, was part of the original study called Dream Chaser for European Utilization.

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AFRL Gives Seal of Approval to British Air-breathing SABRE Engine Design

AFRL Gives Seal of Approval to British Air-breathing SABRE Engine Design | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has answered with a qualified “yes” the question of whether a British company’s revolutionary air-breathing rocket engine, designed for a vertical-takeoff vehicle climbing to orbit with a single stage, holds promise.

AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate looked at Reaction Engines Ltd.’s Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, SABRE, as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement.

The key component of the engine is its heat exchanger, designed to convert incoming air from 1,000 degrees Celsius to minus 150 degrees Celsius in one-hundredth of a second.

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Crew Gets Ready for New Dragon and New Science | Space Station

Crew Gets Ready for New Dragon and New Science | Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is less than a day away from arriving at the International Space Station. The Expedition 43 crew is getting ready for its arrival and five-week stay at the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. Read more about the SpaceX CRS-6 mission.

Commander Terry Virts set up hardware inside Harmony to assist Dragon’s installation after its capture tomorrow. Virts and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti also brushed up on robotics skills necessary to capture Dragon with the Canadarm2.

NASA TV will begin rendezvous coverage Friday at 5 a.m. EDT. Dragon is scheduled to be grappled about 7 a.m. by Cristoforetti inside the cupola at the controls of Canadarm2 with Virts assisting.

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On-the-Deck Video Shows SpaceX's Rocket Landing Try

On-the-Deck Video Shows SpaceX's Rocket Landing Try | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A short video clip appears to show how the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket tipped over upon landing on the deck of a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean, minutes after it launched a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station on Tuesday. The video is a deck's-eye view of the landing attempt and subsequent explosion. It was posted anonymously without being acknowledged by SpaceX — but if it's a hoax, it's an astonishingly good one.

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Video: Falcon 9 Close Call | Aviation Week

Video: Falcon 9 Close Call | Aviation Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


This anonymously posted astonishing video reveals how close the Falcon 9 stage came to completing a successful landing and shows that right up unto the last second the cold gas reaction control system was attempting to correct the landing trajectory.

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SpaceX Checks Throttle Valve After Flawed Falcon 9 Recovery Attempt | Aviation Week

SpaceX Checks Throttle Valve After Flawed Falcon 9 Recovery Attempt | Aviation Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


COLORADO SPRINGS — SpaceX is thought to be focusing on static friction in an engine throttle valve as the prime suspect for the loss of the Falcon 9 first stage during the third attempt at recovering the booster.

The Falcon 9 was seconds away from what would have been the first successful landing of a used booster stage on SpaceX’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) when the vehicle toppled over and was destroyed. The landing attempt occurred following the launch on April 14 of SpaceX’s sixth cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

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Paul Allen Launches 'Vulcan Aerospace' to Boost Private Space Travel

Paul Allen Launches 'Vulcan Aerospace' to Boost Private Space Travel | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Billionaire Paul Allen has formed a new company to help make spaceflight more affordable and efficient.


Vulcan Aerospace, which was unveiled Monday (April 13), will spearhead the space projects of Vulcan, Inc., a company Allen and his sister Jody formed in 1986.

"Vulcan Aerospace is the company within Vulcan that plans and executes projects to shift how the world conceptualizes space travel through cost reduction and on‐demand access," Vulcan Aerospace president Chuck Beames and his colleague Kyu Hwang wrote in a paper describing the company that was presented at the 31 st Space Symposium in Colorado Springs this week.

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SpaceX CRS-6 Launch | YouTube

After six successful missions to the International Space Station, including five official resupply missions for NASA, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, for their sixth official Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbiting lab. Liftoff took place on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at 4:10pm EDT. If all goes as planned, Dragon will arrive at the station approximately two days after liftoff. Dragon is expected to return to Earth approximately five weeks later for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of southern California. Dragon is the only operational spacecraft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies back to Earth, including experiments.

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Stratolaunch Considering Using Multiple Launch Vehicles

Stratolaunch Considering Using Multiple Launch Vehicles | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Stratolaunch Systems, the air-launch venture backed by billionaire Paul Allen, is considering using the giant aircraft it is developing to launch several different types of launch vehicles, and as a result is pausing work on a crewed spacecraft.

In a presentation at the 31st Space Symposium here April 13, Chuck Beames, president of Seattle-based Vulcan Aerospace, the parent company of Stratolaunch Systems, said the company has decided to examine alternative vehicles that could be launched from its aircraft.

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Boeing To Unveil Crew, Spacesuits For CST-100 Test Flight This Summer | SpaceNews.com

Boeing To Unveil Crew, Spacesuits For CST-100 Test Flight This Summer | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Boeing plans to announce this summer the crew that will be on a test flight of the company’s CST-100 crew vehicle in 2017, as well as reveal the pressure suits the crew will wear.

John Elbon, vice president and general manager for space exploration at Boeing, said in an interview here April 15 that the company hoped to announce this summer the two-person crew that will fly on that test flight, planned for the middle of 2017. One crewmember will be a Boeing test pilot, and the other a NASA astronaut.

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Space Investors Willing To Forego Near-Term Returns for Long-Term Payoffs

Space Investors Willing To Forego Near-Term Returns for Long-Term Payoffs | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — As the flow of private investment into entrepreneurial space companies grows, some investors say they are willing to accept long waits for a return on their investment in companies that have the potential to change entire industries.

Scott Nolan, a partner in San Francisco-based venture capital firm Founders Fund, said during a space finance panel at the 31st Space Symposium here April 15 that he received a skeptical reaction when the firm invested in SpaceX several years ago, given the company has no plans to perform an initial public offering of stock or otherwise allow investors to recoup their investment.

“When we first invested in SpaceX, people thought it was a crazy investment,” he recalled. “But, at a high level, we don’t focus too much on how quickly we will get returns.”

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