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Travel to the moon — and beyond — may go through North Las Vegas

Travel to the moon — and beyond — may go through North Las Vegas | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Man’s return to the moon and space travel to Mars may go through North Las Vegas.


Representatives of Bigelow Aerospace and aircraft designer Boeing, partners in the development of the next generation of space vehicles, on Wednesday unveiled models of the vehicles they hope will someday be used for those missions.


Boeing offered a first look at the interior of its reusable CST-100 space capsule designed to transport travelers to space stations in low-Earth orbit. The company will learn in August whether its crew space transportation system proposal will be funded by NASA for its commercial crew design module that would be used for transports to the International Space Station and to privately developed space stations like Bigelow’s BA-330.


Bigelow officials unveiled a full-scale model and gave tours of the BA-330, a space habitat that would be launched in a compact form and expanded to a work space of 330 cubic meters.


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Space X Falcon 9 CRS-11 ISS Resupply Ship Dragon - Launch And Landing - Full Hosted Webcast

Space X Falcon 9 CRS-11 ISS Resupply Ship Dragon - Launch And Landing - Full Hosted Webcast.

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Inmarsat-5 Flight 4 Launch Webcast

SpaceX is targeting the launch of an Inmarsat-5 Flight 4 from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX did not attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage after launch due to mission requirements.

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Blue Origin suffers BE-4 testing mishap | SpaceNews.com

Blue Origin suffers BE-4 testing mishap | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Blue Origin said May 14 it suffered a setback in the development of its BE-4 engine with the loss of a key hardware component in a recent test.

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Falcon 9 lifts off on first mission from Kennedy Space Center pad | SpaceNews.com

Falcon 9 lifts off on first mission from Kennedy Space Center pad | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off for the first time from a launch site at KSC previously used by Apollo and shuttle missions, Feb. 20.

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Second SpaceShipTwo performs first glide flight | SpaceNews.com

Second SpaceShipTwo performs first glide flight | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Virgin Galactic’s second SpaceShipTwo performed its first free flight Dec. 3, a glide test that begins the next phase in testing of the commercial suborbital spaceplane.

SpaceShipTwo, named VSS Unity, and its carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo, took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California at about 9:50 a.m. Eastern. The spaceplane separated from WhiteKnightTwo at 10:40 a.m. Eastern, gliding back to a runway landing in Mojave ten minutes later, according to updates provided by the company.

At the controls of SpaceShipTwo were David Mackay, Virgin Galactic’s chief pilot, and Mark Stucky, a former Scaled Composites pilot who flew a number of test fights of the first SpaceShipTwo before joining Virgin Galactic in 2015.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, December 4, 2016 1:44 PM
Virgin Galactic is at last flying a spaceship again.
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DigitalGlobe releases first photo from WorldView-4 | SpaceNews.com

DigitalGlobe releases first photo from WorldView-4 | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON – DigitalGlobe has released the first picture from its latest high resolution commercial imaging satellite, launched three weeks ago.

The photo, taken Nov. 26 according to statements from DigitalGlobe and camera provider Harris Corp., showcases WorldView-4’s imaging capabilities with a picture of the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Shibuya, Tokyo, site of the 1964 Summer Olympics and future home of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The latest satellite provides breathing room for DigitalGlobe to provide coveted 30-centimeter imagery to commercial customers that couldn’t obtain such imagery from the company’s WorldView-3 satellite because of prioritized pre-purchased imaging for the U.S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

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Orbital ATK to Develop Critical Technology for In-Orbit Assembly Through Public-Private Partnership with NASA

Dulles, Virginia 29 November 2016 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that it has begun a public-private partnership with NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) to establish a Commercial Infrastructure for Robotic Assembly and Services (CIRAS) in space. The CIRAS program will advance key technologies for in-orbit manufacturing and assembly of large space structures that will help the agency meet its goals for robotic and human exploration of the solar system.

“Orbital ATK, and our Space Logistics, LLC, subsidiary are pioneering the future of commercial space technology,” said Frank Culbertson, Orbital ATK Space Systems Group President. “Through this partnership and the first phase of the contract award, we will demonstrate our space logistics capabilities with new robotics technology. Our CIRAS team will create technologies that will advance the nation’s capability for building the framework needed for NASA’s journey to Mars, as well as shape the future of commercial space infrastructure.”

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Press Conference: ULA Unveils Website to Transform How Launch Services are Selected

United Launch Alliance (ULA) CEO Tory Bruno unveils an innovative website which will set a new standard for pricing transparency and transform how customers shop for launch services.

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Insider Exclusive: Jacobs’ TPSF enabling Kennedy to become multi-user spaceport

Insider Exclusive: Jacobs’ TPSF enabling Kennedy to become multi-user spaceport | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — The Thermal Protection System Facility, or “TPSF”, is one of the many centers that has had to redefine itself in the post-shuttle era. Fortunately, as NASA works to repurpose Kennedy Space Center and convert it into a multi-user spaceport, the buildings’ unique capabilities are continuing to serve the agency as it focuses on sending crews to asteroids, Mars, and other potential deep space destinations.

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Blow It Up: Inflatable Space Station Habitat Shows Promise in Early Tests

Blow It Up: Inflatable Space Station Habitat Shows Promise in Early Tests | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

An inflatable space habitat that could save weight and volume on future missions is showing how well it can do its job. The verdict: So far, it works, and that gives the habitat a better chance of being part of future space efforts.  

Called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, the habitat is an inflatable spheroid made of fabric that starts off folded into a shape like a flattish cone with the top cut off. It was originally launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 8. 

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EchoStar expects Jan. 8 or 9 SpaceX launch, confronts Brazil and EU deadlines | SpaceNews.com

EchoStar expects Jan. 8 or 9 SpaceX launch, confronts Brazil and EU deadlines | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator EchoStar Corp. on Nov. 23 said its EchoStar 23 tri-band telecommunications satellite for Brazil is expected to launch Jan. 8 or Jan. 9 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

The launch will follow the Falcon 9’s anticipated December launch, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, of 10 Iridium Communications satellites into low Earth orbit. The Iridium launch will mark SpaceX’s return to flight following the Sept. 1 explosion of a Falcon 9 as it was being fueled in advance of a static test fire.

Some time before the Iridium launch, SpaceX is expected to brief insurance underwriters on the root cause of the Sept. 1 failure, if one has been found, and on proposed corrective actions.

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Report finds commercial spaceports confused about insurance requirements | SpaceNews.com

Report finds commercial spaceports confused about insurance requirements | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — A new report recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration do more to assist commercial spaceports in determining their insurance requirements, but stops short of calling for regulatory changes regarding coverage for facilities not owned by the federal government.

The report, prepared by the U.S. Government Accountability Office under a provision of the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act signed into law one year ago, said that operators of launch sites licensed by the FAA are often puzzled about whether and how their facilities are covered by insurance in the event of an accident.

The request for the report came out of the aftermath of the October 2014 Antares launch failure at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia, that caused $15 million in damage to the launch site. Orbital Sciences Corp. and the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, which operates MARS, disputed who was liable for damages to the pad. Ultimately, each paid $5 million, with NASA contributing an additional $5 million by increasing the value of an existing contract with the authority.

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Expandable Habitat Reveals Important Early Performance Data

Expandable Habitat Reveals Important Early Performance Data | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Just five months into its two-year demonstration mission on the International Space Station, the first human-rated expandable habitat in low-Earth orbit is already returning valuable information about expandable technology performance and operations in space. Developed through a public-private partnership between NASA and Bigelow Aerospace, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) launched to the station April 8, 2016, in the “trunk” of the Dragon capsule during the eighth SpaceX Commercial Resupply Service mission.

 

In late May, with careful instructions from the ground, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams conducted the manual expansion of the module through a series of seconds-long valve openings that allowed space station air to enter and expand BEAM. After BEAM was fully expanded with low pressure, air tanks inside the BEAM were opened with an automated controller to fully pressurize BEAM to match station pressure. From its packed to expanded configurations, the module nearly doubled in length and increased by 40 percent in diameter. This capability to increase a spacecraft’s useable internal volume after launch offers a potentially significant advantage for mission planners who seek to reduce cargo volume, maximize payload space and efficiently package structures inside a launch vehicle fairing.

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TMRO:Space - A look at ISS Above | Orbit 10.19

Liam Kennedy, the creator of ISSAbove joins us on-station to talk about how simply knowing when to look up can have a huge impact on our ability to inspire

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SpaceX launches fourth Global Xpress satellite on expendable Falcon 9 - SpaceNews.com

SpaceX launches fourth Global Xpress satellite on expendable Falcon 9 - SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it
SpaceX launched the last of telecom satellite operator Inmarsat’s first-generation Global Xpress satellites May 15 on a mission where SpaceX did not attempt to recover the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage.
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Technical glitch scrubs Falcon 9 launch from historic pad | SpaceNews.com

Technical glitch scrubs Falcon 9 launch from historic pad | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The first launch by SpaceX from a historic KSC launch pad here scrubbed Feb. 18 by a technical problem with the Falcon 9 rocket.

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Concern with steering mechanism scrubs Falcon 9 launch | Spaceflight Now

Concern with steering mechanism scrubs Falcon 9 launch | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it



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SpaceX sets Dec. 16 for first flight since launch pad explosion | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX sets Dec. 16 for first flight since launch pad explosion | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The first 10 satellites in Iridium’s next-generation mobile voice and data network could head into orbit from California as soon as Dec. 16 on SpaceX’s first Falcon 9 flight since a booster exploded on its launch pad at Cape Canaveral in September, grounding the commercial launcher more than three months.

Iridium said Thursday that the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is scheduled for Dec. 16 at 12:36 p.m. PST (3:36 p.m. EST; 2036 GMT), pending regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency responsible for overseeing commercial space launches.

SpaceX has not launched a rocket since a Falcon 9 exploded during a prelaunch test at Cape Canaveral on Sept. 1, destroying the launcher and the Israeli-owned Amos 6 communications satellite on-board, and damaging the company’s primary East Coast launch facility.

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Orbital ATK to develop ‘tipping point’ orbital assembly technologies

Orbital ATK to develop ‘tipping point’ orbital assembly technologies | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital ATK is developing Commercial Infrastructure for Robotic Assembly and Services (CIRAS), a set of in-space hardware assembly technologies, under the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate’s (STMD) “tipping point” program. This public-private partnership will focus on capabilities needed for future human and robotic exploration missions.

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Trump names insider to lead NASA transition | SpaceNews.com

Trump names insider to lead NASA transition | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — The transition team for President-elect Donald Trump has named a congressional staffer and former NASA official to the “landing team” overseeing transition planning for the space agency.

In a Nov. 29 statement, the office of President-elect Trump announced that Chris Shank will serve on the landing team for NASA, the first individual named to date to handle transition issues for the space agency. The selection came after the transition team selected several dozen other people to serve on landing teams for cabinet-level departments and other agencies.

Shank has extensive experience with NASA, both working in the agency itself as well as on Capitol Hill. He joins the transition team after serving as policy director for the House Science Committee and, before that, as deputy chief of staff for Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the committee. Shank also served on the committee’s staff from 2001 to 2005.

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A transition vet offers tips to Trump’s NASA transition team | SpaceNews Magazine

At the time of publication, there were conflicting reports on whether or when there will be a NASA transition team and, if so, how many individuals will compose such a team. On the assumption that some sort of “landing party” — however structured or short-lived — eventually is assigned to the agency, the following unsolicited advice is offered.

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AIA, CSE call on Trump Administration to support space exploration roadmap

AIA, CSE call on Trump Administration to support space exploration roadmap | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Since 2009, when the Obama White House succeeded in cancelling NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration, the U.S. Space Agency has lacked a defined direction concerning its crewed exploration efforts. A possible path forward for the agency has gained the support of two prominent space-advocacy organizations.

 

While President Obama attempted to rectify the reaction caused as a result of his budget proposal, announced on April 15, 2010, by visiting the Kennedy Space Center in person, his plan and speech was deemed rather vague. Many in political and aerospace-policy circles wanted to see the space agency be provided with a mandate as to what it should be doing in terms of sending crews beyond Earth’s gravitational influence.

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SpaceX investor joins Trump defense transition team | SpaceNews.com

SpaceX investor joins Trump defense transition team | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — A principal in a venture capital fund whose investments include SpaceX has joined President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team for the Department of Defense.

The office of President-elect Trump announced Nov. 23 that it was adding Trae Stephens to the existing transition team for the Defense Department. He joins an original group of nine people assigned to the “landing team” covering the Pentagon on Nov. 23, with a tenth person added Nov. 21.

Stephens is a principal at Founders Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital fund co-founded in 2005 by billionaire investor Peter Thiel and several others. Thiel supported Trump’s campaign, giving a speech backing him at the Republican National Convention in July, and was named Nov. 11 to the executive committee overseeing Trump’s transition.

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SpaceX plans five-year lease of Port Canaveral complex

SpaceX plans five-year lease of Port Canaveral complex | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Port Canaveral has reached a tentative five-year lease agreement with SpaceX, which will operate a rocket refurbishing facility there.

As part of the deal, SpaceX will continue to work out of a 53,360-square-foot building at the port that formerly was used by SpaceHab.

SpaceX currently is using that facility at 620 Magellan Road, occupying the building under terms of a month-to-month temporary use permit. It also plans to build a 44,000-square-foot hangar building on the 4-acre site.

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SpaceX prime Falcon 9 rockets for December return | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX prime Falcon 9 rockets for December return | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

In preparation for a December return to launch operations, SpaceX has delivered one Falcon 9 rocket to its Vandenberg launch site, while another undergoes testing at the company’s McGregor test center in Texas. Pending the conclusion of the Amos-6 failure investigation, SpaceX will be primed to launch two missions in December.

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