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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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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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The Plan to Launch America | YouTube


On Monday, January 26th, 2015, NASA, Boeing and SpaceX held a news briefing on NASA Television at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to highlight key development activities, test plans and objectives for achieving certification of two American crew transportation systems. Under Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts for NASA’s Launch America initiative, Boeing and SpaceX will develop safe and reliable crew transportation to and from the International Space Station on American spacecraft launched from the United States.

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Christian Albrecht's curator insight, January 27, 3:56 PM

Very exciting times ahead!

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Elon Musk and the SpaceX Odyssey: the Path from Falcon 9 to Mars Colonization Transporter

Elon Musk and the SpaceX Odyssey: the Path from Falcon 9 to Mars Colonization Transporter | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

In Kubrick’s and Clark’s 2001 Space Odyssey, there was no question of “Boots or Bots”[ref]. The monolith had been left for humanity as a mileage and direction marker on Route 66 to the stars. So we went to Jupiter and Dave Bowman overcame a sentient machine, shut it down cold and went forth to discover the greatest story yet to be told.


Now Elon Musk, born three years after the great science fiction movie and one year before the last Apollo mission to the Moon has set his goals, is achieving milestones to lift humans beyond low-Earth orbit, beyond the bonds of Earth’s gravity and take us to the first stop in the final frontier – Mars – the destination of the SpaceX odyssey.

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Smallsat Developer Spire Entering Commercial Weather Biz


WASHINGTON — A San Francisco-based developer of nanosatellites announced Jan. 29 that it plans to start deploying a constellation of spacecraft by the end of this year to collect weather data for government and commercial customers.

Spire said that it believes its constellation of cubesat-class satellites, which will eventually exceed 100 spacecraft, will provide data that will greatly improve the accuracy of weather forecasts.

“We are right now with weather forecasting where we were with finding directions 10 years ago,” said Peter Platzer in a Jan. 27 interview. Just as online mapping services made getting directions easier and more reliable, he said he hopes his satellites’ data will do the same for weather.

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The next space race will be among Fortune 500 companies

The next space race will be among Fortune 500 companies | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Most of the press called it a failure. Musk called it “close.” Experts familiar with the commercial spaceflight industry are calling it what it is: evidence that 2015 will be the year SpaceX manages to successfully bring a first stage rocket booster and its nine rocket engines safely back to Earth for reuse, potentially cutting the cost of space launch in half and upending the commercial launch industry.

But lost in the whiz-bang awesomeness of rocket launches (and crashes) is the way SpaceX’s reusable rocket technology could impact industries beyond those associated with space, such as telecommunications and imaging.

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Spaceport opening to pilots for Valentine’s Day fly-in

Spaceport opening to pilots for Valentine’s Day fly-in | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Love is in the air at the New Mexico Spaceport. On Valentine’s Day the facility will host its first-ever Private Pilots Fly-In. The event costs $500 per plane and it includes a private tour of the Spaceport and lunch for the pilots and their passengers.

Spaceport officials say the goal is to create a new kind of tourism at the facility. Right now, it’s facing a $1.7 million shortfall and the fly-in is just one of the many ways it’s trying to make up that money.

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NASA expects continued use of Soyuz in era of commercial spaceships | Spaceflight Now

NASA expects continued use of Soyuz in era of commercial spaceships | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


NASA hopes to begin launching U.S. and partner astronauts to the space station aboard Boeing and SpaceX ferry craft in the 2017 timeframe, but agency managers expect to continue sending crew members up aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft — and Russian cosmonauts aloft aboard U.S. vehicles — as a hedge against problems, like crew illness, that could force some station crew members to make an emergency return to Earth.

Without mixed crews, an illness could force everyone who came up with the sick crew member to depart aboard the vehicle that brought them to the station. If it was a U.S. or partner crew member, everyone who launched with that astronaut aboard a Boeing or SpaceX ferry craft would have to return to Earth, leaving the station in the hands of Russian cosmonauts who launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft and who are not trained to operate NASA systems.

And vice versa.

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UrtheCast Expands After Signing $65 Million Contract | Parabolic Arc

UrtheCast Expands After Signing $65 Million Contract | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The Earth-imaging company UrtheCast has opened a second office in Vancouver, Canada, with the help of a recently signed deal. And the company is hiring.

“With an infusion of data, projects, and engineers, it was time to expand our office. Our Vancouver headquarters has been busting at the seams for quite some time now, so we’re looking forward to having more room and welcoming even more people to our team,” said UrtheCast’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Larson. “Our entire system continues to grow as we look for video specialists, GIS experts, and infrastructure experts to help build out our cloud for the data we are collecting.”

The new office in downtown Vancouver includes more than 5,000 square feet and will house up to 40 engineers. It is set to open in March.


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Back To The Moon For Good – The New Space Race | YouTube


Watch our cool movie about going back to the Moon. In case you haven’t heard, the Moon is trending again… and in a big way. Narrated by Tim Allen (voice of Buzz Lightyear), this is a complete behind-the-scenes feature on the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized prize in history. Adapted from the award-winning digital planetarium show, the 24-minute movie chronicles 18 teams from around the world looking to make history by landing a privately funded robotic spacecraft on the Moon. This global competition is designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world. 

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SpaceX Pad Abort Test Article Readied For Flight | Commercial Crew Program

SpaceX Pad Abort Test Article Readied For Flight | Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX is preparing a test version of its Crew Dragon for an upcoming flight that will simulate an emergency abort from the launch pad. The Crew Dragon is designed to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, and the ability to abort from a launch or pad emergency and safely carry crew members out of harm’s way is a critical element for NASA’s next generation of crewed spacecraft. The pad abort test will take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 in under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA, but some data gathered during the development flight will be critical for the company as it continues on the path to certification.

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Boeing expected to win first operational space taxi order | Spaceflight Now

Boeing expected to win first operational space taxi order | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Boeing is poised to win NASA’s first order for operational commercial missions to send up astronauts to the International Space Station, a NASA official said Monday.

The aerospace giant is one of two companies NASA selected to build commercial space taxis to transport crews to and from the space station. SpaceX, a newcomer to human spaceflight, cinched a separate contract with NASA.

NASA announced Boeing and SpaceX as the winners of deals worth a maximum combined value of $6.8 billion. The contracts guarantee each company at least two full-up crew rotation missions to the space station — plus options for up to six flights — through 2019.

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Editorial | Finding the Right Formula for Certification


U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James was wise to order up an independent review of the service’s ponderous process for certifying new entrants in the national security launch market.

The study was prompted by delays in certifying SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to carry military payloads. Air Force officials, who as of mid-December were still hoping to complete the process by the end of 2014, recently acknowledged that SpaceX would have to wait a while longer, perhaps until the middle of this year.

The delay appears to have held up what would be the Air Force’s first truly competitive launch contract award in some 15 years. Bids for that National Reconnaissance Office launch — presumably from SpaceX and arch-nemesis United Launch Alliance — were due last August and industry sources were expecting a contract award in early January.

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The Next Space Race: Video

The Next Space Race: Video | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


(Bloomberg) -- “The Next Space Race” is a journey through the booming business of space exploration. The International Space Station is a near zero-gravity laboratory dedicated to scientific research. The end of NASA's shuttle program left the world with only one way to get there, buy a seat from the Russians. Now NASA is holding a billion dollar competition challenging private enterprise to build America's next spacecraft. Boeing, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada are all multi-billion dollar aerospace companies and are each determined to win the NASA contract in order to become the leader in the emerging space industry. Bloomberg gets rare access to these space pioneers, including a tour of SpaceX with CEO Elon Musk.

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SpaceX preparing for the crewed Dragon abort tests | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX preparing for the crewed Dragon abort tests | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX has revealed more details into its upcoming drive to bring the crewed version of its Dragon spacecraft on line, in its bid to return a domestic crew transportation system to the United States. Near term milestones include two abort tests, ahead of launching a crew on the Dragon V2, following what SpaceX estimates will have been after 50 flights of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

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Virgin Galactic - Destiny | YouTube


Members of the Virgin Galactic team explain why the continued exploration of space is so important to the future of mankind.

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Elon Musk to Headline Space Station Research and Development Conference | Parabolic Arc

Elon Musk to Headline Space Station Research and Development Conference | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Independence Day is not the only important fourth this July. Hot on the heels of the holiday is the fourth annual International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development Conference, which takes place in Boston July 7 to 9. Launching this year’s event is a keynote speaker who lives up to one of the core conference themes of gaining a new perspective: Elon Musk, chief executive officer and lead designer at SpaceX.

“To welcome this diverse set of new and existing ISS users we were looking for a keynote speaker whose name is synonymous with the future of innovation,” said Brian Talbot, marketing and communications director with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). “Elon Musk is an ideal fit for this role. Elon’s passion for discovery and exploration appeals to business leaders, research and development professionals, and the space community.”

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Safety Panel Criticizes Lack of Commercial Crew Transparency | SpaceNews.com


WASHINGTON — An independent panel said Jan. 28 it could not evaluate the safety of NASA’s commercial crew program because of the unwillingness of the agency’s leadership to provide information the panel sought about it.

In its annual report, the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) said that efforts by the panel to gain insight into the program, including about contracts awarded last September to Boeing and SpaceX, were met with “a seamless set of constraints” regarding why that information could not be released.

“Regrettably, the Panel is unable to offer any informed opinion regarding the adequacy of the certification process or the sufficiency of safety in the Commercial Crew Program due to constraints on access to needed information,” the panel’s chairman, Joseph Dyer, said in a cover letter to the report delivered to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

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Space Economy Taking Off In Austin | keyetv.com Austin News

Space Economy Taking Off In Austin | keyetv.com Austin News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


It's not a 9-to-5 job at Firefly Space Systems in Cedar Park. "People come in when they feel like it, leave when they feel like it as long as they get the job done," said founder Tom Markusic.

Markusic started Firefly about a year ago, after earning a tech pedigree that includes working for Space X, Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic. Now, he and his staff are building the rockets to blast small satellites into space. "This week Google is putting a billion dollars into developing these small satellites, yet the means to get them to space is still underserved," he said.

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Falcon Heavy | Flight Animation | YouTube


Falcon Heavy will be the world’s most powerful rocket, a launch vehicle of scale and capability unequaled by any other currently flying.

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Christian Albrecht's curator insight, January 28, 4:40 PM

Absolutely Amazing!

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SpaceX releases new animation of mighty Falcon Heavy | Spaceflight Now


A new animation of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket set for a debut flight later this year shows how the powerful launcher will blast off from Kennedy Space Center’s famed Apollo-era launch pad 39A, and could eventually fly back to Florida’s Space Coast for refurbishment and reuse.

Driven skyward by 27 kerosene-fueled booster engines, the Falcon Heavy will generate nearly 4 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, making it the most powerful operational rocket in the world. SpaceX says it can deliver up to 53 metric tons (116,845 pounds) into low Earth orbit or more than 21 metric tons (46,738 pounds) to geostationary transfer orbit, a common destination for commercial communications satellites.

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Moon Express Completes Initial Flight Tests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center | Parabolic Arc

Moon Express Completes Initial Flight Tests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) – During November and December 2014, Moon Express successfully conducted its lander test vehicle hot fires and initial flight tests at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, with the support of NASA’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) initiative.

Through an increasingly complex series of tests following vehicle integration, the Moon Express “MTV-1X” proved out its fundamental guidance, navigation and control systems and achieved controlled flight profiles.

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$6 Million Milestone Prize Awards | YouTube


XPRIZE and Google have incorporated Milestone Prizes into the Google Lunar XPRIZE in order to reward teams who achieve key milestones on their way to ready their subsystems for launch.

The Milestone Prizes, totalling US$6 million, are for demonstrating (via actual testing and analysis) robust hardware and software to overcome key technical risks in the areas of imaging, mobility and lander systems — all three being necessary to achieve a successful Google Lunar XPRIZE mission.

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SpaceX confirms first Crew Dragon flights will return to ocean landings | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX confirms first Crew Dragon flights will return to ocean landings | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft being developed by SpaceX will return to Earth under parachutes for splashdowns in the ocean, and not execute helicopter-like propulsive touchdowns on land, a SpaceX official confirmed Monday.

SpaceX unveiled the Crew Dragon spaceship — also called the Dragon V2 — in a glitzy event held at the company’s Southern California headquarters in May 2014.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and chief executive, said the capsule would be outfitted with powerful new SuperDraco thrusters that double as a launch escape system and braking rockets for landing.

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ATK and Orbital Shareholders Approve Merger | SpaceNews.com


WASHINGTON — Shareholders of ATK and Orbital Sciences Corp. approved the merger of the two companies in separate votes Jan. 27, clearing the way for the merger to close in early February.

ATK announced that approximately 97 percent of votes cast by its shareholders, representing 77 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, were in favor of the merger. Orbital said that about 99 percent of votes, representing 85 percent of its shares, approved the merger.

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An exclusive live chat with Google Lunar XPrize teams! - YouTube


The Milestone phase of the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize is coming to a close, so we're gathering representatives from the five prize-winning teams to talk about how they plan to get to the moon by next year.

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Boeing, SpaceX on track for commercial crew flights to station in 2017 | Spaceflight Now

Boeing, SpaceX on track for commercial crew flights to station in 2017 | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


NASA expects to spend some $5 billion underwriting development of commercial spacecraft built by Boeing and SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, officials said Monday, ending sole reliance on the Russians for crew ferry flights and eventually lowering the average cost per seat to around $58 million.

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