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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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All About That Space | YouTube


“All About That Space” is a volunteer outreach video project created by the Pathways Interns of NASA's Johnson Space Center. It was created as a parody (to raise interest and excitement for Orion's first flight) of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”. The lyrics and scenes in the video have been re-imagined in order to inform the public about the amazing work going on at NASA and the Johnson Space Center.

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SpaceX Does a Reality Check on Its Falcon 9 Rocket Landing Plan

SpaceX Does a Reality Check on Its Falcon 9 Rocket Landing Plan | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The SpaceX launch company is scaling back expectations for an unprecedented rocket landing on a floating ocean platform, comparing the feat to "trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a windstorm."

The experiment is scheduled to take place on Friday, when SpaceX sends a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket and its uncrewed Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station on a resupply run. After stage separation at an altitude of roughly 60 miles (100 kilometers), the Falcon's first stage is slated to relight its rocket engines and go through a complex series of maneuvers to put itself down on a 300-foot-long (90-meter-long) "autonomous spaceport drone ship" in the Atlantic Ocean.

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NASA Awards Launch Contract to SpaceX | Parabolic Arc

NASA Awards Launch Contract to SpaceX | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014 (NASA PR) — NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. TESS will launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, with liftoff targeted for August 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The total cost for NASA to launch TESS is approximately $87 million, which includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements.

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Robotic Moon Lander Concept Raises $942K, Meeting Goal With A Day To Go

Robotic Moon Lander Concept Raises $942K, Meeting Goal With A Day To Go | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

With just over a day to go in their crowdfunding campaign, a British group hoping to put a robotic lander on the moon in 2024 reached their fundraising goal of $932,000 (£600,000) overnight.

The money is supposed to move the project into more concrete phases after the founders spent seven years quietly developing their concept, but many of the details about the design and funding have yet to be unveiled.

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Moon Express Testing Compact Lunar Lander at Kennedy Space Center

Moon Express Testing Compact Lunar Lander at Kennedy Space Center | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


NASA is working with U.S. industry to develop the capabilities and cutting-edge technologies that will help send astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit. To achieve this goal, space travelers will need the resources to survive during long-duration missions to an asteroid, Mars and other outer planets.

Moon Express Inc., of Moffett Field, California, is one of three companies selected for the agency's new Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) initiative to advance lander capabilities that will enable delivery of payloads to the surface of the moon.

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Google Lunar X Prize Extends Deadline as Astrobotic’s Entry Wins First Milestone Awards | Parabolic Arc

Google Lunar X Prize Extends Deadline as Astrobotic’s Entry Wins First Milestone Awards | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The deadline for winning the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize has been moved back again. The XPrize Foundation has announced a one-year delay in the prize to Dec. 31, 2016, contingent upon at least one team providing “documentation of a scheduled launch by December 31, 2015, for all teams to move forward in the competition.”

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More Science and 3D Printing Work amid Dragon Training

More Science and 3D Printing Work amid Dragon Training | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and cosmonaut Elena Serova started Wednesday conducting a test run of basketball-sized satellites, known as SPHERES, which float inside the International Space Station. After checking the nitrogen pressure of science freezers in the afternoon, Cristoforetti joined Commander Barry Wilmore for a robotics training session ahead of the fifth SpaceX Dragon mission scheduled for launch Friday at 1:22 p.m. EST.

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X MARKS THE SPOT: FALCON 9 ATTEMPTS OCEAN PLATFORM LANDING

X MARKS THE SPOT: FALCON 9 ATTEMPTS OCEAN PLATFORM LANDING | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


During our next flight, SpaceX will attempt the precision landing of a Falcon 9 first stage for the first time, on a custom-built ocean platform known as the autonomous spaceport drone ship. While SpaceX has already demonstrated two successful soft water landings, executing a precision landing on an unanchored ocean platform is significantly more challenging.

The odds of success are not great—perhaps 50% at best. However this test represents the first in a series of similar tests that will ultimately deliver a fully reusable Falcon 9 first stage.

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Boeing Offers CST-100 For ISS Cargo Contract | SpaceNews.com

Boeing Offers CST-100 For ISS Cargo Contract | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — As Boeing begins work on its NASA commercial crew contract, the company is proposing to use a version of the same spacecraft to transport cargo to the international space station.

Company officials said in a Dec. 9 interview here that they submitted a proposal earlier this month for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 2 competition, a follow-on to the existing CRS contracts held by Orbital Sciences Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to ferry cargo to and from the station.

The cargo version of Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft will be based on the crewed version the company is developing for NASA, said John Mulholland, Boeing commercial crew program manager. Boeing will remove spacecraft components not needed for crew missions, like its launch abort system and environmental controls, to free up room in the spacecraft for cargo.

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NASA gets budget hike in spending bill passed by Congress | Spaceflight Now

NASA gets budget hike in spending bill passed by Congress | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


NASA will receive $18 billion in the federal government’s 2015 budget passed by the U.S. Senate on Saturday, winning nearly all the funds the agency says it needs this year to develop commercial space capsules to fly astronauts to the International Space Station by the end of 2017.

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Cleaning up space junk | The Space Review

Cleaning up space junk | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Although current efforts to deal with space debris have focused on limiting the growth of new objects, some argue it’s time to focus on actively removing debris objects. Jeff Foust recaps the discussion on this topic at a recent conference, including the technical, legal, and financial obstacles such efforts face.

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A fresh look at Mars One - 7.37 | YouTube


This week we bring on Bas Lansdorp, Co-Founder and CEO of Mars One to take a fresh look at what they are doing. Interested in more information? You can hit up http://www.mars-one.com for the gameplan or if you want to help out you can donate here: http://www.mars-one.com/donate

In Space News we have:
Ariane V launches DirecTV-14 and GSAT-16
China lofts 3 military satellites to "study corp yields"
Atlas V launches NROL-35, a classified military satellite
Orbital to launch Cygnus atop Atlas V
Orion is back on land
NASA gets more money
Future use of RD-180 engines is now harder
Send your own items to the moon via MoonMail.co

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Forget Pluto, comets or Mars — let’s go back to the moon

Forget Pluto, comets or Mars — let’s go back to the moon | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


This has been an exciting past month for space exploration. We’ve seen a historic landing on the surface of a comet and the launch of Orion, NASA’s next-generation spacecraft. And, starting in January, we’ll begin to see gorgeous, never-before-seen imagery of Pluto, thanks to the New Horizons spacecraft. There’s certainly reason for optimism. According to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr., the Orion launch unofficially marked “Day One of the Mars era.” So here’s what might seem like a backward-looking proposition: Sending a manned mission to the moon — not to Mars — should be the primary national space priority for the United States.

The biggest reason, quite simply, has nothing to do with the level of today’s science or technology and everything to do with national pride and global influence. If America doesn’t go back to the moon and eventually establish a permanent lunar base there, someone else will. And whichever country is most active in moon exploration will have the biggest say in the moon’s future development.

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SpaceX expected to set new Falcon 9 launch date | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX expected to set new Falcon 9 launch date | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Officials will likely set a new launch date Thursday for a SpaceX-owned commercial cargo craft that was expected to take off Friday heading for the International Space Station, according to sources familiar with launch preparations.

Managers were scheduled to meet to decide on a plan for the launch after SpaceX was unable to complete a preflight engine hotfire test Tuesday. The static fire test is a procedure SpaceX uses to verify the readiness of its Falcon 9 rocket and ground facilities for liftoff.

The nature of the problem during Tuesday’s static fire was not clear, and a SpaceX spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

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NASA Taps SpaceX To Launch TESS Satellite | SpaceNews.com

NASA Taps SpaceX To Launch TESS Satellite | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — NASA has selected SpaceX to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in mid-2017, the U.S. space agency announced Dec. 17.

NASA will pay $87 million for the launch, which is slated to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in August 2017. NASA says the contract covers the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements.

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Lunar Mission One Hits First Kickstarter Goal for Moon Shot

Lunar Mission One's crowdfunding campaign has met its initial £600,000 ($945,000) target for a privately funded robotic mission to the moon, which means it has 0.1 percent of the money it says it will eventually need. The British-led effort plans to use the funds to deliver on its commitments to Kickstarter backers, including mission patches and T-shirts — and begin the process of planning the mission, which aims to deliver digital "memory boxes" to the moon and sample ice deposits beneath the lunar surface.

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Lunar Mission Kickstarter Campaign Meets Its Funding Target

Lunar Mission Kickstarter Campaign Meets Its Funding Target | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Lunar Mission One, the team of U.K.-based scientists and engineers hoping to send a robotic probe to drill into the moon, just reached a major milestone in funding. On Tuesday, the project’s Kickstarter campaign reached its target goal of £600,000 (close to $1 million USD), with more than 30 hours to spare.

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XPRIZE Moon Robot Contest Deadline Pushed Back A Year To 2016

XPRIZE Moon Robot Contest Deadline Pushed Back A Year To 2016 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


For the 18 teams racing to put a robot on the Moon, some good news — they have an extra year to get the job done. Citing the groups’ difficulty in technology and raising money, the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition said the teams will now have until Dec. 31, 2016 to accomplish their missions.

The challenge was first announced in 2007 and the number of teams has stayed fairly steady since at least 2010, when 21 teams were reported in a Universe Today story. Some of the groups are competing for milestone prizes, the latest of which will be announced Jan. 15.

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Deadline For $30 Million Google Lunar XPRIZE Extended To End Of 2016


“We continue to see significant progress from our Google Lunar XPRIZE teams, most recently demonstrated in the pursuit of the Milestone Prizes, in which teams exhibited substantial technological achievements that will ultimately support their missions,” said Robert K. Weiss, vice chairman and president, XPRIZE. “We know the mission we are asking teams to accomplish is extremely difficult and unprecedented, not only from a technological standpoint, but also in terms of the financial considerations. It is for this reason that we have decided to extend the competition timeline. We firmly believe that a whole new economy around low-cost access to the Moon will be the result of the Google Lunar XPRIZE.”

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Crew Preps For Dragon Capture and Next Year’s U.S. Spacewalks

Crew Preps For Dragon Capture and Next Year’s U.S. Spacewalks | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Three U.S. spacewalks are planned for early next year and station crew members Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts are preparing spacesuits and spacewalk tools.

After the spacesuit work, Wilmore joined Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti inside the cupola for robotics training. Wilmore will operate the Canadarm2 to capture the SpaceX Dragon when it arrives Sunday morning. Samantha will assist the commander during the commercial craft’s approach and rendezvous.

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Photos: SpaceX’s autonomous spaceport drone ship | Spaceflight Now

Photos: SpaceX’s autonomous spaceport drone ship | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


An ocean-going cargo barge modified to serve as a landing pad for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster is set to depart the Port of Jacksonville for a journey into the Atlantic Ocean ahead of Friday’s launch of a space station cargo mission from Cape Canaveral.

The barge will be stationed about 200 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral — or about 165 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C. — for Friday’s Falcon 9 launch, which is set for 1:22 p.m. EST (1822 GMT). SpaceX hopes to refire engines on the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage after the booster finishes its nearly three-minute burn to propel a Dragon supply ship into orbit on the way to the International Space Station.

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Rock Stars

Rock Stars | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Deep Space Industries (DSI) CEO David Gump wants to see human settlements expand into space. But according to Gump, the only way to pull that off is to get your resources where you live. That means the future of off-world colonies may rely on mining near-Earth asteroids for water, gas, metals, and other biological materials to serve as radiation shielding for humans working the in-space market.

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Review: The New Moon | The Space Review

Review: The New Moon | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Although not part of NASA’s human exploration plans, many other nations, and companies, are interested in a return to the Moon. Jeff Foust reviews a book that attempts to make a case for humans on the Moon based on both science and policy.

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Of budgets past and future | The Space Review

Of budgets past and future | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Last week Congress finally wrapped up a fiscal year 2015 spending bill, one that provides NASA with $18 billion. Jeff Foust reports that while the bill is largely good news for many key NASA programs, the agency still faces uncertainties about those programs, and its long-term fiscal future.

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Orion and Lunar Mission One - 7.36 | YouTube


This week we are joined by David Iron of Lunar Missions Ltd to talk about the crowd funded Lunar Mission One. You can get more information on that campaign here: http://lunarmissionone.com or go straight to the Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...

In Space News:
Orion EFT-1 launches and splashes down successfully
New Horizons coming online to explore Pluto
Hayabusa-2 launches for a comet return mission
GLONASS K launches atop a Soyuz
China launches a military satellite
SpaceX CRS-5 will be launching a rocket with fins and landing on a barge.

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SpaceX Looks to Expand McGregor Test Site | Parabolic Arc

SpaceX Looks to Expand McGregor Test Site | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The SpaceX rocket-making plant in McGregor is poised to spend $46 million on an expansion that would create 300 new full-time jobs.

Waco City Council on Tuesday will vote on giving Space Exploration Technologies Corp. up to $1.5 million in economic development money.

McLennan County commissioners will vote later this month on allocating $1.5 million to SpaceX for the project, giving the Hawthorne, California-based company a total of $3 million in funds from the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corp. war chest used to attract and keep industry.

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