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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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Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Milestones Update | Parabolic Arc

Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Milestones Update | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sierra Nevada Corporation has completed six of 12 milestones on its Dream Chaser vehicle under its CCiCAP agreement for a total of $152.5 million out of $227.5 million. It has completed one additional milestone — the Critical Design Review Incremental Design Review #1 — that is worth $5 million.

 

The company plans to complete five additional milestones by the time the agreement is scheduled to end in August.

 

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Freezing forecast forces Antares launch delay | Spaceflight Now

Freezing forecast forces Antares launch delay | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital Sciences has pushed back next week's launch of a commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station by at least one day to Wednesday to dodge frigid temperatures expected on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

 

Liftoff of the privately-developed Antares rocket was set for Tuesday after a three-week delay from mid-December to make room for spacewalks to repair a problematic ammonia coolant loop on the space station, but the long-range forecast for early next week predicts freezing temperatures.

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Private American Rockets Blast Open 2014 & Commercial Space Race with Big Bangs on Jan. 6 & 7

Private American Rockets Blast Open 2014 & Commercial Space Race with Big Bangs on Jan. 6 & 7 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The status quo in space flight operations is no more.

 

Private American rockets are leading the charge of overdue change into the innovative ‘Commercial Space Race’ by blasting 2014 open with a pair of ‘Big Bang fireworks’ just a day apart on Jan. 6 and Jan. 7.

 

A dynamic duo of US aerospace firms – SpaceX and Orbital Sciences – are each poised to launch their own recently developed private boosters in the first week of the new year and aiming to dramatically cut costs.

 

Both companies are revolutionizing access to space for both government entities as well as commercial companies doing lucrative business in space.

 

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Watch a full-length blast for SpaceShipTwo's rocket engine | NBC News.com

Watch a full-length blast for SpaceShipTwo's rocket engine | NBC News.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic had to postpone a rocket-powered test flight of its SpaceShipTwo craft last month, due to cloudy weather - but the space tourism company still managed to end the year with a blast.

 

The company’s end-of-the-year video, released on Monday, shows a full-duration firing of SpaceShipTwo’s hybrid rocket motor during a ground test. This was the first public airing of footage showing a 56-second burn, which is said to be long enough to send the rocket plane past the boundary of outer space.

 

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Garver Would Cut SLS, Mars 2020; Says Space Isn't Partisan, But Parochial

Two people viewed in the space policy community as epitomizing the differences between the Democratic and Republican views on NASA -- Lori Garver and Scott Pace -- were joined by Joel Achenbach and Mike Gold on today's Diane Rehm show on National Public Radio to talk about the present and future of the space program.  Their views, along with listeners who called in with questions and Rehm herself, are quite interesting.

 

Garver was Deputy Administrator of NASA for four years of the Obama Administration under current NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden.  She left the agency in September 2013 to become General Manager of the Air Line Pilots Association and has not hesitated to remain in the forefront of the debate over the space program from her new position outside of government.   Pace was one of the top NASA officials under former Administrator Mike Griffin during the George W. Bush Administration and one of the architects of the Constellation program to return humans to the Moon by 2020, a program cancelled by Obama.   Both have held many positions in the space policy community over the decades.   Pace is currently Director of George Washington University's Space Policy Institute.

 

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SpaceX delays Falcon 9 launch to next week | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX delays Falcon 9 launch to next week | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has delayed the launch of a Thai communications satellite from Friday until at least Monday, according to the U.S. Air Force.


"We're not aware of anything that would cause a mission failure, but in order to ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance we decided to conduct additional inspections of the launch vehicle," said Emily Shanklin, a SpaceX spokesperson.

 

Liftoff is now set for no earlier than Monday, according to a brief statement emailed by a 45th Space Wing spokesperson. The Air Force's 45th Space Wing operates communications and safety systems for all launches out of Cape Canaveral.

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SpaceX Commercial Crew Milestones Update Report | Parabolic Arc

SpaceX Commercial Crew Milestones Update Report | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

As of Jan. 2, 2014, SpaceX has completed 10 of its 15 planned commercial milestones for a total of $310 million in payments out of a total of $460 million. The company completed Dragon parachute tests at the end of 2013. It is now awaiting NASA review and approval of that milestone, which is worth $20 million.

 

Major milestones for the coming year include pad abort and in-flight abort tests. The company also plans to complete an integrated critical design review later this year. NASA has extended the CCiCAP portion of commercial crew program to August.

 

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Year in PReview: startups take a new look at commercial remote sensing | NewSpace Journal

Year in PReview: startups take a new look at commercial remote sensing | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The business of commercial remote sensing—taking images of the Earth from space for sale to private or government users—isn’t new. In the late 1990s, there was a burst of activity, with three companies in the US alone developing and launching spacecraft to serve this market: DigitalGlobe, ORBIMAGE, and Space Imaging. Weak commercial demand, though, led to greater reliance on government customers, in particular the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which financially supported the development of more advanced spacecraft and purchased images from them. Eventually, these companies consolidated into a single company, DigitalGlobe, a process shaped in large part on that reliance on the NGA—and cuts in the NGA budget.

 

A new generation of commercial remote sensing companies, though, are taking a very different approach to this industry. Rather than building a few very large and costly spacecraft to provide very high resolution images, these companies are building a larger number of smaller spacecraft that, while not able to match the spatial resolution of larger satellites, can provide much better temporal resolution: that is, they can provide follow-up images of the same area within a day or so, if not within hours. Two new ventures seeking to provide such service achieved major milestones in 2013, with more to come in 2014.

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Kelly, Whitesides to Headline Business Conference at Mojave Spaceport | Parabolic Arc

Kelly, Whitesides to Headline Business Conference at Mojave Spaceport | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

MOJAVE, Calif. (AVBOT PR)  – Senior executives of two companies partnered in pioneering civilian space travel and new commercial space business will be among the speakers for the Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 Antelope Valley Business Outlook Conference at Southern California’s Mojave Air and Space Port.

 

The Antelope Valley Board of Trade, organizer of the annual day-long event, announced that George T. Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company founded by Sir Richard Branson, and  Kevin Mickey, President of  Scaled Composites, which won the X-Prize by being the first private company to carry passengers to space and back, have accepted invitations to appear on the program.

 

The two private sector aerospace leaders will address an audience of up to 800 at the conference, which also includes Astronaut Mark Kelly.

 

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Private space vehicle innovators at Economic Outlook event

Private space vehicle innovators at Economic Outlook event | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Senior executives of two companies partnered in pioneering civilian space travel and new commercial space business will be among the speakers for the Friday, Feb. 21, Antelope Valley Business Outlook Conference at Mojave Air and Space Port.

 

The Antelope Valley Board of Trade, organizer of the annual day-long event, announced that George T. Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company founded by Sir Richard Branson, and Kevin Mickey, President of Scaled Composites, which won the X-Prize by being the first private company to carry passengers to space and back, have accepted invitations to appear on the program.

 

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Arrival of the “New Era” in US space policy | The Space Review

Arrival of the “New Era” in US space policy | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Several events occurred in the last half of 2013 that signal the arrival of a new era in US space policy. Generally, no one event means a new order, but cumulatively the situation now puts the American space program into unknown territory. The events include the arrival of SpaceX and Orbital Sciences on the main stage, the announcement of the most recent US space transportation policy, the collapse of the US space exploration program, and the soft landing on the Moon by the Chinese. These events can be grouped into two clusters: US domestic space policy and US international space policy. What is being described is the culmination of decades of change in US space policy: not the product of any one presidential administration or congress but, rather, the relentless pressure of events often outside the immediate realm of space policy. All are impacted by the changing role of the United States in the world and its response to that change, with overflow effects upon space endeavors. Symbolically, the end of the Cold War in 1989, along with the1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, removed the major incentives and anxieties that drove the early days of the US space program.

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U.S. Launch Companies at Crossroads in 2014 | Parabolic Arc

U.S. Launch Companies at Crossroads in 2014 | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Coming off a stellar year, each of America’s three launch providers — Orbital Sciences Corporation, SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) — finds itself in a distinctly different place and facing unique challenges. The coming year could begin to significantly remake the global launch market, with significant consequences for all three players and rival providers overseas.

 

 

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One-Way Mars Trip: 1,058 Private Martian Colony Volunteers Pass 1st Cut

One-Way Mars Trip: 1,058 Private Martian Colony Volunteers Pass 1st Cut | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Mars One announced Monday (Dec. 30) that it has picked 1,058 aspiring spaceflyers to move on to the next round in its search for the first humans to live and die on the Red Planet.

 

The Netherlands-based nonprofit wants to start launching groups of four on one-way trips to Mars by 2023, with the long-term goal of creating the first permanent settlement on Mars. More than 200,000 people applied for a spot on Mars One's list of future colonists by the time the initial application window closed on Aug. 31. The only requirement to apply was to be over age 18. Those who get to move on to the next, more rigorous selection phase were notified by email.

 

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Three Launches, SpaceShipTwo Flight Test Set for Next Week | Parabolic Arc

Three Launches, SpaceShipTwo Flight Test Set for Next Week | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A trio of orbital launches by SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corporation and ISRO will kick off the new year during the week ahead. Scaled Composites is also scheduled to conduct the third powered flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo on Jan. 9.

 

 

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SpaceX rocket launch pushed back to Monday

SpaceX rocket launch pushed back to Monday | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

CAPE CANAVERAL -- SpaceX is delaying the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

 

The rocket was supposed to launch Friday, but will instead launch Monday. They also have back up dates for Wednesday through Sunday, Jan 12. The only day they can’t launch is Tuesday, Jan. 7 when a rocket is set to launch from Virginia to the International Space Station.

 

This latest launch comes after SpaceX had several issues that lead to multiple postponements of their last launch one month ago.

 

The upcoming launch will be similar to this one because SpaceX is using another modified rocket with more powerful engines.

 

The company is ramping up launches this year from Cape Canaveral with nearly a dozen planned for 2014.

 

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FAA Renews Spaceport America Launch Site License | Parabolic Arc

FAA Renews Spaceport America Launch Site License | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

LAS CRUCES, NM (NMSA PR) – The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) has received the renewal of its Launch Site Operator License. The license and the accompanying License Order were issued by the Federal Aviation Administration Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST) on December 9, 2013. This launch license renewal for Spaceport America, the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, is required by the FAA for the spaceport to host licensed vertical and horizontal launches. Spaceport America was first licensed by the FAA in December 2008. Licenses must be renewed through an extensive review process every five years.

 

 

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Lori Garver says NASA should not build the SLS: "Where is it going to go?"

Lori Garver says NASA should not build the SLS: "Where is it going to go?" | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Lori Garver, NASA’s powerful former deputy administrator who left the space agency in September, was once an advocate for the Space Launch System, the big rocket NASA is building.

 

In 2011, for example, she said of NASA’s human exploration program: “We plan a very robust future for not only human spaceflight, but for NASA generally.”

 

But after leaving NASA Garver appears to either have changed her mind or, more likely, she feels free to say what really is on her mind.

 

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Garver: NASA should cancel SLS and Mars 2020 | Space Politics

A segment of public radio’s Diane Rehm Show on Thursday examined “The Future of Space Exploration” with several guests, including former NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver, and Garver used the occasion to make some of her most critical comments about two key NASA programs since leaving the space agency four months ago.

 

Early in the show, Garver hinted that NASA wasn’t spending its budget as effectively as it could after Rehm suggested NASA’s core problem was that it didn’t have a big enough budget. “I’m not sure it is, actually,” she said. “I believe that NASA and their $17 billion has an incredibly exciting and important space program. Of course, we could do even more with our $17 billion, and I think if we did that we would engender that support from the public and their elected leadership.”

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SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 Thaicom-6 launch slips to January 6 | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 Thaicom-6 launch slips to January 6 | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Following the successful completion of the Static Fire test on their Falcon 9 v1.1 at Cape Canaveral on Saturday, SpaceX was preparing for a January 3 launch of the Thaicom-6 satellite. However, due to an issue with the Falcon 9′s fairing, the launch has been slightly delayed to No Earlier Than (NET) target of January 6.

 

 

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A Hat Tip to SpaceX as Rebranded Airbus Defence and Space Takes Flight | SpaceNews.com

A Hat Tip to SpaceX as Rebranded Airbus Defence and Space Takes Flight | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

MUNICH — Airbus Defence and Space, formerly named Astrium, rendered homage to its newest commercial launch competitor, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), saying the Hawthorne, Calif., company has been able to retain a focus on cost efficiency without veering off into fascinating but unnecessary engineering challenges.

 

Company officials also described how it will use the reorganization inside the Airbus Group — the new name for the former EADS and Europe’s biggest aerospace company — to find synergies between the construction of Earth observation and telecommunications satellites, and between electronics components for military aircraft and for satellites, to improve profitability.

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Moon Rovers Planned for Commercial Lunar Exploration Project

Moon Rovers Planned for Commercial Lunar Exploration Project | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The commercial spaceflight company Golden Spike – which aims fly private missions to the moon by 2020 – has teamed up with the New York-based firm Honeybee Robotics to design robotic rovers for the planned lunar expeditions.

 

"We're very proud to be working with Honeybee, which has tremendous experience and a record of successful performance in the development of flight systems for NASA," Golden Spike President and CEO Alan Stern said in a statement last month.

 

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Space tourists flock to the heavens

Space tourists flock to the heavens | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Only 550 or so people have ever flown into space. It’s remarkable, then, that almost 700 clients have already signed up with Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s private space-tourism company, which has yet to begin offering commercial space flights. The year 2014 will be big for Virgin Galactic. If all goes according to plan, Branson and his adult children, Holly and Sam, will be the first private passengers to travel into space aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo craft, ushering in a new era of space flight for the masses.

 

 

Stratocumulus's insight:

 

One big error by the author here. SpaceShipTwo is designed to fly to approximately 328,000+ feet, the internationally recognized border for outer space. Not 50,000 feet as stated in the article. That would be the altitude where WhiteKnightTwo releases the spacecraft and she lights her hybrid rocket engine to soar up to final altitude.

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Year in PReview: going to the Red Planet requires a lot of green | NewSpace Journal

Year in PReview: going to the Red Planet requires a lot of green | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

As noted yesterday, getting vehicles ready to carry people on brief suborbital flights has proven to take far longer than once thought, as companies struggled with technical and financial challenges. If suborbital commercial human spaceflight has been that difficult, the idea of private organizations sending people not just on suborbital or even orbital flights, but instead all the way to Mars, sounds like pure folly. Human Mars missions, after all, are the long-term (with emphasis on long) of NASA and other government space agencies. Yet, in 2013, two organizations took steps to do just that, although both face significant challenges in the year ahead.

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A legal regime for lunar peaks of eternal light | The Space Review

A legal regime for lunar peaks of eternal light | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Astronomers define “peak of eternal light” (PEL) as a point on a celestial body that always receives sunlight. Recent evidence has confirmed the existence of such points in the polar regions of the Earth’s Moon. Peaks of eternal light are of immense importance to the establishment of permanent human communities or robotic industries on the Moon because they allow for steady and reliable energy from constant solar radiation throughout the lunar day. The significance of such regions on the lunar surface for future habitats or settlements is so high that studying the legal regime of peaks of eternal light is a prerequisite for any actual development on the lunar surface. This article tackles the actual legal regime of PELs on the Moon and reviews alternative legal implications as to the usage of this precious extraterrestrial real estate.

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Year in PReview: is 2014 finally the year suborbital space tourism lifts off? | NewSpace Journal

Year in PReview: is 2014 finally the year suborbital space tourism lifts off? | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

One decade ago, hopes were high for suborbital space tourism. Scaled Composites had performed the first powered test flight of SpaceShipOne in December of 2003, and other than a minor landing mishap, the company seemed to be on track for flying into space in the new year, putting it on the inside track to win the $10-million Ansari X PRIZE before it expired at the end of 2004. That, many believed, would usher in an era of suborbital space tourism by Scaled and other companies, including other X PRIZE competitors, in the following years.

 

The future, though, turned out a little differently. Scaled did win the X PRIZE with SpaceShipOne, performing suborbital flights in late September and early October of 2004 (as well as a test flight in June.) Scaled also announced a deal with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, establishing a venture called Virgin Galactic that planned to perform flights using a new vehicle, called SpaceShipTwo, as soon as late 2007.

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