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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 Year Ahead for NASA’s Commercial Crew Partners | Parabolic Arc

The Year Ahead for NASA’s Commercial Crew Partners | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

With just over seven months to go, NASA’s commercial crew partners are racing to complete 14 remaining milestones in this phase of the competition to launch Americans into orbit on U.S.-built spacecraft.

 

The coming months will see SpaceX conduct two abort tests of its Dragon spacecraft and Sierra Nevada  conduct at least one additional drop test of its Dream Chaser shuttle. Boeing will conduct three critical design reviews and a comprehensive safety review of its CST-100 spacecraft.

 

The three competitors have completed a total of 33 out of 47 milestones through the end of 2013.  Several of these milestones have been completed but are awaiting acceptance by NASA. Once that is completed, the space agency will have awarded $892 million out of $1.167 billion in possible awards.

 

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Virgin Galactic: When an Inspiring Endeavor Actually Sucks | Daily Kos

On April 29th, 2013, suborbital space tourism company Virgin Galactic crossed an important milestone in spectacular fashion: The first rocket-powered flight of the SpaceShipTwo vehicle.  Although it didn't go into space, the flight did go supersonic and created some truly awesome imagery (see below).  Unfortunately, the history and culture of the company's development inspires no confidence in how it will proceed from here.  For nearly a decade it has been, and apparently remains, a company that periodically generates a lot of excitement and then just goes nowhere for years for no apparent reason.

 

 

Stratocumulus's insight:

 

This article was first published in The Daily Kos on April 29, 2013 on the day that SpaceShipTwo flew its first powered flight. It asks some very tough questions and addresses some very thought-provoking issues in regards to the continuing development of Virgin Galactic's sub-orbital spaceplane.

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Lunar Lion - the first ever university-led mission to the Moon

Lunar Lion - the first ever university-led mission to the Moon | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Moon missions take brains, and willpower, and usually the wealth of nations. Until now. Brains are still needed. And willpower. Not nations, though. For the first time in history a group of students with a dream, a hell of a lot of support from their school, and your help, will land a spacecraft on the Moon.

 

 

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A forgotten anniversary | Space Politics

Most of the space community spent this past Tuesday, January 14, examining the details of the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2014 that funds NASA at ann overall level of $17.65 billion. Overlooked in that analysis, though, was another event: Tuesday marked the tenth anniversary of the speech by President George W. Bush at NASA Headquarters that formally unveiled what became known as the Vision for Space Exploration, a space exploration policy that has since been superseded by the Obama Administration’s policy, but whose shadow still stretches across the agency and the broader industry today.

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SpaceX courtship quietly continues as FAA report nears

SpaceX courtship quietly continues as FAA report nears | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

When now 20-year-old James Murray was a student a Porter High School he remembers his classmates saying they couldn’t wait to leave Brownsville once they graduated from high school and college.

 

There was nothing in this border town to keep them grounded. No big employers to make them want to stick around.

 

With the prospect of Space Exploration Technologies Inc., known as SpaceX, possibly building a rocket launch pad outside Brownsville, Murray hopes to land a job with the company and stay put so he can raise a family where he grew up.

 

“Them coming to Browns ville actually creates an opportunity to do what I want, to do what I love, to be able to stay and raise my children where I have lived,” said Murray, a Brownsville native and third-year physics major at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

 

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Space: The final frontier, but not for lawyers | Phoenix Business Journal

Space: The final frontier, but not for lawyers | Phoenix Business Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A bill at the Arizona Legislature would give space flight companies protections against being sued.

 

The measure is aimed at helping possible space tourism and commercial space flights being planned in southern parts of the state.

 

House Bill 2163 creates some legal protections for commercial and private space flight companies by codifying liability release forms the companies could have passengers sign.

 

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Milton siblings have journeys booked aboard Virgin Galactic spacecraft

Milton siblings have journeys booked aboard Virgin Galactic spacecraft | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

An 11-year-old girl from Milton, Ont., and her brother hope to become the youngest people to travel to space in Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic spacecraft.

 

U.S. regulations restrict space travel to people aged 18 and older, which means Zainab Azim and her 10-year-old brother Ali may have to wait a few years beyond 2015, when their suborbital flight is supposed to take place.

 

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NASA Looking for Commercial Lunar Landers | SpaceNews.com

NASA Looking for Commercial Lunar Landers | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

With two commercial companies now making cargo runs to the international space station, NASA is looking to foster commercial deliveries to the Moon, a solicitation for partnerships released Jan. 16 shows.

 

Currently, there is no money for the initiative, called the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown, or CATALYST. But NASA is offering technical expertise, software and the use of its facilities and equipment.

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SpaceX Conducts Dragon Parachute Test | YouTube

NASA Commercial Crew Program partner Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, conducted a drop test of a Dragon test article in December. The capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Morro Bay, Calif. The drop test enabled SpaceX engineers to evaluate the spacecraft's parachute deployment system as part of a milestone under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

 

 

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One week after blastoff, SpaceShipTwo flies free again | NBC News.com

One week after blastoff, SpaceShipTwo flies free again | NBC News.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane was back in the air for a gliding flight on Friday, one week after its highest-ever rocket-powered

test.

 

The prototype spacecraft rose into the sky from Mojave Air and Space Port in California, tucked beneath its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane, Virgin Galactic reported in a Twitter update at 11:08 a.m. ET. The paired planes rose into the sky, and about 45 minutes after takeoff, SpaceShipTwo was released for a test glide back to the airport runway.

 

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Exclusive interview with Jeffrey Manber, director of NanoRacks (HD) | YouTube

Exclusive interview with Jeffrey Manber, director of NanoRacks.

 

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Exclusive Pictures: SpaceShipTwo Engine Test Firing in Mojave | Parabolic Arc

Exclusive Pictures: SpaceShipTwo Engine Test Firing in Mojave | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Ken Brown captured these spectacular photos of a hybrid engine test at the Mojave Air and Space Port on Thursday afternoon. Scaled Composites conducted the hot fire of the nylon-nitrous oxide engine, which is being tested as an alternative to the rubber-nitrous oxide that Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has used for three test flights, sources say.

 

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Sierra Nevada Completes Dream Chaser Certification Plan Review | Parabolic Arc

Sierra Nevada Completes Dream Chaser Certification Plan Review | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sparks, Nev., Jan. 16, 2014 –Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) today announced the company recently completed its Certification Plan Review for the entire Dream Chaser® Space System (DCSS). This major accomplishment represents Milestone 7 under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement, the third phase of development under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) to develop privately owned and operated crew vehicles to access low-Earth orbit. In passing Milestone 7, the DCSS has successfully completed one of the most critical milestones on the road to Dream Chaser full design certification and outlined how SNC would operate its first crewed flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

 

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Virgin Galactic space tourists could be grounded by FAA

Virgin Galactic space tourists could be grounded by FAA | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Nearly 700 people have already paid $250,000 for a ticket to ride Virgin Galactic's commercial spaceship, and the company is hoping this is the year that those space flights finally take off.

 

One potential glitch: the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has not granted Virgin Galactic a commercial operator's licence.

 

What’s more, the FAA has not laid out safety rules like those for airlines and their planes, and there are no plans to do so until at least October 2015.

 

"We have to have an operator's licence to take people into space, and it's obviously something that we need to deal with," says Stephen Attenborough, the company's commercial director.

 

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Google Lunar X Prize Team Launches Crowdfunding Push | SpaceNews.com

Google Lunar X Prize Team Launches Crowdfunding Push | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SAN FRANCISCO — Pennsylvania State University is launching a crowdfunding campaign on RocketHub Jan. 20 to raise $400,000 for its effort to send a robotic spacecraft to the Moon. The Penn State Lunar Lion Team, the only university-led team competing for the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize, was inspired to adopt the crowdfunding approach by the success of recent space-related initiatives on RocketHub, Kickstarter and similar websites. 

 

The crowdfunding approach also is designed to encourage public participation. “We want this to be a mission done by the university but one that allows people around the world to participate and to be a part of this project,” said Michael Paul, Penn State’s director of space system initiatives.

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For NASA, 2014 Brings a Big Year for Commercial Spaceflight (Video)

For NASA, 2014 Brings a Big Year for Commercial Spaceflight (Video) | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Four private companies working to build commercial spaceships to launch NASA astronauts into space are gearing up for a big year in 2014, space agency officials say.

 

This year, private spaceflight companies Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corp., Boeing Space Exploration and SpaceX — which are all NASA partners the space agency's commercial crew program — will continue to perform tests and reviews for their respective space systems.

 

During 2013, the four companies made headway toward accomplishing the program's goal: launching astronauts to low-Earth orbit from the United States within the next three years. NASA officials are planning on announcing one or two more Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts by August that would lead to commercial systems flying astronauts to the International Space Station.

 

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Commercial space industry celebrates launch indemnification extension in omnibus spending bill | Space Politics

While most of the space-related discussion about the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2014 passed by Congress this week focused on the relatively favorable spending levels for NASA in the bill, the legislation also included another benefit for the commercial launch industry. The legislative vehicle used for the omnibus spending package was HR 3547, a bill originally introduced in the House in November to extend the third-party liability indemnification regime for commercial launches by one year. The Senate amended that bill last month to instead provide a three-year extension, which was left in the final bill (with the appropriations package added) passed by both houses this week.

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Elon Musk interviewed by Fareed Zakaria CNN | YouTube

Elon Musk interviewed by Fareed Zakaria on his show GPS (Global Public Square). Broadcast on CNN November, 24 2013. Discusses SpaceX, Tesla, Hyperloop and even Solar City.

 

 

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FAA Commercial Space Launch Office Another Winner in Omnibus

The FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) is another government office that did well in the FY2014 omnibus appropriations bill, which was signed into law yesterday.   Not only was its indemnification authority extended, but it got its full budget request.


President Obama signed the bill, officially entitled the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014" but colloquially known as "the omnibus," into law yesterday, January 17, 2014.  It funds the government through September 30, the end of FY2014.

 

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SpaceX test parachute system for Commercial Crew Dragon | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX test parachute system for Commercial Crew Dragon | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA confirmed on Friday that SpaceX’s Commercial Crew Dragon program successfully conducted a parachute test – as part of the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) contract with NASA - in December. The test evaluated how the Dragon parachute system would function in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during ascent.

 

 

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▶ What I Saw From The Space Station | Anousheh Ansari | XPRIZE Insights | YouTube

Anousheh Ansari talks about her trip to the International Space Station and its impact on her view of our planet. XPRIZE Insights is a video series that highlights leading thinkers of our time.

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SpaceX Tests Dragon Parachute System | SpaceRef Business

SpaceX Tests Dragon Parachute System | SpaceRef Business | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Engineers and safety specialists from NASA and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) gathered in Morro Bay, Calif., in late December to demonstrate how the company's Dragon spacecraft's parachute system would function in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during ascent.

 

The test was part of an optional milestone under NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative and approved by the agency in August.

 

The 12,000-pound test craft was lifted 8,000 feet above sea level by an Erickson Sky Crane helicopter and flown over the Pacific Ocean. Following Dragon's release, two drogue parachutes were released from the top of the spacecraft to slow its decent, before the three main parachutes deployed. The craft splashed down and was quickly recovered by the Sky Crane and carried back to shore.

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Steve Knight to Run for Congress | Parabolic Arc

Steve Knight to Run for Congress | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

California State Sen. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), a key supporter of commercial space, could be heading to Congress next year with the pending retirement of Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita).

 

Knight has been a key backer of commercial space measures in the California Legislature. He introduced a limited liability bill designed to protect commercial space providers from passenger lawsuits that was approved with revisions. He also has introduced several other commercial space bills now being considered by legislators.

 

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NASA Announces Partnership Opportunities for U.S. Commercial Lunar Lander Capabilities | Parabolic Arc

NASA Announces Partnership Opportunities for U.S. Commercial Lunar Lander Capabilities | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Building on the progress of NASA’s partnerships with the U.S. commercial space industry to develop new spacecraft and rockets capable of delivering cargo, and soon, astronauts to low Earth orbit, the agency is now looking for opportunities to spur commercial cargo transportation capabilities to the surface of the moon.

 

NASA has released an announcement seeking proposals to partner in the development of reliable and cost-effective commercial robotic lunar lander capabilities that will enable the delivery of payloads to the lunar surface. Such capabilities could support commercial activities on the moon while enabling new science and exploration missions of interest to NASA and the larger scientific and academic communities.

 

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Dream Chaser flies through another CCiCAP milestone | NASASpaceFlight.com

Dream Chaser flies through another CCiCAP milestone | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) successfully completed another key milestone for their Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) contract with NASA this week. Known as Milestone 7, the Certification Plan Review for the entire Dream Chaser Space System (DCSS) covered the vehicle’s full design certification and outlined how SNC would operate its first crewed flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

 

 

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