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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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Cargo-carrying Cygnus Capsule Berths with Space Station | SpaceNews.com

Cargo-carrying Cygnus Capsule Berths with Space Station | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Cygnus space capsule arrived at the international space station with 1,260 kilograms of cargo Jan. 12, the company said.

 

Cygnus was launched Jan. 9 by Orbital’s Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. The mission, which follows a demonstration cargo-delivery back in September, is the first of eight Orbital owes NASA under a $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract signed back in 2008.

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Video from Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Third Powered Flight | YouTube

Virgin Galactic produced video of the third powered flight of SpaceShipTwo from the Mojave Air and Space Port on Dec. 10, 2014. The vehicle fired its hybrd motor for 20 seconds, reaching a top speed of Mach 1.4 and an altitude of 71,000 feet. The vehicle is designed to carry space tourists on suborbital flight. Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson is set to fly on the first commercial mission later this year.

 

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SpaceX may pick Texas over controversial Merritt Island launch site

SpaceX may pick Texas over controversial Merritt Island launch site | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The company the state was trying to lure for a controversial spaceport project — SpaceX of California — may go to Texas instead.

 

WASHINGTON — In the long-running battle between spaceships and scrub-jays, the birds appear to be gaining the upper wing.

 

For more than a year, the state has led a controversial effort to build a launchpad inside the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, where the Florida scrub-jay lives with at least 15 other species that federal authorities consider threatened or endangered.

 

Environmentalists have fought the proposal for months, and now there are signs that the company the state was trying to lure — SpaceX of California — may go to Texas instead.

 

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Orbital Sciences' Cygnus Spacecraft Docks With Space Station | SpaceRef Business

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus Spacecraft Docks With Space Station | SpaceRef Business | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world's leading space technology companies, today announced that its Cygnus(TM) cargo logistics spacecraft successfully completed its rendezvous and approach maneuvers with the International Space Station (ISS).

 

The spacecraft was then grappled and berthed with the station by the Expedition 38 astronaut crew earlier this morning. After Cygnus was launched into orbit by Orbital's Antares(TM) rocket on Thursday, January 9 from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, it completed a series of thruster firings and other maneuvers bringing the spacecraft in close proximity to the ISS. Final approach to the station began at about 3:00 a.m. (EST) this morning, culminating with the station's robotic arm grappling the spacecraft at 6:08 a.m. when it was about 30 feet (10 meters) from the ISS. Cygnus was then guided to its berthing port on the nadir side of the ISS' Harmony module where its installation was completed at 8:05 a.m.

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U.S. Cargo Ship Launches to ISS on First Resupply Mission | YouTube

Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket launched from Pad 0A at the Wallops Flight Facility, Va. to send the company's Cygnus cargo ship on a its first supply mission to the International Space Station. Cygnus is delivering 1.5 tons of provisions and experiments to the Expedition 38 crewmembers living on the ISS. Upon its arrival at the station, Cygnus will be captured with the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm and berthed to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module, where it will remain for more than a month.

 

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'Strong Case' for Companies to Mine Moon, Says Scientist

'Strong Case' for Companies to Mine Moon, Says Scientist | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A leading scientist has said that there is a "strong case" for changing international law to allow private companies to mine the moon.

 

A 1967 UN law bans countries from "appropriating the moon," but Ian Crawford, professor of planetary science at Birkbeck College, said that in future the law should be amended, allowing countries to extract the planet's minerals.

 

"Nobody owns the moon," he said.

 

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It's all work and no play for SpaceShipTwo pilot on virgin flight | NBC News.com

It's all work and no play for SpaceShipTwo pilot on virgin flight | NBC News.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic's chief pilot, David Mackay, has been waiting years to take his first turn at the controls for a rocket-powered ride on SpaceShipTwo — and on Friday, the veteran aviator guided the plane higher than he had ever flown before. So how was the view?

 

"To be honest, I did not look out the window at apogee," the 56-year-old pilot told NBC News afterward. He was too busy behind the controls, testing the thruster system that will one day help him maneuver the craft in outer space.

 

 

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SpaceShipTwo’s third powered flight begins a critical year for Virgin Galactic | NewSpace Journal

SpaceShipTwo’s third powered flight begins a critical year for Virgin Galactic | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

... Virgin’s very slow pace of test flights—Friday’s test took place more than eight months after the first powered flight—have raised questions about when the vehicle will be ready to fly in space and, later, begin commercial service. In Friday’s statement about the test, Virgin executives insisted that they would achieve both milestones this year. “I couldn’t be happier to start the New Year with all the pieces visibly in place for the start of full space flights,” said Sir Richard Branson in the statement. “2014 will be the year when we will finally put our beautiful spaceship in her natural environment of space.”

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Check out SpaceShipTwo's in-flight entertainment

Check out SpaceShipTwo's in-flight entertainment | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

These scenes may look like computer-generated spaceship shots for a summer sci-fi movie — but they're totally real photos taken during Friday's test flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane.

 

Cameras were mounted on the exterior of SpaceShipTwo as well as its carrier airplane, WhiteKnightTwo, to monitor the rocket engine's performance. And yes, to get some way-cool video, too. Check out the photos taken while SpaceShipTwo zoomed over California's Mojave Desert — then watch the clip from NBC Nightly News.

 

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Sky Perfect JSat Picks SpaceX for 2015 Launch | SpaceNews.com

Sky Perfect JSat Picks SpaceX for 2015 Launch | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Sky Perfect JCSat has selected SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to launch the JCSat-14 telecommunications satellite in the second half of 2015, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announced Jan. 10.

 

The satellite, under construction by Space Systems Loral of Palto Alto, Calif., is designed to operate from JSat’s 154 degrees east orbital slot and to replace the JCSat-2A satellite already there. JCSat-14 will carry 18 Ku-band and 26 C-band transponders.

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Photos: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Soars on 3rd Rocket-Powered Flight

Photos: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Soars on 3rd Rocket-Powered Flight | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

 

See photos from Virgin Galactic's third rocket-powered test flight of the private space plane SpaceShipTwo on Jan. 10, 2014. It was Virgin Galactic's highest flight at the time.

 

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Exclusive Images of SpaceShipTwo Firing its Engine | Parabolic Arc

Exclusive Images of SpaceShipTwo Firing its Engine | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceShipTwo lights its engine as WhiteKnightTwo flies overhead.

 

 

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Supersonic hat-trick as Galactic reaches new heights | Virgin.com

Supersonic hat-trick as Galactic reaches new heights | Virgin.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"Today, we had our own Chief Pilot, Dave Mackay, achieve a new altitude record for the spaceship, while executing another flawless rocket-powered supersonic flight and proving the various systems required to take us safely to space, as well as providing the very best experience while we’re up there.

 

"Dave used to be a Virgin Atlantic pilot before becoming Virgin Galactic’s Chief Pilot – talk about career progression! He was joined by Scaled Composites’ Test Pilot Mark Stucky, in a successful test of the spaceship’s newly installed thermal protection coating, the extremely cool shiny coating which helps to regulate the spaceship’s temperature."

 

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Video: 'I really want to live on Mars' - Ryan MacDonald

Video: 'I really want to live on Mars' - Ryan MacDonald | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Three Britons have made the shortlist of just over 1,000 who want to take part in the Dutch project Mars One.

 

It hopes to send 24 people from around the world to settle on the red planet.

 

Each space settler will go through a seven-year training course (commencing in 2018) which will help them adapt to the psychological and social aspects of living in a small society.

 

Ryan MacDonald is one of those who could be jetting off on the one-way mission to Mars, he told BBC Breakfast: "I really want to live on Mars - I can't think of anything more exciting than that."

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SpaceShipTwo Powered Flight No. 3: A Photo Essay | Parabolic Arc

SpaceShipTwo Powered Flight No. 3: A Photo Essay | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Here’s a photo essay of the SpaceShipTwo’s third powered flight, which took place on Friday. The suborbital spacecraft fired its engine for 20 seconds, reaching a speed of Mach 1.4 and an altitude of 71,000 feet.

 

 

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Private Cargo Ship Delivers Gifts, Ants to Space Station Crew

Private Cargo Ship Delivers Gifts, Ants to  Space Station Crew | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A privately launched cargo ship packed with late Christmas presents and space-traveling ants linked up with the International Space Station on Sunday (Jan. 12) in a milestone delivery mission for the astronauts onboard.

Space station astronauts used a robotic arm to capture the unmanned Cygnus spacecraft early Sunday morning and attach it an open docking port as both spacecraft sailed 260 miles (418 kilometers) above Earth. The special delivery comes courtesy of the Dulles, Va.-company Orbital Sciences Corporation, which launched the Cygnus spacecraft on Thursday (Jan. 9) to make its first commercial resupply mission to the station for NASA.

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NASA Television Airs Post Launch Status Briefing for Resupply Mission to Space Station | YouTube

NASA TV aired a post-launch news briefings from Wallops Flight Facility to update the status of Orbital Sciences' Cygnus spacecraft and Orbital's mission to resupply the International Space Station . Cygnus is carrying 2,780 pounds of supplies to the space station, including vital science experiments that will expand the research capabilities of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory. Upon its arrival at the station, Cygnus will be captured with the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm and berthed to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module, where it will remain for more than a month.

 

 

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Orbital’s Cygnus closing in on ISS berthing | NASASpaceFlight.com

Orbital’s Cygnus closing in on ISS berthing | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft is closing in on its second arrival at the International Space Station (ISS), this time under its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) call sign of ORB-1. After proving its ability to conduct what was a complicated rendezvous with the orbital outpost last year, CRS-1 is scheduled to grabbed by the Station’s robotic arm at 11:02 UTC on Sunday.

 

 

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SpaceShipTwo achieves highest flight to date | Spaceflight Now

SpaceShipTwo achieves highest flight to date | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic, the suborbital space tourism venture founded by Richard Branson, flew the reusable SpaceShipTwo rocket plane higher than ever before on a test flight Friday over California's Mojave Desert.

 

The company's chief pilot, Dave Mackay, was at the controls during the flight, which reached a planned altitude of 71,000 feet and a top speed of Mach 1.4, Virgin Galactic said in a statement.

 

Mackay and Mark Stucky, a test pilot from SpaceShipTwo's designer and builder Scaled Composites, guided the 60-foot-long rocket plane back to a runway at Mojave, Calif., as an unpowered glider.

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SpaceX Webcast - Thaicom 6 Falcon 9 Launch Success! January 6, 2014 | YouTube

SpaceX Webcast Thaicom 6 Falcon 9 successful Launch on January 6, 2014.

 

 

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Will Commercial Space Travel Blast Off in 2014?

Will Commercial Space Travel Blast Off in 2014? | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Bags packed. Ticket in hand. Reserved seating and your rocket ship waits.

The longed-for dawn of private manned space travel appears near at hand. Virgin Galactic's suborbital SpaceShipTwo, for example, aced its third supersonic test flight on Friday (Jan. 10), and company officials say they remain on track to begin commercial service later this year.


But as Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in physics, once said: "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."

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SpaceX win contract to loft JCSAT-14 via Falcon 9 | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX win contract to loft JCSAT-14 via Falcon 9 | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Hot on the heels of their first two Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) missions, SpaceX have been awarded the launch contract for the mission to loft the JCSAT-14 communications satellite to its GTO destination. The award from SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation of Japan calls for the satellite to ride uphill on a Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket in the second half of 2015.

 

 

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SpaceX Awarded Launch Contract for Leading Asia-Pacific Satellite Operator

SpaceX Awarded Launch Contract for Leading Asia-Pacific Satellite Operator | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) was awarded a contract with SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation of Japan to launch the JCSAT-14 communications satellite to a geostationary transfer orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket in the second half of 2015.

 

“SpaceX looks forward to working with SKY Perfect JSAT on this mission,” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO. “As Asia’s largest satellite operator, we appreciate JSAT’s confidence in our ability to reliably deliver their satellite to orbit.”

 

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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Spacecraft Makes Highest Supersonic Test Flight Yet

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Spacecraft Makes Highest Supersonic Test Flight Yet | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic's private reusable space plane reached new heights today (Jan. 10), setting a company altitude record in its third-ever supersonic flight test.

The rocket-powered commercial spaceliner, known as SpaceShipTwo, attained a maximum altitude of 71,000 feet (21,641 meters) and a top speed of Mach 1.4 — 1.4 times the speed of sound, which is 761 mph (1,224 km/h) at sea level — in the skies above California's Mojave Air and Space Port.

The successful flight keeps Virgin Galactic on course to start commercial service later this year, company officials said.

 

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SpaceShipTwo Reaches Highest Altitude to Date in Test | SpaceNews.com

SpaceShipTwo Reaches Highest Altitude to Date in Test | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital space tourism vehicle reached its highest altitude to date in a rocket-powered test flight Jan. 10 over Mojave, Calif., the company reported.

 

SpaceShipTwo, designed to carry paying passengers into suborbital space, climbed to more than 21,000 meters and reached a top speed of Mach 1.4 during the flight, which also tested the vehicle’s reaction control system — which will enable it to maneuver in space — and a thermal coating on its tail boom, Virgin Galactic said. It was the third supersonic powered test flight for SpaceShipTwo, which separated from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft at an altitude of 14,000 meters.

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