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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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Orbital Launches Antares Rocket Carrying Cygnus On ISS Cargo Resupply Mission | SpaceRef Business

Orbital Launches Antares Rocket Carrying Cygnus On ISS Cargo Resupply Mission | SpaceRef Business | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world's leading space technology companies, today announced it successfully launched its Antares(TM) medium-class rocket carrying the first of eight Cygnus(TM) cargo logistics spacecraft missions to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of its $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The launch of Orbital's Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft will culminate in rendezvous and berthing with the ISS on Sunday, January 12 at approximately 6:00 a.m. (EST). Cygnus will deliver approximately 2,780 lbs. (1,260 kg.) of cargo to the Expedition 38 astronauts and remain attached to the station until February 18 before departing with approximately 2,800 lbs. (1,300 kg.) of disposable cargo for a safe, destructive reentry over the Pacific Ocean.

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THAICOM 6 MISSION OVERVIEW

THAICOM 6 MISSION OVERVIEW | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

On January 6, 2014 SpaceX successfully launched the THAICOM 6 satellite for Asian satellite operator THAICOM.

 

 

Stratocumulus's insight:

 

Yes. That's the Earth.

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Orbital Sciences Launches Landmark Private Cargo Mission to Space Station

Orbital Sciences Launches Landmark Private Cargo Mission to Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp. launched a robotic spacecraft from Virginia's Eastern Shore Thursday (Jan. 9) on a milestone flight: the company's first official cargo delivery to the International Space Station.

 

An Orbital-built Cygnus spacecraft launched into space atop the company's Antares rocket from a seaside pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. Liftoff occurred at 1:07 p.m. EST (1807 GMT) after a series of delays, including a 24-hour slip due to a huge solar flare on Tuesday.

 

The Cygnus spacecraft is hauling about 2,780 lbs. (1,260 kilograms) of fresh food, clothing, scientific equipment and other gear for astronauts on the International Space Station. The mission, called Orb-1, is the first of at least eight cargo missions Orbital will fly for NASA under a $1.9 billion contract.

 

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After weeks of delay, Cygnus cargo spaceship blasts off for space station | NBC News.com

After weeks of delay, Cygnus cargo spaceship blasts off for space station | NBC News.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital Sciences Corp.'s robotic Cygnus cargo capsule was launched Thursday on its first official cargo-carrying mission to the International Space Station — after weeks of delay caused by a breakdown on the space station, frigid weather on the East Coast, and a radiation storm from the sun.

 

The cargo craft rose into space from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore at 1:07 p.m. ET, atop Orbital's two-stage Antares rocket. It's carrying 2,780 pounds (1,260 kilograms) of food, supplies and equipment for the space station. The cargo includes 33 small satellites, 23 student-designed experiments, an ant farm and storybooks that the station's spacefliers will read to kids from orbit.

 

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Branson and DiCaprio Are Boldly Going Where No Greens Have Gone Before

Branson and DiCaprio Are Boldly Going Where No Greens Have Gone Before | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

If all goes according to plan, Hollywood icon Leonardo DiCaprio will blast into space aboard the maiden voyage of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic spaceship sometime this year, opening up a new era of civilian space travel. This development might only be remarkable as the fulfillment of a dream long predicted by futurists and technophiles, were it not for the fact that Messrs. Branson and DiCaprio are prominent environmentalist celebrities who have warned of a coming ecological catastrophe if we fail to address our carbon problem.


Via Pol Bacquet, GiroMaxi
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Virgin Galactic Propulsion VP Leaves for New Launch Company | Parabolic Arc

Virgin Galactic Propulsion VP Leaves for New Launch Company | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic Vice President of Propulsion Thomas Markusic has left Richard Branson’s space tourism company for Firefly Space Systems, a start-up company developing a ground-based, small satellite launch vehicle.

 

Markusic had been at Virgin Galactic since May 2011. He headed up the company’s liquid propulsion program and oversaw the development of LauncherOne, a small satellite rocket that will be air launched from WhiteKnightTwo.

 

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Dream Chaser’s European deal points to multi-role ambitions | NASASpaceFlight.com

Dream Chaser’s European deal points to multi-role ambitions | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The new European allies of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser have officially announced “cooperative understandings” that not only combine a transatlantic engineering boost for the baby orbiter, but may also result in Dream Chasers hitching rides atop of an Ariane rocket. More importantly, the announcement provided extra details on the vehicle’s future ambitions.


The Commercial Crew contender is currently focused on winning through an upcoming NASA downselect to press forward with the return of domestic crew transportation from US soil to the International Space Station (ISS).

 

However, Dream Chaser has many strings to her bow, just like her since-retired relative, the Space Shuttle.

 

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Space station life extension approved by White House | Spaceflight Now

Space station life extension approved by White House | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Obama administration has given NASA the go-ahead to operate the International Space Station through at least 2024, the agency announced Wednesday, allowing government and private-sector researchers to count on at least another decade of operations, officials said.

 

Bill Gerstenmaier, chief of space operations at NASA Headquarters, said the expanded lifetime will encourage increased commercial use of the lab complex, solidify the commercial launch market and provide critical insights into technology development and human physiology needed for eventual flights to deep space targets like Mars.

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Antares launch with Cygnus on ORB-1 targets Thursday | NASASpaceFlight.com

Antares launch with Cygnus on ORB-1 targets Thursday | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital Sciences Corporation’s launch of its first Commercial Resupply Services mission will now take place on Thursday, with a Cygnus spacecraft on a mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. The initial launch target for the Antares rocket was delayed 24 hours, due to concerns relating to a high Proton Flux Count caused by a X1.2 solar flare.

 

 

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SNC and ESA Sign MOU on Dream Chaser | SpaceRef Business

SNC and ESA Sign MOU on Dream Chaser | SpaceRef Business | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

ESA and American company Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), have signed an understanding to identify areas of collaboration with European industry for developing hardware and mission concepts for the Dream Chaser orbital transportation system.

 

Dream Chaser is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program to transport crew to the International Space Station and back to Earth by 2017. With the aim of developing an economical successor to the Space Shuttle, the Dream Chaser is the only lifting-body vehicle proposed in the programme. It will transport astronauts and critical cargo to low Earth orbit and land like an aircraft on a runway. The spacecraft can also serve as a platform for technology demonstrations, construction and repair in space, as well as a platform for crewed and un-crewed scientific missions.

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Orb-1 Launch for Jan 8 Has Been Scrubbed | SpaceRef

Orb-1 Launch for Jan 8 Has Been Scrubbed | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Early this morning, Orbital Sciences Corp. decided to scrub today's launch attempt of the Antares rocket and the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on the company's first resupply mission to the International Space Station due to an unusually high level of space radiation that exceeded constraints imposed on Antares. 

 

The solar flux activity that occurred late yesterday afternoon resulted in an increasing level of radiation beyond what the Antares engineering team monitored earlier in the day.  Overnight, Orbital's engineers conducted an analysis of the radiation levels, but the Antares team decided to postpone the launch to further examine the potential effects of the space radiation on the rocket's avionics. The Cygnus spacecraft would not  be affected by the solar event.

 

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White House Endorses 4-year Space Station Extension | SpaceNews.com

White House Endorses 4-year Space Station Extension | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — The White House wants to extend the international space station’s (ISS) mission by four years to 2024, and NASA is willing to keep the $3-billion-a-year orbital outpost flying even if every international partner but Russia deserts the project, a senior NASA official said Jan. 8.

 

“We’re prepared to do what we have to do if the partners choose to take a different path,” William Gerstenmaier, who as associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate is the agency’s top human spaceflight official, said on a Jan. 8 conference call with reporters.

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PHOTOS: Falcon 9 flies with THAICOM 6 | Spaceflight Now

PHOTOS: Falcon 9 flies with THAICOM 6 | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is launched from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 at 5:06 p.m. EST to deploy the THAICOM 6 telecommunications spacecraft into a supersynchronous transfer orbit.

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

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Falcon 9 v1.1 Appears on Fast Track To Qualify for Air Force Missions | SpaceNews.com

Falcon 9 v1.1 Appears on Fast Track To Qualify for Air Force Missions | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — With its successful launch of the Thaicom-6 commercial telecommunications satellite Jan. 6, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) appears to have met the U.S. Air Force’s requirements to bid for national security launches and challenge the market incumbent, United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Denver.

 

While Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX has not received formal certification to launch operational national security satellites aboard its Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, told SpaceNews Jan. 7 he has not seen anything from the vehicle’s three flights to date to prevent that from happening.

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Launch Photos: Orbital Sciences' 1st Cygnus Cargo Mission Blasts Off

Launch Photos: Orbital Sciences' 1st Cygnus Cargo Mission Blasts Off | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

 

See launch photos for Orbital Sciences' first commercial cargo mission using a Cygnus spacecraft, which blasted off on Jan. 9, 2014 from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

 

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ORB-1: Antares successfully launches Cygnus en route to ISS | NASASpaceFlight.com

ORB-1: Antares successfully launches Cygnus en route to ISS | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital’s Antares rocket has launched its first Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission, lofting the Cygnus spacecraft on a mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. The launch of ORB-1/CRS-1 from Orbital’s Wallops Island base occurred at the opening of the launch window, at 1:07 pm Eastern (18:07 UTC).

 

 

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Launch visibility map | Spaceflight Now | Antares Launch Report

Launch visibility map | Spaceflight Now | Antares Launch Report | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it
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Op Ed: Branson’s Environmental Claims for SpaceShipTwo False | Parabolic Arc

Op Ed: Branson’s Environmental Claims for SpaceShipTwo False | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sir Richard Branson’s claims over the years about the environmentally friendly nature of his SpaceShipTwo suborbital space tourism vehicle have always been difficult to properly evaluate. The Virgin Galactic and Carbon War Room founder has never submitted the methodology, assumptions and calculations used to arrive at those conclusions to anything remotely resembling peer review — either by experts or the public at large.

 

The result was a series of claims designed to burnish Branson’s eco-warrior reputation that were based on minimal evidence and generated considerable skepticism. The doubts were crystallized once SpaceShipTwo finally started flying under power in the skies over the Mojave Desert last April.

 

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Europe eyes cooperation on Dream Chaser space plane | Spaceflight Now

Europe eyes cooperation on Dream Chaser space plane | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sierra Nevada Corp. is holding preliminary technical discussions with the European Space Agency and the German space agency on a potential collaborative partnership on the company's Dream Chaser space plane, a piloted orbital spaceship being developed for NASA's commercial space taxi program, officials said Wednesday.


In separate agreements with ESA and DLR, the German space agency, Sierra Nevada says it is investigating areas for possible cooperation with Europe. Officials said that may include the introduction of European technologies into the Dream Chaser and the use of the spacecraft for European human spaceflight and satellite deployment and recovery missions.

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Commercial cargo mission poised for liftoff Thursday | Spaceflight Now

Commercial cargo mission poised for liftoff Thursday | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- Orbital Sciences Corp. plans to launch the first of eight commercial logistics deliveries to the International Space Station on Thursday under a $1.9 billion NASA contract to outsource cargo transportation services to the private sector.

 

Liftoff is set for 1:10 p.m. EST (1810 GMT) Thursday, and the launch window extends about 5 minutes. The launch is timed for when the space station's flight path passes over the Antares launch pad.

 

Orbital Sciences officials delayed the launch from Wednesday over concerns regarding high solar radiation levels following powerful solar flares Tuesday.

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European Space Agency Could Contribute Hardware to SNC's Dream Chaser Spaceplane

European Space Agency Could Contribute Hardware to SNC's Dream Chaser Spaceplane | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PARIS — The European Space Agency (ESA), following in the footsteps of the German space agency, DLR, on Jan. 8 said it had signed an agreement with Sierra Nevada Corp. to investigate a European collaboration on SNC’s Dream Chaser crew-transport vehicle.

 

The 20-nation ESA said the one-year study with Sparks, Nev.-based SNC will focus on ESA-developed hardware that could be integrated into the Dream Chaser, reducing SNC’s development costs.

 

One specific focus, the agency said, will be ESA’s International Berthing Docking Mechanism, being developed in Belgium, Italy and Switzerland for use at the International Space Station and in future international space exploration missions.

 

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Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces International Expansion of the Dream Chaser Space System | Parabolic Arc

Sierra Nevada Corporation Announces International Expansion of the Dream Chaser Space System | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SPARKS, Nev., January 8, 2014 (SNC PR) – In a press conference today, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced the global expansion of the Dream Chaser® Space System through recently finalized cooperative understandings with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).  SNC will work with each agency on the potential application of European technologies to both the current Dream Chaser design, and advanced derivative versions of the vehicle.  This international collaboration will also help define missions outside the Dream Chaser’s primary mission of ferrying U.S. and partner nation astronauts to low-Earth orbit, thereby helping to maintain the global space partnerships established between these agencies and the United States space program.

 

Through these understandings, ESA and DLR will join the expanding SNC team and add European expertise to further advance the development of the Dream Chaser Space System. At the same time having access to Dream Chaser flights will enable European countries to advance their space technologies, flight opportunities and space interests in low-Earth orbit.

 

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Space and Terrestrial Weather Put Launch of Orbital’s Space Station Cargo Run in Flux | SpaceNews.com

Space and Terrestrial Weather Put Launch of Orbital’s Space Station Cargo Run in Flux | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Orbital Sciences Corp. has again delayed its first contracted cargo delivery to the international space station, this time due to higher-than-acceptable solar radiation in the space environment, the company said in a Jan. 8 statement.

 

The team operating Orbital’s Antares rocket and Cygnus space capsule “decided to postpone the launch to spend the day further examining the potential effects of the space radiation on the rocket’s avionics suite,” the Dulles, Va., company said on its website.

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CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria Statement on Extension of the ISS | Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Washington D.C. – Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Michael Lopez-Alegria statement on today’s White House approval to extend International Space Station operations to 2024: 

“The International Space Station is the crown jewel of NASA’s human spaceflight program. This extension comes at a critical time and paves the way for the ISS to fulfill its extensive and multifaceted potential – as a research lab that will provide countless benefits here on Earth, as an anchor destination for America’s commercial space race and as a jumping off point for deep space technology development and exploration.”

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▶ [SpaceX] Launch of Thaicom-6 on Falcon 9v1.1 Rocket from Cape! | YouTube

Just 34 days after the previous launch, SpaceX have launched another upgraded Falcon 9v1.1 from Cape Canaveral - January 6th 2014 at 22:06 UTC. The rocket carried the Thaicom-6 satellite for the Thaicom Public Company, headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. The rocket blasted off from SpaceX's launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Space Launch Complex 40.

Thaicom-6 will be positioned at 78.5 degrees East and will transmit from it's 18 active C-band transponders and 8 active Ku-band transponders.

This was the eighth Falcon 9 launch, the third using the upgraded v1.1 rocket, third commercial flight for SpaceX as well as the second to Geostationary transfer orbit.

 

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