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The NewSpace Daily
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 great state space race | The Space Review

The great state space race | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

It’s not uncommon for states to compete against one another to attract a company’s newest factory or offices, or to lure a company to move from one state to another. Tax breaks, sweetheart deals on land or buildings, or other incentives are all standard tools of the trade to win factories, distribution centers, and office complexes. Local and state agencies work every day to attract various businesses, willing to absorb costs in the near term for promised long-term economic benefits.

 

It’s a sign of the maturation of the commercial space industry, though, that cities and states are making more of an effort to attract such companies. There’s been some activity in the last year, as XCOR Aerospace agreed on a deal to move its headquarters to Midland, Texas (see “Texas warms to NewSpace”, The Space Review, July 16, 2012) while signing a separate deal to later establish in Florida a manufacturing and operations base. Florida also lured a smaller suborbital vehicle company, Rocket Crafters, to set up operations in Titusville. But even bigger deals—and possibly fiercer competition—are on the horizon.

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Space settlement and future of space law | The Space Review

Space settlement and future of space law | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Where explorers go, lawyers follow. In the case of outer space, though, the lawyers are likely well behind the advances of exploration and other efforts in our solar system. While the goal for many in space is spreading human civilization beyond the boundaries of our planet, the legal problem is that international lawyers are still bound to the legal frameworks that often don’t satisfy future or even current implications of space exploration. This is particularly true when it comes to plans for human settlement of outer space, in terms of jurisdiction, commercialization, and governance.

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California Dreaming: Space News From the Golden State | Parabolic Arc

California Dreaming: Space News From the Golden State | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo reportedly went out flying on Monday. It did not appear to be a glide test. But, this probably means that one is coming fairly soon. The last glide flight took place just before Christmas, more than three months ago.

 

This would be the second of three planned glide tests with the engine installed before powered flights begin. There’s a rumor of the first powered flight occurring in about three weeks’ time, but that remains unconfirmed.

 

 

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Will 3D Printing Change the World? | PBS

Much attention has been paid to 3D Printing lately, with new companies developing cheaper and more efficient consumer models that have wowed the tech community. They herald 3D Printing as a revolutionary and disruptive technology, but how will these printers truly affect our society? Beyond an initial novelty, 3D Printing could have a game-changing impact on consumer culture, copyright and patent law, and even the very concept of scarcity on which our economy is based. From at-home repairs to new businesses, from medical to ecological developments, 3D Printing has an undeniably wide range of possibilities which could profoundly change our world.

 

 

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Swiss Company to Launch Robotic Mini-Shuttle in 2017

Swiss Company to Launch Robotic Mini-Shuttle in 2017 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

LONDON — A Swiss company has unveiled an ambitious plan to build a privately built robotic rocket plane by 2017 in order launch satellites into orbit.

 

The company Swiss Space Systems (S3) plans to loft the unmanned suborbital shuttle from the back of an Airbus A300 jetliner to serve as a commercial satellite launch platform. The Payerne, Switzerland-based firm unveiled the satellite launch concept on March 13 and is expected to reveal the supplier of its shuttle rocket engine in April.

 

 

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FAA/AST affirms commitment to safety with first ever course approval | SpaceRef

Today the FAA awarded Black Sky Training the first ever safety approval for space training. This signals that the FAA/AST continues the commitment to safety for the flying public that began in 1958. "The flying public has come to expect the highest level of safety for its passengers, and training for the men and women whose job it is to transport passengers to and from their destinations. By establishing a standard protocol for training of the flying public and flight crews, they [the FAA/AST] have signaled the burgeoning space flight industry that nothing but the highest safety standards are to be provided to the passengers."

 

 

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Steve Jurvetson on Traveling the Cosmos and Investing in Space

Steve Jurvetson on Traveling the Cosmos and Investing in Space | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"What I really want to do is lunar orbital flight,” says Jurvetson – as in fly several thousand feet or so above the surface to view its features. “The crazy thing is that it is affordable”…at least soon.

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XCOR's new Piston Rocket Engine | Spacevidcast Episode 6.09

In this live episode of Spacevidcast we talk with Andrew Nelson from XCOR Aerospace. Topic ranges from their newly tested piston rocket engine to the reusable Lynx suborbital spacecraft.

In space news this week, an Atlas V launch, Antares gets a launch date, Saturn V F-1 engines recovered from the ocean floor, Soyuz makes a fast approach to the International Space Station and Dragon is back on land!

 

 

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My advice: Get inspired by Inspiration Mars | Orbital Inclinations

In case you weren’t around back then, or have forgotten, there were plenty of smart people who said the whole notion of flying to the Moon was impossible and a waste of time and money. There were too many unknowns and the risks would be too great. There was no way we could get it done during the short time available.

 

And when we did send Apollo 8 to the Moon without a lunar module, and again during Apollo 10 when the lunar module Snoopy flew the dress rehearsal for the landing, there were cries throughout the nation and the space community complaining what a waste it was to fly that long distance and not land.

 

Now here we are more than 40 years later, with many of the most fundamental problems of spaceflight clearly understood and with enough experience gained to have built an engineering miracle in orbit in the form of the International Space Station.

 

We now have an increasingly reliable and credible commercial space industry that is taking on some of the tasks of spaceflight that were previously the purview of only NASA and the federal government. Commercial launchings of commercial satellites are common. Private companies are lofting cargo to the space station, getting ready for space tourism and investigating mining the asteroids for precious metals.

 

It’s time, at last, for new ideas and new approaches for pioneering the space frontier.

 

All of which brings me to the Inspiration Mars Foundation.

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Nancy Kay Novak's comment, March 30, 2013 10:04 AM
I'm still amazed at how little knowledge the general public has about the benefits of space and the future of space. Something needs to change in this area. Hopefully the private investors will help this along.
Vincent Lieser's curator insight, April 1, 2013 8:47 AM

Le simple survol de Mars, pour le renoncement qu'il représente, peut-il paraître comme un exploit au moins aussi impressionant qu'un atterrissage sur la Planète Rouge ?

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New Details on SpaceX Plans Emerge

New Details on SpaceX Plans Emerge | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"Now having completed 3 missions in 10 months, including the latest which set a new Dragon record of 23 days in orbit and was the first to see use of the spacecraft’s trunk, attention is turning to two major technology development efforts. Staying with the Dragon theme for a moment, Elon Musk suggested that his company is working on a public rollout ceremony for the new Dragon 2.0 to take place, possible with NASA participation, this summer. SpaceX has taken pains to point out that the final design of the new, crew capable Dragon, also called DragonRider, will differ considerably from images and mockups released so far. Apparently, whenever it is unveiled, the public can expect to see a significant profile change with the inclusion of the side mounted escape and propulsive landing thrusters, deployable landing gear and larger windows. Or as Musk put it, something which looks like “a real alien spaceship.” With a pad abort test planned for the end of this year as part of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capacity (CCiCap) milestones, at a time when rival Boeing is still only conducting design reviews, SpaceX is poised to open up a runaway lead in the high stakes competition."

 

 

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GLXP Update: Big Summit Set for Next Week | Parabolic Arc

GLXP Update: Big Summit Set for Next Week | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Which Google Lunar X Prize teams are serious? Which ones are little more than vaporware? And which teams have a serious chance of winning?

 

The answers to those questions will get a little bit clearer next week. The 23 teams competing to land a rover on the moon will meet in Santiago, Chile, beginning next Tuesday for their annual Summit.

 

The four-day meeting will be a crucial gathering during which participants will be able to better assess which teams are actually moving forward with their attempts to win the $20 million first prize. With the deadline set for the end of 2015, teams need to have their funding in place and rides to the moon set up by now to be serious contenders.

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Sequestration’s effects on commercial crew, and planning for FY14 | Space Politics

At a media telecon Thursday afternoon to talk about the just-completed Dragon mission to the International Space Station, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said that budget sequestration could have an adverse effect on the agency’s commercial crew program if it extends beyond the end of this fiscal year. “So far, we don’t see any significant impact the rest of this fiscal year, but our projection is that if we’re not able to get out of this sequester condition, it may slow down our progress on commercial crew, and that’s my big concern.”

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PHOTOS: Dragon capsule returns to port | Spaceflight Now

PHOTOS: Dragon capsule returns to port | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A day after it returned to Earth from the International Space Station, SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft arrived at the Port of Los Angeles on Wednesday night aboard a ship contracted to retrieve the capsule from the Pacific Ocean.

The American Islander sailed into port before sunset Wednesday, and workers unloaded several critical experiment samples from the Dragon spacecraft's internal cabin for immediate transportation to Houston for analysis.

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Lunarcy: is the idea of lunar settlement crazy? | The Space Review

Lunarcy: is the idea of lunar settlement crazy? | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

When does advocacy transition into zealotry? How do you get broader audiences to take your ideas seriously when they’re likely to laugh them off, while at the same time not encouraging those ideas that are, well, flaky (or, at least, flakier)? Those are challenges that space enthusiasts and advocates have faced for years, trying to win attention and support for their space exploration and settlement concepts among policymakers and the general public, while avoiding getting mixed up with those who are promoting ideas a bit too outlandish. There’s less a fine line between the respectable and the laughable than a broad gray area whose dimensions can shift over time: after all, 15 years ago space tourism was usually greeted with a laugh, and now hundreds of people are signing up and spending millions of dollars.

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Xombie Rocket flies higher than the Empire State Building, lands vertically 1000 feet away

"Masten Space Systems' Xombie space-access technology demonstrator recently flew its highest and longest flight to date, guided by Draper Lab's GENIE navigation and control system that is designed to replicate the speed and angle of a planetary approach. Xombie Ascended more than 1,600 feet above ground and flew almost 1,000 feet laterally before making a pin-point vertical landing on another pad." -- http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Movi...

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Space industry pioneers and leaders to shape the 21st Century "Business Case for Space" at Space Tech Conference 2013 | SpaceRef

Space Tech Conference (http://www.spacetechexpo.com) the West Coast's premier space event, to be held on May 21-23, 2013 in Long Beach, California, will bring together high-profile market players and industry specialists to discuss the pressing business issues facing the space industry. Under "The Business Case for Space" theme, the 2013 conference will address core challenges and opportunities in space commercialization, commercial crew and cargo, space tourism, space launch systems, space funding, technology transfer, International Space Station utilization, military requirements, and supply chain and acquisition considerations.

 

 

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Photos: Swiss Robotic Mini-Shuttle Concept Unveiled

Photos: Swiss Robotic Mini-Shuttle Concept Unveiled | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

See photos of Swiss Space System's unmanned satellite-launching rocket plane SOAR.

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SXC Update on XCOR Lynx Progress | Parabolic Arc

SXC Update on XCOR Lynx Progress | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"The team at XCOR is working hard to complete the prototype Lynx spacecraft and at the same time they are planning for the company’s expansion to Midland, Texas in 2013."

 

"XCOR is creating a new state-of-the-art research and development flight test center that will enable sustainable growth over the coming decades."

 

"The new facility will benefit us all and allow further growth of XCOR and the development of future products such as a fully reusable orbital system in the coming years."

 

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Orbital's private launch may show whether NASA made right call

Orbital's private launch may show whether NASA made right call | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON - On the face of it, the planned mid-April launch of a new commercial rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia won't be one for the record books.

 

A number of barriers for commercial space companies already have been broken - for instance, SpaceX has flown to the International Space Station - and the maiden flight of Antares, a two-stage rocket built by Orbital Sciences of Virginia, is expected to do little more than prove it can put a dummy payload into orbit.


But the outcome of the test flight, and the rocket's performance going forward, could act as an important indicator of the strength of the emerging space economy - and whether NASA made the right call in relying on commercial companies to do supply runs to the space station.

 

 

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Rocket Test Paves Way For XCOR Lynx Flights

Rocket Test Paves Way For XCOR Lynx Flights | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

LOS ANGELES — XCOR Aerospace plans to conduct a full-scale, extended-duration, hot-fire test of its piston pump-powered rocket engine as it moves closer to flight tests of the two-seat suborbital Lynx vehicle at Mojave, Calif.

 

In preparation for the long-duration test, XCOR is installing a flight-sized liquid oxygen tank in the Lynx fuselage. The propulsion system was mounted to the flight-weight airframe and recently tested for 67 sec., marking the first firing of a full-piston, pump-powered rocket engine.

 

The automotive-style piston pump concept has not been used for a spaceflight application before. Fuel and oxidizer in liquid-fueled rocket engines are traditionally forced by turbopumps, or use gravity-fed systems. XCOR, which describes the event as a “first in aviation and space history,” adds that Boeing provided additional funding for the testing.

 

 

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The Origins of Commercial Space | Space KSC

The Origins of Commercial Space | Space KSC | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

You've heard them. Read them. Seen them.

 

The people who claim that NASA was a perfect place where everyone had guaranteed jobs forever building wonder ships that would take American heroes back to the Moon and beyond.

 

Until Barack Obama was elected.

 

They claim that Obama destroyed NASA by imposing the commercial space program so he could give taxpayer money to political cronies like Elon Musk who bankrolled his election campaign.

 

It's all a fantasy, of course, but these people live among us here in the Space Coast, continuing to spread this nonsense.

 

Here's what really happened:

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Citizen Science/SVSC/Ardulab microgravity workshop

Citizen Science/SVSC/Ardulab microgravity workshop | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

This workshop covers the sub-orbital flight opportunties provided by the Citizen Science Program. 


Citizen Science has purchased 10 flights about the XCOR Lynx vehicle.


Each flight can accommodate 12 cubelab/nanolab payloads and one payload astronaut. Citizen Science challenges scientists, engineers, students, faculty, and astropreneur to develop the most compelling micro-gravity payloads for these commercial, newspace missions.  All entrants are welcome!!

 

 

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SpaceX reusability trials coming soon

SpaceX CEO and chief technologist Elon Musk, speaking at a NASA press conference, says the company will start efforts to recover the used Falcon 9 core stage on the next flight. He also released details on a new version of the crewed Dragon capsule.

 

The next launch of Falcon 9 is the first flight of a substantial upgrade to the rocket, called version 1.1 (v1.1), which incorporates major changes to the engines and fuel tanks.

 

"The first stage will continue in a ballistic arc and execute a velocity-reduction burn before hitting the atmosphere just to lessen the impact," says Musk. "And then right before splashdown of the stage it's going to light the engine again."

 

 

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Twitter / elonmusk: Rocket fairing almost ready for deployment test in vacuum chamber.

Twitter / elonmusk: Rocket fairing almost ready for deployment test in vacuum chamber. | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Rocket fairing almost ready for deployment test in vacuum chamber. Man lift on right for scale.

Stratocumulus's insight:

This is probably the payload fairing for the Canadian satellite CASSIOPE, scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in June of this year. Two more commercial launches by SpaceX are scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida during the following month of July. 

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Musk: Dragon Thrusters Malfunctioned Due to Valve Design Change | Parabolic Arc

Musk: Dragon Thrusters Malfunctioned Due to Valve Design Change | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A “very tiny change” to three check valves during manufacturing caused the malfunction that disabled three of four thruster pods on the Dragon spacecraft that launched earlier this month, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday.

 

Speaking at a joint post-mission press conference with NASA officials, Musk said three check valves on the oxidizer tank became stuck due to the changes. Programmers were able to write software that commanded an increase of pressure upstream of the valves, forcing them open in a spacecraft version of the Heimlich maneuver, he added.

 

It took four to five nerve-wrecking hours to resolve the problem. The spacecraft was drifting during part of that time, making communications difficult. The U.S. Air Force provided some powerful communications systems that allowed SpaceX to upload the software to Dragon, Musk said.

 

 

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