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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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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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Virgin Galactic Highlights 2013 | YouTube

After an amazing year, Virgin Galactic showcases highlights from 2013, including never before seen footage from one of the full duration rocket motor ground test firings.

 

 

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The 7 Ships of the New Space Age

The 7 Ships of the New Space Age | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

 

American engineers are designing and testing more new manned spacecraft than at any other time in history. Here are 7 vehicles that will change how we work and play in space:

 

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Antares Launch Scheduled Jan. 7

Antares Launch Scheduled Jan. 7 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The NASA Wallops Flight Facility and Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport are set to support the launch of Orbital Sciences’ Corp. Antares rocket at 1:55 p.m. EST, Jan. 7.

 

The Antares rocket will carry Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.

 

 The cargo craft will be filled with 2,780 pounds of supplies for the station, including vital science experiments to expand the research capability of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware. Also aboard the flight are 23 student experiments that will involve more than 10,000 students on the ground. These experiments will involve life sciences topics ranging from amoeba reproduction to calcium in the bones to salamanders.

 

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The Launch Weeks Ahead | Parabolic Arc

The Launch Weeks Ahead | 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 first week of January. Scaled Composites is also likely to conduct a third powered flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo by Jan. 10.

 

 

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Chinese travellers may soon enjoy space trips

Chinese travellers will be able to undertake space trips by 2014 end following an agreement signed here Friday between a Chinese travel agency and Netherlands-based space tourism firm.

 

Travellers will have to pay a minimum of 580,000 yuan (about $95,000) to board the Lynx Mark I spacecraft produced by the US private aerospace company XCOR, Xinhua reported citing Zhang Yong, chief executive officer of Dexo Travel, a Chinese travel agency focusing on high-end travellers.

 

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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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The highlights of Virgin Galactic's 2013 | Virgin.com

The highlights of Virgin Galactic's 2013 | Virgin.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

" ... 2013 was a year when we had plenty to celebrate thanks to the tireless efforts and meticulous preparation from the world class team working on the vehicles up in the Mojave Desert. During the year we saw the final technical pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fall nicely into place with some awe-inspiring test flights, which took our beautiful spaceship both higher and faster than any other vehicle built for commercial service."

 

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Year in PReview: after achieving major milestones in 2013, commercial launch companies plan a fast start to 2014 | NewSpace Journal

Year in PReview: after achieving major milestones in 2013, commercial launch companies plan a fast start to 2014 | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The year of 2013 will go down as one of the most significant years for the commercial launch industry in recent memory, thanks to the successful introduction of one new and one essentially-new launch vehicle, both by American companies. Those vehicles, which also have launches planned for early January, have the potential to alter the commercial launch industry by offering new, and in some cases lower-priced, options for customers in the US and elsewhere.

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Mars One Culls List of Potential One-Way-Trip-to-Mars Applicants

Mars One, the Dutch non-for-profit foundation advocating one way trips to Mars for people who want to settle the Red Planet, announced today that it chose 1,058 candidates to proceed to round 2 of its selection and training process.

 

Mars One said in September that it had "received interest" from 202,586 people to make one-way trips to Mars, four people at a time beginning in 2023.  That statement left open the question of how many of those who expressed interest actually applied, a process that involved paying a fee.  However, today's press release said that the 1,058 candidates chosen for the next step were drawn "from an applicant pool of over 200,000."   Applicants were asked to pay "a small administration fee that varies across nations according to their per capita GDP" to make the program "equally accessible" for everyone and to reduce "the number of insincere entries."  Mars One did not announce how much revenue it earned from the applications.  The foundation says it plans opportunities for people to apply "regularly" in future years.

 

 

Stratocumulus's insight:

 

Here's the link to the official Mars One press release: http://www.mars-one.com/news/press-releases/mars-one-announces-round-2-astronaut-selection-results

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SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 conducts Static Fire test ahead of Thaicom-6 launch | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 conducts Static Fire test ahead of Thaicom-6 launch | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX completed an important milestone on Saturday, successfully conducting the Static Fire test on their Falcon 9 v1.1 at Cape Canaveral. Otherwise known as a Hot Fire test, the SpaceX team tasked the vehicle and launch pad systems through a full countdown scenario, ultimately resulting in a short firing of the rocket’s nine Merlin 1D engines.

 

 

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