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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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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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Space startup competes for Google Lunar X prize with rare mineral moon delivery service

Space startup competes for Google Lunar X prize with rare mineral moon delivery service | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Google's Lunar X competition asks competitors to successfully land a vehicle on the moon -- and one group believes a delivery service could fit the bill.

 

Startup Moon Express, a team of young engineers, have created the MX-1, a spacecraft designed to deliver payloads to the moon as well as bring back objects of its own -- a tantalising prospect for both researchers and potentially firms seeking rare minerals.

 

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Astronauts Complete Repair at Station, Clearing Way for Cargo Mission | SpaceNews.com

Astronauts Complete Repair at Station, Clearing Way for Cargo Mission | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — After two spacewalks, one fewer than NASA thought it would take, astronauts replaced a balky valve in the international space station’s cooling system, setting the stage for Orbital Sciences Corp. to launch a cache of supplies to the outpost Jan. 7.

 

The valve, which began acting up Dec. 11, is designed to regulate the temperature of the ammonia in the station’s main cooling system. The malfunction forced NASA to temporarily deactivate some science equipment and postpone Orbital’s resupply mission to allow spacewalking astronauts to to replace the faulty hardware.

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Skybox Imaging Captures World's First High-Resolution, HD Video of Earth from Space | Skybox Imaging

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Skybox Imaging (Skybox) announced today the release of the world’s first high-resolution, high-definition video of Earth taken by a commercial remote sensing satellite. These videos were taken by SkySat-1, the first of Skybox’s planned constellation of 24 satellites, and showcase high-resolution views of Tokyo, Bangkok, Baltimore, Las Vegas, and Aleppo, Syria.

 

SkySat-1 captures up to 90-second video clips at 30 frames per second. The resolution is high enough to view objects like shipping containers that impact the global economy while maintaining a level of clarity that does not determine human activity.

 

 

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More "InSight" into Launch Costs

More "InSight"  into Launch Costs | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"With each science mission being unique, and offering different challenges for payload integration,  it is not possible to draw an absolute price comparison between any two. Nevertheless, the enormous price spread between the Atlas V and Falcon 9 boosters gives an indication of what the agency could expect to gain in savings at whatever point the SpaceX booster becomes certified to launch NASA’s highest risk payloads."

 

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Firm Backlog Gave SpaceX Edge in Competition to Lease NASA Pad | SpaceNews.com

Firm Backlog Gave SpaceX Edge in Competition to Lease NASA Pad | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., edged out Blue Origin in the race to take over an old space shuttle launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida by showing NASA it had more guaranteed launches on tap than its Kent, Wash.-based competitor.

 

“Blue Origin’s multi-use approach involved uncertainty regarding the extent other users would use the pad,” NASA selection official Richard Keegan wrote in the 13-page source selection document, which was released Dec. 19. “In contrast, SpaceX’s approach for exclusive use and its proposed manifest was specific, firm, and included customers on contract.”

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ESA Developing Solar Sail to Safely Deorbit Satellites | Parabolic Arc

ESA Developing Solar Sail to Safely Deorbit Satellites | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PARIS (ESA PR) — When satellites reach the end of their working lives, they may pose a threat to other spacecraft as they continue to orbit in a dormant state for many decades. But now a new way to deorbit ageing satellites in a safe manner is nearing its first test in space.

 

In the future, satellites might carry a packaged ultra-lightweight ‘gossamer sail’ to open as they head towards retirement. The increased aerodynamic drag would pull the craft out of orbit to burn up in the high atmosphere, reducing the risk of catastrophic collisions and creating a sustainable space environment for future generations.

 

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SpaceX sets date for Thaicom 6 launch to open 2014 | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX sets date for Thaicom 6 launch to open 2014 | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

With a busy manifest next year stacked with up to 10 launches for NASA and commercial customers, SpaceX is targeting Jan. 3 to launch the Thaicom 6 telecommunications satellite from Cape Canaveral.

 
Built by Orbital Sciences Corp. Thaicom 6 will beam Ku-band and C-band services to clients across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The satellite is designed for a 15-year mission in geostationary orbit over the equator at 78.5 degrees east longitude.

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Sierra Nevada Completes Dream Chaser Integrated Systems Safety Review | Parabolic Arc

Sierra Nevada Completes Dream Chaser Integrated Systems Safety Review | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SPARKS, Nev., December 23, 2013 (SNC PR) — Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces the successful completion of the second Dream Chaser® Space System (DCSS) Integrated Systems Safety Analysis Review, marking the company’s completion of NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative Milestone six. This critical safety review evaluated not only the Dream Chaser spacecraft, but also the launch vehicle, vehicle integration and the ground and mission systems, which comprise the entire DCSS.

 

Milestone six represents a major step forward in the maturation of the systems safety and reliability analysis, which is critical to achieving a safe and effective design of the DCSS. During the milestone review, SNC provided NASA with significant and detailed systems safety analysis products including hazard analysis and failure tolerance analysis of the entire DCSS.

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Axe Apollo Space Academy Report and Photos | Parabolic Arc

Axe Apollo Space Academy Report and Photos | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

ORLANDO, Fla. (SXC PR) — Early December an epic event was organized by AXE in Orlando, Florida. Over a 100 participants from all over the world competed a 3-day space academy to win a ticket to space with SXC.

 

 

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Astronauts complete installation of new ISS Pump Module | NASASpaceFlight.com

Astronauts complete installation of new ISS Pump Module | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have completed the replacement of a failed Pump Module outside the station. The spacewalk, designated US EVA-25, took place on the backbone of the hugely successful EVA-24, allowing for the completion of all spacewalk tasks in just two EVAs.

 

 

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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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Bigelow Aerospace Seeks Astronaut-in-Space Simulation Participants | Parabolic Arc

Bigelow Aerospace Seeks Astronaut-in-Space Simulation Participants | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"The successful candidates will be expected to spend eight, sixteen or twenty four hour periods in a closed volume spacecraft simulation chamber. Candidates will live (eat, sleep and exercise) inside the chamber for defined periods of time and will be monitored continuously.

 

"Successful candidates will be given structured daily tasks and schedules and will be expected to produce detailed daily reports on their activities and on their interactions with other crew members. The candidate will implement Bigelow Aerospace programs for quantifying, evaluating and optimizing crew systems, including process efficiencies, program quality and reporting on psychological, existential, social and environmental factors in spacecraft crews."

 

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▶ A Review of "The Plundering of NASA: an Expose" by R. D. Boozer | YouTube

The Plundering of NASA: an Expose' by R. D. Boozer (Copyright 2013) is an exhaustive report on how pork barrel politics has diverted vital NASA funding away from cutting edge technological research into building, to borrow a term from space science writer, John Stickland, "a rocket to nowhere." R. D. "Rick" Boozer is an astrophysicist who in addition to writing books and articles, hosts a blog called Astro Maven and a website called Singularity Scientific. Both are dedicated to putting forth the message that science can be fun.

 

 

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Skybox Imaging Captures World's First High-Resolution, HD Video of Earth from Space (1080p HD) | YouTube

This video showcases a selection of the first videos taken from SkySat-1, the first of our planned 24 satellite constellation. The video clips have not yet been calibrated or tuned. SkySat-1 captures up to 90-second video clips at 30 frames per second. The resolution is high enough to resolve objects that impact the global economy like shipping containers, while maintaining a level of clarity that does not determine human activity.

SkySat-1 also captures some of the highest quality color imagery of any commercial satellite and is capable of sub-meter native color and near-infrared imagery. The most revolutionary fact is that SkySat-1 was built and launched for more than an order of magnitude lower cost than traditional sub-meter imaging satellites.

 

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Astro Maven: U.S Citizens: Demand Maximum Support of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

Astro Maven: U.S Citizens: Demand Maximum Support of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"Commercial Crew has the potential to do for American human spaceflight what Commercial Cargo is already doing for the American satellite launch industry.  Making manned spaceflight much cheaper will lead to more human business activity in space, helping our nation’s economy to thrive.  The three companies developing spacecraft under this program are Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and SpaceX.  These companies will offer individuals, industries and friendly governments lower cost access to space that other countries would find difficult to match.  Indeed, the German government is already funding a study of the practicality of using SNC’s Dreamchaser spacecraft for its human spaceflight operations."

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Guest column: NASA's new direction

Guest column: NASA's new direction | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

What do President Ronald Reagan, the two Presidents Bush and President Obama have in common?

 

They all directed NASA to commercialize access to space.

 

On Dec. 13, NASA announced the agency had selected SpaceX to negotiate a lease for Kennedy Space Center’s historic launch pad 39A.

 

The decision fulfilled a 30-year vision to end a government space monopoly replete with taxpayer-funded delays, overruns and inefficiencies.

 

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SpaceX’s Launch Manifest Decisive in Leasing Agreement for NASA’s Pad 39A | Parabolic Arc

SpaceX’s Launch Manifest Decisive in Leasing Agreement for NASA’s Pad 39A | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA selected SpaceX to lease Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center because it had a firm manifest of launches while rival Blue Origin’s plan to transfer the former space shuttle launch pad into a multi-user facility lacked actual users, according to the space agency’s selection statement.

 

“I determined the certainty and number of launches associated with SpaceX’s proposal outweighed the potential benefits associated with Blue Origin’s multi-use approach. I had a high level of confidence that SpaceX was very likely to successfully achieve its near term manifest,” wrote NASA selection official Richard J. Keegan.

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A Successful Year for U.S. Launch Providers as New Vehicles Debut | Parabolic Arc

A Successful Year for U.S. Launch Providers as New Vehicles Debut | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

It has been a busy year for American rocket companies, with 19 successful missions flown by the nation’s three launch providers. The U.S. space transportation fleet became more diverse as three boosters and a cargo vessel made successful maiden flights in 2013.

 

Launch highlights for the year include a number of significant missions and firsts:

 

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Generation Orbit Signs Tenant Agreement for Cecil Spaceport | Parabolic Arc

Generation Orbit Signs Tenant Agreement for Cecil Spaceport | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (JAA PR) — The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) has signed its first tenant agreement at Cecil Spaceport with Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO).

 

Atlanta-based GO will utilize Cecil’s hangar space, its 12,500-foot runway and the safe flight paths that have already been coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), among other things, to support its commercial flight and horizontal launch program.

 

GO plans to develop a suborbital space launch platform to conduct microgravity and hypersonic research (GOLauncher 1) and later, a dedicated orbital launch platform for nano and micro satellites (GOLauncher 2). Test flights are expected to begin at Cecil as early as 2014, with operational launches forecast to begin in 2015 and 2016.

 

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Commercial Crew Companies Stay on Track for Milestone Completions | Parabolic Arc

Commercial Crew Companies Stay on Track for Milestone Completions | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Commercial Crew Program partners continue to meet all scheduled milestones, bringing the nation closer to its goal of having a U.S. capability for human access to space and ending reliance on foreign vehicles.

 

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Spacewalkers wrap up coolant system repairs | Spaceflight Now

Spacewalkers wrap up coolant system repairs | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two astronauts successfully installed a replacement coolant pump aboard the International Space Station Tuesday, wrapping up a high-stakes two-spacewalk repair job and clearing the way for flight controllers to re-activate a critical coolant system.

 

"We'd just like to say thanks to all the great folks doing all this hard work to get this space station back up and running," spacewalker Rick Mastracchio radioed as he returned to the Quest airlock module.

 

"No, thank you guys," astronaut Doug Wheelock replied from mission control in Houston. "It's the best Christmas ever. Thanks, guys."

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