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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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NASA Administrator Falters on Planetary Defense

NASA Administrator Falters on Planetary Defense | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

If an asteroid mission were a priority, NASA could accomplish it much sooner (and more cheaply) using systems such as the Space-X Dragon capsule and Falcon launch vehicle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, and Bigelow inflatible habitat modules, which are already in production or in advanced states of development. To delay a human asteroid mission for the development of Orion and SLS is akin delaying the US entry into World War II so Howard Hughes could finish developing the Spruce Goose, instead of using the DC-3. It makes no technical, economic, or programmatic sense. General Bolden must know this, if he is getting competent technical advice.

 

Of course, space cynics will say that Dragon and Falcon are still in development. Commercial programs can (and often do) fail, as former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin is fond of noting. Griffin errs, however, when he implies the contrapositive position — that non-commercial programs never fail — which is provably false. There is no reason to believe that Dragon and Falcon (which are farther along in development than Orion and SLS) are more likely to fail than Orion and SLS.

 

 

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NASA’s Gemini Program: a “stepping stone” to Mars? | The Space Review

NASA’s Gemini Program: a “stepping stone” to Mars? | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

In early 1961, the nascent Mercury Program was making slow, steady progress toward demonstrating key capabilities necessary for humans to survive for short periods in the hostile environment of near-Earth space. A few months later, America’s new goal for human spaceflight was to land for the first time on another world, a challenge vastly more ambitious than the original intention of Mercury and its conservative successor missions. This new goal, NASA senior managers quickly recognized, would require building upon the successful first steps of Mercury with a program to demonstrate enabling new capabilities required to travel to the Moon.

 

Is the “stepping stone” Gemini Program of the 1960s a useful analogy in planning for the first human mission to Mars?

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Bringing space resources into the human economy | The Space Review

Bringing space resources into the human economy | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Recent events have put a new focus on near Earth objects: asteroids, and sometimes comets, that orbit in Earth’s vicinity and may pose a threat to us. Recognizing such threats and working to negate them are important, but we must understand such bodies can also be put to extremely good use. Indeed, two private companies, Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, have recently been formed to mine asteroids and put their extraordinary amounts of natural resources—possibly trillions of dollars worth in any given body—to work transforming the human economy and human lives. The companies are taking practical, realizable steps in pursuit of a magnificent vision: a limitless future for humankind.

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NEXT: Space Entrepreneurs Tackle the Final Frontier

NEXT: Space Entrepreneurs Tackle the Final Frontier | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Space...It's still the final frontier, and that frontier is being explored and exploited by a new and innovative cadre of entrepreneurs who are collectively called "Newspace." They have captured the public's imagination with plans for radically cheaper access to Earth orbit, space hotels for anyone with the money to reach them, and opportunities for any nation to send its astronauts to the moon.  There are now TWO companies that hope to become fabulously wealthy mining asteroids.  Host Mat Kaplan and NEXT: People | Science | Tomorrow welcome an exciting, spacebound panel that includes Chris Lewicki, Chief Asteroid Miner and CEO of Planetary Resources, and John Spencer, space architect and designer and founder and president of the Space Tourism Society.  Join us for the countdown!

 

 

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Aldrin on Mars mission; explains 2002 punch

Aldrin on Mars mission; explains 2002 punch | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"A very bold mission called Inspiration Mars could depart in 2018 with a crew of two to fly around Mars and back in about a year and a half, and I think that would be very inspiring and the correct thing to do.

 

"By 2040, the first human beings could be able to arrive and land on another planet, which would of course be one of the major, major historical moments in the history of human existence on the planet Earth.

 

"It is one of those things that would provide a tremendous inspirational boost to the education of our younger generations and to the improvement of life here on Earth."

 

 

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Virgin Galactic rocket test success

Virgin Galactic rocket test success | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

It's been another successful couple of weeks for Virgin Galactic as they completeted yet another excellent rocket test.

 

The photo above shows the second in a short series of final qualification tests prior to the first rocket-powered flight of SpaceShipTwo.


As Virgin Galactic rightly commented on their Facebook page: "The photo looks great, and the data looks even better."

 

 

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Wildest Private Deep-Space Mission Ideas: A Countdown

Wildest Private Deep-Space Mission Ideas: A Countdown | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Deep space isn't just for NASA and other space agencies anymore.

A number of private companies and nonprofit organizations are planning missions to the moon, asteroids, and even Mars. Here's a brief primer.

 

 

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Lyle Upson's comment, March 23, 2013 6:16 AM
great era to be living in
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CRS-2 Dragon homecoming delayed due to high seas in the splashdown zone | NASASpaceFlight.com

CRS-2 Dragon homecoming delayed due to high seas in the splashdown zone | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The planned unberthing and return of SpaceX’s CRS-2 Dragon (SpX-2) has been delayed by at least one day due to the forecast of high seas in the splashdown zone. Dragon was scheduled to complete its successful mission at the International Space Station (ISS) on March 25.

 

Dragon is closing in on the end of its latest visit to the orbital outpost, following its delivery of much-needed supplies to the ISS. The spacecraft is currently enjoying the second of its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) missions, its third flight to the Station overall.

 

 

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Ongoing Science as Crew Counts Down to Dragon Departure, New Trio | NASA

Ongoing Science as Crew Counts Down to Dragon Departure, New Trio | NASA | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Science was the main focus aboard the International Space Station while preparations continued for the Dragon spacecraft release, now set for Tuesday, and Thursday’s launch and docking of three new Expedition 35 crew members.

 

 

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DIYROCKETS Challenges YOU to Collaboratively Design an Open Source 3D Printed Rocket Engine that Could Carry Nano-Satellites into Space

The Challenge:

 

Over the last few years multiple companies, institutions and individuals have started building nano-satellites and other small satellites. These little satellites are packed with electronics and range from the size of a computer chip to a smart phone to a pumpkin. With their communication and research capabilities, they have multiple applications working individually or in coordination with one another. But, with the high cost of earth to space transport, how in the world are they going to get up into space?

 

We challenge YOU to design a 3D printed rocket engine that could become part of a propulsion system and vehicle to carry nano-satellites into space.

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Moon Express Raises Additional $500,000 | SpaceRef Business

Moon Express Raises Additional $500,000 | SpaceRef Business | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Silicon Valley Business Journal is reporting that Moon Express has raised $500,000 in equity, debt and convertible promissory notes according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Moon Express is one of the contenders in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) and the recipient of a NASA lunar data contract.

 

Moon Express describes itself as a "privately funded lunar resource company created to establish new avenues for commercial space activities benefitting life on Earth."

 

In a recent speech at the Commercial Space Resource Utilization forum, CEO Bob Richards outlined the companies history, goals and progress.

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VIDEO: Rusty Schweickart Explains B612, Sentinel | B612 Foundation

VIDEO: Rusty Schweickart Explains B612, Sentinel | B612 Foundation | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

On March 20, 2013, B612 co-founder and Chair Emeritus Rusty Schweickart gave a great overall primer on the B612 Foundation and the Sentinel telescope on the international edition of CNN.

 

 

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Inspiration Mars Panel Slated for 29th National Space Symposium | SpaceRef

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 21, 2013) -- Panel discussions at the Space Foundation's 29th National Space Symposium provide insight into the global space community's latest hot topics.

 

On Thursday, April 11, the Space Foundation will bring together the principals of the Inspiration Mars Foundation for a featured panel discussion.


The Inspiration Mars Foundation, an organization founded by private space traveler Dennis Tito, has announced plans for the first human mission to Mars in 2018. The Space Foundation has cited the plan as a powerful new platform that aligns with the Space Foundation's mission to advance space related endeavors to inspire enable and propel humanity.

 

 

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LIVE SpaceX’s CRS-2 Dragon released by the ISS | NASASpaceFlight.com

LIVE SpaceX’s CRS-2 Dragon released by the ISS | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is preparing to depart from the International Space Station (ISS), ahead of its splashdown in the Pacific Ocean later on Tuesday. Known as End Of Mission (EOM) operations, Dragon’s safe return will complete the second mission under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

 

 

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Price, reliability, and other challenges facing the launch industry | The Space Review

Price, reliability, and other challenges facing the launch industry | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

According to conventional wisdom, commercial customers of launch services care more about launch prices than those in government. Commercial users, after all, are trying to close a business case and generate as much profit as possible. Government users, on the other hand, are concerned about getting their payloads—often very expensive and performing critical missions—launched on schedule and safely, and have shown a willingness to help financially support their nations’ own launch systems.

 

That conventional wisdom, if it was ever totally accurate, is showing signs of breaking down. Commercial customers, particularly in the core market of geosynchronous communications satellites, have been less price sensitive than what some might expect, and are now expressing new concerns about the reliability of some vehicles. Government customers, meanwhile, are showing new sensitivity to price in this new era of constrained budgets, and are looking to competition from new entrants to help lower their costs.

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Masten Xaero-B is Taking Shape

Masten Xaero-B is Taking Shape | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Xaero-B is taking shape at Masten Space Systems.

 

Xaero-B is a replacement for the Xaero VTVL test vehicle that crashed last September. Xaero-B is not a mere copy of the original XAero, however. It incorporates numerous improvements. The payload bay is significantly larger and XAero-B is designed for higher-altitude flights (up to 6 kilometers).

 

 

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Earthrise Space, Inc. Gains Vero Software's SURFCAM As Newest Sponsor

Earthrise Space, Inc. Gains Vero Software's SURFCAM As Newest Sponsor | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

ORLANDO, FLA. (March 25, 2013) – Earthrise Space Inc. (ESI), parent organization of the Omega Envoy team in the Google Lunar X PRIZE, is proud to announce that it has gained a new ‘Suborbital Level’ sponsor, SURFCAM, Inc. and their parent company, Vero Software. The United Kingdom-based Vero Software and the California-based SURFCAM, Inc. are contributing to Omega Envoy’s goal of landing a rover on the lunar surface by providing high-efficiency CNC milling software. This software includes a full 5-axis SURFCAM CAD/CAM system with TRUEMill roughing capabilities, which will allow ESI to refine their CNC milling process, enhancing quality and speed while minimizing tool ware.

 

 

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Golden Spike workshop to explore lunar landing site options | NASASpaceFlight.com

Golden Spike workshop to explore lunar landing site options | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Golden Spike company are to host an international scientific workshop in October, aimed at evaluating the details of their commercial lunar expeditions. With a focus on the potential to conduct science missions on the Moon, the workshop will also evaluate potential landing sites.

 

The company, formed in 2010, is led by Board Chair Gerry Griffin – a former Director of Johnson Space Center and Apollo Flight Director – and President/CEO Alan Stern, the well-known Planetary scientist, and former head of all NASA science missions.

 

Their aim is to provide a commercial option for individuals who wish to step foot on the Moon.

 

 

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Bob Richards (Kidela Interview) - Why The Moon?

Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards is a space entrepreneur and futurist. He is a Co-Founder of the International Space University, Singularity University, SEDS, the Space Generation Foundation and Google Lunar X PRIZE competitors Odyssey Moon Ltd. and Moon Express, Inc., where he currently serves as CEO. As Director of the Optech Space Division from 2002-2009, Bob led the company's technology into orbit in 2004 and to the surface of Mars in 2007 aboard the NASA Phoenix Lander, making the first discovery of falling Martian snow. Bob studied aerospace and industrial engineering at Ryerson University; physics and astronomy at the University of Toronto; and space science at Cornell University where he became special assistant to Carl Sagan. Bob is an evangelist of the "NewSpace" movement and has been a catalyst for a number of commercial space ventures. He is the recipient of the K.E. Tsiolkovski Medal (Russia, 1995), the Space Frontier "Vision to Reality" Award (USA , 1994), the Arthur C. Clarke Commendation (Sri Lanka, 1990) and Aviation & Space Technology Laurel (USA, 1988). He is a contributing author of "Blueprint for Space" (Smithsonian Institution 1992); "Return to the Moon" (Apogee Books 2005) and "The Farthest Shore" (ISU Press 2009). In 2005 Bob received a Doctorate of Space Achievement (honoris causa) from the International Space University for "distinguished accomplishments in support of humanity's exploration and use of space."

Follow Bob on Twitter @Bob_Richards

 

 

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New Look for Stratolaunch

New Look for Stratolaunch | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it
No explanation is given for the new design shown on the Stratolaunch website, but it has changed following SpaceX's decision in December to exit the project because the modifications required to air-launch its Falcon 9 booster would have been too much. The original design (below) looked a bit 1960s and showed more of its origins in the two Boeing 747s that are being disassembled in Mojave to contribute engines and systems for the 380ft-span mothership.

 

 

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SpaceX Dragon Ready for Return to Earth | SpaceRef

SpaceX Dragon Ready for Return to Earth | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

More than three weeks after arriving at the International Space Station, the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft is ready for the trip back to Earth, now scheduled for Tuesday, March 26.

Dragon's originally scheduled March 25 return date was postponed due to inclement weather developing near its targeted splashdown site in the Pacific Ocean. The additional day spent attached to the orbiting laboratory will not affect science samples scheduled to return aboard the spacecraft.

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Stratolaunch to Scale | Parabolic Arc

Stratolaunch to Scale | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Ever wonder just how big the Stratolaunch carrier aircraft will be when it gets built? This picture provides a pretty good idea.

 

That’s one of the two Boeing 747-422 jetliners that Scaled Composites is stripping for parts parked in front of the Stratolaunch hangar in Mojave. The white doors show the outline with clearance of the Stratolaunch aircraft, which will have a 385-foot wingspan.

 

It makes that 747 look pretty small, doesn’t it? And that plane is the third largest civilian jetliner ever built behind the 747-800 and the Airbus A380.

 

It will be really interesting to see the Stratolaunch rolled out of that hangar a few years from now. Carbon Goose? Space Goose? Birdzilla? I don’t know if those nicknames will be adequate once this thing starts flying.

 

 

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Lyle Upson's comment, March 22, 2013 7:57 AM
just a great reason to eat bigger burgers
Stratocumulus's comment, March 22, 2013 9:50 PM
Absolutely :-)
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Robert Richards of Moon Express

Robert Richards provides an overview of his company, Moon Express, and it's exploration and resource extraction plans for the moon at the Canadian Space Commerce Association annual conference.

 

 

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Moon Express Raises $500,000 | Parabolic Arc

Moon Express Raises $500,000 | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Moon Express has raised $500,000 in equity, debt and convertible promissory notes from a single investor, according to a March 12 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The half million dollars is part of a $2 million offering.

 

This is the first time in four attempts that the company has hit pay dirt in its offerings, according to SEC filings summarized below:

 

 

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Threats from Space | C-SPAN Video Library

Top NASA, military, and White House scientists testified on threats from asteroids and other near-earth objects, and U.S. capability to deflect their damage. The group talked about their organizations' individual programs in the area of research and development. Lawmakers also asked for details on responsibilities, operations and management of the needed technologies.

Witnesses include: John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology; Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command commander; NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr.

 

 

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