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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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SpaceX launch heralds a new beginning for commercial spaceflight

SpaceX launch heralds a new beginning for commercial spaceflight | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Alongside the resupply missions, SpaceX is also targeting manned spaceflight. After winning awards in the first two rounds, SpaceX is bidding for the third and final round of commercial crew development funding - commercial crew integrated capability (CCiCap) - which could be awarded as early as July.

 

"I think [the bid was] pretty aggressive on demonstrations," says Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX. "We packed ours full of a lot of hardware, lot of demonstrations, lots of tests. I bet we've got more tests in our baseline offer than anybody else."

 

If NASA can find a commercial partner to perform crew flights to the ISS, then it eases another of its woes: the "embarrassing" need to rely on the Russians and their Soyuz craft to perform the missions.

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Congressional and other reaction to the SpaceX Dragon berthing | Space Politics

Perhaps it was the fact that the berthing took place on a Friday of a holiday weekend, with Congress in recess. Or, perhaps, members thought they said enough with the successful launch of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 in the early morning hours Tuesday. In any case, the reaction from members of Congress to Friday morning’s successful grappling and berthing of the Dragon by the International Space Station got less of an official reaction from members of Congress than the launch itself.

 

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Canada’s Dextre meets SpaceX’s Dragon to demo CRS operations | NASASpaceFlight.com

Canada’s Dextre meets SpaceX’s Dragon to demo CRS operations | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

With Dragon now installed and ingressed on the International Space Station (ISS), Canada’s Dextre robot took an opportunity to greet the new spacecraft on Sunday. The SPDM (Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator) was translated to the SpaceX vehicle to practise the removal of cargo from the trunk, a key element of future Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) missions.

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Excalibur Almaz details plans for capsule and space station

Excalibur Almaz details plans for capsule and space station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Excalibur Almaz has detailed its plans to launch spacecraft to space stations in orbit around the moon, the first time the secretive company has done so publically.

 

The British company will use legacy Russian hardware, capsules from the Soviet Soyuz space programme and space stations from Salyut, to launch people into orbit around the moon. Both capsules and stations will undergo upgrades, but the basic hardware has flown in space up to nine times, and is described by Excalibur CEO Art Dula as having a technical readiness level of nine, the highest possible.

 

The capsules will initially be launched by Russian Soyuz FG launch vehicles from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Once in low Earth orbit (LEO), the capsules will dock with a Salyut station, which will use electric Hall thrusters to propel itself into orbit around the moon.

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Astronauts to Spend Memorial Day Unpacking Private Space Capsule

Astronauts to Spend Memorial Day Unpacking Private Space Capsule | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Rather than kick their feet up this Memorial Day weekend, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station will be unloading cargo from the first private spacecraft ever to visit the orbiting lab.

 

SpaceX's unmanned Dragon capsule docked with the station Friday (May 25), making spaceflight history in the process. Another milestone came Saturday at about 5:53 a.m. EDT (0953 GMT), when the hatches between Dragon and the $100 billion orbiting lab were opened.

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Texas reaches out to land spaceport deal with SpaceX

Texas reaches out to land spaceport deal with SpaceX | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Even as SpaceX continued to make history on Friday by berthing its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, the state of Texas has stepped up its efforts to woo the company here.

 

State officials are developing an incentive package to encourage SpaceX to build a spaceport near Brownsville. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company is also considering launch sites in Florida and Puerto Rico.

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Space station astronauts unload commercial supply craft

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station spent Saturday unloading fresh supplies from the newly arrived commercial spacecraft Dragon.

 

Constructed and launched by the private company Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX, Dragon arrived at the orbiting complex on Friday loaded with nearly 1200 pounds of clothes, food, water and a computer for the crew.

 

Flight engineer Don Pettit, who used the station's 57-foot robotic arm to pluck Dragon from space and berth it to Harmony, and two astronauts will begin on Monday unloading the craft.

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Dragon Mission Report | Space station crew opens door to commercial spaceship | Spaceflight Now

Dragon Mission Report | Space station crew opens door to commercial spaceship | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station opened the door on the lab's first commercial resupply craft Saturday, accessing more than 1,000 pounds of food, clothing and experiments stowed inside.

 

But one of the most vital functions of the privately-owned cargo ship - its ability to safely return space station equipment to Earth - is yet to be demonstrated.

 

The space station's Expedition 31 crew opened Dragon's hatch Saturday at 5:53 a.m. EDT (0953 GMT), and the astronauts plan to spend 25 hours removing the craft's supply cache and installing equipment tagged for shipment back to Earth.

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Birthing a Dragon: An Astronaut's Spectacular View: Photos | Discovery News

Birthing a Dragon: An Astronaut's Spectacular View: Photos | Discovery News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Throughout Dragon's rendezvous with the Harmony module of the station, European astronaut and flight engineer André Kuipers -- who is currently on board the space station as a member of Expedition 30/31 -- captured some key moments in high-resolution through the lens of his camera. Here are the highlights.

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Space Station Crew Welcomes World's First Commercial Cargo Craft

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit of NASA, Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency and Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA grappled and berthed the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the station's Harmony module May 25, 2012, marking a milestone in spaceflight history. Dragon became the first commercially developed space vehicle to be launched to the station to join Russian, European and Japanese resupply craft that service the complex while restoring a U.S. capability to deliver cargo to the orbital laboratory.

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Congress Should Fully Fund Commercial Crew

Congress Should Fully Fund Commercial Crew | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The irony is that NASA, after years of ineptitude and broken promises regarding commercial space, finally seems to “get it.” That did not come naturally. Over decades, NASA has made the mistake of thinking it could both enjoy the benefits of a free market and manage the market. It tried to project demand for services that did not exist at price points no one could know. It coerced public-private partnerships that badly meshed its own unique requirements and taste for exotic new technologies together with the private sector's desire for the cheap, the proven and the reliable.

 

But NASA has learned how to help and stay out of the way. Witness COTS, the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program for cargo, and the follow-on Commercial Crew program. This new thrust began during the administration of President George W. Bush, and Barack Obama's has sought to accelerate it.

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Enter the Dragon: Astronauts Open 1st Private Capsule at Space Station

Enter the Dragon: Astronauts Open 1st Private Capsule at Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A new first was achieved today (May 26) when astronauts on the International Space Station opened the door to their newest spacecraft visitor, the private capsule Dragon.

 

Dragon, built by commercial company SpaceX, arrived at the space station on Friday (May 25) and was attached to the outpost's Harmony node at 12:02 p.m. EDT (1602 GMT). It is the first private vehicle ever to visit the $100 billion space station, which is a partnership between five international space agencies.

 

This morning, after checking the seal between the station and spacecraft for leaks, NASA astronaut Don Pettit opened the hatch leading into the Dragon at5:53 a.m. EDT (0953 GMT) as the two spacecraft orbited 253 miles (407 kilometers) above the Earth, just west of Auckland, New Zealand.

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NSS Congratulates SpaceX on a Magnificent First Docking of Dragon Capsule and Successful Launch of NSS “Special Payload” | National Space Society Blog

The National Space Society (NSS) congratulates Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) on a successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and first docking of their Dragon space capsule with the International Space Station (ISS). “SpaceX has achieved a milestone in commercial space development by being the first private company to make it to the International Space Station,” said Paul E. Damphousse, Executive Director of the National Space Society. “NASA and the commercial space team is joining together both symbolically and physically for this historic event. This marks the very first use of a privately operated rocket system to deliver cargo to the ISS, ushering in a new era of commercial space enterprise. Their successful flight is a testament to SpaceX’s commitment to making space travel missions much less expensive and much more routine.”

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News & Events | Satellites & Space Missions | Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL)

Space innovators at the University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) are developing ‘STRaND-2’, a twin-satellite mission to test a novel in-orbit docking system based upon XBOX Kinect technology that could change the way space assets are built, maintained and decommissioned.

 

STRaND-2 is the latest mission in the cutting edge STRaND (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) programme, following on from the smartphone-powered STRaND-1 satellite that is near completion. Similar in design to STRaND-1, the identical twin satellites will each measure 30cm (3 unit Cubesat) in length, and utilise components from the XBOX Kinect games controller to scan the local area and provide the satellites with spatial awareness on all three axes.

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Dragon Mission Report | Astronauts say crews would be comfortable in Dragon | Spaceflight Now

Dragon Mission Report | Astronauts say crews would be comfortable in Dragon | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two astronauts who helped capture and berth the Dragon supply ship said Saturday they would be comfortable flying a human-rated version of the craft on commercial flights to the International Space Station.

 

NASA flight engineer Don Pettit guided the space station's Canadian robotic arm to grapple the private cargo freighter Friday, three days after it blasted off from Florida on a test flight long-awaited by NASA and SpaceX, the craft's builder, owner and operator.

 

Joe Acaba, a former school teacher and environmental scientist, helped configure the space station's berthing system to receive the Dragon spacecraft as Pettit moved the capsule in position with the robot arm.

 

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Excalibur Almaz Shoots for the Moon and Beyond | Parabolic Arc

Excalibur Almaz Shoots for the Moon and Beyond | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Excalibur Almaz is looking beyond sending its Soviet-era space vehicles and stations into Earth orbit and is actively working on human missions to the moon, asteroids and lagrange points.

 

Excalibur Almaz CEO Art Dula outlined the company’s plans on Sunday during the International Space Development Conference in Washington. Based upon Twitter posts by attendees, here are the highlights:

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John Kelly: SpaceX leads new space race

John Kelly: SpaceX leads new space race | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The old way of developing space vehicles is dead.

 

With fewer people, less time and a fraction of the money that the government would have spent, Elon Musk and his company, Space Exploration Technologies, designed and built a new spaceship, launched it on the company’s own Falcon 9 rocket and flew the craft to the International Space Station. Dragon’s arrival at the orbiting lab on Friday was not only historic, but also game-changing.

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Launch Pictures: SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Roars to Space Station

Launch Pictures: SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Roars to Space Station | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

See astounding photos of SpaceX's Dragon capsule as it launched to the International Space Station bearing cargo.

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Space station astronauts float into SpaceX Dragon

Space station astronauts float into SpaceX Dragon | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Cape Canaveral -- - Space station astronauts floated into the Dragon on Saturday, a day after its heralded arrival as the world's first commercial supply ship.

 

NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, the first one inside the docked capsule, said the Dragon looks like it carries about as much cargo as his pickup truck back home in Houston. And it smells like a new car, he added.

 

"I spent quite a bit of time poking around in here this morning, just looking at the engineering and the layout, and I'm very pleased," Pettit said from the compartment.

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SpaceX Capsule Has 'New Car' Smell : Discovery News

SpaceX Capsule Has 'New Car' Smell : Discovery News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX's Dragon cargo vessel smells like a new car, said astronauts at the International Space Station after opening the hatches Saturday following the spacecraft's landmark mission to the orbiting lab.

 

The California-based SpaceX on Friday became the first commercial outfit to send its own unmanned cargo capsule to the ISS, heralding the start of a new era for private spaceflight after the end of the 30-year U.S. shuttle program.

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Dragon Mission Report | PHOTOS: Dragon arrives at space station | Spaceflight Now

Dragon Mission Report | PHOTOS: Dragon arrives at space station | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The International Space Station's robotic arm on Friday reached out and snared a cargo carrier built by SpaceX, making history after the privately-built Dragon spacecraft made a cautious laser-guided approach to the complex, becoming the first commercial spaceship to reach the massive scientific research facility.

 

Astronaut Don Pettit at the controls of the station's Canadian robotic arm grappled the free-floating Dragon spacecraft at 9:56 a.m. EDT (1356 GMT) as it hovered about 30 feet below.

 

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ISS Crew Discusses Dragon Arrival

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 31 Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Joe Acaba of NASA and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency fielded questions from reporters May 26, just hours after opening the hatch to SpaceX's Dragon vehicle, the world's first commercial cargo craft launched by the private sector to assist in the resupply of the international complex. Dragon will remain berthed to Harmony until May 31, enabling the crew to unload supplies for the station's residents before it is re-grappled and released to return to Earth for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California.

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Station Crew Opens Dragon's Hatch

The hatch between the newly arrived SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and the Harmony module of the International Space Station was opened by NASA Astronaut Don Pettit at 5:53 am EDT as the station flew 253 miles above Auckland, New Zealand. The hatch opening begins four days of operations to upload more than 1,000 pounds of cargo from the first commercial spacecraft to visit the space station and reload it with experiments and cargo for a return trip to Earth. It is scheduled for splashdown several hundred miles west of California on May 31

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Photos: ISS Crew Enters The Dragon | OnOrbit

Photos: ISS Crew Enters The Dragon | OnOrbit | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The ISS crew opened the hatchwith Dragon at 5:53 am EDT this morning and are now preparing Dragon to have its cargo unloaded.

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CASIS Salutes SpaceX on Dragon’s Berth with International Space Station | CASIS

CASIS Salutes SpaceX on Dragon’s Berth with International Space Station | CASIS | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (May 25, 2012) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization managing research on the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, congratulates SpaceX on today’s successful berthing of the Dragon capsule to the ISS.

 

The success marks a significant milestone in bringing ISS cargo delivery and return capabilities back to the U.S. Currently, U.S. cargo is delivered to the ISS via Russian, European and Japanese launch vehicles.

 

Unlike other vehicles, Dragon offers not just the ability to make ISS deliveries but also to safely return significant amounts of cargo to Earth – a key to maximizing research on the ISS, which is CASIS’ ultimate goal. Once NASA has formally approved Dragon to make regular resupply flights to the ISS, CASIS will work with the company to ferry cutting edge research payloads to and from the National Lab.

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