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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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DARPA To Start Reusable Launch Vehicle Program | SpaceNews.com

SAN DIEGO — DARPA is about to start a program to develop a reusable first stage that could be used to launch medium-sized satellites for as little as $5 million each.

 

Speaking at the AIAA Space 2013 conference here Sept. 12, Pam Melroy, deputy director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said the agency would release a Broad Agency Announcement in the next few weeks for a program called Experimental Spaceplane, or XS-1. An industry day for the program is planned for early October.

 

“The goal of the program is to fly ten times in ten days, and to achieve Mach 10,” Melroy said. The XS-1 itself would not fly into orbit, but could carry an expendable upper stage to place payloads weighing up to 1,800 kilograms into orbit at a target price of $5 million per launch. The vehicle could also be used as a platform for hypersonics research.

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Billionaires' battle for historic launch pad goes into overtime | NBC News.com

Billionaires' battle for historic launch pad goes into overtime | NBC News.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A tug of war involving two billionaire-backed space ventures has forced NASA to put a hold on its plans to turn over one of its historic space shuttle launch pads to a commercial operator by the end of this month.

 

Now it could take until mid-December for NASA to decide whether Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A should be given over to California-based SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk; or Blue Origin, the Washington state company founded by Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos.

 

The competition demonstrates two kinds of clout at work: Musk's SpaceX was once seen as an upstart challenger to the space establishment — but after a string of successes, it now plays a leading role in NASA's vision for commercial spaceflight. Bezos' Blue Origin doesn't have as much of a track record in spaceflight, but it does have powerful allies in the launch industry as well as in the halls of Congress.

 

 

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Antares rolled out to Wallops pad ahead of ORB-D mission | NASASpaceFlight.com

Antares rolled out to Wallops pad ahead of ORB-D mission | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital’s Antares launch vehicle is deep into preparations for its second trip into space, this time hosting the debut mission for the Cygnus resupply ship. Known as ORB-D, Cygnus will make its long-awaited flight to the International Space Station (ISS), with the aim of validating multiple demonstration milestones ahead of its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) missions.

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SpaceX California Falcon 9 Launch Debut On Hold | DNews

SpaceX California Falcon 9 Launch Debut On Hold | DNews | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Space Exploration Technologies’ next-generation Falcon 9 rocket, which is being prepared for a debut test flight from the company’s new launch pad in California, is not quite ready for liftoff.

 

The Falcon rocket’s nine engines roared to life on Thursday for what is known as a “static test fire” (meaning the rocket stays bolted down), but all apparently was not perfect.

 

“Full thrust achieved on 2 sec static fire,” company founder, chief executive and technical lead Elon Musk posted on Twitter early Friday. “Some anomalies to be investigated, so launch date tbd.”

 

Vandenberg Air Force Base in California — SpaceX’s landlord and range operator — had reserved Sunday for the Falcon 9 launch.

 

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Media Advisory: Canadian Satellite CASSIOPE to Launch on SpaceX Rocket | SpaceRef

On September 15th, 2013, Canadian satellite CASSIOPE (Cascade SmallSat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer) will be launched from Vandenberg, California, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launch is scheduled for 12:00 EDT and will be broadcast live on the SpaceX Website.

 

CASSIOPE is a multi-purpose mission designed to conduct space environment research and telecommunications technology demonstration. Its scientific payload ePOP (enhanced polar outflow probe) will observe the ionosphere and enable scientists to collect new data on space storms in Earth's upper atmosphere and assess their potential impacts. CASSIOPE also includes the Cascade technology demonstrator for high speed store and forward information delivery.

 

 

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Upgraded Falcon 9 rocket clears major prelaunch test | Spaceflight Now

Upgraded Falcon 9 rocket clears major prelaunch test | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX's upgraded Falcon 9 rocket briefly fired nine Merlin 1D engines on the launch pad Thursday, but engineers will review data from the prelaunch static fire test before confirming the mission's targeted Sunday launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, sources familiar with SpaceX's launch preparations said.

 

The static fire occurred after two holds in the final moments of Thursday's countdown to wring out minor problems. It was the first time engines have ignited at SpaceX's new California launch pad.

Stratocumulus's insight:

At 1:04am on September 13th, @elonmusk tweeted: Full thrust achieved on 2 sec static fire. Some anomalies to be investigated, so launch date tbd.

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Flight Simulator Prepped for Dream Chaser Drop Tests | Parabolic Arc

Flight Simulator Prepped for Dream Chaser Drop Tests | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Simulation technicians Brent Bieber, left, and Dennis Pitts install a boilerplate Dream Chaser canopy structure over the cockpit of a flight simulator in the simulation laboratory at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California. The modification will give Dream Chaser pilot-astronauts a more representative view of the actual flight profiles the spacecraft would fly during piloted approach and landing tests. Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems division is conducting uncrewed captive- and free-flight approach and landing tests of its Dream Chaser at Dryden during the summer and fall. Photo credit: NASA/Ken Ulbrich

 

 

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Virgin Galactic's Virtual Job Fair September 2013

 

Check out what some of the team had to say about working for Virgin Galactic, the organisation set to become the world's first commercial spaceline.

 

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XCOR Lynx: Aerodynamics – Supersonic wind tunnel tests | XCOR Aerospace blog

XCOR Lynx: Aerodynamics – Supersonic wind tunnel tests | XCOR Aerospace blog | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

We believe that test pilots and customers alike require confidence that the spacecraft they fly on has been evaluated and tested extensively prior to flight. And in this day and age, many rely on computer simulation to be sure that their aircraft can perform at the level required.

 

XCOR used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and other software analysis tools to design the shape of the Lynx aeroshell. However, things really accelerated when we were able to perform a series of seven subsonic and supersonic wind tunnel test campaigns at United States Air Force (USAF) and NASA labs.

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After Years in Storage CASSIOPE Satellite Set for Launch | SpaceRef Canada

After Years in Storage CASSIOPE Satellite Set for Launch | SpaceRef Canada | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

I bet you didn't know that if you drove onto the West Island of Montreal via the Trans-Canada Highway, that in a nondescript building at MDA's Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue office, on the north side of the highway, was a $140 million satellite securely stored and awaiting its mission the last few years.

 

Almost a decade after the it was announced, the Canadian Space Agency CASSIOPE satellite appears set to launch on September 15th on a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, barring any delays.

 

The multi-purpose satellite was announced on February 7th, 2004 by the Canadian Space Agency with MadDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) as the prime contractor.

Stratocumulus's insight:

The "hot fire" test of the Falcon 9 v1.1 that SpaceX was expected to conduct on the 11th of September was scrubbed. The test firing is still expected to take place within the next few days and, at present, SpaceX is still targeting Sunday as the inaugural launch date of the Falcon 9 v1.1

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Irish Singer: I Don’t Like Monday, But Space is A-OK | Parabolic Arc

Irish Singer: I Don’t Like Monday, But Space is A-OK | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Amsterdam, 11 September 2013 (SXC PR) –Earlier today Space Expedition Corporation formally confirmed the news that singer, philantropist and Nobel Price nominee Sir Bob Geldof has secured a seat in one of their upcoming flights, that way officially becoming an astronaut.

 

Geldof said: “Being the first Irishman in space is not only a fantastic honor but pretty mind-blowing. The first rock astronaut space rat! Elvis may have left the building but Bob Geldof will have left the Planet! Wild! Who would have thought it possible in my lifetime.”

 

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An Overview of the Cygnus Mission to ISS | Parabolic Arc

An Overview of the Cygnus Mission to ISS | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Mission Description:  Inaugural test flight of the first Cygnus cargo freighter to the International Space Station under NASA’s COTS program. Cygnus will carry a token cargo to astronauts aboard the orbiting laboratory. This is the second flight of the Antares launch vehicle. A successful maiden flight was flown in April.

 

The Cygnus spacecraft is composed of two elements with spaceflight heritage. The Service Module incorporates avionics systems from Orbital’s LEOStar and GEOStar satellite product lines as well as propulsion and power systems from the company’s GEOStar communications satellites.

 

 

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Virgin Galactic Career Fair Attracts 1,300 Participants | Parabolic Arc

Virgin Galactic Career Fair Attracts 1,300 Participants | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

MOJAVE, Calif. (VG PR) – Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline and flagship of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, along with its sister space vehicle manufacturing organization, The Spaceship Company, recently hosted a career fair in Mojave, Calif., and online to bring new talent to their best-in-class teams.

 

The event drew 615 in-person attendees from across the U.S. – some traveling as many as 2,400 miles seeking out-of-this-world career opportunities. Additionally, approximately 700 participants from 57 countries joined the virtual fair via Google+ Hangout, where they were able to pose questions and receive valuable feedback from top executives, technicians, engineers and pilots.

 

 

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Boeing Completes Mission Control Center Interface Test

Boeing Completes Mission Control Center Interface Test | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

For the first time, the Mission Control Center (MCC) at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston has tested communications with a commercial, crew-capable spacecraft, as The Boeing Company conducted an interface test between the MCC and software planned for the company's CST-100 spacecraft.

 

Boeing has partnered with NASA to develop a fully integrated crew transportation system, with its CST-100 spacecraft and United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). New commercial spaceflight capabilities being developed by NASA partners through commercial crew initiatives could eventually provide services to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station, launching from U.S. soil.

 

 

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Readying for Launch: Orbital Sciences' Antares Rocket and Cygnus Spacecraft | SpaceRef

Readying for Launch: Orbital Sciences' Antares Rocket and Cygnus Spacecraft | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., rolled out its Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.

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SpaceX Readies New Falcon 9 v1.1 for Launch, But Date Still Uncertain

SpaceX is getting ready for the first launch of its new version of the Falcon 9, the Falcon 9 v1.1, carrying a Canadian scientific satellite and five smaller satellites.  SpaceX is being cautious about announcing a launch date, and until [just recently] indicators were that it would be on Sunday.  One of the customers announced about 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), however, that the launch has been postponed to an unspecified "later date."

 

SpaceX's website makes no mention of the launch.  The FAA granted a safety waiver for the launch last month and identified September as the launch time frame.  This is SpaceX's first launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA and the waiver was needed because of weather conditions common off the California coast in September.

 

 

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GLXP Update: Barcelona Moon Team Sets June 2015 Launch | Parabolic Arc

GLXP Update: Barcelona Moon Team Sets June 2015 Launch | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Barcelona-based company, Galactic Suite, leading the industrial conglomerate, Barcelona Moon Team, announced June 2015 as the new date to launch the Spanish robot to the Moon in its attempt to win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.

 

The Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized competition offered to date, challenges people from across the globe to build and launch a privately funded spacecraft to the moon. Once landing on the moon, the spacecraft must also complete a series of exploration and transmission tasks. The Google Lunar XPRIZE is one of three active competitions from XPRIZE Foundation, a leading organization solving some of the world’s biggest challenges by creating and managing large-scale, global competitions that stimulate investment in research and development, often worth far more than the prize itself.

 

 

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Odyseey Students's curator insight, December 2, 2014 10:14 AM

mission space

[Rachel Nelson]

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Could Future Astronauts 3D Print Habitats Using Mars and Moon Soil? | Gizmodo

Could Future Astronauts 3D Print Habitats Using Mars and Moon Soil? | Gizmodo | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Right now, there are dozens of theoretical proposals for how humans could eventually populate Mars (or the Moon), each as crazy as the next: Space elevator. Inflatables. Giant 3D printer. But there's something wonderful about watching these zany concepts emerge, each with its own unique logic. The latest? A plan to create cave-like dwellings for the one-way astronauts aboard Mars One.

 

 


Via Allen Taylor
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Allen Taylor's curator insight, September 11, 2013 3:15 PM

Mars One is looking to 3-D print durable habitats out of local soil on Mars. This makes a lot more sense than linking up a chain of Dragon capsules.

Ken Matsumoto's curator insight, March 26, 2015 4:36 AM

This article describes the idea of sending 3D printing robots to either the moon or mars. The robots are then able to dig and use a soil from Mars called "Basalt". The material is lighter and stronger then steel, easier to operate, fireproof, and does not corrode; So once it is melted and cooled, it form would be permanent.

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Falcon 9 v1.1 conducts Hot Fire ahead of Cassiope mission | NASASpaceFlight.com

Falcon 9 v1.1 conducts Hot Fire ahead of Cassiope mission | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX’s newly upgraded Falcon 9 v.1.1 has conducted its Hot Fire test – also known as a Static Fire – ahead of its debut mission to launch the Cassiope satellite into orbit. Launch from SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex – 4 (SLC-4) at Vandenberg is currently targeting September 15, pending a Launch Readiness Review (LRR) and Range approval.

 

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is set to enjoy a new – more adventurous – life in its upgraded configuration.

 

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10 Awesome Startups That Are Looking To Profit From A New Space Race

10 Awesome Startups That Are Looking To Profit From A New Space Race | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

What would you do if you were a billionaire and wanted to go to space?

 

The obvious answer: use that money to start a company to help you do just that.

 

In recent years, some of the most famous names in tech, like Microsoft's Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos have been founding and investing in companies that are looking to the stars.

 

Whether for personal dreams of adventure or for profit, these companies are doing the engineering and basic science needed to get humans into space.

 

 

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SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 launch approaches, but may slip a bit more | NewSpace Journal

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 launch approaches, but may slip a bit more | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

After months of waiting, the first launch of the upgraded version of the Falcon 9, called the Falcon 9 v1.1, appears to be imminent. On Tuesday SpaceX rolled the rocket out to its launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, with plans to conduct a static fire of the rocket’s first stage engines on the pad before launch.

 

The launch is also the first Falcon 9 mission to use a payload fairing (the previous flew Dragon spacecraft or test articles without a fairing) and also the first from Vandenberg.

 

"This is awfully exciting for us. It’s a bit of a nail-biter,” said Garrett Reisman, a former astronaut who is project manager for SpaceX’s commercial crew effort, during a panel session at the AIAA Space 2013 conference in San Diego Thursday afternoon. “We’re trying a lot of things for the first time. We’re just going to rip that band-aid off and give it a shot."

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SpaceX Reflects on Sept. 11 Anniversary (Photo)

SpaceX Reflects on Sept. 11 Anniversary (Photo) | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

 

SpaceX took a moment from preparing for its first Falcon 9 rocket launch from California to fly an American flag from its launch tower to honor those lost on Sept. 11, 2001.

 

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Bob Geldof wants to be first 'rock astronaut' and Irishman in space | NBC News.com

Bob Geldof wants to be first 'rock astronaut' and Irishman in space | NBC News.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Irish singer-philanthropist Bob Geldof has an honorary knighthood and a couple of Nobel Peace Prize nominations to his name, but he's looking forward to adding a couple of additional lines to his resume as early as next year — as the first rock musician and first Irish citizen in outer space.

 

The former frontman for the Boomtown Rats raised that prospect in Wednesday's announcement that he's gotten a ticket to ride on XCOR Aerospace's Lynx rocket plane from Dutch-based Space Exploration Corp.

 

 

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Final Cargo Loaded Aboard Cygnus | Parabolic Arc

Final Cargo Loaded Aboard Cygnus | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The final cargo bound for the International Space Station was loaded into our Cygnus spacecraft, and technicians closed the hatch and performed final close-outs to the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM).

 

 

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MIT Researchers Test Inflatable CubeSat Antennae | Parabolic Arc

MIT Researchers Test Inflatable CubeSat Antennae | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The future of satellite technology is getting small — about the size of a shoebox, to be exact. These so-called “CubeSats,” and other small satellites, are making space exploration cheaper and more accessible: The minuscule probes can be launched into orbit at a fraction of the weight and cost of traditional satellites.

 

But with such small packages come big limitations — namely, a satellite’s communication range. Large, far-ranging radio dishes are impossible to store in a CubeSat’s tight quarters. Instead, the satellites are equipped with smaller, less powerful antennae, restricting them to orbits below those of most geosynchronous satellites.

 

Now researchers at MIT have come up with a design that may significantly increase the communication range of small satellites, enabling them to travel much farther in the solar system: The team has built and tested an inflatable antenna that can fold into a compact space and inflate when in orbit.

 

 

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