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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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Proposed New Mexico Informed Consent Changes Would Further Narrow Lawsuits | Parabolic Arc

Proposed New Mexico Informed Consent Changes Would Further Narrow Lawsuits | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Proposed changes to New Mexico’s informed consent law regarding suborbital spaceflights would not only extend protections from lawsuits to spacecraft manufacturers and their suppliers, they would also narrow the circumstances under which injured spaceflight participants and their heirs can sue.

 

 

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NASA to Test Expandable Habitat on ISS

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced Wednesday a newly planned addition to the International Space Station that will use the orbiting laboratory to test expandable space habitat technology. NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is scheduled to arrive at the space station in 2015 for a two-year technology demonstration. The BEAM is scheduled to launch aboard the eighth SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the station contracted by NASA, currently planned for 2015. After the module is berthed to the station's Tranquility node, the station crew will activate a pressurization system to expand the structure to its full size using air stored within the packed module. Astronauts periodically will enter the module to gather performance data and perform inspections. Following the test period, the module will be jettisoned from the station, burning up on re-entry.

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First Private Building in Space — Space Frontier Foundation

The Space Frontier Foundation congratulates Bigelow Aerospace on its recently announced deal with NASA to add the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) to the International Space Station.  The announcement of the new addition to the ISS marks a historic addition to ISS – the first private building in space that is joining the first space settlement.

 

“It’s like the beginning of the great stories of the golden age of science fiction,” said Jonathan Card, Executive Director of the Space Frontier Foundation. “Commercial spaceflight companies like SpaceX are providing cargo transportation, and are on track to provide crew transportation.  Companies like NanoRacks provide turnkey research platforms on-board ISS, and companies like Space Adventures provide direct visitation for private astronauts.  And now, ISS will be physically expanding, thanks to the NewSpace pioneer, Bob Bigelow and his company, Bigelow Aerospace. The vision of expanding off-planet is almost within reach.”

 

 

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Bigelow Aerospace to Attach Inflatable Module to ISS in 2015

Bigelow Aerospace to Attach Inflatable Module to ISS in 2015 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Bigelow Aerospace and NASA announced today that they have signed a $17.8 million fixed price contract under which one of Bigelow's expandable modules will be attached to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015.

 

Bigelow Aerospace is developing inflatable space modules based on technologies developed by NASA under the Transhab program in the 1990s.  Transhab was envisioned as an inflatable module that could be used as crew quarters on the ISS, replacing the traditional module NASA originally planned.  Concerned about cost overruns, however, Congress terminated Transhab in the 2000 NASA Authorization Act (Sec. 127), while leaving open the possibility of NASA leasing such a module if the private sector developed it.  Bigelow took up the challenge.

 

Two test Bigelow inflatable structures, Genesis I and Genesis II, were launched on Russian rockets in 2006 and 2007 respectively.   The company is hoping to create and fulfill a market for inflatable modules that could be used for purposes ranging from research in low Earth orbit to bases on the Moon.

 

 

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NASA To Test Bigelow Expandable Module On Space Station | Parabolic Arc

NASA To Test Bigelow Expandable Module On Space Station | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

LAS VEGAS (NASA PR) – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced Wednesday a newly planned addition to the International Space Station that will use the orbiting laboratory to test expandable space habitat technology. NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is scheduled to arrive at the space station in 2015 for a two-year technology demonstration.

 

“Today we’re demonstrating progress on a technology that will advance important long-duration human spaceflight goals,” Garver said. “NASA’s partnership with Bigelow opens a new chapter in our continuing work to bring the innovation of industry to space, heralding cutting-edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and affordably.”

 

 

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Mark Sirangelo - The Utility of Dream Chaser | Moonandback

Mark Sirangelo - The Utility of Dream Chaser | Moonandback | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Mark Sirangelo talks about Sierra Nevada’s relationship with United Launch Alliance, answers questions about what’s possible for Dream Chaser destinations, how the design lends itself to flexible utility, and how a predictable, low-cost Low Earth Orbit Transportation System can spur a lot of people to think of space differently and creatively.

 

 

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Space station to get inflatable extension

Space station to get inflatable extension | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

(Sen) - NASA has announced it has ordered an inflatable extention to the International Space Station (ISS) from Bigelow Aerospace. The expandable module is set to arrive in 2015 for a two year demonstration of the technology.

 

Bigelow Aerospace, which already has two prototype inflatable modules in orbit, has received a contract worth $17.8 million from NASA to attach a "Bigelow Expandable Activity Module" (BEAM) to the space station. BEAM will go into space in 2015. It will make the trip to orbit inside the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Astronauts will use a robotic arm aboard the station to put the module on the Tranquility node, and then pressurize the structure.

 

Once fully inflated and attached to the station, the room will be about 4 metres long and 3 metres wide. Crews will spend at least two years evaluating BEAM's performance, looking at factors such as radiation, temperature, and how much it leaks. After the test period, astronauts will jettison the module, which will burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

 

 

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New Balloon-like Digs for Space Station | DNews

New Balloon-like Digs for Space Station | DNews | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

More than 20 years ago, NASA looked at flying an expandable, balloon-like module to house crewmembers aboard the International Space Station, a low-cost and potentially safer alternative to traditional metal spacecraft.

 

The project fell victim to budget cuts and politics, but was not forgotten.

 

Bigelow Aerospace, a privately owned company founded by hotelier Robert Bigelow, licensed the technology from NASA and put in millions more to develop it, including building and flying two unmanned prototypes, Genesis 1 and 2, which were launched in 2006 and 2007 respectively and which remain operational today.

 

In 2015, a third Bigelow dwelling will be put into orbit, but this one will for the first time have people aboard -- International Space Station astronauts.

 

 

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ITAR Reform Signed By President | Tea Party In Space

(Washington DC) — Tea Party in Space (TPiS), a non-partisan organization, is elated that President Obama signed the International Trafficking of Arms Regulation (ITAR) reforms into law last week. The reforms enacted allow the President to present of list of items pertaining to the commercial satellite industry to congress for removal from the restrictive ITAR regulations. Congress will continue to retain its vital oversight role with the new law.

“This is a big deal,” said Andrew Gasser, President of TPiS. “For too long the hope of good intentions reigned supreme over the commercial satellite industry. For over thirteen years the industry has had to kowtow to regulators and bureaucrats who made it harder to compete globally. American ingenuity and exceptionalism can now compete in the global marketplace for business.”

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Nasa announces giant inflatable extension to ISS (Wired UK)

Nasa announces giant inflatable extension to ISS (Wired UK) | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The International Space Station is set to triple in size with an inflatable extension module, according to Nasa.

 

While the exact details of the new module haven't been revealed yet -- a press conference is scheduled for 16 January for that -- the contract is known to be worth $17.8 million (£11 million) to Bigelow Aerospace, who specialise in building inflatable spacecraft.

 

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module will be based on the the company's BA-330 habitat modules, two prototypes of which are currently orbiting Earth after being launched in 2006 and 2007. The BA-330's advantage over the current ISS living module is that it's much wider and larger -- it's 330m3 by itself, which is almost half the 837m3 in the ISS so far. It's also spread out in a much larger central room rather than along thin corridors like in the ISS, which would allow for greater flexibility for conducting experiments. If the new module is based on Bigelow's BA-2100 prototype, though, that could mean an extra 2100m3, effectively adding triple the current size of the ISS with just one new module.

 

 

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A (New) Mexican Standoff at the Old Spaceport | Parabolic Arc

A (New) Mexican Standoff at the Old Spaceport | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Starting on Tuesday, the taxpayers of New Mexico will begin to see the first returns on their $209 million investment in Spaceport America – the futuristic launch base they funded in the desert for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic suborbital tourism company.

 

Virgin Galactic’s first monthly payments – $83,333 in facilities rent and $2,500 in ground rent – are dwarfed by the cost of the spaceport and the space plane that will fly from it. However, they constitute a major milestone in a bold and risky effort to jump start a suborbital space tourism industry that, to date anyway, has been all bucks and no Buck Rogers.

 

 

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NASA's commercial crew partners set for further tests in 2013

NASA's commercial crew partners set for further tests in 2013 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

(Sen) - NASA and its commercial partners are rapidly working towards late-stage spacecraft development tests in 2013, according to an update delivered by the various companies late last week.

 

Calling 2012 "an unbelieveable year for the commercial crew program", NASA commercial crew manager Ed Mango pointed out that the program is more than meeting expectations.

 

The agency is undertaking the program as a facilitator, rather than a leader, officials pointed out in a press conference held on January 9. NASA provides money to the commercial contractors as well as billable use of its facilities. Meanwhile, the commercial crew candidates must meet certain design and safety milestones throughout the development process to ensure they are on track to receive the funding they are promised.

 

NASA hopes that the companies will ferry astronauts into Earth orbit by 2017 or 2018, which will at last give the United States full human launch capability again after the shuttle retired in 2011.

 

 

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Expanding on Bigelow’s inflatable module for the ISS | NASASpaceFlight.com

Expanding on Bigelow’s inflatable module for the ISS | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA managers are set to provide details on the deal they have signed with Bigelow Aerospace for an inflatable module to become part of the International Space Station (ISS). The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will be a vital testbed for future applications and may ride to the ISS inside the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon.

 

The announcement comes two years after International Space Station Program (ISSP) managers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston held a two-day meeting to discuss the prospect of adding a Bigelow Aerospace inflatable module to the ISS.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, January 13, 2013 3:44 PM

Attachment of a Bigelow inflatable module to the ISS will test a technology, give the space station additional storage capability, and gain experience and confidence toward an eventual Bigelow space hotel.

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Bill sought by Spaceport supporters introduced as rumors abound about Virgin Galactic’s plans | Albuquerque Business First

Bill sought by Spaceport supporters introduced as rumors abound about Virgin Galactic’s plans | Albuquerque Business First | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

On the first day of the legislative session, the bill Spaceport America supporters have been pushing for was introduced.

 

Virgin Galactic has been trying to convince the Legislature for two years to pass what’s called an informed consent law that would exempt the company’s suppliers from lawsuits if something were to go wrong.

 

This year, the company has made a big push to garner public support. A bill called the Space Flight Informed Consent Act was introduced Tuesday by Sen. Mary Kay Papen, R-Las Cruces.

 

 

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Stratocumulus's comment, January 19, 2013 9:24 PM
The concept of "informed consent" in this scenario refers only to issues of Space Tourism, such as those operations being anticipated by Virgin Galactic, XCOR, et cetera. NASA's safety issues with the development of commercial spaceflight are more concentrated on funding revenue, and oversight over design and construction. I'm not sure what kind of contracts or waivers professional astronauts, whether NASA or otherwise, have to sign. I'm not sure if they have to sign any. At any rate that's a whole different sphere of liability.
Lyle Upson's comment, January 19, 2013 9:47 PM
yep, am aware they are separate matters ... it has been an interesting read of the various articles, i picked up on this most likely due to the different language used in each of our countries ... on the space port, clearly no one wants it to fail, given other states have passed similar law, it seems a sensible step forward ...
Stratocumulus's comment, January 20, 2013 7:51 PM
Agreed. New Mexico needs to bite the bullet.
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Bigelow inflatable module bound for space station | Spaceflight Now

Bigelow inflatable module bound for space station | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

An innovative inflatable module developed by a Las Vegas hotel entrepreneur will be attached to the International Space Station in 2015 for a two-year test run to evaluate the technology's performance in the harsh environment of space, NASA and company officials announced Wednesday.

 

Bigelow Aerospace will receive $17.8 million from NASA to supply a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, for the space station. The module will be launched, uninflated, aboard a commercial SpaceX Dragon cargo ship in 2015.

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Inflatable Space Stations of Bigelow Aerospace (Infographic)

Inflatable Space Stations of Bigelow Aerospace (Infographic) | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Bigelow Aerospace is designing a plug-in module to expand living space on the International Space Station. Larger expandable modules could someday become free-flying space stations themselves.

 

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will be carried into orbit by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, stowed in the cargo trunk of a Dragon capsule. A robot arm will dock BEAM to Node 3 of the International Space Station.

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Alpha Station: Private Inflatable Space Outpost Envisioned

Alpha Station: Private Inflatable Space Outpost Envisioned | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The formal unveiling today (Jan. 16) of a NASA deal to add an inflatable room developed by commercial company  Bigelow Aerospace to the International Space Station is a forerunner of things to come. The private space firm has its eyes on setting up its own commercial space outpost, which it is calling Alpha Station.

 

The new room to be attached to the International Space Station — a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) — will remain part of the orbiting laboratory for at least two years. During that time, astronauts will monitor the environment inside the module, recording a variety of parameters including temperature, pressure and radiation levels. 

According to company details provided to SPACE.com, Bigelow Aerospace officials intend to use the BEAM to further validate the promise and benefits of expandable space habitats.

 

 

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Inside NASA's Deal for an Inflatable Space Station Room

Inside NASA's Deal for an Inflatable Space Station Room | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A new deal between NASA and a commercial spaceflight company to add a privately built module to the International Space Station could lead to future uses of the novel space technology beyond low-Earth orbit, space agency and company officials say.

 

NASA will pay $17.8 million to Bigelow Aerospace of North Las Vegas to build an inflatable module, test it and prep it for flight. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is to be launched around the summer of 2015.

 

The space agency and Bigelow officials provided details of the contract in a Las Vegas briefing today (Jan. 16).

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Space-travel startups take off | Fortune Tech

Space-travel startups take off | Fortune Tech | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

FORTUNE - The private space flight has largely been the province of stargazing billionaires, such as Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen, Tesla (TSLA) chief Elon Musk, and Amazon's (AMZN) Jeff Bezos. But one element of the modern-day space race -- the quest to launch a space-tourism industry -- is shaping up to be a David vs. Goliath battle. In one corner: the Virgin Group's flamboyant Richard Branson, who has poured more than $200 million into his impeccably pedigreed Virgin Galactic. In the other: a scrappy band of rocket engineers at little XCOR Aerospace, which aims to become the Southwest Airlines (LUV) of the rocket business. Both companies hope to be ready for liftoff by 2014.

 

 

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NASA buys blow-up habitat for space station astronauts - space - 16 January 2013 | New Scientist

NASA buys blow-up habitat for space station astronauts - space - 16 January 2013 | New Scientist | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA wants to blow up part of the International Space Station – and a Las Vegas firm is eager to help.

 

The US space agency has signed a $17.8-million contract with Bigelow Aerospace of Nevada to build an inflatable crew habitat for the ISS.

 

According to details released today at a press briefing , the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, will launch in 2015. Astronauts on the ISS will test the module for safety and comfort.

 

BEAM will fly uninflated inside the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon capsule. Once docked and fully expanded, the module will be 4 metres long and 3 metres wide. For two years astronauts will monitor conditions inside, such as temperature and radiation levels.

 

 

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Ad Astra Scouts Role In Future Ventures

Ad Astra Scouts Role In Future Ventures | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

HOUSTON — Internal studies by Ad Astra Rocket Co. propose key propulsion roles for the company’s Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (Vasimr) on formative space missions drawing interest from Washington and abroad.

 

Those missions include the retrieval of a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) to prepare for future human deep-space exploration and mitigation of the Earth orbital debris threat, as well as commercial initiatives to reboost and refuel Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

 

Space tugs powered by one of several Vasimr solar electric propulsion (SEP) options, which rely on magnetic containment and directional control of superheated fuels and their thrust, could potentially lower mission costs and advance or sustain operations longer than alternative strategies, according to company presentations prepared for the investor community.

 

In December, Ad Astra signed a third extension of its 2005 Space Act Agreement with NASA to place the VF-200-1, a prototype of the Vasimr engine, on the International Space Station in early 2016 for its first in flight characterizations. However, a new series of in-house studies are looking at commercial markets well beyond, including regular resupply of a human lunar orbiting base if U.S. policy makers opt to move in that direction.

 

 

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My space

Esther Dyson always figured she would ride a rocket one day. As the daughter of renowned physicist Freeman Dyson, she says, “I took it for granted. I just assumed it was like airplanes—my parents would fly on airplanes, and when I grew up I would fly on them, too.” About 10 years ago, she realized no spaceflight was imminent, “and thought, This is something that needs a little help.”

 

 

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Inflatable Private Space Stations: Bigelow's Big Dream

Inflatable Private Space Stations: Bigelow's Big Dream | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA's decision to buy an inflatable new room for the International Space Station may push the module's builder —commercial spaceflight company Bigelow Aerospace — one step closer to establishing its own private stations in orbit.

 

Last week, NASA announced that it will pay $17.8 million for the Nevada-based company's Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which will be affixed to the huge orbiting lab as a technology demonstration.

 

NASA and Bigelow will discuss the deal during a media event Wednesday (Jan. 16) in North Las Vegas, where the company is headquartered. BEAM could help prove out the viability of inflatable crew habitats, potentially jump-starting Bigelow's ambitious plans in low-Earth orbit and, perhaps, on the surface of the moon.

 

 

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Mark Sirangelo - Dream Chaser Development | Moonandback

Mark Sirangelo - Dream Chaser Development | Moonandback | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

In an exclusive interview with Moonandback, Mark Sirangelo, Chairman of Sierra Nevada Space Systems, talks about the Dream Chaser vehicle’s Commercial Crew integrated Capability program (CCiCap) milestones, former NASA astronaut Steve Lindsey’s role in the vehicle’s development, integration with the Atlas V launch vehicle, and the capability to safe abort to a runway landing throughout the flight profile.

 

 

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John Kelly: SpaceX takes hops toward a lofty goal

John Kelly: SpaceX takes hops toward a lofty goal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Here’s something to keep an eye on if you’re interested in the long-term sustainability of space flight: Grasshopper.

 

Grasshopper is a vertical take-off and vertical landing launch vehicle being developed, and test flown, by SpaceX in Texas.

 

In December, Grasshopper blasted off on a what might seem like a short flight a little more than 130 feet above ground. Then, the vehicle returned to the ground intact. The 29-second flight is a big deal because it’s the beginning of a nascent effort by the groundbreaking space-launch venture to go after one of the holy grails of more affordable space launch: reusability.

 

 

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