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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 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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Wanted: Private Spaceship Builders for Virgin Galactic

Wanted: Private Spaceship Builders for Virgin Galactic | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

MOJAVE, Calif. – Virgin Galactic looks poised to begin launching paying passengers into space by 2014, but the private spaceship company is going to need more folks with the "right stuff" to make it happen.

 

Enter the Virgin Galactic Career Fair, a weekend event that drew nearly 600 people to the Mojave Air and Space Port on Saturday (Sept. 7) from all over, seeking to build spaceships for Virgin Galactic founder, the British billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

 

 

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Space clean-up satellite takes off with Swiss Space Systems

EPFL's CleanSpace One satellite aims to clean up space by deorbiting debris. Thanks to a partnership with Swiss Space Systems - S3, the first janitor satellite will be deployed in 2018 using their revolutionary waste free and cost-effective launch system.

 

 

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Miro Svetlik's curator insight, September 12, 2013 3:34 AM

Finally we are doing something about the pollution of Earth's orbit. I hope this will be a long term sustained activity.

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A Preview of Falcon 9′s Flight From Vandenberg | Parabolic Arc

A Preview of Falcon 9′s Flight From Vandenberg | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The upgraded Falcon 9 has longer fuel tanks and towers 69.2 meters (227 feet), a significant increase over the F9 height of 53 meters (173.9 feet).

 

The new rocket also features Merlin 1D engines, which are 56 percent more powerful than the Merlin 1C predecessors. One engine will be in the center with eight others arranged in an octagonal pattern around the perimeter. Previous Falcon 9's have launched with the engines three across in a tic-tac-toe pattern.

 

 

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Bob Geldof set to travel into space

Bob Geldof set to travel into space | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The singer and campaigner Bob Geldof is to travel into space as a passenger on a commercial space flight.

 

Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) is hoping to launch 100 people into space in 2014 at the cost of $100,000 (£64,000) per ticket.

 

The first astronauts will travel 100km (62 miles) into space launching from Curacao in the Southern Caribbean sea.

 

Others who have already signed up include DJ Armin van Buuren and Victoria's Secret model Doutzen Kroes.

 

 

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Lyle Upson's comment, September 11, 2013 8:06 AM
never heard of SXC, yet they will launch 100 punters next year ... oky, that seems convincing
Stratocumulus's comment, September 11, 2013 5:59 PM
Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) has been around for a couple of years now. They operate more or less as a travel agency for XCOR Aerospace (xcor.com), which is developing the Lynx Mk II suborbital spacecraft, that will take its customers from the runway to suborbital space for about $95,000.
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Blue Origin Files Formal Protest of NASA’s Proposed Shuttle Pad Lease | SpaceNews.com

Blue Origin Files Formal Protest of NASA’s Proposed Shuttle Pad Lease | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — A spat between Blue Origin and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) over Launch Complex 39A, a disused space shuttle launch pad both companies want to lease from NASA, escalated when Blue Origin challenged the legality of the agency’s search for a caretaker last week.

 

On Sept. 3, Blue Origin filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), alleging “that there’s a problem with [NASA’s] solicitation that needs to be addressed,” according to Ralph White, GAO’s managing associate general counsel for procurement law.

 

GAO must rule on the protest by Dec. 12, White said.

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Launch company Blue Origin protests possible deal for pad 39A

Launch company Blue Origin protests possible deal for pad 39A | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A dispute over control of a mothballed Kennedy Space Center launch pad is now in lawyers’ hands while political pressure on the process grows.

 

Blue Origin last week filed a formal bid protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office regarding NASA’s plans to lease pad 39A for commercial use.

 

NASA has not announced a lease agreement but was known to be considering an exclusive deal with SpaceX.

 

 

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XCOR Lynx: Engines 101 — What 5K18 really means, and a bit on pumps and regenerative cooling | XCOR Aerospace blog

XCOR Lynx: Engines 101 — What 5K18 really means, and a bit on pumps and regenerative cooling | XCOR Aerospace blog | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

As discussed last week, Mondays are dedicated to the Lynx propulsion system. This includes Lynx main engines, engine nozzles, reaction control systems, and related technologies such as XCOR rocket piston pumps, valves and piping.

 

Let’s start with the Lynx main engines, how we name them and a bit about how 5K18 pumps and regenerative cooling work.

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"I can't wait to get up there!" Virgin Galactic's Second Rocket Powered Test Flight

Sir Richard Branson's thoughts on SpaceShipTwo's second rocket powered test flight. Telescope footage by MarsScientific.com and Clay Center Observatory.

 

 

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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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XCOR Lynx: Fuselage 101 | XCOR Aerospace blog

XCOR Lynx: Fuselage 101 | XCOR Aerospace blog | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Always build a house with a strong foundation. Always anchor a suspension bridge into bedrock. A similar principle holds true for spacecraft: they must always be built on a solid structural core that can stand up to flight in harsh environments.

 

The Lynx structure consists of several critical components: the fuselage (containing the liquid oxygen tank), the wings and control surfaces, wing strakes (containing our kerosene fuel, and main landing gear), cockpit, and nose (containing the nose landing gear).

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Swiss Space Systems Announces $16 Million Investment in Debris Cleaning Satellite | Parabolic Arc

Payerne, Switzerland (S3 PR) — The CleanSpace One satellite has a new ally in its mission to clean up space debris. EPFL has entered into a partnership with Swiss Space Systems (S3). The company will invest CHF 15 million [$16 million] in the project and will launch the satellite into orbit.

 

In 2012, EPFL announced its intention to design and launch CleanSpace One, a satellite whose mission is to begin to clean up the thousands of bits of jettisoned rocket and satellite components orbiting Earth at speeds of more than 28,000 km/h. The mission is crucial for the future of the space industry. Now Swiss Space Systems – S3 has joined the project. The Swiss company is developing a new method to launch satellites weighing up to 250 kg, and will take charge of CleanSpace One’s launch, now scheduled for 2018. EPFL and S3 announced their partnership publicly on September 10, 2013.

 

 

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Virgin Galactic's Space Career Day: An Inside Look (Photos)

Virgin Galactic's Space Career Day: An Inside Look (Photos) | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Private spaceflight company Virgin Galactic held a Career Day event on Sept. 7, 2013, at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif.

 

 

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NASA TV Coverage Set for Orbital Sciences Demonstration Mission | SpaceRef

NASA TV Coverage Set for Orbital Sciences Demonstration Mission | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA Television will air pre- and post-launch news conferences and provide live launch coverage of Orbital Sciences Corporation's cargo resupply demonstration mission to the International Space Station.

 

The company's Cygnus cargo carrier will be the first spacecraft launched to the orbiting laboratory from Virginia. It will be launched aboard Orbital's Antares rocket at 11:16 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 17, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia.

 

NASA TV launch commentary coverage will begin at 10:45 a.m. Video b-roll of launch preparations will air at 10:30 a.m. A post-launch news briefing will begin at approximately 1 p.m. at the Wallops Visitors Center.

 

 

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XCOR Lynx: Cockpit and Avionics 101 | XCOR Aerospace blog

XCOR Lynx: Cockpit and Avionics 101 | XCOR Aerospace blog | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Each Tuesday we detail features of the cockpit, its avionics and life support systems, environmental controls, pressure suits and payload configurations. We will also take a look at fabrication, mockups and other key design points.

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Outgoing NASA Deputy Reflects on High-profile, Big-money Programs | SpaceNews.com

Outgoing NASA Deputy Reflects on High-profile, Big-money Programs | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

... Orion and SLS are likewise likely to slip, with or without outside budget pressure, Garver said.

 

"The nature of these large government-led spaceflight programs has been cost growth and schedule slips,” she said. “Space station was an $8 billion program and it ended up being a $100 billion program. And we consider it a huge success."

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This Small 'Spaceport' In The Mojave Desert Is Working On Planes That Go To Space [PICTURES]

This Small 'Spaceport' In The Mojave Desert Is Working On Planes That Go To Space [PICTURES] | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Making spaceships takes years of research and significant amounts of capital.

 

That's why the big names in the private space sector all seem to be founded by billionaires who love space: Elon Musk with SpaceX, Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin, and Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic.

 

Of course, there are exceptions. One of those exceptions is XCOR Aerospace, a small company based in California's Mojave Desert (with expansion to both Texas and Florida in the coming months).

 

By taking a different approach to rocket engine design based on simplification and iteration, XCOR has created a spacecraft that will be able take off like a plane, reach space in three minutes, conduct scientific experiments, and safely glide back to Earth - four times a day and for a fraction of the price of the rockets traditionally used for scientific work in space.

 

 

 

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Stratocumulus's comment, September 10, 2013 12:20 AM
From Wikipedia:

"The Lynx Mark III is the same vehicle as the Mark II with External Dorsal Mounted Pod: 650 kg (1,400 lb) and is large enough to hold a two stage carrier to launch a microsatellite or multiple nanosatellites into low-Earth orbit.[5]

Markets for microsat launch services are beginning to develop. As of December 2012, the U.S. government defense department is looking to have the capability to launch a "constellation of 24 micro-satellites (~20 kilograms (44 lb) range) each with 1-meter imaging resolution," through the DARPA SeeMe program.[10]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_%28spacecraft%29