Hawthorne, CA – Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) was awarded a contract with Thales Alenia Space to launch Turkmenistan NSSC to geostationary transfer orbit in late-2014 or early 2015 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
“We appreciate Thales’ confidence in our ability to safely deliver Turkmenistan’s first satellite to orbit,” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO. “We are pleased to see the market expand with new entrants, and SpaceX looks forward to leveraging the world’s most reliable and advanced rockets for customers across the globe.”
The satellite will enable Turkmenistan to operate its first National System of Satellite Communications in order to secure and enhance the country’s communication means.
SpaceX have noted they are happy with the technical progress being made on their new Falcon 9 v.1.1 (F 9-R) launch vehicle, as they prepare their next generation rocket for its role in upcoming launches and the future goal of creating a fully reusable launch system.
Following its successful role, primarily in lofting SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station on resupply missions, the Falcon 9 will next launch with additional capability.
That next launch, set to loft Canada’s CASSIOPE spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, will debut the Falcon 9 v.1.1, in turn flight-qualifying the rocket’s improvements, not least the nine upgraded Merlin 1D engines on the core stage and the Merlin VacD on the Upper Stage.
LE BOURGET, France — It appears that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), whose Falcon 9 rocket’s book-to-bill ratio is taking on astonishing proportions, will be launching all three of Germany’s next-generation radar reconnaissance satellites under an agreement that makes use of long-dormant options held by Astrium of Europe for the now-shelved Falcon 1 rocket, industry officials said.
Officials said Astrium’s Falcon 1 launch contract options, agreed to in 2010, were transferred to Falcon 9 and that these will be used to launch the three SARah radar reconnaissance satellites to be built by OHB AG and Astrium Satellites of Germany under contract to the German defense procurement agency.
In conjunction with the memorial service and tree dedication at NASA's Johnson Space Center on June 20, 2013, the center created this video honoring the legacy of Neil Armstrong. The video takes a look at the accidental legend that Armstrong became, and the history-making flight that he took with his colleagues Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins.
The joke about home renovation projects is it takes at least three trips to the hardware store to finish the work. In space, of course, spare parts are a lot harder to come by, meaning astronauts might have to wait for a spacecraft shipment, if, say, the toilet breaks.
Some spare parts could be manufactured in space as early as next year, though, providing a 3-D printer passes all the preliminary steps. It recently got a big boost in that direction after passing its microgravity tests successfully, but there are still environmental tests to come, said the company that was behind the work.
As president and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for the company's day-to-day operations, as well as managing all customer and strategic relations needed to support company growth. She joined SpaceX in 2002 as vice president of business development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to more than 50 launches, representing over $5 billion in revenue. Previously, she worked at the Aerospace Corporation and at Microcosm's Space Systems Division.
Shotwell has authored dozens of papers on a variety of subjects, including standardizing spacecraft/payload interfaces, conceptual small spacecraft design, infrared signature target modeling, space shuttle integration, and reentry vehicle operational risks. In recognition of her work, she received the 2011 World Technology Award for Individual Achievement in Space and was inducted into Women In Technology International Hall of Fame in 2012. Earlier this year, she was elected as a Fellow to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
The House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) will meet tomorrow to markup the draft FY2014 Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) appropriations bill. As drafted, the bill would reduce AST from its requested level of $16.01 million to $14.16 million.
LE BOURGET, France — Franco-Italian satellite builder Thales Alenia Space has selected a Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Falcon 9 rocket to launch Turkmenistan’s first telecommunications satellite after being blocked by U.S. export rules from shipping the satellite to China for launch, European officials said.
The decision, which was expected, signals at least the temporary end of what has become known as Thales Alenia Space’s “ITAR-free” communications satellite design, which has been used in the past decade to launch about a half-dozen Thales-built satellites and satellite electronics payloads aboard Chinese Long March rockets. This hardware was touted as devoid of U.S. components and thus beyond the reach of U.S. export policy, which bars the shipment of U.S. space technology to China.
Swiss Space Systems -- S3, the young Swiss aerospace company, was officially launched on 13 March this year. Its goal is to develop, manufacture, certify and operate unmanned suborbital shuttles to launch small satellites up to 250 kg by 2018. With the development phase well under way, the firm is announcing today a new partnership - with Thales Alenia Space, a leading developer and manufacturer of pressurised modules, notably for the international space station. These partnerships will enable 3S to move ahead with the plan to launch small satellites and enter the next stage of developing a manned version of its suborbital shuttle. The latter will enable the company to offer a very high speed mode of passenger transportation.
Le Bourget, 17 June 2013 – Today, at the International Aeronautics and Space Show in Le Bourget (Paris), Thales Alenia Space announces the signing of the agreement with Swiss Space System (S3) for the development of the pressurized compartment intended to house scientific experiments and astronauts of the SOAR (Sub-Orbital Aircraft Reusable) suborbital vehicle.
Swiss Space Systems is a young Swiss aerospace company whose goal, from now until 2018, is the development, construction, certification and operation of suborbital spacecraft for launching small satellites up to a weight of 250 kg.
This agreement will allow S3 to further develop the project, also proposing research applications in the areas of microgravity and suborbital passenger transportation. The S3 project also takes advantage of the prestigious collaboration of ESA’s Astronaut Center and of other important aerospace industries
On Friday Copenhagen Suborbitals gave this update on preparations for the launch on Sunday 11AM CEST (5 am ET, 9 am GMT) of their Sapphire actively guided rocket:
"T minus 2 days and we are still go for launch.
"Today mission control Vessel Vostok and crew arrived in Space Port Nexø carrying the Sapphire rocket and the last materials and supplies. Tomorrow Saturday 24th launch preparations will continue. The rocket will be stacked and fueled and we will go through the entire checkout sequence for all systems. Hopefully everything will work according to plan. If so flight director Kristian Von Bengtson will give the final “GO” and we will head out to the launch area early sunday morning."
On May 21, 2004, I stood on the flight line here in Mojave with thousands of spectators and watched history being made.
Two radical looking vehicles rolled down the runway on that bright morning and soared off into the clear blue sky. An hour later, SpaceShipOne dropped from its mothership, and Mike Melvill ignited the tiny spacecraft’s hybrid engine and rocketed to an altitude of 328,491 feet – just above the Karmen line that marks the boundary of space. Melvill had become the world’s first private astronaut.
"I do want to make something clear: SpaceX does have a lot of government business, but we execute in a commercial fashion. When SpaceX developed the Falcon 9 launcher, we spent about $400 million. NASA did a cost study that showed if the government had built that system, it would have cost $4 billion. The space industry is rife with disconcerting facts for our taxpayers."
"SpaceX completed first-stage development testing on June 19 with a test fire. This test achieved all verifications needed following earlier stage testing, and with this test we have achieved the equivalent of nearly two full mission duty cycles on the integrated stage. We are now moving into the stage acceptance tests and final preparations for flight."
HOUSTON (NanoRacks PR) –XO Markets Holdings Inc., the parent company of NanoRacks LLC and the leading commercial provider of open-source goods and services for low-earth orbit and beyond, announces the completion of a $2.6 million Series A financing.
The round was led by E-Merge, a Brussels, Belgium-based venture capital fund and included investors from California, Texas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Nebraska, New York, and DC as well as from Canada.
“We are very confident that NanoRacks is opening the door to a new era of utilization of both the International Space Station and space in general. Whether for their unique ability to deploy small satellites from the space station or for their lowering of operational costs for all users, it is no wonder that everyone from Virgin Galactic to NASA, from Planetary Resources to NanoSatisfi is using NanoRacks’ expertise,” said Laurent Drion, co-founder of E-Merge.
PARIS — A startup Swiss spaceflight company is planning to upgrade its proposed private satellite launch system into a manned suborbital space shuttle for science missions, the company announced Monday (June 17).
The company Swiss Space Systems (S3) has no immediate plans to enter the space tourism market, but does see a market for low-cost microgravity research flights that may be more attractive to researchers than launching experiments on satellites or to the International Space Station, the company's founder and CEO Pascal Jaussi said.
The first 3D printer bound for space passed a series of critical microgravity tests at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Made in Space, the space manufacturing company, conducted examinations of their proprietary 3D printer technology during four microgravity flights lasting two hours each, simulating conditions found on the ISS.
The printer, as part of the 3D Print Experiment in coordination with NASA, is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014.
"Humanity's future ultimately depends on our ability to explore and occupy space. The 3D printing technologies developed and tested during our Zero-G flights are a cornerstone to building that future. We reached a milestone in our goal to lay that cornerstone with the success of these prototype tests," said Mike Snyder, P.I. on the 3D Print Experiment and Lead Design Engineer.
LONDON (VIRGIN GALACTIC PR) – Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and Virgin Galactic, announced Monday, June 17, that the company’s 600th Future Astronaut is Marsha Waters, the owner of an accounting services company based in Blackpool, United Kingdom. Waters, 42, embodies the next generation of women in space: private individuals who are passionate about experiencing space travel for themselves.
Waters first took an interest in Virgin Galactic in 2010 and has been following its progress ever since.
Commercial operations at an asteroid? Asteroid prospecting and eventually mining? Trillionaires in space? Is this all new?
Fifteen years ago this week, plans for the first serious effort targeting commercial mission operations at a near Earth asteroid came to a head at a comprehensive, three-day peer-review meeting held at a beachside hotel in Southern California.
Now that such mission concepts are in the news again—involving multiple companies—the genesis, heritage and insights from this first attempt are worth a retrospective look.
Jeff Feige, CEO of the spacesuit company, Orbital Outfitters talks with Moonandback about the company, its flagship product, how the suit is a safety subsystem that requires extensive integration with safety and other systems in a vehicle, and the emergence of the NewSpace industry from the economic downturn and its effect on Orbital Outfitters.
With the development phase well under way, Swiss Space Systems is announcing today a new partnership - with Thales Alenia Space, a leading developer and manufacturer of pressurised modules, notably for the international space station. These partnerships will enable S3 to move ahead with the plan to launch small satellites and enter the next stage of developing a manned version of its suborbital shuttle. The latter will enable the company to offer a very high speed mode of passenger transportation.
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