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The NewSpace Daily
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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Mission control: Front Range Airport

Mission control:  Front Range Airport | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

AURORA | A spaceship that would transport earthlings from Aurora to Australia in about two hours. A flight from New York to Paris that’s less than 60 minutes. It’s not part of the subplot from a science fiction novel. It’s an idea that Front Range Airport officials in Adams County are striving to make a reality.

 

Aurora’s lawmakers and community leaders are also hoping that Front Range Airport will score the necessary federal and state approvals needed to launch space tourism and commercial space travel.

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Taking America To New Heights

NASA's Commercial Crew Program is taking America to new heights with its Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) partners.

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Company Plans Suborbital Launches Using MiG Fighter | Parabolic Arc

Company Plans Suborbital Launches Using MiG Fighter | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Premier Space Systems is developing a system that uses Soviet-era MiG-21UM aircraft to air launch payloads weighing up to 45 kg (99 pounds). The company is developing 10-inch and 22-inch LOX-parafin hybrid rockets, which are being tested in Butte, Montana.

 

Premier has completed three captive carry flights. An additional six captive carry tests are planned by the end of June, according to the company’s website.

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What is it about the North West that makes the rich yearn for outer space?

What is it about our super rich tech guys and local culture that makes them want to send people into outer space?

 

Yesterday, the space venture backed by Jeff Bezos (of Amazon fame) announced it was ready to conduct a “pad-abort test” in the summer of 2012, according to Flightglobal. The test is a crucial milestone in qualifying the company's New Shepard vehicle for human spaceflight.

 

In December, Paul Allen (of Microsoft fame) announced he was bankrolling a dramatic new space-craft, which aims to launch satellites later this decade, and maybe people, too. The project uses an airplane made from two rebuilt Boeing 747’s.

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Pittsburgh startup's moon mission now includes mining | Pittsburgh Business Times

The to-do list from NASA continues to grow for Astrobotic Technology with the space agency awarding an additional $100,000 and one more task to the Pittsburgh company’s contract.

 

To date Astrobotic, which aims to have the first privately developed mission to the moon, has $610,000 of funding under contract from NASA to perform various tasks for the agency. This NASA contract is doled out in pieces but in the end Astrobotic expects this funding would account for about $10 million.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Garver to Give NewSpace 2012 Keynote

NASA Deputy Administrator Garver to Give NewSpace 2012 Keynote | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver has graciously accepted an invitation to give a keynote address at the NewSpace 2012 Conference. Her speech at NewSpace 2011 was a conference highlight and all involved are excited to hear what Deputy Administrator Garver and many others have to share this year. NewSpace 2012 will be held on July 26-28 at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. Conference details registration are now available at newspace.spacefrontier.org.

 

Deputy Administrator Garver has long been a supporter of partnership between the governmental and commercial space sectors. Her speech at NewSpace 2012 will surely bring to light new aspects of partnering with NASA and the future of the space industry.

 

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Guest Blog: Jason Davis: NASA collects round three of CCDev proposals | The Planetary Society

Guest Blog: Jason Davis: NASA collects round three of CCDev proposals | The Planetary Society | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

If you're familiar with NASA's Commercial Crew program, you've probably heard of COTS and CCDev. Get ready to welcome a new acronym to the private spaceflight party: CCiCap. However, pretty much the only thing that's new about the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative is its name; you can just think of it as CCDev phase three.

 

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Astrobotic Technology Inc. wins NASA task order for Moon expedition data | SpaceRef

Astrobotic Technology Inc. wins NASA task order for Moon expedition data | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA has awarded Astrobotic Technology Inc. an additional task in its $10 million Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) contract under which NASA buys information about the company's commercial robotic expeditions to the Moon. The $100,000 task order brings total funding under the ILDD contract thus far to $610,000.

 

Astrobotic Technology will launch its first expedition on a Falcon 9 rocket under contract from Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). In summer 2015, it will deliver a robot to the Moon's south pole to prospect for water, methane and other minerals. Turned into rocket propellant, these resources will dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration by providing an off-planet refueling station.

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Our Future in Space: Reasons to Be Optimistic | Discovery News

Our Future in Space: Reasons to Be Optimistic | Discovery News | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Without a successor to the space shuttle or a clear roadmap for manned spaceflight, what will our scientific future look like?

 

That's the question that famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explores in an article titled "A Case for Space" in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs hitting newsstands today.

 

Although a lack of a coherent roadmap for the future of manned spaceflight is the end result of a space program in jeopardy, Tyson zeroes in on politics and a lack of resources for NASA as the cause for space agency's current predicament. How NASA can get itself back on track is the subject of Tyson's book, "Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier."

 

NASA is undeniably facing tough challenges with regard to the future of manned spaceflight. The space agency doesn't have anywhere to send its astronauts or any means of getting there. But there are still reasons to be optimistic about our future in space.

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Neil Armstrong, 1st Person on Moon, Touts Suborbital Spaceflight

Neil Armstrong, 1st Person on Moon, Touts Suborbital Spaceflight | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon, thinks humanity should stop neglecting the space environment much closer to Earth.

 

The United States dropped most of its test flights in the stratosphere and suborbital space after figuring out how to send humans to low-Earth orbit and the moon, said Armstrong, who stepped onto the lunar surface during NASA's Apollo 11 mission in July 1969. He thinks it's time for that to change.

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Spaceport Chief Seeks Help to Keep Industry in California | SpaceRef

Spaceport Chief Seeks Help to Keep Industry in California | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PALO ALTO, California (February 27, 2012) The man who manages the nation's first commercial spaceport called on state lawmakers Monday to help him keep the emerging commercial space industry in California.

 

Stuart Witt, CEO of the East Kern Airport District, which manages the Mojave Air and Space Port, said immediate action is needed to battle efforts by governors in several states to lure the new industry to their states.

 

Speaking at the NextGen Suborbital Research Conference in Palo Alto on Monday, Witt warned that "Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, and other states, with the support of their Governors, legislators and business communities, are visiting aerospace businesses at the Mojave Air and Space Port in an effort to recruit them and their highly-skilled jobs to their states."

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Aerospace leader expresses concern over potential loss of industry

Aerospace leader expresses concern over potential loss of industry | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

California is at risk of losing aerospace companies to other states if it doesn’t become more business-friendly, according to Stuart Witt, general manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port.

 

Speaking at NextGen Suborbital Research Conference, a commercial space conference in Palo Alto, Witt said that California politicians need to do more so other states don’t lure the emerging commercial space industry away from the Southland.

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Virgin Galactic aims to test fly ship in space this year

Virgin Galactic aims to test fly ship in space this year | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - Virgin Galactic, an offshoot of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, expects to test fly its first spacecraft beyond the Earth's atmosphere this year, with commercial suborbital passenger service to follow in 2013 or 2014, company officials said on Monday.

 

Nearly 500 customers have signed up for rides on SpaceShipTwo, a six-passenger, two-pilot spaceship being built and tested by Scaled Composites, an aerospace company founded by aircraft designer Burt Rutan and now owned by Northrop Grumman.

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White Label Space: Lunar Rover Competition

White Label Space: Lunar Rover Competition | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

We've now launched our competition where the winner will get to take remote control of the White Label Space Lunar Rover and use it to explore the moon! To enter this competition check out our facebook page and be sure to "Like" us!

 

The prize of the competition is the chance to control the Lunar Rover but the length of time you get at the wheel is up to you! The competition is free to enter and you can win 5 minutes drive time for free.

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NSRC 2012 Wrap-up | Parabolic Arc

NSRC 2012 Wrap-up | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"We’re moving from an era of limited access to space using very expensive vehicles (Atlas V, space shuttle) to almost unlimited access with much more affordable systems. Multple companies will be providing regular access to space using different technological approaches that will give the system true redundancy. And the only real limitation is the number of payloads people want to fly."

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Stratolaunch nears conclusion of systems design review

Stratolaunch is to complete the systems design review (SDR) of its new launch system "in the next couple of months".

 

That is the timeframe set out by Jim Halsell, director of Stratolaunch systems at Dynetics, which has been contracted to design the technical integration and to mate and demate procedures and systems.

 

"We are on the cusp of doing the systems design review, and we're moving toward a preliminary design review [PDR]," said Halsell. "Between those two, the SDR and the PDR, we will lock down the details of the technical approach, the outer mold lines of all the systems. It's the grunt early work of designing a complex system."

 

Major system trades and exact specifications, including information crucial to operation such as maximum gross take-off weight and required runway length, will not be finalised until the PDR.

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Seamless NanoRacks Coming To SpaceShipTwo | AVIATION WEEK

Seamless NanoRacks Coming To SpaceShipTwo | AVIATION WEEK | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Palo Alto, Calif. – Virgin Galactic will be able to offer the potential of a “seamless” transition for scientists doing long-term microgravity experiments on the International Space Station and short-term suborbital flights aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo under an agreement with NanoRacks.

 

The accord, outlined Feb. 27 at the 2012 Next Generation Research Conference here, will offer researchers the option to have a researcher fly with their experiment or for it to be fully automated, says Virgin Galactic Vice President William Pomerantz, head of special projects.

 

The racks will share the same size and interface characteristics as Mid-Deck racks on the space station to ease planning requirements for researchers.

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Russia to Launch First International Suborbital Business Incubator in the World | SpaceRef

Russia to Launch First International Suborbital Business Incubator in the World | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Skolkovo Foundation and the International Space Transport Association plan to jointly develop the first international knowledge center for commercial suborbital spaceflight

 

The Center is to be part of Moscow's Science & Technology Park and will host three business units: (Eco) Tech, Mini Satellites & Telecommunications and Suborbital Space Flights. The Skolkovo Foundation, with President Dmitry Medvedev as Head of the Board of Trustees offers a wide range of financial support possibilities for international businesses to flourish. Its set up follows a phased implementation process and will be developed in close cooperation with the International Space Transport Association.

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Experts: Commercial Space Day Has Not Come | AVIATION WEEK

Experts: Commercial Space Day Has Not Come | AVIATION WEEK | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

What will it take to get commercial human spaceflight off the ground? When will it be available and attractive to “the 99%” the Wall Street Occupiers say they represent as well as for the superrich “1%”? A group of academics and “New Space” entrepreneurs say the answers are complicated, but that it won’t hurt to have a space traveler with the common touch and a way with words.

 

That’s the role Anne Morrow Lindbergh played when commercial aviation was young, says Zoe Szajnfarber, an engineering-management and systems engineering professor at George Washington University. In the 1930s, Lindbergh barnstormed the country and the world with her famous husband Charles, meeting aviation enthusiasts personally and writing best-sellers about her adventures in the sky for a wider audience.

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Xcor Lynx fuselage delivered

Xcor Lynx fuselage delivered | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Xcor has announced delivery of the first flight-capable fuselage of its Lynx horizontal-takeoff suborbital spacecraft. The fuselage's delivery to the factory, a major milestone in construction of the first vehicle, took place on 17 February.

 

"Currently we are going over the fuselage and checking everything, all the dimensions, and also starting to make adaptors and things," said Xcor. "The next major thing that's going to happen is the engine truss will be mounted to the fuselage."

 

The engine truss, which will hold all the XR-5K18 liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket motor and its components, is nearing completion, and is scheduled for integration with the fuselage by April.

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Blue Origin to conduct pad-abort test for New Shepard

Blue Origin to conduct pad-abort test for New Shepard | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Blue Origin plans to conduct a pad-abort test in the summer of 2012, a crucial milestone in qualifying the company's New Shepard vehicle for human spaceflight.

 

Blue Origin, the low-profile rocket company founded by internet entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, was one of four companies to receive awards under the second round of NASA's commercial crew development programme (CCDev).

 

"We are getting ready to do a pad escape test with the pusher escape motor under the CCDev II programme," said Brett Alexander, Blue Origin's director of business development. "We'll do the test in the summer sometime. This is the 1.1 version if you will, the 2.0 version will take people into space."

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FAA Should Play Role in Regulating Commercial Spaceflight | SpaceNews.com

Now that the commercial spaceflight industry has been granted a temporary extension of its grace period on regulation by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it should consider how it will establish the crucial standards that will guide it in the coming years — especially in relation to human spaceflight.

 

The industry has a golden opportunity to embrace the FAA and strengthen its dialogue on future oversight policy and safety standards. This increased dialogue can help shape a regulatory regime that must ultimately get into place if there is going to be a viable commercial space industry in the United States that truly supports safety.

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Mojave Air and Space Port 2011

 Mojave Air and Space Port, 1434 Flightline St. Mojave, California 93501 (661) 824 2433 mojaveairport.com

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California legislators asked to support state’s space industry | Space Politics

For the last several years there has been a flurry of activity at the state level in the form of legislation and other initiatives to support commercial space ventures: tax policies, liability indemnification, support for spaceport projects, and so on. This year, for example, the Florida legislature is working on legislation to support spaceport efforts at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, the Colorado legislature is taking up a liability indemnification bill, and the New Mexico legislature considered, but did not pass, an update to its own liability indemnification statute. California, though, has largely been on the sidelines while these and other states have worked on legislation to attract space businesses.

 

Stu Witt wants to change that. Witt runs the Mojave Air And Space Port, an FAA-licensed spaceport that is the home to a number of entrepreneurial space companies. Witt is concerned that other states that offer various legislative incentives will lure those companies out of the state, to the detriment of not only his spaceport but the state in general.

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NASA Scientist Wins Free Space Trip on Rocket Plane

NASA Scientist Wins Free Space Trip on Rocket Plane | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PALO ALTO, Calif. — A NASA scientist has won a free flight to suborbital space, but he may not be able to claim the prize.

 

Thomas Goodwin, a physiology and bioengineering researcher at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, won a suborbital flight on XCOR Aerospace's Lynx vehicle, a $95,000 value. Goodwin's name was randomly selected here Monday (Feb. 27) at the 2012 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC-2012).

 

"I'm not sure I can accept this," Goodwin said, referencing his status as a government employee, which may prevent him from using the prize. "I'm very surprised."

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