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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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Airport could begin space operations by late 2013

The Front Range Airport could be one step closer to achieving national recognition and one giant leap away from becoming a leader in the budding spaceflight industry.

 

During its June 13 meeting, the Front Range Airport Authority approved a broad set of resolutions that may set the stage for future development on the 3,900-acre site in Watkins, which has been marketed as Spaceport Colorado.

 

“From what I see going forward, I think it’s going to positively in a direct or indirect way affect every family in Colorado,” Dennis Heap, executive director of Front Range Airport, said. “If we really do a good job of standing up the aerospace economy and creating those jobs ... everybody is going to be touched by it.”

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Exclusive SpaceShipTwo Photos | Parabolic Arc

Exclusive SpaceShipTwo Photos | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A couple of photos of WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo during and after the latter’s 17th glide flight on June 26 at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

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Interview with Art Dula, part 4 - Preparing to Fly | Moonandback

Interview with Art Dula, part 4 - Preparing to Fly | Moonandback | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Excalibur Almaz CEO Art Dula talks with Moonandback about the subjects of spacecraft refurbishment, launch dates, investors and customers.

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Interview with Art Dula, part 2 - The Almaz Capsule | Moonandback

Interview with Art Dula, part 2 - The Almaz Capsule | Moonandback | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Art Dula, Chairman of Excalibur Almaz, talks with MM about the Almaz capsule and the many configurations and specifications in which the craft will fly.

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Suborbital Spacecraft for Astronaut Training

Suborbital Spacecraft for Astronaut Training | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA has recognized the potential value of suborbital spacecraft for astronaut training. In 2008, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin said, “We could use commercial suborbital human transportation for early training and qualification of astronauts. If I could buy a seat to suborbital flight for a few hundred thousand dollars, why wouldn’t we have all of our new astros make their first flight in such a manner?” NASA never followed through on proposed studies of such training, however, perhaps because of budget overruns in other areas.

 

Commercial space companies are interested, however. XCOR Aerospace and Excalibur Almaz recently signed a memorandum of understanding that would open the door for XCOR to provide training for Excalibur Almaz astronauts using the Lynx spacecraft. If the idea catches on, suborbital spaceflight may become a standard part of the training toolkit for all future astronauts.

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Exhibit A for ITAR Reform

Exhibit A for ITAR Reform | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Canada will own the largest producer of commercial communications satellites in the world. The real question about why did Loral make this move? The answer is obvious:

 

ITAR – The International Trafficking of Arms Regulations.

 

ITAR is a classic example of the law of unintended consequences and good intentions. ITAR was supposed to stop the unauthorized transfer of technology to nations unfriendly to the United States. Sadly, ITAR has failed to stop that technology flow to countries like China and is destroying the free market system here in America and globally as well.

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SpaceShipTwo returns to flight

SpaceShipTwo returns to flight | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceShipTwo has returned to flight, having successfully completed a 26 June glide test. The Scaled Composites-built suborbital spacecraft has been grounded for several months for inspections and modifications. The previous flight was 29 September, 2011, when the spacecraft suffered a tail stall, from which the crew recovered and landed without incident.

 

"It was the first time that we have flown in several months," says Virgin Galactic. "I think the main thing was to get it up and flying again."

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NHC Congressional Briefing: Commercialization of Space Travel

On June 15, 2012 at the Rayburn House Office Building, the National History Center presented this congressional briefing to discuss the history of commercialism in space exploration, and its possible future. With Roger D. Launius, senior curator, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; Matthew H. Hersch, lecturer in Science, Technology and Society at the University of Pennsylvania; Joseph N.Tatarewicz, associate professor of history and director of the Human Context of Science and Technology Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Alexander C.MacDonald, program executive, Emerging Commercial Space Office, NASA Ames Research Center.

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Virgin Galactic to Launch New Cargo Plan, Spaceship Design

Virgin Galactic to Launch New Cargo Plan, Spaceship Design | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A new initiative could be on the horizon for suborbital spaceship company Virgin Galactic, founded by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

 

Branson is expected to announce Virgin Galactic Cargo, a renewed effort to launch small satellites commercially, and reveal design changes to his tourism spacecraft SpaceShipTwo (SS2) at the U.K.'s Farnborough International Airshow next month.

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Thruster Tests Complete for NASA Partner Boeing's Crew Capsule | SpaceRef

Thruster Tests Complete for NASA Partner Boeing's Crew Capsule | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne has successfully completed a series of tests on a thruster destined for Boeing's Commercial Space Transportation spacecraft, designated CST-100.

 

Boeing is one of several companies working to develop crew transportation capabilities under the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The goal of the program is to help spur innovation and development of safe, reliable and cost-effective spacecraft and launch vehicles capable of transporting astronauts to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

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Comment: Space X Merlin 1D is not quite the "most efficient" rocket engine ever - Hyperbola

On the successful firing of its Merlin 1D engine, Space Exploration Technologies, with more than a note of self congratulation, states that the "enhanced design makes the Merlin 1D the most efficient booster engine ever built" further noting that it has "a vacuum thrust-to-weight ratio exceeding 150".

 

True - it has the best ever thrust-to-weight ratio, taking this record from the Russian NK-33 (now made under the US designation AJ-26). However, for most rocket engineering cognoscenti, it is specific Impulse, the momentum change per kg of propellants used, that is the true measure of rocket efficiency.

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Douglas... we have a problem: Isle of Man joins in Britain's space race

Douglas... we have a problem: Isle of Man joins in Britain's space race | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Britain is renowned for its contribution to space exploration in the same way France is for cricket.

 

Think of the British space programme and men in anoraks firing off homemade rockets on a moor somewhere springs to mind.

 

Yet away from the limelight, a flourishing space industry has been quietly building up at a remarkable rate, partly as a result of our early fondness for satellite television.

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Breaking News | Modified Merlin engine completes full duration firing | Spaceflight Now

An upgraded Merlin engine designed to boost the lift capacity of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has completed a full mission duration test firing in Texas, the company announced Monday.

 

The Merlin 1D engine completed 185-second firing with 147,000 pounds of thrust, SpaceX announced.

 

Future Falcon 9 rockets will be powered by nine Merlin 1D first stage engines. SpaceX calls the evolved booster the Falcon 9 v1.1.

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Moon 2.0: the second generation of lunar exploration | (Wired UK)

Moon 2.0: the second generation of lunar exploration | (Wired UK) | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"Nasa is going to be a strong a leader in Moon 2.0, just as it was in the famous Moon race of the 1960s. But this time, Nasa will show leadership by partnering with international partners and especially with commercial enterprises, in addition to conducting its own missions," commented William Pomerantz, the Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X Prize Foundation.

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SpaceShipTwo glides again as Virgin plans a Farnborough announcement | NewSpace Journal

SpaceShipTwo glides again as Virgin plans a Farnborough announcement | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

For the first time since late September, SpaceShipTwo performed a glide flight on Tuesday. Parabolic Arc, citing a report in the Antelope Valley Press (hidden behind a paywall), reported that SpaceShipTwo made a glide flight Tuesday above Mojave Air and Space Port. (The test flight has not, as of early Thursday morning, appeared on Scaled Composites’s flight logs for the vehicle.) The last glide flight for SpaceShipTwo was in late September, when it went into a stall shortly after release from WhiteKnightTwo. The resumption of glide flights was expected after a series of WK2 flights and a captive carry flight with SpaceShipTwo earlier this month.

 

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Interview with Art Dula, part 3 - Cislunar Space Travel | Moonandback

Interview with Art Dula, part 3 - Cislunar Space Travel | Moonandback | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Art Dula discusses the Excalibur Almaz business plan taking tourists and explorers to trips around the moon.

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Interview with Art Dula, part 1 - Excalibur Almaz | Moonandback

Interview with Art Dula, part 1 - Excalibur Almaz | Moonandback | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

At the National Space Society’s recent International Space Development Conference in Washington, D.C., Art Dula, Chairman of Excalibur Almaz, talks about the genesis of Excalibur Almaz and shares details about the spacecraft they will fly.

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Additive Manufacturing could lead to manufacturing in space

Additive Manufacturing could lead to manufacturing in space | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

DENVER, Colorado – Star Trek fans will remember the "replicator," a futuristic device that supposedly has the ability to recycle waste material into useful objects based on rearranging atomic particles into new products.

 

Research into additive manufacturing by NASA, while not exactly replicating the replicator, may be considered a step in that direction by allowing manufacture in space of customized spacecraft components directly from CAD drawings.

 

Also known as Rapid Prototyping, additive manufacturing eliminates tooling such as molds and dies, allowing for fabrication from computer drawings in a "build up" type of process.

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Elon Musk's Incredible Month

Elon Musk's Incredible Month | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

All of Musk’s projects seem insane and courageous in equal parts. No doubt the man has had one of the greatest months of any entrepreneur in a long, long while. His SpaceX team did what it promised by delivering cargo to the International Space Station, and now Tesla’s workers have pumped out an electric car that looks good enough for consumers to lust over.

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MORE FLYING ROBOTS: MEET YOUR CREATOR - QUADROTOR SHOW

A troupe of 16 quadrotors (flying robots) dance to and manipulate sound and light at the Saacthi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase 2012.

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Virgin Galactic to launch smallsats from WhiteKnightTwo

Virgin Galactic to launch smallsats from WhiteKnightTwo | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic has announced reinvigorated plans to launch small satellites into orbit using its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, a unique Scaled Composites-built aircraft designed to ferry SpaceShipTwo to suitable altitude before launch into suborbital space.

 

The smallsat launch system is reportedly a refinement of the LauncherOne concept, a programme canceled in 2010. The LauncherOne system entailed using SpaceShipTwo to lift a disposable, air-launched rocket to 40,000ft and launch satellites of up to 200kg (440lb) into low Earth orbit.

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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Completes CCDev-2 Hot-Fire Testing on Thruster for NASA's Commercial Crew Program

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Successfully Completes CCDev-2 Hot-Fire Testing on Thruster for NASA's Commercial Crew Program | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

CANOGA PARK, Calif., June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a United Technologies Corp. company, successfully completed a series of hot-fire tests on a service module thruster for Boeing's Commercial Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft. The CST-100 spacecraft, designed to transport people to the International Space Station and other low-Earth orbit destinations, is in development under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

 

The Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control System (OMAC) thruster is a key component for safe, reliable and affordable commercial crew transportation. It is designed for multiple uses, including maneuvering the CST-100 spacecraft during orbit and re-entry, and providing axial thrust, roll control and separation from the launch vehicle if an abort becomes necessary.

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Daily Maverick - Space, the mining frontier

Daily Maverick - Space, the mining frontier | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Peter Diamandis has a serendipitous name for mining, but unlike Patrice Motsepe, Diamandis doesn’t have his sights set on earthbound excavation. He wants to scour the solar system for Near-Earth Asteroids, from which he plans to extract rare resources. His idea is to mine asteroids for commodities that range from water to precious metals.

 

Diamandis is what you’d call a polymath. He studied molecular genetics and aerospace engineering at MIT before going to Harvard Medical School and becoming a medical doctor. During his first year at MIT he founded 15 companies, most of them focused on his personal slogan, which is “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!”

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SpaceX joy at Merlin 1D test – Orbital fire up their AJ-26 engine | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX joy at Merlin 1D test – Orbital fire up their AJ-26 engine | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two loud rumbles in the south of the United States marked two milestones for the country’s drive to regain its space flight independence, as SpaceX and Orbital both fired their new engines. SpaceX’s Merlin 1D rumbled for a full mission duration firing, while Orbital’s AJ-26 continued its testing ahead of its debut on their Antares launch vehicle.

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