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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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Sierra Nevada On Track For Restart Of Lifting Body Flight Tests | Aviation Week

Sierra Nevada On Track For Restart Of Lifting Body Flight Tests | Aviation Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SAN DIEGO – Sierra Nevada Space Systems is readying the refurbished engineering test article (ETA) version of its Dream Chaser lifting body vehicle for a new series of flight tests this fall and says assembly of the first space-capable version of the vehicle is on track for an orbital test flight in November 2016.


The company, which is competing with the Dream Chaser against capsule designs from Boeing and SpaceX for a contract to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, is more than 90% through the qualification program.

"We see our vehicle as more of an SUV for servicing of the ISS as well as to make low Earth orbit accessible for all of us," says Sierra Nevada Space Systems President Mark Sirangelo.

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NASA Is Building a Tiny Mothership to Explore Distant Lunar Oceans

NASA Is Building a Tiny Mothership to Explore Distant Lunar Oceans | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Suppose you’re a planetary scientist. You operate an unmanned spacecraft, surveying a distant moon in our solar system. Years of funding, engineering work, and long-distance space travel have all come together, and at last this machine—to which you have devoted so much of your life—is in place. And it’s just made an incredible discovery.


Maybe it’s a new kind of crater. Or an odd, unexpected mineral. Or the holy grail: liquid water.


It’s thrilling news—years of your career, vindicated! Now you have to wait. And lobby. And hope for the funding to come through. And wait for the next craft to get there...

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Vloasis's curator insight, August 8, 6:19 AM

Very cool.

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SpaceX Sets November, January Dates for Launch Abort Tests of Crew-capable Dragon | SpaceNews.com

SpaceX Sets November, January Dates for Launch Abort Tests of Crew-capable Dragon | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SAN DIEGO — Space Exploration Technologies Corp. will perform a pair of crucial launch abort tests beginning later this year for the crewed version of the Dragon space capsule central to the company’s bid to become NASA’s post-shuttle provider of astronaut transportation.


The Hawthorne, California-based company plans to conduct a pad abort test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in November, followed by an in-flight abort test from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in January, Garrett Reisman, SpaceX Dragon Rider program manager, said here Aug. 6 at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space 2014 conference.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes CST-100 Work for Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Contract | Aerojet Rocketdyne

Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes CST-100 Work for Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Contract | Aerojet Rocketdyne | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, completed its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) commitment in support of Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft that will help open a new era of spaceflight and carry people to low-Earth orbit from American soil once again.


A CST-100 partner and team member since 2010, Aerojet Rocketdyne's CCiCap work continued the development of the service module and launch abort propulsion system from prior commercial crew contracts with Boeing.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, August 7, 6:51 PM

Moving Boeing's commercial crew contract closer to completion, Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed the work assigned to them as a subcontractor.

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Who Will Have The First Commercial Spaceport in Texas? Midland or Brownsville? | Permian Basin 360

Who Will Have The First Commercial Spaceport in Texas? Midland or Brownsville? | Permian Basin 360 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

MIDLAND, TX -- It could be an international first in West Texas. The Midland International Airport looks to become the first commercial international spaceport, but now it could be in jeopardy. That unprecedented takeoff could make an early departure, as SpaceX announces plans to build a launch site elsewhere in the state, much like XCOR in Midland.

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SpaceX’s busy week | NewSpace Journal

SpaceX’s busy week | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Early Tuesday morning, SpaceX performed the latest launch of its Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, placing the AsiaSat 8 satellite into orbit. While the launch was originally scheduled for 1:25 am EDT (0525 GMT), a problem with the vehicle’s first stage—never explained in detail by SpaceX—pushed the launch back towards the end of an unusually long launch window. The problem was resolved, though, and the Falcon 9 lifted off at 4:00 am EDT (0800 GMT), releasing the AsiaSat 8 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.


That launch took place less than a day after SpaceX confirmed that it would eventually shift commercial launches like this one from Texas.

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Cubesats Headed For The Moon | Aviation Week

Cubesats Headed For The Moon | Aviation Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

LOGAN, Utah – Tiny cubesats, once a teaching tool to give engineering students hands-on experience developing simple spacecraft, are about to make the leap to serious science as a low-cost way to find and quantify deposits of water ice on the Moon for future human explorers to use.


Two presentations at a technical workshop held in association with the SmallSat 2014 conference here indicate that students, their professors and their industry suppliers have pushed cubesat capabilities beyond simple low Earth orbit exercises with little more capability than the first Sputnik. Both addressed what it would take to send cubesats to the Moon, and both are working to realize that goal.

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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 6, 1:18 PM

An interesting story from "aviationweek.com" about the evolution of Cubesats into a "serious" science tool capable of finding water ice on the moon--something future human explorers would need if a permanent moon base is establishe.  The idea came from two presentations at the recent SmallSat 2014 conference where students, professors, and industry suppliers outlined how the Cubesats could be used in low-cost lunar missions.  Coupled with the expansion of private launch companies such as SpaceX, Cubesat lunar missions could be launched at a modest cost.  'Sounds like a great idea.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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CubeSats to the Moon | The Space Review

CubeSats to the Moon | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

As CubeSats become widely used for various applications in Earth orbit, some are thinking about how such small spacecraft can be used for missions beyond Earth. Jeff Foust reports on recent proposals to send CubeSat missions to—and, in some cases, into—the Moon.

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SpaceBooth's curator insight, August 6, 10:44 PM

Very interesting and definitely something to keep an eye on!

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The ExoLance project and the search for life on Mars | The Space Review

The ExoLance project and the search for life on Mars | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Last week, Explore Mars formally kicked off a crowdfunding effort for the first phase of ExoLance, a project to develop penetrators that could fly to Mars as part of other missions. Joe Cassady explains why ExoLance could revolutionize the search for life on Mars.

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NASA Announces Next Opportunity for CubeSat Space Missions

NASA is opening the next round of its CubeSat Launch Initiative, part of the White House Maker Initiative, in an effort to engage the growing community of space enthusiasts that can contribute to NASA's space exploration goals.


The CubeSat Launch Initiative gives students, teachers and faculty a chance to get hands-on flight hardware development experience in the process of designing, building and operating small research satellites. It also provides a low-cost pathway to space for research in the areas of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations consistent with NASA's Strategic Plan.

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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 5, 9:12 PM

One of the great successes of the current space exploration decade is the development of affordable CubeSat payloads that allow fundamental near-space research to be done by schools, universities, private companies, and even amateur radio operators. According to "www.nasa.gov", the federal space agency is opening the next phase of the "CubeSat Launch Initiative", a program that gives teachers, students, and faculty "hands-on" hardware experience in designing, building, and operating small research satellites.  Many of these CubeSats carry amateur radio transponders and beacons.  Now's the time to get your VHF/UHF stations ready for some interesting contacts.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Elon Musk Puts SpaceX Launchpad in Texas and Gets Government Money

Elon Musk Puts SpaceX Launchpad in Texas and Gets Government Money | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Elon Musk’s commercial space-transport firm, SpaceX, is building a commercial launchpad in South Texas along the Gulf of Mexico with help from more than $20 million in state and local incentives.


Local officials believe the launch site, east of Brownsville near Boca Chica Beach, will create 500 jobs over a decade and require as much as $100 million in capital investment. Beyond the $15.3 million Texas is giving the project, SpaceX will collect another $5 million from the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corp.

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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 5, 9:04 PM

According to "businessweek.com", SpaceX President and CEO Elon Musk is serious about building a commercial space launch facility near Brownsville, Texas.  With the help of $20 million from the state of Texas and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, Musk will develop a site east of Brownsville near Boca Chica Beach.  The new facility will employ 500 technicians and will require another $100 million worth of private capital investment to complete the lauch complex.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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SpaceX Launches First of Two Satellites for AsiaSat | SpaceNews.com

SpaceX Launches First of Two Satellites for AsiaSat | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

PONTE VEDRA, Florida — A Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Falcon 9 rocket on Aug. 5 successfully placed the AsiaSat 8 commercial telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit, with owner AsiaSat declaring the satellite healthy in orbit and sending signals within an hour of launch.


Hong Kong-based AsiaSat will deploy AsiaSat 8 to 105.5 degrees east over the Asia-Pacific region, where it will be co-located with the AsiaSat 7 satellite already there.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early Tuesday with a commercial communications satellite that will beam video and broadband services across the Asia-Pacific region.


The 224-foot rocket roared from its pad at 4 a.m. with 1.3 million pounds of thrust, punched through low, thin clouds and blazed a trail southeast over the Atlantic Ocean.


Liftoff came on SpaceX's second try of the morning, after an unspecified technical problem aborted the first countdown less than a minute before the launch window opened at 1:25 a.m.

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2014 Bigelow Aerospace Promotional Video | YouTube

Founded in 1999 by visionary entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, the goal of Bigelow Aerospace is to create a new paradigm in space commerce and exploration via the development and use of revolutionary expandable habitat technology. Expandable habitats offer dramatically larger volumes than rigid, metallic structures as well as enhanced protection against both radiation and physical debris. Additionally, expandable habitats are lighter than traditional systems, take up less rocket fairing space, and most important of all in today’s fiscally constrained environment, Bigelow habitats are extremely affordable.

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Aeneas Nanosatellite Project of USC

Aeneas Nanosatellite Project of USC | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Aeneas is a 3U CubeSat development of student teams at USC/SERC (University of Southern California/Space Engineering Research Center), Marina Del Ray, CA, USA. SERC is a facility of the Astronautics Department and ISI (Information Sciences Institute) at USC. The goal of the mission is to track the location of cargo containers on a global scale. To accomplish this feat, the satellite must maintain a 2º accuracy surface track – the first of its kind in CubeSat technology.

The program is the first of several funded satellite and spacecraft development efforts at USC that will provide students hands-on experience in satellite design assembly and integration. The Aeneas project is supported by the ORS (Operationally Responsive Space) Office and AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) at Kirtland AFB, N.M. The tracking of containers worldwide is a research request of the US DHS (Department of Home Security).

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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 8, 9:31 PM

CubeSats have come a long way from the simple orbital experiments of high school and college students.  The latest variation of the CubeSat theme is the development of the 3U CubeSat project by USC students "to track the location of cargo containers on a global scale." The program is part of several funded satellite and spacecraft design projects at USC "that will provide hands-on experience in satellite design assembly and tracking of cargo containers worldwide."  The program is part of a Department of Homeland Security mission.  Perhaps, an amateur radio beacon or transponder could be added to the payload.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Launch Photos: Falcon 9 lights up the predawn sky | Spaceflight Now

Launch Photos: Falcon 9 lights up the predawn sky | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A Falcon 9 launcher rocketed away from Cape Canaveral early Tuesday, boosting an AsiaSat telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit to beam television and data across China, India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Nine Merlin 1D engines on the 224-foot-tall rocket ignited at 4 a.m. EDT (0800 GMT), ramping up to more than a million pounds of thrust as the Falcon 9 was released from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad.

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Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Spacecraft on Track for November 2016 Launch | SpaceRef Business

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser Spacecraft on Track for November 2016 Launch | SpaceRef Business | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft is "on track for its anticipated first launch in November 2016," Mark Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC Space Systems, told a press conference on August 5, 2014, at the AIAA SPACE 2014 Forum in San Diego.


Sirangelo explained "that the first launch, out of Florida's space coast, would be one of two required for certification of the spacecraft, and will be unmanned." The second launch, scheduled for November 2017, would be manned and piloted." Sirangelo told the audience that "the tests are on track, and that the launch slots have been obtained." He noted that SNC would fly "five test flights of Dream Chaser, with 3 of them being manned, in order to by fully comfortable with the craft's ability to carry humans into space."

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As Texas celebrates winning SpaceX spaceport, Florida regroups | Space Politics

On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry confirmed what had neen widely speculated for weeks, if not months: SpaceX would establish a commercial launch site on the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville, Texas. The state is providing about $15 million in funds to support spaceport development, although the release notes that construction will involve “$85 million in capital investment,” presumably from SpaceX.


The announcement was the culmination of several years of efforts by local and state officials, including Perry, to lure SpaceX to establish the launch site there. The letter noted state officials first talked with SpaceX in the spring of 2011, and Perry had since met with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and “provided letters of support” as SpaceX worked through launch site regulatory efforts with the FAA.

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Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Looks For ‘Disruption’ Before Investing | Aviation Week

Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Looks For ‘Disruption’ Before Investing | Aviation Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

LOGAN, Utah – Steve Jurvetson, one of the most successful venture capitalists on Sand Hill Road – the Wall Street of Silicon Valley – says he spent 10 years looking for a suitable space startup to back before he found Elon Musk.


Musk was an attractive bet, Jurvetson told the Satellite 2014 conference at Utah State University here Aug. 4, because he’d already invested $100 million of his own dot-com money in the Falcon 1 space launch vehicle. But what closed the deal was Musk’s idea of colonizing Mars.

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Smartphone Advances Drive Smallsats | Aviation Week

Smartphone Advances Drive Smallsats | Aviation Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Terrestrial smartphone technology, based in part on government space research, is finding its way back into space as low-cost, rapidly evolving processors, cameras, GPS receivers and other gear used in bulk by the burgeoning smallsat movement.


In California’s Silicon Valley, where the lifetime of a state-of-the-art smartphone is about one year, engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center have literally been plugging smartphones into spacecraft to get the most capable hardware into space quickly.


That approach has migrated into the commercial sector, where groups of Ames alumni are applying it to constellations of low-orbit smallsats that they are evolving toward the day when they can provide daily remote-sensing updates over the entire Earth.

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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 6, 1:30 PM

Another great article from "aviationweek.com" about how the ordinary smart phone can help with space research, remote sensing, and other space applications.  According to "Aviation Week", engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center "have literally been plugging smartphones into small spacecraft to get the most capable hardware into space quickly."  Some amateur radio groups have used the same approach with high-altitude balloons.  Ames scientists are working toward "the day when they can provide daily remote sensing updates over the entire Earth."  How about an application for the remote operation of amateur radio stations?  Imagine using your smartphone to contact a "constellation" of orbiting smallsats to remotely operate your station when you're on vacation or to run an amateur radio station limited by HOAs and CC & Rs.  Couple this idea with low-cost launch platforms offered by private firms such as SpaceX and you have a winning  combination.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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The Moon or Mars? | The Space Review

The Moon or Mars? | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Two months after its release, a report by the National Research Council on human space exploration continues to trigger debate on what NASA should be doing beyond Earth orbit. Eric Hedman examines in particular the perceived disconnect in interest between the Moon and Mars.

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Exploration and the private sector | The Space Review

Exploration and the private sector | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

NASA is playing up its efforts to partner with companies as part of its plans for future human space exploration missions. Jeff Foust reports that while the private sector is open to such partnerships, one industry leader is looking at ways for the private sector to do human exploration on its own if NASA is unable to lead the way.

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SpaceX AsiaSat-8: For the Record Books | Space KSC

SpaceX AsiaSat-8: For the Record Books | Space KSC | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has made history many times since its first Falcon 9 launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on June 4, 2010, but today's early morning launch from Pad 40 shattered several records to go along with a good night's sleep for Space Coast residents.


The 4:00 AM launch came 21 days 16 hours and 45 minutes after their last launch on July 14 of the Orbcomm OG2 mission.

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Russ Roberts's curator insight, August 5, 8:55 PM

This has been a very good month for private launch company SpaceX.  According to "New Science Daily", the Falcon 9 rocket successfully placed the AsiaSat-8 into a parking orbit for eventual migration into a 23,000 mile orbit capable of serving large portions of the Earth's surface.  It appears private space launch companies are capable of "taking up the slack" from NASA, which lacks funding to launch  missions on its calendar.  Perhaps AMSAT can strike a deal with SpaceX to put some amateur radio satellites into orbit at a competitive price. Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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SpaceX Launches AsiaSat's Most Powerful Satellite Into Orbit

SpaceX Launches AsiaSat's Most Powerful Satellite Into Orbit | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Satellite telecommunications company AsiaSat has added another satellite to its fleet in orbit, as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched its AsiaSat 8 into orbit on Tuesday morning.


AsiaSat 8, which was built by Space Systems/Loral, LLC, is now the most powerful in AsiaSat’s fleet, having a payload power of 8,500 watts, 24 Ku-band transponders and a high bandwidth Ka-band payload. AsiaSat 8 will be co-located in geosynchronous orbit about 22,370 miles above the Earth’s surface with the company’s existing satellite AsiaSat 7, which was launched in 2011.

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AsiaSat 8 | Falcon 9 Satellite Launch Webcast | YouTube

This is the live launch webcast of the AsiaSat 8 mission which lifted off Tuesday, August 5th at 08:00 UTC.

The AsiaSat 8 satellite flew to its intended orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral.

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