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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 ABS/Eutelsat-1 Mission | YouTube


At 10:50pm EST on Sunday, March 1, 2015, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket delivered the ABS 3A and EUTELSAT 115 West B satellites to a supersynchronous transfer orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket Launches All-Electric Satellites

SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket Launches All-Electric Satellites | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Sunday to put the world's first all-electric communications satellites into orbit. The 22-story-tall Falcon 9 booster soared off its seaside launch pad at 10:50 a.m. ET, the third flight in less than two months for the California-based launch company.

Perched on top of the rocket were a pair of satellites, built by Boeing and owned by Paris-based Eutelsat Communications and Bermuda-based ABS. Eutelsat and ABS shared satellite manufacturing and launch costs.

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Spacewalkers install new comms system for future vehicles | NASASpaceFlight.com

Spacewalkers install new comms system for future vehicles | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry “Butch” Wilmore stepped outside the ISS on Sunday on what was the final in a series of three spacewalks to prepare the station for the arrival of future cargo and crew vehicles. EVA-31, which began at 11:52 PM GMT, focused on installing a new communications system for the future vehicles – concluding a hugely successful trio of EVAs.

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Space Station’s Commercial Users Hitting Bottlenecks

Space Station’s Commercial Users Hitting Bottlenecks | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — As NASA continues to encourage the commercial use of the International Space Station, some potential customers, and the companies supporting them, are running into problems making full use of it.

At a workshop on ISS utilization here Feb. 17, organized by Houston-based NanoRacks, agency officials emphasized their efforts to increase commercial use of the ISS as part of a long-term transition to future commercial facilities.

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Who's paying £34million to blast Sarah Brightman into space?

Who's paying £34million to blast Sarah Brightman into space? | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Just before 11am on September 1, a mighty Soyuz‑FG rocket will blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome deep in the desert steppes of Kazakhstan.

On board will be a space capsule containing three highly-trained cosmonauts bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The crew will be commanded by Colonel Sergei Volkov, a 42-year-old Russian who will be leading his third mission into space.

Assisting him will be 35-year-old Danish Flight Engineer Andreas Mogensen, the holder of a doctorate in engineering from the University of Texas. The third crew member will be a 55-year-old English soprano called Sarah Brightman.

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Chris Quilty Handicaps Silicon Valley-fueled Space Race

Chris Quilty Handicaps Silicon Valley-fueled Space Race | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


The recent flood of investment in audacious commercial space projects is spookily reminiscent of the late-1990s satellite gold rush, which famously turned into a rout.

Google stepped up last year with its nearly $500 million purchase of satellite imaging startup Skybox and followed that up with a $900 million investment in SpaceX’s newly announced plan to deploy a 4,000-satellite Internet-delivery constellation, which is also being backed by Fidelity Investments. Meanwhile, chipmaker Qualcomm and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group have cast their lot with the 650-satellite OneWeb Internet venture led by O3b founder Greg Wyler.

These proposed mega-constellations bear a striking resemblance to the Teledesic and Skybridge Internet-in-the-sky ventures of yesteryear, which never got off the drawing board. By contrast, mobile telephony ventures Globalstar — Qualcomm was a ground-floor investor — and Iridium, along with machine-to-machine (M2M) messaging service provider Orbcomm, did manage to launch large low-orbiting constellations, only to declare bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

The new crop of financiers, a combination of venture capitalists, institutional investors and well-heeled technology giants, are not oblivious to the history — clearly they are betting that a different set of circumstances will carry the day this time around.

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Successful spacewalk ends with water leak | Spaceflight Now

Successful spacewalk ends with water leak | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Terry Virts floated outside the International Space Station Wednesday for the second of three spacewalks to help ready the lab complex for dockings by commercial crew capsules being built by Boeing and SpaceX. Back inside the station’s airlock, Virts reported a small amount of water in his space helmet, but officials said he was never in any danger.

Even so, given a near-catastrophic helmet leak in July 2013, engineers will need to troubleshoot the latest issue to make sure the suit’s internal systems are healthy enough for Virts and Wilmore to carry out a third planned spacewalk Sunday.

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SES Books Falcon 9 Launches for SES-14 and SES-16/GovSat

SES Books Falcon 9 Launches for SES-14 and SES-16/GovSat | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES on Feb. 25 said two of the three satellites it ordered the previous week will be launched aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in 2017.

Luxembourg-based SES, which was the first established commercial satellite fleet operator to use Falcon 9 and has another launch scheduled with SpaceX this summer, said its SES-14 and SES-16/GovSat satellites would be launched on separate Falcon 9 vehicles.

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Ted Cruz Makes Few Waves in Debut Hearing

Ted Cruz Makes Few Waves in Debut Hearing | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — The new chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee offered few surprises in his first hearing Feb. 24, calling for NASA to refocus on human space exploration but expressing his support for one of the current administration’s major space policy priorities, commercial crew transportation.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who became chairman of the space subcommittee after Republicans won control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, discussed both government and commercial spaceflight in the subcommittee’s first hearing of the new Congress.

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The Pork is Falling! | Space KSC

The Pork is Falling! | Space KSC | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


"Five years ago today, the House Science Committee held a hearing to discuss the Obama proposal released three weeks before. For more than two hours, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden was the target of accusations and distortions. Many of them falsely claimed that the Administration had proposed the end of U.S. human spaceflight. In reality, the Administration proposed cancelling a boondoggle program to replace it with one that introduced competition and innovation to reduce the cost and open space to the private sector, so more people could go into space."

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Lunar X Prize Teams Partner To Share Risks and Rewards

Lunar X Prize Teams Partner To Share Risks and Rewards | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — Two teams competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition announced plans Feb. 23 to work together in an arrangement that could ultimately result in several teams sharing the prize purse.

Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology said it reached an agreement with Tokyo-based Team Hakuto to carry the Japanese team’s two small rovers to the moon on Astrobotic’s lander. The Hakuto’s rovers, named Moonraker and Tetris, will fly with Andy, a rover being built by Carnegie Mellon University for Astrobotic.

In a conference call with reporters, Astrobotic Chief Executive John Thornton said that the three rovers will race each other after landing to achieve the prize requirement of traveling at least 500 meters across the lunar surface. “It will be like a Formula One race on the surface of the moon,” he said.

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Red Planet or Bust? Private Mars One Mission Faces Earthly Challenges

Red Planet or Bust? Private Mars One Mission Faces Earthly Challenges | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The Dutch-based Mars One venture is closing in on choosing its crews for one-way trips to the Red Planet, but will they be all dressed up in spacesuits with no place to go? Over the past week, there's been a string of reports that highlight the huge challenges facing Mars One.

Space News reports that the project's leaders haven't followed up on concept studies for robotic missions aimed at sending a lander and an orbiter to Mars in 2018. The Daily Mail says Mars One's deal with Endemol's global TV production team has fizzled out. Meanwhile, the Guardian quotes one of Mars One's initial supporters, astronomer Gerard 't Hooft, as saying the mission "will take quite a bit longer and be quite a bit more expensive" than advertised.

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100th Merlin 1D engine flies on Falcon 9 rocket | Spaceflight Now

100th Merlin 1D engine flies on Falcon 9 rocket | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Depending on how you count it, SpaceX launched its 100th kerosene-fueled Merlin 1D rocket engine on a Falcon 9 rocket Feb. 11, underscoring what it says is an accelerated flight regime for the centerpiece of the company’s propulsion shop.

The Falcon 9 rocket uses 10 Merlin engines on every mission — nine standard Merlin 1D powerplants on the launcher’s first stage and a single modified Merlin 1D optimized for firing outside the atmosphere on the second stage.

If you’re a purist, the 100th flight of a Merlin 1D engine on the Falcon 9’s booster stage will come this weekend with the launch of two communications spacecraft for Eutelsat and Asia Broadcast Satellite — a mission currently targeted for no sooner than Feb. 27.

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SpaceX Lofts Pair of All-Electric Satellites for ABS and Eutelsat

SpaceX Lofts Pair of All-Electric Satellites for ABS and Eutelsat | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on March 1 successfully launched two telecommunications satellites destined for geostationary orbit – the first dual-geostationary launch for Falcon 9, which inaugurated a new all-electric satellite design from Boeing.

The two satellites’ owners, fleet operators Eutelsat of Paris and ABS of Bermuda, said their spacecraft safely separated from the Falcon 9 upper stage and were healthy and sending signals in orbit. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, occurred at 10:50 p.m. EST.

The launch did not include a SpaceX attempt to recover the Falcon 9 first stage because the requirements of a launch to geostationary transfer orbit demand too much of the stage’s fuel.

Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX expects to introduce modifications to the rocket beginning this year so that, ultimately, launches to geostationary orbit would include first-stage recovery.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 launches debut dual satellite mission | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches debut dual satellite mission | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket made its sixteenth launch Sunday, carrying a pair of commercial communications satellites in the company’s first dual launch to a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The Falcon departed at the first attempt from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40 at the start of a 44-minute window that opened at 22:50 local time (03:50 UTC).

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Astronauts install antennas for commercial crew capsules | Spaceflight Now

Astronauts install antennas for commercial crew capsules | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Astronauts Terry Virts and space station commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore ventured back outside Sunday for their third spacewalk in eight days to complete initial preparations for upcoming dockings by commercially developed Boeing and SpaceX crew ferry ships.

When the spacewalk ended, Virts took a moment to mention the 50th anniversaries of the first Russian and U.S. spacewalks by cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, on March 18, 1965, and Ed White, on June 3. White’s flight, aboard the Gemini 4 capsule, was the first to be managed from the mission control center at what is now the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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WorldView-3 Imagery Sharpens DigitalGlobe’s Competitive Edge

WorldView-3 Imagery Sharpens DigitalGlobe’s Competitive Edge | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — Geospatial imagery and services provider DigitalGlobe on Feb. 27 said its WorldView-3 satellite is the key to driving growth both with the company’s dominant customer, the U.S. government, and in the global commercial market.

The showcase feature of WorldView-3, which entered service Oct. 1, is its 30-centimeter-diameter ground sampling distance. On Feb. 22 the U.S. government, as expected, authorized the commercial sale of 30-centimeter-resolution imagery, giving DigitalGlobe a long-sought weapon with which it will now attack the global market for aerial imagery.

DigitalGlobe is now, in effect, equivalent to the first on its block with a new iPhone. None of its competitors have 30-centimeter-resolution capability.

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Proposed Oak Hill project is aerospace-related manufacturing, would bring 300 jobs


Project Panther — the major economic development project that area officials are working to attract to Oak Hill — involves aerospace-related metal manufacturing that could support a proposed spaceport at the Volusia/Brevard county line or possibly commercial spaceflight operations elsewhere.

The name of the company that has hired a site selection consultant to evaluate potential locations remains anonymous, but interviews with several Volusia County civic leaders this week revealed it’s an aerospace company looking to build a manufacturing facility.

Economic development boosters say the project is pivotal to efforts to attract higher-paying jobs and tap into the growing commercial space market that NASA and Space Florida are trying to develop in the region.

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Legless Falcon 9 conducts Static Fire test ahead of Sunday launch | NASASpaceFlight.com

Legless Falcon 9 conducts Static Fire test ahead of Sunday launch | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX’s Falcon 9 v1.1 has conducted a Static Fire – or Hot Fire – test at Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40 ahead of Sunday’s mission to loft the ABS-3A and Eutelsat 115 West B satellites into orbit. This mission won’t involve a propulsive landing on the company’s ASDS, although it will still provide another milestone for SpaceX – via the first dual passenger launch for the Falcon 9.

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SES reserves two Falcon 9 launches from Texas | Spaceflight Now

SES reserves two Falcon 9 launches from Texas | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


Two communications satellites owned by SES are booked to fly into orbit from South Texas on a pair of Falcon 9 rockets in 2017, giving SpaceX its first two confirmed payloads assigned to launch from the new commercial spaceport, officials said Wednesday.

SES announced SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the two satellites — SES 14 and SES 16/GovSat — nine days after the company unveiled an order for three spacecraft to be manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space, Boeing Satellite Systems and Orbital ATK.

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Russia -- and its Modules -- To Part Ways with ISS in 2024

Russia -- and its Modules -- To Part Ways with ISS in 2024 | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


PARIS — The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, on Feb. 24 announced that it will remain a part of the international space station until 2024 before detaching the Russian modules and forming its own outpost in low Earth orbit.

The statement followed a meeting the Scientific and Technical Council, under the chairmanship of Yuri N. Koptev, Roscosmos’ head of manned space flight and the agency’s former chief in the 1990s.

The statement gave no precise motive for Russia’s wanting to create an all-Russian space station beyond an ambition to provide “secure access to space for Russia.”

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First Cruz Space Hearing Inquisitive, Not Confrontational


Sen. Ted Cruz’s first hearing as chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees NASA and commercial space activities was politely inquisitive and not confrontational as some expected. Cruz (R-TX), a leading Tea Party activist, is a relative unknown quantity on space issues. The hearing exhibited that he is an advocate of U.S. leadership in space, ending U.S. reliance on Russia, and supporter of commercial space.

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Falcon Heavy rocket hangar rises at launch pad 39A | Spaceflight Now

Falcon Heavy rocket hangar rises at launch pad 39A | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


SpaceX began erecting a new hangar at a former space shuttle launch pad in Florida last week, moving the historic facility closer to launching astronauts again.

Positioned at the south perimeter of launch pad 39A, the hangar sits on the gravel crawlerway used to transport Saturn 5 moon rockets and space shuttles from the nearby Vehicle Assembly building to the launch pad.

SpaceX has no plans to use the mammoth VAB, the crawlerway or NASA’s huge diesel-powered crawler-transporters, which are being upgraded for the Space Launch System, an enormous government-owned launcher designed to take humans into deep space, and eventually Mars.

The rocket SpaceX plans to send up from launch pad 39A is not as big as NASA’s mega-rocket, but it will be the most powerful launcher flying when it debuts. The Falcon Heavy rocket, fitted with 28 kerosene-fueled engines, is scheduled for its first test launch in the second half of 2015.

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'NASCAR on the Moon': Hakuto and Astrobotic Pair Up for Prize

'NASCAR on the Moon': Hakuto and Astrobotic Pair Up for Prize | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


This is definitely a new kind of space race: Two teams competing in a private moon competition have paired up to get to the lunar surface by the end of next year, potentially sowing the seeds for a sort of lunar NASCAR race.

The new Google Lunar X Prize partnership between the U.S.-based team Astrobotic and the Japanese group Hakuto means that the two teams — and perhaps additional groups, if they decide to sign on — could duke it out in a "Formula 1 race on the surface of the moon," said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton.

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SageRave of Get Custom Content's curator insight, February 25, 2015 10:29 AM

I remember a SG-1 episode that featured a race in space. These little contest might be really popular with your grandchildren! The test runs should be quite interesting.

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Mars One Loses Television Deal | SpaceNews.com

Mars One Loses Television Deal | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it


WASHINGTON — A private venture to send humans on a one-way journey to Mars has suffered another setback with the loss of a television deal, although the venture’s leader said it won’t affect the ongoing selection of crews for the mission.

Mars One co-founder and chief executive Bas Lansdorp said Feb. 24 that Mars One had terminated an agreement with entertainment company Endemol announced in 2014 to develop a “worldwide TV event” for the selection of the first Mars One crews. New Scientist first reported the terminated contract Feb. 20.

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