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Analysis: NASA says that two SLS rockets will be needed for each manned lunar mission

Analysis: NASA says that two SLS rockets will be needed for each manned lunar mission | New Space | Scoop.it

While NASA’s first manned spaceflight director, Chris Kraft, continues to be critical of the whole concept of building the new SLS heavy lift rocket system in favour of using current smaller launch vehicles, others remain concerned that NASA’s heavy lift rocket might actually still be too small itself.   As Nasaspaceflight.com notes from NASA’s Concept Of Operations (CONOPS) document, using a four astronaut lunar lander similar to the origial Project Constellation Altair design would necessitate two Block 1A/B SLS launches for each mission and some  complicated lunar orbit rendevous operations as well.   This would be practically impossible to achieve given that six months  are  currently envisaged between SLS flights.  It is no wonder that NASA’s Administrator, Charles Bolden, is so keen on exploring lassoed asteroids instead of going back to the Moon.


Via Chuck Black
Allen Taylor's insight:

If any deep space mission worth doing would require at least two SLS launches anyway, what's the point of developing such a huge rocket at great expense, when the same thing could be accomplished with a couple of inexpensive SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches, or even Atlas V or Delta IV launches, for that matter?

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Vincent Lieser's curator insight, September 9, 2013 12:18 PM

SLS is under critics. But will it ever take off ?

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LPP Fusion has installed their Tungsten Anode but Cathode Delayed

On October 10, LPPFusion team members Eric Lerner, Hamid Yousefi and Tony Ellis lifted the tungsten anode into place on top of the FF-1 dense plasma focus experimental device.
Allen Taylor's insight:

A look at the internal features of the LPP Fusion fusion power device.

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Whitesides Explains Flight Test Plan for SpaceShipTwo

Whitesides Explains Flight Test Plan for SpaceShipTwo | New Space | Scoop.it
George Whitesides Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides has laid out the plan for completing SpaceShipTwo’s flight tests and beginning commercial operations in an interview with the Albuquerque Journal: “We expect to get to space altitude in a...
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A little more clarity on the flight test schedule that SpaceShipTwo will undergo before commercial operation starts.

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First step toward asteroid mining: Planetary Resources set to launch test satellite - Puget Sound Business Journal

First step toward asteroid mining: Planetary Resources set to launch test satellite - Puget Sound Business Journal | New Space | Scoop.it
Planetary Resources is to launch its first satellite Oct. 24, a significant step in the Redmond company's ambitious goal of mining precious metals, and water, from asteroids.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Planetary Resources is set to launch its Arkyd-3 spacecraft aboard Orbital's October 24 Cygnus launch to the ISS. The Arkyd-3 is a secondary payload.

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Z Machine MagLIF Fusion also making progress

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, using the lab’s Z machine, a colossal electric pulse generator capable of producing currents of tens of millions of amperes, say they have detected significant numbers of...
Allen Taylor's insight:

Yet another attempt at taming nuclear fusion.

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Moons of Confusion: Why Finding Extraterrestrial Life may be Harder than we Thought

Moons of Confusion: Why Finding Extraterrestrial Life may be Harder than we Thought | New Space | Scoop.it
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018, will be capable of measuring the spectrum of the atmospheres of Earthlike exoplanets orbiting small stars.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Trying to confirm that life is present on an extrasolar planet will be difficult if the planet has a moon with an atmosphere. The spectrum of the moons atmosphere could combine with that of the planet, giving a false indication of which gasses exist where.

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Sierra Nevada Files Suit To Reinstate Hold on Commercial Crew Contracts | SpaceNews.com

Sierra Nevada Files Suit To Reinstate Hold on Commercial Crew Contracts | SpaceNews.com | New Space | Scoop.it
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Sierra Nevada sues NASA for lifting the sop work order on the recently awarded Commercial Crew contracts. The drama continues.

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Lockheed Martin's new fusion reactor design can change humanity forever

Lockheed Martin's new fusion reactor design can change humanity forever | New Space | Scoop.it
This is the interior of an invention that could change civilization as we know it: A compact fusion reactor developed by Skunk Works, the stealthy experimental technology division of Lockheed Martin.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Now Lockheed is working on small fusion reactors. University of Washington, EMC2---suddenly all kinds of people are working on compact fusion reactors. Will one or more of them supersede all the time, effort, and money that has gone into tokamaks over the past half century? 

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Some Washington pictures

Some Washington pictures | New Space | Scoop.it
Here are some pictures of the most recent Washington generation chips. These are C16 chips -- 16*16*8 = 2,048 physical qubits. Enjoy!  
Allen Taylor's insight:

Geordie Rose, CTO of DWave shows photos of the new 2048 qubit quantum computer currently undergoing initial testing and characterization.

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SpaceX Wins Safety Award

SpaceX Wins Safety Award | New Space | Scoop.it
Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat8 into orbit. (Credit: SpaceX) NOORDWIJK, NETHERLANDS, October 13, 2014 (IAASS PR) — The International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) has announced that this year’s Vladimir Syromiatnikov...
Allen Taylor's insight:

SpaceX has been cited for the safety features of their Dragon spacecraft. 

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Why NASA Rejected Sierra Nevada's Commercial Crew Vehicle | Space content from Aviation Week

Why NASA Rejected Sierra Nevada's Commercial Crew Vehicle | Space content from Aviation Week | New Space | Scoop.it
As Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) restart work on commercial crew contracts following NASA’s Oct 9. decision to lift a stop-work order, details of an internal agency document reveal why the bid from losing competitor Sierra Nevada lost out.
Allen Taylor's insight:

A NASA document leaked to Aviation Week tells why continued development of Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser was not funded and why Boeing's proposal was given the highest marks, thus justifying the higher dollar amount of their contract award.

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The Space Review: The incredible, expendable Mars mission (page 1)

The Space Review: The incredible, expendable Mars mission (page 1) | New Space | Scoop.it
RT @TheMarsSociety: The Space Review: The incredible, expendable Mars mission (page 1) http://t.co/xftzP2DHmb
Allen Taylor's insight:

NASA maintains that their ultimate goal is to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s. However, their most recent concept of a Design Reference Mission (DRM) is unrealistically expensive, and inherently unsafe. It has less chance of happening than the Mars One colony mission. 

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My Next Cruise is Actually a Transatlantic Crossing

My Next Cruise is Actually a Transatlantic Crossing | New Space | Scoop.it

I know I told everyone that my next cruise would be from Los Angeles to Hawaii in December. I will indeed be speaking on that cruise, but it won't be my next one. My next cruise on the Emerald Princess leaves Southampton, England on the 25th of this month, for Paris, France, Vigo, Spain, Lisbon, Portugal, and points West, ending in Houston, Texas. The Emerald Princess is a beautiful ship, and I will be talking about the latest developments in astronomy and space travel on the sea days between ports of call. It would be great if some of you could join me on board. I REALLY enjoy cruising and my new book reveals how to do it for free or almost free. Check it out here:  https://www.createspace.com/4965681 ;

or download the Kindle version from Amazon.

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Smith to Bolden: Why Not Orion for Commercial Crew? | SpaceNews.com

Smith to Bolden: Why Not Orion for Commercial Crew? | SpaceNews.com | New Space | Scoop.it
Allen Taylor's insight:

Scientifically illiterate Congressmen are apparently not that good at math either. They want to chop a commercial crew provider in favor of the Orion spacecraft as an Earth to ISS space taxi. They think this will save money. Orion has already cost way more than commercial crew and will always be more expensive to build and launch than either SpaceX Dragon, Boeing S-100, or Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser. One gets the distinct impression that they have a vendetta against SpaceX.

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Falcon 9 Ocean Landing Animation

This Falcon 9 video combines videos of the returning Falcon 9 first stage, from a range of Space X video sources for the CRS3 and Orbcomm missions, and features a NASASpaceflight.com animation...
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Reusability is the future of spaceflight

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zero2infinity Plans to Launch Nanosats

zero2infinity Plans to Launch Nanosats | New Space | Scoop.it
Credit: zero2infinity BARCELONA, Spain (zero2infinity PR) – The Spanish company zero2infinity, based in Barcelona, known for its extensive Near-Space ballooning experience, announced it’s been working to expand its capabilities to include a...
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Here's another NewSpace idea, this one from Spain.

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This Is The Biggest Problem Facing Elon Musk's Dream Of Building A City On Mars

This Is The Biggest Problem Facing Elon Musk's Dream Of Building A City On Mars | New Space | Scoop.it
The pressure is on — but Mars doesn't have enough.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Establishing an outpost on Mars is one thing. Building a city there is an entirely different problem, that could take hundreds of years to solve.

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MESSENGER Provides First Optical Images of Ice Near Mercury's North Pole

MESSENGER Provides First Optical Images of Ice Near Mercury's North Pole | New Space | Scoop.it
NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has provided the first optical images of ice and other frozen volatile materials within permanently shadowed craters near Mercury's north pole.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Water ice near the north pole of Mercury that was inferred years ago by radar observations has now been confirmed optically.

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Pluto Planning: Hubble Spots 3 Objects NASA Spacecraft Could Visit Next

Pluto Planning: Hubble Spots 3 Objects NASA Spacecraft Could Visit Next | New Space | Scoop.it
Two potential targets for the New Horizons mission emerge in these Hubble Space Telescope multiple-exposure images. Both are about four billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) away.
Allen Taylor's insight:

The New Horizons mission to Pluto will still have plenty of capability left after it leaves Pluto behind next year. Three possible future targets for the probe have been located in the Kuyper Belt by th Hubble Space Telescope.

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Skunk Works Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details | Technology content from Aviation Week

Skunk Works Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details | Technology content from Aviation Week | New Space | Scoop.it
Fusion Frontier
Allen Taylor's insight:

Details emerge on the compact fusion reactor being built by the Lockheed Skunk Works. Lockheed spokesman predicts commercial power production in ten years. Reactor would be small enough to power an ocean liner, or even a space ship.

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Five Spacex Raptor Engines on a first stage could launch 536 tons of payload

Exoscientist Robert Clark has calculated a three stage Spacex rocket with the proposed Spacex methane fueled Rocket Engine would enable 536 tons of payload in a single launch.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Robert Clark calculates, from publicly available information that a booster powered by 15 SpaceX Raptor engines could lob 536 tons of cargo into low Earth orbit. That's far more than even the mighty Saturn V ever launched.

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American duo set for EVA to prepare ISS for commercial crew

American duo set for EVA to prepare ISS for commercial crew | New Space | Scoop.it
Two US astronauts are set to step outside the International Space Station (ISS) to conduct the second of two recent spacewalks, aimed at replacing failed components and beginning the process of reconfiguring the station for the arrival of future...
Allen Taylor's insight:

A spacewalk by two American astronauts on the ISS begin the reconfiguration of the station to accept crew transfers from the commercial crew vehicles. SpaceX and Boeing are currently working on building those vehicles.

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Humans may only survive 68 days on Mars: study

Humans may only survive 68 days on Mars: study | New Space | Scoop.it
Space enthusiasts planning a move to Mars may have to wait to relocate: conditions on the Red Planet are such that humans would likely begin dying within 68 days, a new study says.

Oxygen levels would start to deplete after about two months and scientists said new technologies are required before humans can permanently settle on Mars, according to the study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The five-person team used data from Mars One, a Dutch-based non-profit group behind an audacious project to permanently colonize the Red Planet starting in 2024.

A shortlist of more than 1,000 people from an initial pool of 200,000 applicants will be whittled down to 24 for the mission -- an irreversible move to Mars, which is to be partially funded by a reality television show about the endeavor.

But conditions on Mars -- and the limits of human technology -- could make the mission impossible, for now at least.

"The first crew fatality would occur approximately 68 days into the mission," according to the 35-page report, which analyzed mathematical formulas on oxygen, food and technology required for the project.

Plants required to feed the space colony would produce "unsafe" amounts of oxygen, the authors said.

"Some form of oxygen removal system is required, a technology that has not yet been developed for space flight," the study concluded.

Shipping in replacement parts is an additional challenge and will likely boost the cost of the mission, which the researchers estimated to be at least $4.5 billion.

Mars One co-founder and CEO Bas Lansdorp agreed that sending spare parts to Mars could pose a problem.

"The major challenge of Mars One is keeping everything up and running," he told Popular Science magazine.

But he claimed the researchers used incomplete data, adding that technology for Mars colonization was nearly ready.

"While oxygen removal has never been done in space, I disagree that the technology is not mostly ready to go to Mars," Lansdorp told AFP.

"Of course, the actual apparatus that we will take to Mars still needs to be designed and tested extensively, but the technology is already there."

Many people have voiced doubts about the mission, though the project has won support from Gerard 't Hooft, the Dutch 1999 Nobel Physics prize winner.

The Red Planet lies at least 55 million kilometers (34 million miles) from Earth and it would take a minimum of seven months to get there.

Last June, the entertainment company Endemol, a major reality television producer, agreed to film the participants as they prepared for the move to Mars.
Allen Taylor's insight:

This study by MIT students in unnecessarily pessimistic. They point out that oxygen will need to be removed from the habitat atmosphere without removing nitrogen. Failure to do this will cause people to die. Fine. If that's the case, the solution is to develop a way of sequestering oxygen from the atmosphere and storing it for use. Problem solved. Move on to the next challenge and then solve that too.  

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NewSpace V. Old Ways : Could Congress Be Planning to Replace Dragon With Orion?

NewSpace V. Old Ways : Could Congress Be Planning to Replace Dragon With Orion? | New Space | Scoop.it
In case anyone thought NASA's announcement of two winners in the Commercial Crew program, one of which was Boeing, signified a new era of cordial relations between "NewSpace" advocates for Commerci...
Allen Taylor's insight:

A Republican takeover of the US Senate in January could doom the SpaceX commercial crew effort before it has a fighting chance to show its chops.

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Exotic Propulsion Intiative at the Space Studies Institute

15 mn presentation from "A Matter Of Some Gravity" by Gary Hudson during the 2014 NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Symposium (NIAC 2014).
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Serial entrepreneur Gary Hudson discusses the status of reactionless propulsion (impulse engine technology) based on the Woodward Effect.

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NASA Awards $3M for Work On Oxygen Recycling Tech - Space News

NASA Awards $3M for Work On Oxygen Recycling Tech Space News NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate awarded 15-month contracts with a total maximum value of $3 million to four entities studying ways to improve oxygen recycling technology...
Allen Taylor's insight:

A necessary step along the way to creating a closed cycle biosphere, without which long duration flights to deep space will not be possible.

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