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Evidence of liquid water found on Mars

Evidence of liquid water found on Mars | New Space | Scoop.it
Nasa's Curiosity rover has found that water can exist as a liquid near the Martian surface.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Curiosity rover finds evidence for salty liquid water on the surface of Gale Crater on Mars.

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SpaceX set for another Falcon 9 landing attempt; new Planetary Resources satellite on board for Space Station - GeekWire

SpaceX set for another Falcon 9 landing attempt; new Planetary Resources satellite on board for Space Station - GeekWire | New Space | Scoop.it
Update, 1:30 p.m.: Monday’s launch has been scrubbed due to weather. Another launch will be attempted on Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. Pacific. Launch postponed due to lightning from an approaching… Read More
Allen Taylor's insight:

SpaceX will attempt a Dragon launch to the space station, carrying a Planetary Resources Cubesat that replaces one lost last year in the Orbital Antares launch failure. Recovery of the Falcon 9 at sea will also be attempted.

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SpaceX 'Go' for Dragon Launch, Rocket Landing Try on Monday

SpaceX 'Go' for Dragon Launch, Rocket Landing Try on Monday | New Space | Scoop.it
All systems are go for the Monday launch of a SpaceX Dragon space capsule carrying NASA cargo the International Space Station on Monday (April 13), a mission that will also include a novel reusable rocket landing attempt.
Allen Taylor's insight:

SpaceX Dragon launch to ISS will replace some of the cargo that was destroyed in the Orbital-ATK launch failure, in addition to the cargo that the Dragon was scheduled to carry on this, its sixth station resupply mission.

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SpaceX conducts tanking test on In-Flight Abort Falcon 9

SpaceX conducts tanking test on In-Flight Abort Falcon 9 | New Space | Scoop.it
As preparations continue for next week’s Falcon 9 launch of the CRS-6 Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, SpaceX’s Vandenberg team has put the In-Flight abort booster through a tanking test.
Allen Taylor's insight:

SpaceX is preparing for the in-flight abort test milestone of their commercial crew contract.

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Moon Base – Piece Parts like Bird Bones

Moon Base – Piece Parts like Bird Bones | New Space | Scoop.it
  The European Space Agency (ESA) has been appraising 3D printing in the Moon’s environment, making use of local resources to build a lunar outpost. Industrial partners including architects Foster+Partners have worked with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil. Now on display at the “Hypervital” exhibition at the International Design…
Allen Taylor's insight:

3-D printing will open up the moon the a permanent human presence.

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Beyond “Fermi’s Paradox” II: Questioning the Hart-Tipler Conjecture

Beyond “Fermi’s Paradox” II: Questioning the Hart-Tipler Conjecture | New Space | Scoop.it
The Milky Way Galaxy. Astronomer Michael Hart, and cosmologist Frank Tipler propose that extraterrestrials would colonize every available planet. Since they aren’t here, they have proposed that extraterrestrials don’t exist.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Do extraterrestrial aliens exist? We don't know. The so-called Fermi Paradox does not rule them out.

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For commercial cargo, ideas old and new - The Space Review

The Space Review For commercial cargo, ideas old and new The Space Review In December, Boeing, a winner of a commercial crew contract last September, said it had bid on CRS-2 using a version of its CST-100 crew spacecraft (see “In with the new, and...
Allen Taylor's insight:

The next contract to supply cargo to ISS is being competed by current contractors SpaceX and Orbital-ATK as well as three new players, Boeing, Sierra Nevada, and Lockheed-Martin.

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Kicking The Can Down the Road to Mars

Kicking The Can Down the Road to Mars | New Space | Scoop.it
I just listened to 45 minutes of NASA presentations at the NASA Advisory Committee's Human Exploration and Operations Committee Meeting. The topic: radiation risks during a human mission to Mars. I have seen this movie before.
Allen Taylor's insight:

A disillusioned space commentator despairs that NASA lost its mojo long ago and shows no sign of getting it back. Perhaps it is time for commercial entities to take the lead in space.

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Space Launch System to Boost Science with Secondary Payloads

Space Launch System to Boost Science with Secondary Payloads | New Space | Scoop.it
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 08, 2015
When NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) launches on its first flight, it will be doing some serious multi-tasking.
Allen Taylor's insight:

SLS Exploration Mission 1 will do more than just send the Orion capsule around the moon. It will also launch a number of Cubesats into deep space.

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VASIMR Rocket Could Send Humans To Mars In Just 39 Days - Huffington Post

VASIMR Rocket Could Send Humans To Mars In Just 39 Days - Huffington Post | New Space | Scoop.it
A new type of rocket that could send humans to Mars in less than six weeks instead of six months or longer may be one step closer to reality.
Allen Taylor's insight:

NASA funding aims to take VASIMR engine to Technology Readyness Level (TRL) 5, an prototype operating in the environment in which the final product would operate. This effort bears watching.

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Blue Origin - Media - Blue Origin Completes Acceptance Testing of BE-3 Engine for New Shepard Suborbital Flight

Blue Origin - Media - Blue Origin Completes Acceptance Testing of BE-3 Engine for New Shepard Suborbital Flight | New Space | Scoop.it
Blue Origin, LLC is developing technologies to enable human access to space at dramatically lower cost and increased reliability. This is a long-term effort, which we’re pursuing incrementally, step by step. We’re currently focused on developing reusable launch vehicles utilizing rocket-powered Vertical Take-off and Vertical Landing (VTVL) technology.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Blue Origin's BE-3 engine is ready to put into a space ship. Things are looking up.

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NASA Disputes Chronicle Report That NASA Is Reassessing Lunar Surface Plans

NASA officials are disputing the Houston Chronicle’s April 3 story that NASA is “quietly” reassessing the need for missions to the lunar surface before traveling to Mars.  Chronicle science reporter Eric Berger wrote that “senior NASA engineers” are involved in the reassessment, but NASA officially responded that the agency continues to plan only for operations in cis-lunar space.

Berger’s article quotes NASA Associate Administrator for Human Spaceflight Bill Gerstenmaier discussing the advantages of producing fuel from lunar resources (called in-situ resource utilization or ISRU) to propel astronauts to Mars.  Berger characterizes Gerstenmaier as favoring lunar surface missions, saying he “appears to be steering the agency back toward a program that would more fully utilize the moon” as part of NASA’s "Evolvable Mars Campaign" that lays out the steps to landing humans on the Martian surface.


Via Stratocumulus
Allen Taylor's insight:

NASA is denying it is working on anything. A week ago they contradicted a Russian space official who stated that Russia was working with NASA on plans for a new space station to replace the ISS when it is deorbited in 2024. Now they deny that any of their people are even thinking about doing anything on the moon. 

 

Makes you wonder what they ARE doing.

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Quietly, NASA is reconsidering the moon as a destination

Quietly, NASA is reconsidering the moon as a destination | New Space | Scoop.it
Despite a declaration from President Barack Obama that the moon is not a planned destination for American astronauts, senior NASA engineers have quietly begun reconsidering it as a staging point for an eventual mission to Mars. [...] Gerstenmaier believes large amounts of ice at the lunar poles may provide an important reservoir of oxygen and hydrogen fuel to propel rockets and spaceships across the 40 million miles of space to Mars. NASA officials have begun talking about an "Evolvable Mars Campaign," which recognizes the technical and financial challenges of reaching Mars, and the likelihood that the United States would not support an all-out, Apollo-like plan. [...] the moon-then-Mars pathway would also find support in Congress, which has been reluctant to support NASA's asteroid-then-Mars pathway. Benefits to Houston center [...] much of NASA's renewed assessment of the moon has flown under the radar, but engineers familiar with the agency's work say the lunar option is being kept open for when it's more politically acceptable. Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said the moon offers NASA the best opportunity to maintain a robust exploration program after the International Space Station, while also easing the formidable task of sending humans to Mars.
Allen Taylor's insight:

NASA is taking a serious look at using the moon as a stepping stone to an eventual crewed Mars mission.

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BRICS May Engage in New Int'l Orbital Station Project

BRICS May Engage in New Int'l Orbital Station Project | New Space | Scoop.it
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 14, 2015
BRICS countries may be invited to participate in setting up a new international orbital space station, Russia's space agency Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov said.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Russia is looking for new partners in building a new space station after 2024, after NASA denies any involvement in such a project.

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United Launch Alliance Boldly Names Its Next Rocket: Vulcan!

United Launch Alliance Boldly Names Its Next Rocket: Vulcan! | New Space | Scoop.it
Falcon vs. Vulcan? United Launch Alliance turned to a "Star Trek" favorite, Vulcan, to name its next-generation rocket, which is due for its maiden...
Allen Taylor's insight:

ULA names their next generation rocket "Vulcan,"  but may run into trademark issues with Paul Allen's Vulcan Aerospace, the parent company of Stratolaunch.

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Virgin Galactic: Richard Branson Reports a 12-Month Setback

Virgin Galactic: Richard Branson Reports a 12-Month Setback | New Space | Scoop.it
Virgin Galactic's plans to launch commercial spaceflights will be delayed for a year, billionaire Branson said.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Richard Branson makes yet another prediction of when the first commercial Virgin Galactic SpaceShip2 flight will occur, pushing the date out by an additional year.

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Advisors to NASA: Dump the asteroid mission and go to Mars orbit instead

Advisors to NASA: Dump the asteroid mission and go to Mars orbit instead | New Space | Scoop.it
FRIDAY 11 a.m. UPDATE: At the conclusion of its meeting the NASA Advisory Council adopted a "finding" that the asteroid redirect mission should be dropped in favor of demonstrating solar electric p...
Allen Taylor's insight:

NASA advisory board makes a strong case for abandoning the asteroid retrieval mission and replacing it with recovering a rock from the surface of Phobos. If the asteroid mission was supposed to be a stepping stone to Mars, isn't Phobos a much likelier stepping stone?

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SpaceX Assembly Building at Pad 39A Progresses

SpaceX Assembly Building at Pad 39A Progresses | New Space | Scoop.it
SpaceX assembly building at Pad 39A. (Credit: NASA)
The exterior skin begins to take shape of what will become SpaceX’s new 300-foot-long horizontal hangar at the base of Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Conversion of the old Shuttle Pad 39A to a SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch pad is making visible progress.

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Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water - Phys.Org

Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water - Phys.Org | New Space | Scoop.it
Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Mars has plenty of water, and not just in the polar ice caps. There are huge glaciers too, down in the mid-latitudes.

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The Space Review: Doing humans to Mars on—and within—a budget

The Space Review: Doing humans to Mars on—and within—a budget | New Space | Scoop.it
Lokking forward to the details - The Space Review: Doing humans to Mars on—and within—a budget http://t.co/y33fcf439t
Allen Taylor's insight:

Planetary Society meeting showcases JPL plan for Mars orbital mission. Comments following the article shred the logic behind the plan. 

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Life Needs An Atmosphere, But How Much Is Too Much

Life Needs An Atmosphere, But How Much Is Too Much | New Space | Scoop.it
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Apr 08, 2015
How much atmosphere is too much for life? As scientists discover more super-Earths and mini-Neptunes, the question becomes more relevant.
Allen Taylor's insight:

Investigation into the processes that strip away a large planet's atmosphere until there is just enough left to be hospitable to life.

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Could plasma rocket technology get us to Mars in six weeks? - Space News - redOrbit

Could plasma rocket technology get us to Mars in six weeks? - Space News - redOrbit | New Space | Scoop.it
A rocket capable of sending astronauts to Mars in just six weeks rather than six months sounds impossible, but that’s exactly what one Texas company is working on – and they just received a NASA grant to continue working on the advanced propulsion...
Allen Taylor's insight:

Some doubt that the VASIMR engine will ever be feasible for use on spacecraft. It will require a tremendous amount of electrical power in order to produce the thrust required for s 39 day mission to Mars. That will require a LOT of solar panels or a nuclear reactor.

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April 6, 2015 in News: Diverse destinations considered for new interplanetary ... - Spaceflight Now

April 6, 2015 in News: Diverse destinations considered for new interplanetary ... - Spaceflight Now | New Space | Scoop.it
Spaceflight Now
April 6, 2015 in News: Diverse destinations considered for new interplanetary ...
Spaceflight Now
NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft collected images for this montage of Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io in 2007.
Allen Taylor's insight:

A wild diversity of cost-capped Discovery-class solar system exploration missions have been proposed for the early 2020s. Only one of them will be funded by NASA.

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Search for Pale Blue Dots: All-star Lineup!

Search for Pale Blue Dots: All-star Lineup! | New Space | Scoop.it

W  Next month there’s an “all-star lineup”…of experts to discuss finding other Earths in the Cosmos. A one-day Cornell University space sciences conference May 9 will inaugurate the new Institute for Pale Blue Dots. Founded in 2014, Cornell’s new institute in Ithaca, New York focuses on characterizing extrasolar planets and modeling habitable, rocky exoplanets. The…

Allen Taylor's insight:

Wondering about life on other planets? This program features the people in the best position to know about that.

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Eyes wide shut: Are we doing enough to spot incoming asteroids? - Newsworks.org

Eyes wide shut: Are we doing enough to spot incoming asteroids? - Newsworks.org | New Space | Scoop.it
NASA is busy whittling down a list of asteroids looking for the best candidate for a mid 2020s rendezvous In plans announced last week the agency says its Asteroid Redirect Mission will use an
Allen Taylor's insight:

Asteroid impact is clearly an existential risk. Why aren't more people energized to do something about it. It is the one natural existential risk that we CAN do something about.

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