Congress’s decision on funding for commercial crew will be largely decoupled from the current state of US-Russian relations, despite the best efforts of NASA to play up the program as an alternative to reliance on Russia’s Soyuz. Given the congressional track record of funding past budget requests for the program, NASA shouldn’t count on getting the $848 million it requested for the program, which will, in turn, have implications for how many of the three companies currently in the program will proceed to the next phase.
Renewable Fuels are getting one stop closer to heading out to space. NASA has signed agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS II) flights are set to begin May 7, 2014 and will be flown from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.
Via Chuck Black, Nancy Kay Novak
For the past year, engineers have been working on a concept vehicle called the Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform, which could stay aloft for long periods, collecting a variety of data about Venus and its atmosphere.
Inflatable space structures can be traced back to the earliest days of NASA. The simplest way to visualize these expandable objects is to think of a packed tent that pops open once in space. Inflatables take up far less space on rockets than solid, prefabricated structures, yet they are vulnerable to small meteors and space …
This serial entrepreneur—he founded Internet companies Infospace and Intelius—believes that the moon holds precious metals and rare minerals that can be brought back to help address Earth's energy, health and resource challenges. Among the moon's vast riches: gold, cobalt, iron, palladium, platinum, tungsten and helium-3, a gas that can be used in future fusion reactors to provide nuclear power without radioactive waste.
Via Stratocumulus, Nancy Kay Novak
PARIS — Space Exploration Technologies Corp. President Gwynne Shotwell said the company’s Falcon 9 launch prices have nudged up to an average of about $60 million for standard commercial launches but that NASA and U.S. Air Force missions will add between $10 million and $30 million per launch.
A launch of the Dragon space station cargo capsule aboard a Falcon 9, she said, about doubles the price of the SpaceX mission.
The most dangerous thing on Mars today isn't a 1-ton laser-wielding robot: It's dust. Researchers have now built a vacuum chamber that can help test how future probes and, one day, human explorers might fare against the mighty Martian dust.
The Space Review Rocket reusability: a driver of economic growth The Space Review SpaceX is scheduled to launch another resupply mission to the International Space Station on March 16th, but this particular flight could be of truly historic...
Feb 20, 2014 - Private settlements and raw materials extraction enterprises could appear on the Moon in the future, thus leading to territorial disputes between their owners. In order to avoid that one must now register the property rights to the land plots on the Moon and other space objects and set up special preservation zones, US entrepreneur Robert Bigelow believes.
Less than a year after selecting the design of Europe's future Ariane 6 launcher, government ministers will meet in Geneva on Friday to iron out lingering questions over the rocket after Germany's top space official last week called for the current form of the Ariane 6 to be ditched in favor of another configuration.
It may be a while before space elevators become a reality, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start trying. Recently, the head of Google X's Rapid Evaluation team confirmed that its secretive R&D lab actually tried to design one — but fell short on account of one major technological hurdle.
Work is underway on a spacecraft that will carry astronauts and cargo to the space station in the coming years. It's called the Dream Chaser and executives showed off work being done at the Michoud Assembly Facility on Tuesday.