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A supplement to the Commercial Space Blog (http://acuriousguy.blogspot.com)
Curated by Chuck Black
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Japan PM Abe wants to stage 2020 Robot Olympics

Japan PM Abe wants to stage 2020 Robot Olympics | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Tokyo (AFP) June 19, 2014
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to stage a "Robot Olympics" in 2020, the same year Tokyo hosts the Summer Games, local media reported Thursday...

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Canada-Russia relations cast pall over space launch - The Globe and Mail

Canada-Russia relations cast pall over space launch - The Globe and Mail | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Two Canadian satellites, each the size of a toaster, are heading to space on Thursday to probe the inner workings of some of the brightest stars in the sky. But in a time of roiling political tension over the situation in Ukraine, the Canadian Space Agency has made no public mention of the launch, scheduled for 3:11 p.m. EDT, aboard a Russian rocket...

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Five years after Augustine: How does the panel feel about NASA's Space Launch System?

Five years after Augustine: How does the panel feel about NASA's Space Launch System? | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Norm Augustine, Leroy Chiao and Jeff Greason think that things are pretty much the same as they've always been.

 

Much like the Consellation program which the Augustine panel once critiqued, the Space Launch System doesn't have enough money to ever get off the ground...

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Space giants join forces to battle SpaceX: This is how cheap spaceflight begins!

Space giants join forces to battle SpaceX: This is how cheap spaceflight begins! | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Two of Europe’s largest companies, Airbus and Safran, are joining forces to fight SpaceX’s attempts to steal away their majority share of the lucrative commercial space launch business.

 

This is one of the first times that one of the larger, entrenched, government-backed aerospace consortia has deigned to raise a quizzical eyebrow in acknowledgement at the presence of SpaceX — but it certainly won’t be the last.

 

SpaceX, after a series of cheap, successful space launches, is now starting to make waves: After decades of expensive, monopolistic control of space travel, companies like Boeing, Lockheed, and Airbus are finally going to have to slash their costs to stay competitive. This is how the era of cheap space travel begins...

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European satellite chief says industry faces challenges

European satellite chief says industry faces challenges | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Singapore (AFP) June 18, 2014
Europe's satellite launch industry needs to be overhauled to keep up with tough challenges from US rival SpaceX and other emerging competitors, the head of European satellite giant Arianespace has said.
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Administration opposes funding RD-180 replacement in defense bill « Space Politics

Administration opposes funding RD-180 replacement in defense bill « Space Politics | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

As the House of Representatives prepares to debate the fiscal year 2015 defense appropriations bill this week, the White House has come out in opposition to one of the bill’s space-related provisions: $220 million to start development of a large rocket engine to replace the Russian-built RD-180.

 

“The Administration objects to the unrequested $220 million for a new rocket engine,” the Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) about the defense appropriations bill, released late yesterday, states.

 

“This approach prematurely commits significant resources and would not reduce our reliance on Russian engines for at least a decade.” The SAP also cites an unnamed “independent study” that claims development of such an engine would take eight years and cost $1.5 billion, plus “another $3 billion needed to develop a suitable launch vehicle.” (The SAP doesn’t identify this study by name; the summary of the “Mitchell Report” about the RD-180 that leaked last month doesn’t include those specific cost estimates, although it does state a new liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon engine should be ready by fiscal year 2022, or eight years from now.)...

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GenCorp’s New AR-1 Rocket Plan Raises Questions

GenCorp’s New AR-1 Rocket Plan Raises Questions | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

GenCorp CEO Scott Seymour was in our offices the other day, advocating a strategy—I will not say a new strategy because there hasn’t been one up to now—for the U.S. government’s development and procurement of large liquid-fuel rocket engines. It might be an expensive solution to a problem that we don’t have.

 

GenCorp swallowed up Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne last year to become the exclusive U.S. engine supplier to the United Launch Alliance, under the Aerojet Rocketdyne brand. It is now proposing something unknown since the days of Apollo: a new U.S. government-sponsored liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene engine, called AR-1...

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The Star Spot Episode 55: Where Have All The Anti-Matter Gone?, with Scott Menary

The Star Spot Episode 55: Where Have All The Anti-Matter Gone?, with Scott Menary | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Are there anti-matter galaxies out there in space? Will we ever be able to make anti-atoms of heavy elements? How do you trap something that is detroyed immediately upon contact? And of course, will anti-matter become an energy source for space exploration propulsion systems a la Star Trek?

 

Professor Scott Menary joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot to discuss his work studying the properties of anti-matter, the relationship between anti-matter and anti-gravity, and his attempts to answer one fundamental question: where did all the anti-matter go?

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Airbus Group and Safran To Join Forces in Launcher Activities

Airbus Group and Safran To Join Forces in Launcher Activities | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Airbus Group and Safran are further strengthening their relationship to propose a new family of competitive, versatile and efficient space launchers, to serve both commercial and institutional needs.

 

In this context, both companies have agreed to create a 50-50 Joint Venture, with a key role for each shareholder in their legacy activities especially in France and Germany, combining expertise in the launcher systems from Airbus Group as well as propulsion systems from Safran...

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Satellites Seen As Critical to Maritime Security

Satellites Seen As Critical to Maritime Security | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Illegal activities at sea often go unnoticed because international authorities cannot keep a watchful eye over the oceans that cover two-thirds of Earth’s surface. 
 
The answer is to increase space-based surveillance, Guy Thomas, co-founder of Collaboration in Space for International Global Maritime Awareness, said June 16 at a forum hosted by the Secure World Foundation in Washington, D.C.
 
U.S. and allied defense agencies are promoting maritime domain awareness from space...

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Up to $5.9 billion in military space related projects coming down the government pipe according to Spaceref.ca

Up to $5.9 billion in military space related projects coming down the government pipe according to Spaceref.ca | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence yesterday outlined the governments inaugural annual Defence Acquisition Guide yesterday and it contains upwards of $5.9 billion military space related projects.

 

While the Defence Acquisition Guide will be updated every year going forward it will also receive a "substantial" refresh every three years which aligns with the Canadian Armed Forces investment planning cycle.

Chuck Black's insight:

Promises, promises. Now seems to be the time to show us the money...

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Airbus, Safran create space launch joint venture

Airbus, Safran create space launch joint venture | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Airbus Group and Safran confirmed plans on Monday to combine work on space launchers, accelerating efforts to fend off a growing threat to Europe's Ariane space rocket from U.S. low-cost rival SpaceX.

 

The move is the first step towards consolidation after Airbus Group's chief executive Tom Enders, speaking exclusively to Reuters last month, called for a fundamental rethink of the complex way Europe designs and builds launchers.

 

Executives discussed the new venture with French president Francois Hollande, who called it a "major step" towards consolidation while underscoring the importance of 16,000 Ariane jobs in France - a number that many analysts expect to come under pressure as Europe slashes the cost of space launches...

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NRO Mission Opens Door For SpaceX/ULA Duel

NRO Mission Opens Door For SpaceX/ULA Duel | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
The U.S. Air Force has begun the process of conducting the first launch services competition since awarding the monopoly United Launch Alliance (ULA) an exclusive 36-core deal last year that sparked a lawsuit from upstart competitor SpaceX.
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Dividend paying small-cap COM DEV has more growth ahead

Dividend paying small-cap COM DEV has more growth ahead | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Most analysts are taking a bullish view on space hardware maker Com Dev after it recently announced it would begin paying a quarterly dividend
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Two low-cost, car battery-sized Canadian space telescopes launched from Russia today

Two low-cost, car battery-sized Canadian space telescopes launched from Russia today | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

(Nanowerk News) Two nanosatellites were launched from Yasny, Russia, at 15:11:11 Eastern Daylight Time today by Anthony Moffat, of the University of Montreal and the Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec, and the Canadian research and technology team he leads.


Costing a fraction of conventional space telescopes and similar in size and weight to a car battery, the satellites are two of six that will work together to shed light on the structures and life stories of some of the brightest stars in the sky, uncovering unique clues as to the origins of our own Sun and Earth...

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Tesla Cars, Space Technology, and BitTorrent: Why Monopolies Suck!

Tesla Cars, Space Technology, and BitTorrent: Why Monopolies Suck! | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

When Bram Cohen created the BitTorrent protocol, he had the legal option of filing for a patent monopoly on any computer program that used this protocol. (The mere existence of such an option is a very bad thing, but we’ll be returning to that.) Mr. Cohen chose to not monopolize the BitTorrent protocol in that way. Let’s examine what implications that would have had for the technology.

 

If the BitTorrent technology would have been protected by patent monopolies, it would have been effectively limited to Mr. Cohen’s original BitTorrent client. Have you used that client? Do you know anybody who has used it? Didn’t think so, and neither do I. Instead, there is an enormous plethora of clients and servers that use the protocol today, and Mr. Cohen’s BitTorrent Inc. is valued at eight-digit dollars. Not to mention the fact that BitTorrent Inc. was subsequently able to buy one of the most prolific BitTorrent clients out there, µTorrent, which would not have existed had the technology been monopolized in the first place. I think most of us have used µTorrent – I know I have...

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Google's Aerospace Acquisitions - Endless Possibilities

Google's Aerospace Acquisitions - Endless Possibilities | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Through these acquisitions, Google will be able to provide internet services to farfetched regions of the world, which can have a positive impact on Google's advertising revenues.

 

In the less developed part of the world, which lacks communication infrastructure such as telephone lines and communication towers, providing internet services through satellites and drones can be a cheaper option...

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Russia to get first private satellite constellation

Russia to get first private satellite constellation | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Moscow (AFP) June 18, 2014
A Russian startup said Wednesday it will launch several satellites in the coming weeks, the country's first private satellite constellation, to offer maritime monitoring services.
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Boeing Preparing Layoff Notices in Case of Commercial Crew Loss

Boeing Preparing Layoff Notices in Case of Commercial Crew Loss | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Hoping for the best, but preparing for defeat, Boeing will send out about 215 potential layoff notices to employees currently working on its NASA CST-100 Commercial Crew program.

 

The 60-day notices, required under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), are due to be distributed on June 20 to about 170 employees in Houston and 45 in Florida in case Boeing is not selected for an upcoming Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, Boeing spokesman Adam Morgan told SpaceNews. 

 

“It’s just a standard way … to minimize potential business impact,” added John Mulholland, Boeing Commercial Crew program manager...

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Big Brother Is watching Canadian oil sands producers - Alberta Oil Magazine

Big Brother Is watching Canadian oil sands producers - Alberta Oil Magazine | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

A watchful eye in the sky passes over Canadian oil sands projects, silently snapping aerial photos as it cycles through a 24-day orbit. Big brother is watching and Canadian oil sands companies ought to take heed. Satellites orbiting the Earth are observing the goings-on above and below the surface and providing all kinds of data to industry, regulators and government...

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D-Day for the International Space Station

D-Day for the International Space Station | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

So, Russia hasn't stopped operations on the International Space Station. Soyuz spacecraft will continue to carry cosmonauts and astronauts there, despite growing international tensions on Earth. We can all breathe easy for a moment. Okay, that's done. Now it's time to consider what happens next.

 

It would seem that things will probably remain on a similar course until 2020. After that, who knows? We have recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of the legendary D-Day that marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.

 

Now it's time to start planning for another important (if less critical) event: Decision Day for ISS. Russia has stated that it will probably suspend its participation in the International Space Station in 2020, posing serious questions over its entire future. Even without a Russian pull-out, ISS would still be a program with an uncertain course...

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ULA Signs Multiple Contracts for Next-Gen Propulsion Work

ULA Signs Multiple Contracts for Next-Gen Propulsion Work | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has signed commercial contracts with multiple American companies to investigate next-generation liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon first stage propulsion concepts. In collaboration with ULA, each company will conduct technical feasibility analysis, develop high fidelity plans, identify schedule, cost and technical risks, as well as cost estimates to meet aggressive recurring cost targets. All concepts will support a first launch by 2019.

 

"As the nation's steward of the launch industrial base and the only company certified to launch our nation's most critical missions, it is incumbent upon ULA to bring forward the best solutions to preserve that capability for the future," said Michael Gass, ULA president and CEO...

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A New Starship Enterprise to Explore Space!

A New Starship Enterprise to Explore Space! | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Space: the final frontier! These are the voyages of the IXS Enterprise, the latest starship concept design with warp drive capabilities.


NASA physicist, Dr. Harold White, has been working to make his Star Trek dreams of interstellar travel a reality and has been trying to push humanity closer to faster-than-light travel. Dr. White, head of NASA’s Advanced Propulsion Team, started his faster-than-light work in 2010, and announced it publicly last fall. But according to the June 12th, 2014 CNN article "What an Enterprise! NASA physicist, artist unveil warp-speed craft design," it wasn't until he joined forces with artist Mark Rademaker, that his inner sci-fi lover was awoken and excited...
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Coffee for cosmonauts! First 'ISSpresso' machine to arrive in space

Coffee for cosmonauts! First 'ISSpresso' machine to arrive in space | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Jun 17, 2014
The International Space Station is set to welcome the first coffee machine in space in November. Until now, sleepy astronauts have been surviving only on dry powdered pouch-based products.
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Made in Space and Tesla Motors Riding the Open Source Wave

Made in Space and Tesla Motors Riding the Open Source Wave | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

On June 12th, a 3D printer specifically designed to work in micro-gravity was approved by NASA for installation on the International Space Station (ISS). On the same day, SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors will open up its patent portfolio, allowing other companies to harness Tesla-developed electric vehicle technology without fear of legal action.


Are the two items related? Of course they are...

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