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A supplement to the Commercial Space Blog (http://acuriousguy.blogspot.com)
Curated by Chuck Black
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Is "divorce" between Russian and US space agencies possible?

Is "divorce" between Russian and US space agencies possible? | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

NASA's withdrawal from communication with Russia would cause damage, first of all, to the US itself and its space programs. If someone may probably win anything from this withdrawal, this would be only a bunch of certain American private companies.

 

At present, these companies are adhering to all kinds of rhetoric around "the Crimean issue" for trying to convince the US Congress to allocate more sums on NASA's needs - which, in the end, would mean that this money will be allocated on these companies' projects...

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Flood mapping method is 'so simple it could be automated'

Flood mapping method is 'so simple it could be automated' | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Flood mapping method is 'so simple it could be automated' environmentalresearchweb They used the CDAT with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the European Space Agency's ENVISAT/ASAR and the Canadian Space Agency's Radarsat-2 and found that...
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The Space Review: Dennis Tito’s “Spaceship to Everywhere” may be a dead-end for NASA

The Space Review: Dennis Tito’s “Spaceship to Everywhere” may be a dead-end for NASA | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Contrary to Tito’s recent claim that critics of the space launch system are uninformed, there are in fact many people who are extremely well informed about SLS/Orion who make very strong arguments that it is an enormous waste of money. And those people exist both within NASA and outside of it...

Chuck Black's insight:

As outlined by Clark Lindsey on the HobbySpace wesite at http://hobbyspace.com/Blog/?p=7246, "NASA is giving an absurd $500M marginal cost number for a SLS launch.  The SLS program will cost tens of billions in development and require an annual cost in the $3B +range. NASA will be lucky to average one SLS flight per year. So even if development costs are ignored, an SLS flight will cost $3B+."

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U.S. Suspends Defense, Satellite Exports To Russia

U.S. Suspends Defense, Satellite Exports To Russia | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

With Moscow consolidating its hold on Crimea, the U.S. State Department is suspending approval of defense exports to Russia, a move that could prevent the launch of U.S. commercial communications satellites on Russian rockets.

 

“State will continue this practice until further notice,” the department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) said in a March 27 announcement on its website...

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Five Space Agency Leaders To Be Featured at 30th Space Symposium: May 19th - 22nd in Colorado Springs, CO

Five Space Agency Leaders To Be Featured at 30th Space Symposium: May 19th - 22nd in Colorado Springs, CO | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

The leaders of five of the world's space agencies will be featured speakers at this year's 30th Space Symposium, to be held May 19-22 at the five-star, five-diamond Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA.

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The Crimean Crisis and Canadian Aerospace Activities

The Crimean Crisis and Canadian Aerospace Activities | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Russia’s recent annexation of the Crimea region of the Ukraine has caused repercussions in at least two Canadian space and aerospace firms...

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Project to forecast Maine lobster season seeking NASA funding

Project to forecast Maine lobster season seeking NASA funding | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

A research proposal from Maine chosen to compete for NASA funding aims to predict the movements of key species in the Gulf of Maine and provide seasonal forecasts for the lobster industry.


If funded, the proposal from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will attempt to develop models for real-time estimates of the distribution of fish and invertebrates in the gulf using Earth-system data, such as satellites, and observations from fishermen and researchers...

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Ukrainian situation won't change Russian-Kazakh Baiterek project

Ukrainian situation won't change Russian-Kazakh Baiterek project | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 07, 2014
The Baiterek space project will not undergo adjustments over the Ukrainian situation, the foreign ministers of Russia and Kazakhstan pledged, the Voice of Russia correspondent Kira Kalinina reports.
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Space technology no longer at the leading edge: David Gump at TEDxCibeles

Deep Space Industries’ CEO talks about the constraint of space tech to ‘proven’ technology and argues that traditional space enterprises are now well behind the curve of innovation.


He goes on to say that recent new commercial space enterprises are breaking that mold which, along with in situ resource utilization, is causing the dawning of a golden age of sustainable space exploration and settlement...

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ISRO examining business model for industries in satellite, rocket production

ISRO examining business model for industries in satellite, rocket production | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

The Indian space agency is working at preparing a business model to partner with industries - public and private - so that they have a higher level of participation in the space sector, said its chief.

 

We are working at a possible model for investment, sharing of technology and responsibility with the industries. The response from the industries - public and private - is positive. It will take three or four years to arrive at a proper model," said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K.Radhakrishnan...

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China eyes 'global monitoring network' of surveillance satellites

China eyes 'global monitoring network' of surveillance satellites | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 03, 2014 To compensate the frustration over the endless search for missing the Malaysian airliner, Chinese scientists have doubled efforts to promote their project of a huge satellites network, which will enable Beijing...
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NASA's Open Innovation Manager is coming to Toronto!

NASA's Open Innovation Manager is coming to Toronto! | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Toronto, ON - Beth Beck, NASA’s Open Innovation Program Manager, will be joining the NASA International Space Apps Challenge Toronto team next weekend, April 11-13, at the Ontario Science Centre. 

 

Beth brings over 25 years of experience at NASA to the Toronto event. Her dedication to innovation and collaboration as tools to challenge bureaucratic status quo is well documented:  She was one of the first NASA users of Twitter in early 2007 and she created NASA’s web-based 3D multimedia collection. 

 

“NASA sent me to attend Space Apps Toronto because it's one of our most successful events,” she says. “I'm thrilled the rockstar Toronto team is allowing me to join their enthusiastic community for the events on Friday through Sunday. I'm eager to learn from the best as we tackle some of most pressing challenges facing us on and off the planet...

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Brian Binnie Joins XCOR Aerospace

Brian Binnie Joins XCOR Aerospace | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

XCOR Aerospace has hired celebrated aviator and commercial astronaut Commander Brian Binnie (USN-ret.) as senior test pilot...

Chuck Black's insight:

Binnie is a decorated aviator who piloted SpaceShip One on the Ansari X-Prize award winning flight, which broke the winged aircraft altitude record previously held by the X-15. 

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Russia warns Ukraine against missile technologies proliferation

Russia warns Ukraine against missile technologies proliferation | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Russia on Monday drew Kiev's attention over media reports that a Ukrainian military-space enterprise had allegedly been negotiating with third countries on missile technology sale.

 

Referring to the Yuzhmash plant based in the city of Dnepropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry reminded that Ukraine is a participant of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and a signatory of The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC).

 

Moscow said Kiev has been bearing serious political obligations and must be especially restrained when it comes to technologies of building the missiles with the range over 300 km and workload over 500 kg...

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A Satellite Startup Could Be Google’s Next Purchase | TechCrunch

A Satellite Startup Could Be Google’s Next Purchase | TechCrunch | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

According to a report, Google is interested in buying Skybox Imaging, a California-based startup that builds high-resolution imaging microsatellites...

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The RD-180: Russian Backbone of the US Space Program

The RD-180: Russian Backbone of the US Space Program | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

After Atlantis took its final trip in July of 2011, the US space program has largely depended upon the Atlas V rocket platform to push the boundaries of the final frontier.  The Atlas program now acts as the sole method of launching some of the US’s most important orbital crafts including GPS satellites, the Boeing X-37, and Curiosity, the Mars rover.

 

The Atlas V platform is constructed by United Launch Alliance.  The vast majority of the platform showcases the highest level of technological advancement in space vehicles.  Furthermore, the platform can adapt to a wide variety of payloads, ensuring that the vast breadth of US missions can be completed.  However, this rocket also hides a flaw that not only places its survival in jeopardy, but also the United States’ strength in the international community.

 

The RD-180 Engine.

 

This engine, manufactured by NPO Energomash, fuels the first stage of the rocket.  Its characteristic two chambers have been manufactured since the early 90s.  While the US-based Aerojet Rocketdyne acquired the rights to produce this engine over twenty years ago, production has remained an entirely Russian affair to this current time – in clear violation of Department of Defense instructions...

 

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Space projects on the chopping block

Space projects on the chopping block | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Opportunity, NASA’s resilient rover, just keeps rolling across Mars even though it landed a decade ago. It has survived mechanical malfunctions, computer glitches, tricky sand traps, ferocious dust storms and long, frigid Martian winters.

 

But maybe not the budget ax.

 

The Obama administration’s baseline budget proposal for the fiscal year 2015 has an ominously low number for Opportunity: $0. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, now circling the moon, also crashes to zero in the budget proposal...

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The Space Review: Symbolism and substance in US-Russian space relations

The Space Review: Symbolism and substance in US-Russian space relations | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

A week ago, it appeared that concerns that arose at the beginning of March about the effect the Ukraine crisis would have on US-Russian space relations had, if not died down, at least leveled off.

 

While at the beginning of March some were concerned that Russia could cut off access to the International Space Station (ISS) to NASA astronauts (see “A time of danger and opportunity for US-Russian space relations”, The Space Review, March 10, 2014), by the end of the month three crewmembers had returned from the station and three new crewmembers—two Russians and one American—launched to the station without incident.

 

“I am not aware of any threat” of Russia refusing to transport NASA astronauts to the station, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said...

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Space tech provides Africa's first Islamic insurance for herders

Space tech provides Africa's first Islamic insurance for herders | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

The son of a camel herder, Hassan Bashir knows how tough traditional life in Kenya's arid north is, where pastoralists rely on livestock herds surviving boom and bust cycles of drought.

But Bashir is also an astute entrepreneur, developing Africa's first livestock insurance scheme to make payouts compliant with Islamic law, by bringing together Muslim scholars and number-crunching agricultural experts using NASA weather satellites...

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NASA to hurt itself by cutting ties with Russia

NASA to hurt itself by cutting ties with Russia | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 07, 2014 NASA posted on its Twitter and Facebook accounts a statement announcing the suspension of cooperation with Russia in a move to side with Washington administration's sanctions against Russia, Itar-Tass news...
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Rethinking space science, exploration to help solve global problems

Rethinking space science, exploration to help solve global problems | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Tempe AZ (SPX) Apr 07, 2014
Could a paradigm shift in space science and exploration that aligns businesses with research universities lead to new mining resources, a cure for cancer or even world peace?
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Hosted payloads, commerical products are a necessity to save money, says USAF

Hosted payloads, commerical products are a necessity to save money, says USAF | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

LONG BEACH, Calif., 5 April 2014. Hosted payloads are a necessity, affirms Colonel Scott Beidleman, director, development planning, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), U.S. Air Force, during the Space Tech Conference in Long Beach, Calif.

 

Hosted payloads are a necessity, Beidleman says, for two reasons: one is budget, which requires innovative and affordable ideas, and the other is threat, given that space is congested and contested. “It is sobering the number of countries that are growing their capabilities” in space and the ability to block others access to information. That number is 15 and growing, according to aerospace industry pundits.  

 

“Decreasing budget and increasing threat drives policy to pursue more affordable and resilient solutions,” reads both the National Space Policy (July 2010) and National Security Space Strategy (Jan. 2011)...

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Indian navigation satellite soars into orbit, step closer to own GPS-like system

Indian navigation satellite soars into orbit, step closer to own GPS-like system | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
New Delhi (Voice of Russia) Apr 06, 2014 The Indian Space Research Organization successfully launched its IRNSS-1B navigation satellite into space - the second of seven satellites which are bringing India steps closer to providing an alternative to...
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Canadian Space Agency keeping ties with Russia for now - Toronto Sun

Canadian Space Agency keeping ties with Russia for now - Toronto Sun | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

NASA may have cut ties with Russia's space agency over the country's interference in Ukraine, but the Canadian Space Agency isn't following suit just yet.

 

"While the government views the current situation in the Ukraine with great concern, the Canadian Space Agency will continue to work with its Russian counterpart to ensure the safe and effective operation of the International Space Station," the agency wrote in a statement Friday...

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Looking for money? Here's the 2014 Canadian Startup Financing Landscape

Looking for money? Here's the 2014 Canadian Startup Financing Landscape | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
This infographic looks at the Canadian startup financing ecosystem divided into 6 categories: angels, incubators, accelerators, seed, series A & series B.
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