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A supplement to the Commercial Space Blog (http://acuriousguy.blogspot.com/)
Curated by Chuck Black
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General Fusion Appoints Two Industry Leaders to Its Board of Directors

General Fusion Appoints Two Industry Leaders to Its Board of Directors | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 4, 2013) - General Fusion, the Canadian company developing fusion power, continues to attract the top minds in the energy and technology sectors with the appointment of Jacques Besnainou and Frederick W. Buckman to its board of directors.

 

Besnainou, 49, is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of AREVA Group North America. AREVA is ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, offering utilities a unique, integrated suite of products and services including nuclear reactor design and construction.

 

"I am very impressed by the caliber of the team of scientists, management and investors assembled by General Fusion and by the technology path chosen to achieve nuclear fusion in the near future," said Besnainou. "I am honored and thrilled to join the board at this exciting time for the company.

 

Buckman, 67, has a PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT, and has held executive positions in numerous energy and utility companies in the past three decades including The Shaw Power Group, Brookfield Asset Management, Trans-Elect Inc. He is currently President and CEO of Powerlink Transmission Company, an independent transmission company bringing private capital to large, high voltage transmission networks and projects.

Chuck Black's insight:

General Fusion was profiled in the July 4th, 2013 blog post "An Economically Viable Fusion Device" at  http://acuriousguy.blogspot.ca/2013/06/an-economically-viable-fusion-device.html.

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Cygnus Mated to Launch Vehicle for Sept. 17 Launch

Cygnus Mated to Launch Vehicle for Sept. 17 Launch | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Wallops Island, VA, 6 Sept. 2013 (Orbital PR) – Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, successfully mated its Cygnus™ cargo logistics spacecraft to its Antares™ rocket today in preparation for its Sept. 17 launch from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. This upcoming demonstration flight is the final milestone in theCommercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) research and development initiative with NASA. The completion of COTS will allow Orbital to begin regular cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS) under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Orbital is under contract for eight CRS missions to the ISS through 2016.

 

 


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Russ Roberts's curator insight, September 8, 2013 12:55 AM

Can the launching of commercial, educational, and amateur radio satellites be far behind for this ambitious private company?  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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LADEE Launches!

LADEE, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer robotic probe launched Friday night atop an Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur V rocket. The first deep space mission from Wallops Flight Facility, LADEE will orbit the moon to collect information about its atmosphere and environmental influences on lunar dust.


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Lori Garver Says Goodbye on Facebook

Lori Garver Says Goodbye on Facebook | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lori Garver posted a farewell statement on her official Facebook page today:
Thank you to everyone who has engaged NASA through this page. It has been a privilege to be a part of NASA’s early involvement with social media.
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Japan's robo-astronaut takes 'one small step...'

Japan's robo-astronaut takes 'one small step...' | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 05, 2013
A pint-sized android has uttered the first robotic words in space, showcasing Japan's drive to combine cutting-edge technology with cuteness.
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Moon Express Adds Spudis as Chief Scientist, Burns as Advisory Chair

Moon Express Adds Spudis as Chief Scientist, Burns as Advisory Chair | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Houston, TX, September 5th, 2013 (ME PR) – Moon Express, Inc., a lunar resources company, announced today that leading planetary scientists Dr. Paul Spudis and Dr. Jack Burns have joined the company to assist its plans to explore the Moon for precious resources.

 

Dr. Spudis, an outspoken advocate of using lunar resources to develop the Moon and cislunar space, has joined Moon Express as its Chief Scientist, a part-time role established in collaboration with the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, where he is a Senior Staff Scientist.

 

Dr. Burns, Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute’s Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR) and named to NASA’s Advisory Council in 2008, has also joined Moon Express in a part-time capacity as chair of the company’s Science Advisory Board, focused on scientific and resource utilization goals and prospects for Moon Express.

 


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Moon landing mission to use "secret weapons"

Moon landing mission to use "secret weapons" | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Beijing (XNA) Sep 05, 2013
Multiple "secret weapons" will be used on China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe, scheduled to launch at the end of this year for a moon landing mission, a key scientist said on Wednesday.
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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Soars in 2nd Rocket-Powered Flight Test

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Soars in 2nd Rocket-Powered Flight Test | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

\The space tourism company Virgin Galactic performed the second rocket-powered flight test of its SpaceShipTwo passenger spacecraft Thursday (Sept. 5), marking a major milestone for the spaceflight company.

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Russian Space Industry to Be Consolidated Within Year – Rogozin

Russian Space Industry to Be Consolidated Within Year – Rogozin | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin confirmed plans on Wednesday to consolidate Russia’s space industry under a single state-controlled corporation within a year.
Chuck Black's insight:

The Russian launch industry will from now on be ran by a single company. Others, like RKK Energia and Khrunichev would hold shares in that company...

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Canadian Aerospace Technology Demonstration Program Announced

Canadian Aerospace Technology Demonstration Program Announced | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to provide $110 million over four years, beginning in 2014-15, and $55 million annually thereafter, for the creation of an Aerospace Technology Demonstration Program.
Chuck Black's insight:

Proposed earlier this week by Industry Minister James Moore. For more information, check out the AIAC press release at http://actionplan.gc.ca/en/initiative/aerospace-technology-demonstration-program.

 

Wonder when the space specific innovation fund will be announced?

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Houston Airports Unveil First Look at Proposed Spaceport

Houston Airports Unveil First Look at Proposed Spaceport | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Facility Aiming for International Space Travel, Not Just Space Tourism HOUSTON, Texas — The Houston Airport System unveiled part of its vision for the future of Ellington Airport (EFD) today, as conceptual renderings of a possible Spaceport were...
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A google Lunar Xprize satellite communication encryption puzzle

A google Lunar Xprize satellite communication encryption puzzle | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

An encryption challenge from team Plan B, which pays off in 10 "Lunaro Strelings."

 

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Building Really Big Structures in Space

Building Really Big Structures in Space | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
by clark s. lindsey In the 1970s when gigantic in-space colonies similar to the one depicted in the recent movie Elysium were proposed, the obvious question was how could such behemoths possibly be affordable when it had cost billions just to send...
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As she leaves NASA, Garver warns of SLS/Orion delays | Space Politics

As she leaves NASA, Garver warns of SLS/Orion delays | Space Politics | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Friday marked the last day on the job for NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver, who announced a month ago she was leaving the agency to take a job in the private sector. At a reception Thursday evening at NASA Headquarters, she reflected on the four-plus years in that role, NASA Watch reported, from the clashes she had with then-administrator Mike Griffin when she was part of the administration’s transition team after the 2008 election to being perceived as pushing for change at NASA for the sake of change itself. “You can’t choose the time you asked to serve,” she noted in a top-ten list of things she learned during her time in the job. “It was not easy to serve at a time when the shuttle was being shut down and large programs were being cancelled.”

 

Garver made bigger news, though, in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, where she said she believed the first launches of the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket and Orion spacecraft, slated for 2017 and 2021, would likely slip by a year or two each because of insufficient funding. “It’s very clear that we could have slips of a year or two,” she told the Sentinel.


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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 | More Commercial Space News | 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.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, September 8, 2013 8:50 PM

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?

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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Musk Says SpaceX Being “Extremely Paranoid” as It Readies for Falcon 9’s California Debut

Musk Says SpaceX Being “Extremely Paranoid” as It Readies for Falcon 9’s California Debut | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Building on its experience setting up a space launch complex in Florida, California-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is looking to begin operations in its home state this month, with a debut demonstration flight of an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket.

 

Privately owned SpaceX planned to conduct a static-test firing of the rocket’s new Merlin 1D engines the weekend of Sept. 7-8, the last major hurdle before a launch attempt could be made as early as a week or two later, founder and chief executive Elon Musk told SpaceNews. At press time, a NASA manifest had the launch slated for Sept. 14.

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Proposed Russian spacecraft to have a modern convenience -- a toilet

Proposed Russian spacecraft to have a modern convenience -- a toilet | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Moscow (UPI) Sep 6, 2013
A Russian spaceship for trips beyond Earth orbit will have at least one crucial advantage over a U.S. rival - a toilet - one of the craft's developers says.
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Major construction at N. Korea's rocket test site: website

Major construction at N. Korea's rocket test site: website | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Seoul (AFP) Aug 31, 2013
Fresh satellite imagery shows North Korea has embarked on a major new construction programme at the facility where it launched a long-range rocket in December, a US research institute said.
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Self-healing fluid could help tiny satellites travel through space ...

Self-healing fluid could help tiny satellites travel through space ... | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Instead of using tiny needles to shoot the liquid, Michigan Technological University researchers have found a more elegant solution: ferrofluid, a magnetic liquid that forms itself into needles that can act in a similar way.
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MSS Operators Generating Revenue of $1.5 Billion in 2012

MSS Operators Generating Revenue of $1.5 Billion in 2012 | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 05, 2013 Euroconsult has announced the latest findings of the Mobile Satellite Service industry in the 4th edition of their research report, "Mobile Satellite Communications Markets Survey: Prospects to 2022." According to...
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Canadian astronaut studies rocks in Nunavut

Canadian astronaut studies rocks in Nunavut | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

To the average Joe, rocks aren’t the most interesting things on Earth.

 

But Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen has a new found interest in them — that’s because it’s his hope to leave Earth one day.

 

“I didn’t have too much respect for rocks,” Hansen told Nunatsiaq News in a call from NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas...

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Report: SpaceShipTwo to make second powered flight today

Report: SpaceShipTwo to make second powered flight today | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle will reportedly make its second powered test flight, and first in more than four months, on Thursday morning. Parabolic Arc, based on Mojave, reported Wednesday night on the expected test flight, with SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo being prepared outside their hangar during the day.

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How to follow the build the XCOR Lynx

How to follow the build the XCOR Lynx | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Beginning each day next week at 9am PST, Monday through Friday, we will post a piece of the Lynx story online.

 

We will start with background on Lynx systems and subsystems and how they’ve been developed, tested and integrated. Each day will be reserved for a different set of systems and subsystems.


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University built CUSat, set to launch Sept. 14th will track GPS precision

University built CUSat, set to launch Sept. 14th will track GPS precision | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

After eight years of planning, submitting, winning, building and waiting, Cornell University’s CUSat – a nanosatellite designed and built by engineering students to help calibrate global positioning systems (GPS) with pinpoint accuracy – will be launched Sept. 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, Calif.

 

The satellite – which weighs about 90 pounds – will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Once in space, the satellite will move into low orbit to help calibrate GPS accuracy to within 3 millimeters. With that precision, future space missions can perform improved close-proximity spacecraft-to-spacecraft maneuvers.

 

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Magellan Awarded $110 Million Contract for RADARSAT Constellation Bus Manufacture

Magellan Awarded $110 Million Contract for RADARSAT Constellation Bus Manufacture | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Magellan Aerospace Corporation (Magellan) announced today the award of a $110 million Cdn. contract from MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) of Richmond, BC for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) satellite bus manufacture. The RCM is comprised of three low earth orbit spacecraft, each carrying a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload.

 

"RCM is one of the largest space projects that has been undertaken by Canada to date, and Magellan is proud to be a Tier One subcontractor on the mission," said James Butyniec, President and Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Aerospace. "Canada is one of the world's first space-faring nations and national programs like RCM are critical for keeping our domestic...

Chuck Black's insight:

I believe this contracts put a whole bunch of rumours to rest.

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