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A supplement to the Commercial Space Blog (http://acuriousguy.blogspot.com/)
Curated by Chuck Black
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Moon Express Opens Propulsion Development Facility in Huntsville, AL

Moon Express Opens Propulsion Development Facility in Huntsville, AL | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Moon Express, Inc., a lunar resource company, has announced the opening of a Propulsion Development Facility in Huntsville, Alabama, that will be key to landing the world's first commercial spacecraft on the Moon. The announcement was made by rocket pioneer Tim Pickens, who joined Moon Express as the company's Chief Propulsion Engineer earlier this year.  Pickens made the announcement at the 2013 AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference in San Jose, California, revealing that the company has already successfully met several milestones in its propulsion development plans, including:

Successfully test firing a "green" 400 pound demo rocket engine, demonstrating the new test facility checkout, as well as testing engine performance, deep throttling, and efficiencyDeveloping new mono-prop and bi-prop propulsion systems for the Moon Express lander that range in thrust classes from 0.1-1000 pound thrustInvestments into new local capabilities including design, fabrication, and remote hot fire test capabilities for "Green" propulsion systems
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UrtheCast announces the appointment of Wade Larson as President and COO

UrtheCast announces the appointment of Wade Larson as President and COO | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

VANCOUVER, July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- UrtheCast Corp. CA:UR 0.00% ('UrtheCast') announces that Wade Larson has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of the company, effective immediately. Wade is a co-founder of UrtheCast and, along with UrtheCast CTO Dr. George Tyc, developed the original vision for the company back in 2009-2010.

 

Mr. Larson has over 18 years of space sector experience at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and at MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), Canada's largest space company. He has extensive, global experience in space-related business development, strategy development, government relations, international relations, and policy formulation. His education includes an MBA from McGill University and studies at the International Space University..

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Russian Entrepreneur Bets on US Rent-a-Satellite Company

Russian Entrepreneur Bets on US Rent-a-Satellite Company | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Washington (RIA Novosti) Jul 18, 2013 Russian investor and Internet entrepreneur Dmitry Grishin has invested $300,000 in a new company manufacturing innovative research satellites for use by private individuals, the technology news website The...
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NASA Technology Has Stabilizing Effect for Rockets and Buildings

NASA Technology Has Stabilizing Effect for Rockets and Buildings | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Huntsville AL (SPX) Jul 18, 2013
A NASA technology originally designed to stabilize rockets could now help buildings survive earthquake damage.
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Need lift? Turn to Canada’s vibrant tech sector

Need lift? Turn to Canada’s vibrant tech sector | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

It’s no secret Canadian investors’ love affair with resource stocks has come to an abrupt end this year. With the price of gold plummeting and the energy sector languishing, where are investors to turn for stocks with high growth potential?

 

The answer may be tech. Yes, technology stocks. Many investors may have bad memories of the 2000 tech stock bust – including the sorry tale of Nortel Networks Corp. More recently there has been the white-knuckle roller-coaster ride of BlackBerry Ltd.

 

But the truth is the technology sector has quietly been one of the strongest parts of the Canadian market in the past 12 months.

 

Since last July, the S&P/TSX Information Technology index has been the second-best performer among the 10 index groups. The tech index is comprised of the seven largest companies in the sector – when you look beyond the big names, the performance is even more impressive...

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Cabinet reshuffle shakes up Canadian science

Cabinet reshuffle shakes up Canadian science | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed former nurse and lawyer Greg Rickford as Canada’s science and technology minister.

 

Rickford most recently served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. He has been relatively quiet about science since his election in 2008, but has faced some of the current unrest in the Canadian research community.

 

Rickford represents the electoral district of Kenora, which includes the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), the freshwater research station that the federal government stopped funding on 31 March. In May, Rickford announced in parliament that federal government and the Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) had signed a memorandum of agreement to set up the transfer the ELA to the IISD...

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John Olson, Former White House Official, Joins SNC Space Systems

John Olson, Former White House Official, Joins SNC Space Systems | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Aerospace Veteran to Head Dream Chaser Program SPARKS, Nev., –– Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is pleased to announce that John Olson, Ph.D., former Assistant Director for Space and Aeronautics, Office of Science and Technology Policy in the...
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Russian backed Grishin Robotics invests $300,000 into American nano-satellites

Russian backed Grishin Robotics invests $300,000 into American nano-satellites | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Russian backed Grishin Robotics invests $300,000 into American nano-satellites

 

Grishin Robotics, the first global robotics investment company, said it is investing in US-based NanoSatisfi. With the funds raised the American company plans to enable any person across the world to look into space via the internet for just $250 a week.

 

Dmitry Grishin is Chairman of the Mail.Ru Group, a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of nearly $6 billion. He will contribute to the development of the ultra- mall satellites known as nano-satellites...

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Boeing, Panasonic Look to Offer eXConnect In-Flight Broadband to Government Customers

Boeing, Panasonic Look to Offer eXConnect In-Flight Broadband to Government Customers | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Fairfax VA (SPX) Jul 17, 2013
Boeing and Panasonic Avionics Corp. are preparing to open a new market for Panasonic's secure, satellite-based, in-flight broadband service known as eXConnect.
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China’s First Lecture from Space a Sign of More to Come

China’s First Lecture from Space a Sign of More to Come | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

In a sign of China’s evolving capabilities in space, taikonauts on that nation’s latest mission received as much attention for their public outreach as their advances in rendezvous and...

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Students eager to share space with Canadian astronaut

Students eager to share space with Canadian astronaut | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

 

The skies will come alive with the sound of music as students in Bragg Creek join with students from across Canada to sing simultaneously with a Canadian astronaut in outer space.

 

At 11 a.m. mountain time on Monday May 6, all 270 Kindergarten to Grade 8 Banded Peak School students, accompanied by the school’s Grade 7/8 concert band, will perform the song I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing), as part of the Music Monday celebration.

 

Music Monday, a national event founded by Coalition for Music Education, brings together thousands of students, teachers, musicians and parents from across Canada to celebrate music education by performing the same song on the same date and time.

 

This year, the Coalition for Music partnered with the Canadian Space Agency, and Canadian astronaut and musician Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson who co-wrote the song I.S.S. for the Music Monday event.

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To infinity and beyond! George Osborne invests in skylon space plane!

To infinity and beyond! George Osborne invests in skylon space plane! | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Hooray for George Osborne! I never imagined I’d ever write those words, but George has done his country a great service. He’s put £60 million behind one of the most…
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Federal Cabinet Shuffle Moves New Faces to Key Aerospace Files

Federal Cabinet Shuffle Moves New Faces to Key Aerospace Files | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Ottawa (Ontario), July 15, 2013 – Today Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a major shuffle of the federal Cabinet, the largest since he formed government in 2006. Included in the changes were appointments to several key aerospace-related portfolios...

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Businesses look for 'champion' in new Industry Minister James Moore

Businesses look for 'champion' in new Industry Minister James Moore | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Corporate Canada is warmly welcoming new Industry Minister James Moore, saying he will bring a more effective hands-on approach than his predecessor to a job that oversees some of the most contentious files facing the government, including competition in the wireless phone sector.

 

“There’s no doubt [corporate Canada] is looking for a champion and will have one in Mr. Moore,” said Michele Austin, a past chief of staff for former industry minister Maxime Bernier and now a senior adviser to Summa Strategies in Ottawa. She predicted Mr. Moore “will be interested in details in a way Mr. Paradis was not.”

Chuck Black's insight:

Moores new portfolio also includes the Canadian Space Agency. For more on the issues being dealt with in that department, check out http://acuriousguy.blogspot.ca/2013/07/congratulations-to-new-industry-minister.html.

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Upside down sensor behind proton rocket explosion

Upside down sensor behind proton rocket explosion | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Jul 19, 2013
An investigation into the failure of a Proton-M booster rocket carrying three GLONASS navigation satellites that exploded moments after launch suggests a wrongly placed sensor was to blame.
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The Zero Gravity Coffee Cup

The Zero Gravity Coffee Cup | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Huntsville AL (SPX) Jul 18, 2013
High above our planet in the realm of satellites and space stations, the familiar rules of Earth do not apply. The midday sky is as black as night. There is no up and no down.
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Ball Aerospace ships flight boxes to NASA

Ball Aerospace ships flight boxes to NASA | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

BOULDER - Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has sent 22 cryogenic flight electronic boxes to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to be installed on the $8.7 billion James Webb Space Telescope.

Financial terms of the contract were not immediately available between Boulder-based Ball Aerospace and Redondo Beach, California,-based Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, the primary contractor in charge of building the Webb telescope for NASA.

Ball Aerospace workers developed the boxes, which can operate in a deep-freeze cryogenic environment as low as minus 405 degrees Farenheit, as well as at room temperature, according to a company press release. The Webb telescope is slated for launch October 2018, according to news reports...

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MDA expands RADARSAT-2 information solution with operational customer

MDA expands RADARSAT-2 information solution with operational customer | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

RICHMOND, BC, July 17, 2013 /CNW/ - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. ("MDA" or the "Company") (TSX: MDA), a global communications and information company, announced today that it has signed a multi-million dollar contract with Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), France. MDA will provide a RADARSAT-2 ground station and three years of RADARSAT information. The station will be installed in Bali, Indonesia, providing maritime information solutions to support the detection of illegal fishing activity and marine pollution.

 

The RADARSAT-2 satellite has global high-resolution surveillance capabilities that include a large collection capacity and high accuracy. The satellite acquires data regardless of light or weather condition, provides frequent re-visit imaging options, and is supported by ground receiving stations that provide near real-time information delivery services. This versatility makes RADARSAT-2 a reliable source of information in multi-faceted intelligence surveying and monitoring programs..

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UrtheCast’s Camera Completes First Acceptance Testing

UrtheCast’s Camera Completes First Acceptance Testing | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

 

VANCOUVER, B.C. — UrtheCast Corp. has announced that its Medium Resolution Camera (MRC) passed its first Acceptance Test (AT-1), allowing for the MRC to be shipped from Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL Space) in the UK to S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation (Energia) in Russia.

 

Representatives from UrtheCast, Energia, RAL Space, and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) participated in the completion of the AT-1. This takes UrtheCast one-step closer to the November 2013 launch of UrtheCast’s cameras to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz Progress-M rocket. AT-1 is the culmination of months of testing, which included electrical and functional tests of the camera as well as full environmental testing (thermal vacuum, vibration and electro-magnetic compatibility)...

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ESA test opens way to UK spaceplane engine investment

ESA test opens way to UK spaceplane engine investment | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
London, UK (ESA) Jul 17, 2013 The UK government has announced plans to invest in the development of an air-breathing rocket engine - intended for a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane - following the ESA-managed feasibility testing of essential...
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Link between quantum physics and game theory found

Link between quantum physics and game theory found | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Bristol, UK (SPX) Jul 17, 2013 While research tends to become very specialized and entire communities of scientists can work on specific topics with only a little overlap between them, physicist Dr Nicolas Brunner and mathematician Professor Noah...
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New cabinet not expected to shift science policy

New cabinet not expected to shift science policy | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Observers of the Harper government’s sometimes frayed relationship with Canadian researchers say they are not anticipating a substantive change in federal science policy after Monday’s cabinet shuffle.

 

Gary Goodyear, minister of state (science and technology) for the past five years, was replaced by Greg Rickford of Kenora in the shuffle.

 

 Mr. Rickford was a nurse and lawyer before he was elected to Parliament in 2008, and his name has not been closely associated with science and technology issues in Canada before today. Before taking up the portfolio, he served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

 

“He’s got the political credentials, but that’s about it,” said Paul Dufour, adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy.

 

He added that Mr. Rickford will report to James Moore, the new federal Industry Minister, who has similarly little experience with science and technology issues. “Both of these guys are starting from scratch...

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Mining in Space – The Next Frontier?

Mining in Space – The Next Frontier? | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

from TheDiplomat.com: Off-Earth mining is no longer science fiction. Pacific Rim countries lead the way.

Given the rising global demand for rare-earth elements (REE) and the necessity to synthesize exotic materials for numerous high-tech applications, extra-terrestrial mining is likely to become the next race in space.

REE are used in state-of-the-art electronics, nuclear technologies, lasers, super-magnets and green-energy technology. China, the world’s largest producer of REE, restricted its abundant supplies globally in 2009, citing the need to protect the environment. In fact, it was the mismanagement of reserves and increasing domestic high-tech production that compelled Beijing to cut REE exports from its Bayan Obo mining district...

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ESA Signs Off On Baseline Configuration Of Ariane 6

ESA Signs Off On Baseline Configuration Of Ariane 6 | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Paris (ESA) Jul 16, 2013
In November 2012, European Ministers responsible for space, meeting in Naples, Italy, approved the start of preparatory activities for Europe's next-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle.
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‘Star Trek Tricorder’ Breaks Indiegogo Crowdfunding Record

‘Star Trek Tricorder’ Breaks Indiegogo Crowdfunding Record | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

The Scanadu Scout became the most funded campaign in Indiegogo history on Friday. The Star Trek inspired medical device that runs on NASA technology surpassed the previous record holder, the “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum” campaign, when it broke $1.37 million in total funding. At the time of posting, the campaign has raised $1,469,920 with six days remaining in the campaign.

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