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NewSpace: A New Era In Space Exploration. As one era ends a new one begins: a new golden era in spaceflight. Join us for all the latest headlines in this bold new adventure.
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Orb-1 Launch for Jan 8 Has Been Scrubbed | SpaceRef

Orb-1 Launch for Jan 8 Has Been Scrubbed | SpaceRef | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Early this morning, Orbital Sciences Corp. decided to scrub today's launch attempt of the Antares rocket and the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on the company's first resupply mission to the International Space Station due to an unusually high level of space radiation that exceeded constraints imposed on Antares. 

 

The solar flux activity that occurred late yesterday afternoon resulted in an increasing level of radiation beyond what the Antares engineering team monitored earlier in the day.  Overnight, Orbital's engineers conducted an analysis of the radiation levels, but the Antares team decided to postpone the launch to further examine the potential effects of the space radiation on the rocket's avionics. The Cygnus spacecraft would not  be affected by the solar event.

 

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White House Endorses 4-year Space Station Extension | SpaceNews.com

White House Endorses 4-year Space Station Extension | SpaceNews.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON — The White House wants to extend the international space station’s (ISS) mission by four years to 2024, and NASA is willing to keep the $3-billion-a-year orbital outpost flying even if every international partner but Russia deserts the project, a senior NASA official said Jan. 8.

 

“We’re prepared to do what we have to do if the partners choose to take a different path,” William Gerstenmaier, who as associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate is the agency’s top human spaceflight official, said on a Jan. 8 conference call with reporters.

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PHOTOS: Falcon 9 flies with THAICOM 6 | Spaceflight Now

PHOTOS: Falcon 9 flies with THAICOM 6 | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is launched from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 at 5:06 p.m. EST to deploy the THAICOM 6 telecommunications spacecraft into a supersynchronous transfer orbit.

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

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Launch Photos: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Lofts Thaicom 6 Satellite

Launch Photos: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Lofts Thaicom 6 Satellite | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

 

See mission photos for the private spaceflight company SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Thaicom 6 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 6, 2013.

 

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US citizens: demand maximum support for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program | The Space Review

US citizens: demand maximum support for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"I urge my fellow Americans to demand Congress fully support NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program that is meant to end NASA’s reliance on the Russians to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Commercial Crew vehicle development has made significant progress, though the program received only 38 percent of the money that was requested for it over the last several years. This funding shortfall has already delayed the first expected flight in the program to ISS from the original 2015 to 2017. Those are two extra years the US will be sending billions of dollars to Russia that could be going into the American economy instead."

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First west, then east | The Space Review

First west, then east | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Since inception, Earth to orbit (ETO) space travel has been extremely expensive as measured in dollars per pound of payload delivered to orbit. Decades ago, lack of reusability and low flight rates were reasonably identified as key contributors to the high cost of launch. Because flights often failed at time of staging or engine ignition, and because mating of stages introduces operational complexities, reducing the number of stages was also identified as a desirable goal to attain.

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PHOTOS: Antares rocket transported to launch pad | Spaceflight Now

PHOTOS: Antares rocket transported to launch pad | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

For the second time in three weeks, Orbital Sciences transferred an Antares rocket to its Virginia launch pad Sunday for launch this week on a resupply flight to the International Space Station.

The one-mile trip from the Antares assembly hangar occurred Sunday afternoon. An issue with a hydraulics system on the rocket's mobile transporter delayed the rollout from Saturday night.

The launch was delayed from mid-December to give astronauts on the space station time to mount a pair of repair spacewalks to change out a degraded coolant pump on the outside of the complex. The Antares rocket was already on the launch pad when NASA decided to forego the resupply flight in December and reschedule the mission for January.

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SpaceX ready to launch first Falcon 9 rocket of the year | Spaceflight Now

SpaceX ready to launch first Falcon 9 rocket of the year | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX engineers at Cape Canaveral are finishing up preparations to launch a Falcon 9 rocket with a communications satellite for Thailand on Monday, just over one month after the Falcon 9's last mission from Florida.

 

Friday's launch window opens at 5:06 p.m. EST (2206 GMT) and extends more than two hours to 7:08 p.m. EST (0008 GMT), according to a SpaceX spokesperson and the U.S. Air Force. Deployment of the 6,649-pound Thaicom 6 satellite is expected 31 minutes after liftoff.

Stratocumulus's insight:

 

Check out a copy of the SpaceX/Thaicom-6 press kit at: http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/spacex_thaicom6_presskit.pdf

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2013 Year in Review | Space Angels Network

2013 Year in Review | Space Angels Network | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

2013 was a tremendous year for the space industry, which saw commercial ventures bring space travel and human spaceflight back to the forefront of public consciousness. Millions of people participated in the Lynx Apollo Campaign for a ticket to suborbital space, hundreds of thousands applied for a one-way trip to Mars, hundreds more bought flights on Virgin Galactic (including a number of high-profile celebrities), and commercial space ventures raised hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital.

 

 

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Decision looms in SpaceX race

Decision looms in SpaceX race | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Cameron County is poised for the selection of a commercial rocket-launch facility site. 

 

The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision on SpaceX’s proposal to establish a privately owned commercial rocket-launching facility in Cameron County is expected soon, according to a statement that the California-based space exploration firm provided to the Valley Morning Star Friday.

 

“FAA is now working toward the completion of the final Environmental Impact Statement and the subsequent issuance of a final Record of Decision,” SpaceX spokeswoman Hannah Post told the Star.

 

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Year in PReview: 2014 will be a crucial year for commercial crew | NewSpace Journal

Year in PReview: 2014 will be a crucial year for commercial crew | NewSpace Journal | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

After battling in 2012 to win funded Space Act Agreements from NASA for the latest phase of the agency’s Commercial Crew program, called Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap), three companies spent 2013 working to make progress on those agreements. According to a mid-December newsletter issued by NASA’s Commercial Spaceflight Development Division, Boeing had completed 14 of 20 milestones on its CCiCap award, Sierra Nevada 6 of 12, and SpaceX 11 of 17. Those milestones were principally design and safety reviews, although recent Boeing milestones did include some engineering subsystem tests.

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Three Launches, SpaceShipTwo Flight Test Set for Next Week | Parabolic Arc

Three Launches, SpaceShipTwo Flight Test Set for Next Week | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

A trio of orbital launches by SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corporation and ISRO will kick off the new year during the week ahead. Scaled Composites is also scheduled to conduct the third powered flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo on Jan. 9.

 

 

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SpaceX rocket launch pushed back to Monday

SpaceX rocket launch pushed back to Monday | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

CAPE CANAVERAL -- SpaceX is delaying the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

 

The rocket was supposed to launch Friday, but will instead launch Monday. They also have back up dates for Wednesday through Sunday, Jan 12. The only day they can’t launch is Tuesday, Jan. 7 when a rocket is set to launch from Virginia to the International Space Station.

 

This latest launch comes after SpaceX had several issues that lead to multiple postponements of their last launch one month ago.

 

The upcoming launch will be similar to this one because SpaceX is using another modified rocket with more powerful engines.

 

The company is ramping up launches this year from Cape Canaveral with nearly a dozen planned for 2014.

 

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CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria Statement on Extension of the ISS | Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Washington D.C. – Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Michael Lopez-Alegria statement on today’s White House approval to extend International Space Station operations to 2024: 

“The International Space Station is the crown jewel of NASA’s human spaceflight program. This extension comes at a critical time and paves the way for the ISS to fulfill its extensive and multifaceted potential – as a research lab that will provide countless benefits here on Earth, as an anchor destination for America’s commercial space race and as a jumping off point for deep space technology development and exploration.”

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▶ [SpaceX] Launch of Thaicom-6 on Falcon 9v1.1 Rocket from Cape! | YouTube

Just 34 days after the previous launch, SpaceX have launched another upgraded Falcon 9v1.1 from Cape Canaveral - January 6th 2014 at 22:06 UTC. The rocket carried the Thaicom-6 satellite for the Thaicom Public Company, headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. The rocket blasted off from SpaceX's launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Space Launch Complex 40.

Thaicom-6 will be positioned at 78.5 degrees East and will transmit from it's 18 active C-band transponders and 8 active Ku-band transponders.

This was the eighth Falcon 9 launch, the third using the upgraded v1.1 rocket, third commercial flight for SpaceX as well as the second to Geostationary transfer orbit.

 

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SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 launches Thaicom-6 at first attempt | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 launches Thaicom-6 at first attempt | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Following last month’s successful launch of SES-8, SpaceX launched their second geostationary mission Monday, with a Falcon 9 v1.1 deploying Thailand’s Thaicom 6 satellite. Launch occurred at the start of the 122-minute window on the first attempt from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex-40 at 17:06 Eastern Time (22:06 UTC).

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SpaceX Kicks Off 2014 With Launch of Telecom Satellite

SpaceX Kicks Off 2014 With Launch of Telecom Satellite | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Launching for the second time in five weeks, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Monday (Jan. 6) and successfully put a broadcasting satellite in a high-altitude orbit for a Thai communications operator.

 

The half-hour mission came just over one month after SpaceX tallied its first launch into geostationary transfer orbit, an orbit favored by communications satellite companies seeking to deploy spacecraft in orbits over the equator synchronized with Earth's rotation.

 

The 224-foot-tall rocket lifted off in a blaze of golden exhaust at 2206 GMT (5:06 p.m. EST), and its on-board guidance computer maneuvered the slender white booster east from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 launch pad, soaring over the Atlantic Ocean and through a deck of overcast clouds less than a minute into the flight.

 

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Shooting the news from low Earth orbit: An interview with Mark E. Brender, Executive Director of the DigitalGlobe Foundation | The Space Review

Shooting the news from low Earth orbit: An interview with Mark E. Brender, Executive Director of the DigitalGlobe Foundation | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Mark Brender is one of the pioneers in the use of satellite imaging for news gathering. The first reconnaissance satellites entered service in the early 1960s, but they were highly classified and their imagery was only available to government officials and the intelligence and military communities. The United States developed a civilian remote sensing satellite named Landsat, but its images were deliberately restricted to much lower resolution (the size of objects that could be spotted on the ground) than the classified satellites. By the mid-1980s, however, better resolution imagery was becoming available to civilians, and Brender was one of the first people to spot the opportunities that this imagery presented for news gathering.

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Can "Gravity" attract attention to the orbital debris problem? | The Space Review

Can "Gravity" attract attention to the orbital debris problem? | The Space Review | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

The end of the year marks the beginning of the movie awards season, whose events will be getting a little more attention than usual from the space community thanks to movie Gravity. The movie won several nominations for the Golden Globes Awards, including best picture, best actress for Sandra Bullock, and best director for Alfonso Cuarón. Those nominations could be harbingers for the Academy Awards to come.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 preparing to launch Thaicom-6 | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 preparing to launch Thaicom-6 | NASASpaceFlight.com | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Following last month’s successful launch of SES-8, SpaceX will attempt their second geostationary mission Monday, with a Falcon 9 v1.1 aiming to deploy Thailand’s Thaicom 6 satellite. Monday’s 122-minute launch window at Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex-40 opens at 17:06 Eastern Time (22:06 UTC).

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Antares Rolled Out To Launch Pad at Wallops | SpaceRef Business

Antares Rolled Out To Launch Pad at Wallops | SpaceRef Business | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

An Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it is rolled out to launch Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Sunday, January 5, 2014.

 

The rocket was moved in advance of a planned Wednesday, Jan. 8th, 1:32 p.m. EST launch, Wallops Island, VA. The Antares will launch a Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The Orbital-1 mission is Orbital Sciences' first contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA.

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Safe Is not an Option | Michael Belfiore

Safe Is not an Option | Michael Belfiore | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

"I’ve been eagerly awaiting the day I can tell people about Rand Simberg’s new book, Safe Is not an Option—ever since Simberg told me about it at the NewSpace conference last year and then sent me a review copy. Now that it’s available to the public, I can tell people where to get it.

 

"This thing ought to be required reading for anyone considering a career in manned spaceflight, and especially anyone wanting to do business with or work for NASA, and, really, anyone wondering why we haven’t sent people out of low Earth orbit since the 1970s."

Stratocumulus's insight:

 

For anyone genuinely concerned about the future of manned spaceflight and America's future in space, I highly recommend this book.

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SpaceX Delays Falcon 9 Rocket Launch to Next Week

SpaceX Delays Falcon 9 Rocket Launch to Next Week | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

SpaceX has delayed the launch of a Thai communications satellite from Friday until at least Monday, according to the U.S. Air Force.
 
"We're not aware of anything that would cause a mission failure, but in order to ensure the highest possible level of mission assurance we decided to conduct additional inspections of the launch vehicle," said Emily Shanklin, a SpaceX spokesperson.

 

Liftoff is now set for no earlier than Monday, according to a brief statement emailed by a 45th Space Wing spokesperson. The Air Force's 45th Space Wing operates communications and safety systems for all launches out of Cape Canaveral.

 

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Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Milestones Update | Parabolic Arc

Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Milestones Update | Parabolic Arc | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Sierra Nevada Corporation has completed six of 12 milestones on its Dream Chaser vehicle under its CCiCAP agreement for a total of $152.5 million out of $227.5 million. It has completed one additional milestone — the Critical Design Review Incremental Design Review #1 — that is worth $5 million.

 

The company plans to complete five additional milestones by the time the agreement is scheduled to end in August.

 

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Freezing forecast forces Antares launch delay | Spaceflight Now

Freezing forecast forces Antares launch delay | Spaceflight Now | The NewSpace Daily | Scoop.it

Orbital Sciences has pushed back next week's launch of a commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station by at least one day to Wednesday to dodge frigid temperatures expected on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

 

Liftoff of the privately-developed Antares rocket was set for Tuesday after a three-week delay from mid-December to make room for spacewalks to repair a problematic ammonia coolant loop on the space station, but the long-range forecast for early next week predicts freezing temperatures.

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