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The First Human Mission to Mars in 2018?

The First Human Mission to Mars in 2018? | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

A press release issued late today indicated that a new organization, Inspiration Mars Foundation, led by the first private space traveler, Dennis Tito, would make a major announcement next Wednesday, February 27th concerning a 501 day mission to Mars.

 

The press release said the news conference next week would be "detailing its plans to take advantage of a unique window of opportunity to launch an historic journey to Mars and back in 501 days, starting in January 2018...

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A supplement to the Commercial Space Blog (http://acuriousguy.blogspot.com)
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ARCA Space CEO Arrested on Charges of Embezzlement, Fraud – Parabolic Arc

ARCA Space CEO Arrested on Charges of Embezzlement, Fraud – Parabolic Arc | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
ARCA Space Corporation CEO Dumitru Popescu was in a New Mexico jail on Sunday night after being arrested and charged of fraud, embezzlement and forgery. 

The Romanian-born Popescu faces 13 counts of fraud, five counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery, according to an online arrest report. Popescu was arrested in Jonesboro, Georgia on Nov. 8 and then extradited to Dona Ana County, New Mexico. He is being held without bond...
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Entrepreneurs, Luxembourg, a Canadian Space Agency Secondary Payload Proposal & Maxar Technologies

Entrepreneurs, Luxembourg, a Canadian Space Agency Secondary Payload Proposal & Maxar Technologies | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

While the rest of the world (especially Luxembourg and the US) race to embrace the new opportunities expected to derive from high risk space mining concepts, corporations move forward with the development of massive Earth imaging and communications micro-satellite constellations and even begin to dip their toes into the waters of Martian colonization proposals, it's worth noting that our government supported Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is satisfied with proposing a variety of dull and mundane "ideas" suitable for "secondary payloads" on someone else's mission. 


Given that, and for the week of November 19th 2017, here are a few of the items we're currently tracking for the Commercial Space blog...

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Indian X-Prize Contestant fails to take off, thanks to lack of funds

Indian X-Prize Contestant fails to take off, thanks to lack of funds | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

TeamIndus is one of 5 companies selected for Google’s Lunar XPrize competition, and has to launch its moon rover by March 2018. But it’s $23 million short...

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FCC approves license for two SpaceX broadband demo satellites

FCC approves license for two SpaceX broadband demo satellites | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
The FCC has approved a license for SpaceX to use the frequency spectrum needed for the two prototype broadband satellites that it will launch next year under FCC FORM 442. 

The form includes only brief snippets about the satellites, e.g. Antenna in orbit on each of two satellites: insertion at 514 km altitude circular, operating at 1125 km altitude circular at 97.4 degrees inclination. Identical for MicroSat-2a and MicroSat-2b satellites. 

The FCC classifies the satellites as NGSO or Non-GeoStationary Orbit and refers to them as "Space Stations". 

SpaceX's plans for a broadband constellation would eventually include over 4400 such satellites in orbit by the mid-2020s using the Ka and Ku bands. This would be followed by another 7000 satellites in orbit by the end of the decade that would use the V-band.
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9th Canadian Science Policy Conference Video's, Audio Recordings and Photo's are Now Online

9th Canadian Science Policy Conference Video's, Audio Recordings and Photo's are Now Online | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

For those who missed it, selected video's from the 9th Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC2017), which took place in Ottawa, ON between November 1st - 3rd, 2017, have been posted online...

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MDA Selects AdaCore's GNAT Pro Assurance Development Platform for ISS Software

MDA Selects AdaCore's GNAT Pro Assurance Development Platform for ISS Software | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

AdaCore reports that MDA, a business unit of Maxar Technologies, has selected the GNAT Pro Assurance Ada development environment for the LEON3 target processor, to produce the software for a Ku-Band communication subsystem that will replace the current version.  

This critical International Space Station (ISS) subsystem has to work reliably over the long term, a requirement that led MDA to maintain Ada as the implementation language...

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The EO UrtheCast Smallsats — UrtheDaily™ — to be Built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL)

The EO UrtheCast Smallsats — UrtheDaily™ — to be Built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
A signed contract for the Earth Observation (EO) satellites for the UrtheDaily™ Constellation has been announced by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and UrtheCast of Canada.

The UrtheDaily™ Constellation, planned for launch in 2020, will be capable of scientific-grade quality, multi-spectral imagery, high-resolution, specifically targeted at geoanalytics applications...
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World's first 'space nation' Asgardia launches satellite into space

World's first 'space nation' Asgardia launches satellite into space | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
The world's first "space nation" has taken flight. 

On November 12, Asgardia cemented its presence in outer space by launching the Asgardia-1 satellite. 

The "nanosat" -- it is roughly the size of a loaf of bread -- undertook a two-day journey from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the United States, to the International Space Station (ISS)...
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Ukraine's RD-861K engine, expected to be used in the Cyclone 4M might depend on Russian supplies after all

Ukraine's RD-861K engine, expected to be used in the Cyclone 4M might depend on Russian supplies after all | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Another ZDI test was scheduled for the middle of November 2017. Upon the completion of the test series planned for the defunct Tsyklon-4 program, KB Yuzhnoe is preparing an RD-861K engine for new firings, this time, to benefit the prospective Tsyklon-4M (Cyclone 4M) rocket. 


The next test run was expected to include three burns lasting around 500 seconds and also featuring the operation of the gimbal mechanism designed to steer the engine in flight. The gimbal mechanism had been tested before and it was originally planned to be operational in the October 2017 firings, but an error during checks damaged an actuator within the mechanism. 


One industry source told RussianSpaceWeb.com that KB Yuzhnoe had been able to line up domestic suppliers of the structural materials necessary for the RD-861K program. 


However according to another expert, the production of the turbine for the RD-861K still depended on the EP742 heat-resistant alloy that KB Yuzhnoe had procured from the TsNIIMV material science institute based in Korolev, Russia. Each turbine in the RD-861K engine is certified to operate in up to a dozen of live firings before being replaced. 


Theoretically, a similar material for the turbine could be acquired elsewhere, but it would need to go through its own tests before being certified for use on the engine, an expert familiar with the matter said...

Chuck Black's insight:
The more information percolates out on this situation, the more problematic it becomes...
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Russia has a plan to compete with SpaceX—but it has a flaw

Russia has a plan to compete with SpaceX—but it has a flaw | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

The Russian plan seems to depend on SpaceX standing still...

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LiDAR Market Is Expected To Reach $1.34Bln By 2024

LiDAR Market Is Expected To Reach $1.34Bln By 2024 | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

The key product segments analyzed and reported in the study include airborne, terrestrial, and mobile & UAV LiDAR systems. Airborne systems accounted for the major share of the market, which is anticipated to increase in the years to come on account of the surging adoption of airborne mapping devices

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Adding Nano-Satellite Data Doubles Global Fishing Watch Resolution

Adding Nano-Satellite Data Doubles Global Fishing Watch Resolution | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Global Fishing Watched has announced that, through a partnership with Spire Global, Inc, we have doubled the amount of data we use to identify and track nearly 60,000 commercial fishing vessels on the world’s oceans. 


Publicly broadcast Automatic Identification System (AIS) messages received by satellites and ground-based receivers comprise the largest source of data in the Global Fishing Watch platform, but gaps in AIS signals can occur in areas where satellite coverage is sparse, or between satellite passes.

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On the Eve of Fusion Power

On the Eve of Fusion Power | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Curiosity and politics enable science, but sometimes the science is so obviously useful by itself that commercial interests step in to expedite the commercialization process.


An example would be LPP Fusion (LPP), a private New Jersey-based firm, which has begun another round of crowdfunding for its alternative fusion reactor technology...

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Satellite on the fritz? Aerospace companies are building a geek squad of space robots

Satellite on the fritz? Aerospace companies are building a geek squad of space robots | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Several companies and government organizations are betting that aging satellites will fuel a new industry for providing repairs in orbit...

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What You Must Know About Maxar Technologies Ltd’s (TSX:MAXR) Financial Strength

What You Must Know About Maxar Technologies Ltd’s (TSX:MAXR) Financial Strength | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Mid-caps stocks, like Maxar Technologies Ltd (TSX:MAXR) with a market capitalization of CAD CA$4.43B, aren’t the focus of most investors who prefer to direct their investments towards either large-cap or small-cap stocks...

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Luxembourg's Bet On Space Industry Shows Early Signs Of Success

Luxembourg's Bet On Space Industry Shows Early Signs Of Success | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

Luxembourg's space-besotted Economy Ministry had projected 200 attendees at the New Space Europe conference it co-sponsored last week and calculated in part to showcase the country's rising international profile in an increasingly hot new industry.


Officials were happily surprised when twice that number registered. Unusually, the majority of registrants actually showed, packing the conference center for a multi-disciplinary exploration of the potential for trillions of dollars in revenue and an eventual transformation of life as we know it. 


 "It was quite a unique event in Europe!" one Luxembourg space official enthused. "Never saw such lineup of speakers!..

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Bruce Aikenhead: A Canadian Space Pioneer

Bruce Aikenhead: A Canadian Space Pioneer | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Bruce Aikenhead is one of the pioneers of the Canadian aerospace industry with over 40 years’ experience in aerospace engineering and astronaut training development. 

Aikenheads's career as a systems engineer led him to work on illustrious projects such as the Avro Arrow, NASA's Project Mercury, and the Canadarm for NASA's Space Shuttle program. 

Additionally, he served as a project engineer for RCA's ISIS-2 Ionosphere Research Satellite, 'Hermes' Communications Technology Satellite and the High Altitude Research Project (HARP) at McGill University. 

Aikenhead was integral in the development of the Canadian Astronaut Program, where he served as Director-General...
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More Rocket Shenanigans, Parts Problems at KB Yuzhnoye & Skyrora's Plan for a Scottish/ Ukrainian Spaceport

More Rocket Shenanigans, Parts Problems at KB Yuzhnoye  & Skyrora's Plan for a Scottish/ Ukrainian Spaceport | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

For those who don't believe the hype from the Ukrainian government and others that the Ukrainian space industry is capable of rebuilding facilities rendered inoperative after the 2014 Crimean Crisis or remaining competitive in the face of growing challenges from low cost NewSpace launch providers like SpaceX, you may be right. 


Here are four news reports which support your view...

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CaNoRockers Return - Faculty of Engineering - University of Alberta

CaNoRockers Return - Faculty of Engineering - University of Alberta | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
(EDMONTON) The Faculty of Engineering’s CaNoRock team has been playing catchup with their engineering classes since they returned from Norway’s Andøya Space Center a week and a half ago. But their experience on the Norwegian coast in October, learning about and launching a rocket, was worth the extra workload...
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DARPA aims to ‘disrupt’ national security space business - SpaceNews.com

DARPA aims to ‘disrupt’ national security space business - SpaceNews.com | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
What if the commercial space boom turns out to be a fad that fades in a few years? The Pentagon should be harnessing that energy now, said DARPA's Fred Kennedy.
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Sea Launch seeks help from Roskosmos, proposes new applications

Sea Launch seeks help from Roskosmos, proposes new applications | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
Almost a year after the Russian airline S7 Group took over the troubled Sea Launch venture, the first payments from Moscow for the production of Zenit rockets has reportedly reached the Yuzhmash factory in Dnipro, Ukraine. 

However the jumpstart of production still faces serious hurdles, industry sources said. 

Yuzhmash officials gave their Russian counterparts at the S7 Group a list of components which are no longer available for the Zenit. One of the most important items on the list is the ignition systems produced in the Lugansk region which has been taken over by pro-Russian rebels and remains practically cut off from the rest of Ukraine. 

The igniters burning black powder are used to initiate small solid-propellant motors which generate reverse thrust to facilitate the safe separation of the first and second stages during the ascent of the Zenit rocket to orbit...
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Dream Chaser flight test update: The video is pretty awesome

Dream Chaser flight test update: The video is pretty awesome | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

The Dream Chaser had a beautiful flight and landing!

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Spire Opens a European HQ in Luxembourg, Raises Additional $70M

Spire Opens a European HQ in Luxembourg, Raises Additional $70M | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
LUXEMBOURG, Nov. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Spire Global announces that it is continuing its global expansion with a closing of its Series C and the opening of a new Luxembourg office. The office will serve as Spire’s full-service European headquarters. The Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF) has committed today to becoming a shareholder in Spire, participating in Spire’s $70m Series C financing round closing later this month...
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UrtheCast Reports Q3 2017 Results; Expects UrtheDaily™ Financing Closing by Year End

UrtheCast Reports Q3 2017 Results; Expects UrtheDaily™ Financing Closing by Year End | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it

VANCOUVER, Nov.14, 2017 /CNW/ - UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) ("UrtheCast" or the "Company") today announces financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017.


Excluding the non-cash revenue related to the ISS cameras of $5.1 million recorded in the third quarter of 2016, revenues decreased by $5.3 million in the third quarter of 2017. Revenues from EO imagery in the third quarter were $5.3 million lower than the prior year, primarily due to a delay related to a major contract award, while engineering services revenues in the third quarter were essentially flat compared to the prior year....

Chuck Black's insight:
UrtheCast has:

i/ secured long-term UrtheDailyTM revenue commitment from a leading global aerospace player 

ii/ signed UrtheDailyTM satellite build contract with SSTL 

iii/ progressed towards financing the UrtheDailyTM Constellation by year end with investors' expressions of interest in excess of amount sought...
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The Economist Assesses the Space Industry

The Economist Assesses the Space Industry | More Commercial Space News | Scoop.it
It felt like the conference was spread over two days, as so much content was packed into the one day at the “Space Summit: A New Space Age,” event presented by The Economist Events, which came to The Museum of Flight in Seattle on November 9th, 2017.

A mix of inspirational, and entertaining, presentations with thoughtful discussions of pertinent issues to the current state of the space industry was offered for the well over 200 participants to enjoy. 

“Big Name” headliners included Lori Garver (the former deputy administrator to NASA), Steve Jurvetson (an American businessman, venture capitalist and former partner at venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson), planetary scientist Carolyn Porco and Russian entrepreneur, venture capitalist, physicist, DST Global founder and influential Russian tech investor Yuri Milner...
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