Dynetics SLS Tank Sent for Testing

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A massive cryogenic tank is loaded onto a truck at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to be moved to a dock on the Tennessee River in Huntsville, Alabama. (Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)

A massive cryogenic tank is loaded onto a truck at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to be moved to a dock on the Tennessee River in Huntsville, Alabama. (Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — Now that’s a wide load. An 18-foot-wide, 10,000-plus-pound cryogenic tank for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), traveled by road and by river March 12 from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to a Dynetics Inc. test facility in Iuka, Mississippi.

SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. The first flight test of the SLS will feature a configuration for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system.

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Space Access 15 Schedule & Details

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Space Access ’15 Conference Info and Agenda

April 30th – May 2nd

at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix North

Updated 4/18/15, with Presentations Schedule

Space Access Society’s next annual conference on the technology, business, and politics of radically cheaper space transportation will feature a cross-section of the growing cheap access community, talking about what’s going on now and what will be happening next, in a fast-paced intensive informal atmosphere, single-track throughout so you don’t have to miss anything.

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Terminal Velocity Aerospace Selected for NASA SBIR II Award

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Terminal_VelocityNASA has selected Terminal Velocity Aerospace (TVA) of Atlanta for negotiations on a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award to continue development of small capsules to return experiments from the International Space Station.

TVA is developing two types of small reentry devices (RED). The RED-4U is a recoverable capsule that will be able to accommodate a payload that’s the equivalent of at least four CubeSats.

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Research for One-Year ISS Mission Launched Aboard Dragon

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The series of images shows the journey of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from its launch at 4:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 14 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, to solar array deployment. (Credit:  NASA TV)

The series of images shows the journey of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from its launch at 4:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 14 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, to solar array deployment. (Credit: NASA TV)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (NASA PR) — Research that will help prepare NASA astronauts and robotic explorers for future missions to Mars is among the two tons of cargo now on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft launched on a Falcon 9 rocket at 4:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 14 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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Video Parody Pays Tribute to SpaceX, Elon Musk

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Video Caption: THIS VIDEO IS A PARODY OF THE ORIGINAL “UPTOWN FUNK” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars and does not infringe on the copyright of Sony Music Entertainment (SME).

This video was created by fans of SpaceX and does not reflect the views of SpaceX or its partners.

You Elon MUST share this SpaceX music video, and help promote the future of science and space exploration! #GoBold

Boeing Uses Langley Expertise for CST-100 Crew Vehicle

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A CST-100 mock up splashes down during a test at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., during tests of the Boeing spacecraft's handling. (Credit: NASA/Dave Bowman)

A CST-100 mock up splashes down during a test at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., during tests of the Boeing spacecraft’s handling. (Credit: NASA/Dave Bowman)

by Sasha Congiu
NASA’s Langley Research Center

Whether testing a model of the Boeing CST-100 capsule in a wind tunnel or dropping it in water, researchers and engineers have one common goal: astronaut safety. That’s because safety is a top priority for systems under development in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to launch crews to the International Space Station from America.

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Mojave Experimental Fly-in Begins Today

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Mojave_Air_and_Space_Port_logoThe 4th Annual Mojave Experimental Fly-in begins today and runs until Sunday. The flight line will be filled with all measures of aircraft, and there will be various events and activities.  A summary of the schedule is below. To learn more, go to http://www.mojaveflyin.com/

If you can make it, this is a fun activity. It’s like the regular Plane Crazy Saturday on steroids. Normally there are only a handful of aircraft put out on the ramp by owners who are dodges taxes on their property by displaying them once a month.  This month, the whole ramp will be filled up.

I’m sorry I didn’t get around to writing about this sooner; it’s been a long and exasperating week.

Mojave Experimental Fly-in
April 17-19, 2015

Event Schedule

Friday, April 17, 2015 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Bug Smasher Poker Run! (event description)
…with a waivered flour bomb competition at Mojave.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, register here
Cost: $30 early registration, $40 day of event

Friday, April 17, 2015 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Movies and Models in the Stu Witt Center!
Pizza, RC/Rubber-band Airplane flying and building.
Rules for competition here (link)
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, register here
Cost: $15 early registration, $20 day of event

In addition to Pizza and RC, we will be offering a Yoga Class!
8:00pm – 9:15pm

Yoga To Rest & Renew w/ Paisley
Close out your week with a slow and restful practice just before bed. Wind down, breathe deep and relax your body so you can get a good night’s sleep. Part of the opening night of the Mojave Experimental Fly-In, followed by an Aviation Slumber Party. Free for registered participants of the Fly-In, but open to the public, too!
Free for Fly-In Participants
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, register here
Cost: $10 for walk-ins

Saturday, April 18, 2015 10:00am – 2:00pm
The Main Event
Show plane arrivals and a chance to check out some awesome experimental hardware. Similar format to the Plane Crazy Saturday with vendors and a speaker.
Cost: FREE

Saturday, April 18, 2015 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Awards Banquet
Stu Witt event Center (Riley and Poole Street, Mojave CA)
Schedule:
5:30 Social Mixer
6:30 Dinner is served
7:00 Special Speaker
Commercial Astronaut, Mike Melvill
7:45 MEFI Experimenter Awards Presentation
8:00 Celebrate!
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, register here
Cost: $35 RSVP by Monday, April 13!

Sunday, April 19, 2015 7:00am – 9:00am
Until Next Year!

Sierra Nevada Corporation and the German Aerospace Center Announce New Dream Chaser® Program Cooperation

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Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)

Dream Chaser landing at Ellington Field. (Cedit: SNC)

SPARKS, Nev. (April 16, 2015) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC’s) Space Systems and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) announce the signing of a new Dream Chaser® program cooperation during the U.S. German Aerospace Roundtable (UGART) at the 31st annual Space Symposium hosted by the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We highly value our partnership with the German Aerospace Center,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president, SNC’s Space Systems. “This relationship is a great example of the best-in-industry and government agency partnerships, both domestic and international, that we have sought.  Our Dream Team will continue the advancement of the Dream Chaser, which is a true global program. We look forward to the next phase of our cooperation with DLR as we enter this new agreement.”

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Does FAA COMSTAC’s Membership Need to Be Expanded?

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faa_logoI recently sat down with a bag of kettle corn to watch a recording of a recent meeting of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). As I sat on the edge of my seat in suspense nervously munching away on my popcorn, I realized that there was a voice missing from the proceedings.

COMSTAC was created 31 years ago “to provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on critical matters concerning the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. The economic, technical, and institutional expertise provided by COMSTAC members has been invaluable to our work in developing effective regulations that ensure safety during commercial launch operations and policies that support international competitiveness for the industry.”

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Brazil Abandons Troubled Cyclone-4 Program

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Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)

Cyclone 4 first and second stages. (Credit: Alcantara Space)

It looks like the rumors I reported last month are true. Brazil has decided to pull out of its joint program with Ukraine to launch satellites aboard Cyclone-4 boosters from the Alcantara Launch Center.

“It is an accumulation of issues,” said Petronio Noronha de Souza, AEB’s director of space policy and strategic investments. “There have been challenges on the budget issues, on the technological aspects, in the relationship between Brazil and Ukraine and in the actual market for export that would be available. So it is a combination of things.”

In an April 14 interview at the Latin America Aero and Defense, or LAAD, show here, Noronha de Souza said a formal government announcement, likely from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the program’s stoppage was imminent.

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