Dragon Launch Looks Good for Friday

Earlier today, NASA officials and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell gave a pre-flight briefing for tomorrow’s Falcon 9 launch of a Dragon freighter to the International Space Station. The weather looks good for the launch at 10:10 a.m. EST with an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions. There is a similar forecast for Saturday if the launch slips by 24 hours.


NASA Announces Fourth Round of CubeSat Space Mission Candidates

cubesatWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 24 small satellites to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The proposed CubeSats come from universities across the country, a Florida high school, several non-profit organizations and NASA field centers.

CubeSats belong to a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The cube-shaped satellites measure about 4 inches on each side, have a volume of about 1 quart, and weigh less than 3 pounds.


NSRC Abstracts Deadline on March 7

nsrc2013logoHey, all you next-gen suborbital researchers!

The deadline for submitting abstracts for the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) in Colorado is March 7. That’s just one week away. Submit your abstract today!

Not presenting but still want to find out what’s happening in this exciting new field? Register for the June conference here.

Spaceflight Informed Consent, Tax Relief Measures Advance in California

Sen. Steve Knight

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Last week, State Sen. Steve Knight introduced measures that would amend California’s spaceflight informed consent law to include vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and service providers, and also exempt aerospace products used in manufacturing and research and development (R&D) from sales and use taxes.

These measures are in addition to a separate bill that Knight introduced in December that would provide sales and use tax exemptions on equipment and materials used for the renovation, reconstruction and rehabilitation of commercial space launch sites.


Golden Spike CEO Stern to Discuss Human Moon Mission at Houston Conference

Alan Stern

BOULDER, CO, February 27, 2013 (Golden Spike PR) – Golden Spike CEO and President Dr. Alan Stern, a former NASA Associate Administrator for space science, will be a featured speaker at the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston on Monday, March 18 at 12:00 p.m. CST. Golden Spike is a private commercial space company led by former NASA executives offering turnkey human expeditions to the Moon for nations, corporations and individuals.

Dr. Stern will be speaking and answering questions for an hour regarding Golden Spike’s human Lunar expedition plans and expedition capabilities. Following Dr. Stern’s core presentation, there will be a Q&A session that will include Gerry Griffin, the chairman of Golden Spike’s board and a former director of the Johnson Space Center, and Golden Spike advisor and planetary scientist Dr. Bill McKinnon of Washington University in St. Louis.


NSRC to Feature Facility Tours, Technical Sessions and NASA Workshop

nsrc2013logoWashington D.C. (CSF PR) — Participants in the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC-2013), to be held June 3-5 in Broomfield, outside Boulder, Colo., will have a chance to visit local aerospace facilities, attend a NASA-led workshop, and hear more detailed technical sessions than in previous NSRC meetings.

“We expect the 2013 meeting to be the most informative opportunity yet for researchers and educators wishing to fly suborbital experiments in space. Presentation abstracts contributed by the research and education community can be submitted to our web site anytime though March 7,” said meeting convener and program committee chair Alan Stern.

Spaceport Sweden Selling Parabolic Microgravity Flights

The 'Zero-G" Airbus A300
The ‘Zero-G” Airbus A300

KIRUNA, SWEDEN (Spaceport Sweden PR) — Have you ever dreamt of flying, defying the laws of gravity and float free in the air like an astronaut? Since space exploration began, only a few hundred have had the privilege to experience the ultimate space experience and the magical feeling to float in total weightlessness.

That is about to change. For the fist time ever, weightless flights will be offered to the general public in Europe. Spaceport Sweden has been selected as a key partner and reseller for the air Zero G flights in the Netherlands and Nordic countries (excluding Iceland).


A Detailed Overview of the Inspiration Mars Mission



Inspiration Mars Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization committed to providing a platform for unprecedented science, engineering and education opportunities, while using state-of-the-art technologies derived from NASA and the International Space Station.


Inspiration Mars – a U.S. manned, “fast, free – return” mission to Mars and back to Earth. Coined as “A Mission for America,” this unique, 501-day historic journey around the Red Planet is made possible by a rare planetary alignment that occurs five years from now.


Inspiration Mars to Send Couple to Red Planet in 2018

Inspiration Mars Vehicle“Inspiration Mars” to pursue human mission to the Red Planet in 2018

New nonprofit foundation to move U.S. farther and faster toward its destiny as
world leader in technical innovation, science, exploration and discovery

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Inspiration Mars) – A unique window of opportunity for humankind will open in January 2018, and the Inspiration Mars Foundation intends to seize it, announcing plans today to pursue a challenging manned mission to Mars and back. This historic 501-day journey around the Red Planet is made possible by a rare planetary alignment that occurs five years from now.

Two professional crew members – one man, one woman – flying as private citizens will embark on what is known as a “fast, free-return” mission, passing within 100 miles of Mars before swinging back and safely returning to Earth. Target launch date is Jan. 5, 2018.


Orbital’s COTS Effort is a Global Affair

Orbital_COTS_InternationalNASA 60-Day Commercial Crew Update

Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) of Dulles, Va., has engaged top aerospace organizations in the United States and from across the globe to help develop the Antares launch vehicle and Cygnus cargo spacecraft for upcoming space station cargo resupply missions. This approach supports timely and cost effective development of their new commercial cargo transportation system and is consistent with the National Space Policy of the United States which has a goal to “expand international cooperation on mutually beneficial space activities”.


NASA Looks to Move Quickly on Commercial Crew Certification

commercial_crew_earthNASA 60-Day Commercial Crew Update

In December, NASA selected Boeing, Sierra Nevada, and SpaceX for Commercial Crew Program phase I certification contracts. Under these, also known as “Certification Products Contracts (CPCs), the Commercial Crew partners will provide NASA with their proposed alternate standards, preliminary hazard analyses work, and plans for verification, validation, and certification. NASA experts then will assess these deliverables, relative to proven agency requirements and standards for human spaceflight, and provide feedback to the partners regarding the acceptability of their approaches toward ultimately achieving NASA certification to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. NASA’s responses will represent binding decisions that will carry forward into the next phase of certifiction, and therefore must be carefully analyzed and considered. Kickoff meetings have now been held with all three contractors and the work on NASA certifcation for ISS crew rotation services is underway. Through CPC, NASA receives and assesses commercial partners’ plans to meet NASA requirements.


Inspiration Mars Webcast Set for Wednesday


Dennis Tito’s Inspiration Mars press conference will be webcast on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 1 p.m. EST. You can sign up to view the announcement here. The multi-millionaire former NASA engineer turned investment guru is expected to announce a human Mars mission that would launch in January 2018.

Other participants in the press conference include:

  • Miles O’Brien, moderator
  • Taber MacCallum, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Paragon Space Development Corporation and crew member for two-year mission in Biosphere 2
  • Dr. Jonathan Clark, associate professor of Neurology and Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and space medicine advisor for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute
  • Jane Poynter, president and chairwoman of Paragon Space Development Corporation and crew member for two-year mission in Biosphere 2.

CCiCAP Partners on Schedule in Meeting Milestones

CCiCap milestone completion status—Boeing: 5 of 19. SpaceX: 4 of 14. Sierra Nevada: 3 of 9.

NASA 60 Day Commercial Crew Update

Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) milestones are on schedule, putting the U.S. one step closer to ending the gap in human access to space. In less than six months, twelve of the forty two planned milestones have been successfully completed. Furthermore, each of the partners has achieved progress beyond the formal milestone work content.


ESA Faces the Limits of Expansion, Growing Power of EU

polish_flag_eu_flagBy Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

At the European Space Agency (ESA) ministerial meeting on Nov. 20-21 in Naples, there was a new flag flying outside. The red-and-white flag of Poland, which had joined space agency the day before, was raised among those of ESA’s other 19 member states.

Poland became the third — and wealthiest — former Eastern Bloc nation to join ESA behind the Czech Republic and Romania.  The nation’s ascendance brought the number of full ESA member states to 20 from the original 10 countries that created the space agency in 1975. Canada is an associate member.

Ten other European nations, nine of which have cooperative agreements with ESA, attended the quadrennial ministerial meeting as observers with hopes of eventually joining the space agency as full members. Behind them, there is another group of 10 countries — most of which are still emerging from the fall of communism two decades ago — that could one day join ESA.


Aerospace Industry Encouraged by Jenkins Report on Leveraging Canadian Procurement

Ottawa, Ontario (AIAC PR)
– The Aerospace Industries of Canada (AIAC) welcomes a report submitted today by Tom Jenkins, Special Advisor to the Minister of PWGSC on leveraging Defence Procurement through Key Industrial Capabilities.

“This report represents an important step in the Government’s efforts to ensure that Canada fully leverages defence procurement,” said Jim Quick, President & CEO of AIAC.