Monthly Archive for September, 2014

SNC Designs Dream Chaser Variant for Stratolaunch

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Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., Sept. 30, 2014 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) today announced a design for an integrated system for human spaceflight that can be launched to low Earth orbit (LEO) using Stratolaunch System’s air launch architecture and a scale version of SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft.

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Waypoint 2 Space Partners with Final Frontier Design

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Spacesuit pressurization (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

Spacesuit pressurization (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

HOUSTON, Sept. 30, 2014 (Waypoint/FFD PR) — Today, Waypoint 2 Space (Waypoint) announced a partnership with Final Frontier Design (FFD) that will integrate FFD space suit designs with Waypoint’s innovative EVA training systems in support of Waypoint’s FAA safety approved commercial space training programs.

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CASIS Awards Grant to Improve Maritime Vessel Tracking

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casis_new_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL., September 30, 2014 (CASIS PR) –The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today announced an agreement with JAMSS America, Inc. (JAI)—in collaboration with the University of Hawaii, the Greater Houston Port Bureau, Mare Liberum Consulting L.P., and Shine Micro, Inc.—on a project intended to improve maritime vessel tracking from onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

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NSS Launches Enterprise in Space

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NSS_Enterprise_in_SpaceWASHINGTON, DC – September 24, 2014 (NSS PR) — The National Space Society (NSS) is launching a new project called “Enterprise In Space” (EIS). This project will design, build, launch, orbit, re-enter, tour, and display a science-fiction-inspired satellite as a science education and technology demonstration project for all ages and as a tribute to the great visionaries of science and science fiction.

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SNC to Unveil Dream Chaser Global Project Program

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

TORONTO (SNC PR) — Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is pleased to announce it will be presenting an overview of its Global Project spaceflight program Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 11:45 a.m. EST at the 65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Toronto. The Global Project offers clients a unique turn-key spaceflight capability based on SNC’s Dream Chaser crewed space vehicle.

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Space Angels Network Tours SoCal Space Companies

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Space Angels trip members watch the firing of an XCOR Lynx thruster. (Credit: Space Angels Network)

Space Angels trip members watch the firing of an XCOR Lynx thruster. (Credit: Space Angels Network)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – September 29, 2014 (Space Angels PR) – Earlier this month Space Angels Network hosted an exclusive Expedition to Southern California space companies, offering unique insights inside the private space industry. The companies, located in Los Angeles and at the Mojave Air & Spaceport, included SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Masten Aerospace, XCOR Aerospace, Whittinghill Aerospace and Firestar Technologies.

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This Week on The Space Show

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spaceshowlogo
This week on The Space Show with David Livingston:

1. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): No show today as I am out of town on a special business trip.

2. Tuesday, Sept. 30 , 2014:,7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): No show as I am returning from my special business trip.

3. Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, 9:30 -11 AM PDT (12;30-2 PM EDT; 11:30-1 PM CDT):TBD. Please check the website newsletter by the middle of the week for details for this program. See www.thespaceshow.com/newsletterfinal.html.

4. Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). OPEN LINES. All space and STEM topics welcome. First time callers are encouraged to give us a call.

10th Anniversary of First Ansari X Prize Flight

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Ten years ago today, Mike Melvill made the first of two suborbital flights aboard SpaceShipOne required to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize. It was a wild flight as the vehicle got into a rapid roll on its way to space.

Brian Binnie made the second suborbital flight on Oct. 4, 2004, to win the Ansari X Prize. The requirement was to make two flights into space within two weeks.

About $30 Million in Incentives for SpaceX’s Texas Launch Facility

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Rendering of SpaceX's Boca Chica launch complex. (Credit: SpaceX)

Rendering of SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch complex. (Credit: SpaceX)

The Valley Morning Star estimates that financial incentives for SpaceX’s spaceport in Texas stand at “about $30 million.” The funding includes:

The McAllen City Commission, as recommended by the McAllen Economic Development Corp., pitched in with $500,000 and the Point Isabel ISD Board of Trustees approved an agreement in exchange for an eight-year limitation on the taxable property value for that portion of the taxes for maintenance and operations, not for debt service.

The Harlingen City Commission, as recommended by the Harlingen Economic Development Corp., provided $450,000; the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corp. provided $5 million; Cameron County provided a tax abatement with a value up to $1.4 million; the state is providing $15.3 million; the Cameron County Space Port Development Corp. submitted an application for $1 million from the Texas Department of Agriculture and another $9 million was pitched to advance STARGATE, including $4.4 million from the state, $4.6 million from the University of Texas System, and $500,000 from GBIC.

STARGATE, which would be the first research center for the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, will be a cooperative effort to develop and support phased-array technology for satellite and space vehicle communication.

Read the full story.

NASA Commercial Crew: Better Flying Through Software

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Launch_America_Commercial_Crew
By Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The new approach NASA is taking to get its crews to low-Earth orbit with commercial partnerships requires the space agency to closely examine the plans companies have for their own space transportation systems to ensure they are as safe and reliable as can be.

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Chinese Move Forward With Space Station Plans

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China's Tiangong-1 space laboratory with a Shenzhou spacecraft approaching it. (Credit: CNSA)

China’s Tiangong-1 space laboratory with a Shenzhou spacecraft approaching it. (Credit: CNSA)

Chinese officials say they are looking to complete a permanent, multi-module space station in Earth orbit in about eight years, according to media reports.

The plan calls for the launch of the Tiangong-2 space lab around 2016. The three-person Shenzhou-11 spacecraft and Tianzhou-1 automated cargo freighter will dock with the space station.

Around 2018, China plans to launch the core module for a larger space station that will be completed around 2022, officials said.

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Orion Flight Takes Step Further With Delta IV Integration

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A United Launch Alliance technician monitors progress as core booster elements of a Delta IV Heavy rocket are being integrated in preparation for Exploration Flight Test-1. (Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky)

A United Launch Alliance technician monitors progress as core booster elements of a Delta IV Heavy rocket are being integrated in preparation for Exploration Flight Test-1. (Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky)

By Bob Granath
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Engineers took another step forward in preparations for the first test flight of NASA’s new Orion spacecraft, in December. The three primary core elements of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket recently were integrated, forming the first stage of the launch vehicle that will send Orion far from Earth to allow NASA to evaluate the spacecraft’s performance in space.

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China Completes New Spaceport

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china_flagChinese officials have announced the completion of the nation’s fourth launch center, one that has a distinct advantage over the other three: rockets stages will fall over the ocean rather than on land.

Located in the southern island province of Hainan, the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center has the advantage of being at a latitude of 19 degrees north of the equator, which is lower than China’s other launch centers in Sichuan and Shanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The location is better for launching communications satellites, which are sent to positions over the equator.

Wenchang will also be ideal for launching the heavy-lift Long March 5, which is now under development. Stages for the larger rocket can be transported to the launch site by water. Rockets must travel by rail to the three inland launch facilities.

Virgin Galactic Turns 10

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Virgin Galactic Announced
Virgin Galactic Press Release
Sept. 27, 2004

Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan made their announcement to the world’s media that Virgin Galactic was now in a position to commence a programme of work that would result in the world’s first affordable space tourist flights in 2 to 3 years time.

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Proton Returns to Flight as Khrunichev Looks to Compete With SpaceX

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Holy shi'ski! The rocket...it go KABOOMSKI! (Credit: Tsenki TV)

A Proton rocket launches its payloads into Baikonur. (Credit: Tsenki TV)

After being grounded for four months, Russia’s accident prone Proton booster will be back in action Sunday morning with officials once again praying it launches a payload into space rather than back to Earth.

Meanwhile, Russian officials are moving ahead with an expensive plan to overhaul Proton’s builder, Khrunichev, to allow it to compete with American start-up SpaceX on price and to produce a new family of Angara boosters.

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