Author: Doug Messier

NanoRacks Announces 6U and 12U CubeSats for ISS Deployment

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In February 2014, Planet Labs Inc. launched its first flock of Dove nanosatellites into space. Shown are two shoebox-sized Doves being ejected into low-Earth orbit from the International Space Station. The company’s goal is for the flock to take a high-resolution snapshot of nearly the entire globe every 24 hours. (Credit: NASA)

In February 2014, Planet Labs Inc. launched its first flock of Dove nanosatellites into space. Shown are two shoebox-sized Doves being ejected into low-Earth orbit from the International Space Station. The company’s goal is for the flock to take a high-resolution snapshot of nearly the entire globe every 24 hours. (Credit: NASA)

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, September 27, 2016 (NanoRacks PR) – NanoRacks is pleased to announce that starting early 2017, customers will be able to utilize the International Space Station a new CubeSat deployer that accommodates additional industry standards. This announcement comes after a successful deployment cycle of eight Planet Labs Doves (2e’) CubeSats two weeks ago from the Space Station.

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SMC, ULA Enter into CRADA to Certify Vulcan Launch Vehicle

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Artist's conception of Vulcan rocket. (Credit; ULA)

Artist’s conception of Vulcan rocket. (Credit; ULA)

LOS ANGELES (SMC PR) — The Space and Missile Systems Center signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with United Launch Alliance (ULA) as part of the company’s effort to certify its new Vulcan launch vehicle for National Security Space (NSS) missions. This cooperative, jointly-written agreement facilitates data exchanges and protects proprietary and export-controlled data. The CRADA will be in effect until all non-recurring design validation activities for Vulcan are complete.

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Sierra Nevada, UN Announced Dedicated Dream Chaser Mission

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Dream Chaser spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., September 27, 2016 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and have announced details of the first-ever United Nations space mission at the International Astronautical Congress today in Guadalajara, Mexico. The dedicated Dream Chaser® Mission is targeted at providing developing countries the opportunity to develop and fly microgravity payloads for an extended duration in orbit; however, all United Nations Member States will be able to propose payloads for the mission.

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NSS Space Settlement Campaign Supports Elon Musk’s Mars Settlement Plans

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A view from martian orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

A view from martian orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

WASHINGTON, DC, September 27, 2016 (NSS PR) — At today’s meeting of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, Elon Musk, CEO of Space X, announced his bold plan to build a city on Mars. For over 40 years the National Space Society has led advocacy for space settlement.

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Mx Space to Partner with Asteroid Mining Firm, Deep Space Industries

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dsi_logoGUADALAJARA, Mexico. September 28, 2016 (Mx Space/DSI PR) — On September 29, at 11:00 a.m. local time, Deep Space Industries (DSI) and MxSpace will sign an historic agreement that marks the beginning of an international partnership between the companies to promote the development of new commercial space technologies and business ventures. Dr. Francisco Mendieta from Agencia Espacial Mexicana (AEM), as well as executives from both MxSpace and Deep Space Industries, will take part in the signing ceremony at the MxSpace booth (booth #24) on the trade show floor of the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara.

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S7 Group Acquires Sea Launch Assets

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Zenit lifts off with communications satellite. (Credit: Sea Launch)

Zenit lifts off with communications satellite. (Credit: Sea Launch)

MOSCOW, Sept. 27, 2016 (S7 Group PR) — S7 Group today announced that it has signed an agreement with Sea Launch Group to acquire the assets of the Sea Launch complex. The contract was signed today on the sidelines of the IAC 2016, the International Astronautical Congress taking place now in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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Oh the Places You Will Go….

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Interplanetary Transport System at Jupiter. (Credit: SpaceX)

Interplanetary Transport System at Jupiter. (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk wants to take SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System well beyond Mars, which will keep animators employed until some distant time when he can actually do so.

Int3erplanetary Transport System at Saturn. (Credit: SpaceX)

Interplanetary Transport System at Saturn. (Credit: SpaceX)

Interplanetary Transport System at Europa. (Credit: SpaceX)

Interplanetary Transport System at Europa. (Credit: SpaceX)

Interplanetary Transport System at Enceladus. (Credit: SpaceX)

Interplanetary Transport System at Enceladus. (Credit: SpaceX)

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A Look at SpaceX’s Mars Plans

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Interplanetary Transport System (Credit: SpaceX)

Interplanetary Transport System (Credit: SpaceX)

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Video of SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

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How Will Musk Sell His Mars Plans?

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Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Later today, Elon Musk will stand on a stage at the International Astronautic Congress in Mexico and reveal his plans for sending humans to Mars and making humanity a multi-planet species.

His talk will be webcast on Tuesday, Sept. 27 beginning at 2:30 pm EDT. To access the webcast, please click here or connect on one of these websites: IAF website, IAC 2016 website and AEM website. Musk will hold a press conference afterward; it’s not known whether it will be webcast.

The description of the talk on the conference website gives us a hint about what lies ahead.

SpaceX Founder, CEO, and Lead Designer Elon Musk will discuss the long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars. The technical presentation will focus on potential architectures for sustaining humans on the Red Planet that industry, government and the scientific community can collaborate on in the years ahead.

There are three questions that loom on the eve of the speech: What exactly is he going to propose? Who will pay for it? And how will he convince people it’s worth doing? A bit of parsing of the above description gives us some clues.
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Spaceflight Industries Successfully Launches BlackSky Pathfinder Satellite

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PSLV-C35 launch (Credit: ISRO)

PSLV-C35 launch (Credit: ISRO)

SEATTLE, Sept. 26, 2016 (Spaceflight Industries PR) – Spaceflight Industries, a next-generation space company enabling access to space and redefining global intelligence, announced the successful launch of its BlackSky Pathfinder-1 satellite into a sun synchronous orbit from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). From Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, liftoff occurred on Sunday Sept. 25 at 11:42 p.m. EDT with the satellite separating from the rocket’s upper stage at 1:57 a.m. EDT Monday.

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NASA’s Hubble Spots Possible Water Plumes Erupting on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

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This composite image shows suspected plumes of water vapor erupting at the 7 o’clock position off the limb of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The plumes, photographed by NASA’s Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, were seen in silhouette as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. Hubble’s ultraviolet sensitivity allowed for the features -- rising over 100 miles (160 kilometers) above Europa’s icy surface -- to be discerned. The water is believed to come from a subsurface ocean on Europa. The Hubble data were taken on January 26, 2014. The image of Europa, superimposed on the Hubble data, is assembled from data from the Galileo and Voyager missions. (Credits: NASA/ESA/W. Sparks (STScI)/USGS Astrogeology Science Center)

This composite image shows suspected plumes of water vapor erupting at the 7 o’clock position off the limb of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The plumes, photographed by NASA’s Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, were seen in silhouette as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. Hubble’s ultraviolet sensitivity allowed for the features — rising over 100 miles (160 kilometers) above Europa’s icy surface — to be discerned. The water is believed to come from a subsurface ocean on Europa. The Hubble data were taken on January 26, 2014. The image of Europa, superimposed on the Hubble data, is assembled from data from the Galileo and Voyager missions. (Credits: NASA/ESA/W. Sparks (STScI)/USGS Astrogeology Science Center)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. This finding bolsters other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high altitude water vapor plumes.

The observation increases the possibility that missions to Europa may be able to sample Europa’s ocean without having to drill through miles of ice.

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This Week on The Space Show

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space_show_logo
This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

1. Monday, Sept. 26, 2016: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): MICHAEL LISTNER returns as our guest on space legal issues and more.

2. Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016: 7-8:30 PM PDT, 10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT; We welcome back Bob Zimmerman for space news updates..

4. Friday, Sept. 30, 2016: 9:30-11AM PDT; (12:30-2 PM EDT; 11:30 AM – 1 PM CDT) We welcome Casey Dreier from The Planetary Society to discuss Europa..

5. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016: 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): OPEN LINES. All space and STEM topics welcome as are first time callers.

Blue Origin’s New Glenn Undergoes Wind Tunnel Testing

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NASA Spacecraft Fly in Record-setting Formation

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GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Summertime airshows are fun to watch, especially when aircraft fly in tight formation. The sight of airplanes soaring overhead practically wingtip to wingtip is thrilling to behold.

Four of NASA’s spacecraft recently performed an equally thrilling maneuver: In Oct. 2015, the satellites of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission gathered into a tetrahedral formation with each spacecraft at the tip of a four-sided pyramid only six miles across. Moving together as one, they raced around Earth at 15,000 mph.

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