Droegenmeier: America Leading the World in Science and Technology

Kelvin Droegemeier

by Kelvin K. Droegemeier
Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

As we mark fifty years since the Apollo 11 mission landed Americans on the Moon, capturing the imagination of the world, our Nation is again on the verge of a new bold era in science and technology. Breakthroughs in medicine, communications, transportation, physics, engineering, biology, and many other fields, will help tackle the greatest challenges of our time and allow Americans to live safer, healthier, and more economically prosperous lives.

To ensure the United States continues to lead the world in science and technology (S&T), President Trump is committed to a robust agenda that unleashes American discovery and innovation, builds our workforce of the future, and advances American values at home and abroad.

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Mubadala’s New Fund Seeks to Attract NewSpace Companies to Abu Dhabi

Spacewatch Global reports on efforts to attract NewSpace and other technology companies to Abu Dhabi:

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala is set to create a start-up ecosystem in Abu Dhabi that will attract New Space and other emerging technology companies to the Gulf Arab state. The ecosystem will be called Hub71 and will include Softbank’s Vision Fund and Microsoft as partners, according to Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak – Mubadala’s Chief Executive Officer – in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review.

Hub71 is being funded by Mubadala to the tune of one billion Dirhams (U.S.$272 million) that will be used for subsidizing or to co-invest in promising startups involved in New Space, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and microelectronics. Hub71 will be based in the financial district of Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, and is part of the UAE’s overall strategy of diversifying its economy away from its dependency on hydrocarbons.

Mubadala manages assets worth over U.S.$250 billion in the United States, Europe, and more recently, in the Asia-Pacific region. Mubadala’s investments in Asia – totaling U.S.$15 billion to date – have been primarily made via Softbank’s Vision Fund.

NIAC Award: Crosscutting High Apogee Refueling Orbital Navigator for Active Debris Removal

Crosscutting High Apogee Refueling Orbital Navigator (CHARON) for active debris removal. (Credit: John Slough)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase I Award: Up to $125,000 for 9 Months

Crosscutting High Apogee Refueling Orbital Navigator (CHARON) for Active Debris Removal
John Slough
MSNW LLC

As of January 2018 an estimated 8,100 tons of space debris has accumulated in low Earth orbit consisting of spent rocket bodies, mission-related debris, and collision fragments. The vast majority of these objects are too small to detect with radar systems, but there are over 29,000 known objects larger than 10 cm. Impacts between these objects and operating missions have damaged costly equipment, required expensive collision avoidance maneuvers, and endangered the lives of astronauts on the international space station.

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Videos: Chinese Launch of Reusable Winged Suborbital Tech Demonstrator Rocket

OSIRIS-REx Begins Survey to Pinpoint Best Sample Site on Asteroid Bennu

S-Booster Competition Seeks Commercial Space Ideas in Asia


S-Booster is looking for new business ideas to utilize space assets from those who aim for launching a new project in the company or starting his or her own business. Through mentoring by space business experts, the selected entrants will receive support such as how to commercialize an idea and to capitalize it. S-Booster finalists will be presenting their own business ideas directly to investors and business companies who are keen to support great space projects, where we believe organic matching happen to realize subsequent commercialization of the great ideas.

In its third year, S-Booster 2019 will expand the recruitment area to Asia – Oceania region and invite space and business ideas broadly.

Qualifying session will be held separately for those from Japan and from other Asian region, and those who are selected from each session will go into the Final Presentation held in Tokyo on November 25, 2019.

For more information, click here.

This Week on The Space Show


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

1. Monday, April 22, 2019: 2-3:30 PM PDT (4-5:30 PM CDT, 5-6:30 PM EDT) : DANIEL SUAREZ, author of Delta-V, an excellent novel.

2. Tuesday, April 23, 2019; 7-8:30 PM PDT (9-10:30 PM CDT, 10-11:30 PM EDT) : We welcome back JEFF SMITH to discuss his recent booster series articles on The Space Review.

3.  Wednesday, April 24, 2019: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor. It is archived on The Space Show site after John posts it on his website. </b>

4. Friday, April 26, 2019: 9:30-11 AM PDT; 11:30 AM-1 PM CDT; 12:30-2 PM EDT. We welcome DR. UMBERTO CAVALLARO regarding his excellent, unique and most interesting book, “The Race To The Moon Chronicled in Stamps, postcards, and Postmarks: A Story of the Puffery vs. the Pragmatic.”

5. The Sunday, April 28, 2019 program from 12 PM PDT, (3 PM EDT, 2 PM CDT): We welcome back MICHAEL CIANCONE to discuss his spaceflight bibliography, the important 2018 IAC in Bremen, IAC 2019 in Washington, DC, and the Orion Service Module program with ESA.

Listeners can talk with guests or the host using toll free 1 (866) 687-7223, by sending e-mail during the program using drspace@thespaceshow.com, thespaceshow@gmail.com, or dmlivings@yahoo.com. To use Skype from your computer with a headset, the I. D. is thespaceshow. Skype is only available if when announced at the beginning of the program. Please note the toll free number is only available during a live Space Show program. At all other times, it is disconnected.

Relativity’s 3D Printed Terran 1 Rocket to Launch mu Space’s Low Earth Orbit Satellite

LOS ANGELES, April 23 2019 (Relativity PR) — Relativity, the world’s first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader for satellite constellations, today announced a partnership with mu Space, the innovative Thai satellite and space technology company, to launch a satellite to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket, the world’s first and only 3D printed rocket.

Relativity’s groundbreaking, patented 3D printing technology platform together with Terran 1’s unique and flexible architecture provides mu Space a faster and more reliable launch at a lower total mission cost than any other launch services company in the world. With this launch partnership, two of the most visionary and innovative aerospace startups are sharing expertise, resources, and capabilities to transform the satellite launch and services industry across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions.

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NIAC Award — Lunar-Polar Propellant Mining Outpost

Lunar-Polar Propellant Mining Outpost (Credit: Joel Sercel)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase I Award: Up to $125,000 for 9 Months

Lunar-Polar Propellant Mining Outpost (LPMO): Affordable Exploration and Industrialization
Joel Sercel
TransAstra Corporation

The Lunar Polar Gas-Dynamic Mining Outpost (LGMO) (see quad chart graphic) is a breakthrough mission architecture that promises to greatly reduce the cost of human exploration and industrialization of the Moon. LGMO is based on two new innovations that together solve the problem of affordable lunar polar ice mining for propellant production.

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Multiple Regenerative Medicine Payloads Ready for Flight to ISS U.S. National Laboratory

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., April 22, 2019 (CASIS PR)  – The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory is finalizing more than a dozen payloads for launch to the orbiting laboratory aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. Many of these payloads are aimed at improving human health on Earth, with several focused on drug development and screening. Research concepts include commercial companies leveraging microgravity to improve drug delivery systems, other government agencies funding transformative science, and academic inquiry to enhance fundamental knowledge of diseases on Earth.

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Self-driving Spacecraft Set for Planetary Defense Expedition

Hera uses infrared to scan impact crater (Credit: ESA–ScienceOffice.org)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Engineers designing ESA’s Hera planetary defence mission to the Didymos asteroid pair are developing advanced technology to let the spacecraft steer itself through space, taking a similar approach to self-driving cars.

“If you think self-driving cars are the future on Earth, then Hera is the pioneer of autonomy in deep space,” explains Paolo Martino, lead systems engineer of ESA’s proposed Hera mission. “While the mission is designed to be fully operated manually from ground, the new technology will be tested once the core mission objectives are achieved and higher risks can be taken.”

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GAO Letter Outlines NASA’s Open Priority Recommendations

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has not implemented nearly one third of the recommendations for improvements that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made to it four years earlier, the government watchdog agency said.

“In November 2018, we reported that on a government-wide basis, 77 percent of our recommendations made 4 years ago were implemented,” GAO said in an April 12 letter to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“NASA’s recommendation implementation rate was 70 percent. As of February 2019, NASA had 51 open recommendations. Fully implementing these open recommendations could significantly improve NASA’s operations.” GAO added.

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Inflatable Heat Shield Project Gets a Spring in its Step

Illustration of Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID). (Credits: NASA)

NORFOLK, Va. (NASA PR) — Testing of a key component of NASA’s Low-earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) is on track, thanks in part to Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia.

LOFTID is a cross-cutting technology designed to enable delivery of heavy cargos to any planet with an atmosphere. In a few years, the project will launch a six-meter inflatable heat shield into low-Earth orbit on an Atlas V rocket and collect data during re-entry.

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