Research Competition Winners Headed to ISS on Dragon


iss-research-competitionKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Space Florida PR) — On Sunday, the remaining five of seven International Space Station Research Competition winners launched their research payloads to space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. The mission, titled CRS-4 (“Commercial Resupply Mission #4”), launched at 1:52 a.m. aboard a Dragon resupply ship.

Projects that were launched included:

  • SABOL – a microgravity-based study into Alzheimer’s Disease
  • SyNRGE3 – studying plant-microbe interactions to improve crop yields and increase knowledge of beneficial bacteria and plants
  • EGAHEP (“Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus”) seeking to develop Hepatitis C protein crystals in space that will further research into a vaccine
  • Micro-gRX – measuring fluorescence to gauge changes in the speed of molecular rotation of an antibody binding to a vitamin in microgravity
  • ISS NanoRocks – observing the collision of dust particles in the absence of Earth’s gravity

Continue reading ‘Research Competition Winners Headed to ISS on Dragon’

SpaceX Launches Dragon Cargo Ship to ISS

Falcon 9 soars into the sky with the Dragon CRS-4 spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

Falcon 9 soars into the sky with the Dragon CRS-4 spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft launched to the International Space Station at 1:52 a.m. EDT Sunday, scheduled to arrive Tuesday morning. The mission will deliver, and later return, new technology, biology, biotechnology and Earth and space science research. Made in Space’s 3D printer is also on board the cargo ship.

GLXP Update: Tuxera Sponsors Hungary’s Team Puli Space


Helsinki, Finland and Budapest, Hungary, September 15, 2014 (Tuxera/Team Puli PR) –
Tuxera Inc., the market leader in file system and streaming technologies, announced today a sponsorship agreement with Hungary’s Team Puli Space in its mission to send an unmanned robotic probe to the Moon. Team Puli is participating in the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, an unprecedented competition challenging privately funded teams to successfully land a spacecraft on the lunar surface that travels at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and imagery back to earth.

Continue reading ‘GLXP Update: Tuxera Sponsors Hungary’s Team Puli Space’

Richard Branson’s Credibility Begins to Crumble


Richard Branson and then-Gov. Bill Richardson at Spaceport America in New Mexico in 2010. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Richard Branson is beginning to take a pounding in the British media as the 10th anniversary of his announcement of SpaceShipTwo approaches next Saturday.

When he announced SpaceShipTwo on Sept. 27, 2004, Branson promised to be flying in only three years. “Within five years, Virgin Galactic will have created over 3,000 new astronauts from many countries,” Branson said.

Commercial flights are now running more than 7 years behind schedule, with the first flight unlikely before next February and possibly much later. Now the British media are beginning to notice.

Why the only thing Branson has fired into space is his ego: 700 VIPs have paid £50m for tickets into orbit. But six years after the Virgin boss promised blast off, his space ship STILL isn’t ready
Daily Mail

Deep in the American West lies a vast, arid desert plain known as ‘Jordana de Muerto’, or ‘Journey of the Dead Man’. The desolate, sun-beaten expanse of deepest New Mexico is flat and deeply inhospitable.

Yet it is here, four hours’ drive from Albuquerque, that a security gate marks the entrance to perhaps the world’s most spectacular white elephant….

Talk your way in and you’ll find a huge futuristic glass, steel and concrete building designed by the superstar architect Sir Norman Foster.

No expense was spared. Indeed, it cost local taxpayers, who footed the entire bill, almost a quarter of a billion U.S. dollars.

Remarkably, every penny of this huge sum, every brick that was laid, and every tonne of publicly-funded concrete poured into the desert, has been devoted to a singular cause: putting Sir Richard Branson into space.

The $80m Virginauts stranded on Earth
London Sunday Times
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SIR RICHARD BRANSON is facing a backlash from aspiring astronauts who have booked a $250,000 seat on his space rocket after he revealed on an American television chat show the latest in a series of delays to the inaugural flight.

News of the latest setback to Branson’s commercial space programme came in an interview last week with David Letterman, the programme’s host, when the entrepreneur said he hoped to take the first commercial trip into space on Virgin Galactic in “February or March or next year”. He has previously said that he would be travelling into space by the end of this year.

The latest delay led to claims that the project was in crisis with some customers questioning whether the rocket would ever get into space.

Beam us up, Beardie!
Private Eye

WHEN will Sir Richard Branson launch himself into space? “What people forget is that it is rocket science,” he quipped in February. “It is complicated. But now every box has been ticked and we’re nearly there.” Er, how nearly? “We have a launch date this summer… By September, I hope to have gone to space.”

September is upon us, so presumably Beardie Lightyear is now aboard his rocket, preparing to slip the surly bonds of earth with a cry of “To infinity and beyond!” Or, on past form, perhaps not…

Falcon 9 Launch Scrubbed; Next Attempt Early Sunday Morning


SpaceX scrubbed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon freighter bound for the International Space Station early Saturday morning due to bad weather over the launch site.

The company will try again Sunday morning at 1:52 a.m. EDT. This is an instantaneous launch window. They need to launch exactly on time or they will need to delay another day.

SpaceX to Break Ground on Launch Center on Monday

Artist's conception of the proposed SpaceX commercial launch facility near Brownsville, Texas.

Artist’s conception of the proposed SpaceX commercial launch facility near Brownsville, Texas.

Received the following invitation from SpaceX this afternoon, which I’ve edited down.

Media are invited to attend SpaceX’s official groundbreaking ceremony for the world’s first private commercial orbital launch facility on Monday, September 22, 2014. The facility will be built near Boca Chica Beach, Texas and expected to be complete by 2016.

Following the groundbreaking ceremony in Boca Chica, media are also welcome to attend a reception in Brownsville honoring local community officials from across South Texas, whose support has made the construction of the launch facility possible.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Established Advanced Propulsion Office in Huntsville


HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 16, 2014 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) –
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, announced today the establishment of the company’s Advanced Hydrocarbon Propulsion Development Office (AHPDO) in Huntsville, Alabama.

The facility will focus on delivering a 21st century advanced hydrocarbon rocket engine to the nation and the integration of the company’s ongoing hydrocarbon technology and development efforts. This development work will include the AR1 advanced large hydrocarbon rocket engine, the NASA Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration Risk Reduction program, the U.S. Air Force Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Development program, along with internal Aerojet Rocketdyne research and development involving the company’s Bantam Engine family for lower thrust applications.

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NanoRacks Updates Progress on Repairing CubeSat Deployer

At about a foot in length and four inches wide, these three-unit (3U) CubeSats are similar in design to IceCube. (Credit: NASA)

At about a foot in length and four inches wide, these three-unit (3U) CubeSats are similar in design to IceCube. (Credit: NASA)

By NanoRacks

NanoRacks is pleased to announce that the deployers and CubeSats have been safely brought back inside the ISS.

At the same time, we continue to aggressively support NASA and JAXA activities to complete the NRCSD on-orbit anomaly fault tree analysis.

We again thank everyone at NASA Marshall Space Center, NASA Johnson Space Center and JAXA for their continued commitment to identify the root cause and take corrective steps to assure future safe operations and mission success.

Based on the analysis to date, we are exploring corrective procedures and hardware for those cubesats on the station as well as those planned for launch.

We’ll make further announcements as we continue to make progress.

Waypoint 2 Space Launches Kickstarter Campaign


Modular EVA Training System (METS)

For the first time in history, Space is finally within your reach! If you have ever wanted to know what it was like to live and work in space we can train you. Waypoint 2 Space was created with the sole purpose of training future commercial astronauts, researchers, teachers and space enthusiasts with various programs for all levels of participation. There’s one piece of hardware we would especially like to have for our training but it doesn’t currently exist…Yet! With your help it will soon.

We came up with a concept for a training device called the Modular EVA Training System (METS). METS is capable of housing a spacecraft training module 12 feet high and 10 feet wide and will simulate a person performing an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA or Space Walk as commonly known) here on Earth. METS incorporates a gravity off set system creating the sensation of weightlessness while simultaneously providing a Trainee the ability to translate around a moveable space module (like found on the International Space Station) simulating a full weightless environment.

CASIS Takes Giant Leap for Golfers Everywhere


casis_new_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advance of Science in Space (CASIS) and COBRA PUMA GOLF (CPG) have partnered on a materials science research investigation that is expected to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX-4. The launch is slated to take place no earlier than September 20, 2014. CASIS is responsible for the management of the U.S. National Laboratory on the ISS.

Through this partnership, CPG intends to conduct an investigation on the ISS National Laboratory that would research materials aimed at enhancing its future product lines.

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