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OmniEarth Signs MOU With Spaceflight Inc. for Launch Services

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spaceflight_logoARLINGTON, Va., Jul 21, 2014 (OmniEarth PR) — OmniEarth LLC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Spaceflight Inc. for rideshare launch services related to its planned constellation of up to 18 satellites.

Under the agreement, Spaceflight Inc. will identify launch opportunities and provide associated pre-launch support to OmniEarth. Spaceflight has strong partnerships with prominent launch vehicle providers, such as SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Roscosmos, and Virgin Galactic, and is well-suited to facilitate launch accommodations for OmniEarth.

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NanoRacks Part of Space Systems/Loral’s Hosted Payloads Team

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2014 (NanoRacks PR – The United States Air Force has awarded a five year IDIQ contract opportunity to SSL under the Hosted Payload Solutions Program (HoPs) in order to facilitate the placement of payloads designed for Geostationary (GEO) and Low-Earth (LEO) orbit.

NanoRacks is pleased to be one of the SSL LEO team services providers, utilizing its External Payload Platform as a test-bed for sensors and advanced electronics, located outside the International Space Station.

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SV Gets All Spacy This Weekend

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Silicon Valley will be hosting not one but two — you heard that right, TWO — space events this weekend that are overlapping with each other.

The Space Frontier Foundation kicks off its annual NewSpace Conference on Thursday at the Double Tree San Jose. If you like commercial space and lots of panel discussions, this is the conference for you. It’s got plenty of both. And remember, the most important part is not necessarily all the gabbing in the room but the space deals being done in the hallways.

Learn more here

On Friday evening, Startup Weekend: Space gets underway, also at the Double Tree. The event, which features pitches for space-related businesses, moves to the Plug & Play Center in Sunnyvale for Saturday and Sunday.

The startup weekend is being sponsored by the Space Frontier Foundation. There is a 50 percent discount on the NewSpace conference for those who sign up for both events.

Learn more here

Stu Witt to Remain Head of Mojave Spaceport for Extra 6 Months

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Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)

Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)

Mojave Air and Space Port CEO/General Manager Stu Witt is postponing his retirement by six months.

Witt had planned to step down no later than July 1, 2015. However, last week the Mojave Spaceport Board of Directors approved a six month extension until January 2016.

The extension is apparently related to the board’s meandering effort to replace Witt, who announced his intention to step down last year. Board President JoAnn Painter told the Antelope Valley Press the board is still working on a “template for managing the succession” that would be put into place six months before Witt departs.

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Space Tango Business Accelerator Launched This Week

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Space_TangoLEXINGTON, Ken. (Space Tango PR) — Space Tango Inc. has just kicked-off the nation’s first business accelerator specifically for space enterprises and entrepreneurs. The accelerator is designed for space-driven startups with a goal of helping new and growing businesses innovate and develop novel applications for diverse markets.

The three companies below are in the Lexington, Kentucky region for a five-week session that started last week and will return in the fall for a final session. The fall session will include a pitch presentation during the IdeaFestival, where some of the world’s leading creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators join curious minds from around the globe in Louisville, Kentucky for four-days.

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Video of Falcon 9 First Stage Descent to Ocean

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Video Caption: Video of the Falcon 9 first stage reentry and landing following successful delivery of six ORBCOMM satellites to orbit. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.

After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.

SpaceWorks Market Assessment: NanoSats Beginning to Outstrip Launch Capacity

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AAC Microtec CubeSats (Credit: NASA)

AAC Microtec CubeSats (Credit: NASA)

A note from SpaceWorks Enterprises:

We have conducted a study looking at recent trends in the launch vehicle market. With the growing popularity of nano/microsatellites, this study seeks to determine whether the current launch vehicle market can sufficiently meet this growing demand. Some of our findings include:

  • The total number of launches per year has been relatively constant over the last four years despite the significant rise in number of satellites launched per year.
  • Nearly half of 2013 launches experienced significant delay, an unfortunate result for secondary payloads seeking rideshare opportunities.
  • Our historical analysis suggests that the current supply of launch vehicles will not sufficiently serve future nano/microsatellite market demand.
  • In order to foster the dynamic growth observed in 2013, the launch vehicle market will need to provide more launches and increase the portion of launches servicing nano/microsatellites.

Download a PowerPoint briefing here.

USAF Review of SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle Continues

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Falcon 9 in flight with the SES-8 satellite. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 in flight with the SES-8 satellite. (Credit: SpaceX)

Bloomberg News has an update on the U.S. Air Force’s efforts to certify SpaceX’s Falcon 9 v1.1 to launch military payloads. The service is reviewing the results of three successful flights of the booster as well as SpaceX’s processes on the ground.

Bloomberg obtained a redacted copy of a May 20 letter and briefing paper discussing the review that the Air Force sent to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic panel.

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Commercial Crew Partners Continue Milestone Work

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their  Space Act Agreements with the agency.

NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move ahead with plans to develop the first American spacecraft designed to carry people into space since the space shuttle.

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Sierra Nevada Completes Dream Chaser Technology Readiness Level Milestone

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Former astronaut Lee Archambault Dream Chaser crew test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Former astronaut Lee Archambault Dream Chaser crew test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., July 22, 2014 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces it has successfully passed Milestone 9, the Risk Reduction and Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Advancement Testing milestone, for several critical Dream Chaser® systems under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement. Milestone 9 culminated in a major comprehensive review of various hardware systems. To date, SNC has received 92 percent of the total award value of the CCiCap agreement.

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