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Space Access Society Update


Space Access Update #136 7/27/14
Copyright 2014 by Space Access Society

In this Issue:

- Bill Gaubatz
- Experienced Engineering Teams And US Space Launch Development Policy
- SLS Sole-Sourcing
- 2014 Space Politics: Halftime Report

  • Senate Appropriations Impasse, Other Legislation
  • Commercial Crew & Cargo at Crossroads
  • Defense Launch & Propulsion Politics

- Supporting Space Access

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Startup Weekend: Space Was a Blast!

Space Startup Weekend pitch. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Space Startup Weekend pitch. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Hey everyone.

Startup Weekend: Space finished up last night at the Rainbow Mansion in Cupertino. I had a great time being involved in one of the teams, Makernautics, which wants to develop software tools to make building CubeSats easier.

Nine teams competed over the weekend. The winner was a group called BioCube, which is developing a life-support system for CubeSats that will allow researchers to study the effects of microgravity on biological samples.

It’s a very cool project that I think will open up a new market for researchers who can’t afford flights to the International Space Station. The team did a great job defining and presenting it.

We talked to two of the judges later, and they said they liked the Makernautics proposal as well. So, we’re going to pursue developing that idea.

I’d really like to thank everyone involved in organizing the event, in particular Traci Parker and Reuben Metcalfe for letting me participate. It was a lot of fun, learned a lot, and connected with some great people on the Makernautics team. A big thank-up to all the residents of the Rainbow Mansion for hosting us for two days.

World View Selects 3 Research Payloads

World View balloon and capsule at altitude. (Credit: World View)

World View balloon and capsule at altitude. (Credit: World View)

San Francisco, CA, July 28, 2014 (World View PR) – World View Enterprises, the commercial spaceflight balloon company, has announced plans to fly research and education payloads during its balloon test flight phase as part of its newly launched Pathfinder program.

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This Week on The Space Show


This week on The Space Show with David Livingston:

1. Monday, July 28, 2014: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome back JAY BARBREE, NBC News space reporter and author of the new book, “Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight.”

2. Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 7 PM PDT (10 PM EDT, 9 PM CDT): We welcome back DR. PAT PATTERSON to discuss the upcoming SmallSat Conference at Utah State in Logan, Utah.

3. Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 11AM-12 PM PDT (2-3PM EDT, 1-2 PM CDT): We welcome back Robert Meurer, Director, Corporate Business Development at ATK, Space Division, Beltsville, MD.

4. Friday, August 1, 2014:, NO LIVE SHOW TODAY, JURY DUTY. I will upload two NewSpace Conference interviews. When you see the program on the website and the blog, it is ready for play.

5. Sunday, August 3, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PST, (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST). NO SHOW TODAY. I am heading to San Diego for the AIAA Space 2014 Conference.

The Second Space Age is Beginning…and It’ll Be Awesome


Video Caption: Will Pomerantz, Virgin Galactic’s VP of Special Projects, explains how the second space age promises to open up a new world of exciting opportunities.

Space Startup Weekend Underway

Brainstorming (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Brainstorming (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Hey all.

I’m skipping most of the sessions at NewSpace 2014 today to participate in Startup Weekend: Space at the Rainbow Mansion in Cupertino. On a team working on a very cool business plan.

This is a lot of fun. Looking forward to pitching to judges on Sunday evening.

Look for updates over the weekend @spacecom

Judge Recommends Mediation in SpaceX-USAF Dispute


ULA_logoSpace News has an update on SpaceX’s lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force over the 36-core bulk buy from ULA:

Judge Susan Braden on July 24 directed the two sides to explore a third alternative: mediation. As part of that process, she directed the Air Force to provide SpaceX with information by Aug. 18 on the missions in question to allow the company to determine which ones it could launch. She also ordered the service to explain to SpaceX how it plans to execute the block-buy contract with ULA during the next six months.

At the same time, Braden asked SpaceX to provide, by Sept. 10, a list of proposed issues for mediation, potential mediators and a timetable. The Air Force will then have until Oct. 14 to determine whether SpaceX’s proposed terms for mediation are acceptable.

Meanwhile, Braden denied a motion from ULA to dismiss the lawsuit. ULA had argued that SpaceX waited too long to challenge the contract and thereby waived its legal standing to do so.

But Braden said ULA “has no basis to challenge” SpaceX’s standing. She was silent on the Air Force’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which is based on a similar argument.

Read the full story.

GAO: NASA Needs Executable Business Case for SLS

Artist rendering of the RS-25 engines powering the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the pad. (Credit: NASA)

Artist rendering of the RS-25 engines powering the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the pad. (Credit: NASA)

Space Launch System: Resources Need to be Matched to Requirements to Decrease Risk and Support Long Term Affordability
Government Accountability Office
Published: Jul 23, 2014

What GAO Found

The Space Launch System (SLS) program is making solid progress on the SLS design. However, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has not developed an executable business case based on matching the program’s cost and schedule resources with the requirement to develop the vehicle and conduct the first flight test in December 2017 at the required confidence level of 70 percent. NASA uses a calculation referred to as the “joint cost and schedule confidence level” to estimate the probable success of a program meeting its cost and schedule targets. NASA policy usually requires a 70 percent confidence level for a program to proceed with final design and fabrication.

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CubeCab Wins $20K in NewSpace Conference Pitch Competition

The CubeCab team with their over sized novelty check. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

The CubeCab team with their over sized novelty check. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

A Mountain View, Calif., company called CubeCab that is focused on launching CubeSat into space inexpensively won the $20,000 grand prize in the “Lightning Pitch” competition at the NewSpace Conference on Thursday.

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Space Angels Network Forms Partnership With Space Foundation


space_angels_networkSeattle, Washington, 24 July 2014 (Space Angels PR) – Space Angels Network, a global network of seed- and early‐stage investors focused on aerospace‐related ventures, and Space Foundation, a global non-profit organization advancing space-related endeavors to inspire, enable, and propel humanity, are proud to announce their new partnership. Through this partnership both organizations will work together to accelerate the growth of the emerging space ecosystem, by promoting entrepreneurial activity and encouraging private investment in commercial space ventures.

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