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Zero G Coming Back in 2015*

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Swimsuit 2014: Zero Gravity Kate Upton Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. (Credit: James Macari)

Swimsuit 2014: Zero Gravity
Kate Upton
Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. (Credit: James Macari)

After being grounded for much of 2014 due to having its jet’s engines repossessed, Zero Gravity Corporation is once again advertising parabolic flights opportunities for next year.*

Back by popular demand, the ZERO-G Experience® is returning to Tampa, FL and Washington, D.C.

ZERO-G will also be returning to Las Vegas, San Francisco, Cape Canaveral, and many more cities!

The Research Flight Program will take place in Cape Canaveral, FL from April 8, 2015 – April 10, 2015.

* Flight operations pending Federal Aviation Administration Part 121 approval

Basically, this means the aircraft has to undergo certification (FAA Part 121) once again before carrying passengers as a result of being grounded and getting a trio of new engines. Or maybe they got a new plane.

Carnegie Mellon Unveils Rover for Google Lunar X Prize Competition

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William "Red" Whittaker with Andy the lunar rover. (Credit: CMU)

William “Red” Whittaker with Andy the lunar rover. (Credit: CMU)

By Byron Spice
Carnegie Mellon Univesity

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University today unveiled Andy, a four-wheeled robot designed to scramble up steep slopes and survive the temperature swings and high radiation encountered while exploring the moon’s pits, caves and polar ice.

“Every extraterrestrial robot carries some DNA from Carnegie Mellon, but Andy would be the first true CMU robot to make the leap from Earth,” said William “Red” Whittaker, professor of robotics and director of the Field Robotics Center. “This is the culmination of lots of work by lots of people and is the next step toward Carnegie Mellon becoming a spacefaring university.”

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NASA Launches $5 Million Cube Quest Challenge

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Registration now is open for NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge, the agency’s first in-space competition that offers the agency’s largest-ever prize purse.

Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to participate in space exploration and technology development, to include a chance at flying their very own CubeSat to the moon and beyond as secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

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Science Takes off as XCOR Lynx Lands at American Geophysical Union’s 2014 Fall Meeting

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Full-scale Lynx mockup (Credit: XCOR)

Full-scale Lynx mockup (Credit: XCOR)

MOJAVE, Calif., November 24, 2014 (XCOR PR) — XCOR Aerospace will be at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) annual meeting – and taking its full scale Lynx® spacecraft model along for the ride. The model will be on display December 15-19 at the AGU Exhibit Hall in San Francisco.

XCOR’s Director of Payload Sales and Operations Khaki Rodway will be on site to present an overview of space-based research the AGU community will be conducting on Lynx. The session is titled Next Generation Instrumentation in Solar and Space Physics: Critical Measurements from Low-Cost Missions/Platforms.

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Cal State Fullerton Professor Developing Radical New Space Propulsion System

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How thrust is hypothesized to be produced by the Woodward effect. The C represents a capacitor element, L represents an inductor element.

How thrust is hypothesized to be produced by the Woodward effect. The C represents a capacitor element, L represents an inductor element.

Over at Boing Boing, Charles Platt has a story about a new space propulsion system being developed at California State University at Fullerton:

Ever since H. G. Wells imagined a gravity-shielding material in “The First Men in the Moon,” space enthusiasts have fantasized about ways to achieve thrust without any need for reaction mass. Unfortunately, it seems impossible.

Or is it?

Personally, I’m not so willing to use the word “impossible” anymore. In October of this year, at the laboratory of Dr. James Woodward in California State University at Fullerton, I watched a very small-scale experiment that was surprisingly persuasive.

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This Week on The Space Show

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This week on The Space Show with David Livingston:

1. Monday, Nov. 24, 2014: 2:00-3:30PM PST (5:00-& 6:30 PM EST, 4:00-5:30 PM CST): We welcome back Erik Seedhouse on his new book, “Bigelow Aerospace: Colonizing Space One Module at a Time.”

2. Tuesday, Nov. 25 2014:,7-8:30 PM PST (10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST): We welcome back for a full Space Show program the MIT Team that did the Mars One Analysis Study. You will be able to email and phone in questions and comments to team members regarding their study, Mars One, and the issues they investigated. As a primer & for info on the team (their professor will not be joining us), please see our Hotel Mars program from Oct. 15, 2014 ( http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2337-BWB-2014-10-15.mp3).

3. Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, 9:30 -11 AM PST (12:30-2 PM EST; 11:30-1 PM CST): No Show due to Thanksgiving Holiday & Space Show listeners rushing off to Wal-Mart for Black Friday!

4. Sunday, Nov. 30 2014, 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST): We welcome back Frank White, author of “The Overview Effect.” Frank’s new edition of this classic is now available so our guest will share updates and new information with us.

Uwingu to Send Names to Mars on Friday

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BOULDER, Colorado, Nov. 24, 2014 (Uwingu PR) –
Uwingu will launch a radio transmission to Mars on Friday, November 28th, sending over 100,000 names, messages, and pictures from people on Earth. This is the first time messages from people on Earth have been transmitted to Mar by radio.

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Space Access Society Update #137

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Space Access Update #137
  11/24/14
Copyright 2014 by Space Access Society
__________________________________________

In this Issue:

         Maintaining An Even Strain

         Commercial Crew Followup

         Booster & Engine Developments

         Space Access ’15 Conference, April 2015

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Maintaining An Even Strain

Many times over the years, we’ve gotten feedback to the effect that “things are going so well for this new industry, don’t you think it’s time to declare victory and move on?”

Oddly enough, none of those times was during this last month. The spectacular loss of two different commercial space vehicles in quick succession now has some questioning the viability of the entire commercial space industry.

Continue reading ‘Space Access Society Update #137′

Sierra Nevada Shuts Down Poway, Lays Off More Than 100

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Dream Chaser hybrid motor test firing. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser hybrid motor test firing. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Sources report that Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has shut down its rocket engine test facility in Poway, Calif., where the company has tested propulsion systems for the Dream Chaser space shuttle and Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle.

The company laid off more than 100 employees last week, including around 70 in Poway with the rest in Colorado, sources report.

Sierra Nevada lost out on two big contracts this year. In May, Virgin Galactic announced it was switching from SNC’s rubber hybrid to a nylon hybrid engine developed by Scaled Composites to power SpaceShipTwo. The rubber hybrid had been tested down in Poway.

In September, SNC lost out on the next round of NASA Commercial Crew Program contracts when the space agency selected Boeing and SpaceX to develop vehicles to fly to the International Space Station. SNC’s Dream Chaser shuttle was not selected.

SNC has appealed the decision. The Government Accountability Office has until early January to make a decision on the appeal.

Busy End of the Year Launch Schedule Ahead

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NASA's Orion spacecraft passes into Space Launch Complex-37 SLC-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to complete its move from the Launch Abort System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. (Credit:  NASA/Kim Shiflett)

NASA’s Orion spacecraft passes into Space Launch Complex-37 SLC-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to complete its move from the Launch Abort System Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. (Credit:
NASA/Kim Shiflett)

As we enter the last five weeks of 2014, the world’s launch providers will be quite busy, with at least 14 more launches scheduled. In addition to the usual roster of communications and military satellites, there are a number of interesting missions on the books.

Nov. 30. Hayabusa 2: A Japanese H2A rocket will boost the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft on a six-year round trip mission to study Asteroid (162173) 1999 JU3. The objective is return a soil sample to Earth as its Hayabusa predecessor did. Tanegashima Space Center

Dec. 4. NASA Orion: An ULA Delta IV Heavy booster will launch NASA’s first Orion spacecraft on a test mission. The high apogee flight will test Orion’s systems and heat shield. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Dec. 15. SpaceX CRS-5:  SpaceX will send a Dragon freighter on the company’s fifth commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. The company will attempt to recover the first stage of the Falcon 9 booster for reuse by landing it on a barge. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Dec. 25. Angara 5: What’s Christmas Day without a rocket launch? Russia will conduct its first test of its new Angara 5 heavy-lift booster, which will send a dummy payload into orbit. The launch follows the suborbital flight of the smaller Angara 1.22, which tested the core stage for this new family of boosters. Plesetsk Cosmodrome

December. GSLV Mk.3: India will conduct the first test flight of its new medium-lift GSLV Mk. 3 launch vehicle. This will be a suborbital launch. Satish Dhawan Space Centre

December. CBERS-4: China will attempt to get a joint Earth observation program with Brazil back on track with the launch of CBERS-4 satellite. The identical CBERS-3 spacecraft was lost in a launch accident last December. Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre

The table below shows flights scheduled for the rest of the year. Schedule subject to change without notice. Source: Spaceflight Now

Date Launch Vehicle Payload Launch Site Nation
Nov. 27 Proton ASTRA 2G Baikonur Russia
Nov. 30 H-2A Hayabusa-2 Tanegashima Japan
Dec. 1 Soyuz Glonass K Plesetsk Russia
Dec. 4 Ariane 5 DirecTV & GSAT 16 Kourou Europe
Dec. 4 Delta IV Heavy Orion EFT-1 CCAFS USA
Dec. 10 Soyuz Resurs P2 Baikonur Russia
Dec. 11 Atlas V NROL-35 Vandenberg USA
Dec. 12 Proton Yamal 401 Baikonur Russia
Dec. 16 Falcon 9 CRS 5 CCAFS USA
Dec. 18 Soyuz O3b F3 Kourou Russia
Dec. 25 Angara 5 Dummy payload Plesetsk Russia
December Long March 4B CBERS-4 Taiyuan China
December GSLV Mk.3 Suborbital Test Flight Satish Dhawan India
December PSLV IRNSS 1D Satish Dhawan India