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Florida to Help Blue Origin Build World’s Most Expensive Luncheonette

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blue-origin-lunch

The Space Florida Board of Directors has been asked to approve this $26.6 million expenditure at next week’s meeting. Will it serve breakfast? Or will they need a separate building for that?

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NASA to Present “Surprising Evidence of Activity” on Europa

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will host a teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 26, to present new findings from images captured by the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa.

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Antares Return to Flight Set for No Earlier Than Oct. 9

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Antares rolled out for hot fire in May 2016. (Credit: Orbital ATK)

Antares rolled out for hot fire in May 2016. (Credit: Orbital ATK)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Orbital ATK is targeting no earlier than Oct. 9-13 for the launch of its Cygnus spacecraft on an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. A more specific date will be identified after completion of final operational milestones and technical reviews. Launch times range from 10:47 p.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 9 to 9:13 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13.

This will be the sixth planned cargo resupply mission by Orbital ATK under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with the company and the fourth launch from Virginia. Cargo resupply by U.S. companies enables a national capability to deliver critical science research to the space station, significantly increasing NASA’s ability to conduct new science investigations aboard the world’s only microgravity laboratory.

Get more information about Orbital ATK, its Antares rocket and the Cygnus cargo spacecraft at:

http://www.nasa.gov/orbital

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

SNC, Solar Junction Launch New Cost-Saving Solar Array Technology

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SNC’s low-cost solar array Surface Mount Technology. (Credit: SNC)

SNC’s low-cost solar array Surface Mount Technology. (Credit: SNC)

SPARKS, Nev., September 20, 2016 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Solar Junction Corporation (Solar Junction) are launching a revolutionary new technology that will increase the efficiency of spacecraft solar array production and operation and lower the overall cost, providing a direct savings to customers. These advanced solar arrays are manufactured utilizing a patent-pending Surface Mount Technology (SMT) assembly method. This method allows each cell to be installed faster, closer together and more accurately than ever before. This advancement significantly increases the amount of power generated per area, while decreasing cost and delivery time. SNC has teamed with Solar Junction, an innovative semiconductor technology company based in San Jose, California, to develop this industry-first spacecraft solar array technology. Solar Junction’s high-efficiency, multi-junction Surface Mount Cell with Coverglass (SMCC) enables automated, high-speed pick-and-place assembly of SNC-designed and manufactured solar arrays.

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Firefighters Continue to Battle Blaze at Vandenberg AFB

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An aircraft drops chemicals on wildfire at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: USAF)

An aircraft drops chemicals on wildfire at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: USAF)

Vandenberg Air Force Base
Wildland Fire – Update
September 20, 2016

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (USAF PR) – As of 7:30 a.m., the Canyon Fire has burned 10,542 acres. The fire is now 18 percent contained and 633 firefighters from Vandenberg AFB, U.S. Forestry, Cal Fire, and Santa Barbara County Fire are combatting the blaze.

The fire was very active yesterday, growing by approximately 6,000 acres. Most of the growth was to the west and the north. However, fire teams made strong progress along the south and east portions of the fire.

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United Launch Alliance Announces CubeSat STEM Education Program Winners

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ULA_logoCENTENNIAL, Colo., Sept. 20, 2016 (ULA PR) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) has selected four proposals from university students to receive free CubeSat launch slots on future Atlas V missions through the company’s new innovative rideshare program. Dubbed CubeCorp, the program encourages hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experience to motivate, educate and develop the next generation of rocket scientists and space entrepreneurs.

“ULA is passionate about educating and developing future leaders in the space industry,” said Tory Bruno, ULA CEO and president. “We’ve established a very low-cost approach to CubeSat design and launch to accommodate our commitment to STEM and innovative commercial CubeSat entrepreneurs.”

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JPL Seeks Robotic Spacecraft Development for Asteroid Redirect Mission

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This graphic depicts the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle conducting a flyby of its target asteroid. During these flybys, ARM would come within 0.6 miles (1 kilometer), generating imagery with resolution of up to 0.4 of an inch (1 centimeter) per pixel. (Credit: NASA)

This graphic depicts the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle conducting a flyby of its target asteroid. During these flybys, ARM would come within 0.6 miles (1 kilometer), generating imagery with resolution of up to 0.4 of an inch (1 centimeter) per pixel. (Credit: NASA)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking design, development and build of the robotic spacecraft that will capture a multi-ton asteroid boulder from deep space during the first segment of the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The RFP is open to the four industry partners that previously completed conceptual designs of the spacecraft.

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Space Foundation Partners with Project PoSSUM

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Project_PoSSUMCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 15, 2016) — The Space Foundation is partnering with Project PoSSUM to offer the PoSSUM Academy upper-atmospheric and astronautics education program in 2017. The program, designed by upper atmospheric scientists and former NASA astronaut instructors, is an immersive education program for high-school and undergraduate students. PoSSUM Academy students learn about upper-atmospheric science and astronautics as they prepare for simulated suborbital missions to study elusive ‘space clouds’ called noctilucent clouds.

PoSSUM, an acronym for Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere, grew from a suborbital flight opportunity granted by NASA in 2012 in which a commercial suborbital spacecraft, such as Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Two, will be used to fly through a noctilucent cloud with a package of instruments that can create a tomographic image of these cloud features, much like an MRI builds a 3D model of a human body.

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SpaceX, NASA Misled Public About First Commercial Resupply Flight

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Falcon 9 launches on its first commercial resupply mission.

Falcon 9 launches on its first commercial resupply mission.

As SpaceX prepared to launch its first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station in October 2012, there was a rather curious aspect about the mission. While the Dragon spacecraft was advertised as being able to carry 3,310 kg of cargo, the ship was only loaded with 450 kg of cargo — less than 14 percent of maximum capacity.

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UAE Space Agency Announces Details of National Space Sector Policy

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UAE_Space_Agency_LogoDUBAI (UAE Space Agency PR) — The UAE Space Agency announced today details of the National Space Sector Policy. The document was approved on September 4 by the Council of Ministers, headed by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The policy aims to build a strong and sustainable space sector in the UAE that supports and protects national interests and related vital industries. This includes contributing to economic growth and diversification, strengthening specialized Emirati skillsets and developing scientific and hi-tech capabilities. It also seeks to nurture and grow a culture of innovation and enhance the UAE’s status on regional and global levels.

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IAF to Webcast Elon Musk’s Mars Speech Next Week

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Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Editor’s Note: Good news, everyone! For all those who can’t make it to Mexico next week to hear Elon Musk’s big Mars talk on Sept. 27, the IAF is offering it free online. For the first time, it will be webcasting all plenary sessions. See the press release below for details.

The International Astronautical Federation is pleased to announce that for the first time in IAC history, all Plenary Events as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 67th International Astronautical Congress to be held from 26–30 September 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico, will be live broadcasted.

One of the main components of this year’s IAC is telecommunications and, as one of the great benefits of this technology, an unprecedented number of people will be able to have access to the state-of-the-art knowledge shared on this premier event.

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A Video Analysis of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Firexplanomaly

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Video Caption: A more detailed analysis of the spacex falcon 9 rocket explosion.

Several interesting details. Firstly the main explosion is actually from the fuel from the second stage and the liquid oxygen from the first stage.

In order to save weight on the rocket the second stage of the falcon 9 uses a common wall for the liquid oxygen and fuel tank (rp1). Any rupture in this tank wall would doom the rocket.

The quiet ‘pop’ may well be a failure of a helium tank. They are usually used to keep a pressure in the tanks while they are emptying due to the rocket burning the fuel. If one of these had ruptured while the oxygen tank was full, it could have overpressurized the tank causing it to also fail.

ASTM International to Host Organizational Meeting on Potential Commercial Spaceflight Standards

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astm_logoWEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Penn. (ASTM PR) — With support from industry and government leaders, ASTM International will host an organizational meeting to potentially create a new technical committee that develops voluntary consensus standards for commercial spaceflight.

This meeting comes in part as a result of the updated U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 (CSLCA).  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) is recommending the organization of the new group.

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This Week on The Space Show

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

1. Monday, Sept. 19, 2016: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): DR. PAUL SUTTER returns for a space science discussion.

2. Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016: 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT) MARK WHITTINGTON, author & journalist is back with us.

4. Friday, Sept. 23, 2016: 9:30-11AM PDT; (12:30-2 PM EDT; 11:30 AM – 1 PM CDT) DENNIS WINGO returns to discuss the Falcon 9 launch accident and much more.

5. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016: 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): DR. JOHN BRANDENBURG returns for the promised hybrid-fusion discussion.

Norwegian Company Working on Ocean Launched Rocket

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And now from Norway, the latest entry into the Great 21st Century Rocket RaceTM, the Sea Serpent. Featuring an aerospike engine, the booster will be launched from the ocean after being towed out by a tug boat.

The company announced last week it had received a grant from Innovation Norway, a government agency that funds startups. The company expects to begin test flights of the booster in the first quarter of 2017, with commercial flights following in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The information below is taken from Ripple’s website.

Sea Serpent Version 1 Performance Facts

3.35 MT LEO SSE-258KM orbit. Standalone. Non reusable.

2MT LEO – First Stage Reusable (Delta-V performance allowing for re entry of second stage). Amount of mass allows for customer customization to reach different celestial targets as necessary for satellite deployment.

640kg GTO. SSE. Non-reusable. Potential first stage reusability through testing.

As a first variation model of this particular launch system, whose promises of reusability are better emphasized with the larger launch vehicle variants,, we are aiming to prove reusability and providing that option for customers now in limited form.

Due to how this launch system is built, we leave it up to the customer on whether reusability or non reusability is gauged to meet their missions success.

Cost

  • Projected cost $18 Million USD. $4090/lb. $9000/Kilogram
  • Possible to split payloads
  • Example configuration: 8 cylindrical payload spacing. 550lbs each (249kg). $2,249,500/ 249kg payload space.

Technical Details

  • Aerospike engine
  • Thrust (vac) 1111 kN
  • Thrust (SL) 916.3 kN
  • LH2/LO2
  • O/F = 5.5