Page 2 of 1006

ULA Video on Designing a Trip to Orbit


Happy Thanksgiving!



Parabolic Arc is taking the day off for holiday cheer. Happy Thanksgiving!

Federation Praises Blue Origin Flight


CSF_logo2Washington D.C. (CSF PR) – Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) Member Blue Origin celebrated a historic milestone yesterday, announcing that it safely and successfully completed a controlled, vertical return of the New Shepard rocket booster to its West Texas launch pad after reaching a planned test altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 km). The fully-reusable spacecraft is designed to carry astronauts on a suborbital spaceflight to experience weightlessness and view the Earth through the largest windows to ever fly in space. The New Shepard vehicle also expands access and capabilities for suborbital researchers through NASA STMD’s Flight Opportunities Program.

Through this historic landing, Blue Origin has demonstrated the economic viability of reusability, a revolutionary approach to spaceflight that counts fellow CSF Members Masten Space Systems and SpaceX among its pioneers.  Reusable rocketry holds the promise of driving down launch costs and decreasing turn-around time.

“This is yet another example that confirms the USA’s successful equation for a 21st century space industry: innovative regulatory framework combined with open access to NASA’s institutional knowledge and commercial ingenuity, perseverance, and patience can achieve great things,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

“Through the flexible regulatory framework prescribed by the recently-passed CSLCA, spacecraft designers have leeway to design safe and innovative vehicles, like Blue Origin’s New Shepard, that continue to push the bounds of our technological advancement in space,” added CSF Executive Director Tommy Sanford. “Supporting a regulatory environment that catalyzes innovation and ingenuity in design was Congress’s intent with the CSLCA and, as the recent flight of New Shepard demonstrates, it clearly payed off.”

Outgoing USAF Acquisition Chief Worried About Access to Space

Orion Exploration Flight Test launch. (Credit: NASA)

Orion Exploration Flight Test launch. (Credit: NASA)

Outgoing U.S. Air Force Acquisition Chief William LaPlante has expressed concern about maintaining access to space as ULA transitions to a new launch vehicle:

LaPlante leaves his post with at least one nagging concern: ensuring access to space. Congress recently pushed to move away from reliance on Russian-made engines to launch satellites into space, but LaPlante doubts the US can quickly transition entirely to a homegrown engine while simultaneously ensuring competition and maintaining access to space.

“I think the space launch situation is serious for the country.” LaPlante told reporters during a Nov. 24 media roundtable at the Pentagon. “You can get competition, you can get two independent ways to get into space or you can get off the Russian engines — I don’t see how you do all three in the next four years.”

LaPlante’s remarks come on the heels of a controversial showdown between the Pentagon and United Launch Alliance, which until this year was the sole provider of military launch. ULA recently pulled out of the Air Force’s GPS III competition, citing insufficient stores of the Russian RD-180 rocket engine after Congress banned the use of the power plant for military satellite launches after 2019.

Read the full story.

Phase Four Receives $1 Million DARPA Contract for CubeSat Thruster


CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (Credit: Phase Four)

PASADENA, Calif (Phase Four PR) —  Phase Four LLC, a satellite propulsion company, has received a $1 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in support of the effort to deliver a fully-integrated flight unit of the CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (“CAT”). The contract also includes options for long-duration orbital flight testing and design enhancements for microsatellite-class missions.

Continue reading ‘Phase Four Receives $1 Million DARPA Contract for CubeSat Thruster’

NASA Announces Early Stage Innovations Space Technology Research Grants


WASHINGTON, D.C. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 15 university-led proposals for the study of innovative, early stage technologies that address high priority needs of America’s space program.

The Early Stage Innovations awards from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants Program are worth as much as $500,000 each. Universities have two to three years to work on their proposed research and development projects.

Continue reading ‘NASA Announces Early Stage Innovations Space Technology Research Grants’

DSI’s Tumlinson Awarded World Technology Award

Rick Tumlison, accepting his World Technology Award on Nov 20, 2015. Pictured with World Technology Network founder James Craig. (Credit: DSI)

Rick Tumlison, accepting his World Technology Award on Nov 20, 2015. Pictured with World Technology Network founder James Craig. (Credit: DSI)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) — On Friday, November 20, 2015, Rick Tumlinson was awarded the World Technology Award by the World Technology Network  (“The WTN”) – a global community comprised of the most innovative people and organizations at the forefront of science and technology and related fields.   Mr. Tumlinson was awarded this prestigious honor for his work at Deep Space Industries in the development of an industrial economy in space.

Continue reading ‘DSI’s Tumlinson Awarded World Technology Award’

Battle Brews Over ULA Engine Restrictions

John McCain

John McCain

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is battling an effort to eliminate restrictions on ULA’s ability to purchase Russian RD-180 engines for the first stage of its Atlas V booster.

McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, supported a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, now awaiting the president’s signature, that gives ULA access to four more RD-180s for upcoming competitions, a number the company says is not nearly enough to keep it in the military launch business until it can field a new rocket around 2021. The House version of that bill would have granted ULA access to nine more engines, but the Senate position prevailed.

Now, however, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is considering adding language to a spending bill that would give the Air Force access to the RD-180 until an alternative becomes available, his office has said. The Defense Department, like the rest of the federal government, is currently funded under a continuing resolution that expires Dec. 11, and a new bill must be passed to avoid a government shutdown.

ULA recently declined to bid on a U.S. Air Force launch contract, in part because it was unable to spare its limited supply of first-stage engines. The decision resulted in a default to rival SpaceX.

Read the full story.

Battling Billionaires: Amid Jeff Bezos Triumph, Elon Musk Launches Twitter War


Jeff Bezos is basking in the success of Blue Origin’s New Shepard, which completed a successful flight yesterday with the rocket landing safely back on Earth. Bezos send his first ever Tweet (at least from that account) to celebrate the achievement.

Never one to miss an opportunity for publicity, rival Elon Musk at first congratulated Bezos on his success before finding about a half dozen ways to diminish it. A sampling of Musk’s Tweets follow.

Video of Supermodel Karlie Kloss’ Photo Shoot at SpaceX


Supermodel Karlie Kloss did a photo shoot at SpaceX headquarters in California.

Smith, Babin Praise Successful Reusable Rocket Test in Texas

Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith

Washington, D.C. (House Science PR) – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) today praised a private space company’s successful test of a reusable rocket at a test facility in West Texas. The company, Blue Origin, was the first ever to successfully launch and vertically land a rocket, which enables reuse.

Chairman Lamar Smith: “We are living in historic and exciting times. Congratulations to Blue Origin on the successful launch and landing of the New Shepard rocket yesterday in West Texas. Reusable rockets could revolutionize the space industry and promise to make future space exploration more affordable.  This is one of many firsts for American space innovators and it is the reason why the SPACE Act that Congress recently passed is so important. Texas continues to play a leading role in America’s space story, just as we have for the last 50 years.”

Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin: “Blue Origin’s successful flight is a significant step in making space tourism a reality in Texas and the United States.  Congratulations to the entire team for their vision, ingenuity and tireless efforts in ensuring the United States is the home of commercial space.”

The test comes on the heels of passage of the SPACE Act, landmark bipartisan legislation that encourages private American space companies to continue investing in crucial research, development, and testing without the threat of new and overbearing government regulations. Chairman Smith partnered with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), lead sponsor of the bill, to see it through to final passage in the House and Senate. It now awaits the president’s signature.

Departed XCOR Founder Establishes Consulting Group


agile_aero_logoXCOR Founder Jeff Greason, who departed the company this week, has established an aerospace consulting operation called Agile Aero. The group has a website that was created on Nov. 17 for which Greason is listed as the registrant. The following description is on the website:

Agile Aero, Inc. is a group of aviation and aerospace professionals with expertise in many aspects of advanced aerospace vehicle design, construction, and operations; rocket propulsion; and the regulatory environment for these activities.

We provide consulting services in these areas, but our focus is on a larger goal. We have seen in our careers many advanced aerospace projects falter because of the long development cycle for custom aerospace vehicles. In recent years, there have been breakthroughs in rapid development and prototyping of rocket engines, of satellites, and of many subsystems for advanced vehicles. But the integrated vehicles are still developed with older, slower methods. Agile Aero intends to bring modern rapid prototyping to complete vehicles, for space launch, for hypersonic air vehicles, and for innovative aircraft.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Signs $200 Million Contract for CST-100 Starliner Propulsion

High Bay of KSC facility used to manufacture Boeing CST-100 spacecraft.

High Bay of KSC facility used to manufacture Boeing CST-100 spacecraft.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 23, 2015 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), has signed a contract with Boeing valued at nearly $200 million that supports a new era of spaceflight – one that will carry humans to the International Space Station (ISS) from American soil once again. Under its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) subcontract to Boeing, Aerojet Rocketdyne is completing the design, development, qualification, certification and initial production of the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 “Starliner” service module propulsion system.

Continue reading ‘Aerojet Rocketdyne Signs $200 Million Contract for CST-100 Starliner Propulsion’

Blue Origin’s New Shepard Vehicle Makes Suborbital Flight


VAN HORN, Texas, November 24, 2015 (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin today announced that its New Shepard space vehicle successfully flew to space, reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 kilometers) before executing a historic landing back at the launch site in West Texas. To receive updates on Blue Origin’s continuing progress and early access to ticketing information, sign up

Continue reading ‘Blue Origin’s New Shepard Vehicle Makes Suborbital Flight’

Aerojet Rocketdyne Gets $1.16 Billion Contract to Restart Shuttle Engine Production

The RS-25 engine fires up for a 500-second test Jan. 9 at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credit: NASA)

The RS-25 engine fires up for a 500-second test Jan. 9 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NASA PR) — NASA selected Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to restart production of the RS-25 engine for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, and deliver a certified engine. SLS will use four RS-25 engines to carry the agency’s Orion spacecraft and launch explorers on deep space missions, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and ultimately to Mars.

Continue reading ‘Aerojet Rocketdyne Gets $1.16 Billion Contract to Restart Shuttle Engine Production’