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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, July 21, 2014: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome back DR. ERICK SEEDHOUSE on his new Space Tourism book.

2. Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 7 PM PDT (10 PM EDT, 9 PM CDT): We welcome DR. MARK SHELHAMER of NASA regarding his FISO talk from earlier this year regarding critical issues for Human Space Flight. His FISO talk was April 1, 2014.

3. Friday, June 27, 2014, 9:30 -11 AM PDT (12;30-2 PM EDT; 11:30-1 PM CDT): No show as am at NewSpace Conference.

4. Sunday, July 27, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PST, (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST). OPEN LINES. First time callers welcome. All space and STEM topics welcome.

Khrunichev Ships Heavy-lift Angara 5 to Plesetsk Cosmodrome

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Angara rocket family (Credit: Roscosmos)

Angara rocket family (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Khrunichev PR) — Preparations are in full swing for the launch of Angara 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle, marking the next testing phase of the new Angara Space Rocket Complex (SRC).

The required testing completed, the first Angara 5 launch vehicle flight article has been shipped to Plesetsk from Khrunichev Space Center (KhSC) of Moscow.

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Video Interview With Planet Labs CTO

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Video Caption: Space Station Live commentator Brandi Dean interviews Chris Boshuizen, co-founder and CTO of Planet Labs. This interview aired during Space Station Live on July 17, 2014.

A Closer Look at the UK’s Commercial Space Review

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Following the release of the document, “UK Government Review of Commercial Spaceplane Certification and Operations: Summary and Conclusions,” almost all media attention focused on one element of the report: the 8 candidate sites for the nation’s first spaceport.

This laser focus is easy to understand. The fierce, tooth-and-nail competition to land some big government project will be fun to watch. And spaceports are super cool. Well, they are when space planes are actually flying to space. When like a decade goes by with people promising imminent spaceflights without a single one taking place, spaceports become a lot less cool.  (I’m looking at you…everybody in Mojave!)

But, I digress. I went through the 80-page document and the 321-page technical report its based on so you don’t have to. Why would I do this? Because you guys are the best! You’re very welcome.

Key excerpts follow with commentary as appropriate. Read away!

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Xoterra Space Founder Fatima Dyczynski Perishes on Flight MH17

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A very sad note from Xoterra Space, a start-up company focused on big data analytics whose founder gave the above talk about the potential of space at TEDxGroningen last year.

We are very grieved by the loss of the founder of Xoterra Space, Fatima Dyczynski, who passed away in flight MH17 to Kuala Lumpur. Fatima was energetic, full of life and her dreams reached to the outermost of space. She was brightly outspoken, ambitious and incredibly motivated. Many people were inspired by her dreams to make space personal and her passion for innovation and business.

Our deepest condolences go to her parents, family and dear friends.

Comments are open for condolences.

My deepest sympathies to her family, friends and colleagues for their loss.

Business Briefs: NanoRacks’ New Platform, Blue Origin’s Investment, Surrey Satellite Backs Spaceport

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The New Shepard Crew Capsule escaped to an altitude of 2,307 feet before deploying parachutes for a safe return. (Credit: Blue Origin)

The New Shepard Crew Capsule escaped to an altitude of 2,307 feet before deploying parachutes for a safe return. (Credit: Blue Origin)

A few Saturday morning commercial space updates:

NanoRacks to Sell Space on External ISS Platform. NanoRacks expects to lease space for experiments on an external platform at the International Space Station by the end of 2014. The rack, built for $10 million by Astrium North America, will be carried to the orbiting laboratory aboard a Cygnus cargo ship in October. “We finished manufacturing about a month ago … and it’s undergoing testing at the Johnson Space Center [in Houston] right now,” says NanoRacks Managing Director Jeffrey Manber. Space News

Bezos Investment in Blue Origin Tops $500 Million.  Jeff Bezos’ investment in Blue Origin is at least $500 million. “We got $25 million from the NASA commercial crew program, and that represents less than 5 percent of what our founder has put into the company,” says Bettt Alexander, the company’s director of business development. Bezos, who founded Amazon.com, can afford it; his net worth is estimated at $27.2 billion. Space News

Alexander said Blue Origin’s human spacecraft, New Shepard, is set to undergo the first of tens of suborbital flight tests starting in 2015. Those tests will be followed by orbital flights. Satellite Today

Surrey Satellite Backs UK Spaceport: The head of Surrey Satellite says he is encouraged by the UK governments decision to construct a spaceport. “I very much welcome the government’s U.K. Space Port initiative that could support a new generation of small, adaptable launchers creating the potential to bring launch costs and lead times down for SSTL’s customers,” said Martin Sweeting, executive chairman of SSTL, a Guilford, U.K.-based spacecraft manufacturer that launches an average of two small satellites per year. Aviation Week

ESA Prepares to Launch Experimental Space Plane

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Engineers conduct final tests on ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle  (IXV). (Credit: ESA)

Engineers conduct final tests on ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV). (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — All eyes are on ESA’s spaceplane to showcase reentry technologies after its unconventional launch on a Vega rocket this November.

Instead of heading north into a polar orbit – as on previous flights – Vega will head eastwards to release the spaceplane into a suborbital path reaching all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

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NRC Report: Too Soon for 3-D Printing to Significantly Enhance Space Operations

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Made in Space tests a 3D printer in microgravity. (Credit: Made in Space)

Made in Space tests a 3D printer in microgravity. (Credit: Made in Space)

WASHINGTON (NRC PR) – Additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, could contribute positively to space missions, for example by enabling in-orbit manufacture of replacement parts and reducing launch logistical requirements, but the specific benefits and potential scope of the technology’s use remain undetermined, says a new report from the National Research Council.  The report illustrates the substantial gaps between the vision for additive manufacturing in space and the limitations of the technology, as well as outlines the progress that has to be made to develop it for such use.

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A Closer Look at Altius Space Machines Projects — Part II

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Altius_logo_newBy Jonathan Goff
CEO and President
Altius Space Machines

Part 2 of 2

In the last post, I introduced the two SBIR Select Phase 1 contracts that Altius has commenced work on. This blog post will focus on the other two Asteroid Redirect Mission contracts which mentioned there. These have been selected for contract negotiation, but aren’t active contracts yet, so I will try to be a little more high-level in this blog post.

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NanoRacks Sends Experiments to ISS

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nano_racks_logoHOUSTON (NanoRacks PR) –Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft successfully berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday morning after launching Sunday afternoon from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Onboard were 32 CubeSats and 10 internal payloads from NanoRacks’ customers holding dozens of research experiments onboard.

Orbital’s Cygnus was brought to orbit by a two-stage Antares rocket. Cygnus was carrying 1,664 kg of supplies, CubeSats, and research experiments for the Space Station. Cygnus will remain berthed at the ISS for about 30 days where station crew will unload the experiments and other hardware. This was Orbital Sciences’ third resupply mission to the ISS, including their Orb-D1 developmental milestone launch.

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