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Space Florida Thanks Governor, Legislature for Support

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space_florida_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., February 03, 2016 (Space Florida PR) – Today, when Florida Space Day participants visit the legislature as they have for well over 20 years, Space Florida would like to take the opportunity to thank the Governor and Florida legislature for their tremendous support of the industry through the power of Florida’s unique economic development toolkit.  The aerospace industry in Florida is thriving, with much more to come.
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SwRI CubeSat to Explore Deep Space

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CuSP_LogoSAN ANTONIO, Texas, February 2, 2016 (SwRI PR) ─ NASA announced that a miniature solar particle research spacecraft to be built by Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI) will launch aboard NASA’s Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) rocket in 2018.

The CubeSat to study Solar Particles (CuSP) is one of a dozen shoebox-size payloads, called CubeSats, that will hitchhike into interplanetary space aboard EM-1, the first unmanned test flight of NASA’s giant new Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS rocket is designed to eventually carry astronauts to the Moon and Mars aboard the Orion spacecraft.

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NASA Working on the Coolest Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids You’ve Ever Seen

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Video Caption: What’s the best way to explore comets and asteroids? Spacecraft? Rovers?

The answer may be a bit both — a spacecraft/rover hybrid.

Exploring small bodies like comets and asteroids could shed light on the origin and evolution of the solar system and even the origin of life on our planet.

Watch as Marco Pavone, Stanford University, and Ben Hockman, student, Stanford University, discuss their NASA Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) for spacecraft/rover hybrids.

This video was developed from a live recording at the 2015 NIAC Fall Symposium in October, 2015. To watch the full original talk please visit: http://bit.ly/1GGh5r8

To learn more about NIAC visit: www.nasa.gov/niac

House Members Want NASA to Develop Human Space Exploration Roadmap

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Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth's moon. (Credit: NASA)

Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (House Science Committee PR) – On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Space held a hearing titled,Charting a Course: Expert Perspectives on NASA’s Human Exploration Proposals.” Witnesses shared their viewpoints on NASA’s human space exploration plans – including a human mission to Mars – and the challenge of keeping programs on track through changing presidential administrations.

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SpaceX Plans Higher Production, Launch Rates in 2016

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Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said on Wednesday that the company plans to reach higher production and launch rates this year.

“Now we’re in this factory transformation to go from building six or eight a year to about 18 cores a year. By the end of this year we should be at over 30 cores per year,” she said. “So you see the factory start to morph.”

Shotwell, after her conference speech, said SpaceX plans to launch SES-9 “in the next couple of weeks.” The company then plans to maintain a high flight rate. “You should see us fly every two to three weeks,” she said.

While SpaceX plans to increase production of the Falcon 9, she suggested the company was still making changes to the vehicle. The Dec. 21 launch of 11 Orbcomm satellites was the first flight of an upgraded, or “full thrust,” version of the vehicle, and also the first time the company successfully landed the rocket’s first stage as part of its reusability efforts.

The latest changes, she said, came after a static fire test of the first stage Jan. 15 at Cape Canaveral. “We fired it up, and actually learned something about the rocket,” she said, without elaborating on what the company learned. “We’re going to make some mods based on what we saw on that stage landing and firing.”

SpaceX had earlier planned to reach the production of 40 cores annually by the end of 2015.

Read the full story.

Top Entries from NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge Get Ride to Deep Space

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Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — When the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft make their inaugural flight in 2018, called Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), three of the 13 small satellites that will be hitchhiking a ride to deep space destinations such as Earth’s moon and asteroids to gather data valuable to future exploration missions will be the top competitors of the Cube Quest Challenge.

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Registration Open for Space Access 16

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Earth_from_Orbit
Space Access ’16 Conference Registration Open

April 7th – 9th, 2016

at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix North

Conference Registration

Advance registration is now open for SA’16, Space Access Society’s next annual conference on the business, technology, and politics of radically cheaper access to space, this year with a strong sub-focus on Beyond Low Orbit: The Next Step Out. Our upcoming conference will (as usual) feature a cross-section of the growing cheap access community, talking about what’s going on now and what we should be doing next, in a fast-paced intensive informal atmosphere.

SA’16 registration remains at $120 in advance, $140 at the door, student rate $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Day rates Thu/Fri/Sat will be $60/$60/$60 and $20/$20/$20 student, and will be available at the door only. You can register in advance by mailing a check, along with your name, email, and desired organization name (if any) for your badge to Space Access ’16, PO Box 16034, Phoenix AZ 85011, or register online via Paypal or your credit card.
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Lunar Flashlight CubeSat to Map Moon’s South Pole

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The Lunar Flashlight, flying as secondary payload on the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System, will examine the moon’s surface for ice deposits and identify locations where resources may be extracted. (Credit: NASA)

The Lunar Flashlight, flying as secondary payload on the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System, will examine the moon’s surface for ice deposits and identify locations where resources may be extracted. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division recently selected the Lunar Flashlight CubeSat as a secondary payload to fly aboard the Space Launch System’s Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) flight. Lunar Flashlight, led by a team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Marshall Space Flight Center, will map the lunar south pole for volatiles and demonstrate several technological firsts, including being the first CubeSat to reach the moon, the first planetary CubeSat mission to use green propulsion, and the first mission to use lasers to look for water ice.

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Is this Space Florida’s Mysterious Project Sabel?

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space_florida_logoAt a meeting last week, Space Florida’s Board of Directors agreed to allow staff to proceed with Project Sabel, an initiative to bring an unnamed company interested in establishing a “major aerospace presence” in the Sunshine State.

The project would involve an initial capital investment of $80 million, including a $36 million manufacturing facility, and generate approximately 250 high-paying jobs. Space Florida would finance, build and own the manufacturing facility and lease it to the company under a long-term agreement, according to board documents. The project would be eligible for $17.5 million in matching funds from the Florida Department of Transportation.

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Legislative Fiscal Impact Analysis on Spaceport America Measure

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Sunset at the "Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space" terminal hangar facility at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

Sunset at the “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space” terminal hangar facility at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

The following is the New Mexico legislative fiscal impact report for SB-157, a measure introduced by State Sen. Lee Cotter (R-Las Cruces) to restrict use taxes collected in Sierra and Dona Ana counties to paying off Spaceport America bonds. Revenues in excess of what is needed to pay off the bonds are being used to fund spaceport operations.

The analysis indicates that excess revenues could be used to pay off the two bonds one year earlier than their 2029 maturation date. However, the restriction would put a gap in the spaceport’s operating budget that would have to be paid by state taxpayers. Spaceport officials are already seeking $2.26 million from the state government for the upcoming 2017 fiscal year to fund operations.

The revenue gaps at the $225 million spaceport have been caused by delays by anchor tenant Virgin Galactic, which plans to fly tourists to space from the facility. New Mexico officials are hoping flights begin in Fiscal Year 2018, which will begin on July 1, 2017. Virgin Galactic has not given an estimate for when service will begin.

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New Horizons, New Shepard & Dawn Project Teams Vying for Collier Trophy

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NASA’s New Horizons captured this high-resolution enhanced color view of Charon just before closest approach on July 14, 2015. (Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

NASA’s New Horizons captured this high-resolution enhanced color view of Charon just before closest approach on July 14, 2015. (Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI)

Washington, DC, February 2, 2016 (NAA PR) – The National Aeronautic Association announced today that nine aerospace projects and accomplishments will compete for the 2015 Robert J. Collier Trophy.

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State Senator Seeks Spaceport America Tax Relief for Local Residents

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The Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space terminal hangar facility (center), Spaceport Operations Center (Left) and "Spaceway" (Runway) at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

The Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space terminal hangar facility (center), Spaceport Operations Center (Left) and “Spaceway” (Runway) at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

New Mexico State Sen. Lee Cotter (R-Las Cruces) has renewed efforts to bring tax relief to residents of Dona Ana and Sierra counties relating to their support of Spaceport America.

In 2007, residents of the two counties agreed to increase their taxes to help fund the construction of the facility, which is located outside of Truth or Consequences. The taxes remain in place to pay off bonds sold to fund Spaceport America’s construction.

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Luxembourg’s Bold Move into Space Mining

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ESA's Asteroid Impact Mission is joined by two triple-unit CubeSats to observe the impact of the NASA-led Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) probe with the secondary Didymos asteroid, planned for late 2022. (Credit: ESA - ScienceOffice.org)

ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission is joined by two triple-unit CubeSats to observe the impact of the NASA-led Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) probe with the secondary Didymos asteroid, planned for late 2022. (Credit: ESA – ScienceOffice.org)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Luxembourg’s announcement of its space resources initiative provides three things that companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries (DSI) need to make their dreams of mining asteroids a reality.

Legal Recognition. The United States is alone in the world in recognizing space property rights. There is some dispute over whether the law violates the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
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Deep Space Industries Praises Luxembourg Space Resources Mining Initiative

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dsi_logoMOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) — Deep Space Industries (DSI) congratulates Luxembourg’s Economic Ministry on their announcement today that they will be actively pursuing space resource utilization. Spaceresources.lu is a government-sponsored initiative, planning the exploration, use, and commercialization of valuable minerals and other resources from Near Earth Objects (NEOs), like asteroids. Luxembourg’s Spaceresources.lu initiative – to be conducted in cooperation with commercial partners – is destined to facilitate and support the creation of an entire new space industry.

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Luxembourg Launches Space Resources Mining Initiative

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Schematic view of asteroid (25143) Itokawa. (Credit: ESO)

Schematic view of asteroid (25143) Itokawa. (Credit: ESO)

LUXEMBOURG CITY (Luxembourg Government PR) — The Luxembourg Government announced a series of measures to position Luxembourg as a European hub in the exploration and use of space resources. Amongst the key steps undertaken, as part of the spaceresources.lu initiative, will be the development of a legal and regulatory framework confirming certainty about the future ownership of minerals extracted in space from Near Earth Objects (NEO’s) such as asteroids.

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