Page 3 of 1340

National Test Pilot School Instructor, Student Die in Plane Crash

Comment

ntpsSome sad news to report out of Mojave.

Michael Hill, who was director of business operations at the National Test Pilot School at the Mojave Air and Space Port, was killed on Friday along with student pilot Ilam Zigante in the crash of a two-seat, single-engine aircraft.

Media reports indicate the aircraft went down on Friday at 10:13 a.m. PDT about three miles northwest of Randsburg. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash.

Hill, 68, of San Diego, was an instructor at the school and a former Navy test pilot. Zigante, 27, lived in Lancaster.

Hill had been a candidate for one of two short-term seats on the Mojave Air and Space Port Board of Directors.  Incumbents JoAnn Painter and David Evans are also on the ballot for the two positions.

My deepest sympathies to the families, friend and colleagues of Hill and Zigante.

Los Alamos Tests New Rocket Technology

Comments
Rocket flight test at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center launch sitE near Socorro, NM. (Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Rocket flight test at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center launch sitE near Socorro, NM. (Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory)

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Oct. 23, 2014 (LANL PR) — Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists recently flight tested a new rocket design that includes a high-energy fuel and a motor design that also delivers a high degree of safety.

Continue reading ‘Los Alamos Tests New Rocket Technology’

Dragon Released From ISS, Heads for Splashdown in Pacific

Comments
SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX Dragon freighter at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

Update: Dragon splashed down safely in the Pacific this afternoon.

NASA Mission Update

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 9:57 a.m. EDT. The capsule will begin a series of departure burns and maneuvers to move beyond the 656-foot (200-meter) “keep out sphere” around the station and begin its return trip to Earth. The capsule is currently scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 3:39 p.m., about 265 miles west of the Baja peninsula.

Planetary Resources to Launch First Spacecraft on Monday

Comments
Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Arkyd 100 spacecraft. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Asteroid mining company Planetary Resources will launch its first satellite aboard the Cygnus spacecraft on Monday. Here is the company’s previous press release announcing the launch.

The A3 is the Arkyd 100’s technology demonstrator, and the mission will provide for early testing and serve to validate the spacecraft’s core technology and software in the development of the program.

Planetary Resources is under contract with NanoRacks, through its Space Act Agreement with NASA, to release the A3 from the International Space Station’s Kibo airlock.

Continue reading ‘Planetary Resources to Launch First Spacecraft on Monday’

OECD Takes Look at Quarter Trillion Dollar Global Space Industry

Comment

Earth_from_space_graphic
The Space Economy at a Glance 2014

Summary
Download Full Report

The global space sector is a high‑technology niche with a complex ecosystem, which employed at least 900 000 persons around the world in 2013, including public administrations (space agencies, space departments in civil and defence‑related organisations), the space manufacturing industry (building rockets, satellites, ground systems); direct suppliers to this industry (components), and the wider space services sector (mainly commercial satellite telecommunications). But these estimates do not take into account universities and research institutions, which also play a key role in R&D, as receivers of public contracts and initiators of much of the space sector’s innovation.

Continue reading ‘OECD Takes Look at Quarter Trillion Dollar Global Space Industry’

World View Acquires Technology from Record Breaking Jump

Comments
StratEx team prepares Alan Eustace for launch. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)

StratEx team prepares Alan Eustace for launch. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)

Roswell, NM – Oct. 24, 2014 – Following the record-breaking 135,908-foot space dive accomplished by Google’s Alan Eustace and the Paragon StratEx team, World View Enterprises, the commercial balloon spaceflight company, has acquired the technology from this history-making project. The acquisition will advance the company’s mission to pioneer a new frontier at the edge of space for travel and research.

Continue reading ‘World View Acquires Technology from Record Breaking Jump’

Sorry Felix! Google Exec Breaks Baumgartner’s Skydiving Record

12 Comments
Alan Eustace is lifted by high-altitude balloon, the same technology used by World View. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)

Alan Eustace is lifted by high-altitude balloon, the same technology used by World View. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)

ROSWELL, NM, Oct. 24, 2014 (Paragon PR)  – Today, after 34 months of intense planning, development and training, Alan Eustace, supported by Paragon Space Development Corporation®  (Paragon) and its Stratospheric Explorer (StratEx) team, made history with a near-space dive from a high-altitude balloon at approximately 135,000 feet. Eustace broke several records, including national record for highest exit altitude; world and national record for free fall under a drogue chute; national record for vertical speed. Additionally, he became the second person to break the sound barrier outside an aircraft.

Continue reading ‘Sorry Felix! Google Exec Breaks Baumgartner’s Skydiving Record’

NASA Sets Coverage for Cygnus Launch on Monday

Comment
An Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it launches from Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Thursday, January 9, 2014, Wallops Island, VA. Antares is carrying the Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The Orbital-1 mission is Orbital Sciences' first contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA. Cygnus is carrying science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and other hardware to the space station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

An Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it launches from Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Thursday, January 9, 2014, Wallops Island, VA.  (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch at 6:45 p.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Launch coverage begins at 5:45 p.m.

A prelaunch status briefing will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, followed at 2 p.m. by a briefing to preview the mission’s science cargo. A post-launch briefing will be held approximately 90 minutes after liftoff.

Continue reading ‘NASA Sets Coverage for Cygnus Launch on Monday’

Virgin Galactic Continues Engine Testing in Mojave

Comments

mojave_tower_sunset_smI received a reliable report of another SpaceShipTwo engine test in Mojave on Thursday. It took place at the so-called Whittinghill test stand.

Judging from the dark plume of smoke, my source believes is it was a rubber/nitrous oxide that Virgin Galactic’s subsidiary, The Spaceship Company, is reportedly working on.

The source reports the engine ran pretty roughly toward the end, as tends to happen with rubber hybrid motors.

As you might recall, the rubber hybrid appears to be an alternative to the alternative nylon/nitrous oxide engine that Virgin Galactic switched to when Sierra Nevada’s rubber/nitrous oxide engine failed to perform as needed.

A second source says work on the rubber engine is continuing because Virgin Galactic has a great deal of money tied up in tooling for producing that type of engine. It would be expensive to switch over for another type of hybrid.

There are still plans to use the nylon/nitrous oxide engine for SpaceShipTwo flight tests, which are believed to restart soon. On Oct. 4, Virgin Galactic Vice President Mike Moses said powered flight were  “going to start imminently, literally very imminently.” That was three weeks ago.

SNC Unveils Dream Chaser Spacecraft Science Mission Variant

Comment
Dream Chaser science mission mock-up (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser science mission mock-up (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev. (Oct. 23, 2014) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems presents the Dream Chaser Science Mission Mock-Up at the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) conference in Pasadena, California, through Oct. 26. In addition to the primary function of transporting crew and cargo to and from low-Earth orbit (LEO), SNC’s Dream Chaser® program team has been developing a science mission variant which leverages the inherent capabilities of the vehicle to offer a free-flying microgravity science laboratory.

Continue reading ‘SNC Unveils Dream Chaser Spacecraft Science Mission Variant’