“The goal of SpaceX is really to build the transport system. It’s like building the Union Pacific Railroad. And once that transport system is built then there’s a tremendous opportunity for anyone who wants to go to Mars and create something new or build the foundations of a new planet.
“When they were building the Union Pacific, a lot of people said that’s a super dumb idea because hardly anybody lives in California. But, now today we’ve got the U.S. epicenter of technology development and entertainment, and it’s the biggest state in the nation.
Elon Musk SpaceX Founder & CEO
By Douglas Messier Managing Edtior
The idea of a transcontinental railroad to the West Coast came into the world in 1830 as many dreams do: as a visionary, if seemingly outrageous, plan that few people took seriously. Why build a rail line through a howling wilderness where almost nobody lived? It would be a hideously expensive boondoggle, a road to nowhere.
This same problem has dogged the space movement since Sputnik was launched 60 years ago. While Hartwell Carver and other backers of the transcontinental railroad were able to overcome all the obstacles in their way, human progress in the silent vacuum of space has been slow and halting. It has never lived up the expectations people had at the start of the Space Age.
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched Space Tango payloads on Commercial Resupply Services – 10 (CRS-10) on February 19th at approximately 9:39 AM EST. Payloads will be installed in the TangoLab Facility on the International Space Station (ISS). CRS-10 is Space Tango’s first commercial opportunity to begin use of the facility hardware for researchers and customers to utilize microgravity for application on Earth.
“Our focus is not necessarily the six people up there,” explained Space Tango CEO Twyman Clements, “but the 7 billion people down here.”
The Senate-approved NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 would require the space agency to conduct a study of whether the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle would be capable of carrying crews and supplies to the International Space Station.
MAHENDRAGIRI, India (ISRO PR) — The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested its indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) for GSLV MkIII on February 17, 2017. The cryogenic stage designated as C25 was tested for a flight duration of 640 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri. C25 Stage had earlier been tested successfully for 50 seconds on January 25, 2017 to validate all the systems.
For anyone waiting with bated breath for the final installment of my Transcontinental Railroad series — and I know there are at least three or four of you out there — please be informed that I expect to publish it on Tuesday. Like the railroad itself, finishing it is taking a little bit longer than I anticipated. Writing history is one thing; drawing conclusions from it is a bit more complicated.
ARGYLL, Scotland (Discover Space UK PR) — Leading UK Space science and technology firms QinetiQ and Telespazio VEGA UK have agreed Memorandum’s of Understanding (MoU) to work with Discover Space UK on investigating the potential for a horizontal launch spaceport at the Campbeltown site on the West Coast of Scotland.
The SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 39-A is another milestone for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as a premier, multi-user spaceport. Lifting off from the historic launch site in the photo on the right, SpaceX CRS-10 is the company’s 10th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.
Pad 39-A now is operated by SpaceX under a property agreement with NASA.
The first ever launch from Kennedy’s Pad 39-A was Apollo 4, in the image on the left. Lifting off on Nov. 9, 1967, it was the first test flight of the Saturn V rocket that took Apollo astronauts to the moon.
The first space shuttle lifted off April 12, 1981 from Pad 39-A for STS-1 — the center picture. NASA astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen flew the shuttle Columbia for two days, landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
The SpaceX CRS-10 launch of a Dragon spacecraft is the first from Pad 39-A since the final space shuttle mission on July 8, 2011. The Dragon will deliver about 5,500 pounds of supplies to the space station, such as Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III instrument to further study ozone in the atmosphere.
1. Monday, Feb. 20, 2017: 2-3:30 PM PST (5-6:30 PM EST, 4-5:30 PM CST): We welcome back ERIC LERNER of Focus Fusion and LPP Fusion for updates.
2. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017: 7-8:30 PM PST, 10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST: FRANK WHITE and NICK NIELSEN of The Overview Effect join us for a special presentation
3. Friday, Feb. 24 2016: 9:30-11AM PST; (12:30-2 PM EST; 11:30 AM – 1 PM CST) We welcome back JAY WITNER & RON JONES of The Integrated Space Plan for new updates and information.
4. Sunday, Feb. 26,, 2017: 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 5PM CST): DR. PAUL SPUDIS returns to the show for a must hear program. Lots has been happening with talk about returning to the Moon. Don’t miss this discussion.
The Export-Import Bank is on a White House Budget Office list of programs that would be cut, The New York Timesreports.
One surprise for some close watchers of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign is the inclusion of the Export-Import Bank on the O.M.B.’s list. Other Republican candidates had promised to eliminate the bank, a favorite target of House conservatives like Mr. Mulvaney. Conservatives, led by the billionaire Koch brothers, have run a multimillion-dollar campaign to kill the bank, which guarantees loans for overseas customers of American corporations, by denouncing it as “crony capitalism.” (more…)
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 34 small satellites from 19 states and the District of Columbia to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard missions planned to launch in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Launch opportunities are leveraged from existing launch services for government payloads as well as via dedicated CubeSat launches from the new Venture Class Launch Services contracts. The proposed CubeSats come from educational institutions, universities, non-profit organizations and NASA centers.
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The tenth SpaceX cargo resupply launch to the International Space Station will deliver investigations that study human health, Earth science and weather patterns. Here are some highlights of the research headed to the orbiting laboratory:
Crystal growth investigation could improve drug delivery, manufacturing
Monoclonal antibodies are important for fighting off a wide range of human diseases, including cancers. These antibodies work with the natural immune system to bind to certain molecules to detect, purify and block their growth. The Microgravity Growth of Crystalline Monoclonal Antibodies for Pharmaceutical Applications (CASIS PCG 5) investigation will crystallize a human monoclonal antibody, developed by Merck Research Labs, that is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of immunological disease.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket roared off NASA’s historic Pad 39A on Sunday morning, marking a rebirth of a complex that once hosted the launches of Apollo moon ships and space shuttles.
The booster lifted off on time at 9:39 a.m. EST carrying a Dragon resupply ship bound for the International Space Station. The Dragon separated from second stage as planned and unfurled its two solar arrays. It will take two days to catch up to the space station.
The Falcon 9’s first stage landed safely at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. On board video showed the rocket’s engine firing as the stage touched down on its concrete landing pad.
This flight was the first from Pad 39 since the space shuttle was retired in 2011. SpaceX has a 20-year lease on the launch complex.
LUXEMBOURG, LONDON, BERLIN, SILICON VALLEY, BUCHAREST (February 14, 2017) — The city of Luxembourg today hosted international leaders to launch Asteroid Day 2017. Asteroid Day is a UN sanctioned global day of education to raise awareness about asteroids and in particular how we protect Earth from dangerous impacts.
The press conference was broadcast live from Luxembourg, with the participation of experts in planetary science, business and government joining from Berlin, Bucharest, Silicon Valley, and London – courtesy of Cisco TelePresence Centers and the live stream by vBrick Rev. (more…)