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Airbus to Build Orion Service Module

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BERLIN, Germany — Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second space company, has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development and construction of the service module for Orion, the future American human space capsule. The contract is worth around 390 million euros. The service module will provide propulsion, power supply, thermal control and the central elements of the life support system of the American capsule.

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UK to Invest Up to £32 Million in Global Space Partnerships

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UK_space_agencySWINDON, England (UKSA) – The UK Space Agency is investing up to £32 million [$50 million] to open opportunities for the UK space sector to share expertise in real-world satellite technology and services overseas.

Grants will be awarded to British companies to work with international partners developing satellite technology to tackle issues like flooding, deforestation and humanitarian crises in emerging economies. These grants will be match funded by industry.

The UK space sector continues to thrive, growing at over 7% per year and is currently worth £11.3 billion to the UK economy. With over 5,000 jobs created in the last two years, it employs over 34,000 people and supports a further 72,000 jobs in other sectors.

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Reports: Russia Planning Alternative to ISS

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From left, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA, smile and wave as they hold an Olympic torch that will be flown with them to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingals)

From left, Expedition 38 Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA, smile and wave as they hold an Olympic torch that will be flown with them to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingals)

Russian media are reporting on plans for the country to pull out of the International Space Station by 2020:

The Russian space agency is reportedly considering construction of a high-altitude orbital station starting from 2017. This means that Moscow may walk away from the ISS after 2020, when its obligations under the current project are fulfilled.

Kommersant newspaper reported that the manned space exploration program for the period until 2050 implies step-by-step assembly of a new scientific space station, citing its sources in Central Research Institute for Engineering Technology, Roscosmos space agency’s leading space scientific and research enterprise.

The principal difference from the currently operating International Space Station will be the new Russian station’s high-altitude orbit with a 64.8-degree inclination, which would make up to 90 percent of the Russian territory visible from on board, including Arctic shelf seas.

From the ISS, which has an orbit inclination of 51.6 degrees, no more than 5 percent of the Russian territory is currently visible.

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Pioneering Philae Lander Completes Primary Comet Mission

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Philae's first touchdown seen by Rosetta's NavCam. (Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0)

Philae’s first touchdown seen by Rosetta’s NavCam. (Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Rosetta’s lander has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

After being out of communication visibility with the lander since 09:58 GMT / 10:58 CET on Friday, Rosetta regained contact with Philae at 22:19 GMT /23:19 CET last night. The signal was initially intermittent, but quickly stabilised and remained very good until 00:36 GMT / 01:36 CET this morning.

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This Week on The Space Show

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This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

1. Special Time: Monday, Nov. 17, 2014: 2:30-4PM PST (5:30-& PM EST, 4:30-6 PM CST): We welcome back JIM MUNCY for space policy review and the impact of recent space events on policy & commercial space.

2. Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014:,7-8:30 PM PST (10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST): No show today as I am out on personal business..

3. Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, 9:30 -11 AM PST (12:30-2 PM EST; 11:30-1 PM CST): We welcome back MARCIA SMITH to discuss space politics in light of the midterm election, upcoming space policy and budget issues. .

4. Sunday, Nov. 23 2014, 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST): We welcome Dr. Dorit Donoviel and Dr. Eugene de Juan to discuss the NSBRI research project “Vision for Mars Challenge: A Unique Opportunity for Opthhalmology.”

Mike Alsbury Hailed as Hero

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Mike Alsbury

Mike Alsbury

A Message from Scaled Composites

October 31st is now a day in history marked by tragedy

Mike’s life and his work were filled with purpose and achievement. His mission was important, and he approached it with discipline and bravery. Our loss is painful, almost unbearable, and his sacrifice unimaginable by so many. Mike pursued his passion and his curiosity of weightless flight by pioneering an industry that will surely one day allow us all to understand the allure of space.

A hero can be described as an ordinary human who chooses or is thrust into a journey that tests and teaches them; one who risks or sacrifices self for the sake of others or a greater good. Like X-15 pilot Mike Adams, the 7 Challenger and 7 Columbia astronauts, and many others, Michael Tyner Alsbury is an American HERO.

Mike Alsbury Memorial Fund

If you would like to support the Alsbury family, please follow the link below.
http://www.gofundme.com/MikeAlsbury

ESA 3D Printer Set for Installation Aboard Space Station

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Funded by the Italian space agency ASI, the POP3D (Portable On-Board Printer) for 3D printing will reach orbit in 2015 as part of ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission. (Credit: Altran)

Funded by the Italian space agency ASI, the POP3D (Portable On-Board Printer) for 3D printing will reach orbit in 2015 as part of ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission. (Credit: Altran)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Europe’s very first 3D printer in space is scheduled for installation aboard the ISS next year.

Designed and built in Italy, it will be put to the test as part as ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission, and is set to reach orbit in the first half of next year. Samantha herself will be launched on her six-month Station assignment on 23 November.

“The POP3D Portable On-Board Printer is a small 3D printer that requires very limited power and crew involvement to operate,” explained Luca Enrietti of Altran, prime contractor for the compact printer.

The unit is a cube with 25 cm sides and prints with biodegradable and harmless plastic using a heat-based process.

“Part of the challenge of designing a 3D printer for the Station was to ensure its operation does not affect the crew environment,” added Giorgio Musso of Thales Alenia Space Italy, principal investigator for the project.

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Google Backs Moffett Field Education Center

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.  (EASEF PR) –
The Earth, Air and Space Educational Foundation (EASEF), a Silicon Valley non-profit corporation, today announced that it has received a commitment of funds and material support from Google, Inc. The development grant will help EASEF advance its goal of establishing a public use Collaboratory for science and technology education and cultural activities in the Silicon Valley region.

Created with a commitment to the restoration and revitalization of facilities at Moffett Federal Airfield, which includes facilities that comprise a National Historic District, the EASEF plans to establish a Grand Challenges Learning, Exhibition, Conference and Event Collaboratory on Moffett property. The support pledged by Google to EASEF includes a cash donation and commitment to help establish the proposed Collaboratory.

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Towed Twin-Fuselage Glider Launch System First Test Flight Successful

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One of NASA Armstrong’s DROID small unmanned research aircraft tows the twin-fuselage towed glider into the blue sky on its first test flight. (Credit: Tom Tschida/NASA Armstrong)

One of NASA Armstrong’s DROID small unmanned research aircraft tows the twin-fuselage towed glider into the blue sky on its first test flight. (Credit: Tom Tschida/NASA Armstrong)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has successfully flight-tested a prototype twin-fuselage towed glider that could lead to rockets being launched from pilotless aircraft at high altitudes – a technology application that could significantly reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of sending small satellites into space. The first flights of the one-third-scale twin fuselage towed glider took place Oct. 21 from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.

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Whitesides Vows to Stay the Course, Defends Virgin Galactic’s Approach to Safety

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Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides speaks with current and prospective employees during Virgin Galactic’s recent career fair at Mojave Air and Spaceport in California. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides speaks with current and prospective employees during Virgin Galactic’s recent career fair at Mojave Air and Spaceport in California. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides was down in Los Angeles on Thursday evening participating in a panel about the future of space exploration. He reiterated the company’s pledge to move forward with complete construction of the second SpaceShipTwo and begin testing next year.

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