Collaboratory Formed to Promote New Mexico’s Spaceport America During Closed Door Meeting

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

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Officials from New Mexico, the federal government and Virgin Galactic met last week behind closed doors for the state’s first Space Valley Summit to form a “collaboratory” to promote Spaceport America and the state’s aerospace economy.

The one group not invited: taxpayers who have forked over about $250 million to build the spaceport where Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant. As the Las Cruces Sun News dryly noted

Minutes after [Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham] exhorted the summit to “make sure every New Mexican … knows exactly what is happening here,” all reporters were asked to leave. 

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AFRL, ABL Space Systems Collaborate on Next-Gen Rapid Launch Systems

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory and ABL Space Systems are collaborating to develop and test rocket propulsion elements for use in launch vehicles thanks to a 3-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) both organizations have agreed to.

The CRADA, which was finalized July 10, 2019, focuses on research and development collaboration efforts that will transform the standard methods for rocket testing and launch operations and mature the technology base for more dynamic, robust and rapid launch operations.

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Air Force Research Laboratory Announces Third Space Technology Accelerator Cohort

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFRL PR) — Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate and Catalyst Space Accelerator have announced the selection of the Accelerator’s third space technology cohort, this one with a focus on Resilient Commercial Space Communications.

The semi-residential, 12-week, cohort-based Catalyst Space Accelerator program is hosted by Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/RV) at Catalyst Campus in downtown Colorado Springs and includes seed investment by Space Capital Colorado, network connections, mentorship, workshops, and opportunities for future investment and growth.

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Rocket Lab to Launch 3 More Defense Satellites Later This Month

Ellectron launches NASA’s Venture Class CubeSats. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., April 3, 2019 (Rocket Lab PR) — U.S. small satellite launch company Rocket Lab announced today that it will launch three experimental research and development (R&D) satellites for the U.S. Air Force in April. The mission will lift-off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, carrying three R&D spacecraft to Low Earth Orbit aboard an Electron launch vehicle. The launch will be Rocket Lab’s second orbital mission of 2019, and fifth orbital mission overall.
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Sierra Nevada’s New VORTEX Upper Stage Engine Closer to Reality

VORTEX engine test (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., October 11, 2018 (SNC PR) – With its patented VORTEX™ engine technology, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is one step closer to testing a brand new version of its low-cost, high-performance upper stage rocket engine. The VR35K-A, developed in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), is a commercialized version of the VORTEX engine system. The team will provide a fully integrated engine, leveraging technologies initially developed under Small Business Innovation Research programs.

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AFRL Technology Demonstration Program Gives Boost to AR1 Engine

Hydrocarbon Boost Sub-Scale Oxygen Rich Preburner Test at AFRL. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)
Hydrocarbon Boost Sub-Scale Oxygen Rich Preburner Test at AFRL. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), successfully completed its final test series on its sub-scale oxygen rich preburner as part of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator (HBTD) program. Aerojet Rocketdyne tested the preburner at full power and full duration to provide key insights for future engines that use this engine cycle.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes Engine Test for Super Strypi Launch Vehicle

SPARK_rocket_on_rail
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 13, 2014 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) —
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (GY) company, today announced that its Low Earth Orbiting Nanosatellite Integrated Defense Autonomous System (LEONIDAS) first stage solid propellant rocket motor (LEO-46) successfully completed a hot-fire static test at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

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U.S. Air Force Research Lab Launches New Hypersonic Branch

X-51 Waverider
X-51 Waverider

by Deidre Ortiz
Arnold Engineering Development Complex Public Affairs

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN., July 3, 2014 — The relationship between the Air Force Research Laboratory and Arnold Engineering Development Complex’s hypervelocity capabilities is paying dividends and leading to a more in-depth and scientifically broader collaboration.

In light of the success of several joint projects, AFRL leadership has decided to extend the organization’s partnership with AEDC by establishing a new hypersonic research branch, to be known as the High Speed Experimentation Branch, here.

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ISPCS Session: The Path Forward from DC-X/XA

ISPCS Panel: The Path Forward from DC-X/XA

Bill Gaubatz — President, SpaceAvailable
Jess Sponable — Technical Advisor Air Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory
Frederick Bachtel — Director of Strategic Planning & Initiatives, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
David Masten — President and CEO, Masten Space Systems
Nino Polizzi — Vice President, Universal Space Network
James Ball — Senior Manager Flight Engineering, The Boeing Company
Yoshifumi Inatani — Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Neil Milburn — Vice President Program Management, Armadillo Aerospace

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