Tag: asteroids

Russia Briefs: Vostochny, Angara, Super-Heavy & Asteroid Defense

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Roscosmos head Oleg Ostapenko tours Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Roscosmos head Oleg Ostapenko tours Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Some brief items on the Russian space program:

Vostochny Construction Accelerated: Work on Russia’s new Vostochny spaceport will now be done on a 24-hour basis with the addition of more workers. “The number of workers will be increased manifold at the spaceport regardless natural and weather conditions,” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. The goal is to conduct the first rocket launch from Vostochny in 2015 and the first human mission in 2018. (ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/728230)

Angara Launch Scheduled: After 19 years in development, the first launch of Russia’s new Angara 1.2 rocket will take place between June 25 and 30 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.  Angara is a family of modular launch vehicles designed to lift light to heavy payloads and to replace the Proton, Zenit, Rockot and Dnepr boosters. (ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/728637)

Russia Nears Decision on Super-Heavy Booster. Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko says the agency is nearing a decision on a design for a new super-heavy launch vehicle. The initial version of the launch vehicle would launch 80 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO) with future variants lofting 160 tons or more to LEO. (ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/717993)

Rogozin Wants Asteroid Defense. During a visit to Chelyabinsk, Deputy Prime Minster Dmitry Rogozin called for Russia’s best minds to develop anti-asteroid technologies to protect Earth. “This is a dangerous phenomenon. Those who think that we know everything about the far reaches of deep space and that no catastrophe will happen are seriously wrong,” Rogozin said. In February 2013, a meteorite exploded over Chelyabinsk, causing extensive damage and injuries. (ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/727565)

Video: Deep Space Industries David Gump on Asteroid Mining

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Deep Space Industries CEO David Gump talks about asteroid mining.

NASA Seeks Proposals on Asteroid Redirect Mission Concepts Development

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In support of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission – a key part of the agency’s stepping stone path to send humans to Mars – agency officials are seeking proposals for studies on advanced technology development.

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NASA to Release Asteroid Redirect Mission Broad Agency Announcement

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This conceptual image shows NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. The trip from Earth to the captured asteroid will take Orion and its two-person crew an estimated nine days. (Credit: NASA)

This conceptual image shows NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. The trip from Earth to the captured asteroid will take Orion and its two-person crew an estimated nine days. (Credit: NASA)

Asteroid Redirect Mission Broad Agency Announcement
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NASA intends to issue an Asteroid Redirect Mission Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) on March 21, 2014. NASA is developing concepts for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, which would use a robotic spacecraft to capture a small near-Earth asteroid, or remove a boulder from the surface of a larger asteroid, and redirect the asteroid mass into a stable orbit around the moon. Astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft launched on the Space Launch System would rendezvous with the asteroid mass in lunar orbit, and collect samples for return to Earth.To support mission formulation and reduce risk and cost, this BAA solicits proposals for studies and related technology development activities in the following areas:

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Be an Asteroid Hunter in NASA’s First Asteroid Grand Challenge Contest Series

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Asteroid Data Hunter contest series will offer $35,000 in awards over the next six months to citizen scientists who develop improved algorithms that can be used to identify asteroids.

This contest series is being conducted in partnership with Planetary Resources Inc. of Bellevue, Wash. The first contest in the series will kick off on March 17. Prior to the kick off, competitors can create an account on the contest series website and learn more about the rules and different phases of the contest series by going to:

http://bit.ly/AsteroidHunters

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B612 Foundation Teams Up With Broken Bells

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MENLO PARK, CA / LOS ANGELES, CA (B612 PR) – Broken Bells are proud to announce an exciting partnership with the B612 Foundation beginning with the band’s April West Coast tour. During these dates, $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the B612 Foundation to help fund their Sentinel Mission, one of the most important space missions for humanity—one that seeks to protect Earth while preparing for future exploration. More information pertaining to the B612 Foundation can be found below.

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A Cool Look Inside Asteroid (25143) Itokawa

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

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

ESO PR — ESO’s New Technology Telescope (NTT) has been used to find the first evidence that asteroids can have a highly varied internal structure. By making exquisitely precise measurements astronomers have found that different parts of the asteroid Itokawa have different densities. As well as revealing secrets about the asteroid’s formation, finding out what lies below the surface of asteroids may also shed light on what happens when bodies collide in the Solar System, and provide clues about how planets form.

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Asteroid Initiative Synthesis Workshop Report Published

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asteroid_synthesis_report_coverWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2013, NASA kicked off the Asteroid Redirect Mission and the Asteroid Grand Challenge, collectively known as the Asteroid Initiative. On June 18, we issued a Request for Information to seek innovative ideas that could help NASA refine the objectives of the Asteroid Initiative and initial ARM concepts, to explore alternative mission concepts, and to broaden participation in the mission and planetary defense. Those ides were discussed at a fall 2013 workshop. Today, NASA posted the final report summarizing the workshop discussion and recommendations.

An unprecedented response followed the release of the RFI: the agency received 402 responses, 40 percent of which were from individuals and members of the general public.

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NASA 2013 Highlights: Commercial Progress and Human Exploration Plans

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Photo taken by the Expedition 34 crew aboard the International Space Station during the March 3, 2013 approach, capture and docking of the SpaceX Dragon. (Credit: NASA)

Photo taken by the Expedition 34 crew aboard the International Space Station during the March 3, 2013 approach, capture and docking of the SpaceX Dragon. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Looks Back at 2013

Commercial Space Progress

A little more than two years after the end of the Space Shuttle Program, NASA has returned the International Space Station resupply missions to the United States in a powerful partnership with U.S. companies SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, who are investing here and creating good-paying jobs for American workers.

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A Video Primer on Outer Space Property Rights

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Video Caption: A 1967 United Nations treaty states that outer space isn’t up for grabs.This hasn’t stopped at least one entrepreneur from selling land on our closest celestial neighbors. Scientific American editor Clara Moskowitz explains.

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