OXFORDSHIRE, UK (OrbAstro PR) — OrbAstro has today revealed two new space competitions for students and start-ups to get spacecraft payloads to orbit, Orbital Student and Orbital Start-Up. The company has dedicated some capacity onboard their satellite launching in December 2021 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 to the competition.
Students and start-ups will mature designs for their novel spacecraft payloads, assessed by an independent panel of space industry experts. A short-list of teams will have their payloads put through environmental testing, to ensure they can survive the violence of rocket launch and the space environment. The best teams left standing, two student teams and one start-up, will have their payloads integrated to the OrbAstro satellite and launched. Once in orbit, teams will have the opportunity to carry out satellite and payload operations.
SAN FRANCISCO (Breakthrough Initiatives PR) – Breakthrough Initiatives, the privately-funded space science programs founded by science and technology investor and philanthropist Yuri Milner, are funding a research study into the possibility of primitive life in the clouds of Venus. The study is inspired by the discovery, announced yesterday, of the gas phosphine, considered a potential biosignature, in the planet’s atmosphere.
Although there is no published agenda, one likely topic of discussion is Space Policy Directive 3, which is focused on how the government will handle space traffic management.
The Space Council’s Users Advisory Group is scheduled to meet on Monday at NASA headquarters from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. The meeting will be webcast via Webex and be available via phone dial up.
Andy Pasztor of The Wall Street Journal reports that former House speaker Newt Gingrich and former NASA Ames Director Pete Worden have been dumped from the advisory group due to issues involving their business and financial ties.
Luxembourg will make an initial investment of 200 million euros ($227 million) to become the “Silicon Valley of space resources” under an initiative that will primarily benefit two American asteroid mining companies.
LUXEMBOURG CITY (Luxembourg Government PR) — The Luxembourg Government forges ahead with the SpaceResources.lu initiative by presenting an overall strategy to be implemented progressively for the exploration and commercial utilization of resources from Near Earth Objects (NEOs), such as asteroids. Amongst the key actions undertaken is the establishment of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework for space resource utilization activities to provide private companies and investors with a secure legal environment.
LUXEMBOURG CITY (Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy PR) — The Luxembourg Government today announced that Simon “Pete” Worden (Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret., PhD), Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, joins the government’s Advisory Board of the recently announced spaceresources.lu initiative. The initiative defines a framework for the exploration and commercial utilization of resources from Near Earth Objects (NEOs), such as asteroids.
LUXEMBOURG CITY (Luxembourg Government PR) — The Luxembourg Government announced a series of measures to position Luxembourg as a European hub in the exploration and use of space resources. Amongst the key steps undertaken, as part of the spaceresources.lu initiative, will be the development of a legal and regulatory framework confirming certainty about the future ownership of minerals extracted in space from Near Earth Objects (NEO’s) such as asteroids.
WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced Monday the selection of Dr. Eugene L. Tu as the next director of the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, effective immediately.
Tu most recently served as the director of Exploration Technology at Ames, where he led four technology research and development divisions, including two of NASA’s critical infrastructure assets: the consolidated arc jet testing complex and the agency’s primary supercomputing facility.
NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden has announced he is leaving the space agency at the end of March to pursue opportunities in the private sector. He was appointed Ames center director in May 2006 after retiring from a 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force.
Worden has been seen as a maverick within a relatively conservative space agency, pursuing innovative initiatives such as phonesats and synthetic biology while forging close ties with Silicon Valley companies such as Google. NASA Ames hosted an International Space University summer session; its research park is home to the Singularity University and Made in Space. (more…)
Google’s founders, Sergei Brin and Larry Page, have saved millions of dollars in fuel costs and property taxes through a lease deal with NASA Ames that allows them to house their private aircraft at Moffett Field, according to an investigation by NBC Bay Area.
Nearly $8 million worth of jet fuel that sold for as little as $1.68 a gallon was put into a fleet of seven different airplanes and two helicopters that are kept on taxpayer-owned land at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field. The same jet fuel sells for two to four-and-a-half times that amount, up to $8.05 a gallon, at fixed-base operators at nearby airports in the Bay Area.
Video Caption: NASA Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden was invited as keynote speaker to the Canadian Space Summit to talk about Small Satellites for Science and Other Uses using Earth Observation as an example.
The question of where humanity should go next in space will be the topic of a round table on Friday, Oct. 29 at the Sheraton Sunnyvale Hotel.
â€œMoon, Mars, Asteroids: Where to Go First for Resources?â€ will bring together some of the worldâ€™s top experts to debate our next step in the settlement of space. The round table, sponsored by the Space Studies Institute, will be held from 7:00 to 10 p.m., including a post-debate reception. Admission is free to registered conference attendees and the general public.
An interesting — if sketchy — report from the website of futurist Ray Kurweil about a joint DARPA-NASA project on interstellar travel:
NASA Ames Director Simon â€œPeteâ€ Worden revealed Saturday that NASA Ames has â€œjust started a project with DARPA called the Hundred Year Starship,â€ with $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K from NASA.