Tag: space station

Boeing Docking System Passes Critical Design Review

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Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

HOUSTON, Aug. 26, 2014 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] will begin manufacturing a new docking system for the International Space Station (ISS), having recently completed the critical design review for the NASA Docking System Block-1 (NDSB-1). In compliance with the International Docking System standard, NDSB-1 will be compatible with any space craft.

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Russia Could Agree to ISS Extension

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The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

Izvestia reports that Russia could continue to use the International Space Station after 2020 despite earlier threats would pull out of the program because of frayed relations over the Ukraine crisis.

“The issue of Russia’s participation at the ISS after 2020 remains open, but there is a 90-percent chance that the state’s leadership will agree to participate in the project further,” the paper wrote citing a source at Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos.

Russian space enterprises continue to make new modules for the space station according to the schedule, the paper said.

Meanwhile, Interfax reports that the Russian space agency Roscosmos plans continued expansion of the space station.

A proposed federal space plan for 2016-2025 envisions an expansion of the existing Russian segment of ISS in 2017, Interfax reported, citing a copy of the document. That year, Russia would launch its long-delayed Multipurpose Laboratory Module, as well as a new hub module and docking module — allowing five ships to dock with the station.

The overall cost of Russia’s ISS extension will be almost 4 billion rubles ($110 million).

The Multipurpose Laboratory Module was to have been launched by now. However, Khrunichev suffered delays in finishing it, and Energia then sent the module back to Khrunichev after it discovered multiple problems with it.

Initially, Russia had been enthusiastic about NASA’s proposal to extend operations of the station from 2020 until at least 2024. However, relations between the two nations have frayed due to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and support for a rebellion in the eastern part of that nation.

Following the U.S. decision to impose sanctions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said his nation would not extend ISS operations beyond 2020. Rogozin, who oversees Russia’s space and defense sectors, also accelerated cooperation with China’s space program.

Since that time, Russia’s attitude toward the proposed ISS extension have softened, with indications that four more years of operations are possible.

In the past, Russian space officials have talked about taking their elements of ISS and using them as a basis for a new orbiting facility. It is not clear how far that idea has advanced, or whether officials are seriously considering it.

 

NASA and Commercial Partners Review Summer of Advancements

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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) – NASA’s spaceflight experts in the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) met throughout July with aerospace partners to review increasingly advanced designs, elements and systems of the spacecraft and launch vehicles under development as part of the space agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) and Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) initiatives.

Blue Origin, The Boeing Co., Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX are partners with NASA in these initiatives to develop a new generation of safe, reliable, and cost-effective crew space transportation systems to low-Earth orbit.

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Boeing Completes Final Two Commercial Crew Milestones

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Commercial interior of the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) next-generation manned space capsule, (Credit: Boeing)

Commercial interior of the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) next-generation manned space capsule, (Credit: Boeing)

HOUSTON, Aug. 21, 2014 (Boeing PR) –  Boeing [NYSE: BA] recently completed the Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review of its Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft and the Critical Design Review (CDR) of its integrated systems, meeting all of the company’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) milestones on time and on budget.

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Orbital Completes 3rd Cygnus Mission to ISS

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Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

DULLES, Virg. August 18, 2014 (Orbital PR) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced the successful completion of its third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the past 10 months, including the initial demonstration flight completed in October 2013 and the first two operational missions under the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.  The company also noted that it is nearing the launch of its third CRS mission of 2014, which is currently scheduled to take place in mid-October.

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UrtheCast Reports Revenues

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urthecast-logoVANCOUVER (UrtheCast PR) — UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”), a technology company that is developing the world’s first Ultra HD video feed of Earth from space, today announces financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014.The Company reported a comprehensive loss of $4.1 million in the quarter as compared to $10.5 million in the comparative quarter in 2013 and $3.9 million in the previous quarter. Our year-to-date comprehensive loss was $8.0 million as compared to $11.8 million in the comparable period of the previous year.

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NASA Commercial Crew Decision Expected Soon

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Charles Lurio of The Lurio Reports that NASA is likely to announce contracts for the next round of the Commercial Crew Program on either Aug. 22 or Aug. 29. Sources have told him that the space agency is likely to make two full awards for partners to build and flight test their crew vehicles.

If he is correct, that would leave one of three competitors — Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation or SpaceX — without a seat at the table. Sierra Nevada and SpaceX have said they would continue with vehicle development if they are not chosen for this round. Boeing has said it would be difficult for the company to close the business case for its CST-100 spacecraft without additional NASA funding.

NASA’s goal is to have commercial crew transport to the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of 2017. SpaceX has said that it believes it can begin service about a year prior to that deadline with its Dragon V2 spacecraft, which is an upgraded version of the Dragon cargo vehicle that has already flown to and returned from ISS four times. Boeing and Sierra Nevada have said they are on track to meet the 2017 deadline.

New Video for Bigelow BEAM Module

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Video Caption: Founded in 1999 by visionary entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, the goal of Bigelow Aerospace is to create a new paradigm in space commerce and exploration via the development and use of revolutionary expandable habitat technology. Expandable habitats offer dramatically larger volumes than rigid, metallic structures as well as enhanced protection against both radiation and physical debris. Additionally, expandable habitats are lighter than traditional systems, take up less rocket fairing space, and most important of all in today’s fiscally constrained environment, Bigelow habitats are extremely affordable.

Bigelow Aerospace has already fabricated and deployed two subscale pathfinder spacecraft, Genesis I and Genesis II, which were launched in 2006 and 2007, respectively. A third prototype spacecraft, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (“BEAM”) is scheduled to be launched to the International Space Station (“ISS”) by NASA in 2015. When the BEAM is attached to the ISS it will demonstrate the value of expandable habitats as part of a crewed system.

In addition to the BEAM, Bigelow Aerospace is aggressively pursuing the development of its full-scale system, the BA 330. As the name indicates, the BA 330 will provide approximately 330 cubic meters of internal volume and will support a crew of up to six. BA 330s will be used to support a variety of public and private activities in and beyond Low Earth Orbit (“LEO”). Bigelow Aerospace is also working on even larger spacecraft, such as its ‘Olympus’ module, which will provide a massive 2,250 cubic meters of internal volume.

Regardless of the destination, LEO, the Moon, or Mars, Bigelow Aerospace’s expandable habitats will enable a new era in space commerce and exploration.

How Much Space is in Space?

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Courtesy of: SelfStorage.com

“Space: The Next Industrial Revolution” Panel Discussion

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Emerging Space – The Next Industrial Revolution

Bruce Pittman, Chief System Engineer, NASA Space Portal, Moffett Field, CA; Daniel Faber, Chief Executive Officer, Deep Space Industries, McLean, VA; Robert P. Hoyt, CEO & Chief Scientist, Tethers Unlimited Inc., Bothell, WA; Col Gregory Johnson, USAF (Ret.), President & Executive Director, CASIS, Melbourne, FL; Aaron Kemmer, CEO, Made in Space, Inc., Moffett Field, CA; Jeffrey Manber, Managing Director, NanoRacks, Houston, TX

Editor’s Note: This is an excellent panel discussion. It’s long, but it’s worth watching all the way through to understand what’s going on in commercial space. The Commercial Crew Program gets a lot of attention, but the things that CASIS, NanoRacks, Made in Space and others are probably under appreciated at this point. Things are beginning to shift in a very significant way.