Tag: SpaceX

Will Congress Get Sticker Shock on Commercial Crew Awards?

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SpaceX: “Deeply Honored” to be Selected for Commercial Crew

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Dragon V2 spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

Dragon V2 spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk issued the following statement earlier today after SpaceX was awarded a Commercial Crew Program contract:

“SpaceX is deeply honored by the trust NASA has placed in us.  We welcome today’s decision and the mission it advances with gratitude and seriousness of purpose. It is a vital step in a journey that will ultimately take us to the stars and make humanity a multi-planet species.”

NASA Selects Boeing, SpaceX to Launch Americans to Space Station

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced Tuesday. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. crews to and from the space station using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, respectively, with a goal of ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia in 2017.

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NASA Awards Commercial Crew Deals to Boeing, SpaceX

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Bolden announced that Boeing and SpaceX will share contracts worth up to $6.8 billion. Details to follow.

Early reports indicate Boeing gets $4.2 billion with SpaceX getting $2.6 billion.

Statement by Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello in Response to NASA’s Commercial Crew Award Announcement 9/16/2014:
“First and foremost, congratulations to Boeing and SpaceX for being selected by NASA to provide commercial crew transport of U.S. astronauts to Low Earth Orbit.
“Today’s announcement is continued good news for Florida and for the nation. It advances a new era in space transportation and is the next major step toward restoring U.S. capability to fly astronauts to the ISS and beyond. Both Boeing and SpaceX have already invested significant time and resources into establishing commercial crew operations here in Florida and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with both companies to make their upcoming missions successful.”

Reports: ULA to Partner With Blue Origin for LOX-Methane Engine

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At Blue Origin’s West Texas facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated a full simulated suborbital mission profile, igniting, throttling, and restarting on command. (Credit: NASA)

At Blue Origin’s West Texas facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated a full simulated suborbital mission profile, igniting, throttling, and restarting on command. (Credit: NASA)

Media reports indicate that United Launch Alliance (ULA) has decided to partner with Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin company to produce a liquid-oxygen/methane engine to power the first stage of the Atlas V booster. An announcement is expected on Wednesday.

[Update: ULA and Blue Origin will have a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday at 1 p.m.]

In June, ULA announced it had signed multiple study contracts with American rocket manufacturers for a replacement for the Russian-supplied RD-180 engine. The company said it planned to make a decision by the fourth quarter of this year.

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Falcon 9 Certification for Military Launches Could Come in December

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Falcon 9 lifts off with the Thaicom-6 satellite. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 lifts off with the Thaicom-6 satellite. (Credit: SpaceX)

Some good news for SpaceX about certification of the Falcon 9 to carry defense payloads:

The U.S. Air Force may in December certify the start-up rocket-maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to compete to launch military and spy satellites, a general said.

“I root for SpaceX to come into the competition,” Gen. John Hyten, head of Air Force Space Command, said during a speech Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. But he warned that the company may not be ready in time.

“The most important thing for this nation is assured access to space that works all the time,” he said. “That’s why the certification for SpaceX, hopefully by Dec. 1, is a big event. But if they’re not ready on Dec. 1, we have to stand up and say that, and that’s going to be difficult because I want competition.”

Read the full story.

Will Commercial Crew Announcements Be Made on Tuesday?

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Editor’s Note: If Sierra Nevada wins an award for Dream Chaser and Boeing is out, this will be the biggest upset in American history since Washington defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown.

OK, that may be a bit much. Let’s say the biggest upset since Joe Namath and the upstart New York Jets defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl 3 back in 1969. Broadway Joe guaranteed it, and he made good on his promise.

Imagine that I’m actually speaking this with a How-WARD Co-SELL accent. It will sound funny, believe you me. For those who don’t remember Howard, think of a deep nasal voice combined with a record needle being scratched on a blackboard. That’s not exact, but it is pretty close.

OK, so a lot of you don’t know what a blackboard and record needle are. Remember when Roseanne Barr tried to sing the National Anthem that one time? Kind of like that, only male and very nasal.

UPDATE: Andy Pasztor of The Wall Street Journal says Boeing is likely to take the bulk of the award. We will see what NASA does tomorrow. Stay tuned, everyone.

Dragon to Carry Made in Space’s 3D Printer to ISS

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The 3-D printer passed flight certification and acceptance testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in April. The technology demonstration will print objects in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The MSG Engineering Unit at Marshall is pictured in the background. (Credit:  NASA/Emmett Given)

TMike Snyder and Jason Dunn, both from Made In Space, assemble the 3-D printer that will fly to the International Space Station in the company’s cleanroom. (Credit: Made In Space)

By Jessica Eagan
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Riddle: It’s the size of a small microwave, and it may alleviate the need for NASA astronauts to wait for resupply ships to arrive at the International Space Station to get some essential items.

Answer: A 3-D printer — the first ever to be flown to space. And it could change the way NASA does business aboard the space station.

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ULA, SpaceX Set to Launch This Week From Florida

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Launch of Atlas V with NROL-33 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 22, 2014. (Credit: ULA)

Launch of Atlas V with NROL-33 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 22, 2014. (Credit: ULA)

There are two launches on tap this week from Cape Canaveral. The first is an ULA Atlas V on Tuesday, followed by a SpaceX Falcon 9 on Saturday.

The Atlas V mission with the CLIO payload is set to lift off on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 5:44 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends until 8:10 p.m. ULA webcasts its launches here.

CLIO is a top-secret satellite being launched for an unidentified government agency.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of scientific experiments and supplies, will lift off on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 2:16 a.m. EDT.

NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 1:15 a.m. If for any reason the launch is postponed, the next launch opportunity is Sunday, Sept. 21 at approximately 1:53 a.m.

SpaceX Reports Surge in Launch Orders

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