Tag: SpaceXPage 2 of 90

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

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.

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

ULA, SpaceX Set to Launch This Week From Florida

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


Satellite Operators Tell ESA to Stop Bickering, Move Fast on Building Ariane 6

Artist's impression of Ariane 6. (Credit: ESA)

Artist’s impression of Ariane 6. (Credit: ESA)

Space News reports that European satellite fleet operators want ESA to move forward quickly with building an Ariane 5 successor:

A group including the world’s largest commercial satellite fleet operators has written the European Space Agency urging that it approve a new-generation Ariane 6 in time for a first launch in 2019 or face relegating the European rocket to commercial also-ran status.

The letter to ESA Director Jean-Jacques Dordain makes clear that these fleet operators have a ho-hum view of the Ariane 5 ME vehicle that ESA governments are weighing alongside a new-generation Ariane 6.

Given the advent of electric propulsion and the dramatic launch-cost reduction offered by Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the operators say, the new Ariane 6 needs to be in service by 2019 or face the risk that Europe’s Arianespace launch consortium will be permanently sidelined.

The letter was signed by six members of the European Satellite Operators Association. Signatories included the chief executives of Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, Hispasat and HellasSat.

That’s a pretty weighty group. Maybe it will break the impasse over what to do next.

Ariane 5 ME is an interim step that would allow the Ariane 5 to carry heavier payloads. The launch vehicle carries one large communications satellite and a lighter one.

CSF Elects Frank DiBello as New Chairman, Adds New Associate Member

Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Space Florida President Frank DiBello

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that it has elected Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida, as its new Chairman succeeding Stuart Witt, CEO of Mojave Air & Space Port. At its semi-annual Board of Directors meeting this week in Jacksonville, Florida, the CSF also elected Mike Gold of Bigelow Aerospace and Sean Mahoney of Masten Space Systems to the Executive Committee of the Board, joining DiBello, Tim Hughes (SpaceX), Rob Meyerson (Blue Origin) and Mark Sirangelo (Sierra Nevada Corporation), who were reelected.

Also at the meeting, the full Board approved adding Interflight Global Corporation to the associate membership of the organization.

Continue reading ‘CSF Elects Frank DiBello as New Chairman, Adds New Associate Member’

ISS Instrument to Be Assembled Robotically On Orbit

RapidScat's two-part payload is shown in the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

RapidScat’s two-part payload is shown in the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Press Release

NASA’s ISS-RapidScat wind-watching scatterometer, which is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station no earlier than Sept. 19, will be the first science payload to be robotically assembled in space since the space station itself. This image shows the instrument assembly on the left, shrouded in white. On the right is Rapid-Scat’s nadir adapter, a very sophisticated bracket that points the scatterometer toward Earth so that it can record the direction and speed of ocean winds. The two pieces are stowed in the unpressurized trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Continue reading ‘ISS Instrument to Be Assembled Robotically On Orbit’

Falcon 9 Launches Communications Satellite


SpaceX’s Falcon 9 successfully launched the AsiaSat 6 satellite into orbit on Sunday morning.

AsiaSat 6 Successfully Lifts Off

HONG KONG, 7 September 2014 (AsiaSat PR) – AsiaSat 6, the newest communications satellite of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat), successfully lifted off on 7 September at Hong Kong Time 1:00 p.m. (1:00 a.m. EDT or Cape Canaveral local time). This is the second SpaceX Falcon 9 launch this summer for AsiaSat, after AsiaSat 8 on 5 August.

Continue reading ‘Falcon 9 Launches Communications Satellite’

Engine Providers Pitch Ideas for RD-180 Replacement to Government

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)

Space News reports on an invite-only meeting last month during which America’s leading space companies discussed their ideas for replacing the Russian-supplied RD-180 engine that powers United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V engine.

The meeting was attended by White House and Pentagon officials, who are devising a strategy to eliminate the nation’s dependence on the Russian engine amid a deteriorating relationship between the two countries over the Ukraine war.

Continue reading ‘Engine Providers Pitch Ideas for RD-180 Replacement to Government’

An Update on WorldVu Satellites


Google_logo_newSpace News has an in-depth look at WorldVu Satellites following the departure of company founder Greg Wyler from Google. A summary of the key points:

  • WorldVu has grown to 30 employees, who are working on a plan to launch hundreds of satellites to provide high-speed data services globally;
  • The company is “not tethered to Google”;
  • Google is a shareholder in WorldVu, but the principal owner is satellite fleet operator SES of Luxembourg;
  • WorldVu’s “relationship with Google remains good but Google’s ultimate involvement in it remains unclear,” according to one source;
  • The company has established relations with SpaceX Founder Elon Musk, but there is neither a formal relationship between the companies nor any agreement to launch satellites on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets;
  • WorldVu’s current design includes more than 300 satellites that would beam 2 gigahertz of Ku-band using satellites orbiting between 800 and 950 kilometers above Earth.

Read the full story.

Parabolic Arc Readers Divided About Elon Musk’s Robocalypse Prediction


Poll_Musk_RobocalypseParabolic Arc readers were pretty evenly split over Elon Musk’s fears of an upcoming robocalypse. Or, to put it more precisely, that it is “increasingly probable’ that humans will serve as merely “the biological boot loader for digital superintellicence.”

Forty-one percent of you — 121 votes — said you agreed with Musk and that the thought terrified you. Forty percent — 118 votes) said there is not a chance of that happening. And 19 percent — 55 votes — said they had no idea what Musk was talking about.

I confess to having voted twice — once on my laptop, again via cell phone — for two different options. I really didn’t know what he meant, nor was I eager to find out. But, I figured if someone as smart as Musk is worried about it, I might as well be terrified.

The commercial crew poll is still up on the site. Since we won’t have an answer until next week at the earliest, there’s still plenty of time to weigh in.

Remember: Vote early. Vote often. Just vote, dammit! Vote!