UP Aerospace to Launch Experiments at Spaceport America on June 21

SpaceLoft_launch
LAS CRUCES, NM (NMSA PR) —
The New Mexico Spaceport Authority is excited to host a NASA Flight Opportunities Program launch conducted by UP Aerospace, Inc., at the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Complex on Friday, June 21. This will be the first sub-orbital NASA Flight Opportunities Program launch, and the 19th overall launch from Spaceport America.

The sub-orbital sounding rocket launch is part of the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, which is designed to provide suborbital payload launch opportunities for NASA and other government agencies, as well as for educational institutions and the private sector.

(more…)

NASA Seeks Innovative Suborbital Flight Technology Proposals

NASA LOGOWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — For a second year, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals for suborbital technology payloads and spacecraft capability enhancements that could help revolutionize future space missions.

Selected technologies will travel to the edge of space and back on U.S. commercial suborbital vehicles and platforms, providing opportunities for testing before they are sent to work in the unforgiving environment of space.

(more…)

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program Issues New RFI

NASA LOGOOpportunities for Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles and Payload Integration Services for Maturing Crosscutting Technologies that Advance Multiple Future Space Mission to Flight Readiness Status

General Information

Solicitation Number:RFI-NND13466402L
Posted Date:Feb 15, 2013
FedBizOpps Posted Date:Feb 15, 2013
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action:No
Original Response Date:Mar 08, 2013
Current Response Date:Mar 08, 2013
Classification Code:A — Research and Development
NAICS Code:541712

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Dryden Flight Research Center, Code A, P.O. Box 273, Edwards, CA 93523-0273

Description

NASA/DFRC is hereby soliciting information and feedback from both current and potential flight service providers, as well as the technology payload providers and potential sources for Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles And Payload Integration Services For Maturing Crosscutting Technologies That Advance Multiple Future Space Missions To Flight Readiness Status.

(more…)

Molecular Geneticist Join SARG

Washington D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomes Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul from the University of Florida to the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG). Dr. Paul has an extensive background in molecular genetics with a specific interest in the applications of space-based research to study adaptive responses in an environment that is outside of the subject’s terrestrial norm. She is currently a Research Associate Professor in the University of Florida’s Genetics Institute.

(more…)

Report: Human Spaceflight Makes Up 80 Percent of Suborbital Demand

The Tauri Group has published a new report, Suborbital Reusable Vehicles: A 10-Year Forecast of Market Demand. The study was jointly funded by the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation and Space Florida.

The Tauri Group analyzed 8 different markets, including:

  • Commercial Human Spaceflight
  • Basic and Applied Research
  • Aerospace Technology Test and Demonstration
  • Media and Public Relations
  • Education
  • Satellite Deployment
  • Remote Sensing
  • Point-to-Point Transportation

(more…)

XCOR Releases Lynx Payload User’s Guide

Lynx mockup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Mojave, California (July 24, 2012): XCOR Aerospace announced today that the Lynx suborbital vehicle’s Payload User’s Guide (PUG) is now available online from XCOR’s website (www.xcor.com/contact/pug).

XCOR Program Manager Khaki Rodway noted that “publication of the guide is a significant evolutionary step for XCOR, our payload integration partners, and scientists and educators who are ready to use our suborbital reusable launch vehicle such as the participants in NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program and our other commercial research customers.” The end user who downloads the Payload User’s Guide online will also be registered to receive automatic updates.

(more…)

Citizen Science Challenge to be Announced at Maker Faire


San Mateo, CA (Citizens in Space PR) — Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy, will announce a space prize challenge for citizen scientists at Maker Faire, the nation’s largest festival of do-it-yourself science and engineering, on May 19. The announcement takes place on the Education Stage at the San Mateo Event Center at 1:00 pm.

Citizens in Space plans to fly citizen-science experiments on fully reusable suborbital spacecraft that are now being developed by US companies.

(more…)

Space Access 12: Masten Space Systems

Xombie on the pad.(Credit: Draper Lab)

Dave Masten
Founder and CTO, Masten Aerospace
Mojave, California

Xearo

  • Xaero capable of reaching 100,000 feet
  • Next generation beyond Xoie, which won the Lunar Lander Challenge
  • Under flight testing now
  • 88 tether flights
  • 2 successful free flights
  • Installing an aeroshell on Xaero changed flight characteristics
  • “By the time we figured out what was going on, we were 88 tether flights in.”
  • Building a second Xaero within the next few months to do high altitude flights up to 100,000
  • Masten has too many customers for the first Xaero, which will be used for low-altitude flights

(more…)

Lee Valentine on How XCOR Will Open Up Space

XCOR investor Lee Valentine points out features of the Lynx. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

by Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

XCOR’s advanced rocket engines will allow for daily flights into suborbital and then orbital space during this decade, investor Lee Valentine said on Saturday.

Valentine gave a fascinating talk during the Mojave Air and Space Port’s monthly Plane Crazy Saturday open house in which he laid out in detail how the company plans to make human access to space routine, cheap and safe.

“XCOR has got an engine, the prototype for the Lynx engine, that has got more than 550 flight equivalents on it,” Valentine said. “We have not identified any wear mechanism, and the senior engineering team thinks that that engine is going to be good for many thousands of flights. Indeed, with all of the engines that XCOR has ever built, we have never worn one out or identified the wear mechanism.”

(more…)

Company Plans Suborbital Launches Using MiG Fighter

Premier Space Systems' Mig-21UM jet during a test flight. (Credit: Premier Space Systems)

I saw an interesting presentation at NSRC yesterday by Scott Powell and Arif Karabeyoglu on a new plan to launch suborbital payloads using jet aircraft.

Their company, Premier Space Systems, is developing a system that uses Soviet-era MiG-21UM to air launch payloads weighing up to 45 kg (99 pounds). The company is developing 10-inch and 22-inch LOX-parafin hybrid rockets, which are being tested in Butte, Montana.

(more…)

Near Space Corp. to Build First Commercial High Altitude Balloon Flight Facility

Palo Alto, CA, February 27, 2012 (NSC PR): Near Space Corporation (NSC), one of seven suborbital flight providers selected to support the NASA Flight Opportunities Program, is proud to announce the creation of the first commercial high altitude balloon flight facility. Located in Tillamook, Oregon, the $6.9 million first phase will include 31,000 square feet of construction. It will serve as NSC headquarters and will house engineering, manufacturing, payload integration, and flight operations at a single location. The new facility will enable an unprecedented level of responsiveness and an increased capacity to meet the growing needs of NSC customers.

(more…)

SwRI Moves Up XCOR Lynx Experiment Flights

Boulder, Colo. — Feb. 27, 2012 — Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has reached an agreement with XCOR Aerospace, Inc. to conduct pioneering suborbital space missions with Institute payload specialist astronauts flying aboard one or two test missions in the XCOR Aerospace Lynx Mark I vehicle. The flights will test capabilities of the Lynx vehicle with actual researchers and research experiments aboard.

In 2011, SwRI and XCOR Aerospace inked a deal for six SwRI suborbital flights aboard Lynx, with options for three more. Today’s announcement moves the first such flights ahead of XCOR’s commercial services to be a part of XCOR’s Lynx test flight program.

(more…)

Virgin Galactic selects NanoRacks for SpaceShipTwo Research

Gear down. (Photo: Mark Greenberg)

MOJAVE, Calif. – (Feb. 27, 2012) Virgin Galactic LLC, the world’s first commercial spaceline, announced today that it has selected NanoRacks LLC to construct a rack system to allow research payloads to fly to space aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2). With these new racks, SS2 will allow researchers to conduct experiments during several minutes of microgravity using a mounting system also employed on the International Space Station (ISS).

(more…)

Video: Stern, Durda Look at Life on the Suborbital Frontier

Video Caption: My soon to be suborbital life– aka– Barnstorming the Suborbital Frontier.

Scientists Alan Stern and Dan Durda describe the coming era of suborbital spaceflight and how it will open up great possibilities for researchers, educators, and the public beginning later this year.

Filmed, edited, and produced by Jim Arthurs of Colorado Springs.