Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

Archive for February, 2012

Experts: Commercial Space Day Has Not Come | AVIATION WEEK

Via Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

What will it take to get commercial human spaceflight off the ground? When will it be available and attractive to “the 99%” the Wall Street Occupiers say they represent as well as for the superrich “1%”? A group of academics and “New Space” entrepreneurs say the answers are complicated, but that it won’t hurt to have a space traveler with the common touch and a way with words.   That’s the role Anne Morrow Lindbergh played when commercial aviation was young, says Zoe Szajnfarber, an engineering-management and systems engineering professor at George Washington University. In the 1930s, Lindbergh barnstormed the country and the world with her famous husband Charles, meeting aviation enthusiasts personally and writing best-sellers about her adventures in the sky for a wider audience.
Via www.aviationweek.com


Guest Blog: Jason Davis: NASA collects round three of CCDev proposals | The Planetary Society

Via Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

If you’re familiar with NASA’s Commercial Crew program, you’ve probably heard of COTS and CCDev. Get ready to welcome a new acronym to the private spaceflight party: CCiCap. However, pretty much the only thing that’s new about the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative is its name; you can just think of it as CCDev phase three.  
Via www.planetary.org


Xcor Lynx fuselage delivered

Via Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

Xcor has announced delivery of the first flight-capable fuselage of its Lynx horizontal-takeoff suborbital spacecraft. The fuselage’s delivery to the factory, a major milestone in construction of the first vehicle, took place on 17 February.   “Currently we are going over the fuselage and checking everything, all the dimensions, and also starting to make adaptors and things,” said Xcor. “The next major thing that’s going to happen is the engine truss will be mounted to the fuselage.”   The engine truss, which will hold all the XR-5K18 liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket motor and its components, is nearing completion, and is scheduled for integration with the fuselage by April.
Via www.flightglobal.com


Astrobotic Technology Inc. wins NASA task order for Moon expedition data | SpaceRef

Via Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

NASA has awarded Astrobotic Technology Inc. an additional task in its $10 million Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) contract under which NASA buys information about the company’s commercial robotic expeditions to the Moon. The $100,000 task order brings total funding under the ILDD contract thus far to $610,000.   Astrobotic Technology will launch its first expedition on a Falcon 9 rocket under contract from Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). In summer 2015, it will deliver a robot to the Moon’s south pole to prospect for water, methane and other minerals. Turned into rocket propellant, these resources will dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration by providing an off-planet refueling station.
Via www.spaceref.com


Blue Origin to conduct pad-abort test for New Shepard

Via Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

Blue Origin plans to conduct a pad-abort test in the summer of 2012, a crucial milestone in qualifying the company’s New Shepard vehicle for human spaceflight.   Blue Origin, the low-profile rocket company founded by internet entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, was one of four companies to receive awards under the second round of NASA’s commercial crew development programme (CCDev).   “We are getting ready to do a pad escape test with the pusher escape motor under the CCDev II programme,” said Brett Alexander, Blue Origin’s director of business development. “We’ll do the test in the summer sometime. This is the 1.1 version if you will, the 2.0 version will take people into space.”
Via www.flightglobal.com


Our Future in Space: Reasons to Be Optimistic | Discovery News

Via Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

Without a successor to the space shuttle or a clear roadmap for manned spaceflight, what will our scientific future look like?   That’s the question that famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explores in an article titled “A Case for Space” in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs hitting newsstands today.   Although a lack of a coherent roadmap for the future of manned spaceflight is the end result of a space program in jeopardy, Tyson zeroes in on politics and a lack of resources for NASA as the cause for space agency’s current predicament. How NASA can get itself back on track is the subject of Tyson’s book, “Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier.”   NASA is undeniably facing tough challenges with regard to the future of manned spaceflight. The space agency doesn’t have anywhere to send its astronauts or any means of getting there. But there are still reasons to be optimistic about our future in space.
Via news.discovery.com


FAA Should Play Role in Regulating Commercial Spaceflight | SpaceNews.com

Via Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily
Now that the commercial spaceflight industry has been granted a temporary extension of its grace period on regulation by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it should consider how it will establish the crucial standards that will guide it in the coming years — especially in relation to human spaceflight.   The industry has a golden opportunity to embrace the FAA and strengthen its dialogue on future oversight policy and safety standards. This increased dialogue can help shape a regulatory regime that must ultimately get into place if there is going to be a viable commercial space industry in the United States that truly supports safety.
Via spacenews.com