NASA’s decision last month to award commercial crew contracts worth a combined $900 million to Boeing and SpaceX has provided a boost for Bigelow Aerospace’s efforts to launch private space stations into orbit.
Bigelow, which has partnered with both companies to provide transportation services to its orbital facilities, plans to hire re-hire workers who had been earlier laid off due to delays in NASA’s commercial crew program.
Robert Bigelow, owner and president of Bigelow Aerospace, called the funding “more aggressive” than prior NASA contracts and said he was “very happy” about the ramped-up investment, which will nearly double the workforce at his North Las Vegas plant.
See on www.parabolicarc.com
Bill Wilting’s face lights up when he thinks about the possibility of watching rocket launches from virtually his front door.
He talks about all the opportunities the area would have if Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, decides to build a launch site near Boca Chica Beach, just a few miles from where he lives.
“I’m excited about it. Rocket ships — are you kidding me? I’m crazy about it. I think it’s the greatest thing,” he says.
Wilting is one of several residents of Boca Chica Village, once known as Kopernick Shores and home to a founding Polish community, who could have a front-row seat to possibly 12 rocket launches a year if SpaceX builds a launch facility here.
See on www.brownsvilleherald.com
At first glance, it might appear that space policy got a lot of attention in the last week: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney mentioned the late Neil Armstrong in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, and did so again during a campaign stop on Saturday in Cincinnati, a day after the Apollo 11 astronaut’s funeral there. The Republican Party platform, approved during the convention, included a plank about space. Meanwhile, while the Republicans convened in Tampa, President Barack Obama found a very different outlet to discuss policy issues, an “Ask Me Anything” discussion on the popular website Reddit, where he answered one question on space policy.
So, that should be good news for those who follow space policy, right? Not really. None of these comments said much of anything new—or even much of anything at all—about the candidates’ positions on space policy. The fact that we’re paying so much attention to such minor comments indicates how little the candidates, in particular Romney, have said on space, especially in comparison to just four years ago.
See on www.spacepolitics.com
In a critical prelaunch test before SpaceX’s first operational cargo delivery to the International Space Station, engineers filled a Falcon 9 rocket with propellant Friday, rehearsing countdown procedures ahead of the mission’s scheduled liftoff in October.
A SpaceX spokesperson confirmed the successful completion of the test.
See on spaceflightnow.com
Preparations for SpaceX’s debut Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in October are on track, following Friday’s successful Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR). The test was carried out on their Falcon 9 launch vehicle, minus its Dragon passenger, at Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40).
See on www.nasaspaceflight.com
Virgin Galactic has promised to launch its pioneer spaceflight sometime next year aboard its spacecraft Spaceship Two. Once this flight takes off, it could mean the start of a whole new wave of commercial space tourism—and all of those space flights will likely leave from America’s shiny new spaceport: Spaceport America.
Located in New Mexico, Spaceport America is “the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.”
See on www.businessinsider.com
In light of the recent loss of our nation’s greatest space hero, I decided to take a gander at the Republican Party platform to see what they had to say about space and NASA…
… There is no discussion, or even consideration, of space as a new venue for human activity, whether economic (e.g., mining) or actual settlement, despite the fact that a number of companies have been formed recently for the former, and part of their business plans are to enable the latter.
See on pjmedia.com