Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

Archive for March, 2013

XCOR’s new Piston Rocket Engine – 6.09

See on Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

In this live episode of Spacevidcast we talk with Andrew Nelson from XCOR Aerospace. Topic ranges from their newly tested piston rocket engine to the reusable Lynx suborbital spacecraft.

In space news this week, an Atlas V launch, Antares gets a launch date, Saturn V F-1 engines recovered from the ocean floor, Soyuz makes a fast approach to the International Space Station and Dragon is back on land!



See on


Space KSC: The Origins of Commercial Space

See on Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

You’ve heard them. Read them. Seen them.


The people who claim that NASA was a perfect place where everyone had guaranteed jobs forever building wonder ships that would take American heroes back to the Moon and beyond.


Until Barack Obama was elected.


They claim that Obama destroyed NASA by imposing the commercial space program so he could give taxpayer money to political cronies like Elon Musk who bankrolled his election campaign.


It’s all a fantasy, of course, but these people live among us here in the Space Coast, continuing to spread this nonsense.


Here’s what really happened

See on

My advice: Get inspired by Inspiration Mars | Orbital Inclinations

See on Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

In case you weren’t around back then, or have forgotten, there were plenty of smart people who said the whole notion of flying to the Moon was impossible and a waste of time and money. There were too many unknowns and the risks would be too great. There was no way we could get it done during the short time available.


And when we did send Apollo 8 to the Moon without a lunar module, and again during Apollo 10 when the lunar module Snoopy flew the dress rehearsal for the landing, there were cries throughout the nation and the space community complaining what a waste it was to fly that long distance and not land.


Now here we are more than 40 years later, with many of the most fundamental problems of spaceflight clearly understood and with enough experience gained to have built an engineering miracle in orbit in the form of the International Space Station.


We now have an increasingly reliable and credible commercial space industry that is taking on some of the tasks of spaceflight that were previously the purview of only NASA and the federal government. Commercial launchings of commercial satellites are common. Private companies are lofting cargo to the space station, getting ready for space tourism and investigating mining the asteroids for precious metals.


It’s time, at last, for new ideas and new approaches for pioneering the space frontier.


All of which brings me to the Inspiration Mars Foundation.

See on

Citizen Science/SVSC/Ardulab microgravity workshop

See on Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

This workshop covers the sub-orbital flight opportunties provided by the Citizen Science Program. 

Citizen Science has purchased 10 flights about the XCOR Lynx vehicle.

Each flight can accommodate 12 cubelab/nanolab payloads and one payload astronaut. Citizen Science challenges scientists, engineers, students, faculty, and astropreneur to develop the most compelling micro-gravity payloads for these commercial, newspace missions.  All entrants are welcome!!



See on

New Details on SpaceX Plans Emerge

See on Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

“Now having completed 3 missions in 10 months, including the latest which set a new Dragon record of 23 days in orbit and was the first to see use of the spacecraft’s trunk, attention is turning to two major technology development efforts. Staying with the Dragon theme for a moment, Elon Musk suggested that his company is working on a public rollout ceremony for the new Dragon 2.0 to take place, possible with NASA participation, this summer. SpaceX has taken pains to point out that the final design of the new, crew capable Dragon, also called DragonRider, will differ considerably from images and mockups released so far. Apparently, whenever it is unveiled, the public can expect to see a significant profile change with the inclusion of the side mounted escape and propulsive landing thrusters, deployable landing gear and larger windows. Or as Musk put it, something which looks like “a real alien spaceship.” With a pad abort test planned for the end of this year as part of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capacity (CCiCap) milestones, at a time when rival Boeing is still only conducting design reviews, SpaceX is poised to open up a runaway lead in the high stakes competition.”



See on

SpaceX reusability trials coming soon

See on Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

SpaceX CEO and chief technologist Elon Musk, speaking at a NASA press conference, says the company will start efforts to recover the used Falcon 9 core stage on the next flight. He also released details on a new version of the crewed Dragon capsule.


The next launch of Falcon 9 is the first flight of a substantial upgrade to the rocket, called version 1.1 (v1.1), which incorporates major changes to the engines and fuel tanks.


“The first stage will continue in a ballistic arc and execute a velocity-reduction burn before hitting the atmosphere just to lessen the impact,” says Musk. “And then right before splashdown of the stage it’s going to light the engine again.”



See on

GLXP Update: Big Summit Set for Next Week | Parabolic Arc

See on Scoop.itThe NewSpace Daily

Which Google Lunar X Prize teams are serious? Which ones are little more than vaporware? And which teams have a serious chance of winning?


The answers to those questions will get a little bit clearer next week. The 23 teams competing to land a rover on the moon will meet in Santiago, Chile, beginning next Tuesday for their annual Summit.


The four-day meeting will be a crucial gathering during which participants will be able to better assess which teams are actually moving forward with their attempts to win the $20 million first prize. With the deadline set for the end of 2015, teams need to have their funding in place and rides to the moon set up by now to be serious contenders.

See on