Here is the latest episode of The Virtual SpaceTV 3D show with Amanda Bush. The programs are created by BINARY SPACE (www.binary-space.com) with story content from HobbySpace.com.
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WASHINGTON — A crewed Mars flyby mission proposed last year by space tourism pioneer Dennis Tito could conceivably launch in 2021 provided that NASA immediately begins spending money on a large new upper-stage rocket engine and crew-habitation module that currently are not on the agency’s development plate, a former NASA official told lawmakers Feb. 26.
“I believe that 2021 is possible if the focus is placed on getting that mission on our books,” Doug Cooke, former associate administrator of NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and now a private consultant, said during a hearing of the House Science Committee. “It would take a commitment to develop the full upper stage in the timeframe that we’re talking about. We would [also] need a small [habitation module], perhaps using an existing structure.”
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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have complementary and interdependent interests in ensuring that commercially developed human space transportation systems for low-Earth orbit are safe and effective. The FAA regulates the U.S. commercial space transportation industry for public safety during launch and re-entry. NASA is enabling the development and demonstration of human space transportation systems via the Commercial Crew Program.
To facilitate these complementary interests, NASA and the FAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in June 2012 to coordinate standards for commercial space travel of government and non-government astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station (ISS). The MOU was the first step in the process to provide a stable framework for the U.S. space industry, avoid conflicting requirements and multiple sets of standards, and advance both public and crew safety.
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HOUSTON, Feb. 27, 2014 — Chris Ferguson, Boeing’s director of Crew and Mission Operations and commander of the final Space Shuttle flight, virtually returned to space recently in the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 simulator to satisfy a NASA testing requirement for the spacecraft.
Ferguson performed manual piloting activities including on-orbit attitude and translation maneuvers, docking and backing away from a virtual International Space Station and a manual re-entry to Earth in the simulator.
“It was great to be back in the pilot’s seat, even if I didn’t leave the ground,” Ferguson said. “It’s important for the spacecraft to have manual controls because although it’s designed to be largely autonomous, the pilot should always be able to back up that autonomy. Manual flight controls provide a sort of a belt-and-suspenders capability for piloting the spacecraft.”
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NASA has released its 14th 60 day Commercial Spaceflight Report. The bi-monthly report outlines the progress of NASA’s commercial crew and cargo development programs. Highlights include Boeing completing 15 of 20 Commercial Crew integrated Capability (CCiCap) milestones, SpaceX completing 12 of 17 and Sierra Nevada 8 of 14.
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Paul Allen’s investment company Vulcan, Inc. announced today that it has hired Charles Beames as Executive Director for its space launch system Stratolaunch.
An Air Force Academy graduate, with a degree in engineering, Beames has been heavily involved in space issues in the public sector. He has served as the space and intelligence liaison to the U.S. Congress for Air Force Appropriations, and most recently held a position as Principal Director of Space and Intelligence for the the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. In that role, Beames was responsible for acquisition oversight of all the DOD’s space and intelligence programs.
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SEATTLE, Feb. 26, 2014 (Vulcan PR) — Vulcan Inc., the investment and project management company founded by Paul G. Allen, today announced that Charles Beames has joined Vulcan as the Executive Director, Stratolaunch.
Beames brings a unique combination of leadership and expertise in space and military systems, engineering, legislative affairs and business. Beames’ 30-year legacy in the Department of Defense includes the development and deployment of transformational airborne, ground- and space-based systems.
In his new role, Beames will be responsible for creating and executing the strategic plan to realize Paul Allen’s vision of revolutionizing space transportation. He will provide overall technical leadership, project oversight and business development, all to ensure key milestones and program objectives are met.
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