Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

Archive for June, 2014

A Look at Remaining Milestones for NASA’s Commercial Crew Partners | Parabolic Arc

As NASA prepares to award the next round of commercial crew contracts in August, its three partners are in a different place in terms of completing their milestones and developing their vehicles to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.

The space agency has provided SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corporation with seven additional months — from August 2014 to March 2015 — to complete their original milestones under the current CCiCAP funding round. Meanwhile, Boeing is set to complete all of 20 of its milestones — worth a total of $480 million — by August, when NASA will likely eliminate at least one competitor.



XCOR Acquires Space Expedition Corporation | Parabolic Arc

MOJAVE, CA, June 30, 2014 (XCOR PR) — XCOR Aerospace announced today that it has closed the acquisition of all operational subsidiaries of Space Expedition Corporation, the previously independent Dutch company also known as SXC. SXC served as XCOR’s general sales agent for XCOR® Lynx® flight sales and as their lead wet lease customer. The new sales entity, XCOR Space Expeditions, will continue to focus on sales, commercial partnerships and participant (customer) training on a global level, and will serve as an open sales channel available for all future XCOR Lynx wet lease clients.


Mars One Solicits Payloads for 2018 Lander | Parabolic Arc

AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands, June 30, 2014 (Mars One PR) – Mars One is extending a formal invitation to universities, research bodies, and companies to contribute to the payload of the 2018 unmanned Mars Lander. The best ideas will be chosen by a panel of experts. This mission will act as a staging point for the first-ever human mission to the red planet in 2025.

Mars One is soliciting proposals for four demonstration payloads that will demonstrate technologies for the human mission in 2025, proposals for one payload that will be elected in a world wide university competition, and proposals for two payloads that are for sale to the highest bidder. These last two payloads can be used for scientific experiments, marketing activities or anything inbetween.


Virtual SpaceTV 3D – June 2014 | YouTube

Here is the latest episode of The Virtual SpaceTV 3D show with Amanda Bush. The programs are created by BINARY SPACE ( with story content from

In this show, Amanda Bush talks about the following topics:
01:27 – 04:32 A better Dragon on Stage
04:33 – 06:09 Virgin Galactic likes Nylon
06:10 – 07:36 Google to fill the Sky with Satellites
07:37 – 09:06 A new Look in NASA Space Suits
09:07 – 10:01 A new Mars Crater


Commercial Crew Partners Get Extension |

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA has quietly extended its current partnership agreements with two of the three companies developing space taxis to fly astronauts to and from the international space station, documents posted on NASA’s website show.

Both Space Exploration Technologies  Corp. and Sierra Nevada Corp. now have until March 2015 to complete milestones specified in their Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) contracts, which began in August 2012. The agreements previously were slated to end on Aug. 31, 2014.


NASA Extends SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Commercial Crew Agreements By 7 Months | Parabolic Arc

NASA has signed amendments to their commercial crew agreements with SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corporation that give each company an additional seven months to complete flight test milestones on their space vehicles. The deadline is now March 31, 2015, instead of Aug. 31.

The SpaceX amendment will allow additional time for the company to complete an in-flight abort test with its Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 booster. The test, which is worth $30 million, is the final of 14 milestones in the current commercial crew round of funding. It was originally scheduled to be completed in April 2014.

Sierra Nevada is being given an extension to no later than March 31, 2015, to conduct additional drop tests of its Dream Chaser lifting body vehicle. The milestone, which is worth $8 million, was originally scheduled for completion in April 2013.


ULA and SpaceX trade jabs | Space Politics

While there have been no major developments in the legal, political, and public relations battles among SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (ULA), and the Air Force regarding competition for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launches, the two companies traded jabs on Thursday in the form of court filings and advertisements.