Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

Archive for October, 2015

2015 Hardware Reel | Google Lunar XPRIZE | YouTube

It takes some seriously cool technology to get to the Moon. Watch the robots, rockets, and other moon-rover-racing technology developed this year by the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams, in this fun, high-energy highlight reel!

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Astrobotic Adds Another Google Lunar X Prize Team to Its Lander | SpaceNews.com

WASHINGTON — Astrobotic Technology, a Pittsburgh-based company competing in the Google Lunar X Prize, announced Oct. 27 it will fly another team’s rover to the moon on its mission, now planned for late 2017.

Astrobotic said it will carry Uni, a five-kilogram rover being developed by Team AngelicvM of Chile, on its lunar lander. The agreement between the teams is similar to one Astrobotic announced in February with Japan’s Team Hakuto, with the teams sharing the cost of the overall mission and any prize money they win.

Once Astrobotic’s lander touches down on the moon, it will deploy Uni, two rovers from Team Hakuto, and Astrobotic’s own rover for what Astrobotic Chief Executive John Thornton called a “Formula One-style race” to meet the prize requirement of traveling at least 500 meters across the lunar surface.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: spacenews.com

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NASA, Orbital Differ on Root Cause of Antares Launch Failure | SpaceNews.com

WASHINGTON — A NASA investigation into last year’s failure of an Orbital ATK Antares launch vehicle could not identify a single technical root cause of the accident, a conclusion at odds with Orbital’s own investigation.

An executive summary of a NASA Independent Review Team (IRT) report into the October 2014 loss of an Antares shortly after liftoff, released by NASA Oct. 29, concluded there was an explosion in the liquid oxygen turbopump in one of the two AJ-26 engines, designated E15, in the vehicle’s first stage about 15 seconds after ignition. The vehicle lost thrust and crashed to the ground near its launch pad.

The explosion was triggered when rotating and stationary components in part of the turbopump came into contact. “This frictional rubbing led to ignition and fire” in the turbopump, and thus the explosion, the report states.

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House and Senate Reach Agreement on Commercial Space Legislation

House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on a compromise version of commercial space legislation that passed the House and Senate earlier this year.

Details of the compromise have not been made public, but the revised bill could be voted on soon.  The Senate bill, the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (S. 1297) passed in August.  The House bill, Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act (H.R. 2262), passed in May.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.spacepolicyonline.com

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Team AngelicvM Will Fly with Astrobotic on First Lunar Mission | Astrobotic

TOKYO – Astrobotic Technology, Inc. announced today that it will carry a rover for Team AngelicvM, the Google Lunar XPRIZE team from Chile, to the surface of the Moon on Astrobotic’s first lunar mission. Team AngelicvM joins Team HAKUTO, the Japanese Google Lunar XPRIZE team, which announced a partnership with Astrobotic earlier this year. Teams HAKUTO and AngelicvM, along with Team Astrobotic, will launch from Earth, fly together to the surface of the Moon, and deploy from Astrobotic’s lander. The teams will then race 500 meters across the Moon’s surface to send high-definition images and video back to Earth in pursuit of the $20M Google Lunar XPRIZE Grand Prize. The signing of Team AngelicvM adds South America to payloads from North America, Europe and Asia, expanding the unique co- opetition (cooperative competition) model spurred by the Google Lunar XPRIZE across the globe.

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OneWeb Gets (Slide) Decked by Competitor at CASBAA | SpaceNews.com

PARIS — The president of satellite fleet operator ABS continued his efforts to rally other operators of geostationary-orbit satellites against OneWeb Ltd., the startup planning a fleet of 720 satellites in low Earth orbit to provide Ku-band broadband services worldwide.

Thomas Choi asserts that OneWeb may have the best intentions but will nonetheless interfere with the Ku-band satellites in geostationary orbit, especially around the equator. Speaking Oct. 27 at the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) convention in Hong Kong, Choi presented his company’s latest technical assessment.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: spacenews.com

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Looking back a year and a decade | The Space Review

This week is the first anniversary of both the Antares launch failure and the SpaceShipTwo accident, two major setbacks for the commercial space industry. Jeff Foust reports on the progress the companies involved in those accidents are making as they return to flight, as well as the gradual progress of the industry in general.

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