Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

Archive for January, 2016

Cygnus Is the Cutest of the Space Station Cargo Craft

When the S.S. Deke Slayton II launched in December, it was the first mission of the newly-upgraded Cygnus spacecraft. The upgrades included an expanded cargo hold and reworked service module, but the most visually striking difference is the new solar panels. Instead of stiff rectangular bars like on every other spacecraft (including older-model Cygnus spacecraft), the Cygnus now sports a pair of cheery round orange-yellow Ultraflex solar arrays.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: gizmodo.com

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My Aunt, Judy Resnik

“So here’s my message for you, everyone: Go do what you want to do. Be who you want to be. Create a life for yourself that you will love with all of your heart, and never lose hope or hesitate to step outside of your comfort zone, because in the end, the outcome, whatever that may be, is rewarding and leaves you with a good feeling in your heart. You can shape your destiny and create your future, if only you try. Go find your ‘other world’, and remember that if you shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. The sky’s the limit, people! Lastly, during all of your future endeavors, don’t let what anyone else thinks get in your way, because as Aunt Judy said, “It is very important for you to realize that people who you consider to be heroes are really quite like yourselves. Only hard work and perseverance will help you to succeed at any venture–there is no magic of being more ‘special’ than someone else.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.challenger.org

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Why investors are following Musk, Bezos in betting on the stars

Last year, when Google and Fidelity invested $1 billion into Elon Musk’s SpaceX, one of the company’s earliest backers also wanted to get in on the latest round of funding.

But SpaceX ever-so politely asked Steve Jurvetson’s Silicon Valley venture capital firm to kindly hold off. SpaceX, one of the hottest enterprises in the rising commercial space industry, suddenly could afford to turn money away.

“There’s so much interest, they can’t take it all,” Jurvetson said. So they decided to “just bring on one new investor to make life simple.”

With some significant breakthroughs, led by high-profile billionaires such as Musk, Amazon.com founder Jeffrey P. Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson, the commercial space sector has started to capture the public imagination and make space travel cool again.

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

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Elon Musk wants to take a space trip by 2021

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says he has his heart set on going into space himself, perhaps in the next four or five years, and organize the first flights to Mars by 2025.

Musk’s travel timetable came out this week during Musk’s chat at the StartmeupHK Festival in Hong Kong. The 44-year-old billionaire said he’d unveil his detailed plan for sending settlers to Mars in September at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico. That means the SpaceX fans who have been buzzing about the Mars Colonial Transporter may have to just keep buzzing for another eight months or so.

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

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A Day of Remembrance, Not Sorrow, Because “Courage is Contagious”

“Courage is contagious. Courage is shared. Courage is much more than bravery and boldness because courage lives in the heart. Once you weigh the risk and once you decide that to explore and to discover are worth the risk, then you can dream, you can plan, and you can build. And then you train, and you train, and you train, and you train. So that when the crew launches, they launch ready, with happy hearts, thankful for the opportunity to represent America, happy to represent history and all of humankind as humankind reaches for the stars.”

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

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Elon Musk to unveil Mars plans this year, wants to go to space by 2020

It is safe to say there is a fair amount of skepticism in the traditional aerospace community about SpaceX’s technical and financial wherewithal to pull off the colonization of Mars during the next couple of decades. But Musk said human missions could begin by about 2025. Asked if this was too soon by the moderator, Musk replied that nine years “seems like a long time to me.”

Musk also said he hopes to fly in one of his Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station in four or five years. Although a handful of space tourists have visited the Russian Mir Station and International Space Station aboard government vehicles, it would be unprecedented for a person whose company had built a spacecraft to then fly that spacecraft into space.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: arstechnica.com

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SNC’s Dream Chaser® Cargo System: A Transportation System to Deliver Cargo to the ISS for NASA

This animated video represents Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser® Cargo System mission. The Dream Chaser Cargo System is an innovative complete cargo transportation system capable of transporting pressurized and unpressurized cargo to and from low-Earth orbit destinations such as the International Space Station. This system is designed to fulfill NASA’s current Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) and other fully autonomous missions.

The uncrewed Dream Chaser spacecraft launches inside a standard 5m fairing, transporting pressurized and unpressurized cargo concurrently. Further advantageous capabilities include cargo module disposal, low-g, gentle runway landing return of cargo and sensitive science payloads with immediate access, all attributes that are unique to the reusable, lifting-body Dream Chaser spacecraft.

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

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