Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Tethers Unlimited, Inc. will seek to test the "Multi-Application Survivable Tether" as a means to lower costs to space launch and repair of on-orbit satellites in the future.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Virginia Governor Kaine Backs Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Law to Boost Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
The Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act will become effective July 1, 2007 until July 1, 2013 when it is anticipated that the FAA will begin to review possible spaceflight passenger regulations.
The Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute enjoyed the support of the Personal Spaceflight Federation consisting of several of the commercial space launch firms including SpaceX, t/Space, Virgin Galactic, XCOR Aerospace, Space Adventures, Space Dev, Air Launch, Kistler Aerospace, Rocketplane, Armadillo Aerospace, Scaled Composites, Bigelow Aerospace, and others.
The atmospheric feature was already imaged by NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft over two decades ago. The fact that it has appeared in Cassini images indicates that it is a long-lived feature. A second hexagon, significantly darker than the brighter historical feature, is also visible in the Cassini pictures. The spacecraft's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) is the first instrument to capture the entire hexagon feature in one image.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
George French III announced the Letter of Intent to those attending the Space Access '07 in Arizona Friday morning. Jeff Foust writes at Personal Spaceflight that "once Rocketplane’s K-1 is ready to carry passengers, and once Bigelow’s modules are in orbit, they’ll do business to ferry passengers to and from the facilities" and "by 2012" notes Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings.
It was noted that Rocketplane-Kistler are still looking for an orbital spaceport within the domestic United States to launch and land the K-1 booster. At this point the commercial space firm plans to use the spaceport in Woomera, Australia.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings, Jeff Foust at SpacePolitics and Personal Spaceflight, Clark Lindsey at HobbySpace, and Henry Cate at Space Access ‘07 are each blogging the conference to give readers a virtual presence. The bloggers provide excellent annual coverage. Hats-off to Bloggers!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Meanwhile, Gwynne Shotwell, vice president for business development notes that test-stand firings of the SpaceX-developed Merlin liquid-oxygen/kerosene engine for the Falcon 9 have been under way for a couple of weeks, and are “proceeding smoothly" with an anticipated first launch in the summer of 2008, according to Flight International.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
"When you find millions of people who want to go into space and we find a way to be able to take them there, that creates the opportunity for space entrepreneurs,” Aderson told VOA.
Anderson believes that 30 to 40 years from now it will be within the reach for the great percentage of the world population to travel to space. "What we are doing today is much more than just rich people buying trips to space. It is actually the catalyst that will open up the future where all of us will be able to go to space."
The Business Plan envisions such a commercial spaceport being used for suborbital space tourism, travel and cargo operations and other commercial launch activities. The report recommends multiple Florida commercial spaceports to claim a large share of the fledgling space tourism business growth.
Florida Space is also looking to commercialize the space shuttle runway following the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2010 as a part of its business plan.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush created a Commission on the Future and Aeronautics that recommended the creation of the business plan made public this week.
The county commission embraced conditions that would lead to a repeal of the tax if conditions are not meet in the development of the New Mexico Spaceport dubbed "Spaceport America," to wit:
- That the state obtains a Federal Aviation Administration license and the acceptance of the accompanying environmental impact statement; and,
- That Virgin Galactic signs a lease to use the facility, and that the cost of the Virgin Galactic facility does not exceed $225 million; and,
- That bond debt the tax would repay won’t be sold until the conditions are met; and,
- That the county be enabled to expend 25 percent of the tax money for local educational purposes.
Heath Haussmen's New Mexico Poltics Blog provides more information daily on the Southern New Mexico spaceport tax debate. Haussmen has posted video of Governor Bill Richardson's endorsement of the spaceport tax referendum Tuesday, April 3. The governor referenced the spaceport in his re-election campaign ad last fall.
The regents of New Mexico State University this week approved a symbolic resolution expressing NMSU's support for a planned spaceport north of Las Cruces at Upham. Regents president Steve Anaya said, "The spaceport is very important to southern New Mexico ... from an economic standpoint but also for the university."
05/11/07: STS-117/ISS-13A (S3/S4 solar array/truss)
07/19/07: STS-118/ISS-13A.1 (S5 truss element)
10/25/07: STS-120/ISS-10A (Node 2 connecting module)
12/29/07: STS-122/ISS-1E (European Columbus module)
02/07/08: STS-123/ISS-1J/A (Japanese experiment module)
04/24/08: STS-124/ISS-1J (Japanese Kibo research module)
07/24/08: STS-119/ISS-15A (S6 solar array element)
10/23/08: STS-125 (Hubble Space Telescope servicing)
11/20/08: STS-126/ISS-ULF-2 (logistics mission)
Kibo includes a bus-sized pressurized module where astronauts can conduct microgravity, life science and engineering experiments, an exposed platform for experiments outside the station, storage vessels and a small robotic arm to tend to outside experiments without the need for a spacewalk.
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, known as JAXA, has anticipated that the space lab will be attached by the space shuttle to the space station later this year but the recent delays may push the first of three lab assembly missions into early 2008. Kibō is the largest single ISS module in the station assembly now planned.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency are looking ahead to more significant commercial launch opportunities at the growing Kourou Spaceport location in French Guyana with not only possibilities emerging to provide supplies to the International Space Station using the newly developed space tugs ESA Jules Vern and the Russian Parom but human spaceflight missions perhaps by 2015 with a new Soyuz capsule capable of cislunar flight. [Typical Soyuz launch video.]
Monday, March 12, 2007
Masten, a commercial suborbital launch development company, expects to compete against [video] Armadillo Aerospace and, perhaps,[video] Blue Origin in the annual quest to win NASA Centennial Prize money at the X-Prize Cup.
Michael Mealling, the vice-president for Business Development for Masten Space Systems, recently pointed to the space launch firm's hope to make quick turn-around time with each flight. The firm seeks to build the capablility of refueling and service of the suborbital spacecraft within one hour.
The Mojave, California-based commercial space launch firm is building [video] Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) know as the XA-0.1. The XA-0.1 uses four Liquid Oxygen/Isopropyl Alcohol rocket engines, each of which produce up to 500lb of thrust at full throttle.
Use of its planned planned XA-0.2 may occur for use in the New Mexico competition if development funding becomes available. The XA.02 may be capable of carrying 2-5 passengers to altitudes in excess of 200km.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
The Kourou Spaceport in the French Guyana of South America is soaking-up more of the global commercial satellite launch market share with the Ariane-5 ECA . The French commercial space launch firm Arianespace has now boosted more than 60% of the operational commercial satellites to space. The role of the Kourou Spaceport will grow even more in the next decade.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Officials at the University of Hawaii have told Leonard David that work is underway to develop both a booster and small satellites that can be cheaply lobbed into Earth orbit — and even to the Moon — from the military’s Pacific Missile Range at Barking Sands, Kauai.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
The Space Test Program 1, an Air Force program to launch 7 seperate satellites and test the Orbital Express in-space refuling system. The satellites include: ASTRO (Autonomous Space Transfer & Robotic Orbiter), NextSat, MidStar-1, FalconSat-3 , STPsat-1, CFESat, and NPSat-1 (Naval Postgraduate School Satellite-1. The payload will be using a Centaur upper stage.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
House Bill 3184, offered by Del. Terry G. Kilgore, adopted unanimously both the House and Senate of the General Assembly along with passage of an estimated 950 bills prior to the session adjournment. Legislation is now awaiting action from the governor prior to the April 4 reconvened session of the General Assembly.
Kaine is being counseled to offer amendments to the Virginia Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act to clarify the extent of the liability immunity as well as tie the measure more tightly to the federal Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 and the FAA spaceflight regulations. The recommendations flow from consultation with leading space and extreme sports attorneys from coast-to-coast.
The governor will make his recommendations to the General Assembly late this month. The 140 General Assembly members will reconvene in Richmond April 4 to give consideration to amendments offered by the governor to numerous bills after either being subject to veto or signed into law.
If the Virginia Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act is signed into law the effective date will be July 1, 2007. The General Assembly will also institute legislative study of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport by the Joint Commission of Technology and Science.