Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Meanwhile, the first Ares 1X hardware delivered from elsewhere in the nation is at Kennedy Space Center, where NASA is pressing ahead with plans for the first uncrewed test flight of a next-generation moon rocket in 2009. [Ares 1 Test Flight Animation Videos One, Two, Three and Four.]
Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's space operations chief, said the only difference of opinion in the daylong review involved pump inspections in the shuttle main engines. This new inspection will be conducted in the future before the engines are installed, but there's no urgency for doing it before Endeavour's upcoming flight, he said.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Foundation Chairman Berin Szoka said "It's time that our national leaders give American entrepreneurs a shot at closing this gap. Let's take the two billion dollars in the candidates' plans and fund up to five winners of COTS-D."
The NASA Authorization Act of 2008, recently signed into law by the President, directs NASA to "issue a notice of intent [by mid-April 2009] ... to enter into a funded, competitively awarded Space Act Agreement with two or more commercial entities' for transporting humans to the ISS"-the "Capability D" of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program (or COTS-D for short). But that directive is not yet funded.
Szoka continued, "Let's have an American competition in space - to create good jobs, fuel innovation, and close the gap more quickly. With private funds matching government's investment, we can dramatically leverage the $2 billion to produce breakthroughs in a new American industry - commercial orbital human spaceflight."
By investing in several different approaches, the government will win no matter who wins this new race, and also benefit from the resulting price competition.
Many American companies, including Boeing, PlanetSpace, SpaceDev, SpaceX, and t/Space have each previously submitted credible COTS-D proposals to NASA. [Orbital Sciences Corporation has the project under study for the Taurus-2.] Each of these firms has reached the semi-finals of one of the previous NASA COTS competitions. Increasing funding for COTS by $2 billion would allow NASA to fund all five of these promising companies' proposals with COTS agreements, and in so doing, build redundancy into the human spaceflight capability available to NASA and other customers.
"It's popular in Washington to use 'The Gap' to cynically justify continued funding of an expensive jobs program," concluded the Foundation's co-founder, Bob Werb. "We're using 'The Gap' to advocate a policy that will bridge a gap that matters much more: the chasm between a dying government Human spaceflight monopoly and an emerging, free and competitive marketplace that can open the space frontier to everyone."
Monday, October 27, 2008
The so-called "fishbowl" concept has been under study for a better than a year or so by Armadillo engineers. Passengers will enjoy a 360-degree view of space and the Earth below. A prototype is now being planned for 2009 from the Oklahoma Spaceport (reports Alan Boyle) with commercial applications in 2010 from New Mexico. More from The Houston Chronicle.
Over the weekend Armadillo Aerospace won the Level 1 $350,000 Lunar Lander Prize but lost the $1-million Level 2 after an immediate failure at initial launch. Leonard Davis explains on the Live Science Blog.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Blum, Founder & Managing Director of Repulse Bay Capital Ltd., & Co-President & CCO of Research Edge, is excited about leveraging space for personal and commercial purposes.
Blum discussed divulging the timetable with Virgin leader Richard Branson last week at a gathering with other future passengers on the craft.
"ISPCS was the perfect place to talk about this because ISPCS is a very valuable conference that helps to identify the opportunities in the new space age," Blum said.
For more information, and photos from the conference, go to http://www.ispcs.com/.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Orbital Sciences Corporation used its Pegasus® rocket to successfully launch the company-built Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) satellite for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration into its intended highly elliptical orbit. Early results indicate that the IBEX satellite [video] is operating as expected at this stage of its mission. Orbital designed, manufactured and tested the IBEX satellite [video] at its Dulles, VA satellite manufacturing facilities. Orbital is teamed with the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of San Antonio, TX, which is managing the IBEX scientific program, with mission funding provided by NASA.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The Chandrayaan-1 mission will focus on the exploration of the South Pole of the moon and a 3-D mapping of the entire moonscape. The moon impact probe will hit the rim of the Shackleton crater of the moon at the South Pole by mid-November if everything goes well. The rim of the Shackleton crater is a location identified by the U.S. space agency NASA to establish a possible lunar outpost by 2020. More from The Hindu in India and related videos 1, 2, and 3.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Garriott will fly on Soyuz with American NASA astronaut Michael Fincke, Russian cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov. The launch will be LIVE on NASA-TV.
Garriott paid more than 30 million dollars to be launched into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, according to Space Adventures, the Virginia-based company that plans space tourist trips.