Archive for October, 2015

NASA’s Venture Class Announcement & New Chinese Small Launcher Too

NASA’s Venture Class Announcement & New Chinese Small Launcher Too

Yesterday, NASA held a press conference to formally announce the winners of its initial Venture Class Launch Services competition. Given that notice of the awards, which went to Virgin Galactic, Rocket Lab and Firefly Space Systems was posted over two weeks ago, the event was somewhat redundant, but did shed new light on the agency’s […]

DOD May Not Be So Committed to Launch Competition After All

DOD May Not Be So Committed to Launch Competition After All

Editorial On Monday, an Innerspace editorial suggested that perhaps it is time to reconsider restrictions on launching U.S. government payloads on friendly foreign launchers, namely the Ariane V. Part of the logic came from the assessment that ULA is simply not going to be able to make the Atlas V price competitive with the SpaceX […]

Update: Testing Cubesat Laser Communications

Update: Testing Cubesat Laser Communications

Update: From NASA: ” The Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) satellite that launched Oct. 8 currently is experiencing a problem with its attitude control system, according to The Aerospace Corporation. Aerospace built the CubeSat and is operating it in orbit. The OCSD satellite is communicating by radio with the ground, but the attitude control […]

Posted in: CubeSats
Seeking a Different Sort of Waiver for ULA

Seeking a Different Sort of Waiver for ULA

Editorial The long running drama regarding United Launch Alliance and the use of Russian RD-180 engines for the Atlas V rocket entered a new phase late Friday with the announcement that the Pentagon will not issue a waiver requested by the company allowing it to acquire more engines which it says are needed for competitive […]

SNC To Resume Testing Dream Chaser in 2016

SNC To Resume Testing Dream Chaser in 2016

Last week, we reported that Lockheed Martin has apparently been quietly eliminated from NASA’s CRS-2 resupply contract competition, speculating that it could be a development which opened the crack a little wider for Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser space plane. The following press release from SNC does nothing to dispel that line of thought. Sierra […]

NASA Outlines Plan For Its “Journey to Mars”

NASA Outlines Plan For Its “Journey to Mars”

NASA Press Release: Oct. 8, 2015 15-206 NASA Releases Plan Outlining Next Steps in the Journey to Mars NASA is leading our nation and the world on a journey to Mars, and Thursday the agency released a detailed outline of that plan in its report, “NASA’s Journey to Mars: Pioneering Next Steps in Space Exploration.” […]

Posted in: Mars, NASA
Virgin Galactic, Firefly and Rocket Lab Each Win NASA Venture Class Launch Award

Virgin Galactic, Firefly and Rocket Lab Each Win NASA Venture Class Launch Award

One of the great things about the emerging cubesat launch market is that NASA is able to help no less than three different companies get off the ground by booking a launch for less than $18 million. On June 12th, NASA’s Launch Services Program announced that it was establishing a new class of launch vehicles, […]

Israel’s SpaceIL Books Moon Flight on SpaceX Falcon 9

Israel’s SpaceIL Books Moon Flight on SpaceX Falcon 9

On October 3rd, Google Lunar XPrize competitor Moon Express announced that it had signed a launch agreement with Rocket Lab for at least two 2017 launches aboard that company’s Electron launch vehicle. The notice was remarkable for several reasons, not the least of which being it appeared to cement Moon Express as being the first […]

Posted in: Moon
Whistling Past the Graveyard of Asteroid Detection

Whistling Past the Graveyard of Asteroid Detection

Early last week, news media reported that NASA has terminated its Space Act Agreement with the B612 Foundation due its failure to meet specified milestones, namely beginning development of the $350-$450 million Sentinel mission. B612 was founded by former astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweickert, for the purpose of raising awareness about asteroid defense by funding […]

France To Study First Stage Reusability

France To Study First Stage Reusability

Europe’s aerospace sector appears to be waking up to the possibility that American companies are on the verge of establishing first stage reusability. In June, Airbus-Safran announced Adeline, an acronym for Advanced Expendable Launcher with Innovative Engine Economy. Adeline is a recoverable first stage propulsion package which would return the engine and avionics of an Ariane […]

Posted in: Uncategorized
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