Spacecraft Development

Roadside Assistance in Space: Orbital ATK Signs Deal for First In-Space Commercial Satellite Servicing

Roadside Assistance in Space: Orbital ATK Signs Deal for First In-Space Commercial Satellite Servicing

Long predicted in coming, the era of active satellite servicing and refueling is about to get underway. Here is the press release from Orbital ATK: Pioneers In Space: Orbital ATK Announces Intelsat as Anchor Customer for New Satellite Life Extension Service Company Begins Production of First of a Planned Fleet of Commercial In-Space Servicing and […]

NASA’s Green Propellant Mission Passes Key Milestone

NASA’s Green Propellant Mission Passes Key Milestone

NASA’s Green Propellant Green Propulsion Infusion Mission (GPIM) has passed a critical flight readiness milestone in anticipation of launch in early 2017, completing functional and equipment testing of its systems and software. The mission which will provide on-orbit demonstration of a new, less toxic “green” propellant will be tested aboard a Ball Aerospace Configurable Platform 100 satellite, […]

Paragon Wins NASA SBIR Award With Implications for Propellant Depots

Paragon Wins NASA SBIR Award With Implications for Propellant Depots

Press Release: Paragon Space Development Corporation® Wins NASA Phase II For Cryogenic Fluid Management Technology TUCSON, AZ (March 21, 2016) – Paragon Space Development Corporation® (Paragon) and partner Thin Red Line Aerospace (TRLA) received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from NASA to advance their Cryogenic Encapsulating Launch Shroud and Insulated Upper […]

Astroscale Secures up $35 Million in Funding for Adras-1 Space Debris Removal

Astroscale Secures up $35 Million in Funding for Adras-1 Space Debris Removal

Last year, Singapore based Astroscale introduced its concept for the Mother-Boy space debris removal demonstrator. Last week, it secured an initial investment of up to $35 Million USD to test key technologies leading to a 2018 initial mission. The concept: “Mothership, a carrier satellite that can contain up to 6 catcher satellites, called Boy, will […]

Investigation of Virgin Galactic Accident Reveals Some Clues, Reaction Reveals Much About Human Nature

Investigation of Virgin Galactic Accident Reveals Some Clues, Reaction Reveals Much About Human Nature

Two days after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo broke up in the skies over the Mojave Desert, the National Transportation Safety Board “go team” is on site. B Roll video release of the accident site is beginning to reveal some aspects of the disaster which took the life of Scale Composites test pilot Michael Alsbury, badly injured […]

Here Be Dragons: The Rise of SpaceX and the Journey to Mars

Here Be Dragons: The Rise of SpaceX and the Journey to Mars

Here Be Dragons: The Rise of SpaceX and the Pursuit of Mars is an in-depth history of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation and the Falcon 9/Dragon system which just won NASA’s Commercial Crew award to return human spaceflight capacity to the United States. It is much more than that however.  SpaceX was founded with the Red […]

IXV: Europe’s Experimental Space Plane

IXV: Europe’s Experimental Space Plane

IXV Undergoing Ocean Retrieval Tests Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser is far from the only space plane currently under development.  With the second super secretive Boeing X-37 still in orbit, and a variety of suborbital craft;  Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo,  XCOR’s Lynx and Swiss Space Systems SOAR space plane all in various stages of construction,  the Shuttle […]

NASA’s Warp Drive Research Gets an Enterprising Makeover

NASA’s Warp Drive Research Gets an Enterprising Makeover

The story itself is not new, with the popular press reporting on the Alcubierre/warp drive theory NASA’s Dr. Sonny White has been working on for several years now, but the images ….. oh my. Gizmodo has an article out providing some graphic renderings of a warp drive starship which would roughly fit within dimensions suggested […]

NASA Ion Engine Shutting Down After Marathon 5 and Half Year Test Run

NASA Ion Engine Shutting Down After Marathon 5 and Half Year Test Run

NASA is shutting down its NEXT (NASA’s Evolutionary Zenon Thruster) ion engine which has been running continuously at the Glenn Research Center for over five years. From the Glenn Press Release: “The NEXT thruster operated for more than 48,000 hours,” said Michael J. Patterson, principal investigator for NEXT at Glenn. “We will voluntarily terminate this test at […]

Robotic Refueling Mission Recap

Robotic Refueling Mission Recap

NASA recently completed a significant technology development exercise outside the International Space Station, its Robotic Refueling Mission, which used the Canadian built Dextre robot to transfer a fuel substitute (ethanol) into satellite testbed.  Now the agency has put together a good recap of the mission, including a link to a reddit AMA from January 15. Although it is primarily discussed […]

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