The ESA briefed the press on the comming launch of the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) dubbed the 'Jules Verne' on Tuesday. The ATV is scheduled for launch to the ISS on February 22, 2008.
prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
China is asking for a treaty (presumably between China, USA, and Russia) to keep everyone else from building space based weapons while they catch up technologically in space. Yeah, that's not a good idea.
Yuri's Night, the annual celebration of the first human in space, is set for April 12, 2008. The Executive committee for Yuri's night is asking you to get involved.
Contact Party Host
To find a party in your area go to: Find Party
If you believe manned spaceflight is worth celebrating, then join us
in a party that will span the globe. Yuri's Night 2008 is only 71
days away! Mark your calendars NOW for Saturday, April 12.
If you've never heard of Yuri's Night: It's literally a worldwide
party on the anniversary of the first human spaceflight in 1961
(and the first shuttle flight in 1981). First started in 2001, the
event has had record-breaking growth nearly every year.
Want more information? Visit the main website at http://yurisnight.net/
If you've been part of a Yuri's Night party before, you know what a
positive experience it can be and how much it helps public outreach
in the space arena. Last year, more than 126 cities celebrated on six
continents; this year, we hope to have even more -- we hope even in
If you're interested, go to the website and find a party near you....
or even start your own! It doesn't have to be big.
Tell your friends. Tell your local media. If you're a blogger --
blog about it before, during, and after! Spread the word.
If you really want to help out, support the Yuri's Night executive
committee with a donation (tax deductible through Space Generation).
See you on April 12... On to space!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Posted by Dan Schrimpsher at 8:18 PM
If anyone is interested -djs
I thought you might be interested in this pretty cool story that might in turn interest your site readers.
BLAST is a film that follows a team of cosmologists as they journey from the Arctic to the Antarctic to launch a unique telescope on a massive NASA high-altitude balloon.
In a great example of how technology is transforming the independent film world, BLAST is opening itself up, via ArtistShare (the first film to do so on ArtistShare), to interested participants on several levels. If you want to be Executive Producer, $150k gets you there. Want to participate on other levels, from $50k down to $19.95? No problem: There are a total of nine levels of participation.
Here's the BLAST site:
Here's the ArtistShare page:
And here's an interview with filmmaker Paul Devlin:
I hope you find this worth sharing with your audience. If you have any suggestions on where else I might be able to spread the word about BLAST, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Thanks for reading.
Posted by Dan Schrimpsher at 8:17 PM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
How you can influence the presidental race for space:
This week, the presidential candidates will be at the podium again
discussing the significant topics of our nation, and YOU have a chance
to ask about what's important. As a supporter of space, this is your
opportunity to get questions about Space Exploration at the forefront
of the debate. Please check out the following link:
http://capwiz.com/spaceadvocate/utr/1/OSTZIARNGS/ATHLIARRAS/1699546401, and vote for your favorite question, or submit one
of your own. Questions about candidates' views on Space Exploration
have been in the top 10 for over a week. Let's keep these on the
radar. Be sure to check out the "most popular" area in both the
Democratic and Republican section to see the specific question and
submit your vote.
SpaceAdvocate.com is current undergoing maintenance at this time.
However, you CAN make a difference by making your voice heard this
week. Cast your vote or submit a question….TODAY!
SpaceAdvocate.com and the Coalition for Space Exploration
Posted by Dan Schrimpsher at 10:27 PM
Xerus Suborbital Rocket, XCOR Aerospace
Get your telescopes ready. Asteriod TU24 will pass within 334,000 miles of the Earth (about three times the distance to the Moon) 2008 Jan. 29 08:33 UT (2:33 AM CST). Not sure what magnitude it is, but according to NASA it will be visible with a 3" scope (which should make it better than 11.4).
Where it will appear:
Star Map from NASA
Nik Halik, the Australian financial strategist, has been named Richard Garriott's backup for the next "space tourist flight" in October. He has reportedly paid $3 million to train alongside Garriott and will take his place if Garriott can not make the flight.
SpaceX performed a test-firing of its multi-engine Falcon 9 on January 18 at their test site in McGregor, TX. The test generated 180,000 lbs of thrust. According to Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX:
"No significant problems were encountered transitioning from single-engine testing in November, which suggests that we will be able to ramp up rapidly to a full complement of nine Merlin engines. Our propulsion and test team has done a remarkable job."
The first Falcon 9 is scheduled for delivery to the SpaceX launch site at Cape Canaveral (Complex 40) by the end of 2008. The first launch of the Falcon 9 is planned for late 2008.
SpaceX is one of the finalist in NASA's COTS program for ISS resupply after the shuttle is retired in 2010.
Monday, January 28, 2008
After his offhand remark about "yeah lets go to Mars" a few weeks ago, John McCain has become the first Republican candidate to officially support President Bush's vision for space exploration. It might be enough to get me to vote for him. I stress might.
According to Whil Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic, ticket sales for a suborbital flight are accelerating following the unveiling of the ship's design last week. The new design can be seen here under images. There is also a nice video as well.
Here is the story of the new designs unveiling.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
NASA has narrowed the field of companies competing for the remaining $175 million in costs money to four:
- Spacehab (who has confirmed they were contacted by NASA January 14.
- Orbital Sciences
- Andrews Space
- PlanetSpace of Chicago
I am a little surprised to not see SpaceDev or T/Space on here, but let the competition continue. Note that NASA has not confirmed the down-select.
After investigating last July's explosion that killed three people at Scaled Composites, the California safety inspectors have cited the company for not providing "effective information and training of the health and physical hazards associated with nitrous oxide." The company has 15 days to pay the fine or appeal it.
MADISON, Ala., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today Americans in
Orbit-50 Years has announced plans to re-create the NASA mission in which
John Glenn became the first American to Orbit the Earth. Inspired by the
1962 Friendship 7 mission, the plan is to re-create the flight on the 50th
anniversary, February 20, 2012. Craig Russell, President of Americans in
Orbit-50 Years, stated, "This is the first attempt to re-create a manned
orbital spaceflight. We plan to launch an astronaut from Cape Canaveral
aboard an improved Mercury capsule." The flight is scheduled to "splash
down" in the Atlantic, just as Glenn's 1962 mission.
Americans in Orbit-50 Years has been able to recruit an Advisory Board
made up of a distinguished group of space program veterans: T.J. O'Malley,
Charles Arthur (Chuck) Biggs, Sr., Larry R. Capps, William Coleman, Lt.
Col. USAF (Ret.), Hugh W. Harris, Konrad K. Dannenberg. We will continue to
add members over time.
The purpose of the project is twofold; commemoration and education. Our
hope is to honor all of those who were associated with Project Mercury.
Many of these people went on to work on both the Gemini and Apollo programs
which resulted in the moon landing. The Dittmar Associates Study,
commissioned by NASA, noted the steady decline of interest in space
exploration over the last few years, particularly among the younger
generations. Americans in Orbit-50 Years will re-ignite interest by
allowing students to actively participate with space science experiments
and small satellites in the adaptor section. Russell has contacted
professors at several major universities, and they have all expressed
interest and a desire to be involved in the project.
The organization proposes to use a Falcon 9 rocket for the launch. The
Falcon 9 is being developed and tested by SpaceX, a California based space
exploration company. The two stage rocket will be able to lift
approximately 22,000 lbs. into orbit.
About Americans in Orbit-50 Years, Inc. - Americans in Orbit-50 Years
is headquartered in Madison, Alabama, just outside Huntsville, Alabama
(home of Marshall Space Flight Center, U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and
Space Camp). The mission is to develop and manage a program to commemorate
the 50 year anniversary of NASA's Friendship 7 mission, create excitement,
public awareness of space exploration, and promote the National Space
Science Education Program (NSSEP). For more information, visit their
website at http://www.aio50.org.
The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a contract with Astrium today to build the mission to Mercury. The mission is lead by BepiColomboESA with support by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). BepiColombo is set to launch in August of 2013 and will be the most comprehensive study of Mercury in history.
Friday, January 18, 2008
TW Hydrae b is offically the 271st known extrasoloar planet. The planet is 1.2 Jupiter masses and orbits its sun at 0.041 AU (1.0 AU is the distance from the Earth to the sun) with a 3.56 day year. TW Hydrae is a K type sun 0.7 times the size of our sun.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
SEATTLE, Jan. 15, 2008 -- Andrews Space, Inc., an affordable integrator of aerospace systems and a developer of advanced space technologies, today announced it received AS9100B certification by Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc. for comprehensive aerospace systems engineering, design and analysis, development, rapid prototyping, integration, and program management.
AS9100 certification is an internationally recognized aerospace sector standard and is reserved only for companies committed to providing excellent customer service, continual improvement, and outstanding product quality. The standard embodies the complete text of ISO 9001:2000.
"This certification is an important milestone for our company's continued success, and demonstrates Andrews' commitment to serving our aerospace customers," said Jason Andrews, President of Andrews Space. "It places Andrews on par with the best quality practices in the aerospace industry."
Andrews has experienced significant growth and profitability since its founding in 1999. Andrews now has offices in Alabama, California, Colorado, Texas, and Utah.
In 2007, Andrews acquired Automated Controlled Environments Incorporated (ACEi), a California-based company that develops fault-tolerant aerospace avionics and advanced control systems. This acquisition makes Andrews a leader in advanced aerospace avionics, robotics, and systems engineering and integration.
Marian Joh, Andrews CEO, said, "We offer outstanding hardware testing and production resources to the industry. Our Andrews Rapid Prototyping Laboratory (ARPL) near Seattle's Boeing field houses Andrews' software and avionics integration, cryogenic test facilities, fabrication machine shop, and hardware integration and test facilities. Our acquisition makes Andrews a leader in advanced aerospace avionics, robotics, and systems engineering and integration."
About Andrews Space, Inc.
Andrews Space, Inc. (Andrews) is a privately held business founded in 1999 to be a catalyst in the commercialization and development of space. Andrews' customers include NASA and the Department of Defense, as well as aerospace prime contractors. Andrews is currently engaged in several launch vehicle and spacecraft development efforts in both the prime and subcontractor role. To learn more, please visit www.andrews-space.com.
Monday, January 14, 2008
(SpaceDev) - Raises $2.8 Million in Private Financing
POWAY, CA - SpaceDev, Inc. (OTCBB: SPDV) announced that it has entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement and Stockholder Agreement with Loeb Partners Corporation, a New York based investment firm. Pursuant to the Stock Purchase Agreement, SpaceDev issued and sold 3,750,000 shares of SpaceDev common stock in a private transaction to Loeb for $2,812,500, or $0.75 per share, an above market price at the time of the transaction.
“We are very pleased to have completed this financing with Loeb Partners and to have them express confidence in our business plan and future opportunities,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, Chairman and CEO of SpaceDev. “As we look to 2008 and beyond, having investment partners, such as Loeb, opens expansion possibilities for SpaceDev. We appreciate the vote of confidence that Loeb has placed in SpaceDev and its management team and we look forward to their continued support as we grow our Company.”
About Loeb Partners Corporation
Loeb Partners Corporation and its affiliates are members of a family of privately owned companies engaging in a variety of different businesses, including a registered broker/dealer, investment advisors and private investment vehicles available to institutions and high net worth participants. Loeb’s management strategies include engaging in arbitrage, event driven and deep value investing, distressed security transactions, special situations, and private equity.
SpaceDev, Inc. is a space technology/aerospace company that creates and sells affordable and innovative space products and mission solutions. For more information please visit www.spacedev.com.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Andrews Space Named As One of Washington State’s Largest and Fastest-Growing Minority-Owned Businesses
SEATTLE, Wash., January 7, 2007 – Andrews Space, Inc. has been named as one of Washington State’s largest and fastest-growing minority-owned businesses for 2007 by the Minority Business Awards list, sponsored by the University of Washington Business School and published by the Puget Sound Business Journal.
The award recognizes minority-owned businesses with sales between $10 million and $30 million who demonstrated significant achievement in revenue size, management quality, and community service. The program was established in 1999 to recognize outstanding business achievement of minority-owned businesses in Washington State.
“Andrews is honored to be named in this list, and we owe our success to our hard-working employees,” said Marian Joh, Andrews CEO. “This has been a very good year for us in terms of business growth.” Andrews has experienced significant growth and profitability since its founding in 1999. Andrews now has offices in Alabama, California, Colorado, Texas, and Utah. The new Andrews Rapid Prototyping Laboratory (ARPL) near Seattle’s Boeing field houses Andrews’ software and avionics integration, cryogenic test facilities, fabrication machine shop, and hardware integration and test facilities.
Andrews recently acquired Automated Controlled Environments Incorporated (ACEi), a California-based company that develops fault-tolerant aerospace avionics and advanced control systems. This acquisition makes Andrews a leader in advanced aerospace avionics, robotics, and systems engineering and integration.
In August, Andrews was included in the 2007 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing entrepreneurial companies in the U.S. Andrews was also awarded the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Pacific Northwest Manufacturing category.
“Part of our community involvement last year included sponsoring the Tacoma and Tahoma high school robotics teams for the FIRST competition, and also the LaserMotive team for the 2007 NASA space elevator and power beaming competition,” said Joh. “These are two examples of how we work to invest in the community and foster an environment of scientific and technical growth.”
About the Company
Andrews Space, Inc. (Andrews) is a privately-held business founded in 1999 to be a catalyst in the commercialization and development of space. The company is an affordable integrator of aerospace systems and developer of advanced space technologies. Andrews' customers include NASA and the Department of Defense, as well as aerospace prime contractors. Andrews is currently engaged in several launch vehicle and spacecraft development efforts in both the prime and subcontractor role. To learn more, please visit www.andrews-space.com.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Shubber Ali, of Space Cynic fame, is apparently against all human spaceflight. I didn't realize that. He wants to start a anti-blitz blitz against the NSS and Space Exploration Alliance 2008 Legislative Blitz to tell congress to stop all human spaceflight (particularly to the Moon and Mars). He won't bet any help from yours truly.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
The Lunar Exploration Scrapbook
A Pictorial History of Lunar Vehicles
By Robert Godwin
Apogee Books, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
The first thing I noticed about Robert Godwin’s The Lunar Exploration Scrapbook was its beauty. This is a beautiful book, if a book can be beautiful. It is full of glossy, color photos of both conceptual and actual lunar vehicles. It would make a great coffee table book for the space enthusiast (or just the space interested).
The name was well chosen, if not witty, as this book really reads like a scrapbook. It takes you back through the history of designing lunar rockets, habs, spacesuits, and rovers much like a photo album might take you back through your families past. Each piece of lunar engineering history has a brief overview along with drawings and photos. More like a web site than a book, there is no real flow from page to page, other than chronological. This is not a book most people will read cover to cover.
As I spent more time with this book, what began to sink in was the amount of effort that went into the race to the moon. Unlike a traditional biography or history book, this “scrapbook” subtlety conveys the engineering challenge that was the exploration of the moon. With each vehicle design, both failed and successful, I realized that the Apollo mission was not a forgone conclusion. There were many trade-offs, debates, good designs that fell by the wayside, and simply bad ideas involved in allowing twelve men to go to the moon, explore it, and return safely home again.
So I would recommend this book for the space lover, history buff, and engineering nerd (I am all three so I can say it). It looks lovely on you coffee table, especially opened to page 94.
Monday, January 07, 2008
SpaceDev has completed their second milestone in accordance with the Space Act Agreement with NASA. The milestone requires SpaceDev to complete a flight test plan of their Dream Chaser spaceship.
Here is a breakdown on NASA's 2008 budget:
- Total Budget $17.3 Billion (as requested)
- Exploration $3.84 Billion (~$81 Million cut)
- $76 of the $81 Million cut came from COTS leaving it $160 Million
A new COTS participant should be selected next month, but it is unclear how much money will be available to them in 2008.
NASA has issued an RFP on systems engineering and analysis services on the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) concept to provide
end-to-end, interoperable communications and navigation (C&N)
infrastructure that provides the Constellation Program elements the connectivity
required to execute the Vision for Space Exploration
SpaceFellowship has a roundup of all the contenders for the $175 million left after Rp/K failure to meet milestones set by NASA. We probably won't know anything until the Rp/K legal wrangle with NASA ends, though.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Damon Syson writes about his experience aboard the suborbital simulator of SpaceShip2 with Sir Richard Branson and his son, Sam. It sounds like something I would like in my den :)
The most surprising thing are the visuals.
With three screens in front of you and various cool-looking dials, you really do feel like you're in a spaceship.
The rear-view screen is especially impressive – I watch the coast of southern California vanishing behind me before everything suddenly goes quiet and black and I'm in space.
As part of their general web site overhaul, Bigelow Aerospace has added a "Ask a Rocket Scientist" feature where you can ask questions about various aspects of spaceflight at Bigelow.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Wired has a writeup on the new Mars Science Laboratory that is three times the size of Spirit or Opportunity.
[update 1/5/2008] To answer Darnell's questions, here is a list of the proposed landing sites.
"The current engineering constraints call for a landing site less than 45° from the Martian equator and less than 1km above the reference datum."
NASA has awarded Zero-G, the private company providing weightless flights on a jet, $4.7 million contract to give Astronauts training aboard their flights. Good for you NASA.
Florida Today says it is a $25 million contract. I will look into it.
[update] Okay according to Zero G's web site they are both right. The base 1 year contract is $4.7 million with four one year extensions at $5 million each for a total of $25.4 million.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
January 2, 2008: SpaceDev, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) of Hawaii to conduct requirements definition and preliminary design of the ILO spacecraft's astrophysics and communications payload. ILO will perform various astronomical observations from the South Pole of the Moon, and will also engage in commercial communications activities.
"We see this as a critical phase of work for ILO, as it will solidify the mission's goals and priorities," said Mark N. Sirangelo, SpaceDev's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We will determine how to deliver the most valuable and desirable astrophysics data from the surface of the Moon to scientists around the world, while pursuing a design to allow the rapid, low-cost mission development that will be a hallmark of ILO."
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Astronomers have discovered a mere baby among planets circling TW Hydrae b. The planet is believed to be only 8 to 10 million years old. In comparison the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. The planet was found inside a protoplanetary disk, where planets are believed to form. The planet is a "hot Jupiter" since it is 10 Jupiter masses and orbiting only .04 AU from it's star. TW Hydrae b is 180 light-years from Earth.
Because of a conflict between the environmental impact statement of New Mexico's Spaceport America and New Mexico State University's Physical Science Laboratory, the plan had to be scrapped and the groundbreaking ceremony pushed back until later this year. According to New Mexico officials, the opening date of the spaceport will not change.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
If you were busy partying and didn't see it, they new Space Review came out yesterday.
Where the candidates stand on space
How to tell your ORS from a hole in the ground
Is XSS-11 the answer to America’s quest for Operationally Responsive Space?
Deepening democracy and space policy 2.0
The Peoples Daily and China Radio International have selected the top 10 global news events for 2007. China's lunar probe, Chang'e-1, made #5. I imagine the Communist Party of China actually picked them, as the #1 on the list was:
#1 [Communist Party of China's] 17th National Congress draws more global attention to China
Yeah that was an international news event worthy of record.