February 11, 2011

SpaceX Shows Off its Blackened 'Dragon' Craft (Source: Space Daily)
Bearing brown and black scorch marks from its fiery tour in orbit in December, the Dragon spacecraft built by SpaceX went on display in the US capital on Thursday.
The capsule, carrying no passengers, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida and in a seamless practice run was able to enter orbit and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere without a glitch, a first for commercial space travel.

Editor's Note: Click here to see my photos of the charred Dragon Capsule that was on display in Washington, alongside some of Elon Musk's Tesla electric sports cars. SpaceX allowed me to take a few photos, as long as I didn't show any of the components that are protected by ITAR restrictions. (2/11)

Asteroid's Near Hit Changes its Orbit (Source: Space Daily)
Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) Feb 10, 2011 - An asteroid passing Earth at just 3,400 miles was the closest near miss on record, and Earth's gravity sent it into an entirely new orbit, U.S. researchers say. The approach of the small asteroid 2011 CQ1 last week was so close the object's path through space was bent by 60 degrees, the biggest orbital change ever recorded by astronomers. (2/11)

Lockheed Martin Ships Out First Orion Spacecraft (Source: Space Daily)
The Lockheed Martin Orion team shipped out the first Orion crew module spacecraft structure from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, La. The spacecraft is headed to Lockheed Martin's Denver, Colo., facilities where it will undergo a series of rigorous tests to confirm Orion's ability to safely fly astronauts through all the harsh environments of deep space exploration missions. (2/11)

Taurus XL Ready To Launch Glory Spacecraft from California (Source: Space Daily)
The Glory spacecraft and its Taurus XL launch vehicle are coming together at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as NASA gets ready to launch its first Launch Services Program mission of 2011. Researchers are looking for more puzzle pieces to fill out the picture of Earth's climate and Glory was designed to give them the pieces relating to the role tiny particles known as aerosols play. (2/11)

Boeing To Study Commercial Space Capabilities For Military Use (Source: Space Daily)
Boeing has received a $900,000 study contract from the Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) Systems Directorate of the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Under the agreement, Boeing will explore ways to modify existing commercial satellite capabilities to meet MILSATCOM needs. (2/11)

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