December 22, 2014

Von Braun House For Sale in Huntsville (Source: WHNT)
The house on Big Cove Road may seem ordinary, but it has seen its fair share of stars. It was built for engineer and champion of space exploration Wernher Von Braun in 1958. The US Space and Rocket Center purchased it when Von Braun and his family moved to Washington, D.C. in 1970, and a few years later it was sold again to another family. Now, it’s back on the market. Click here. (12/21)

University of Zurich Signs Three-Year Lease at Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL)
The University of Zurich, Switzerland recently signed a three-year lease to process future research destined for the International Space Station (ISS) at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL), on the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Space Florida has invested significant resources in the SLSL over the past four years to transition it to a world-class, multi-tenant commercial research and development facility.

The lease is effective on January 1, 2015, and was enabled through a joint effort between Space Florida, the University of Zurich and CSS-Dynamac Science Concierge Services, providing pre-flight, post-landing and ground control support laboratory space and services.

In June 2014, the University of Zurich announced the successful launch and return of the first international, commercial experiment processed at SLSL, called “CELLBOX.” The CELLBOX Experiment was processed and launched through a partnership between the German Space Agency (DLR), Astrium and NanoRacks. CELLBOX investigated microgravity-associated long-term alterations in primary human macrophages responsible for attacking, and killing bacteria and other foreign intruders in the human body. (12/18)

Challenges for Orion and SLS, An Interview with GAO (Source: SpaceFlight Insider)
GAO Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management Christina Chaplain testified on the progress of both SLS and Orion, which are being developed for deep space human missions that will take astronauts to an asteroidand Mars. In this interview Chaplain discussed challenges that NASA’s human space exploration programs have to face, and overcome, in order to successfully send U.S. astronauts beyond Earth. (12/22)

India Should Spend More on Space Research (Source: Times of India)
Space colonization holds the hope of human survival in the face of extinction threats from global warming, nuclear weapons and natural calamities on Earth, novelist S L Bhyrappa said while calling for extensive space science research. Bhyrappa said the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has proven India's growing expertise in space technology.

Notwithstanding criticism over the costs involved, India should take a huge leap forward in carrying out inter-planetary and inter-stellar missions, he said. India also has to realize that advancements in science and technology are the only effective answer to its growing needs of food, roads and communication, the author noted. (12/22)

35 Years of Ariane: How Ariane Was Born (Source: ESA)
As a new and crucial chapter is being written in the extraordinary Ariane saga, the space community is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the first Ariane flight, on 24 December 1979, which made the ambition of European access to space a reality.

After the misfortune encountered by Ariane’s forerunner, Europa, and the difficulties experienced by the European Launcher Development Organization (ELDO) in defining a sustainable scenario for the design and production of a European launcher, this triumph was just reward for the combined efforts of the institutional and industrial actors – local, national and intergovernmental alike. Click here. (12/22)

Is Gravity the Force Moving Time Forward? (Source: Cosmos)
It's obvious that time flows in one direction. It might seem less obvious to ask: why does our universe have an arrow of time? But physicists and philosophers have asked, and struggled with this question. So whenever a new theory comes along, the scientific community greets it with great caution. A new paper by Flavio Mercato suggests that the most familiar of nature's forces - gravity - is what sets time ticking in a certain direction. Click here. (12/22)

Russia Set for Debut Launch of Angara 5 Rocket (Source: SpaceFlight Now)
Russia’s powerful new Angara 5 rocket — made of a cluster of five kerosene-fueled main engines — is being prepared for a maiden test flight as soon as Tuesday that could usher in a new era in the Russian space program. The rocket is being readied for liftoff from the Site 35 launch pad at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a military-run space center about 500 miles north of Moscow.

The 180-foot-tall Angara 5 rocket is Russia’s most capable new launch vehicle in a generation, and its first test flight is the culmination of a 22-year development effort that cost approximately $2.9 billion. Officials say the Angara rocket program — which includes several rocket models to lift light, medium-class and heavy satellites into space — will allow the Russian government to retire the Proton and Rockot boosters and transfer launches from Kazakhstan to space centers on Russian territory. (12/22)

Could the Dwarf Planet Ceres Support Life? (Source:
A NASA probe is about to get the first up-close look at a potentially habitable alien world. In March 2015, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will arrive in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres is a relatively warm and wet body that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the Jovian moon Europa and the Saturn satellite Enceladus, both of which may be capable of supporting life as we know it, some researchers say.

The dwarf planet Ceres — which is about 590 miles (950 kilometers) wide — is thought to have a lot of water, based on its low overall density (2.09 grams per cubic centimeter; compared to 5.5 g/cubic cm for Earth). Ceres is likely a differentiated body with a rocky core and a mantle comprised of water ice, researchers say, and water-bearing minerals have been detected on its surface. (12/22)

Russia's New Spacecraft to Have Soyuz Docking System (Source: Itar-Tass)
Russia's new piloted spacecraft currently being developed by the Energia rocket-and--space corporation will feature a modernized docking system that has been used for over 50 years in the Russian space exploration. The chosen docking system is already used in the Russian International Space Station (ISS) modules, Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, while the American ISS modules, Cygnus and Dragon spacecraft, the Jpanese HTV space vehicles use a common docking mechanism incompatible with the Russian systems. (12/22)

No comments: