February 1, 2015

Russia to Start Liftoffs in 2015 with Proton-M Carrying British Satellite (Source: Itar-Tass)
Launch vehicle Proton-M with upper stage rocket Briz-M and British telecommunications satellite Inmarsat-5F2 will be launched from space centre Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Sunday. Russia will open its space launch program in 2015 by this liftoff. "The launch is due at 15.31pm Moscow time on Sunday," the press service said, noting that this would be the 402nd launch of space rocket Proton. (2/1)

ULA Staying in Harlingen Texas (Source: Valley Morning Star)
United Launch Alliance isn’t going anywhere. “There has been discussion in some circles that Harlingen might lose the nearly 200 jobs out at the plant here in Harlingen. But I can confirm for you here and now that ULA is here to stay,” Mayor Chris Boswell said Friday.

He made the announcement in his annual State of the City address, which highlighted accomplishments of the past year and opportunities these will advance. “We are at this moment working on a new five-year lease for ULA to continue its operations out at Valley International Airport,” the mayor said. (1/31)

Japan Launches New Back-Up Spy Satellite (Source: Straits Times)
Japan on Sunday successfully launched a back-up spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather. Tokyo put spy satellites into operation in the early 2000s after its erratic neighbor North Korea fired a mid-range ballistic missile over the Japanese mainland and into the western Pacific in 1998.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries delayed Thursday's planned launch of the H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, due to the possibility of lightning during lift-off. The launch at 10.21am on Sunday was successful, JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy said, adding: "We confirmed the rocket launched normally." (2/1)

Space, Key to Human Survival (Source: Gulf Times)
With overpopulation and shrinking of resources, mankind is faced with a taut challenge to its survival on the planet in the times to come. While many in the world are already exploring ways to counter these challenges or to find alternative options, this young Qatari scholar has offered, what he calls, an “Optimum Vision Solution (OVS)”.

Hamad Alrewaily argues that only exploration and colonisation of space offers a foolproof solution to both the current overpopulation and peak oil problems the earth faces today. An Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, and a researcher and writer by passion, Alrewaily believes that the movement into space provides a great potential for replacement of energy sources for earth. (1/31)

Europe’s Re-Entry Demonstrator Mated to Vega Rocket (Source: SpaceFlight Now)
Launch crews in French Guiana have mounted an innovative European space plane on top of a solid-fueled Vega launcher for a Feb. 11 suborbital test flight. ESA’s Intermediate Experimental Vehicle was shrouded inside the Vega rocket’s 8.5-foot (2.6-meter) diameter payload fairing when it rolled out of a processing facility at the Guiana Space Center on a convoy to the Vega launch pad. (2/1)

Since You Can't Buy SpaceX Stock (Source: Motley Fool)
A lot has changed at SpaceX in the last 18 months. The company has made resupply missions to the International Space Station seem routine, performed the first attempt to recover a rocket for reuse, and announced a $1 billion investment from Google that will help it develop more robust Internet connections for Earth and, eventually, human colonies elsewhere in the solar system.

However, nothing has changed with plans for SpaceX stock, which will remain in private hands. Sorry, space enthusiasts. Although we'll have to wait a bit longer for a SpaceX IPO, there are a dozen or so companies involved in Space Race 2.0. They may not get the hype of Musk's baby -- or have the technological prowess, whether real or perceived -- but the potential market for space supply and transport is large enough to support many successful players. Here are a few you can actually invest in. (1/31)

SpaceX Nears Pad Abort Test for Human-Rated Dragon (Source: SpaceFlight Now)
SpaceX is finishing up preparations for a major test of a rocket-powered abort system for the company’s new Dragon crew ferry spacecraft, targeting launch from Cape Canaveral in March after a pair of Falcon 9 missions in February.

The redesigned version of SpaceX’s cargo-carrying Dragon capsule should be ready for an uncrewed space mission by late 2016, said Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s president and chief operating officer. A piloted test flight will follow in early 2017, she said. (1/30)

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