May 23, 2015

New Videos Excite Viewers on Space (Source: SPACErePORT)
Check out these videos. First is Pioneering Space, a NASA video focused on exploration. Second is SpaceX's newly released video from cameras placed aboard their Dragon during its recent Pad Abort Test at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Third is a news video focused on XCOR's Lynx development at the Mojave spaceport in California. (5/22)

Disney's 'Tomorrowland' Draws Inspiration from NASA's Past and Future (Source: CollectSpace)
In the new Disney film "Tomorrowland," now in theaters, NASA provides the launch pad — literally and figuratively — for the movie's plot to unfold. The feature film, which drew its initial inspiration from the theme park land by the same name, juxtaposes the end of NASA's space shuttle program in 2011 with the space age future Walt Disney envisioned when he opened the original Tomorrowland in 1955. (5/22)

Lockheed Seeks To End Contract With Aussie Debtor NewSat (Source: Law360)
Lockheed Martin Corp. urged a Delaware bankruptcy judge Thursday to formally reject its $267 million contract to build a satellite for Chapter 15 petitioner NewSat Ltd., saying the Australian satellite company effectively killed the deal by failing to act on it by the agreed-upon deadline. (5/21)

DOD Selects Lockheed to Perform $735M in Satellite Maintenance Work (Source: Reuters)
The Pentagon has announced the selection of Lockheed Martin to perform maintenance and operations functions on Advanced Extremely High Frequency, Milstar and Defense Satellite Communications System satellites for the U.S. military. The contract is worth $735.5 million and runs through November of this year. (5/22)

Draper To Test Spacesuit Tech on NASA-funded Parabolic Flight (Source: Space News)
Draper Laboratory is getting a fresh $250,000 from NASA to test gravity-imitating spacesuit technology on a commercial parabolic research flight perhaps as soon as this fall. The grant from NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program follows a $500,000 award Draper received from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts Program in late 2012 for a two-year effort to develop technology that could be integrated into an astronaut’s clothing to better adapt to the disorienting effects of weightlessness. (5/20)

India OKs Budget for Building, Launching 15 PSLV Rockets by 2020 (Source: Space News)
The Indian government’s Union Cabinet on May 21 approved a budget of $484 million to build and launch 15 PSLV rockets between 2017 and 2020, meeting a demand for 4-5 launches per year “with the possibility of clinching commercial launch service contracts,” according to the office of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

The budget of 30.9 billion Indian rupees covers the vehicles’ production, program management and the launch campaigns. The rocket has completed 25 operational missions. In addition to carrying Indian government science, navigation and Earth observation satellites, the vehicle has won commercial business from outside India. (5/23)

Silicon Valley Firms Join Forces on Agricultural Imagery Venture (Source: Space News)
Two Silicon Valley startups are preparing to launch four digital imagery satellites in 2016 as they begin forming the Landmapper-BC (Broad Coverage) and Landmapper-HD (High Definition) constellations to gather multispectral imagery for agricultural applications.

Aquila Space, the firm responsible for building, launching and operating satellites in the Landmapper constellations, plans to send the first two spacecraft into sun-synchronous orbit Feb. 26 on a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. Aquila Space obtained the launch contract through JSC Glavkosmos, an affiliate of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, that arranges flight opportunities for secondary payloads.

Aquila Space’s partner, Astro Digital, is focusing on imagery processing, storage, distribution and access. Astro Digital is developing software to “make it dead easy to get imagery, regardless of your expertise,” said Bronwyn Agrios, product head at Astro Digital. Aquila Space and Astro Digital are located at NASA Ames Research Park in Moffett Field, California. (5/22)

NASA Trying To Avoid Human-Rating Temporary Upper Stage (Source: Aviation Week)
Managers overseeing development of NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) are awaiting the outcome of congressional appropriations action to learn if they will need to human-rate a temporary upper stage for the first flight of the Orion capsule with a crew inside. If the agency receives go-ahead funding for the planned Exploration Upper Stage (EUS), it will avoid spending about $150 million to human-rate what one NASA adviser called a “kludged” upper stage. (5/22)

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