August 11, 2015

Embry-Riddle Announces Return to Brazil After 72 Years (Source: ERAU)
Nearly 72 years after Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University first helped establish an aviation school for the Brazilian Air Force, the university announced its return to the now ever-growing Brazilian industry. Embry-Riddle plans to return to Brazil with education and training offerings through potential partnerships with other universities, companies and government agencies. Plans are now in motion to open a new office in São Paulo in November to begin fostering business relationships in Brazil and throughout Latin America. (8/11)

India Invests in Next-Gen Rocket (Source: Space Digest)
An amount of near $7.3 million has been allocated for the development of GSLV Mk III launch vehicle and its launch in 2016 - Business Standard. Also it was reported that India fully commissioned and started operations at its Titanium Sponge Plant, which will produce Titanium alloys for liquid propellant tanks of rockets and satellites, gas bottle/liners, inter tank structures and interface rings for satellites. (8/10)

When it Comes to War in Space, U.S. Has the Edge (Source: Reuters)
Quietly and without most people noticing, the world’s leading space powers — the United States, China and Russia — have been deploying new and more sophisticated weaponry in space. Earth’s orbit is looking more and more like the planet’s surface — heavily armed and primed for war. A growing number of “inspection” satellites lurk in orbit, possibly awaiting commands to sneak up on and disable or destroy other satellites. Down on the surface, more and more warships and ground installations pack powerful rockets that, with accurate guidance, could reach into orbit to destroy enemy spacecraft.

A war in orbit could wreck the delicate satellite constellations that the world relies on for navigation, communication, scientific research and military surveillance. Widespread orbital destruction could send humanity through a technological time warp. “You go back to World War Two,” Air Force General John Hyten, in charge of U.S. Space Command, told 60 Minutes. “You go back to the Industrial Age.”

It’s hard to say exactly how many weapons are in orbit. That’s because many spacecraft are “dual use.” They have peaceful functions and potential military applications. With the proverbial flip of a switch, an inspection satellite, ostensibly configured for orbital repair work, could become a robotic assassin capable of taking out other satellites with lasers, explosives or mechanical claws. Until the moment it attacks, however, the assassin spacecraft might appear to be harmless. And its dual use gives its operators political cover. The U.S. possesses more space weaponry than any other country, yet denies that any of its satellites warrant the term. (8/10)

Terminal Velocity Tests Sample Return Capsule Concept (Source: NASA)
A prototype capsule that one day will return science experiments to Earth was tested by releasing it from a high-altitude balloon. Technology like this capsule, developed by Terminal Velocity Aerospace, could one day return biological samples and other small payloads from space in a relatively short time. NASA's Flight Opportunities Program funded the flight test. (8/11)

First Steps Toward On-Orbit Satellite Manufacturing, Assembly, Deployment (Source: PRWeb)
As envisioned, customers will easily and quickly design their satellite or request a satellite be designed based on their requirements. Once designed, the optimized structure is created on orbit and the necessary components are integrated. The satellite will then be deployed into low Earth orbit. The entire assembly and deployment process will occur in a fraction of the time necessary to build, manifest, launch and deploy satellites from the ground.

For the first time, incredibly valuable responsiveness will be available to satellite operators. “Stash and deploy opens a new chapter in space utilization,” believes Jeffrey Manber, CEO of NanoRacks. “Looking out a few years this option may be more desirable than launch and deploy.” The Stash & Deploy service makes on-orbit assembly and deployment of small satellites a powerful option for operators looking to push the envelope of modern space development and deploy hardware faster than traditional CubeSat deployment. (8/11)

Privatization of Space Travel Could Mean Good News for Canadian Companies (Source: Ottawa Star)
The increasing privatization of space travel could spell good news for Canadian companies, and a newly released document shows the federal government is keeping an eye on it. An April briefing note to outgoing Industry Minister James Moore notes that NASA’s increasing reliance on private companies to provide launch spacecraft could open opportunities for Canadian companies to participate in the space agency’s launches.

“NASA’s increasing reliance on the private sector for its crew and cargo launch systems could represent opportunities for Canadian companies who are heavily integrated in U.S. space supply chains,” says the document. This “major shift” is making the space marketplace more competitive and accessible, the document notes, which spells good news for Canadian companies.

For example, Richmond, B.C.-based MDA is part of a consortium of space companies providing parts for the “Dream Chaser,” a new space plane being developed by U.S. company Sierra Nevada Space Systems, which would carry up to seven people to and from low earth orbit. “Other Canadian companies like ComDev may also be potential component or sub-system providers,” the note says. (8/3)

ATLAS Telescope Goes Operational in Hawaii (Source:
A telescope designed to provide warnings of asteroid impacts is now in operation. The first Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescope, on the Hawaiian island of Maui, will scan the sky automatically every night, providing days to weeks of warnings regarding approaching asteroids. A second ATLAS telescope is planned for the Big Island in Hawaii, and discussions are underway to establish a third in South Africa. (8/11)

European Juice Mission To Look for Clues From Jupiter’s Icy Moons (Source: Aviation Week)
Europe’s multinational mission to the Jupiter system is starting to take shape, with the European Space Agency (ESA) expected to begin work on the Juice (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) spacecraft this summer, in partnership with prime contractor Airbus Defense and Space. Slated to launch in 2022, Juice will conduct the first thorough exploration of Jupiter’s moons since NASA’s Galileo, launched in 1989. (8/5)

Made In Space Tests 3-D Printer in Vacuum (Source: Made in Space)
The company that built the first 3-D printer flown in the ISS has shown that a similar device could operate outside the station. Made In Space said it has successfully completed tests of a 3-D printer in vacuum, which would allow it to work outside the station. Made In Space has one printer on the station that carried out a series of tests there last year; a second 3-D printer is scheduled for launch by the end of this year. (8/10)

Advisory Group Urges NASA to Respond to NRC Exploration Report (Source: Space News)
More than a year after the National Research Council (NRC) completed a report outlining different approaches to human space exploration, NASA's advisers are asking the space agency to provide a formal response. The NASA Advisory Council approved that recommendation calling for NASA to provide a response to the “Pathways to Exploration” report that came after a long discussion regarding NASA's ongoing exploration activities as well as one alternative Mars exploration concept. (8/11)

Orbcomm Satellite Fails in Orbit, Won't Impact Plans (Source: Space News)
Orbcomm says an on-orbit failure of one of its new satellites will not affect its operations. The company disclosed that one of its six satellites launched last year failed in orbit, a problem the company believes is limited to that spacecraft and not a design flaw. The company took a $12.7 million charge against its second quarter earnings because of the failure. Orbcomm expects to launch the remaining 11 next-generation satellites on a Falcon 9 as soon as November. Orbcomm also announced total quarterly revenues of $44.9 million, an 85% increase over the prior year, for the 2nd quarter ended June 30, 2015. (8/11)

EchoStar Reports Revenues (Source: Space News)
EchoStar reported total revenue of $794 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, compared to $880 million for the corresponding period of 2014. Also it was reported that EchoStar's broadband subscriber base surpassed 1 million and that the pressure to launch more capacity to capture unmet demand was the chief reason it moved to launch EchoStar 19/Jupiter-2 Ka-band satellite aboard ULA's Atlas V rocket. (8/11)

ViaSat Reports Revenues (Source: Space News)
ViaSat announced financial results for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2015. Revenues grew to $344.4 million, up 8% from the prior year period. It was also reported a reduction in subscribers to its US consumer broadband service, saying satellite beams trained on regions of highest demand are fully booked. (8/10)

The Pathways for a Journey to Mars (Source: Space Review)
More than a year after a National Research Council report laid out pathways for human missons to Mars, NASA is taking a higher-level approach for the journey of humans to Mars. Jeff Foust reports that NASA officials believe they are on the same page, more or less, as the committee's report. Visit to view the article. (8/10)

EAA AirVenture 2015 or Bust (Source: Space Review)
The EAA AirVenture event is now only one of the biggest air shows around, it's also one with a significant space presence. Eric Hedman provides an overview of his week at last month's AirVenture. Visit to view the article. (8/10)

Reduced Gravity: the 400-Kilogram Gorilla in the Room (Source: Space Review)
Sending humans to Mars requires dealing with a number of biomedical issues. Gerald W. Driggers discusses how NASA and other have neglected one key issue: how the human body handled reduced levels of gravity. Visit to view the article. (8/10)

Space Florida Seeks Proposals for Florida/Israel Aerospace Projects (Source: Space Florida)
The purpose of the Florida-Israel program is to promote joint R&D collaboration amongst companies in Florida and Israel. Successful applicant companies will receive direct funding in their home country. Space Florida will fund winning companies in Florida. Israeli companies will be funded by the Israeli Industry Center for R&D. Click here. (8/10)

Bigelow and NASA Execute NextSTEP Contract to Study B330 Utilization (Source: Bigelow)
NASA has executed a contract with Bigelow Aerospace for the company to develop ambitious human spaceflight missions that leverage its innovative B330 space habitat. The contract was executed under the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (“NextSTEP”) Broad Agency Announcement issued by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems program.

Via its NextSTEP contract, Bigelow Aerospace will demonstrate to NASA how B330 habitats can be used to support safe, affordable, and robust human spaceflight missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. As the name indicates, the B330 will provide 330 cubic meters of internal volume and each habitat can support a crew of up to six. Bigelow expandable habitats provide much greater volume than metallic structures, as well as enhanced protection against radiation and physical debris.

Moreover, Bigelow habitats are lighter and take up substantially less rocket fairing space, and are far more affordable than traditional, rigid modules. These advantages make the B330 the ideal habitat to implement NASA’s beyond low Earth orbit (“LEO”) plans and will support the utilization of transportation systems such as the SLS and Orion. Additionally, the B330s, which will initially be deployed and tested in LEO, will be used as private sector space stations that will conduct a wide variety of commercial activities. (7/31)

Hyten Sees Commercial Smallsat Transformation, Calls on Industry to Lead (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Gen. John Hyten said the entrepreneurial space sector is leading the industry into its third great transformation, one that will fundamentally change the way the military acquires and uses its space assets to protect the nation. He said the Air Force will be going into smallsats “in a big way.” He added the service would continue to fly the large satellite that have become its trademark.

Rather than leading the way on small satellites, Hyten said the military is looking to private industry to provide technology and solutions. After several false dawns, the industry is in a “magical time” when it is about to blossom. Hyten said the Air Force followed a similarly cautious approach to the entrepreneurial space launch system, where Elon Musk and his upstart SpaceX company challenged traditional launch provider United Launch Alliance. Other entrepreneurs have jumped into the market.

The high cost of launch led the military to produce large, expensive satellites that are the best performing spacecraft in the world, he said. The high cost of the satellites makes it even more crucial that launches are successful. Moving to smaller satellites that can be deployed in constellations makes sense from a survivability standpoint, he added. It is much easier for the enemy to deny access to a single satellite. But, it’s much more difficult to take 400 satellites out of service. (8/10)

Embry-Riddle Student Teams Dominate NASA Astronautics Design Competition (Source: ERAU)
Two teams of students from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus placed first in their categories in the Revolutionary Advanced Aerospace Systems – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) design competition sponsored by NASA and the National Institute for Aerospace (NIA). One of the Embry-Riddle teams also placed second overall, earning the opportunity to present a paper detailing their research at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space Conference in Pasadena, Calif., in September. (8/10)

SpaceVR Wants To Make VR Movies In Space (Source: Daily Breakings)
A new company that has launched a Kickstarter campaign, plans to make VR movies in space. The company wants to send a small 12-camera rig into space that will be capable of capturing three-dimensional 360-degree video. That rig will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) during a resupply mission in December 2015. Virtual reality footage from space would be made available to subscribers each week, according to Isaac DeSouza, SpaceVR’s co-founder. Click here. (8/10)

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