October 18, 2015

Jeb Bush Can’t Remember That Unforgettable Space Shuttle Disaster He’ll Never Forget (Source: Wonkette)
At a campaign appearance Wednesday, Jeb Bush struggled to remember a thing he said he’d never forget, only this time it had nothing to do with how his brother kept us safe from terrorism apart from the time he didn’t. No, this time it was the unforgettable loss of one of those space shuttles that we lost, that one time, even though it had been right there the night before. It was awful, and seared into his memory, kind of. (10/16)

Russian Cosmonauts Taste 160 Meals Ahead of Space Station Expedition (Source: Space Daily)
Russian cosmonauts have tasted 160 meals for a space menu ahead of a March 2016 expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), the press service of the Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center said in a statement Wednesday.

The cosmonauts tasted 20 meals at each session, rating them on a scale of one to nine, according to the press service. Every crew carries out tastings six months prior to the mission, to determine whether cosmonauts have individual intolerances to some food products. (10/15)

Fairing Falls Near Village After China Launch (Source: SCMP)
Villagers in southeastern China awoke this weekend to find a metal chunk from a space rocket had narrowly missed their homes as it fell to earth,  slamming instead into a nearby hillside, state media reported.  The piece, measuring about 10.3 meters long and 4.5 meters across, had broken off the rocket that launched the APSTAR-9 satellite, launched from Xichang in Sichuan province shortly after midnight on Saturday. Click here for photos. (10/18)

Mojave Air and Space Port Moving Forward (Source: Deseret News)
The first meeting of the Mojave Air and Spaceport with Karina Drees as the new CEO wasted no time in moving into the future in fine fashion. The board addressed several avenues of progress and approved two new tenants sub-leasing a privately owned hangar on the airport grounds bringing in new business with a fifteen-year lease.

Richard Branson and Burt Rutan are petitioning the board for more space (1.93 acres more) to one of their three test sites located at the airport, showing that the companies long standing investments in Mojave are not going anywhere soon. Also reiterating their commitment to the airport is Northrup Grumman who sought to alter their current month-to-month lease agreement on Building 71 to a three-year lease that includes four three-year options. (10/17)

Scott Kelly Breaks American Record for Days in Space (Source: CNN)
As of Friday, astronaut Scott Kelly has spent more time in outer space than any other American. Orbiting above the Himalayas, Kelly tweeted "records are meant to be broken." It was his 383rd day living in space during four missions, according to NASA. Kelly is now more than halfway through a nearly year-long mission aboard the International Space Station. (10/18)

Energia Patented Inflatable Space Module for ISS (Source: Energia)
Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia has taken out a patent for the invention of a transformable habitable module for the Russian Segment of the International Space Station (ISS) and future space stations. The module consists of a rigid core compartment with a constant volume and a multi-layered transformable pressurized shell deployed around it. With that, the size and ergonomics of the rigid compartment fully match the working areas of conventional space station modules.

The transformable shell consists of different functional layers: for protection against meteoroids and radiation, thermal insulation, and external structural support layer. In the transportation configuration the shell is compactly stowed around the compartment, which allows launching the module inside payload fairings of the launch vehicles that are currently in use. In space it is deployed into the working configuration, the pressurized volume is increased by several times.

The size and shape of the rigid load-bearing compartment, make it possible to accommodate within the module additional radiation protection in the form of an instrumentation rack covering the constant volume useful area, which results in better crew protection during their long-duration stay onboard the spacecraft. (10/14)

China Launches APSTAR-9 Commercial Satellite (Source: Xinhua)
China on early Saturday morning put a new communication satellite "APSTAR-9" into orbit in a commercial mission by the Long March-3B carrier rocket from the southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Monitoring data collected 26 minutes after the satellite's launch at 0:16 a.m. Beijing time indicated that it had separated from the rocket and reached its designated orbit. (10/17)

USA Today Special Edition on Space (Source: NAL)
This past week USA TODAY released a special edition on NASA, and it's really a good one.  You can read it for yourself, refer others to the site, or save it for future use.  I hope you enjoy it. To open the article go to: http://tinyurl.com/oyeqeus, click on the article, then use your scroll wheel to move from page to page. ​(10/16)

ILS Launches Turksat on Proton Rocket (Source: SpaceFlight Insider)
International Launch Services launched on Oct. 16 a Turkish communications satellite using a Russian Proton-M booster. Liftoff took place at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (10/16)

Europe and Russia Mission to Assess Moon Settlement (Source: BBC)
The European and Russian space agencies are to send a lander to an unexplored area at the Moon's south pole. It will be one of a series of missions that prepares for the return of humans to the surface and a possible permanent settlement.

The spacecraft will assess whether there is water, and raw materials to make fuel and oxygen.
BBC News has obtained exclusive details of the mission, called Luna 27, which is set for launch in five years' time. The mission is one of a series led by the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, to go back to the Moon. Click here. (10/16)

Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne Rocket Gets a Makeover (Source: Inverse)
Last month, billionaire Richard Branson announced that Virgin Galactic had upgraded its LauncherOne rocket to allow it to haul bigger payloads into space. It was a move that signaled the company’s ambitions in the orbital cargo shipping and satellite delivery space — and one that put it in direct competition with SpaceX. Now, Virgin Galactic has put the finishing touches on LauncherOne’s redesign.

It’s a great time for Virgin Galactic to get involved with commercial satellite delivery. This is not simply because you have major tech players like Facebook looking to send a multitude of satellites into space for various endeavors. Citizen satellites are becoming an attractive hobby among science and tech nerds wishing to send something out beyond the stratosphere. (10/16)

Rocket Girls Leading the Space Generation (Source: Huffington Post)
When you think of space and astronauts, usually you would imagine NASA, Captain Kirk, and men from the Apollo or Shuttle-era programs. Gone are the days of the Cold War and the space program has evolved into an international cooperative arena, but with a bit of friendly "co-opetition." While the Kennedy days have passed and a good portion of that generation has retired, the space sector is far from gone.

Instead, organizations have been fervently trying to fill the knowledge gap with mentorship programs and fresh-out engineers. As international collaboration becomes a necessity in space missions, especially in maximizing resources in an uncertain financial climate, learning to speak beyond Klingon has proven to be an asset. Click here. (10/15)

Helen Keen: Why Space Isn't Just for the Super-Rich (Source: WIRED)
Science isn't usually a laughing matter -- but Helen Keen begs to differ. Keen uses stand-up comedy to bring science to bigger audiences, picking up accolades like Channel 4's New Comedy Writing prize on her way. Keen was recently awarded the Royal Society's Radio Prize for 'It Is Rocket Science!', a look at the history and the "weird and wonderful possible future of space travel -- and she is also a WIRED Innovation Fellow. Click here. (10/15)

Orion Abort System Gives New Level of Safety to Astronauts (Source: KCRA)
NASA’s next manned space mission, Orion, might help astronauts breathe a little easier. “If anything were to go wrong, what we'd want to do is get the crew away from the launch vehicle,” said Sam Wiley, head of human space development for Aerojet Rocketdyne. Wiley’s job is a launch abort system that will actually yank the capsule off the launch system.

“It's your ejection seat,” Robinson said. An ejection seat on steroids. “It's a heck of a ride. It puts the astronauts under about 13 G's of acceleration,” Wiley said. That’s 13 times the force of gravity on a body standing on the ground. (10/16)

If We Don't Push the Limits With Space Exploration, What Are We Really Doing? (Source: Huffington Post)
I believe a love of learning is something that every person is born with. Think about it ... when toddlers dump over a bowl of cereal, they are observing and playing with the natural world. Little do these children know that they are also getting their first lesson in the concept of gravity. As children get older, these natural discoveries keep occurring. They aren't viewed as "science." To them, it's just plain fun.

I was one of those kids. My fascination with space began 13 years ago at the age of five. I couldn't stop looking at the stars and wondering what was out there. As I got older, I learned more about space exploration and our accomplishments thus far. I was blown away. I realized that Mars should be our next goal, and I clearly saw this as a massive step for humanity. Instantly, I set my intentions high - to be the first astronaut on the Red Planet. Click here. (10/16)

Antrix Begins Global Pitch for GSLV (Source: The Hindu)
Two months after the GSLV’s second continuous success, ISRO’s commercial arm, Antrix, has started promoting the launch capabilities of the medium lift vehicle among international spacecraft manufacturers. V.S. Hegde, Antrix Corporation’s chairman and managing director, said there were good opportunities for the GSLV to bid for the many satellites being made in the 2,000 to 2,200 kg class.

“We are in discussions with many satellite manufacturers across the world for the [already established] PSLV and now the GSLV. There is a very good response to the GSLV,” including from U.S. manufacturers, he said on the sidelines of a seminar here on Friday. The GSLV, he said, could place in space two-tonne communication satellites in the medium-Earth, geosynchronous (36,000 km) orbit; as well as take heavier ones to lower distances. (10/17)

France Puts Up $39 Million To Keep its Companies in the LEO Constellation Game (Source: Space News)
The French government, determined that its industry not lose out on what might be a large new business in building low-orbiting satellite communications constellations, has issued a request for bids to industry for ideas on new components and manufacturing techniques.

In a joint statement issued Oct. 16, the French space agency, CNES, and France’s Bank for Public Investment (BPI) said BPI will issue contracts totaling up to 35 million euros ($39 million) for French industry to hone its skills. (10/16)

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