July 17, 2016

Vintage Space Gear for Sale on Apollo 11 Anniversary (Source: National Geographic)
Houston, we have a sale. On July 20, the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the New York auction house Bonhams is selling almost 300 celestial items in its eighth annual Space History Sale. The event will feature pieces from the beginning of the space race through the end of the Cold War era. The artifacts come from both American and Soviet endeavors, including items used on the multiple Apollo and Soyuz missions. Click here. (7/16)

How Museums Fought for the Retired Space Shuttles (Source: The Atlantic)
There are more than 200 aviation museums in the United States, so competition for the prized artifacts was fierce. In 2008 and 2010, NASA put out a call to determine their interest in housing the shuttles, and 29 replied with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’ The organizations NASA selected would be charged with telling the story of America’s extended forays in low-Earth orbit. Click here. (7/11)

NASA Space Suits to Use Korean LG Chem Batteries (Source: Korea Herald)
Chemical and battery firm LG Chem is slated to supply its batteries to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the second half of this year, according to the company Sunday. The local battery maker recently signed a supply deal with NASA to provide its lithium ion batteries for the agency’s space suits used for space exploration. (7/17)

Aliens, Abductions and Artscape: Riffs on Space Exploration (Source: Baltimore Sun)
The tent was made of fabric the green color of army fatigues, and a sign on the outside mysteriously read, "Alien Encounters. Government Secrets Revealed." Venture inside Moloch's Institute for Extranormal Research on the Artscape Midway this weekend at your own peril — or at least, at the peril of your funny bone.

Inside are dioramas "proving" that aliens, and not Hurricane Agnes, destroyed the town of Daniels in 1972. Twirl the knob on another exhibit to move a flying saucer across the sky, then press the red button, and you can abduct your very own terrified earthling. Click here. (7/16)

SpaceX has Chosen a Rocket for its First True Reusability Test (Source: Mashable)
SpaceX is planning to refurbish a landed rocket and fly it on another mission in September or October, a first for the spaceflight company. And we now know which landed Falcon 9 booster they're planning to use for the company's historic re-flight. SpaceX is planning to fly a booster that landed on a drone ship in the ocean on April 8, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of flight reliability, said during a press conference Saturday. (It's still unclear, however, which mission will fly aboard the rocket.) (7/16)

Space Command Releases Details on Space Mission Force (Source: AFSPC)
Air Force Space Command posted on its website today a White Paper on the Space Mission Force construct that was recently implemented within the command. The White Paper can be viewed at this link: SMF White Paper.

The Space Mission Force, akin to the Air Expeditionary Force, is a long-term overarching initiative to prepare and present space forces as a ready force capable of operating in a contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment. It will be the new standard for space operators to increase preparedness to operate their weapon systems and respond to the increasing threats to those same systems. Click here. (7/16)

UAE Space Agency Reflects on Success After Two Years (Source: Gulf Today)
The UAE Space Agency celebrates its second anniversary, reflecting on its remarkable achievement since its establishment. These successes include developing and integrating the UAE national space sector, launching the Agency’s strategy and signing several important Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with prominent global space industry players. Click here. (7/17)

India Plan Scramjet Engine Test Flight (Source: The Hindu)
The Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO) is slated to test fly this month a small model of what is called a ‘scramjet’ engine that could one day help to put satellites and other systems to space. Scientists are quietly keeping their fingers crossed about it. This half-metre, 45-kg model could later grow to power a future dream Indian rocket of two stages (compared to three and four stages at present); a rocket that launches satellites and systems super efficiently at much lower costs than now. (7/17)

Apollo Nostalgia? Check Out Embry-Riddle's Space Congress Technical Paper Archive (Source: SPACErePORT)
From the 6th Space Congress in 1969: "Our Nation's space program is rapidly approaching the time when it will benefit all people. The day for man to explore a new world by walking on the surface of the moon is just around the corner. Communications and weather satellite services already play an expanding role in our daily lives, yet they are merely forerunners of all-encompassing advancements yet to be realized." 

The 47th anniversary of Apollo 11 has a lot of people nostalgic about early space tech. Check out some of the technical papers delivered in April 1969 during that year's Space Congress event in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Over 40 years of Space Congress proceedings are archived online by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University here. (7/16)

Apollo 11 Flight Plan for First Moon Landing Getting Crowdfunded Re-Issue (Source: CollectSpace)
It was the minute-by-minute plan to put the first men on the moon. The 362-page plan worked. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon and walked on its surface as their crewmate, Michael Collins, orbited above. The three returned to Earth four days later.

Now, almost 50 years later, NASA's Apollo 11 Flight Plan is being relaunched on Kickstarter as the "perfect" reprint. The project, which began July 6, has surpassed its goal on Saturday (July 16). The project will be funded when it closes on Aug. 15. Click here. (7/16)

Space Law and Outer Space Treaties (Source: Space.com)
Because space is an area without defined boundaries, there are many questions about legal jurisdiction on spacecraft orbiting Earth and other celestial bodies. Space-faring nations have agreed to a variety of policies and treaties that concern activities in space exploration.

As soon as humans reached for the stars, some reached for the law books. In the year after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, the United Nations General Assembly created an ad hoc Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOUS). In 1960, the International Institute of Space Law, a nongovernmental organization, was created to promote international cooperation in the space law-making process. Today, several universities worldwide offer programs and degrees in space law. Click here. (7/15)

Bezos Appears in the New Star Trek Movie, Playing a “Starfleet Official” (Source: Recode)
The Amazon CEO has a role in the new Star Trek movie. He has a one-scene cameo, playing a “Starfleet Official”. IMDB, which Amazon owns, acknowledges Bezos’ part in a credit, way at the bottom of the cast list. Producer J.J. Abrams and Star Trek director Justin Lin both confirmed Bezos’ appearance - described as a “single tracking shot that includes his character”, which suggests he doesn’t have a speaking role. (7/16)

Falcon 9 Launch On Schedule Despite KSC Risk Issue (Source: Space News)
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is ready to launch a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station July 18 despite a risk assessment that led NASA to decide to evacuate part of the center during the launch. A risk assessment completed July 17 by the Air Force 45th Space Wing raised concerns that the Dragon spacecraft could, in the event of a launch abort, land on spaceport property.
NASA informed media late that day that “multiple NASA facilities including the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Press Site will be closed at least 60 minutes prior to launch.” The hazard area does not extend outside of KSC property. (7/16)

SpaceX: Sonic Booms Could Hit Space Coast With Rocket Landing (Source: Florida Today)
SpaceX has warned residents on Florida's Space Coast that an effort to land a rocket at its complex could cause sonic booms early Monday morning. In a news release, the company said a "brief thunder-like noise" could follow when its Falcon 9 rocket returns from space. (7/16)

Space Policy Gaps Highlighted in 2016 Schriever Wargames (Source: Inside Defense)
A recent Air Force Space Command wargame at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, highlighted the need for international collaboration on policies and strategies required to operate in an increasingly contested environment. The most recent iteration of the Schriever Wargames, held in May, brought together representatives from a number of allied nations, including first-time participants France and Germany. (7/15)

Russian Supply Ship Heads for Space Station (Source: SpaceFlight Now)
A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft laden with 5,300 pounds of fuel and supplies blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday, riding a Soyuz rocket smoothly into orbit on the first of two resupply launches heading for the International Space Station in the next two days. (7/16)

Northrop Grumman Awards Student/Teacher Space Camp Scholarships (Source: Northrop Grumman)
The Northrop Grumman Foundation has sponsored scholarships for middle school students and teachers from across the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia to attend Space Camp® July 24-29 at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama. This is the eighth year that the Northrop Grumman Foundation has funded Space Camp scholarships.

Editor's Note: Among the winners are two students and one teacher from Gamble Rogers Middle School in St. Augustine, Florida; and two students and one teacher from Stone Magnet Middle School in Melbourne, Florida. (7/15)

ESA Chief Pushing for Chinese Role in ISS (Source: Wall Street Journal)
The director general of the European Space Agency said he has again broached the idea of inviting China to participate in the international space station project, despite continued strong opposition in the U.S. congress.Johann-Dietrich W├Ârner said during an interview at the Farnborough air show that “we should really not close the door” on Chinese cooperation. (7/15)

Silicon Valley Wants to Create Space 2.0 (Source: Inverse)
“The ultimate blue ocean.” That’s the description Brandon Farewell of investment firm Rothenberg Ventures gave to the new landscape of space for this century. His short introduction to the discussion on ‘Space 2.0’ was peppered with Silicon Valley lingo and references to “disruptive technologies and “unicorns” (aka hawt new startups) along with the way companies can iterate” towards new heights.

Unless you’re firmly embedded within the tech scene, all this can be very ingratiating. But underneath all that style, there is real substance to talking about the way tech companies are changing the future of space. Few people are as well-versed in what Space 2.0 looks like behind the scenes than entrepreneur and X Prize Foundation founder and Peter Diamandis. “We’re in a period of rapid disruption,” he told conference attendees.

Yes, I’m loudly groaning about “disruption” as well, but he’s not wrong. “Things are changing year to year,” he said. Breakthroughs in computation, networks, A.I., robotics, sensors, and transistor engineering mean we are moving from a linear progression of advancements in space tech, to an exponential one. (7/15)

Test Stand Problem Ends Aerojet Rocketdyne Engine Test at Stennis (Source: Sun Herald)
A team of NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Syncom Space Services engineers and operations conduct a test of an RS-25 engine on July 14 on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center. The test fell short of its scheduled 650 seconds. Initiated at 5:57 p.m., there was a minor issue with the test stand that triggered an early shutdown 193 seconds into the test. Facility control systems in place responded properly by shutting down the test in an orderly fashion. No issues were reported with the engine, and the next test is planned for August. (7/15)

UK Leuchars Spaceport Bid Suffers Blow (Source: The Courier)
Fife’s hopes of hosting the UK’s first spaceport have suffered a major setback after one of its rivals took a step closer to manned space launches. The former RAF base at Leuchars is still in the running to provide a temporary home for the out-of-this-world facility, with the Government aiming to have an operational spaceport which could be used to launch tourists and commercial satellites into space by 2018.

The Fife bid to “boldly go” has been dealt a severe blow with the news Glasgow Prestwick has secured a deal which could pave the way for a space hub being situated on the west coast. US manned space launch vehicle designer XCOR Aerospace has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with spaceplane design and operating company Orbital Access Limited and Glasgow Prestwick. (7/14)

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