Sonic Boom Heard in Orlando as SpaceX Launches, Lands at Cape (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
No, the boom you might have heard in Orlando last night was not a
dream. It was the return to land of SpaceX’s spent Falcon 9 rocket,
which launched from Florida's Space Coast at 12:45 a.m., sending nearly
5,000 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station. Twelve
minutes later, a loud boom could be heard in Orlando, setting off a
Twitter frenzy of people who had stayed up to watch the launch online.
Intelligence Agencies Plan Imagery
Cooperation (Source: Space News)
Two U.S. intelligence agencies have announced plans to cooperation on
the purchase and analysis of commercial imagery. The National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office
said Friday the new Commercial GEOINT Activity, scheduled to start by
the end of September, will help synchronize acquisition of imagery from
commercial providers. The NRO is responsible for collecting images
while the NGA for processing those images into useful intelligence.
1,000 Astronauts? SpaceX Isn't the
Only Company With a Grand Plan for Space (Source: Motley Fool)
You say SpaceX wants to cut the cost of spaceflight by 75% -- or more?
And SpaceX also wants to put a human on Mars -- before NASA can get
there? Well, hold on just a minute there, Tex. Because over at Boeing
and Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance has some pretty grand plans
for space of its own.
In its new blueprint for space exploration, ULA lays out a plan for
humanity in space, dubbed the "Cislunar 1000 Vision" -- and it's a big
one. Over the next 30 years, ULA believes it will be possible to launch
astronauts into space not just three at a time, with the lofty
objective of floating around the Earth in an aluminum tube -- but
sending dozens, scores, even hundreds of explorers into the region
bounded by Earth and its Moon, to live and work there long-term.
ULA argues that its technology has matured to the point that ULA
rockets are no longer restricted to just one-way missions to Earth
orbit. Today, ULA believes that spaceships, once launched into orbit,
can proceed to conducting new missions while they're up there -- and
don't necessarily have to come back down. (7/17)
European Union Considers Increased
Military Use of Space (Source: Space News)
A draft European Union space policy seeks to increase military
applications of European space systems. The summary of the draft
policy, completed this month, calls for "increased synergies" between
military and civilian uses of the Galileo satellite navigation system
and Copernicus Earth observation system. The policy also seeks to
minimize the current dependence by Europe on American electronics in
its satellites. A final version of the EU space policy is due to be
completed in November. (7/18)
What Happens After a Year in Space?
(Source: Space Review)
Scott Kelly returned to Earth earlier this year after spending nearly a
year on the International Space Station. Jeff Foust reports on what he
said his experience there was like, and how a study involving his twin
brother may provide new insights into the effects of long-duration
spaceflight. Click here.
The Human Spaceflight Equation
(Source: Space Review)
One of the fundamental questions of human spaceflight is why humans
should go beyond Earth at all. Eric Hedman examines human spaceflight
from the perspective of the survival imperative, and what research
needs to be done to ensure that humans can, in fact, survive on other
worlds. Click here.
What Industry Can Teach the DoD About
Innovation (Source: Space Daily)
In a recent Washington Post story, Lexington Institute defense
consultant Loren Thompson talked about the daunting task the U.S.
Department of Defense faces in its quest for a "Third Offset" strategy:
a long-term technology advantage over potential adversaries.
The Pentagon is seeking "an enduring competitive edge that lasts a
generation," Thompson said "But generations in technology these days
are measured in months." The article, "Robots, swarming drones and
'Iron Men': Welcome to the new arms race," talks about how the DoD is
hoping to learn from Silicon Valley how to move faster and develop the
new technology needed to stay ahead in space. Click here.