Anderson: Spaceport is Taking Lead in Space Industry (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
Spaceport America is alive and well. It saddens me to read uninformed
articles to the contrary. Unlike an airport or an
airport-turned-spaceport, our strategic value proposition to the
commercial space industry is our proximity to and close working
relationship with U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range and 6,000
square miles of protected airspace.
Our remote and secure location provides aerospace companies a certain
level of privacy much needed to protect their proprietary technologies.
These attributes, paired with our extensive space launch experience,
make Spaceport America a major player within the evolving commercial
space industry. (8/6)
Branson’s Battle to Revive Space
Odyssey (Source: The Times)
Mike Moses calls it the “Oh shit door”. Walk through the entrance to
Virgin Galactic’s hangar in the Mojave desert in southern California
and it is clear why. Parked in the heart of the bustling, cavernous
facility is a shiny spaceship. VSS Unity, a rocket with wings, is
certainly an expletive- inspiring machine. Yet on a searing desert
morning last month, the craft had its windows covered in protective
paper and wires running to a battery of machines pored over by
furrow-browed technicians, like a patient on an operating table. Click here.
NASA's Secret Art Studio: How to Make
Rocket Science Beautiful (Source: Guardian)
If you’ve marveled at space news recently, there’s a good chance it’s
thanks to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This arm of NASA is
responsible for the most ambitious of missions, like sending robots to
Mars and, most recently, the Juno spacecraft to Jupiter. But the JPL
has another under-the-radar mission: uniting two uncommon bedfellows –
design and science – in new and meaningful ways.
You’ve probably never heard of the Studio at JPL, a group of
rocket-science misfits who roam the facilities, offering their
not-so-traditional design skills to engineers. You’ve definitely never
seen their digs, a trailer on the outskirts of campus that looks like a
science fair exploded on the inside. But you may have already seen
The studio comprises eight jacks-of-all-trades who have experience in
sci-fi movie effects, anthropology, advertising, architecture and
illustration, among others. They work like freelance contractors,
usually juggling at least five projects apiece. Click here.
Rocket Enthusiasts Find Great Heights
(Source: Orlando Sentinel)
The Rocketry of Orlando's Community Kids club, called "Rock" for short,
launches model rockets the first Saturday of every month at an entrance
to the Little Econ State Forest in Oviedo. The monthly launches can
attract as many as 25-35 families with upward of 100 rocket launches in
a morning, said Brian Coyle, the club's president. (8/7)
Politics Must Be Excluded From Space
Exploration (Source: South China Morning Post)
A US ban on cooperation with China is a view not shared by the heads of
the Chinese and American space administrations, the scientific
community or even the White House. Space is so expensive to explore
that it makes sense for agencies to collaborate and pool resources.
China and the US, as the leaders in the field, should therefore be
working together on endeavours and missions. But although scientists
from both sides are eager to cooperate, American lawmakers are so
distrustful of Beijing that they have refused to ease a ban involving
Boeing Starts Assembly of 1st
Flightworthy Starliner at Cape Canaveral Spaceport (Source:
The next generation of America’s human spaceships is rapidly taking
shape at the Kennedy Space Center as Boeing and NASA showcased the
start of assembly of the first flightworthy version of the aerospace
giants Starliner crew taxi vehicle – that will ferry NASA astronauts to
and from the International Space Station (ISS) by early 2018.
Boeing is rapidly making tangible progress towards once again flying
Americans astronauts to space from American soil as was quite visibly
demonstrated when the firm showed off their spanking new Starliner
‘clean-floor factory’ to the media last week and it’s already humming
with activity by simultaneously building two full scale Starliner crew
Starliner is being manufactured in what is officially known as Boeing’s
Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) at the Kennedy
Space Center in Florida under contract with NASA’s Commercial Crew
Program (CCP). Formerly known as Orbiter Processing Facility-3, or
OPF-3, the facility was previously used as a servicing hanger to
prepare NASA’s space shuttle orbiters for flight. (8/7)
Former Advisory Council Member
Discusses the Questionable Future of NASA’s Budget (Source WHNT)
We are definitely in the midst of a presidential election, and there is
a long way to go until people go to the ballot box. One of the things
that is of vital interest around here, and also important for the
nation is what happens to NASA when the new president is elected?
Who ever that president might be. This week former NASA Advisory
Council member Mark McDaniel stopped by WHNT to give his perspective on
concerns about NASA’s future.
"Back in the day during the Apollo program, during those days 5.7% of
the nation’s budget was spent on NASA. We had a mission, we had a goal,
we had a dream. This is a nation of pioneers. Now it’s less than a half
percent. NASA is currently the lowest funded agency in within the
government. However, thank goodness we have Senators Shelby and Jeff
Sessions, Congressmen Aderholt and Mo Brooks...If we keep telling
members of Congress that if they keep just treading water, they’re
going nowhere. This administration will go down." (8/7)
China Prepares for New Round of Crewed
Space Missions (Source: Xinhua)
The rockets expected to carry China's second orbiting space lab
Tiangong-2 and the Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft into space have been
delivered to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. A
statement issued by the Manned Space Engineering Office on Saturday
said that the center is where the assembly and tests of the rockets,
which belong to the Long March-2F rocket series, will be carried out.
The rockets were sent from Beijing Wednesday by rail. (8/6)
NASA’s New High Dynamic Camera Records
Rocket Blast (Source: Inverse)
On Friday, NASA released the first footage from its game-changing new
toy, the High Dynamic Range Stereo-X (HiDyRS-X) camera. The footage —
of Orbital ATK’s QM-2 solid rocket booster test — promises to offer
great insight and direction for the future of NASA’s engineering
program since it allows NASA scientists to observe minute details that
have been heretofore unobservable. Click here.
Space Psychology 101: How NASA Keeps
Its Astronauts Sane (Source: Inverse)
Outer space is terrifying — not just on the body, but also on the mind.
Extreme environments and situations can stretch people’s minds to the
brink of sanity, and outer space is no exception. Sure, astronauts are
protected inside their multimillion dollar spacecraft, but those
confined little metallic boxes can make one feel isolated and trapped.
And we’re also making strides to put humans on other planets.
All that time in the deep dark void — probably not good for the noggin,
right? Thankfully, NASA’s on it. Welcome to the world alternately
called aerospace psychiatry and psychology — a field of medicine where
one provides mental health support to aviation professionals. Click here.
Why We Shouldn’t Go to Mars: We Might
Decimate the Martians (Source: WIRED)
The notion of colonizing the Red Planet has become respectable. There’s
just one problem: It’s looking more and more likely that Mars might
already be inhabited—by Martians. Very tiny ones. Which concerns Cassie
Conley. As NASA’s increasingly large and sophisticated fleet of robot
explorers has spread through space over the past decade and sent
thrilling findings home, Conley has logged 14-hour days making sure
those robots don’t infect any heavenly bodies with germs from Earth.
The more likely a destination is to support life, the more stringent
she is. (8/6)