November 8, 2016

ESA Seeks $12 Billion From Member States (Source: Space News)
ESA will ask its member states to commit to a $12 billion multi-year budget in December. ESA Director-General Jan Woerner said Monday that the ESA ministerial meeting, scheduled for early December in Switzerland, will cover plans to extend European participation in the ISS through 2024, build a second Orion service module and provide additional funding for the ExoMars program.

Other challenges Woerner faces at the upcoming meeting are proposals by Norway to slash its contribution to optional ESA programs by 75 percent, and repercussions from Britain's plans to leave the European Union and the fall of the British pound. (11/7)

U.S. and Russia Look to Future Collaboration in Space (Source: Popular Mechanics)
Despite tensions on Earth, the U.S. and Russia are still talking about cooperation in human space exploration. Members of the ISS partnership have held meetings about development of a cislunar habitat in the 2020s that would include participation by Russia, which would provide an airlock module. That likely would allow a Russian cosmonaut to fly on an Orion mission to that habitat some time in the mid-2020s, years before Russian spacecraft and launch vehicles would be ready to send cosmonauts beyond Earth orbit. (11/7)

Russia Has Glonass NavSats Ready to Launch When Needed (Source: Sputnik)
Russia plans to launch up to four Glonass navigation satellites next year. Russian officials said the launches of the satellites will take place "only when necessary" based on the health of the current constellation of satellites. Russia has launched two Glonass satellites this year on separate Soyuz launches. (11/7)

Innovation a Priority for New NASA Science Chief (Source: Space News)
The new head of NASA's science directorate wants to infuse more innovation into its programs. Thomas Zurbuchen said he's interested in making greater use of "disruptive" technologies, like cubesats and other small satellites, to carry out missions that would not be possible or affordable with conventional spacecraft. At the same time, he acknowledged that most of NASA's science mission plans for the next several years are already in place, and that "excellence in execution is how we earn our future." (11/7)

CASIS and Boeing Partner to Fund Three Companies for Space Station Research (Source: CASIS)
CASIS and Boeing awarded three research companies financial support last week through MassChallenge. This marks the third year CASIS and Boeing have collaborated on the “Technology in Space” prize through the MassChallenge Boston Accelerator. CASIS is the nonprofit organization responsible for managing and promoting research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

Boeing is the ISS prime contractor responsible for sustaining operations, including the successful integration of vehicle and payload hardware and software for the orbiting laboratory. The grant prizes for this collaboration will provide seed funding for the three awarded companies and assist with hardware costs for flight to the ISS National Lab. They include Dover Lifesciences, LambdaVision, and Angiex.

MassChallenge supports high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs across all industries without taking any equity. Its accelerator programs in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, and the U.K. offer world-class mentorship, free office space, a network of corporate and nonprofit organizations, and access to in-kind support and resources throughout the four months. At the culmination of the programs, MassChallenge awards winning startups with zero-equity cash awards, which total more than $1.5 million in Boston. To date, 1,211 MassChallenge alumni from around the world have raised over $1.8 billion in funding, generated over $700 million in revenue, and created more than 60,000 direct and indirect jobs. Cick here. (11/7)

To Find Life on Mars, NASA Starts Looking in Hawaii (Source: CSM)
The search for Martian life will soon take NASA to an unexpected swath of rocky landscape – Mauna Ulu, Hawaii. The agency’s Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains (BASALT) mission, which is designed to test technologies for future crewed missions to Mars, begins this week at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Once there, researchers will develop new protocols for collecting – and protecting – biological samples. (11/6)

India Loses Out on Hosting World's Largest Telescope (Source: Economic Times)
India has lost out on being the destination for the world's largest telescope. There was a lot of anticipation that the giant Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) would get housed at a remote high- altitude site in the cold desert of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

This week members of the multi-country coalition that is spearheading it decided to build the telescope in the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. A telescope that would cost upwards of USD 2 billion by the time it becomes operational in 2025. (11/6)

SpaceX Seems Confident of Unique Cause of Explosion (Source: Space News)
Elon Musk said Friday the Falcon 9 should return to flight in mid-December. In an interview with CNBC, Musk said that the company has "gotten to the bottom of the problem" that caused the Falcon 9 pad explosion during preparations for a static-fire test Sept. 1, adding that the problem had "never been encountered before in the history of rocketry." Musk, in the brief discussion of the accident, did not go into details but said that it was linked to the failure of liquid-helium bottles made of carbon composite materials in the rocket's upper stage liquid-oxygen tank. Musk did not disclose who would be the customer of the mid-December return-to-flight mission, or from where the launch would take place. (11/7)

Orbital Confirms Cygnus to Fly Again on Atlas at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport (Source: Space News)
Orbital ATK confirmed Friday that the next Cygnus mission will launch on an Atlas 5 rather than an Antares. The company said that through a "collaborative effort" with NASA, it decided to shift a Cygnus mission from an Antares to an Atlas scheduled for launch in the spring of 2017. Moving to the Atlas allows the Cygnus to carry several hundred kilograms of additional cargo and provides schedule assurance at a time when both Japan's HTV and SpaceX's Dragon cargo vehicles have suffered delays. Orbital ATK will return to the Antares for its remaining Cygnus missions under its current cargo contract with NASA. (11/7)

ESA Gives Final Endorsement for Ariane 6 Development (Source: Space News)
The European Space Agency has given what should be its final endorsement for development of the Ariane 6. ESA's ruling council approved plans to set up production lines in both Germany and Italy for the rocket's solid-fuel strap-on boosters, whose motors will also be used for the Vega-C small launch vehicle. ESA’s Industrial Policy Committee is expected to formally approve the release of funds to prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers on Tuesday. (11/7)

Mar One Merges With Swiss Firm (Source: Mars One)
Mars One is going public through a reverse merger. The organization, which seeks to raise funding commercially for a series of one-way human Mars missions, said Monday is merging with InFin Innovative Finance AG, a Swiss company that previously worked on mobile-payment solutions and is traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The merged company will be renamed Mars One Ventures AG and stay on the Frankfurt exchange. Mars One says the the deal will allow it to better access capital markets for funding for its Mars plans, which have seen little public progress of late. (11/7)

Spaceport America to hold first Drone Summit (Source: KRQE)
Lots of eyes will soon be on the skies for the Spaceport’s first Drone Summit. It’s a chance for drone pilots to show off their skills with races and demonstrations. Spectators get the opportunity to learn more about drone uses and technology. The event will also feature a cinematography challenge for filmmakers to test their aerial photography skills. The Drone Summit takes place November 11th through the 13th at Spaceport America. (11/7)

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Performs Ludicrous Feats of Engineering (Source: Popular Mechanics)
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena, Calif., is home to 500 scientists and 3,000 engineers known for performing some of the most ludicrous feats of interplanetary engineering. JPL's sole focus is robotics, and it has become a center for some of the most creative engineering ideas with an incredibly high success rate. Click here. (11/3)

Why NASA's Role In Developing Aircraft Is Vital To Space Exploration (Source: Forbes)
An aerospace policy forum held at the historic Mojave Air and Space Port on Oct. 27 focused attention on NASA’s critical role in the research and development of high-performance aircraft technologies. Click here. (11/7)

Closing Arguments for Space in the 2016 Campaign (Source: Space Review)
As a long presidential campaign winds to a close, the major presidential candidates have finally offered some space policy details. Jeff Foust reports on what Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have said about space, and how their positions in some cases may not be as far apart as one might expect. Click here. (11/7)
A National Space Policy for This Century (Source: Space Review)
Regardless of the outcome of the election, it’s possible, and perhaps necessary, to develop a more visionary space policy. A group of Air Force officers propose their own policy that they believe is vital to American leadership in space in the 21st century. Click here. (11/7)
Finally, a Prudent Space Access Architecture Perspective (Source: Space Review)
A bill proposed as part of a space advocacy effort this year would promote the development of low-cost reusable launch vehicles with a prize. Steve Hoeser describes why he believes that concept would work far better than previous RLV initiatives. Click here. (11/7)
Orbital ATK, CRS-2, and the Return of “The Stick” (Source: Space Review)
As Orbital ATK returned its Antares rocket to flight last month, the company has also been working on new launch vehicle concepts. Jeffrey Smith examines what’s known about the company’s next-generation launch vehicle, and how it could serve markets beyond ISS resupply. Click here. (11/7)

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