March 7, 2017

Orion Spacecraft Focus at March NSCFL Luncheon (Source: NSCFL)
Former NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli, now with Lockheed Martin Space Systems’ Advanced Programs, will be the featured speaker at the National Space Club Florida Committee’s (NSCFL) March luncheon. Lockheed Martin is building the Orion spacecraft for NASA at KSC. Antonelli will update luncheon guests on Orion’s progress and other activities with the company’s Advanced Programs for Civil Space. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. EST at the Astronauts Memorial Foundation facility at the KSC Visitor Complex. (3/6)

North Korea Launches Four Ballistic Missiles Toward Japan (Source: BBC)
North Korea has launched four ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan. Three of them fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) after flying some 1,000km (620 miles), in what PM Shinzo Abe called a "new stage of threat". They were fired from the Tongchang-ri region, near the North's border with China, the South Korean military said. The type of missile is unclear but the North is banned from any missile or nuclear tests by the UN. (3/6)

SpaceX Pushes FCC On Spectrum For Commercial Launches (Source: Law360)
SpaceX has pushed the Federal Communications Commission to move forward with allocating spectrum resources for commercial space launch operations, saying it would be a "significant step forward." In an ex parte filing Wednesday with the FCC, SpaceX noted that its representatives met with FCC staff the previous day to discuss the agency’s proposed rules to advance the commercial space industry. (3/3)

Lunar Cause and Effect (Source: Space Review)
Last week, SpaceX announced plans for a commercial human mission around the Moon, while Blue Origin said it’s working on a lunar cargo lander concept. Jeff Foust reports on these developments, and examines if these developments are shaped by, or instead are shaping, space policy. Click here. (3/6)
Human Flight Around the Moon: An Opportunity to Cooperate, Not Compete (Source: Space Review)
Gerald Black revisits last week’s commentary about human lunar missions with a call for NASA and SpaceX to work together on their proposed circumlunar missions, rather than compete with one another. Click here. (3/6)
The Status of Russia’s Human Spaceflight Program (Source: Space Review)
In the final part of his examination of Russian human spaceflight efforts, Bart Hendrickx discusses efforts by Russia, in cooperation with other space agencies, to develop a cislunar outpost that could support future exploration. Click here. (3/6)
The Apollo Formula (Source: Space Review)
For decades, space advocates have been trying to recreate the factors that allowed the dramatic success of Apollo. Jack Kiraly identifies the key factors in the “formula” that enabled Apollo and why they may be a product of that era. Click here. (3/6)

Ex-Stratolaunch Boss Joins Satellite Startup Setting Up Shop on College Campus (Source: Space News)
A startup that aims to build 200 satellites a year is opening an automated manufacturing facility on a college campus and adding a former Paul Allen hire to its board of director. York Space Systems is expected to announce Monday that Chuck Beames is joining its board as executive chairman and chief strategy officer. Beames stepped down in September as president of Vulcan Aerospace, where he led development of Stratolaunch, a giant twin-fuselage airplane that Allen, a Microsoft co-founder,  is building to launch satellites. (3/6)

China Plans to Conduct Asteroid Exploration Mission Before 2025 (Source: Asia One)
China plans to conduct at least one asteroid exploration mission before 2025, a senior space scientist said on Friday. Ye Peijian, a leading scientist on deep-space exploration at the China Academy of Space Technology and a national political adviser, told China Daily that the asteroid mission will be carried out after the country's first Mars expedition in 2020 and before 2025.

"The detailed schedule and the target asteroid have yet to be determined, but we are working on them. We want to explore asteroids because their resources will be important to mankind's development in the future," he said. The country has also decided to send a probe to Mars to take samples and return to Earth around 2030, Ye said. (3/6)

Aldrin: UAE Can be Vital Part of Space Coalition (Source: Gulf News)
The UAE can become a vital part of a space exploration coalition of nations along with new spacefaring countries like India and South Korea, renowned American astronaut Buzz Aldrin said. These ‘new kids on the block’ can join established spacefaring entities like the US, Russia, China, Europe and Japan in exploring space, getting to Mars and even beyond, Aldrin said. “Instead of competition, countries should cooperate on a design stage and then cooperate on the operational front,” said the astronaut. (3/6)

Industry Veteran And Satellite Startup Join Forces To Industrialize Space (Source: Forbes)
Underneath the high tech glamour of space lies, in many ways, an old-fashioned industry. Most rockets are painstakingly built by hand. Planetary rovers and satellites are often designed as one-offs - custom built for a particular mission. Slowly but surely, though, a number of companies are emerging that are starting to bring the industrial revolution to the final frontier.

One of those companies is York Space Systems, which is announcing that Chuck Beames, the former CEO of Vulcan Aerospace and an industry veteran with decades of experience in the industry, will be joining the company as Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer. Beames left Vulcan last Fall after serving as CEO for about two and a half years.

Founded in 2015, the Denver-based York Space Systems designs and manufactures satellite buses - the basic platform from which multiple satellites can be built. Unique to the industry, though, is that rather than manufacture a satellite bus for a limited constellation of satellites, they're developing a standardized satellite bus that can be mass produced. Editor's Note: Mass produced like OneWeb's satellite buses. (3/6)

Pool of Potential Canadian Astronauts Shrinks Again, to 32 (Source: Global News)
There are now 32 people left in the running to become one of two newly minted Canadian astronauts. The competition, being run by the Canadian Space Agency, began last year with over 3,700 applications received. The field was reduced to 72 last month, and that has now been more than halved. Among those left standing are 21 men and 11 women. (3/3)

Blue Origin Eyes Lunar Lander for Hab Equipment (Sources: Parabolic Arc, Washington Post)
Blue Origin’s proposal doesn’t involve flying humans, but rather is focused on a series of cargo missions. Those could deliver the equipment necessary to help establish a human colony on the moon — unlike the Apollo missions, in which the astronauts left “flags and footprints” and then came home. The prospect of a lunar mission has several companies lining up to provide not just transportation, but also habitats, science experiments and even the ability to mine the moon for resources.

Bezos proposes developing a lunar spacecraft with a lander that would touch down near a crater at the south pole where there is water and nearly continuous sunlight for solar energy. The memo urges the space agency to back an Amazon-like shipment service for the moon that would deliver gear for experiments, cargo and habitats by mid-2020, helping to enable “future human settlement” of the moon. (3/3)

After 44 Days, Hearings End for Giant Telescope in Hawaii (Source: ABC)
Long-running hearings for whether a giant telescope can be built atop a Hawaii mountain have wrapped up. But it will be a while before a decision is made on a project that has prompted intense protests by those who believe it will desecrate sacred land. Oftentimes emotional testimony concluded Thursday evening after 71 people testified over 44 days on the Big Island.

Testifiers included Native Hawaiians who believe the project will harm cultural and religious practices on Mauna Kea and Native Hawaiians who believe it will provide jobs and educational opportunities. The hearings officer will recommend whether the state land board should grant a construction permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope. If there are exceptions filed to the hearings officer's recommendations, the land board will hear arguments before issuing a written decision. (3/3)

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