February 7, 2017

Trump Administration Could Pit NASA Against NewSpace Players (Source: Wall Street Journal)
The administration, though, is reportedly weighing a competition between "Old Space" and "New Space." A memo from a NASA transition team member proposed an "internal competition" between existing agency programs and commercial approaches to see which would be the best way to fly humans to lunar orbit by 2020. Such an approach could conceivably threaten existing NASA programs like the Space Launch System and Orion, which leading members of Congress have said they would protect from any changes the new administration might impose. (2/5)

Maritime Launch Services to Decide on Nova Scotia Spaceport in March (Source: SpaceQ)
It seems every couple of years another group comes along claiming they’ll setup a spaceport in Canada with Nova Scotia being the preferred location. The latest is Maritime Launch Services (MLS), a newly registered company in Nova Scotia with roots in the U.S and the Ukraine. What sets it apart from recent previous efforts is the experienced principals involved. The principals in the company are John Isella, CEO; Stephen Matier, President, Chief Operating Officer and V.P. of Spaceport Development; Joe Hasay, CEO of United Paradyne; and Dave Walsh, Chief Technical Officer.

This is all about location and what Nova Scotia brings to the table. Nova Scotia is perfectly suited to launch rockets as it has thousands of kilometres of ocean to the east and MLS won’t have to launch over much land as this can pose a safety risk to communities. If anything goes wrong, the rocket would fall into the ocean. And even if anything doesn’t go wrong, the rockets first stage will come back down to earth after it has completed its engine burn, and with this location, it will fall into the ocean.

Aside from the safety factor, Nova Scotia also offers a great location to launch payloads to Sun-synchronous and Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The Canso-Hazel Hill site they are interested in is on crown land. This means they would have to lease the site from the government. According to Isella, they’ve had positive discussions with the government on this issue and would apply for a 20 year land lease. (2/6)

Keeping Space Communications Reliable for an "Always On" World (Source: Space Daily)
So many of the services we all depend on today are powered by space communications. Just think about it - bank ATMs and gas stations, air traffic safety, smartphones and GPS just to name a few. Without space the world economy, in many ways, turns back half a century in time. For some time now, we have been hearing from top folks at the Pentagon that space is no longer the sanctuary it once was as it becomes more and more congested and contested. But there are many things this country and others can do to ensure space connectivity.

In a recent panel at the 2016 Defense One Summit, RAdm Brian Brown, deputy commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, DoD Deputy Undersecretary (Space) Winston Beauchamp and Scott Szymanski, mission manager for space with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, offered their views on the best path forward in space. Click here. (2/6)

Getting Back to the Historic Sequence of Opening our Space Frontiers (Source: Space Review)
Space advocates often talk about opening the space frontier, but is NASA really working to do so? Steve Hoeser argues that US space policy should be revamped to emphasize not just exploration of space, but establishing a growing economic presence there. Click here. (2/6)
It’s Vital to Verify the Harmlessness of North Korea’s Next Satellite (Source: Space Review)
North Korea’s space program, interconnected to its missile development efforts,remains cloaked in secrecy. Jim Oberg, one of the few Westerners to get a glimpse of that effort, warns that the US should be cautious of any future satellite launch attempts. Click here. (2/6)
The Science and Spectacle of the Great American Eclipse (Source: Space Review)
In a little more than six months, a total solar eclipse will stretch across the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina. Jeff Foust reports on some of the planning to deal with the logistical issues of such an event, as well as the science some hope to get out of the eclipse. Click here. (2/6)
G20 Agenda: International Cooperation in Space (Source: Space Review)
The actions of the Trump administration led some to wonder if the US will turn away from international partnerships, in space and elsewhere. Vidvuds Beldavs suggests that space cooperation be a topic for this summer’s G20 summit. Click here. (2/6)

First Commercial Airlock is Coming to the International Space Station (Source: The Verge)
A brand-new air lock is set to be installed on the ISS in the next few years — but this one will be commercially owned. NASA has accepted a proposal from spaceflight company NanoRacks to attach the first ever commercially funded air lock, which enables objects to safely pass from the inside of the station out into the vacuum of space. The new addition will allow NanoRacks to deploy even more satellites and commercial payloads from the ISS in order to meet the growing demand from its customer base. (2/6)

New 'Space Poop' System Could Fly on Orion Deep-Space Mission (Source: Space.com)
A new spacesuit system to flush away astronauts' poop will likely fly on the first crewed Orion spacecraft flight, NASA said. This means that eager innovators could see their waste collection system fly in space between 2021 and 2023 on "Exploration Mission 2," or EM-2, which could bring the astronauts out of low-Earth orbit for the first time in half a century. NASA recently wrapped up an open "space poop challenge" for designs that improve upon the current spacesuit waste collection garment (sometimes referred to as a diaper). Winners will be announced Feb. 16. (2/6)

Launching Satellite is South African Space Agency’s Big Focus (Source: Business Day)
Every day, the new South African National Space Agency (Sansa) CEO’s to-do list grows. But so do Val Munsami’s ambitions for the agency. The former deputy director-general in the Department of Science and Technology who has been in the role since the start of 2017, is filled with the excitement of someone who had been watching Sansa’s activities and now can mould its direction.

The agency, established six years ago to oversee SA’s activities in space and the use of space-related data, reports to the department, but "is an agency of all government", Munsami says. With an area of 1.2-million square kilometers — about 10 Englands — SA has a lot of land and activities to monitor, including agricultural production, urban encroachment and the health of water systems. This does not include its large ocean territory. The most efficient way to do this is with satellites. (2/3)

Italy to Invest 40 Million Euros in Joint Project with Russia to Simulate Space Flights (Source: Tass)
A consortium of Italian universities and enterprises intends to invest 40 million euros in a joint experiment with Russia to imitate several manned space flights to other planets, manager of the Russia-Italy project on Italy’s behalf Sauro Addidati said. Italy intends to cooperate as part of the experiment in four areas in the spheres of medico-biological problems, pharmacology and technological solutions. (2/6)

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