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today's moon waxing gibbous

Wednesday 01 April 2015

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Sub orbit

Virgin Galactic Introduces their Second Spaceship

An introduction to their second Spaceship, featuring interviews with key team members and behind the scenes shots of their Spaceship factory.

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Sub orbit

JP Aerospace’s Latest PongSat Mission to Space

Six high altitude balloons carried over 1,700 student experiments to the edge of space. Flown by JP Aerospace in October, funded by Kickstarter supporters.

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Orbit

U.S. Cargo Ship Delivers Goods to ISS

Two days after its launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, the unpiloted U.S. SpaceX Dragon cargo craft arrived at the International Space Station Jan. 12 with more than two tons of supplies and science experiments for the Expedition 42 crew. The station crew grappled the Dragon supply ship with the station’s robotic arm and ground controllers at Mission Control, Houston maneuvered Dragon to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony module, where it was installed and bolted into place for a month-long stay.

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Moon

Morpheus Lander’s Free Flight Test #15

The Morpheus/ALHAT team is at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility to conduct Free Flight 15, the first free flight since May 28, the 6th with the ALHAT (Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology) sensor suite onboard, and a third attempt at completing a historic closed-loop ALHAT flight.

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Planetary

The European Space Agency’s 2015 Preview

ESA previews activities planned for 2015.

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Orbit

SpaceX Launches it’s 4th Resupply Mission to the ISS

After four successful missions to the International Space Station, including three official resupply missions for NASA, SpaceX launches its fourth official Commercial Resupply (CRS) mission to the orbiting lab. The SpaceX CRS-4 mission launched Sunday, September 21 from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The unmanned Dragon capsule is delivering more than 5,000 pounds of space station supplies for NASA. A 3-D printer developed by Made in Space, a company located in Silicon Valley, is among the cargo. Built to withstand the stresses of launch, and meets NASA’s strict safety standards, it’s a technology demonstrator. A bigger and better model to follow next year, and NASA envisions astronauts one day cranking out spare parts as needed.

Dragon is due to arrive at the station on Monday, September 22 for an expected four-week visit. Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth in mid-October for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of southern California. Dragon is the only operational spacecraft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies back to Earth, including experiments.

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Planetary

What’s Up for September 2014

From the Jet Propulsion Laboratory comes this month’s preview of the nighttime sky. View the red star Antares near the red planet Mars, plus the Zodiacal Light that points towards Jupiter in the morning sky.

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Planetary

NASA Tests Model of Powerful New Rocket

Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, are wrapping up acoustic testing on a 5-percent scale model of NASA’s Space Launch System. The Aug. 28 test, the 34th in the series, will help NASA engineers understand how loud the SLS vehicle will be during liftoff. Data from the test series will be used to design the water sound suppression system that reduces liftoff vibrations on the vehicle. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

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Planetary

The Rosetta Mission Asks: What Can We Learn from Comets?

The Rosetta mission will give us an unprecedented look inside a comet, watching the icy traveler become active as it nears the sun. What can we learn from this adventure?
Composed of an orbiter and lander, Rosetta’s objectives since arriving at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014 are to study the celestial object up close in unprecedented detail, prepare for landing a probe on the comet’s nucleus in November, and track its changes through 2015, as it sweeps past the sun.

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Orbit

Falcon 9 First Stage Return | ORBCOMM Mission

Video of the Falcon 9 first stage reentry and landing following successful delivery of six ORBCOMM satellites to orbit. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.

After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.

Rocket designer Tom Mueller poses with rocket engines on the SpaceX factory floor in Hawthorne, California. - Roger Gilbertson

Rocket designer Tom Mueller poses with rocket engines on the SpaceX factory floor in Hawthorne, California. - Roger Gilbertson

News

Aerospace Tax Break Bill Goes to California Governor

Ten Year Moratorium on Space Hardware Aims to Keep Firms from Leaving State

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. -— Aerospace companies based in California may stay in California if the Governor signs a bill passed by the state senate. The bill, overwhelmingly passed by senators, would exempt rockets and other space hardware built
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Concept of SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft landing on the runway at Houston’s Ellington Field. - SNC

Concept of SNC’s Dream Chaser® spacecraft landing on the runway at Houston’s Ellington Field. - SNC

Orbit

Agreement to Explore Dream Chaser Use of Houston Space Port

Sierra Nevada and Houston Airport System Will Study Physical, Operational and Regulatory Requirements

HOUSTON, Texas — In a joint news conference held today at the Rice University Space Institute, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and the Houston Airport System (HAS) announced plans to explore potential
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