Reports: Stratolaunch to Cease Operations

Stratolaunch, the company in Mojave that built the world’s largest aircraft to launch rockets into space, will cease operations, according to media reports.

Reuters reported Friday that four sources familiar with the matter said the company is closing its operations although they did not state specifically why it was shutting down.

The news comes just two months after Stratolaunch flew its plane with a wingspan of 385 feet – longer than a football field – from the Mojave Air & Space Port for a flight of 2.5 hours over the desert at altitudes up to 17,000 feet and a speed of 189 miles per hour.

Read more at: sfvbj

Richard Branson Takes Satellite Launch Business To Japan With Airline ANA

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit said on Thursday it plans to bring its satellite launch system to Japan in partnership with airline operator ANA Holdings Inc , which will provide maintenance and possibly aircraft.

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system is undergoing testing with the aim of launching rockets bearing small satellites into space from a modified jumbo jet. The company said it will conduct its first orbital test flight later this year.

Branson is racing against competitors such as Blue Origin, the space business of Inc founder Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to bring tourists into space. Branson has said he plans to be the first passenger on a commercial flight in mid-2019, though the timeline has shifted.

Read more at: NASDAQ

Safety Panel Doubles Down On Need For SLS Green Run Test

NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) reiterated today that it views the Green Run test for the Space Launch System (SLS) as “critical” from a safety and mission assurance standpoint.  NASA continues to debate whether the test can be skipped to speed up the program and get the first launch off the pad in 2020.  The head of NASA’s human spaceflight program said last week that NASA’s internal recommendation is to do the test, but a decision has not been made.

NASA is developing the Saturn V-class SLS to take astronauts beyond low Earth orbit for the first time since the Apollo program.  A spacecraft, Orion, is also under development to accommodate the crew.  The Trump Administration wants to put astronauts back on the surface of the Moon by 2024 using SLS/Orion.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

Virgin Orbit Loses 35 OneWeb Launches, Sues Over Termination Fee

When the contract was announced in June 2015, it seemed like a blockbuster deal:  satellite Internet provider OneWeb had placed an order for 39 launches with options for 100 more for Virgin Galactic’s (now Virgin Orbit’s) LauncherOne.

What made the order extraordinary was not just the large number of launches, but the fact that the rocket really didn’t even exist yet. (The fact that Richard Branson’s Virgin Group was an investor in OneWeb probably helped.)

Four years later, the blockbuster deal is a bust. According to a lawsuit filed this week by Virgin Orbit, OneWeb last year canceled 35 of the 39 planned launches., slicing most of the value from the $234 million deal.

Read more at: Parabolic arc

China Conducts First Sea Launch Mission With Long March 11 Launch Of Seven Satellites

China conducted its first orbital sea launch on Wednesday, with a Long March 11 rocket lifting off from a floating platform in the Yellow Sea off the eastern province of Shandong. The launch, carrying seven satellites into orbit, took place at 04:06:01 UTC.

This launch was named ‘LM-11 WEY’ after a strategic partnership between WEY, a premium SUV marque of Great Wall Motor China Space Foundation and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) that founded a joint technology innovation hub on April 24, 2019, which is going to help the SUV maker achieve breakthroughs in R&D and manufacturing areas.

Onboard the LM-11 rocket were the Bufeng-1A and Bufeng-1B developed by the Chinese Academy of Spaceflight Technology. The two satellites will test measurements of surface sea wind velocity fields via small satellites on formation flying.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

Mars Explorers Will Tackle Radiation, Depression … and Space Bread

Sending astronauts to Mars will be hard, but a panel of experts considered the details of how to make it work — from living underground to exercising in space and even making bread on the Red Planet — during an in-depth, imaginative conversation at this year’s World Science Festival.

The route to the main topic here for the May 29 event “We Will Be Martians” included an early pit stop to discuss the moon. In particular, the panel described how a crewed lunar-return project like Artemis, recently proposed by NASA, could support a human mission to Mars.

Read more at:

NASA’s Gateway Lunar Orbiter Key To Returning Humans To The Moon By 2024

The key to getting humans back to the moon will be the equivalent of a motor home in space, said one of the people responsible for building it.

Gateway, NASA’s proposed lunar orbiter, is essential to returning humans to the moon by 2024, said Mark Weise, one of the Gateway program’s managers during a panel discussion at Space Congress Wednesday.

Astronauts going to the moon would first go to Gateway. From there, a lunar lander would bring them down to the moon’s surface. On the return trip, the lander would bring them back to Gateway, where the astronauts would then transfer to their capsule for the ride back to Earth.

Read more at: Florida today

Dragon Capsule Returns To Earth From Space Station With 2.1 Tons Of Cargo

Closing out a 30-day mission, a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule departed the International Space Station on Monday for a fiery trip back to Earth, culminating in re-entry back into the atmosphere and a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angeles.

The station’s Canadian-built robotic arm pulled the Dragon spacecraft from its berthing port on the Harmony module early Monday, and ground controllers in Houston commanded the arm to release the supply ship at 12:01 p.m. EDT (1601 GMT). A series of three thruster firings by the Dragon’s Draco control jets pushed the capsule away from the station, setting up for a deorbit burn nearly five hours later.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Russian Cargo Spacecraft Splashes Down In Pacific After Undocking From ISS

Russia’s Progress MS-10 resupply ship deorbited and splashed down in the Pacific after undocking from the International Space Station (ISS), the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (the head research institute of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) told TASS on Tuesday.

“The fragments of the Progress MS-10 spacecraft that did not burn out in the atmosphere splashed down in the non-navigable area of the Pacific Ocean,” the Institute said.

The cargo spacecraft undocked from the orbital outpost at 11:40 Moscow time on June 4.

Read more at: TASS

Russia’s New Cosmonaut Recruitment Campaign To Focus On Lunar Missions, Says Scientist

A new cosmonaut recruitment campaign launched by Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos will focus on flights aboard promising spacecraft and lunar missions, Director of the Institute of Biomedical Problems within the Russian Academy of Sciences Oleg Orlov told a news conference on Monday.

“The requirements are high from the medical viewpoint. A candidate should be a physically, mentally and psychologically healthy person. There are some specifics and during the selection procedure we will pay attention to a candidate’s abilities from the viewpoint of a hypothetical possibility of flights aboard promising spacecraft and participation in lunar missions,” the scientist said.

Read more at: TASS

Amazon’s Satellite Project Will Cost Billions, Jeff Bezos Says Inc. plans to spend billions of dollars building a network of thousands of satellites to provide broadband internet service, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said.

The Project Kuiper initiative, disclosed earlier this year, is the type of big bet the company needs to keep making as its massive scale renders smaller endeavors less meaningful, Bezos said Thursday at Amazon’s re:MARS conference in Las Vegas.

The project, he said, is “a very good business for Amazon” because it requires a big capital expenditure, Bezos said. “It’s multiple billions of dollars of capex. Amazon is a large enough company now that we need to be doing things that, if they work, can actually move the needle.”

Read more at: Bloomberg

Astronomy Group Says Starlink and Other Satellite Constellations Could Threaten Science

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is voicing concerns about the risk that SpaceX’s Starlink and other planned massive satellite constellations in low Earth orbit pose to astronomy.

The group, most famous for its role in “demoting” Pluto from the rank of planet, represents more than 13,000 astronomers worldwide. In its statement, released yesterday (June 3), the IAU pointed out that while there are several megaconstellations under development, no one knows quite what consequences such huge numbers of low Earth orbit satellites could have on astronomy.

Read more at:

‘Flarewell’: Predictable Iridium Flares Nearing End

Professional and backyard astronomers alike have been observing these predictable streaks, or flares, across the night sky for the better part of two decades.

Satellites in low Earth orbit are known to create bright streaks of light as sunlight reflects from the surface of the spacecraft down to observers on Earth. The first-generation Iridium satellite constellation, which initially launched into orbit starting in May 1997, were known to create the brightest and most well-observed flares in the night sky.

Read more at: Spaceflight Insider

Space Station Will Open To Tourists, NASA Says

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is opening up a space station to tourism.

NASA said it would open the International Space Station for “private astronaut missions of up to 30 days,” with the first mission as early as 2020. As Boeing and SpaceX are developing capsules to carry humans to the ISS, the agency said the two companies will handle these private tourists and any services related to them.

Read more at: CNBC

NASA Releases ISS Commercialization Plan

NASA unveiled a multi-pronged effort June 7 to increase commercial use of the International Space Station, from changes in policy to making a docking port available for commercial modules.

The plan, announced at an event at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York, is the latest push by NASA to encourage both increased commercial use of the ISS while building up a supply of commercial facilities that could eventually succeed the station.

“We need to think of a different way of doing business,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations. “We have no idea what kinds of creativity and literally out-of-this-world ideas can come from private industry.”

Read more at: Spacenews

ESA to Boost New Commercial Space Transportation Services

Europe is part of a new era in space transportation with new commercial initiatives offering services to space, in space, and back from space springing up within the privately led and funded space sector. ESA welcomes this development towards further European industrial growth and competitiveness.

ESA, tasked with growing and supporting European businesses, is proposing a Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support Programme (C-STS) beyond 2019, which will be presented at the Space 19+ Council meeting at Ministerial level in November this year. The initial focus will be microlaunchers and national spaceports

Read more at: ESA

Environmental Campaigners Criticise Cornwall Spaceport Plans

The council announced that it was looking to invest £12 million into the spaceport which will be used for horizontal small satellite launches.

It is part of a £20m package which was announced for the spaceport which will be based at Cornwall Airport Newquay and will be used by Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit company.

But environmentalists in Cornwall have slammed the council for supporting the project and say it goes against the authority declaring a climate emergency in January.

Read more at: Falmouth packet

Firefly Prepares For Maiden Flight With Critical Testing, New Additions

For the better part of 18 months, a Central Texas-based rocket startup known as Firefly Aerospace has been building and testing components of a small orbital launch vehicle, which is currently set to make its debut later this year if things go according to plan. However, the company has recently ramped up operations in all aspects and has unveiled newer technologies and facilities with which to expand their horizons.

Firefly Aerospace officially came to be in March of 2017, when assets belonging to the failed Firefly Space Systems startup were bought by EOS Launcher, which was owned by a strategic management team known as Noosphere Ventures.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

World View’s Stratollite Balloon Stays Aloft for 16 Days on Key Test Mission

A stratospheric balloon designed to provide long-term bird’s-eye views just took a big step toward commercial flight.

The uncrewed Stratollite system, which is built and operated by Arizona-based World View Enterprises, stayed aloft for 16 days on its most recent test mission, besting its previous record by 11 days, company representatives announced Wednesday (June 5).

“This is a great accomplishment for our team and a key step on the path towards productizing the Stratollite and the unique data sets it will provide for our customers,” World View President and CEO Ryan Hartman said in a statement Wednesday.

Read more at:

Elon Musk Is Building SpaceX’s Mars Rockets In A Tiny Texas Hamlet. But Getting Them Off The Ground There May Be Harder Than He Imagined.

On clear mornings, the mirror-like skin of a rocket ship catches the sunrise and bounces the early light into the bedroom of Maria and Ray Pointer.

Maria, a 64-year-old woman who’s spent most of her life in Alaska, but now lives in Boca Chica, Texas, said she finds herself gazing at the vehicle while juicing oranges or making breakfast.

“I get to look at this shiny sunrise, this orange sun glisten off of a rocket ship,” she said. “It’s like a picture book for a child, you know? You turn the page and there’s the rocket ship.”

Read more at: Business insider

SpaceX Beginning To Tackle Some Of The Big Challenges For A Mars Journey

Earlier this month, the principal Mars “development engineer” for SpaceX, Paul Wooster, provided an update on the company’s vision for getting to the Red Planet. During his presentation at the 2019 Humans to Mars Summit in Washington, DC, Wooster said SpaceX remains on track to send humans to Mars in the “mid-2020s.” He was likely referring to launch opportunities for Mars in 2024 and 2026, but he also acknowledged that much work remains to reach that point.

SpaceX plans to bring humans to Mars with a two-stage rocket: the Starship upper stage and a Super Heavy booster (the latter formerly known as the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR). Iterative design versions of the Starship are being built at facilities in both Boca Chica, Texas, and near Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX founder Elon Musk is expected to provide an update on their development in late June.

Read more at: Arstechnica

Tiny Chipsats, Big Success: Cracker-Size Probes Phone Home From Orbit

A fleet of tiny satellites has flashed some big potential in Earth orbit.

The 105 cracker-size miniprobes successfully phoned home in March, one day after deploying from their KickSat-2 carrier spacecraft, mission team members announced yesterday (June 3).

“This successful demonstration confirms that incredibly tiny, inexpensive spacecraft are more than just possible — they’re real,” Mason Peck, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell and the director of the university’s Space Systems Design Studio, said in a statement.

Read more at:

Space Rider: Europe’s Reusable Space Transport  System

Initially proposed in 2016, ESA’s Space Rider reentry vehicle provides a return to Earth and landing capability that compliments the existing launch options of the Ariane and Vega families.

Having recently completed system and subsystem preliminary design reviews, Space Rider is advancing quickly towards the Critical design review at the end of 2019.

Launched on Vega-C, Space Rider will serve as an uncrewed high-tech space laboratory operating for periods longer than two months in low orbit. It will then re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and land, returning its valuable payload to eager engineers and scientists at the landing site. After minimal refurbishment it will be ready for its next mission with new payloads and a new mission.

Read more at: ESA

Soyuz Spaceship’s Hatch Too Tight For FEDOR Robot

The shoulders of Russia’s FEDOR humanoid robot, which is due to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on board the Soyuz MS-14 spaceship in August, are being narrowed, a source in the aerospace industry told Interfax.

“FEDOR is preparing to travel by Soyuz MS-14. It will be an unmanned, experimental mission, so the robot being sent to space as a crewmember seems reasonable,” the source said.

As the Energia Corporation said earlier, a Soyuz-2.1a rocket will propel Soyuz MS-14 into space in August 2019. The flight will be unmanned, and a much bigger payload will be carried due to the absence of certain life-sustenance systems.

The unmanned Soyuz-MS is not a new modification of the spaceship, Energia said

Read more at: Interfax

Spacesuit Simulation: What It’s Like to Wear an Astronaut’s Outfit

Many students celebrate completing their Ph.D. with a party. I, ever the space nerd, climbed into a spacesuit instead.

I spent seven years studying remotely at the University of North Dakota (UND) here, which is home to a variety of space-related facilities. I studied crews at the Inflatable Lunar/Mars Habitat — a facility where groups of three or four people live as astronauts for a week or two, including venturing outside in pressurized spacesuits.

For months, I eavesdropped on Earth-bound simulated astronauts at this habitat to learn more about how they solve problems and display leadership in the field.

Read more at:

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Begins Final Testing Phase Before 2020 Mission

NASA’s Mars Helicopter will be a key experimental craft when it comes to shaping what humanity’s future exploring the Red Planet looks like — when it launches aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, it’ll head to Mars with the aim of testing the viability of flying heavier-than-air vehicles through another world’s atmosphere. After passing its most recent volley of tests, it’s now moving into the final stages of preparation ahead of the target July 2020 Mars launch.

The four-pound, autonomous test helicopter will be carried above the Mars 2020 rover during the flight to the planet, and will be deployed once the rover sets down in Mars’ Jezero Crater, on the target date of February 18, 2021, after its multi-month trip from Earth.

Read more at: Techcrunch

SLS Core Stage MPS: More Than Just A Fuel Tank

One of the main elements of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage that makes it more than just a big fuel tank is the Main Propulsion System (MPS). All the equipment for the care and feeding of uprated Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME), adapted for SLS by Aerojet Rocketdyne as the RS-25, is repackaged from the backend of Space Shuttle Orbiters into a more traditional inline rocket stage.

SLS upsized the Shuttle elements — the big fuel tanks are now longer, and there are more engines in the bottom of the stage. Along with the engines, the MPS is packed into the complicated engine section of the Core Stage.

Russia To Create New Orbital Satellite Grouping For Internet Of Things

Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos will deploy a new grouping of Gonets-2 satellites for the Internet of things, Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2019) on Friday.

“We are deploying a new Gonets-2 grouping… This will be the Internet of things. This system is capable of promptly transmitting information from ground sensors,” the Roscosmos chief said.

Sensors will be installed on the ground, in particular, on dams, bridges and railways. If their condition deviates from the norm, the sensors will transmit a signal to Earth’s remote sensing satellites within the Gosudarevo Oko (Sovereign’s Eye) system, which will start monitoring a particular facility and involve additional resources for re-transmitting the signal,” Rogozin explained.

Read more at: TASS

Pioneering Deep-Space Atomic Clock Taking Flight This Month

A new atomic clock that will help spacecraft navigate autonomously through the final frontier will get its first off-Earth trial soon.

NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock is scheduled to launch to Earth orbit on June 22 aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. The clock, which is about the size of a toaster oven, will operate for a year out there, proving out technology designed to enable more-efficient deep-space travel, NASA officials said.

Atomic clocks keep time by measuring the natural vibrations of atoms. Such oscillation is the backbone of modern timekeeping; after all, 1 second is officially defined as the time it takes a cesium-133 atom in a particular state to vibrate 9,192,631,770 times.

Read more at:

A Mythical Form Of Space Propulsion Finally Gets A Real Test

SINCE THE BIRTH of the space age, the dream of catching a ride to another solar system has been hobbled by the “tyranny of the rocket equation,” which sets hard limits on the speed and size of the spacecraft we sling into the cosmos. Even with today’s most powerful rocket engines, scientists estimate it would take 50,000 years to reach our closest interstellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. If humans ever hope to see an alien sunrise, transit times will have to drop significantly.

Of the advanced propulsion concepts that could theoretically pull that off, few have generated as much excitement—and controversy—as the EmDrive. First described nearly two decades ago, the EmDrive works by converting electricity into microwaves and channeling this electromagnetic radiation through a conical chamber. In theory, the microwaves can exert force against the walls of the chamber to produce enough thrust to propel a spacecraft once it’s in space.

Read more at: Wired

Advisory Committee Seeks Significant Changes In Proposed Commercial Remote Sensing Regulations

An industry advisory group will recommend significant changes to a proposal to revise commercial remote sensing regulations, arguing the current proposal falls short of what’s needed to keep up with the industry’s capabilities and needs.

Members of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, or ACCRES, spent half of their day-long meeting at the Commerce Department June 4 discussing a notice of proposed rulemaking published by NOAA May 14 that would make the first major changes to how commercial satellite imaging systems are regulated since 2006.

Read more at: Spacenews

US Ban On Using Russia’s Space Launch Services May Concern European Companies

The Pentagon’s decision to prohibit the use of Russia’s commercial space launch services may affect European companies that use US-made parts and components in their space apparatuses, the chief of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, told the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock television news channel at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.

“On this pretext the US authorities may demand that not only US manufacturers of space satellites, but also European and other firms that use some US parts and components by all means refrain from using Russian launch vehicles,” Rogozin said.

Read more at: TASS

In Fight For Moon Money, NASA Chief Finds Unlikely Ally

NASA is going back to the future. The White House wants to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024. It’s a heavy lift involving a complex interplay of partisan politics, big rockets and unlikely allies.

The 2024 moon mission, called Artemis, is a bold plan that includes expediting development on a more than 300-foot-tall rocket, launching a mini-space station around the moon, and calling on commercial partners to develop a spaceship to land humans on the moon for the first time in nearly five decades. NASA’s going to need all the help it can get.

“The administrator really has a herculean task,” said former Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. The space-policy heavy hitter has been tapped by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine to help sell the plan.

Read more at: WMFE

STPI Questions $1 Trillion Space Economy Claims

A new analysis by the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) calls into question claims about the size of the “space economy” today and projections for the future.  Trump Administration officials routinely cite forecasts of a “trillion dollar space economy” that are supported by reports from well known financial institutions, but STPI concludes they involve methodological mistakes or misunderstandings about the space business that result in overstating the value of commercial space activities.

The STPI analysis by Bhavya Lal, Keith Crane and Evan Linck was presented to a Department of Commerce (DOC) advisory committee yesterday.  That committee provides advice on commercial remote sensing regulation, the segment of the commercial space industry regulated by DOC today.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

Bid To Create PH Space Agency Gets Boost From Japan Exploration Agency

Recognizing the opportunity to support the creation of the Philippine Space Agency, the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) top officer sought to firm up the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Space Cooperation with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA during the Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia.

According to DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, the MOU provides the Philippines access to satellites and their applications (remote sensing, navigation, communication, disaster risk reduction.); co-development of satellites; joint research and access to launch vehicles; and capacity building for policy and technology development, as well as human resources upgrading.

Read more at: MB News

Army Fields Anti-Jam GPS In Germany This Fall

With Russians jamming Western GPS from Syria to Scandinavia, the US Army is rushing jam-resistant GPS kits to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany by the end of the year. The service further is already evaluating proposals for an upgraded second-generation version that will include an Inertial Navigation System (INS) as a fallback for times when GPS is completely unreachable.

Depending on how well the 2nd Cavalry likes Generation-1 and how rapidly industry can improve Generation-2, the Army could either field more Gen-1 systems, field the upgraded Gen-2, or even skip Gen-2 and go right to a Generation-3, the service’s project manager for Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) said here. Speed is crucial, Col. Nickolas Kioutas told the annual C4ISRnet conference here, with his office using Other Transactions Authority (OTA) contracting for Gen-2 to bypass much of the usual acquisitions bureaucracy.

Read more at: Breaking defense

Air Force Reports Progress In Missile Defense Satellite Programs

The fourth satellite of the Space Based Infrared System constellation has been declared fully operational, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced June 6.

The billion-dollar SBIRS GEO-4, built by Lockheed Martin, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 411 rocket on January 20, 2018.

“The satellite is healthy and sending data to the Mission Control Station, operated by the 460th Space Wing located at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado,” the Air Force said in a news release.

At this point, the Air Force Space Command is accepting the SBIRS GEO-4 satellite into the missile warning architecture for real-world operations, said Col Ricky Hunt, senior materiel leader and overhead persistent infrared satellite systems chief.

Read more at: Spacenews

Space Companies Fight For Cash With Rockets On The Line

SpaceX, Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Northrop Grumman are fighting tooth and nail for the privilege of sending spy satellites and other national security payloads to orbit for the U.S. military through the mid-2020s.

Billions of dollars in taxpayer money are on the line, along with the viability of entirely new, massive rockets, like Blue Origin’s New Glenn and ULA’s Vulcan Centaur launcher.

Read more at: Axios

NASA’s First Spacex Astronauts Ready For ‘Messy Camping Trip’ To Space

The first U.S. astronauts chosen to fly aboard a SpaceX capsule built for NASA shrugged off a spate of design and test mishaps, saying such setbacks were “part of the process” and the new technology was far more advanced than the space shuttle program that ended eight years ago.

Space shuttle veterans Bob Behnken, 48, and Doug Hurley, 52 are slated for blastoff later this year or in 2020 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the debut manned flight of the Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station and back.

Read more at: Reuters

How The First U.S. Satellite Launch Became Something Of An International Joke

When the Space Age dawned in 1957, the Soviet Union dominated. They didn’t just dominate, they ruled the heavens, setting one space milestone after another, year after year.

It wasn’t just a triumph for the Russians: It was an ongoing global embarrassment for the United States.

The Soviets created the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik, the first spacecraft of any kind, on October 4, 1957–a satellite a little bigger than a beach ball, with four swept-back antennas, that weighed an improbable 184 pounds.

Read more at: Fast company

Untold Story Of Apollo 11 Moon Landing To Be Shared By Flight Director Gene Kranz

Imagine being a part of the Apollo mission that sent the first men to the moon. What was it like to work alongside Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins? And, what are the best-kept secrets about the Apollo 11 mission?

Apollo 11’s flight director, Gene Kranz, will present “Go or No-Go: The Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing” at Purdue University. The event will take place at 3 p.m. July 18 in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse. Kranz will touch on his role during Apollo 11’s mission and how he contributed to the giant leap of space exploration. The event is sold out but will be livestreamed.

Read more at: Purdue

Views From Above: The Past Eight Months in Orbit

Since late last year, nine different astronauts from four nations have rotated through Expeditions 57, 58, and 59 aboard the International Space Station, which is still orbiting 250 miles above Earth more than 20 years since its first component was launched. These recent expeditions carried out observations and experiments related to cancer research, climate change, human endurance in microgravity, free-flying robotic exploration technologies, and much more. And of course, in their free time, the astronauts took hundreds of incredible photographs of our home planet from their unique vantage point.

Read more at: Atlantic

Course: ISS Payloads Design and Operations Safety

ISS Payloads Design and Operations Safety Course