Soyuz MS-11 returns ISS trio back to Earth

The Russian Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday and returned NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency to Earth. The End Of Mission events began on Sunday, with a Space station change of command ceremony, during which Konenenko handed over command to Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin. Undocking took place at 7:25 pm Eastern on Monday and landing followed at 10:47 pm Eastern.

The crew completed a 204-day mission spanning 3,264 orbits of the Earth and a journey of 86.4 million miles.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

Long-Awaited Space Sustainability Guidelines Approved By UN Committee

The approval of set of space sustainability guidelines by a United Nations committee has been widely endorsed by the global space community, even while questions remain on how those guidelines can be turned into more binding rules.

The U.N.’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) formally approved 21 guidelines for long-term sustainability of space at the end of its latest session in Vienna June 21, referring them to the U.N. General Assembly for endorsement later this year. The guidelines cover a range of recommended behaviors and best practices in space, including safety of space operations and international cooperation.

Read more at: Spacenews

Next Atlas 5 Launch Delayed By Battery Failure

The next launch of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket with the U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite, previously scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed to no earlier than July 17 to replace a failed battery on the vehicle.

In a statement June 23, ULA said the launch was delayed “due to a vehicle battery failure discovered during final processing.”

ULA crews at Cape Canaveral were preparing for liftoff at 8:27 a.m. EDT (1227 GMT) Thursday, June 27, with the Lockheed Martin-built nuclear-hardened, jam-resistant

AEHF 5 spacecraft designed to provide secure communications for the U.S. military and the president.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

Exos Suffers Setback In Reusable Suborbital Launch Attempt

A reusable suborbital rocket developed by Exos Aerospace suffered a loss of attitude control seconds after liftoff on a test flight June 29, but the rocket was still able to glide safely back to Earth.

Exos’ Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE, or SARGE, rocket lifted off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at about 2 p.m. Eastern. In the company’s webcast, the rocket started gyrating seconds after liftoff before disappearing from view.

Controllers were able to reestablish some control of the rocket, aborting the flight. The rocket deployed a drogue parachute and parafoil while venting unused propellant. The rocket slowly descended under that parafoil, landing within view of the launch pad 14 minutes after liftoff.

Read more at: Spacenews

Spacex Lost Contact With 3 Of The Starlink Internet Satellites It Launched In May, But The Company Seems Pleased With Its First Batch Overall

SpaceX just provided a raft of significant updates on the launch of its first five dozen internet-providing satellites.

The long-term goal of the program, called Starlink, is to eventually launch thousands of satellites into orbit around Earth in order to bathe the planet in high-speed internet access.

Elon Musk’s company rocketed the first 60 spacecraft into space and shuffled them into orbit on May 23. On Friday, a SpaceX spokesperson revealed that 45 of those satellites succeeded in using their small ion engines to reach their final orbits, and five more are on their way now. An additional five satellites are being checked out before they are raised to their final place around Earth.

Read more at: Business insider

Spacex Reports Milestone For Starlink Satellite Links — And Sparks A Debate

In the wake of last month’s launch of 60 Starlink broadband data satellites, SpaceX says all but three of them are in communication with the company’s network of ground stations, including the satellite operation’s home base in Redmond, Wash.

In an emailed update, SpaceX said Starlink is ready to go into a testing phase that involves streaming videos and playing video games via satellite.

Forty-five of the satellites have used their onboard krypton ion thrusters to reach their intended 550-kilometer (342-mile) altitude. Five satellites are in the process of raising their altitude from the 440-kilometer-high (273-mile-high) orbits into which they were launched, and five more are undergoing checkouts in preparation for raising their orbits, SpaceX said.

Read more at: Geekwire

Megaconstellation Ventures Cautious About Deployment Milestones

Companies planning large constellations of broadband satellites want regulators to be careful not to undercut their business plans by introducing strict deployment milestones for keeping their full spectrum rights.

Regulators are poised to debate, and if consensus is reached, introduce deadlines for megaconstellations to have percentages of their satellites in orbit by explicit dates or risk having their spectrum priority status limited to the number launched. The purpose of the milestones is to prevent opportunists from hogging spectrum by launching just one satellite to meet the International Telecommunication Union’s so-called bring into use rules.

Read more at: Spacenews

Spacex Launches Falcon Heavy Rocket With 24 Satellites, But Core Booster Misses Ocean Platform

SpaceX launched its heftiest rocket with 24 research satellites Tuesday, a middle-of-the-night rideshare featuring a deep space atomic clock, solar sail, a clean and green rocket fuel testbed, and even human ashes.

It was the third flight of a Falcon Heavy rocket, but the first ordered up by the military.

The Defense Department mission, dubbed STP-2 for Space Test Program, is expected to provide data to certify the Falcon Heavy — and reused boosters — for future national security launches. It marked the military’s first ride on a recycled rocket.

Read more at: NBC news

Small Launch Vehicle Companies Seek Improvements In Government Contracting

As Rocket Lab prepares the next launch of its Electron rocket, it and other small launch vehicle developers say the U.S. government can be a better, and smarter, customer for their services.

A Rocket Lab Electron is scheduled to lift off from the company’s launch site on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula during a two-hour window that opens at 12:30 a.m. Eastern June 27. The mission, dubbed “Make It Rain,” is a dedicated rideshare mission for Spaceflight Industries carrying several small satellites, including BlackSky’s Global-3 imaging satellite, with a total payload mass of 80 kilograms.

Read more at: Spacenews

O’Connell: Debris Top Priority in New Space Safety Rules

“The space environment represents an unbelievable amount of economic potential, but that potential will only be realized if we take measures now to ensure the preservation of its long-term viability and sustainability,” says Kevin O’Connell, the head of the Commerce Department’s Office of Space Commerce. Commerce is in stage two of its review of current space safety rules that may result in new requirements for debris mitigation and space situational awareness (SSA) best practices.he told Secure World Foundation’s ‘Summit for Space Sustainability’ yesterday.

In a larger sense, “space debris is in some sense an economic problem … especially as space commerce grows,” he noted.

Read more at: Breaking defense

Tunguska Revisited: 111-Year-Old Mystery Impact Inspires New, More Optimistic Asteroid Predictions

Every single day, many tons of tiny rocks – smaller than pebbles – hit the Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate. Between frequent shooting stars we wish on in the night sky and the massive extinction-level asteroids that we hope we never see, there is a middle ground of rocks sized to make it through the atmosphere and do serious damage to a limited area. Now, new research from NASA indicates that the impacts of these mid-size rocks may be less frequent than previously thought.

The research revealed that such relatively small but regionally devastating impacts happen on the order of millennia – not centuries, as previously thought. In addition, the new research has pushed forward our knowledge about the complex processes that determine how large rocks from space break up when entering Earth’s atmosphere.

Read more at: NASA

NASA Tracked Small Asteroid Before It Broke Up in Atmosphere

When a lightning detector on a NOAA weather satellite detected something that wasn’t lightning last Saturday, a scientist at the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, did some detective work.

Could a tiny, harmless object that broke up in the atmosphere in a bright flash be connected to a just-received automated alert of a potential near-Earth asteroid discovery? Although far below the size that NASA is tasked to detect and track, the event presented an ideal opportunity for NASA planetary defense teams to test their parts of the alert system.

Read more at: NASA

Scientists Turn Up The Spotlight On Space Perils (And Prospects) For Asteroid Day

Asteroid Day marks a catastrophic cosmic blast that flattened Siberian forests on June 30, 1908 — but the theme for this year’s observance is hope rather than dread.

“It’s a really exciting time for planetary defense,” former NASA astronaut Ed Lu, executive director of the B612 Foundation’s Asteroid Institute, told reporters today during the buildup to Sunday’s anniversary. And the University of Washington’s DIRAC Institute has a starring role.

Read more at: Geekwire

NASA Seeks Proposals on Docking Commercial Module to Space Station

Nearly years after it first sought input on the subject, NASA is asking U.S. industry for proposals on commercial modules to dock to the International Space Station (ISS).

The space agency issued a call for proposals on Friday for commercial destination development at ISS. A key element of the solicitation is the eventual ability to attach a commercial module to the station’s Node 2 (Harmony) module.

Read more at: Parabolic arc

Finance Bros Battle Sculptor for Control of Iconic ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue

When Kristen Visbal, an award-winning artist based in Lewes, Delaware, accepted what she calls an “embarrassingly low” fee to sculpt a girl out of bronze in 2016, she reminded herself it was for a good cause: the promotion of gender equality on International Women’s Day. It helped that the location—the center of New York City’s Financial District, across from the famed Charging Bullstatue—would be the biggest platform of her career.

She had no idea that the 4-foot statue would become Fearless Girl, an international symbol of gender equality. Nor could she have imagined what would follow—a bruising legal battle over how she could sell, donate, or even talk about the work. Her rival for custody of the girl-power iconography: a trillion-dollar investment firm with a spotty record on gender issues.

Read more at: Daily beast

Spacex Targets 2021 Commercial Starship Launch

The first commercial mission for SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy launch system will likely take place in 2021, a company executive said June 26.

Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s vice president of commercial sales, said the company is in talks with prospective customers for the first commercial launch of that system roughly two years from now.

“We are in discussions with three different customers as we speak right now to be that first mission,” Hofeller said at the APSAT conference here. “Those are all telecom companies.”

Read more at: Spacenews

China Unveils Cloud-Tech Platform To Serve Commercial Space Industry

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has unveiled a cloud technology-based data platform tailored to the commercial space industry.

The Space Cloud Cubic platform launched Wednesday in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province, is developed to provide comprehensive solutions to various parties in the commercial space industry, the CAS said.

Developed by CAS Tianta Co. Ltd., the platform has six major functions, including cloud measurement and control, cloud management, cloud communication, cloud storage, cloud computing, and cloud services.

Read more at: Xinhuanet

ESA Expertise to Support Portugal’s Launch Programme

Portugal is developing the infrastructure for a national spaceport on one of the islands of the Azores archipelago, Santa Maria, a European launch and landing location for small satellites.

As an ESA Member State, Portugal has requested ESA’s tailored expertise and technical assistance in an agreement signed on 21 June by ESA Director General Jan Wörner and Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education.

Read more at: ESA

NASA To Demonstrate New “Green” Propellant In Space Using Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion System

Aerojet Rocketdyne, along with NASA, Ball Aerospace and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), is helping usher in a new era of small satellite propulsion through the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM). On June 24, a Ball Aerospace small satellite will be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will conduct a 13-month demonstration of a revolutionary “green” propellant developed by the AFRL, called AF-M315E.

Powered by this green propellant, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s green propellant propulsion system will enable the spacecraft to execute and demonstrate orbital maneuvers in space. The system includes five 1-newton thrusters: four for attitude control and one for orbit maneuvering. This will be the first space-based demonstration of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s green propulsion technology utilizing AF-M315E propellant.

Read more at: Rocket

Europe Says SpaceX “Dominating” Launch, Vows To Develop Falcon 9-Like Rocket

This month, the European Commission revealed a new three-year project to develop technologies needed for two proposed reusable launch vehicles. The commission provided €3 million to the German space agency, DLR, and five companies to, in the words of a news release about the project, “tackle the shortcoming of know-how in reusable rockets in Europe.”

This new RETALT project’s goals are pretty explicit about copying the retro-propulsive engine firing technique used by SpaceX to land its Falcon 9 rocket first stages back on land and on autonomous drone ships. The Falcon 9 rocket’s ability to land and fly again is “currently dominating the global market,” the European project states.

Read more at: Arstechnica

Space Station Mold Survives 200 Times The Radiation Dose That Would Kill A Human

As anyone who’s ever had a mold infestation knows, the fungi can be very hard to kill. It turns out mold may also be highly resistant to the harsh conditions of outer space. Its spores can survive doses of radiation 200 times higher than those that would kill a human, researchers reported here today at the Astrobiology Science Conference. Such hardiness could make it difficult to eliminate mold’s health risks to astronauts. Mold might also one day threaten other parts of the solar system—with hitchhiking mold spores from Earth.

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) already constantly battle with mold, which grows on the station’s walls and equipment.

Read more at: Sciencemag

The Busy Life Of The Space Station Robots

The Space Station’s Canadian robotic arms have enjoyed another busy month, starting with the release of a SpaceX Dragon and ending with the deployment of a microsat. The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) – best known as Dextre – is also looking forward to NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3), while it was recently announced that the Canadian Space Agency will build an advanced robotic arm for NASA’s Lunar Gateway.

Canada’s robotic contributions to human space flight cannot be overstated.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

SpaceX Fairing-Snagging Ship Returns to Shore with Epic Catch (Photos)

Onlookers adorned the shoreline of Port Canaveral here on Thursday (June 27) as the first of SpaceX’s recovery fleet returned home. On the deck of the ship, shrouded in a blue tarp, sat the first-ever air-caught payload fairing. The fairing was plucked out of the sky early Tuesday morning (June 25) by SpaceX’s net-equipped ship, called GO Ms. Tree, shortly after the launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

Payload fairings are designed to protect satellites during launch. SpaceX fairings come in two halves, which are jettisoned once their rocket reaches space. Together, the two pieces cost about $6 million — a hefty chunk of the overall rocket cost. (It currently costs a minimum of $90 million to book a Falcon Heavy launch and $62 million for SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.)

Read more at:

This Startup Wants To Use A Hypersonic Catapult To Throw Satellites Directly Into Space By 2022

A secretive startup has been awarded a launch contract for the U.S. military using a rather novel launch system – based on kinetic energy technology that would essentially shoot satellites directly into space using a hypersonic vehicle.

Last week on Wednesday, June 19, California-based company SpinLaunch announced they had secured a launch contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). They didn’t release any further details, other than noting it was a “responsive launch prototype contract… for kinetic energy-based launch services.”

Read more at: Forbes

A Chaos Found Only on Mars

The cracked, uneven, jumbled landscape seen in this image from ESA’s Mars Express forms an intriguing type of terrain that cannot be found on Earth: chaotic terrain.

The feature visible here, Aurorae Chaos, is located in the ancient and equatorial Margaritifer Terra region of Mars. The terrain here is heavily cratered, and shows signs of myriad fascinating features – many of which are thought to be linked to past water activity.

These images show the southern part of Aurorae Chaos in detail, highlighting various swathes of fractured rock, mismatched peaks, flat-topped mounds (mesas), scarps, jumbled cliffs, and eroded craters.

Read more at: ESA

A New Kind Of Space Camp Teaches The Art Of Martian Medicine

BEN EASTER WAS delighted with the way his students were performing. He was especially delighted that a husband had just voted to kill his wife. The couple were both enrolled in the Martian Medical Analogue and Research Simulation, a continuing-education course for medical professionals who wanted to learn about health care in space by pretending to practice medicine in pretend space.

Here’s how that marital rift came to pass: About seven miles outside of Hanksville, Utah, a man stood inside a grain-silo-like building that he and the crew called the Hab. On the other side of the door stood his wife. She begged for entry, but he remained adamant: He could not let her in.

Read more at: Wired

Frozen Sperm Can Survive Space Travel, Preliminary Study Suggests

It’s one small step for science, and potentially one giant leap for mankind’s ability to populate space.

Spanish scientists have found that frozen sperm samples are still viable after exposure to simulated space flight, opening up the possibility of an space-based sperm bank. The small preliminary study, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Vienna which began Sunday, exposed human sperm samples to microgravity.

Read more at: CNN

FAA Space Office Gets Budget Boost In House Appropriations Bill

The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) got a budget boost today during House consideration of its FY2020 funding bill. An amendment by Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL) was adopted adding $8 million to FAA/AST’s FY2020 budget, bringing the total to $33 million.  It is just one step in the appropriations process, but may be an indicator of growing congressional interest in commercial space launch issues.

FAA/AST facilitates, regulates and promotes the commercial space launch and reentry business. The office’s leadership has been trying to get budget increases for the past several years to allow hiring more staff to process the ever-growing number of license and permit applications and provide other services to the burgeoning space launch sector.

Read more at: Space policy online

House Moves Bureau Of Space Commerce One Step Closer To Reality

The House adopted an amendment to the appropriations bill that funds NASA and NOAA last week that moves the Trump Administration’s goal of creating a Bureau of Space Commerce at the Department of Commerce (DOC) one step closer to reality.  The amendment transfers the money at NOAA for two existing offices that would form the nucleus of a new Bureau from NOAA to the Department of Commerce’s Management account, an action the House Appropriations Committee had rejected.  The amendment was adopted without debate.

The House is considering the FY2020 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill as part of a package of five appropriations bills, H.R. 3055.  The other four bills in “Minibus 2” are Agriculture, Interior-Environment, MilCon-VA, and Transportation-HUD (THUD).

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

NATO Approves Space Policy

The Ministers of Defense of NATO Member States have approved a new space policy, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

“Today, we took another important step in NATO’s adaptation, by approving a new overarching space policy. Space is essential to the Alliance’s defense and deterrence. From the ability to navigate and track forces, to satellite communications, and detecting missile launches. Our new policy will guide our approach to space, the opportunities and the challenges,” he said at a press conference in Brussels following the meetings of NATO Defense Ministers on June 27.

Read more at: Interfax

Don’t Let Go Canada And Changes At The Canadian Space Agency Resulted In Government Funding Commitment

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) president Sylvain Laporte took the stage in Laval on Monday, June 17, 2019 at the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) ASTRO 2019 conference with a very different message than a  year ago.

At the ASTRO 2018 conference in Quebec City last year, Laporte had to address much of the same audience and talk about the “elephant in the room”, that elephant being a government that had once again snubbed the space community at budget time. The space community is used to dealing with successive governments that don’t prioritize them, however the 2018 budget was supposed to be different. After all the consultations and a promise of new space strategy, nothing substantive was announced.

Read more at: SpaceQ

New Space Bill To Have Cover For Mishaps

India has begun prelegislative consultations on a “Space Activities Bill” that is designed to encourage domestic private rocket and satellite companies to offer services for Indian and global customers.

This is expected to address a long-pending concern on covering liabilities in the event of a mishap or damage to spacecraft.

India’s space policy currently does not cover liabilities for damage to third party space assets although the country is a signatory to the UN Treaties on Outer Space Treaty.

Read more at: Economic times

National Security Geostationary Assets are at Risk

Most people do not realize that the current US national security space (NSS) infrastructure is designed to support defensive and offensive operations. If war should break out among major spacefaring nations NSS assets will be attacked.

If an attack is successful, offensive capabilities would be greatly decreased because the current set of geostationary (GEO) NSS assets are extremely vulnerable to jamming and direct attack.

We must assume that the three major spacefaring nations have spy satellites watching other spy satellites, while several-billion-dollar “eyes in the sky” watch the Earth while collecting intelligence and communicating with warfighters.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Air Force Preparing For Space Reorganization As Senate Advances NDAA

The Senate on Thursday passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 by a vote of 86-8. The bill authorizes the establishment of a U.S. Space Force under the Air Force as a new military service.

The Senate approved a space organization that is somewhat different than what was passed by the House Armed Services Committee, which proposed a Space Corps. The full House will take up the NDAA in July. Both chambers will have to hammer out a compromise on final NDAA language before a new space service is enacted.

Read more at: Spacenews

How To Fight A War In Space (And Get Away With It)

Last March, India became only the fourth country in the world—after Russia, the US, and China—to successfully destroy a satellite in orbit. Mission Shakti, as it was called, was a demonstration of a direct-ascent anti-satellite weapon (ASAT)—or in plain English, a missile launched from the ground. Typically this type of ASAT has a “kill vehicle,” essentially a chunk of metal with its own guidance system, mounted on top of a ballistic missile. Shortly after the missile leaves the atmosphere, the kill vehicle detaches from it and makes small course corrections as it approaches the target. No explosives are needed; at orbital speeds, kinetic energy does the damage.

Read more at: Technology review

RUMOR: Mike Griffin May Be Next Space Leader to Go

Rumors are swirling in Pentagon circles and on Capitol Hill that Mike Griffin, undersecretary of Defense for research and engineering (USDR&E), may be the next DoD manager with space-related responsibilities to step down — or be pushed out.

“It is clear that there are problems in Griffin’s office,” said one Pentagon insider, “and rumors are flying that he may be on his way out.”

A DoD spokesperson would not comment today, saying: “I have nothing to provide on that.”

Read more at: Breaking defense

Air Force To Continue To Push Back On Proposed Space Launch Legislation

Air Force officials continue to press their case against legislative efforts to allow more than two companies to receive contracts in the next phase of the national security space launch program.

“Two is the right number from a mission assurance perspective,” Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of the Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, told SpaceNews on Tuesday.

The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act directs the Air Force to create more opportunities for new entrants to compete in the Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement, and requires that the Air Force set aside $500 million to help companies build launch pads and get their rockets certified.

Read more at: Spacenews

Adam Savage To Build Full-Scale Replica Of Apollo Spacecraft Hatch

Adam Savage is preparing to make Apollo history — literally.

The Mythbuster, maker and host of Science Channel’s “Savage Builds,” Savage has partnered with the National Air and Space Museum to create a full-scale replica of the crew hatch from an Apollo command module, the spacecraft that flew astronauts to and from the moon.

The build, to be conducted in front of the public at the Washington, D.C. museum on July 18, is part of the Smithsonian’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing.

Read more at: Collectspace

Sotheby’s To Auction Rare Videotape Of Neil Armstrong’s First Steps On Moon

A one-time NASA intern who bought a truckload of videotapes to resell them may end up a millionaire next month when Sotheby’s auctions what it says is the only surviving original recording of man’s first steps on the moon 50 years ago.

In the years after the July 20, 1969 moon landing during the Apollo 11 mission, NASA was recording over its tapes or selling them to cut costs, said Gary George, who was a college student when he bought more than 1,100 reels of NASA videotape for about $218 at a government surplus auction in 1976.

Read more at: Reuters

AIA Names Mike French Vice President Of Space Systems

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) has appointed Mike French as its Vice President of Space Systems. In this role he will lead AIA’s Space Systems policy division, working with AIA’s Space Council, to advocate for policies, regulations, and investments to ensure American leadership and strong industry partnership across the civil, commercial, and national security sectors.

“AIA is doubling down on our space advocacy and Mike is the perfect person to lead our efforts,” said AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning. “Mike brings to AIA an incredible range of experience in government and industry and I’m thrilled to have him on the team.”

Read more at: AIA

How A Park On The Moon Could Lead To More Consensus On Space Exploration

NASA maintains it wants to preserve some of the Apollo landing sites on the moon. But there’s currently no binding international framework requiring future visitors — whether other nations or private space tourists — to protect the footprints of astronaut Neil Armstrong.

That’s where For All Moonkind comes in — a Connecticut-based nonprofit focused on preserving such sites so future generations can marvel out how much space travel has advanced since the Apollo era.

“Ideally it would be a park,” says Michelle Hanlon, associate director of the National Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law who founded the group two years ago. “The whole point of preserving the boot print is so my children can go see it and laugh about how funny the [Lunar Excursion Module] looks.”

Read more at: Politico

Elon Musk’s Fortune Is Shifting Away From Tesla and Toward SpaceX

Early this morning at Cape Canaveral, employees of Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. rejoiced.

A Falcon Heavy delivered 24 satellites into three distinct orbits while the rocket’s twin boosters landed safely back on Earth almost simultaneously. Apart from the failure of the center booster to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, the mission that Musk had described as SpaceX’s toughest test yet had been a success.

Read more at: Bloomberg

Metropolitan Area Of Amsterdam Starts Exploring Use Of Drone Technology

RAI Amsterdam, Johan Cruijff ArenA and the municipality of Amsterdam will jointly explore the added value and feasibility of a drone hub corridor. Places in the city where electrically powered unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) can take off and land. The reason for this is a European project on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and the fact that the European Commission and EASA have announced the new rules for drones.

Henk Markerink, CEO Johan Cruijff ArenA and Paul Riemens, CEO RAI Amsterdam, announced this during WeMakeTheCity in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. These urban issues about mobility, digital infrastructure and safety are the themes during Amsterdam Drone Week, December 4 to 6 in RAI Amsterdam.

Read more at: Spacewat

Russian Space Contractor Escapes Jail Time After $6.5M Fraud

The former head of a contracting firm charged with embezzling almost $6.5 million during construction of a Russian spaceport and spending money on luxury goods has received a suspended sentence and escaped jail time.

The Vostochny Cosmodrome, a $3 billion project seen in Moscow as vital to secure Russia’s independent access to space, has been embroiled in allegations of mass fraud and mismanagement. Viktor Grebnev, who headed the TMK contractor until it was declared bankrupt 2015, was accused of knowingly signing loss-making contracts and using company money to buy yachts and a mansion.

Read more at: Moscow times

IAASS Space Debris course