Man vs. Machine

Read more at: Washington Examiner

A NASA-Funded Study Says Long Trips In Space Could Destroy Astronauts’ Stomachs And Cause Cancer

Astronauts may not be able to stomach long voyages into space — literally speaking.

A new NASA-funded study reveals that exposure to space radiation on long trips, like a voyage to Mars, could permanently harm astronauts’ intestines and lead to stomach and colon cancer.

The study, published by cancer researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center, used mice to test exposure to heavy ion radiation, which mimics the galactic cosmic radiation found in deep space. If that sounds complicated, essentially researchers compared “space” radiation to X-ray radiation and found its effects to be much more dangerous.

Read more at: CNN

Will Non-Astronauts Survive Space Travel? Q&A with a NASA Researcher

Space tourism is officially open for business. This month, Elon Musk’s SpaceX announced that Yusaku Maezawa, a 42-year-old Japanese entrepreneur and art collector, would be circumnavigating the moon in 2023. But he isn’t going alone: Maezawa will bring six to eight artists with him to create an “awe-inspiring, universal art project.”

These tourists may not be driving SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket themselves, but they’ll still have to endure the physical and emotional stress of traveling to the moon. Let’s just say it’s not remotely close to jet lag.

Read more at: CN traveler

Soyuz Capsule Carrying 3 Crew Land Safely In Kazakhstan

A Russian space capsule with three men onboard has safely landed in a barren steppe in Kazakhstan after a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-08 carrying Russia’s Oleg Artemyev and NASA’s Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold touched down at 5.44 p.m. Kazakh time (1144 GMT).

The two Americans ventured outside the space station for three space walks to carry out maintenance during their 197-day stay at the orbiting lab. Artemyev conducted one spacewalk together with a fellow Russian.

Read more at: ABC News

NOAA And NASA Establish Board To Investigate GOES-17 Instrument Problem

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Oct. 2 that they are convening a panel to investigate the cause of an instrument problem on a geostationary weather satellite launched earlier this year that impairs its functionality.

The agencies said they are establishing a mishap investigation board to probe the cause of the anomaly with the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument on the GOES-17 weather satellite launched in March. The board will be chaired by David McGowan, chief engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center, with four other members from NASA’s Ames, Glenn and Johnson centers.

Read more at: Spacenews

Boeing Plans Changes To SLS Upper Stages

With NASA’s decision to continue using an interim upper stage for additional flights of the Space Launch System, Boeing is working on changes to both that stage and a more powerful upper stage.

In an Oct. 3 call with reporters, John Shannon, vice president and program manager for the Space Launch System at Boeing, said NASA has asked Boeing to look at changes to the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) to improve its performance.

Those changes were prompted by the decision NASA made earlier this year to delay the introduction of the EUS.

Read more at: Spacenews

No Commercial Crew Test Flights Expected This Year

NASA has released new target dates for test flights of commercial crew capsules in development by SpaceX and Boeing, with unpiloted demo missions by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spaceships now scheduled for January and March, followed by crewed orbital missions in mid-2019.

The new schedule for the commercial crew test flights was released Thursday by NASA, which promised more timely updates as the Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner near their first space missions.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

China Could Expand Its Space Station To Six Modules

China could extend plans for its space station by adding further modules to the planned orbital complex, a senior space official has stated.

Yang Hong, from the Institute of Manned Space System Engineering under the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a major spacecraft maker, stated that the basic T-shape for the planned three-module Chinese Space Station (CSS) could be extended to add three more modules and greatly increase the overall mass of the orbital outpost.

Yang presented the characteristics and functions of the ‘Tiangong’ (Heavenly Palace) space station at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany on October 4.

Read more at: Gbtimes

Innovative Single-Person Spacecraft Design Passes Leak Test (Exclusive)

A spacecraft designed to eventually replace many spacewalking astronaut activities passed two key pressure tests in September, representatives from the company building the spacecraft told in an exclusive interview.

The spacecraft concept from Maryland-based Genesis Engineering Solutions is just big enough for one person; an astronaut would float inside the spacecraft for several hours and use robotic arms to manipulate equipment. Propulsive thrusters would allow the spacecraft to nestle close to a target, similar to NASA’s Manned Maneuvering Unit jetpack that was briefly tested on astronaut spacesuits in the 1980s.

Read more at:

NASA Plays Down Soyuz Investigation Controversy

NASA continues to downplay any concerns about the status of current or future Soyuz missions even as rumors continue in Russian media about the cause of a hole in the Soyuz docked to the station.

In an Oct. 3 statement, the second in less than three weeks from the agency on the issue, NASA responded to Russian media reports quoting Dmirty Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, who said the hole was not the cause of a manufacturing defect.

“Ruling out a manufacturing defect indicates that this is an isolated issue which does not categorically affect future production,” NASA said in the statement.

Read more at: Spacenews

ESA Looking At Deeper Cooperation With China On Moon Village Concept, Human Spaceflight

The European Space Agency is working to further cooperation with China in areas including human spaceflight and lunar exploration, agency director general Johann-Dietrich Woerner said on Tuesday.

Mr Woerner, who also went on to present matters related to the next ESA council, was speaking at an ESA press conference at the 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Bremen, Germany.

Asked about developments in ESA’s relationship with China in terms of human spaceflight, space science and lunar exploration, Mr Woerner responded with an overview of collaboration and an update on the Moon Village concept.

Read more at: Gbtimes

How Small Satellites Could Revolutionize Access To Space

Advancements in small satellites a fraction of the size of those already circling the Earth have companies scrambling to capitalize on the burgeoning “CubeSat” industry. Yet more sophisticated uses of the still-adolescent technology remain unproven amid concerns over the long-term viability of the sector.

The U.S. space industry is going through a revolution. Companies such as SpaceX, owned by Tesla founder Elon Musk, are helping to pivot the sector toward a more sustainable commercial model. President Trump’s plans for a new branch of the armed forces dedicated to space have focused attention on the domain at a level not seen in decades. And products with heightened capabilities in a slew of different areas are helping to drive down overall costs and fuel outside investment.

Read more at: Washington Examiner

Huh? Carbon Dioxide Emissions Raise Risk of Satellite Collisions

In February 2009, two space satellites orbiting at speeds of almost 17,000 mph collided at a height of 482 miles over Siberia.

One was an operational U.S. communications satellite, Iridium-33. The other was a heavier, obsolete Russian military satellite called Cosmos-2251. For space scientists, the collision was a rude awakening to a worrisome kind of new math.

The ultra-high-speed collision turned two space orbiters in a cloud of debris with 2,300 objects. That made other scientists—climate scientists—take note, because changes in the upper atmosphere stand to increase the risk of space collisions. There are currently 21,000 pieces of trackable space debris, ranging in size from upper stages of old rockets to dime-sized chunks of metal.

Read more at: Scientific American

An Arizona Balloon Company Is Working On A Technology To Make Space Satellites Obsolete. Here’s A Rare Look Inside Their Giant Factory.

About 1,900 active satellites are orbiting Earth as you read this sentence. That may seem like a lot of stuff in the sky, but more than twice as many airplanes soar overhead at any given moment, adding up to tens of millions of commercial flights per year.

The reason we don’t launch more commercial satellites to watch the environment, speed up the internet, or gather military intelligence is because getting to space is expensive. Very expensive. Elon Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, is slashing prices with reusable rocket technologies (and Jeff Bezos’ competitor, Blue Origin, is not far behind), but those discount launches still cost tens of millions of dollars.

Read more at: Business Insider

Space Junk Hunter-Killer Satellites Are On The Way

Australian researchers are developing “hunter-killer” satellites designed to neutralise potentially catastrophic space junk.

In a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, a team led Rod Boswell from the Australian National University describe a craft that uses a single electric propulsion device to create two jets of plasma. The jets not only propel the satellite, but can be directed to fire at orbiting debris, slowing it until it falls gently to a fiery end in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Not all pieces of space junk are large, like those that dramatically spoil the day for Sandra Bullock and her fellow cast members in the 2013 movie, Gravity.

Read more at: Cosmos magazine

With Big Business Dominating Earth’s Orbit, NASA Moves Deeper Into Space

The mission to Mars that President Trump promised in a White House summit in June would have been the stuff of dime-store novels when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded in 1958.

Six decades later, the hurdles that government and business must overcome to pull off the trip illustrate the chasm that still remains between the reality of space travel and Hollywood’s depiction of it.

There’s no artificial gravity, for instance, as shown in 2015’s “The Martian.” American engineers abandoned the concept in the 1960s because of size requirements that made it problematic to get an equipped vessel all the way through Earth’s atmosphere and beyond.

Read more at: Washington examiner

Russian Launch Service Provider Reveals Cost Of Soyuz-2.1 Rocket Launch

The basic price to launch Russia’s Soyuz-2.1 carrier rocket with the Fregat booster will stand at about $48.5 million, the Russian launch service provider, Glavkosmos Launch Services, has said.

“On the first day of the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, our team announced the basic price to launch a Soyuz-2.1 carrier rocket with the Fregat booster. It comes to $48.5 million,” the company said in a statement, posted on Facebook.

The launch of the Soyuz-2.1 without the Fregat booster would cost about $35 million. “Therefore, the delivery of 1 kg of cargo by a Soyuz-2 rocket will cost $20,000-30,000… which is below the average market price,” the statement reads.

Read more at: TASS

Why the Space Tourism Industry Needs Flight Attendants (Op-Ed)

All the talk about space tourism seems to be about when rather than why. Companies like Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic have announced plans to launch tourists into suborbital space within the next year, and SpaceX recently revealed its plans to send up to eight artists on a trip around the moon.

As is often the case with private companies’ ambitious plans to launch tourists into space, the timelines for these missions often change. While the time has not yet come for private citizens to start booking tickets for out-of-this-world adventures, now is the right time to start thinking about the comfort and safety of the tourists that will soon start blasting off into space.

Read more at:

An Out-Of-This-World Concept: Houston Spaceport Will Take Bay Area To New Heights

The Ellington Airport in Southeast Houston is home to the country’s 10th spaceport, which officials say will eventually be a takeoff site for space vehicles, allow for commercial supersonic air travel that could take flyers to Europe in a couple of hours, and bring in thousands of spaceport-based jobs.

The spaceport has remained mostly empty land since the Federal Aviation Administration officially licensed it as a spaceport in June 2015, but project officials have a long-term vision to make the Houston Airport System a commercial aerospace industry leader.

The 100-year-old Ellington Airport is a military airport that allows for private takeoffs and landings. Plans for the spaceport would make it Houston’s third international airport, a first for the country, said Bob Mitchell, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership president.

Read more at: Community impact

Lockheed Martin Considering Flying Commercial Payloads On Orion

Lockheed Martin is in the early stages of studying the feasibility of flying small commercial payloads on future NASA flights of the Orion spacecraft in cislunar space.

In a presentation Oct. 5 during the 69th International Astronautical Conference (IAC) here, company officials said they’re working with commercial payload service provider NanoRacks to solicit ideas of the types of payloads people would like to fly on Orion missions as part of an effort to determine the technical and fiscal feasibility of doing so.

“We recently partnered with NanoRacks to begin looking at how you could leverage the same kind of national lab capability” as the International Space Station for Orion missions into deep space, said Rob Chambers, director of human spaceflight strategy and business development at Lockheed Martin, in an interview.

Read more at: Spacenews

Blue Origin’s Anticlimactic Victory And Aerojet’s Plan B

For most of the space industrythe question was not so much what engine United Launch Alliance would pick for the first stage of its Vulcan rocket, but when. For months, the company offered tantalizing hints that it would announce its choice “soon,” but was never more specific.

ULA finally announced its decision Sept. 27, and did so in an understated way. In the fifth paragraph of a press release highlighting its “industry-leading strategic partnerships” for building Vulcan, the company announced it had selected Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine for Vulcan, a choice nearly everyone expected.

“We are pleased to enter into this partnership with Blue Origin and look forward to a successful first flight of our next-generation launch vehicle,” said Tory Bruno, president and chief executive of Blue Origin, in that statement.

Read more at: Spacenews

Are Billionaires’ Space Travel Plans Out Of Touch With Reality?

In 2001, American businessman Dennis Tito became the world’s first space tourist to pay his way. He spent 20 million dollars for almost eight days with the crew on a Russian spacecraft orbiting Earth 128 times. During the next decade, six other space tourists followed with tickets reaching 40 million dollars.

In the years since, some private companies have been working to reduce the cost of space tourism. In 2018, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched a Tesla using a heavy-lift, reusable rocket, a trial run for eventually sending crews to space stations.

Read more at: National Geographic

A Liftoff At Last For A Rocket Engine Agreement

What was announced four years ago at a splashy press conference in Washington finally concluded last week with a simple press release.

In September 2014, Tory Bruno, the still-new CEO of United Launch Alliance, took the stage at a Washington press conference with Jeff Bezos, the founder and funder of Blue Origin. The two announced they were working together to develop a new rocket engine, the BE-4, for use on a future, still-undefined next generation launch vehicle.

It was long a foregone conclusion in the space industry that ULA would eventually pick the BE-4 for Vulcan, barring either a major technical setback for Blue Origin or some other unforeseen event. The only question was when the company would make that decision.

Read more at: Spacereview

First Orion Service Module Ready For Shipment To The U.S.

The first European-built service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft is finally ready to be shipped to the United States for final preparations before a scheduled mid-2020 launch.

At a press conference during the 69th International Astronautical Congress here Oct. 3, representatives of NASA, the European Space Agency and companies involved in the program said the first European Service Module, the “powerhouse” of the Orion spacecraft, should be shipped from a nearby Airbus factory late this month.

“We’re planning to ship on the 29th of October,” said Nico Dettmann, head of ESA’s Exploration Development Group. Some final testing of the service module could delay that shipment by up to a week, he said, “but we’re very confident that we’ll ship on the 29th.”

Read more at: Spacenews

Blue Origin Works On Blue Moon Lunar Trip With Germany’s OHB And MT Aerospace

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space venture, Blue Origin, has signed a letter of intent to cooperate with Germany’s OHB Group and MT Aerospace on a future mission to the moon that’ll use Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander.

The arrangement could mesh with OHB’s participation in a project to build a European-built module for the international lunar orbital platform known as the Gateway, which is due to take shape in the mid-2020s. OHB Systems is a key development partner for the planned logistics module, which is known as the European System Providing Refueling, Infrastructure and Telecommunications or ESPRIT.

Read more at: Geekwire

Restoring the US Competitive Edge In Space: The Importance of the Space Launch System

The United States cannot remain a great power without a leading space presence. Countries understand that achievements in space boost their sovereignty, status, and power.

They also drive economic and technological advancement by generating novel technologies, especially for computers, propulsion, energy, and electronics.

Alarmingly, U.S. space competitiveness is declining. From the start of the space age until recentlythe United States enjoyed was the preeminent space power. Yet, this status has significantly erodedand threatens to worsen further.

Read more at: sldinfo

Scientists Develop A New Way To Remotely Measure Earth’s Magnetic Field

Researchers in Canada, the United States and Europe have developed a new way to remotely measure Earth’s magnetic field–by zapping a layer of sodium atoms floating 100 kilometres above the planet with lasers on the ground.

The technique, documented this week in Nature Communications, fills a gap between measurements made at the Earth’s surface and at much higher altitude by orbiting satellites.

“The magnetic field at this altitude in the atmosphere is strongly affected by physical processes such as solar storms and electric currents in the ionosphere,” says Paul Hickson an astrophysicist at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and author on the paper.

Read more at: Eurekalert

Lockheed Introduces Moon Shuttle That Could Be Adapted For Mars

Lockheed Martin, the contractor working with NASA to take humans to Mars, introduced a reusable moon shuttle on Wednesday that it envisions as a prototype for a vehicle ferrying astronauts between the surface of the Red Planet and an orbiting space station.

The so-called lunar lander concept that the Bethesda, Md.-based company unveiled at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany, could take a crew of four people and 2,000 pounds of cargo back and forth between the moon and the Lunar Gateway module, an orbiting outpost NASA aims to build in the 2020s. It wouldn’t need to refuel on the surface.

“NASA asked industry for innovative and new approaches to advance America’s goal of returning humans to the moon, and establishing a sustainable, enduring presence there,” said Lisa Callahan, general manager of Lockheed’s civil space business. “This lander could be used to establish a surface base, deliver scientific or commercial cargo, and conduct extraordinary exploration of the moon.”

Read more at: Washington Examiner

Bipartisan Efforts Aimed At Giving Space Station A Lift [Opinion]

At a time when Washington is mired in gridlock and partisan fighting, NASA and the International Space Station stand out as one of the few areas of broad consensus and political support, similar to the support we have seen on the Appropriations Committees, to boost NASA’s budget year-over-year.

In August, Sen. Ted Cruz joined with colleagues across the aisle and ideological spectrum, including Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., to send a powerful signal that the International Space Station and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will remain the center of NASA’s human spaceflight program for many years to come.

Read more at: Houston chronicle

NASA, UAE Space Agency Sign Historic Implementing Arrangement for Cooperation in Human Spaceflight

NASA and the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) signed an Implementing Arrangement (IA) Monday, Oct. 1, that outlines cooperation across a range of areas related to space exploration and human spaceflight. The document was signed by H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during a ceremony at the 69th International Astronautical Congress, being held in Bremen, Germany Oct. 1-5.

The IA falls under the overarching Framework Agreement signed between the UAESA and NASA in June 2016, which established a framework for areas of cooperation in ground-based research; sub-orbital research; research and flight activities in low-Earth orbit (LEO); and human and robotic exploration in the vicinity of the moon, on the lunar surface, and beyond.

Read more at: NASA

Airbus CEO Calls For Reforms To European Space Governance

The chief executive of Airbus used an international space conference to call for reforms in how Europe manages and funds space activities in order to better compete on the global market.

In a keynote at the 69th International Astronautical Congress here Oct. 4, Tom Enders called for measures including reorganizing procurement of European space programs and doing away with the process by countries are guaranteed work proportional to their contributions to ESA programs.

“I have to tell you I’m concerned with Europe’s slow reaction to the NewSpace revolution, and a revolution I think it really is,” he said. “I’m concerned about cumbersome decision-making processes in Europe, also industrial inefficiencies, lack of investments and, to a large part, a lack of enthusiasm for space.”

Read more at: Spacenews

Bill To Require Reusable Rockets Benefits SpaceX At Taxpayers’ Expense

Crony capitalism—a system where businesses thrive by winning favors from politicians and not by competing in the market—is a plague on this planet. If Congress has its way, that system may soon be making the jump from earth to space. New legislation will bias a military satellite program in favor of futuristic, unproven technology that could cost taxpayers billions.

The Department of Defense puts crucial military satellites into orbit using the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. One of the main companies that has contracts with the EELV to provide the necessary launch vehicles is SpaceX, run by Elon Musk.

Read more at: Federalist

India Asks Moscow To Train Three Astronauts In Russia

India has asked Russia to train its group of three astronauts on the basis of Russian infrastructures, the chief of the space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin has said.

“India would like to put in space three astronauts, including one woman… We’ve been asked to train these people on the basis of our infrastructures,” Rogozin told the media on Friday.

Rogozin said the Roscosmos training center provided instruction services to US and European astronauts. He explained that in making preparations for space flights India lacked competence in some fields.

Read more at: TASS

US Mulls Withdrawal From Arms Treaty Over Russian ‘Violations’

The United States hinted Thursday it might withdraw from a landmark Cold War nuclear arms reduction treaty if Russia does not stop “violating” the accord.

Washington has complained for nearly two years that a ground-launched missile system deployed by Russia breaches the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

“This situation is untenable, and we have to take measures to deal with this continued violation of this very important treaty,” US ambassador on disarmament Robert Wood told reporters in Geneva. He said that pushing Russia to “come back into compliance” with the INF would be a top US priority at disarmament meetings at the United Nations in New York next week.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Report: Trump may fire Air Force Secretary Wilson over Space Force

President Trump is considering firing U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson after the midterm elections due to her perceived slow-rolling of his order to create a separate Space Force, according to a report from Foreign Policy.

In an article posted online Thursday afternoon, Foreign Policy reported that Trump and Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan are “angered … with what is seen as a campaign to undermine the Space Force effort” by Wilson. Citing three unnamed sources, Foreign Policy reported that Trump has not made a final decision on firing Wilson, but that potential replacements, including Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., are being considered.

Read more at: Airforce times

Air Force Designates GO1 Hypersonic Flight Research Vehicle As X-60A

The Air Force has designated the GOLauncher1 hypersonic flight research vehicle as X-60A. The vehicle is being developed by Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory, Aerospace Systems Directorate, High Speed Systems Division.

It is an air-dropped liquid rocket, specifically designed for hypersonic flight research to mature technologies including scramjet propulsion, high temperature materials and autonomous control.

Read more at: AF

The Legal Mandate For A US Space Force

Since President Trump announced he would form the US Space Force, there has been a lot of debate over the validity, possibility, and even sanity of his proposal. Existing military services deny the need while they persist in stultifying US space utilization to only providing services to existing fighting forces on the ground, in the air, and on the seas, while ignoring the growing space industry and work by some, like SpaceX, intent on settling Mars.

I am reminded of the 1920s and ’30s, when US air power was controlled entirely by the Navy and Army. Most of their air power was in the form of blimps, which they used as forward observers for artillery and for anti-submarine warfare. They had a couple old bombers left over from World War I, and a lot of wartime and postwar biplanes that served as “pursuit” planes (the previous term for fighter planes, as their primary job wasn’t to fight each other but to pursue balloons, blimps, and bombers to shoot them down.) Their typical airspeed ranged from 120 kilometers per hour up to as much as twice that, but not much more.

Read more at: Spacereview

Apollo Astronaut Harrison Schmitt Has A Warning About China

Harrison Schmitt, the most-recent living man to walk on the moon, says China is poised to beat the U.S. in returning humans to the lunar surface, dealing a crushing blow to the American psyche and business prospects, unless Congress authorizes a game-changing shakeup at NASA.

Schmitt, 83, sees returning to the moon as more than a national vanity project. He fears U.S. leadership would suffer on Earth if China lands a man first, with American energy firms losing an edge in exploiting rare resources and ultimately colonizing the lunar surface.

Only 12 men have walked on the moon — all during the Apollo program from 1969 to 1972 — and just four are still alive. Schmitt was the only geologist, spending 21 hours over three days collecting samples and exploring “a beautiful valley” deeper than the Grand Canyon on Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the moon.

Read more at: Washington Examiner

‘Space Junk?’ What Is The ‘Foamy’ Mystery Object That Washed Ashore On An SC Beach?

A mystery came out of the ocean on South Carolina’s Seabrook Island, and authorities haven’t yet identified what some are calling “space junk.”

The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network was the first to notice, posting a photo on Facebook of a “mysterious object that washed ashore” on Thursday. The island is about 24 miles south of Charleston. The object is big, taller than a woman standing nearby, and it’s cylindrical.

Read more at: Charlotte observer

Boeing May Have Used A Lobbying Firm To Plant A Scathing Opinion Piece About Spacex In US News Outlets. At Stake Is Billions Of Dollars In NASA Contracts.

Boeing, the 102-year-old titan of the aerospace industry, is in a heated competition with SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, for billions of dollars in NASA contracts.

As Boeing is seeking to secure that taxpayer funding – and the prestige of launching astronauts into space – the company might be secretly placing an opinion article that criticizes SpaceX in newspapers around the US.

Both companies are trying to show NASA they can safely launch the agency’s astronauts to and from the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, a roughly $8 billion competition the agency launched to spur private companies to build safe, cost-effective, American-made spaceships.

Read more at: Business Insider

Review Of Michael H. Gorn’s ‘Spacecraft’ Book

Why has adventure travel exploded in the last few years?

Two reasons:

  1. Cheap flights.
  2. Fewer visa complications (the European Union’s expansion opened Eastern Europe and Africa is simplifying its visa procedures too).

As a result, people have quickly checked off their classic international bucket list destinations such as Egypt, Venice, Zanzibar and Czechia. Now travelers want something more exotic and adventurous: Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and outer space.

Read more at: Forbes

How Spacex Found Itself In The Crosshairs Of An SEC Lawsuit

When the Securities and Exchange Commission set its sights on Elon Musk and electric car phenomenon Tesla recently, the billionaire industrialist’s rocket company, SpaceX, also got caught in the regulator’s crosshairs.

Fallout from the clash with the SEC over Musk’s controversial tweets about having raised money to take Tesla private turns out to have endangered many of the Silicon Valley darling’s ventures because of a little-known process that connected all his companies – private and public – and put them at risk of being unable to pursue a specific form of fundraising. Musk, according to reports, grew concerned.

Read more at: Florida today

‘I Am Too Old for Mars’

The first attempt went spectacularly wrong. So did the second one. And the third. Then came the fourth launch of a “Falcon 1” rocket, and had it too ended up in disaster, the name SpaceX would likely have ended up as little more than a footnote in the history of space exploration. Almost exactly 10 years ago, on Sept. 28, 2008, the first privately-developed rocket capable of delivering payloads into Earth’s orbit thundered into the sky from Omelek Island in the South Pacific.

Since then, SpaceX has done no less than revolutionize the space industry. Because it believes in the principle of reusability, the company can offer satellite launches at competitive prices. What’s more: SpaceX has the “Falcon Heavy,” currently the world’s most powerful rocket. But that’s still not enough for SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

Read more at: Spiegel

John Logsdon and the Dawn of the Space Age [podcast]

The Dean of space policy, John Logsdon, returns with stories and a new book of original documents that shaped the US space program from the birth of NASA to SpaceX. Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye reports in from this year’s International Astronautical Congress in German, while Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla wraps up a working tour of New Zealand. Then join Bruce and Mat for this week’s What’s Up.

Read more at: Planetary

“Safe Passage to Mars” Design Challenge

“Safe Passage to Mars” is a design challenge for undergraduate students. Enabling safe space exploration of Moon, Mars and beyond requires the application of the concepts of Engineering Psychology to design and build hardware (tools, devices, or equipment) which can mitigate critical human performance issues associated with long-duration spaceflight.

Read more at: ISSF

10th IAASS Conference

15 – 17 May 2019 – Los Angeles, USA

The tenth IAASS Conference “Making Safety Happen” is an invitation to reflect and exchange information on a number of topics in space safety and sustainability of national and international interest. The conference is also a forum to promote mutual understanding, trust, and the widest possible international cooperation in such matters. The once exclusive “club” of nations with autonomous space access capabilities is becoming crowded with fresh, and ambitious new entrants. New commercial spaceports and near-spaceports are in operations and others are being built.

Read more at: IAASS Conference

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