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April 2012 Archives



A Canadian company called UrtheCast has begun to claim that it is going to place the first live HD video feed on the International Space Station in a few months.  Despite all of their PR and hype, NASA isn't so sure that there actually is a real product and service - as advertised by UrtheCast.


Switching out a spacecraft maintenance facility is definitely not an easy task. Besides the obvious requirements to contain toxic fuels and provide enough power, there is also the work of deciding what previous structures will be useful to new contractors.


Blue Origin successfully tested the design of its next-generation Space Vehicle, completing a series of wind tunnel tests to refine the aerodynamic characteristics of the spacecraft's unique biconic shape.

United Launch Alliance has launched another salvo in the space marketing campaign war with its latest video title "What We Believe". Dan Collins, Chief Operating Officer, opens the video saying it's not about the "smoke and fire", which coincidentally is what Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne called their marketing video four months ago.

SpaceRef had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Scott Hubbard at the 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Dr. Hubbard is professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University. He has been engaged in space-related research, as well as program, project and executive management for more than 35 years, including 20 years with NASA, culminating as director of NASA's Ames Research Center.


Planetary Resources, Inc. announced today its plan to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals. Through the development of cost-effective exploration technologies, the company is poised to initiate prospecting missions targeting resource-rich asteroids that are easily accessible.

A conversation with Jim Chilton and John Mulholland of Boeing. Mr. Mulholland is Vice President and Program Manager - Commercial Programs, Space Exploration while Mr. Chilton is Vice President and Program Manager Exploration Launch Systems.

SpaceRef had the opportunity to sit down with Wayne Hale at the 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Mr. Hale is a former NASA space shuttle mission controller, flight director, space shuttle program manager, Deputy Associate Administrator for Strategic Partnerships and currently the Director of Human Spaceflight / International Programs with Special Aerospace Services. Wayne share his thoughts on the current status of the space program, the future and his current work.


Boeing has signed an agreement with NASA's Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) at Johnson Space Center to collaborate on mission planning, training and flight operations for the company's Commercial Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft.


The upcoming launch of a SpaceX spacecraft and rocket on a demonstration flight to the International Space Station is expected to cross a key milestone on the path to operational, commercial missions.


The Lockheed Martin team developing GeoEye's next-generation Earth-imaging satellite successfully initiated power-on testing for the GeoEye-2 spacecraft bus. This program milestone continues the team's on-time and on-budget performance in support of GeoEye's plan for on-orbit operations in 2013.


When the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology SATellite (FASTSAT) went on orbit Nov. 19, 2010, the planned mission was for 12 months. FASTSAT, developed by Dynetics in partnership with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation (VCSI), has exceeded expectations and completed 17 months of mission operations on orbit, demonstrating capabilities of an affordable ESPA class satellite. The mission has been extended through at least October 2012.


Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will provide an additional year of support for the STPSat-2 spacecraft, following completion of the initial experimental mission requirements that ended successfully on Jan. 31, 2012.