Archives

March 2014 Archives



At 12:15 on March 29, 2014, Interorbital Systems' Common Propulsion Module Test Vehicle (CPM TV) thundered off its mobile launch unit on its maiden flight. The rocket's 7,500-lb thrust engine performed flawlessly propelling the 1200-lb rocket to Mach 1+ within seconds over the FAR Launch Area. The 30-foot long CPM TV rocket is a boiler-plate test version of the identical rocket units that will make up Interorbital's modular orbital launch systems.


NASA's commercial space partners continue to meet milestones under agreements with the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), as they move forward in their development of spacecraft and rockets that will transport humans to destinations in low-Earth orbit.


Building on the success of NASA's commercial spaceflight initiatives, agency officials announced Monday plans to solicit proposals from U.S. private enterprises for unfunded partnerships to collaboratively develop new commercial space capabilities.


SpaceX successfully test fired the first stage of F9R--an advanced prototype for the world's first reusable rocket--in preparation for its first test flight in the coming weeks. Unlike airplanes, a rocket's thrust increases with altitude; F9R generates just over a million pounds of thrust at sea level but gets up to 1.5 million pounds of thrust in the vacuum of space.


A problem with the U.S. Air Force AN/MPS-39 Multiple Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) at the Eastern Range, reportedly a fire, has delayed the launch of the National Reconnaissance Office's NROL-67 launch and now unofficially SpaceX's launch of the CRS-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station.


A fire at an Air Force radar has delayed the National Reconnaissance Office's (NROL-67) launch of its classified satellite to no earlier than Thursday, April 10.


JAXA has selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to build a new flagship launch vehicle to replace the current H-IIA and H-IIB launch vehicles and intends to compete for international commercial contracts.


Space exploration is entering a new era. Dozens of aerospace companies have emerged in recent years, all with the goal of commercializing space as never before. From serving NASA's cargo needs to sending tourists on space vacations to mining asteroids for profit, this next generation of entrepreneurs, and not NASA, may be the ones who transform space into our backyard, possibly creating the first-ever trillionaires.


With the Launch Readiness Review completed last Friday, the National Reconnaissance Office (NROL-67) classified satellite is set for launch Tuesday on from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 2:48 p.m. EDT on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V.


On Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 22:04 UTC, an Ariane 5 launched two telecommunications satellites, ASTRA 5B for the Luxembourg-based operator SES, and Amazonas 4A for the Spanish operator Hispasat.


Moon Express, the ambitious Silicon Valley commercial venture aiming to be one of the first Moon resource companies, announced last night at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference that Dr. Andy Aldrin was joining the company as its new President.


After raising $52 million in December and launching 28 satellites as part of their initial Flock 1 constellation in January, Planet Labs today announced it has confirmed launches for over 100 of their Dove satellites in the next year.


Swiss Space Systems (S3) and Space Florida signed a memorandum of understanding today for S3 to use the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) for future zero gravity flights and small satellite launches. In so doing S3 has created a new subsidiary in the U.S., S3 USA Operations Inc.


Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, announced today at Satellite 2014 a new program that will either offer a 100% space launch vehicle refund or reflight in the event of a partial or total launch vehicle malfunction.


In a press conference today, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced an expanded collaboration to advance the planning and development of potential science research during future Dream Chaser spacecraft missions.


Activity is continuing in French Guiana to support Arianespace's busy 2014 launch schedule, with initial launcher buildup procedures underway for Flight VA218's Ariane 5 vehicle.


DZZ-HR, the Republic of Kazakhstan's first Earth observation satellite, has just left Airbus Defence and Space's cleanrooms in Toulouse and is now on its way to the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. From there a European Vega launcher will place it in orbit, with the launch date set for 25 April 2014.


The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) presented its 2014 Satellite Leadership in Government Award to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), for its work on the implementation of reforms to the U.S. export control system for satellites and space technology.


Early in his opening statement during the NASA teleconference on NASA's FY 2015 budget request, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden made it clear that reliance on the Russians for access to the International Space Station is choice Congress must choose to end.


A multi-camera onboard video system supplied by Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation has successfully captured the 7-hour deployment sequence for the large main antenna on the Sirius FM-6 spacecraft.


Former astronaut Chris Ferguson of The Boeing Company demonstrated that the CST-100 spacecraft simulator and software allows a human pilot to take over control of the spacecraft from the computer during various phases of a mission following separation from the launch vehicle.