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May 2014 Archives



NASA's Commercial Crew Program and industry have completed the first step in the certification process that will enable American-made commercial spacecraft safely to ferry astronauts from U.S. soil to and from the International Space Station by 2017.


Virgin Galactic, the privately-funded space company owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi's aabar Investments PJS, and Spaceport America announced today that they have signed a joint agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that helps clear the path for commercial flights of SpaceShipTwo.


This evening in short presentation which was delayed SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed the next-generation Dragon crewed spacecraft at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Video now available.


On May 14, Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute hosted an event to discuss the future of the U.S. space program.


Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announced today that it has completed qualification testing for the SuperDraco thruster, an engine that will power the Dragon spacecraft's launch escape system and enable the vehicle to land propulsively on Earth or another planet with pinpoint accuracy.


True to his word, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk will unveil Dragon V2 this Thursday, May 29th at SpaceX HQ to invited guests. SpaceX is calling the Dragon V2 "a next generation spacecraft designed to carry astronauts into space." It was April 29th that Musk tweeted that the "cover drops on May 29. Actual flight design hardware of crew Dragon, not a mockup."


According to Techcrunch Google is close to buying Skybox Imaging for over $1 billion. Skybox has plans for a constellation of 24 satellites of which the first, SkySat-1, went operational November 2013. Skybox released its first HD video last December.


XCOR Aerospace announced today that the United States Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) has approved the Series B lead investment by Dutch investors. The first closing of XCOR's new round of finance issued $14.2 million of Series B preferred shares. XCOR will use the funds to bring the XCOR® Lynx® suborbital spaceplane to market.


Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) announces the successful launch of its EUTELSAT 3B satellite by a Zenit-3SL rocket operated by Sea Launch AG from the ocean-based Odyssey Launch Platform in the Pacific Ocean.


A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on May 22 at 9:09 a.m. EDT.


Commercial spaceflight services company Excalibur Almaz recently auctioned one of its assets, a Soviet era space capsule, the Vozvraschaemyi Apparat (VA), at the Brussels auction house Kunsthaus Lempertz KG for €1.26 million euros (US$1.72M).


Eight months after announcing Iridium PRIME, a turnkey hosted payload solution, Iridium is proceeding full speed ahead with the venture after garnering enough support from potential customers.


Speaking at Cyber 1.4, an event dubbed as where space and cyberspace intersect, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) opened up the first day of the National Space Symposium by using his time to talk more about space policy than cyber policy.


The global space economy grew to $314.17 billion in commercial revenue and government budgets in 2013, reflecting growth of 4 percent from the 2012 total of $302.22 billion. Commercial activity -- space products and services and commercial infrastructure -- drove much of this increase. From 2008 through 2013, the total has grown by 27 percent.


The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) today released its 2014 State of the Satellite Industry Report, showing a three percent growth rate in world satellite industry revenues in 2013.


Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., (May 16, 2014) - A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket successfully launched the sixth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-6 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 8:03 p.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-37. This is ULA's fifth launch in 2014, and the 82nd successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.


The escalating war of words between Russia and U.S. just hit home hard for the Air Force and United Launch Alliance (ULA) with the news today that Russia would no longer supply RD-180 engines for export to the U.S. if used by the "Pentagon".


After it appeared there was a slight dip in attendance the past few years, this years National Space Symposium, the 30th edition, has attracted a record number of top-level U.S. speakers according to the Space Foundation and could top 9,000 participants.


NASA Administrator Charles Bolden discusses the accomplishments and contributions of small businesses to America's space program in recognition of the 2014 Small Business Week.


Yesterday the U.S. Court of Federal Claims lifted the preliminary injunction (PDF) which had barred the Air Force and United Launch Services, a subsidiary of United Launch Alliance, from making any purchases "from or payment of money to NPO Energomash or any entity whether governmental, corporate or individual, that is subject to the control of Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin."


Futron has released its annual Space Competitiveness Index. Highlights this year include that China trailed the United States in orbital launches in 2013 for the first time in two years, yet continues to far outpace other emerging in the speed with which it achieves new space milestones. Yet its commercial space role lags behind, and is beginning to reduce its competitiveness.


SpaceX has released a second video of a Falcon 9 Reusable test flight, this time reaching 1000 meters before softly landing in the same spot.


A preliminary injunction was issued late yesterday in the matter of SpaceX vs The United States with one respect to the complaint. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has prohibited the Air Force and United Launch Alliance (ULA) from "making any purchases from or payment of money to NPO Energomash" effectively blocking any further purchases of RD-180 engines used by ULA on the Atlas V.