Uchu☆Cafe | NewSpace News: Issue #122 July 2015
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NewSpace News: Issue #122 July 2015

NewSpace News: Issue #122 July 2015

YOU Get Internet, and YOU Get Internet, and YOU…

At the Paris Air Show, OneWeb Ltd. announced a partnership with Airbus Defense to place a constellation of 900 satellites for global Internet access. “OneWeb is designed… to bring Internet access to right to the schools, and right to the places in the most rural of environments, high speed internet access, 50 megabits per second, 30 milliseconds latency, identical to a cable modem without being constrained to having to live in the city,” said OneWeb CEO Greg Wyler. The two companies will begin an ambitious program to manufacture several satellites every day for a target launch date in 2018. Wyler hopes to turn the network on by 2019.

Video from Paris Air Show, Press Release by Airbus Defense

I Think I Can See My House From Here!

UrtheCast has announced its plans to raise CAD$100 million in shares and debt financing. They are also in the process ofacquiring Elecnor Deimos’ Earth Observation business including their satellites Deimos-1 and -2. UrtheCast plans on fielding a 16-satellite constellation of optical and radar satellites by 2020.
Article by Stockhouse, Press Releases by UrtheCast

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Midland We Go..

XCOR has selected Matrix Composites Inc. to construct the chine panels for their Lynx spacecraft. The carbon fiber panels provide important structural support, as well as smoothing the transition from the nose of the craft to its wing strakes. The company has also stated that their hangar at Midland International Air and Space Port should be complete within the next few months. The hangar is slated to serve as XCOR’s future R&D and corporate headquarters, and the company has already begun transitioning employees to midland. Finally, XCOR Space Expeditions – the sales and customer service side of things – has recently appointed Kit Sheffield Director of US Sales.

Press Releases by XCOR, Article by Midland Reporter Telegram

Quick, Get Your Camera!

A new satellite imaging company, BlackSky Global, plans to image the 95% of the globe in high resolution in a couple of hours or less. This will be possible with a full 60-satellite fleet by 2019. BlackSky is fully funded to deploy its first six satellites in 2016.
Press Release by BlackSky Global

Three Steps Forward, One Step Back..

NASA has announced that SpaceX and Orbital-ATK will receive no-bid extensions to their original Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts so current bidders on the second round of Commercial Resupply missions (CRS2) can prove their ability to safely carry cargo to the International Space Station. In 2008, NASA originally awarded SpaceX $1.6 billion for 12 missions and Orbital-ATK was awarded $1.9 billion for 8 missions. SpaceX will receive at least three extra missions, and Orbital-ATK will receive at least one. On June 28, SpaceX launched its 7th Commercial Resupply (CRS) mission. Unfortunately, the unmanned vehicle experienced liquid oxygen overpressure issues shortly after launch and was destroyed. Orbital-ATK has yet to carry out any additional CRS missions since last year’s failure of its Antares booster.

Article by InnerSpace, Press Release by NASA, Statement by SFF


While You’re Up There…

SpaceX successfully completed a pad abort test of its Crew Dragon capsule, and was recently recognized for reaching a $30 million milestone as part of their contract with NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) program. Elon Musk expressed interest in joining the global internet bandwagon, filing a request with the Federal Communications Commission to begin testing two broadband communication satellites in 2016 with eventual plans for a 4,000 satellite constellation. In the filing, SpaceX calls it a network “for low-latency, worldwide, high-capacity Internet service.”
Press Release by NASA, Article by Washington Post, Text by FCC

Just a Little Nudge

Accion Systems, known for its propulsion systems for small satellites, has been awarded $3 million in funding from the Department of Defense’s Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF). Former MIT Space Propulsion Lab graduate students and Accion founders, Natalya Brikner and Louis Perna plan to use the funds to develop the MAX-1, an electric propulsion engine for small sats.
Press Release by Accion Systems

En Garde!

Reaction Engines Ltd. has announced another round of testing for their SABRE engine. SABRE combines traditional air-breathing engine technology with a powerful rocket mode for use at ultra-high altitudes and holds promise of reducing launch costs. The engine has undergone 15 successful firings so far, and it is being compared to in-house computational models in order to optimize the design of the nozzle. Long-duration burns as well as active transitions between air-breathing and rocket operation are planned for later this year.
Press Release by Reaction Engines Ltd.

Looking for Little Launchers

NASA has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a small satellite launch platform. The request is looking for any launch provider capable of delivering 132 pounds of Cubesats to orbit, in one or two launches, by April 15, 2018. NASA is planning to award one or more fixed-price contracts to successful Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS), and hopes to develop a standard of smaller launches, driving down costs for everyone.

Article by Via Satellite


Polar Orbit or Bust

Garvey Spacecraft Corporation (GSC) has selected Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC)’s Pacific Spaceport Complex (PSCA) for the next phase of their Nanosat Launch Vehicle flight test program. Grounded and low-altitude tests will continue in Mojave, however, PSCA will support suborbital tests and operational orbital missions. PSCA was chosen based on a number of factors, with particular emphasis on the consistent ease of reaching polar orbit, as well as AAC’s flexibility in dealing with alternative operational concepts.

Press Release by Alaska Aerospace Corp.


A La Luna

Google Lunar XPRIZE contender Astrobotic has agreed to deliver a lunar payload for the Mexican Space Agency (AEM). This will be the first payload from Latin America to reach the moon. The AEM wants Mexican companies and universities to create a payload capable of being integrated onto Astrobotic’s Griffin lander. The final proposal will be announced in the fall of this year. The vehicle must be designed quickly as the December 31st, 2015 deadline for a launch contract is rapidly approaching for the recent December 31st, 2017 contest extension.

Press Release by Astrobotic

In Commercial Russia, Bank Pay for Satellite

Russia’s first private space firm, Dauria Aerospace, will receive a 60 million Ruble (roughly $1.1 million U.S. Dollars) investment from the Russian bank Vnesheconombank. This investment will go towards Dauria’s high-resolution imaging Auriga satellite. The Auriga will have a resolution of three meters in the panchromatic range, and six meters in the multispectral range.
Article by Skolkovo

Just Do It

Space Frontier Foundation Advocate, Hannah Kerner, recently put forth her thoughts on the future of spaceflight. Noting the stagnation of the industry, she reminds us that endlessly debating destinations is hurting us much more than choosing the “wrong” one ever could. “I’d like to deliver a clear message on behalf of the next generation you seek to inspire: The only bad outcome in this debate over destinations is the decision to go nowhere. Let’s just go out there and do the damn thing.” Check out the full story at Space.com.

Quick One Liners


NASA Requesting Proposals for VAB Use at KSC [Link]


Spire Announces Headquarters in Scotland [Link]


Spaceflight Industries has Consolidated Branches [Link]


Sarah Brightman Replaced by Cosmonaut [Link]


SNC Studying Potential Alabama Landing Site [Link]


Audacy Receives $100K in FOUNDER Forum [Link]


PlanetiQ Partnering with Blue Canyon Technologies [Link]


Mapbox Raises $52M in Funding [Link]


Eileen Drake New CEO of Aeroject Rocketdyne [Link]


The Space Show

This month, Dr. Madhu Thangavelu of USC and Al Globus of NASA Ames share their respective NewSpace initiatives with Dr. David Livingston on The Space Show. [Link]

Register Now – NewSpace 2015, July 16-18

The Space Frontier Foundation invites you to NewSpace 2015, America’s premier commercial space conference held this July in Silicon Valley. As the only conference that brings established companies, investors, government agencies, and space startups/entrepreneurs together. NewSpace is where networking leads to innovative space enterprises. Check out the wide range of panels and visionary speakers coming to NewSpace next month. The future of space is NewSpace.

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UrtheCast Full Color HD Videos From Space[Link]ESA Test Fires 3d Printed Platinum Engine [Link]Airbus Adeline Booster Recovery Patent [Link]NASA LDSD Test Flight[Video]

Blue Origin Team Tweet, Printed Parts [Link] [Link]

First Pictures of Opened Lightsail [Link]

GLXP – The New Space Race [Video]

Space Sharks Pitch Night[Link]


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Ariane 5 – Star One C4, MSG 4
July 10
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