NASA to Air Launch of Russian Progress Resupply Ship

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

Loaded with almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies, a Russian Progress cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:14 p.m. EST Friday, Nov. 16 (12:14 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, Baikonur time), to resupply the International Space Station.

The launch of the unpiloted Russian Progress 71 and docking to the space station will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 1 p.m.

The spacecraft is set to dock to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module on the Russian segment at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 1:45 p.m.

Progress 71 will remain docked at the station for more than four months before departing in March for its deorbit into Earth’s atmosphere.

Billionaire Milner Eyes Private Missions to Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Hydrothermal activity in Enceladus’ core and the rise of organic-rich bubbles. (Credit: ESA; F. Postberg et al — 2018)

Billionaire Yuri Milner, founder of Breakthrough Initiatives, is eying a private missions to search for life elsewhere in the Solar System, Space.com reports.

Breakthrough Initiatives, which already scans the heavens for possible signals from faraway alien civilizations, is considering looking for E.T. on worlds close to home, founder Yuri Milner said.

“We are thinking very seriously about solar system-based initiatives,” Milner said here Sunday (Nov. 4) at the seventh annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony at NASA’s Ames Research Center. “We’re thinking, within our foundation, is there something we can do, privately funded, which will supplement the government-funded projects?

{…]

So, where might this putative Breakthrough mission go? Milner cited as possibilities Jupiter’s moon Europa and the Saturn satellite Enceladus, both of which have oceans of liquid water beneath their icy shells, as well as Venus.

Venus may seem like an odd choice, given that its surface is bone-dry and hot enough to melt lead. But conditions in the clouds, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) up, are much more life-friendly, Milner noted.

Video of Virgin Orbit 747’s First Taxi Tests

Video Caption: Zoom, zoom, zoom, #LauncherOne was on the move again — this time for our very first high-speed taxi test. With chief pilot Kelly Latimer at the helm, Cosmic Girl cruised down the runway at Victorville Airport this weekend with a rocket under her wing. Not only did we ramp all the way up to more than 110 knots (that’ll blow your hair back!), we also used the day as an opportunity to load real flight software onto #LauncherOne for the first time.

Keep an eye out for more awesome images and info as our extensive captive carry campaign continues.

Four Launches Set for Next Three Days

Viewing zones for the Cygnus NG-10 launch from Wallops Island. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Hey everyone! Are you ready for some launches?

We’ve got four flights coming up in the next three days. So, fire up that computer and open your browser, you’ve got some launches to watch.

Wednesday, November 14

Launch Vehicle: GSLV Mk.3
Payload: GSAT 29 communications satellite
Launch Time: 6:38 a.m. EST (1138 GMT)
Launch Site: Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India
Webcast: https://www.isro.gov.in/

Thursday, November 15

Launch Vehicle: Antares
Payload: NG-10 Cygnus International Space Station resupply mission
Launch Time: 4:49 a.m. EST (0949 GMT)
Launch Site: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, Virginia
Webcast: http://www.nasa.gov

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Es’hail 2 communications satellite
Launch Window: 3:46-5:29 p.m. EST (2046-2229 GMT)
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Webcast: http://www.spacex.com

Friday, November 16

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Payload: Progress 71P International Space Station resupply mission
Launch Time: 1:14 p.m. EST (1814 GMT)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Webcast: http://www.nasa.gov

Kleos Space on Track for First Satellite Constellation Launch in Q2 2019

Luxembourg 13 November 2018 (Kleos Space PR) — Luxembourg-based and ASX listed Kleos Space S.A. (KSS), state-of-the-art space technology operator, is pleased to announce that the launch of its satellite constellation on-board a Rocket Lab Electron vehicle planned for the second quarter of 2019 is on schedule.

(more…)

Kleos Space Establishes UK Subsidiary

Luxembourg, London, Sydney, 13th November 2018 (Kleos Space PR) — Luxembourg-based and ASX listed Kleos Space S.A (ASX:KSS), state-of-the-art space technology operator, today announced that the company has formed a new wholly-owned subsidiary incorporated in the United Kingdom for the purpose of delivering Maritime ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) data-as-a-service to UK defence and security government departments, agencies and industry.

(more…)

Doug Shane & Jonathan Firth Depart Virgin Galactic, TSC

Doug Shane

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Richard Branson’s Mojave-based space companies have seen two high-level departures in recent months as they prepare to  launch SpaceShipTwo on a spaceflight for the first time.

Doug Shane has left his position as chairman of The Spaceship Company (TSC), which builds SpaceShipTwo suborbital tourism vehicles, WhiteKnightTwo mother ships, and propulsion systems for Virgin Galactic.

Shane remains a member of the company’s board of advisors. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the company has not replaced Shane as chairman.

Jonathan Firth, who served as executive vice president of spaceport and program development, has also left Virgin Galactic after 14 years with the company.  Firth’s Linkin page indicates he has left Virgin Galactic but does not say when he did so.

(more…)

Richard Branson Pops into Mojave to Check on Progress of Spaceflight Quest

Mojave Air and Space Port on a rare cloudy day. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Some day, Richard Branson might fly to space, gaze out the window, and see stars with his naked eyes, unencumbered by the Earth’s atmosphere or the optics of a telescope.

For the moment, he has to settle for his own fame and a star encased in concrete along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The British billionaire was in Los Angeles last month for the unveiling of his star on that famous boulevard. While he was in the neighborhood, he popped up to the Mojave Air and Space Port, where Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company are working to make his dream of spaceflight a reality.

Given his early October prediction that Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity would fly to space in “weeks, not months,” one might have expected him to be here to view a spaceflight he has been promising for the past 14 years.

(more…)

Video: CNBC Interviews Rocket Lab Founder Peter Beck

Video Caption: Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket comes at a price tag that’s only a fraction of the $50 million or more it costs to launch a larger rocket. How will that revolutionize the industry and expand who will be able to send satellites into space? Rocket Lab put seven spacecraft in orbit on Saturday with its first commercial launch, as the company grew its lead in the burgeoning small rocket industry.

(more…)

Becoming Martians: NASA’s 25-year Plan for Humans to Inhabit the Red Planet

Mars in opposition. [(Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (ASU), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute) ]

NPC  Newsmaker Event
Date: November 13, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. EST
Location: Bloomberg Room

This event is open only to members of The National Press Club and credentialed press.

WASHINGTON (National Press Club PR) — Humans are on the precipice of becoming an interplanetary species. We earthlings are on our way to becoming Martians. In fact, the future Martians are here on Earth now, training for Mars missions using new technological developments following a strict timeline that will get us there within 25 years.

(more…)

ESA’s Space Vision Presented at Paris Peace Forum

Claudie Haigneré (Credit: ESA–P. Sebirot)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA astronaut Claudie Haigneré attended the Paris Peace Forum this weekend, presenting the Agency’s vision for engaging humankind in multilateral cooperation for space exploration with peaceful objectives.An initiative launched by President Macron of France, the Paris Peace Forum is an annual platform for global governance projects and was conceived as a response to tensions in the contemporary world. Taking place this year on 11-13 November, the centenary marking the end of the First World War, the event includes the attendance of over 60 international Heads of State.

Based on the belief that durable peace can only be achieved through international cooperation in several sectors, including space exploration, the Forum was an ideal opportunity to present ESA’s ‘Moon Village’ vision. This foresees a peaceful global cooperation to achieve a space landmark for humankind in 21st century, realising the potential of humankind as spacefaring species, while providing benefits and opportunities to as many people as possible on Earth.
(more…)

JAXA Returns Capsule With ISS Experiments Aboard

HTV Small Re-entry Capsule (Credit: JAXA)

JAXA has successfully recovered a capsule with experiments aboard from the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time.

The HTV Small Re-entry Capsule (HSRC) splashed down in the ocean under a parachute near the island of Minamitorishima. The experimental capsule separated from the HTV-7 (Kounotori) resupply ship after the latter separated from ISS. Kounotori burned up in Earth’s atmosphere as planned.

Cross section image of HSRC (Credit: JAXA)

“Towards the goal to acquire Japan’s first cargo recovery capacity from the ISS, the Small Re-entry Capsule will be demonstrating its guided lift flight capabilities that will enable the capsule to descent under reduced G-forces, as well as its heat protection capability of the ablator while its re-entry into the atmosphere,” JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said in a press release. “We expect that these efforts will lead to securing flexibility in our future space flight activities.”

HRSC provides another way to return experiments from the space station. SpaceX’s Dragon resupply ship is currently the only dedicated cargo vehicle that can return research. Russia’s crewed Soyuz vehicle has limited space available for experiments when there are three astronauts aboard.

HTV-7 carried approximately 6.2 metric tons of cargo to the space station. Supplies included new ISS batteries using Japanese Lithium-Ion batteries, large experiment racks provided by NASA and ESA,  three CubeSats and fresh food

This Week on The Space Show


This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

1. Monday, Nov. 12, 2018; 2-3:30 PM PST (4-5:30 PM CST, 5-6:30 PM EST): We welcome back DR. ROGER LAUNIUS regarding his new Smithsonian History book, “Space Exploration From the Ancient World to the Extraterrestrial Future.”

2. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018: 7-8:30 PM PST; 9-10:30 PM CST; 10-11:30 PM EST: We welcome back DR. DOUG PLATA for advocacy and lunar updates.

3. Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor. It is archived on The Space Show site after John posts it on his website.

4. Friday, Nov. 16, 2018; 9:30 AM-11 AM PST, (12:30 -2 PM EST; 11:30 AM-1 PM CDT. We welcome back DR. KEN DAVIDIAN for NewSpace business and related research news and updates.

5. The Sunday, Nv. 18, 2018 program from 12-1:30 PM PST, (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST): No show today for family get together.

Cosmic Detective Work: Why We Care About Space Rocks

This artist’s concept depicts the spacecraft of NASA’s Psyche mission near the mission’s target, the metal asteroid Psyche. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State Univ./Space Systems Loral/Peter Rubin)

By Elizabeth Landau
NASA

The entire history of human existence is a tiny blip in our solar system’s 4.5-billion-year history. No one was around to see planets forming and undergoing dramatic changes before settling in their present configuration. In order to understand what came before us — before life on Earth and before Earth itself — scientists need to hunt for clues to that mysterious distant past.

(more…)