This notice to airmen (NOTAM) indicates that Blue Origin is going to fly New Shepard from its facility in west Texas. The restrictions are set for Monday through Wednesday from 10 am EST (9 am CDT) to 7 pm EDT (6 pm CDT) each day. Your local time may vary.
It will be the 11th flight of the New Shepard suborbital vehicle as Blue Origin moves toward flying passengers during the second half of 2019.
For billions of years, the surface of the Earth has been bombarded by unwanted cosmic visitors. Meteors, comets and asteroids have blasted massive holes in the surface of our planet, resulting in catastrophic climate change, mass extinctions and, according to one theory, the moon itself.
Early next month, the Earth will finally strike back. Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft is preparing to bomb the asteroid Ryugu to obtain a sample from beneath the world’s rocky surface.
If you’ve been puzzling over exactly why NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine suddenly floated the idea of flying the first Orion space capsule to the moon next year without the Space Launch System (SLS), The Washington Post has a couple of answers today:
SLS is much further behind schedule than anyone knew; and,
KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace’s third mission of 2019 – which marked the Vega rocket’s 14th consecutive success – orbited the Italian PRISMA Earth observation satellite tonight, bringing the total number of spacecraft lofted by the launch services company to 600. It was the 308th flight overall of an Arianespace launcher.
EDINBURGH (Scotland Government PR) — Scotland’s space sector could be worth £4 billion by 2030, Innovation Minister Ivan McKee said today.
Speaking during a parliamentary debate on Scotland’s space sector potential, Mr McKee outlined the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to introduce at least one spaceport by the early 2020s.
More small satellites are built in Glasgow than any other place in Europe, and nearly a fifth of all UK space jobs are based in Scotland. Findings from the Size and Health of the UK Space Industry 2018 report show a 27% increase in the number of space organisations in Scotland.
Status Reports From Asteroid Ryugu Courtesy of JAXA
Hayabusa2 Status (Week of 2019.3.4)
This week, we conducted the “Descent Observation” operation (DO-S01) from 3/6 to 3/8 in order to observe a future touchdown candidate site (S01) in detail. This was the first descent to an altitude of 22m since the 2/22 touchdown. In the first half of the week, we adjusted the pressure of the RCS (thrusters) and found them to be in good condition.
As the Optical Navigation Camera (ONC-W1) appeared to be dusty from the previous touchdown, we did not know if there would be any issues during this descent with the camera or other instruments that we would have to deal with. Luckily, all devices worked normally and we obtained detailed data of S01. The spacecraft returned to the home poison on 3/9 and we are now preparing for the next “crater search” operation (CRA1).
Hayabusa2 status (Week of 2019.2.25)
Immediately after returning to the “home position” at a 20km altitude after the TD1-L08E operation on 2/23, we began a BOX-C operation in which the spacecraft descends to an altitude of about 5km. As one of the observations in this this operation, we observed around the Otohime boulder.
We also downloaded the data obtained by the last touchdown operation (TD1-L08E) and from this BOX-C operation, as well as checking the health of the bus equipment for next week’s “Descent Observation” operation (DO-S01). We had many days of bad weather, and the operation time at the Usuda station was shortened due to wet snow in a late winter. Despite this, we managed many operations in a short time. The spacecraft began to rise back towards the home position on 3/1.
SPARKS, Nev., March 21, 2019 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft passed NASA’s Integrated Review Milestone 5 (IR5), a key status check on SNC’s performance of a variety of ground and flight operations.
IR5 demonstrates that the Dream Chaser team is on track to operate the space vehicle in advance of the first mission to the International Space Station under the Commercial Resupply Services Contract 2 (CRS-2).
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Lockheed Martin PR) — For long-duration, deep space missions, astronauts will need a highly efficient and reconfigurable space, and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is researching and designing ways to support those missions.
The UAE Space Agency today announced the creation of the Arab Space Coordination Group to facilitate cooperation among its 11 member nations.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the group’s formation and attended a signing ceremony during the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi.
In addition to UAE, charter members of the new group include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
The coordination group’s first project will be the development of the UAE-funded spacecraft 813, an observation satellite that will monitor the Earth’s environment and climate. The satellite will be built over the next three years by engineers from member countries at United Arab Emirates University’s National Space Science and Technology Center in Al Ain.
The satellite’s name is a homage to the year in which the House of Wisdom was founded in Baghdad under the reign of Al-Ma’mun. The house embraced scientists from throughout the region, who translated notable texts and advanced science.
“The Satellite 813 is a message the UAE is sending to the Arab communities on the ambitions to regain Arabs glories as pioneers in the space domains,” said Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency.
DENVER, March 20, 2019 (Lockheed Martin PR) — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced a new generation of space technology launching this year that will allow satellites to change their missions in orbit. Satellites that launched one, ten or even fifteen years ago largely have the same capability they had when they lifted off. That’s changing with new architecture that will let users add capability and assign new missions with a software push, just like adding an app on a smartphone. This new tech, called SmartSat, is a software-defined satellite architecture that will boost capability for payloads on several pioneering nanosats ready for launch this year.
TURIN, Italy, March 20, 2019 (NanoRacks PR) – Thales Alenia Space, JV between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%, is pleased to announce that it’s shell for NanoRacks’ Airlock Module is ready to be shipped to NanoRacks’ integration facilities in Houston, Texas.