S-Booster Competition Seeks Commercial Space Ideas in Asia


S-Booster is looking for new business ideas to utilize space assets from those who aim for launching a new project in the company or starting his or her own business. Through mentoring by space business experts, the selected entrants will receive support such as how to commercialize an idea and to capitalize it. S-Booster finalists will be presenting their own business ideas directly to investors and business companies who are keen to support great space projects, where we believe organic matching happen to realize subsequent commercialization of the great ideas.

In its third year, S-Booster 2019 will expand the recruitment area to Asia – Oceania region and invite space and business ideas broadly.

Qualifying session will be held separately for those from Japan and from other Asian region, and those who are selected from each session will go into the Final Presentation held in Tokyo on November 25, 2019.

For more information, click here.

This Week on The Space Show


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

1. Monday, April 22, 2019: 2-3:30 PM PDT (4-5:30 PM CDT, 5-6:30 PM EDT) : DANIEL SUAREZ, author of Delta-V, an excellent novel.

2. Tuesday, April 23, 2019; 7-8:30 PM PDT (9-10:30 PM CDT, 10-11:30 PM EDT) : We welcome back JEFF SMITH to discuss his recent booster series articles on The Space Review.

3.  Wednesday, April 24, 2019: 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. </b>

4. Friday, April 26, 2019: 9:30-11 AM PDT; 11:30 AM-1 PM CDT; 12:30-2 PM EDT. We welcome DR. UMBERTO CAVALLARO regarding his excellent, unique and most interesting book, “The Race To The Moon Chronicled in Stamps, postcards, and Postmarks: A Story of the Puffery vs. the Pragmatic.”

5. The Sunday, April 28, 2019 program from 12 PM PDT, (3 PM EDT, 2 PM CDT): We welcome back MICHAEL CIANCONE to discuss his spaceflight bibliography, the important 2018 IAC in Bremen, IAC 2019 in Washington, DC, and the Orion Service Module program with ESA.

Listeners can talk with guests or the host using toll free 1 (866) 687-7223, by sending e-mail during the program using drspace@thespaceshow.com, thespaceshow@gmail.com, or dmlivings@yahoo.com. To use Skype from your computer with a headset, the I. D. is thespaceshow. Skype is only available if when announced at the beginning of the program. Please note the toll free number is only available during a live Space Show program. At all other times, it is disconnected.

Relativity’s 3D Printed Terran 1 Rocket to Launch mu Space’s Low Earth Orbit Satellite

LOS ANGELES, April 23 2019 (Relativity PR) — Relativity, the world’s first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader for satellite constellations, today announced a partnership with mu Space, the innovative Thai satellite and space technology company, to launch a satellite to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket, the world’s first and only 3D printed rocket.

Relativity’s groundbreaking, patented 3D printing technology platform together with Terran 1’s unique and flexible architecture provides mu Space a faster and more reliable launch at a lower total mission cost than any other launch services company in the world. With this launch partnership, two of the most visionary and innovative aerospace startups are sharing expertise, resources, and capabilities to transform the satellite launch and services industry across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions.

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NIAC Award — Lunar-Polar Propellant Mining Outpost

Lunar-Polar Propellant Mining Outpost (Credit: Joel Sercel)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase I Award: Up to $125,000 for 9 Months

Lunar-Polar Propellant Mining Outpost (LPMO): Affordable Exploration and Industrialization
Joel Sercel
TransAstra Corporation

The Lunar Polar Gas-Dynamic Mining Outpost (LGMO) (see quad chart graphic) is a breakthrough mission architecture that promises to greatly reduce the cost of human exploration and industrialization of the Moon. LGMO is based on two new innovations that together solve the problem of affordable lunar polar ice mining for propellant production.

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Multiple Regenerative Medicine Payloads Ready for Flight to ISS U.S. National Laboratory

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., April 22, 2019 (CASIS PR)  – The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory is finalizing more than a dozen payloads for launch to the orbiting laboratory aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. Many of these payloads are aimed at improving human health on Earth, with several focused on drug development and screening. Research concepts include commercial companies leveraging microgravity to improve drug delivery systems, other government agencies funding transformative science, and academic inquiry to enhance fundamental knowledge of diseases on Earth.

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Self-driving Spacecraft Set for Planetary Defense Expedition

Hera uses infrared to scan impact crater (Credit: ESA–ScienceOffice.org)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Engineers designing ESA’s Hera planetary defence mission to the Didymos asteroid pair are developing advanced technology to let the spacecraft steer itself through space, taking a similar approach to self-driving cars.

“If you think self-driving cars are the future on Earth, then Hera is the pioneer of autonomy in deep space,” explains Paolo Martino, lead systems engineer of ESA’s proposed Hera mission. “While the mission is designed to be fully operated manually from ground, the new technology will be tested once the core mission objectives are achieved and higher risks can be taken.”

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GAO Letter Outlines NASA’s Open Priority Recommendations

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has not implemented nearly one third of the recommendations for improvements that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made to it four years earlier, the government watchdog agency said.

“In November 2018, we reported that on a government-wide basis, 77 percent of our recommendations made 4 years ago were implemented,” GAO said in an April 12 letter to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“NASA’s recommendation implementation rate was 70 percent. As of February 2019, NASA had 51 open recommendations. Fully implementing these open recommendations could significantly improve NASA’s operations.” GAO added.

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Inflatable Heat Shield Project Gets a Spring in its Step

Illustration of Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID). (Credits: NASA)

NORFOLK, Va. (NASA PR) — Testing of a key component of NASA’s Low-earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) is on track, thanks in part to Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia.

LOFTID is a cross-cutting technology designed to enable delivery of heavy cargos to any planet with an atmosphere. In a few years, the project will launch a six-meter inflatable heat shield into low-Earth orbit on an Atlas V rocket and collect data during re-entry.

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Robotic Refueling Mission 3 Can’t Perform Cryogenic Fuel Transfer

Edward Cheung, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, performs a fit check of RRM3’s three external tools. After RRM3 is installed to the outside of International Space Station the Dextre robotic arm will mount the pedestal and tools, pre-assembled by astronauts on the space station. (Credit: NASA/Goddard/Chris Gunn)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — On April 8, the Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) aboard the International Space Station started experiencing issues powering up its cryogen coolers that maintain the temperature of liquid methane contained within the module. After several troubleshooting attempts, it was determined the coolers could not be powered up. As a result, the temperature of the liquid began to rise. The liquid methane turned into a gas and was safely vented from the payload. There was no impact to other station systems or operations.

While RRM3 can no longer perform a cryogenic fuel transfer, its four months on station taught NASA about the technology needed to store and transfer cryogenic fuel in space. The mission will carry out other planned operations with servicing and inspection tools. Ultimately, RRM3 will still help bring NASA closer to replenishing cryogenic fuel in space so spacecraft can live longer and journey farther into the solar system.

RRM3 launched to the space station in December 2018 and is installed to the outside of station on Express Logistics Carrier-1.

NIAC Award — SmartSuit Mobile EVA Spacesuit for Next Generation Exploration Missions

SmartSuit (Credit; Ana Diaz Artiles)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase I Award: Up to $125,000 for 9 Months

SmartSuit: A Hybrid, Intelligent, and Highly Mobile EVA Spacesuit for Next Generation Exploration Missions
Ana Diaz Artiles
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

We propose a novel spacesuit intelligent architecture for extravehicular activity (EVA) operations on Mars and other planetary environments that increases human performance by an order of magnitude on several quantifiable fronts for exploration missions. The proposed SmartSuit spacesuit, while gas-pressurized, also incorporates soft-robotics technology that allows astronauts to be highly mobile and better interact with their surroundings.

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ESA Opening Up to New Ideas

ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Hessen and Baden-Württemberg start-up Deep Blue Globe is developing the Artificial Intelligence based solution POSEIDON based on Earth observation data for the maritime sector to save time and fuel, thus reducing operation costs. (Credit: Deep Blue Globe)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA aims to harness a new resource for future space activities: ideas from European researchers, businesses and the general public. Through its new Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP), anyone is welcome to respond to space-related challenges.

The Agency’s new Open Space Innovation Platform website is a streamlined entry point for novel ideas, both in response to specific problems and open calls. The platform forms part of a wider effort to support the future competitiveness of European space industry with early technology development, implementing the new Space Technology Strategy.

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Challenging Ourselves to Create the Next Generation of Lunar Explorers

Moon (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Space exploration brings humanity some of its greatest challenges and opportunities. We faced this hard fact on April 11 when the Beresheet spacecraft developed by Israel’s SpaceIL failed to successfully land on the Moon’s surface. While the Beresheet spacecraft can claim many accomplishments, including being the first privately funded lunar spacecraft, we can learn many things from its failures. These are lessons we, too, must consider as NASA tries to conquer similar challenges as we move forward to the Moon with commercial and international partners.

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NIAC Award: Micro-Probes Propelled & Powered by Planetary Atmospheric Electricity

Creditr: Yu Gu/Kansas National Geographic

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase I Award: Up to $125,000 for 9 Months

Micro-Probes Propelled and Powered by Planetary Atmospheric Electricity (MP4AE)
Yu Gu
West Virginia University

Inspired by spiders’ ballooning capabilities, the proposed concept envision the deployment of thousands of micro probes to study planetary atmospheres. Each micro probe, with a total mass of about 50 mg, will have a small payload pod hanging under a 200 m long string loop, which provides both atmospheric drag and electrostatic lifts. Two electric booms each about 2.5 m long will sense the Atmospheric Potential Gradient (APG) and harvest a small amount of electricity for powering the probe.

The payload pod will contain energy storage and conversion devices, an actuator for replenishing and regulating the static electric charge on the string loop, and integrated microprocessor, radio, and sensors. The motions of the micro probes will be uncontrolled along the horizontal directions but can be regulated to a limited degree along the vertical direction.

The onboard control system will allow extending the mission time and increasing the probability of keeping the probe in the desired atmospheric layer. If successful, the proposed micro probes can support several future planetary missions by gaining large spatial-scale atmospheric sensing capabilities.

2019 Phase 1 and Phase II Selections
2011-2019 Consolidated List