Masten Space Systems’ Progress on NASA’s Lunar CATALYST Program

Masten rocket, Xodiac, launches out of Mojave Air and Space Port carrying JHU APL electromagnetic field measurement experiment. (Credit: NASA/Ken Ulbrich)

Masten Space Systems is one of three companies NASA has signed agreements with for the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) program.

“The purpose of the Lunar CATALYST initiative is for NASA to encourage the development of U.S. private-sector robotic lunar landers capable of successfully delivering small (30 to 100 kg) and medium (250 to 500 kg) class payloads to the lunar surface using U.S. commercial launch capabilities,” the agreement states.

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Steve Jurvetson Leaves Own Venture Capital Firm Over Harassment Claims

Steve Jurvetson

Steve Jurvetson — a key investor in SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Planet — is leaving the venture capital firm he founded, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, over allegations of sexual harassment. Recode reports:

DFJ announced the move in a letter to limited partners on Monday. The firm released a statement to Recode that read:

As of today and by mutual agreement, Steve Jurvetson will be leaving DFJ. DFJ’s culture has been, and will continue to be, built on the values of respect and integrity in all of our interactions. We are focused on the success of our portfolio companies, as well as the long-term vision for the firm and will continue to operate with the highest professional standards.

The firm did not specify the reason for the ouster in the letter, but sources said that the investigation uncovered behaviors by Jurvetson that were unacceptable related to a negative tone toward women entrepreneurs….

The departure comes as Jurvetson was being investigated by his own firm for harassment. An entrepreneur had alleged predatory behavior was “rampant” at DFJ. The woman, Keri Kukral, did not name Jurvetson in her Facebook post.

Jurvetson denied the claims in a Twitter post.

 

Dream Chaser Glide Test Fact Sheet

Dream Chaser during glide flight. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser® Spacecraft Free-Flight Test Data Sheet

Date: Saturday, November 11th 2017

Lift-off time: 8:30 am PT

Release time: 09:41 am PT

Release altitude: 12,324 feet, mean sea level

Release equivalent air speed: 66 miles per hour

Release angle of attack: -2.17 degrees

Release angle of sideslip: -0.76 degrees

Maximum speed: 330 miles per hour

Maximum angle of attack in flight: 16.5 degrees

Dream Chaser time in glide: approx. 60 seconds

Dream Chaser horizontal glide distance: 16,217 feet

Dream Chaser touch down time: 09:42 am PT

Landing speed: 191 miles per hour

Landing touchdown point: 1,250 feet down runway

Landing rollout distance: 4,200 feet

Helicopter type: Columbia Helicopters Model 234-UT Chinook

Length of helicopter suspension system: 200 feet

Runway: Edwards Air Force Base Runway 22 Left

Vehicle length: 30 feet long

SNC Declares Dream Chaser Glide Flight Successful

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., November 13, 2017 (SNC PR) — Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces a successful atmospheric Free-Flight test of its Dream Chaser spacecraft, signaling the program is another achievement closer to orbital operations.

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ARCA Space CEO Arrested on Charges of Embezzlement, Fraud

Dumitru Popescu

ARCA Space Corporation CEO Dumitru Popescu was in a New Mexico jail on Sunday night after being arrested and charged of fraud, embezzlement and forgery.

The Romanian-born Popescu faces 13 counts of fraud, five counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery, according to an online arrest report. Popescu was arrested in Jonesboro, Georgia on Nov. 8 and then extradited to Dona Ana County, New Mexico. He is being held without bond.

It’s unclear whether the charges are related to ARCA Space, which is located in Dona Ana County. The company is developing a rocket booster it plans to launch from Spaceport America.

UPDATE: The Las Cruces Sun-News has a bit more on the case:

The investigation into Popescu was conducted by the New Mexico Securities Division. The special agent in charge of the case declined to comment when reached Monday, saying the case was still ongoing.

It alleges that between May 26, 2015, and Aug. 20, 2015, and Nov. 25, 2015, and Feb. 23, 2016, Popescu “did by words or conduct make a promise that he had no intention of keeping” and “misrepresented a fact intending deceive or cheat” Michael Persico, the CEO and founder of the Chicago-based telecommunications company Anova Technologies, in an amount exceeding $20,000, according to the complaint.

The complaint also alleges that Popescu, in January 2016, defrauded more than $2,500 and embezzled more that $2,500, and that he committed securities fraud seven times during 2015 and this year.

This Week on The Space Show


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

1. Monday, Nov. 13, 2017: 2-3:30 PM PST (4-5:30 PM CST, 5-6:30 PM EST): We welcome back DR. PAUL SPUDIS to discuss all things lunar and space policy.

2. Tuesday, Nov. 14 2017: 7-8:30 PM PST, 10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST: Special Open Lines Show for those who want to be a guest on The Space Show, ask to be on and want to share information with us. This is your night to be on The Space Show so give us a call. Normal Open Lines callers and email are also welcome..

3. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017: 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. 17, 2017; 9:30 AM-11 AM PST, (12:30 -2 PM EST; 11:30 AM-1 PM CST): We welcome ROBERT HARGRAVES to the show to discuss Thorium, Thorium reactors and more.

5. Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017: 12-1:30 PM PST; 2-4:30 PM EST; 2-3:30 PM CST. This is our regular Open Lines program. First time callers are welcome as are all space, STEM, STEAM topics. Emails are welcome too but phone calls get first billing.

JPSS-1 Launch Scheduled for Tuesday

This illustration depicts the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, spacecraft designed to provide forecasters with crucial environmental science data to provide a better understanding of changes in the Earth’s weather, oceans and climate. (Credit: Ball Aerospace)

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), the first in a new series of four highly advanced National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting satellites, is now scheduled to launch on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 is targeted for 1:47 a.m. PST (4:47 a.m. EST). Launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 1:15 a.m. PST.

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. JPSS is a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA. The JPSS system will help increase weather forecast accuracy from three to seven days.

NOAA’s National Weather Service uses JPSS data as critical input for numerical forecast models, providing the basis for mid-range forecasts. These forecasts enable emergency managers to make timely decisions to protect American lives and property, including early warnings and evacuations.

JPSS satellites circle the Earth from pole-to-pole and cross the equator 14 times daily–providing full global coverage twice a day. Polar satellites are considered the backbone of the global observing system.

For more information, please visit https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1.

Astrobotic’s Progress in NASA’s Lunar CATALYST Program

Peregrine lunar lander (Credit: Astrobotic)

Astrobotic is one of three companies NASA has signed agreements with for the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) program.

“The purpose of the Lunar CATALYST initiative is for NASA to encourage the development of U.S. private-sector robotic lunar landers capable of successfully delivering small (30 to 100 kg) and medium (250 to 500 kg) class payloads to the lunar surface using U.S. commercial launch capabilities,” the agreement states.

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Cygnus Carries NanoRacks Payloads to Space Station

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., November 12, 2017 (Orbital ATK PR) – Early this morning, the Orbital ATK CRS-8 (OA-8) launch carried another historic NanoRacks mission to the International Space Station (ISS). With a completely full NanoRacks External Cygnus Deployer (ENRCSD), a virtual reality camera, and educational research, this mission marks over 600 NanoRacks payloads delivered to the ISS since 2009.

This mission is enabling a unique virtual reality opportunity with National Geographic’s VUZE camera. Integrated and launched via NanoRacks, VUZE will allow for the recording of the new National Geographic series “One Strange Rock,” in which the astronaut crew will record a series of virtual reality pieces for incorporation into a larger documentary about natural history and the solar system. This is National Geographic’s first time launching with NanoRacks.

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Antares Launches Cygnus Spacecraft to ISS

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Orbital ATK’s eighth contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver approximately 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

DULLES, Virginia, 12 November 2017 (Orbital ATK PR) -– Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, successfully launched its AntaresTM rocket carrying a CygnusTM spacecraft today at 7:19 a.m. EST, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.

The launch is Orbital ATK’s eighth cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station for NASA. During the mission, designated OA-8, Cygnus will deliver vital equipment, supplies and experiments to the astronauts aboard the space station, as well as conduct scientific experiments onboard Cygnus while docked with the orbiting laboratory.

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Dream Chaser Makes Successful Glide Flight at Edwards

Dream Chaser during glide flight. (Credit: NASA)

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser shuttle made a successful glide flight and landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Saturday.

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

Dropped from a helicopter, the automated vehicle made a successful approach and landing on the concrete runway.

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

Sierra Nevada is developing the Dream Chaser to deliver cargo to the International Space Station under a contract from NASA.

Dream Chaser lands (Credit: NASA)

It was the first flight of the Dream Chaser in four years. A previous glide flight ran off the runway in October 2013 when one half of the main landing gear failed to deploy.

Antares Launch Scrubbed, Rescheduled for Sunday

The Orbital ATK Cygnus space freighter is seen moments after being released from the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. (Credit: NASA TV)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (Orbital ATK) — Orbital ATK’s OA-8 mission was aborted on November 11, 2017 due to aircraft in the restricted area. Next launch attempt is November 12, 2017 at 7:14 a.m. EST.

The S.S. Gene Cernan Cygnus will launch aboard an Antares launch vehicle for the sixth time from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The spacecraft will deliver vital supplies and scientific equipment to the station as part of Orbital ATK’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.

Additional launch information including a launch profile, mission description and fact sheets can be found below. Get live launch updates on our social media accounts: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram