The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference was held in Colorado earlier this week. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but the following folks tweeted the sessions:
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust Rand Simberg @Rand_Simberg Colorado Space News @CO_Space_News Laura Seward Forczyk @LauraForczyk
Below are summaries of a number of talks based on their tweets. The talks included Erika Wagner of Blue Origin, Dylan Taylor of Space Angels, John Quinn of Exos Aerospace, Tim Lachenmeier of Near Space Corporation, Lewis Groswald of the University of Colorado Boulder, and Alain Berinstain of Moon Express.
Canon, best known for its high-quality cameras, is getting into the space business. It is working with the Japanese space agency JAXA to upgrade a sounding rocket to launch microsats into orbit.
The company’s experience designing and manufacturing devices such as digital cameras will help the team choose the best rocket parts as well as make key control instruments smaller and lighter.
Systems for changing the rocket’s orientation or separating stages once in space have already been developed. IHI unit IHI Aerospace is handling development of key engine parts such as fuel injectors.
The three-stage rocket is an upgrade to JAXA’s two-stage SS-520, which carries instruments for research observations. Measuring 52cm in diameter and less than 10 meters in length, the new version will cost less than one-tenth as much to launch as leading rockets and is expected to be used to lift microsatellites in orbit.
An initial launch is slated for early next year from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.
DULLES, VA, 19 December 2013 (ORB PR) — Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced today that Orbital’s NASA Sounding Rocket Operations Contract II (NSROC II) team at Wallops Island, Virginia recently completed its 40th consecutive successful mission over the last 24 months for NASA’s Sounding Rocket Program (NSRP).
Andøya Rocket Range PR — In its 50th year, Andøya Rocket Range and the Norwegian sounding rocket community is once again a rising star. After years of recess and declining funding for sounding rocket missions, two new projects were given “good to go” in December 2011 by the Norwegian Space Centre and the Norwegian Research Council.
ICI-4 will be the fourth sounding rocket project led by Professor Jøran Moen from the University of Oslo. The two-stage rocket will be launched from Ny-Ålesund at Svalbard, late 2013. The single-stage MAXIDUSTY I will mark the re-entry of Tromsø University into the sounding rocket community. Launch will take place from Andøya during the summer of 2013. Both will be based on the Hotel Payload concept from Andøya Rocket Range, and they will be built, integrated and tested on-site at ARR.
Engineers lose jobs at Wallops flight facility Delmarvanow.com
Scientists who use the Wallops Flight Facility to get data from spaceflights were alarmed to learn that up to 30 engineers designing rockets got pink slips this week, according to their report.
The defense contractor, Northrop Grumman, terminated its relationship with subcontractor Orbital Sciences Corp. on July 1. The two had shared a 10-year contract with NASA to launch sounding rockets at Wallops. The vessels record scientific measurements during a suborbital flight.