Satrun V / Skylab I launch at Kennedy Space Center

2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Skylab, America’s first space station.

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Written by Greg Kennedy on May 14th, 2013 , Space History

Northrop Grumman lunar lander concept for Golden Spike Corporation

Northrop Grumman has completed a feasibility study of commercial lunar lander configurations for the Colorado-based Golden Spike Company. Part of the study includes a novel low-mass ascent stage concept, which Northrop Grumman calls Pumpkin.

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Written by Astro1 on May 8th, 2013 , Citizen Exploration, Commercial Space (General)

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Grasshopper VTVL reusable first-stage demonstrator

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will soon move its VTVL reusable first-stage demonstrator, Grasshopper, to Spaceport New Mexico for further testing.

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Written by Astro1 on May 7th, 2013 , Spaceports, SpaceX

Russian Soyuz rocket launchSome things have not changed since the end of the Cold War. Russia is still making the mistake of believing its own propaganda.

A new article by Alexei Lyakhov and Artyom Kobzev proclaims, “Russia Has No Rivals in Space Tourism.” The article was published by the Voice of Russia, the international radio service of the All Russia State Radio and Television company.

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Written by Astro1 on May 7th, 2013 , Space Policy and Management

First Space Hacker Workshop for Suborbital Experiments, Silicon Valley,  May 2013
The first Space Hacker Workshop for Suborbital Experiments, presented by Citizens in Space and the Silicon Valley Space Center, was a stunning success. One hundred participants crowded into the main hall, which was standing-room-only on May 4 And 5. Turnout greatly surpassed the organizers’ original goal of 40 people. Available tickets sold out prior to the event, and some people had to be turned away at the door.

A member of the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, where the workshop took place, said, “I’ve never seen the Dojo this busy.”

Participants praised the hands-on format of the workshop, which provided access to actual hardware from companies such as Infinity Aerospace. Participants mingled with microgravity researchers, representatives of XCOR Aerospace, and astronauts from NASA, Citizens in Space, and Astronauts 4 Hire before breaking off into groups to work on software/hardware projects.

“These are the makers of space,” one participant said. “This event is about making and doing, rather than talking and talking.”

The excitement at the workshop caught the attention of news media including the San Jose Mercury News, Wired, Make Magazine, and the Discovery Channel. One reporter even flew in from Denmark to cover the event.

We are currently in the process of planning Space Hacker Workshops for four additional cities.

Space Hacker Workshop for Suborbital  Experiments (Silicon Valley, May 2013)

Written by Astro1 on May 7th, 2013 , Citizens in Space, Events

On October 7, 1958, NASA Administrator T. Keith Glennan formally approved the fledgling space agency’s proposal for a manned satellite project.

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Written by Greg Kennedy on May 3rd, 2013 , Space History

Many people are familiar with the events of May 5, 1961, when US Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became the first American to reach space. Less well known, however, are the events of May 4, 1961. The day before Shepard became America’s first astronaut, two other Navy officers ventured to the edge of space beneath a plastic balloon on the Strato Lab High V flight.

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Written by Greg Kennedy on May 1st, 2013 , Space History


Here is the official video news release from Monday’s successful powered supersonic flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two (VSS Enterprise).

Scaled Composites posted the following comments in their flight log for Powered Flight 01, which was the 115th flight for White Knight Two:

Monday we “lit the candle” for the first time. SS2 control and handling was very positive during its first supersonic, rocket-powered flight. The motor operated as designed and provided a smooth but noticeable/ significant push through the sound barrier. The boost was terminated at the intended shutdown duration of 16 seconds. Trajectory was nominal with Mike [Alsbury] & Mark [Stucky] topping out at 1.22 Mach and 56,200 feet. Post shutdown glide was nominal. The vehicle and the team performed as expected – excellent! We’d like to thank our team, our many vendors, and the support of Virgin for making today a possibility. The fun has only just begun!

Written by Astro1 on May 1st, 2013 , Virgin Galactic