This report describes the development and initial testing of a small vacuum-chamber test facility. This facility was developing by Citizens in Space under contract to SpaceGAMBIT, with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The goal was to demonstrate the construction of a low-cost vacuum-chamber facility for small payloads, which is suitable for use in a HackerSpace or similar setting. The facility will also be used to test citizen-science payloads that are to fly with Citizens in Space.

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Written by Astro1 on February 20th, 2014 , Citizen Science (General)

The non-profit Saylor Foundation is teaming up with NASA to offer a free six-week online course in Space Systems Engineering. The massive open online course, or MOOC, begins Monday, March 3, 2014.

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Written by Astro1 on February 19th, 2014 , Education

Astrobotic rover competing for Google Lunar X-Prize

The Google Lunar X-Prize has announced new Milestone Prizes, which will provide technological stepping stones (and near-term financial help) for teams that are competing for the $30 million grand prize.

Five teams have been selected to compete as finalists for the Milestone Prizes, which have a total purse of $6 million to be awarded this year.

Winning the $30-million Google Lunar X-Prize requires landing a probe on the surface of the Moon, moving at least 500 meters on the surface, and sending back specified data. Teams have been struggling to come up with funding for the competition, though. As a result, the X-Prize Foundation has been tweaking the rules to help competitors along.

The new Milestone Prizes and selected teams are:

Multiple teams can win each Milestone Prize.

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Written by Astro1 on February 19th, 2014 , Lunar Science

A new promotional video for Spaceport Sweden, a proposed suborbital launch site 100 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle.


Written by Astro1 on February 14th, 2014 , Spaceports