Humanity’s journey to become a spacefaring civilization is not a sprint. It is not one giant leap. It is the greatest marathon in history. It requires perseverance and grit. A slow crawl against all odds to fight our way out of Earth’s gravity well and gain a foothold in space…and eventually on another world. The cosmos is a truly inhospitable place, and we will need all of our technology and willpower to survive as a species. You will not wake up one day and realize that humans colonized the solar system. This is aspiration unlike any other…one that can only be achieved by stacking experience and technological advancement on top risk-taking, huge investments, and cutting edge engineering. To get there we need to see profitable growth and big returns as private companies forge partnerships with governments to open new markets. State Space agencies must begin rethinking their strategic goals as a the commercial space economy begins to emerge. 2014 was a hallmark year for the space industry — one filled with both triumphs and tragedy in pursuit of the stars. There were more space launches in 2014 than in any year in the previous two decades. It was a year greater than the sum of its parts, and one that will go down in history as one of the foundation years for our spacefaring civilization. Humanity is finally developing the framework and infrastructure necessary to become make the impossible…possible. Big things are starting to happen and the public and the investment community is becoming engaged in a way we have not seen since the space race of the 20th century. Over the next three weeks, we will show you why you should be so excited. We will start with rockets:
READ ON > via FuelSpace.
(Reuters) – With the end of the space shuttle program in sight, the U.S. government intends to stimulate development of private space transportation and also to lay the foundation for an entire new industry to service satellites in orbit.
The Robotic Refueling Mission flying aboard the space shuttle Atlantis will use the International Space Station’s Dextre robot to test tools for refueling and repairing existing satellites, none of which were designed with reuse in mind.
“I’ve likened it to a Fisher-Price play toy for a robot, and I don’t mean that in a negative sense,” Atlantis commander Chris Ferguson said in a preflight interview.
Via�National Space Society Group News | LinkedIn.
See the daring video of Virgin Galactics SpaceShipTwo as test pilots demonstrate the crafts novel “feathering” system to maintain stability during re-entry while flying high above the Mojave Desert. Credit: Virgin Galactic
via Virgin Galactics SpaceShipTwo Passes Re-Entry System Test | Space.com.
NASA Announces Lunabotics Mining Competition Winners
Thirty-six teams of undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe tested their robot designs in a challenge at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida from May 26-28.
After 30 years of development, the UK and European space agencies have given a go for the Skylon Spaceplane.
The Skylon, which is being developed at the Oxfordshire-based Reaction Engines in the UK, is an unpiloted and reusable spacecraft that can launch into Low Earth Orbit after taking off from a conventional runway.
Looking like something out of Star Wars, Skylon is a self contained, single stage, all in one reusable space vehicle. There are no expensive booster rockets, external fuel tanks or huge launch facilities needed.
The vehicle’s hybrid SABRE engines use liquid hydrogen combined with oxygen from the atmosphere at altitudes up to 26km and speeds of up to Mach 5, before switching over to on-board fuel for the final rocket powered stage of ascent into low Earth orbit.
via UK and European Space Agencies Give a Go For Skylon Spaceplane.
Live coverage of space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 mission to the International Space Station. Text updates will appear automatically; there is no need to reload the page.
via Spaceflight Now | STS-134 | Mission Status Center.
Welcome, everyone, to the Planetary Society Blog for the 191st Carnival of Space! Every week, a different webmaster or blogger hosts the Carnival, showcasing articles written on the topic of space. If you run a space/astronomy related blog, and would like to increase your readership, participate in the Carnival of Space. It’s a great way to get to know the community, and to help your writing reach a wider audience. If you’d like to submit an article or be a host for the carnival, just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You never know what bloggers are going to contribute to each Space Carnival, and sometimes when I participate I’ve been the only person contributing a planetary science post. So I was very pleasantly surprised this week to see a huge number of people posting on planetary topics, with a leavening of other fascinating material from cosmology to astronomy to aliens to private space exploration.
via Welcome to Carnival of Space #191 – The Planetary Society Blog | The Planetary Society.