Category Archives: Space Transportation

NASA Selects Seven Firms to Provide Suborbital Flight Services

NASA has selected seven companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space and back. This arrangement marks the first time that NASA has contracted with commercial partners to … Continue reading

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NASA Manned Spaceflight Schedule and Cost

Although the details of the design of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) have yet to be released, significant information about the schedule and cost is leaking out, in particular in the following two recent articles: Orlando Sentinel, August 5, 2011: … Continue reading

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NASA Selects Companies to Study Storing Cryogenic Propellants in Space

NASA has selected four companies to develop concepts for storing and transferring cryogenic propellants in space. These capabilities are important for the agency’s future deep space human exploration missions. The selected companies, pending successful contract negotiations, are: – Analytical Mechanics … Continue reading

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SpaceX Plans for Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made numerous public statements about SpaceX plans to send humans to Mars in the next 10 to 20 years (e.g. see Discovery News and PC Magazine). The most recent statement was at an August 1 … Continue reading

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Current Strategies for Air-Breathing Rockets

As market competition for space access heats up, there is a renewed interest in air-breathing technology. At the same time, remarkable launch cost reductions in more conventional boosters are imminent due to the efforts of SpaceX and other firms. It … Continue reading

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Australians Receive Funding for Plasma Thruster

Australia National University’s Plasma Research Laboratory has received a grant to help build its Helicon Double Layer Thruster (HDLT). If successful, the driver could be in space as early as 2013. Because of the high temperatures generated in plasma drives, … Continue reading

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A Fusion Thruster for Space Travel

IEEE Spectrum reports that a NASA engineer has come up with a new way to fling satellites through space on mere grams of fuel, tens of times as efficiently as today’s best space probe thrusters. Instead of using deuterium and … Continue reading

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Constructing Cislunar Infrastructure – ISDC 2011

ISDC conference report by Dave Fischer If those who think Mars is sufficiently hard to get to and remain to settle are correct, or those who think that it would be a terrible mistake to go to Mars and return … Continue reading

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Statement on Launch Costs from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

The following is quoted in full from the SpaceX website, dated May 4, 2011.  Note that SpaceX is participating in the NSS International Space Development Conference (ISDC 2011) later this month. WHY THE US CAN BEAT CHINA: THE FACTS ABOUT … Continue reading

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CCDev2 – SpaceX

Cady Coleman and Scott Kelley in the Dragon Image Credit: SpaceX This is the final entry concerning the second round of funding in the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program. NASA awarded $75 million to spaceX to develop a revolutionary launch … Continue reading

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