Science News

A new and exciting way students can conduct experiments in space is through CubeSats, which are tiny satellites that are launched into space in groups, allowing more experiments to go to space inexpensively (ok, so “inexpensive” and space don’t REALLY go hand in hand…it’s all relative).  I came across an article today that explains CubeSats:

http://www.spacenewsfeed.co.uk/index.php/technology/9709-students-building-satellite-thats-seen-as-future-of-space-research

 

Here is the latest on Space X from AIAA:

SpaceX Launch Reportedly Accelerates Shift In Spaceflight.

The Wall Street Journal (8/17, B1, Pasztor, Subscription Publication) continues coverage of how SpaceX will launch its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station in November, months earlier than had been planned at one point because it is combining two test flights into one. NASA has given technical approval to the plan with formal acceptance to follow. According to the article, this is accelerating the transition towards private companies performing flights to the ISS. Some industry officials also claim the move is being used to show that commercial companies will not be late in delivering their replacements for the shuttle.

NASASpaceFlight (8/17, Bergin) notes NASA officials “are working through the long list of safety requirements to approve Dragon’s debut ‘test’ mission to the orbital outpost. Several specific areas of interest are in work, including ongoing evaluations into the potential hazards from ‘secondary payloads’ on the Falcon 9.” These are part of the additional payloads SpaceX added to the mission to make the combined flight more economically feasible. SpaceX said in a statement, “NASA will grant formal approval for the combined COTS missions pending resolution of any potential risks associated with these secondary payloads.”

Aviation Week and Space Technology (8/16, Morring) also covered the story, noting that Orbital Sciences is also progressing towards its first flight to the ISS.

SpaceX Conducts Countdown Rehearsal. Spaceflight Now (8/16, Clark) reported, “SpaceX tested its next Falcon 9 rocket during a major countdown rehearsal Monday, loading propellant into the two-stage launcher and validating improvements made to the company’s Cape Canaveral launch pad before liftoff as soon as Nov. 30.” Meanwhile, “the Dragon is currently undergoing final environmental testing and assembly at SpaceX headquarters.”


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