commercial space


Blue Origin’s New Shepard relaunches for a second suborbital flight.

For the second time in as many months, Blue Origin successfully relaunched their New Shepard booster first flown in November.

The company posted a video to their website yesterday showing the successful January 22 flight, which reached an altitude of 63.2 miles, a mile higher than November’s flight. The flight profile remained the same, here the crew capsule boilerplate was released at apogee and parachuted to the ground.

It also marked the first time their booster has been reused for suborbital flight. Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin’s CEO, stated that refurbishment protocols were straight forward. The crew capsule’s parachutes were repacked, pyrotechnics were reloaded, and general avionics checks were performed on the booster. He also stated that the largest single change was in landing software used by the rocket.

Instead of targeting the direct center of the landing pad, the booster now takes into consideration its relative lateral movement. This way, the rocket isn’t fighting low-level winds or other circumstances that would push the booster off-course. Bezos compares it to a runway aiming for the centerline of a runway, but still landing even if it’s deviated a few feet from it.

The first test of New Shepard was in April, 2015. The flight and crew capsule reached an altitude of 58 miles, however, the booster lost pressure in its hydraulic system, and it crashed upon impact. November 23 saw a second test vehicle reach an altitude of 62.4 miles and successfully landed 11 minutes after launch.

This was the first time a rocket flew above the von Karman line, the internationally-defined boundary between the atmosphere and space, and returned successfully to the Earth. Blue Origin and SpaceX are both developing rockets that can be reused after flight. However, New Shepard is a suborbital rocket while the Falcon 9 is an orbital-class vehicle. Read more about the differences between the two systems here.


NanoRacks and Boeing team up to develop first commerical airlock for ISS.

To support the growing needs of commercial space companies aboard the International Space Station, NASA has approved a proposal by NanoRacks to develop and construct the laboratory’s first commercial airlock.

NanoRacks is one of the largest commercial space companies that send cubesats - miniature satellites often funded by small companies and academic institutions - to the space station for deployment. They will be working with Boeing to create the airlock, which is slated to arrive at the complex by late 2019.

The airlock would not only deploy cubesats, but would also be able to host commercial external science payloads. Currently, Japan’s Kibo laboratory and Europe’s Columbus module can host externally-mounted science payloads and commercial payloads compete for space. By installing a commercial airlock, both government space agencies and commercial entities would be able to have increased science payloads aboard the space station.

All science payloads on the ISS are determined and managed by CASIS - the  Center for the Advancement of Science in Space. CASIS will employ the same vetting procedures it currently has in place to select commercial payloads for use in this airlock.

The exact placement of the airlock on the ISS has not yet been determined, though NASA said it will attach to an available port on the Tranquility node. Tranquility also has another historic commercial space payload attached to it, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, which launched in April 2016.



What do you think of the Mars One Project?



Canadarm 2 relocates PMA-3 (Pressurized Mating Adapter 3) to the space-facing (Zenith) port on the Harmony (Node 2) module.  Once IDA-3 arrives on a  future SpaceX Dragon mission, the ISS will have 2 open docking ports for Commercial Crew missions.

Another picture that isn’t Gothic, but shows how architecture can sometimes be a bit bleak. This is the old council office in Inverness, running down Bank Lane towards the river. The repetitive, rhythmic design has its own beauty, but it also has a starkness that is out of place in the otherwise mostly rather traditional and historical city centre. The building is no longer the council service point, and I think it currently stands empty - there is sadly a lot of empty commercial space in Inverness, both retail and office. 

Plus a box of repeating boxes, uniform and identical, is hardly an aesthetic in keeping with my ethos of individuality and ornament! However, that is personal taste, not a reflection of some objective quality.  

Tagged by @bad-luck-and-trouble

5 Things Challenge

5 things you’ll find in my bag (I’m gonna call it my “pack”, much manly) - phone, wallet, keys, IFAK, and one thing which I’m not naming since I live in Commieville

5 things you’ll find in my bedroom - My bed, my TV, my laptop, stacks of plastic bins and usually me, trying to avoid my family. Yes I’m 27 and I live with my parents. Look, I just got out of the Marine Corps 6 months ago, I had cancer, and it’s expensive af to live in this cesspool, so give me a fucking break

5 things I want to do in my life - Stay in a dune shack in Provincetown, see Antarctica, drive a race car NASCAR, F1 I don’t care, learn to surf, go into space (commercially I guess, NASA no longer in the cards for me)

5 things I’m into right now -

· Spending time with my niece, love that kid

· Food, I literally need to gain like 20 lbs because of cancer and chemo

· Watching old TV series and game shows

· My newly remodeled bathroom. I’ve spent an hour in my shower after work lol

· Working, making money and getting my own place

5 things you might not know about me -

· Besides a couple close calls in Afg, I’ve survived getting hit by a city bus when I was 7, falling off the roof of a three story house when I was 11 and being in a car that clipped the center median on the NJ Tpk going 80mph and flipped over six times when I was 16. And now cancer. Lmfao @ death, gtfo you weak ass bitch

· In my construction job I work for a sub subcontractor working on the new 3 WTC. Since 9/11 was the main reason I became a Marine it’s kind of like closing the circle for me.

· I eat pizza backwards, crust first

· I’ve never owned a car

· I have six toes on my left foot. Also, I enjoy lying to people about having six toes on my left foot

I’ll tag @heathen-88 @gunpowderandink @peaceloveforties


Levi’s ‘Spaceman’ ad (1995)

Song is ‘Spaceman’ by Babylon Zoo