SpaceNews: November 20, 2015


Free CubeSat rideshares offered by ULA for Atlas V launches

United Launch Alliance (ULA) will begin adding a cubesat dispenser on to its Atlas V missions from 2017, allowing for the launch of up to 24 cubesats alongside its primary mission payload. In advertising the opportunities to cubesat companies, ULA has announced it will allow for several free rides for University payloads.

The cubesat market is growing, with numerous small satellites being developed and already launched via a variety of launch vehicles.

Rideshare is aimed at offering a range of capabilities that can be used to launch auxiliary, secondary, and dual-manifest payloads to all orbits aboard its Atlas and Delta family of launch vehicles.

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How NASA engineers are designing the aerodynamics of its new heavy-lift launcherxycutpnoitskmhh5t0qw

NASA’s new Space Launch System is going to be the first to carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit since Saturn V went into space—but it will also carry 10 percent more payload. That’s giving its engineers an awful lot of math to worry about, and this is what their work looks like.

A team at the space agency are using computational fluid dynamics simulations to understand the aerodynamics of the new craft. It’s a familiar design: there’s a central core with two solid rocket boosters strapped to the sides. Two minutes after launch, 16 separation motors are used to separate the boosters from the side. You’ve seen it hundreds of times; it’s iconic.

But the forces generated during that kind of operation are immense and, when you’re trying to push 10 percent more stuff into space than you have done before, hard to predict. Hence all this math.

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NASA and Johns Hopkins are planning to launch a solar probe in 2018 that will be the fastest moving object humanity has ever produced

Solar Probe observing sunSolar Probe Plus will come closer to the Sun than any spacecraft has ever flown – and what it finds could revolutionize what we know about our star and the solar wind that influences everything in our solar system.

NASA has tapped the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to develop the ambitious Solar Probe Plus mission, which will study the streams of charged particles the Sun hurls into space from an unprecedented vantage point: inside the Sun’s corona – its outer atmosphere – where the processes that heat the corona and produce solar wind occur. At closest approach, Solar Probe would zip past the Sun at 125 miles per second, protected by a carbon-composite heat shield that must withstand up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and survive blasts of radiation and energized dust at levels not experienced by any previous spacecraft.

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Play one of the most exciting space exploration games for free this weekend


Space Engineers is a sandbox game about engineering, construction, exploration and survival in space and on planets. Players build space ships, space stations, planetary outposts of various sizes and uses, pilot ships and travel through space to explore planets and gather resources to survive.

Play here

If you have enjoyed the game and you see yourself joining this amazingly talented team at KEENSWH have a look at their job openings and maybe you’ll find a new gig for yourself there. At the moment, they are looking for software engineers, game designers, AI specialists all those who are excited about space.

And if after reading our news on all the cool developments in space industry or after playing Space Engineers you feel creative, we are inviting you to have a look at our challenge on writing a story about your robot. By describing the robot that you’d like to have, you might plant a seed for a new project or simply get feedback on an already existing one.


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