Category Archives: Space business

“Space for Humanity” reserves payload space on Xplore’s first Moon mission

Xplore is a company founded to provide low cost access to the inner solar system for missions ranging from government sponsored scientific studies to commercial endeavors. They also want to invite public participation such as program to send names to the Moon:

Xplore will fly your name on our first mission to orbit the Moon, expected 2022. Add your name to the list and you can come along on our Moon Xpedition™.

The company today announced the first customer to place a payload on their Moon mission:

Xplore To Host Space for Humanity Payload on its First Moon Mission
Xplore Reserves Private Payload for Non-profit Organization, Space for Humanity

Xplore Inc., a commercial space company providing Space as a ServiceTM today announced that space industry leader Dylan Taylor plans to reserve payload space on Xplore’s first mission beyond Earth orbit. The payload will be hosted onboard the XcraftTM, Xplore’s highly capable, multi-mission spacecraft designed to perform frequent, low-cost missions in the inner solar system.

The Xplore Xcraft™ will be a standardized vehicle for deep space exploration. Credits: Xplore

The diverse payload reservations Xplore is attracting now includes private citizens. Dylan Taylor is a successful founder, philanthropist, prominent space investor and also the CEO of Voyager Space Holdings, a multi-national space holding firm that acquires and integrates leading space exploration enterprises globally. He is also the first private citizen to manufacture an item in space when a gravity meter he co-designed and commissioned was printed on the International Space Station in 2017. Dylan has commissioned the Xplore payload for the benefit of Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization dedicated to democratizing space and supporting the education and future spaceflight for citizen astronauts.

Mr. Taylor said,

“My decision to choose Xplore as our payload hosting provider was a simple one – Xplore is opening up new markets for commercial space, and I fully support their business model and experienced team. Their next-generation ESPA-class Xcraft and payload hosting services gives the flexibility needed to design the optimum payload and send it to space with Xplore.” He added, “Space as a Service™ is more than a tagline – they are ushering in a new way of doing business that meets my organizations’ needs and supports a wide range of customers.”

Xplore Founder Lisa Rich, said,

“Xplore is honored to have Space for Humanity as one of the forward-thinking commercial customers on our first mission. We are pleased to serve a non-profit and appreciate Space for Humanity’s confidence in Xplore and our team. We have simplified the complexity behind sending payloads to space so that anyone with a purpose can fly their payload.” She added, “In the same way that we allow scientists to focus on the science, not the spacecraft, Xplore gives Space for Humanity the freedom to focus on the purpose of their payload and how they plan to support it via meaningful engagement and outreach programs that benefit their organization’s mission.”

Dylan Taylor said,

“With Xplore, our mission does not need a design team or spacecraft to achieve our goals. We can engage Xplore to send our payload to space – which allows us to stay 100% focused on our core activities.” He added: “Xplore can take us to our desired destinations beyond Earth orbit – something few companies can do. Further, we will benefit from the creative input they provide as well as the flexibility of the missions they can perform.”

Xplore’s spacecraft, Xcraft™, is a highly-capable ESPA-class spacecraft that can carry 30kg – 70kg of payload in 50U volume and provides customers with the opportunity to fly scheduled or custom orbital missions. The company works with commercial customers, non-profits, sponsors, and organizations seeking to send their brands, instruments and other materials to space. While most customers desire to fly instruments to gather valuable science data, an increasing number of customers seek to use the significance of a space mission to send creative payloads and magnify the human impact of their message.

Xplore Xcraft in orbit around the Moon. Credits: Xplore

Lisa Rich said,

“The value of sending a payload beyond Earth orbit — and having Space for Humanity become one of the first private customers to do so, is exemplary. Citizens identify with the import of these human achievements and want to participate. We want to provide customers as well as the public with the ability to take part in our great space future.”

Xplore launched its public outreach website, Xplore Space, for this very purpose. Their site, https://www.xplorespace.com/ gives citizens and space enthusiasts alike the ability to send their name on Xplore’s first mission to the Moon, for free. Names of citizens will be saved on Xplore’s data storage system and placed inside of the Xplore Xcraft. While Xplore performs science missions for space agencies and researchers, citizens will become voyagers alongside scientific instruments making new discoveries. Millions of people will join Xplore on its missions, participating in the exploration of space.

Lisa Rich said,

“We believe that space is for everyone and that all should have access to it. Xplore is on a mission to accelerate scientific knowledge to benefit humanity — and for our part, we will start by expanding the human footprint by giving citizens the ability to send their name to the Moon so they are represented on our journey.”

About Xplore: Xplore is a Seattle-based company offering Space as a Service™. Xplore provides hosted payloads, communication relay services and exclusive datasets to its customers via the Xcraft™, the company’s multi-mission spacecraft. Xplore’s mission is to expand robotic exploration via commercial missions at and beyond Earth, to the Moon, Mars, Venus, Lagrange points and near-Earth asteroids for national space agencies, national security agencies, sovereign space agencies and universities. Visit: https://www.xplore.com

To Send Your Name to the Moon, visit: https://www.xplorespace.com/

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Videos: TMRO Orbit 12.13 – “How we will survive out in Space”

The latest episode from the TMRO.tv Space webcasts: How we will survive out in Space – Orbit 12.13

Engineer Brittany Zimmerman of Paragon Space Development Corporation joins us to talk about the different ways Space wants to kill you. We cover how Paragon is working on Life Support And Environmental Control Systems, including water purification to help keep us all alive on out journey to Mars. This one is an eye opener including a lot of stuff that will be required if us ugly giant bags of mostly water are to colonize the solar system.

A recent space news report:

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Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past

Space access: New Shepard test date set + Latest from Vector, Relativity Space, Firefly, & RocketStar

Some rocket news:

** Blue Origin announces a New Shepard test flight on Monday, Jan. 21st :

** Vector Launch update – Bob Zimmerman reports on a tour of the Vector rocket factory and an update on the company’s development and test launch plans Making smallsat rockets at Vector | Behind The Black:

Cantrell then outlined their launch schedule beyond this. If all goes well, they hope to make their first launch to orbit in June, followed by launches in August, October (two), and December. When I told him I would not be surprised if this schedule did not happen, he readily agreed. Like Rocket Lab, these first launches are tests, and when you do tests, you must not be surprised if things to go wrong. Like Rocket Lab however Cantrell is confident they will quickly figure out any issues and move forward.

His confidence seems reasonable, based on the significant capital the company has raised, and based on what I saw during his tour….

** Relativity Space awarded lease of a legacy launch facility at Cape Canaveral:

Forbes:

Los Angeles-based Relativity Space, which is working to develop 3D-printed rockets, announced Thursday that it won a competitive bidding process with the United States Air Force to build and operate Launch Complex 16 (LC-16) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The company says it will launch its first rocket from the site in 2020.

This agreement makes Relativity only the fourth commercial space station to operate at the iconic launch site, after United Launch Alliance, Blue Origin and SpaceX. Assuming that certain contractual milestones are set, Relativity could potentially maintain exclusive use of the site for 20 years.

“LC-16 is a historic site,” Relativity cofounder and Under 30 alumnus Tim Ellis told Forbes. “A lot of programs went through here. It was initially developed for Titan missile launches, then it was used during the Gemini program for NASA and was also used to test components for the Apollo program. And so there’s a really amazing historical significance.”

** Firefly Aerospace reportedly will build a factory and launch facility at Cape Canaveral: Firefly Aerospace is behind Florida rocket project: sources | Reuters

Firefly Aerospace Inc, a resurgent rocket company founded by a former SpaceX engineer, plans to build a factory and launch site at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Spaceport in a $52 million deal, people familiar with the project said on Wednesday.

** RocketStar suborbital rocket test will launch from a floating platform off Cape Canaveral on Feb. 7th:

** A new New Glenn animation preview video was released this week by Blue and it shows some changes to the design such as a wider fairing:

Debuting from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral, Florida in 2021, New Glenn will serve commercial, civil and national security customers from around the world. Featuring a 7 meter fairing with more than 2X the available volume of any rocket flying today and twin BE-3U engines powering the most capable upper stage in the market, New Glenn can launch the full range of satellite payloads. Seven reusable BE-4 engines generating 3.85 million pounds of thrust power the first stage designed to launch 25 times and land safely down range on a moving ship. New Glenn is beginning to take shape at our state-of-the-art rocket factory. Visit us at www.blueorigin.com to learn more.

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Videos: Recent rocket launches

I posted back on November 10th about several upcoming rocket launches. Here are videos of the missions so far.

** Rocket Lab Electron – 7 smallsats to LEO – Nov.11

** India’s GSLV Mk.3-D2 launch of GSAT 29 comm-sat to GEO – Nov.14

** SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of Es’hail comm-sat to GEO + Landing of first stage booster – Nov.15

As seen from outside the Cape:

SpaceX webcast:

** Russian Soyuz/Progress ISS cargo mission – Nov.16

NASA webcast:

** Northrop Grumman Antares/Cygnus ISS cargo mission – Nov.17

As seen from outside Wallops Island

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg AFB set for Monday the 19th has been postponed for a few days to check out some issues with the rocket.  A Chinese Long March 3B launch of 2 Beidou navigation satellites is expected on Monday.

See the Launch Schedule at SpaceflightNow.com for a list of many more launches schedule during the rest of November and December.

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Videos: Rocket Lab successfully launches Electron rocket with commercial payloads

Rocket Lab successfully launched an Electron rocket last night (US time) and put 7 small satellites into low earth orbit (see also earlier posting): Rocket Lab reaches orbit again, deploys more satellites | Rocket Lab

The satellites included:

A clip from the webcast when the satellites were being deployed:

Here is the complete Rocket Lab webcast of the launch through spacecraft deployment:

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