NASA advances plan to commercialize International Space Station

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Axiom Space habitat modules are depicted attached to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s plan to further commercialize work in low Earth orbit.

 

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 12 (UPI) — The planned launch of a private commercial airlock to the International Space Station in November will accelerate NASA’s plan to turn the station into a hub of private industry, space agency officials said.

The commercialization plan also includes the launch of a private habitat and laboratory by 2024 and a project NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced on Twitter in May in which actor Tom Cruise will film a movie in space.

The 20-year-old space station may even have a private citizen on board again for the first time in years in late 2021, according to Phil McAlister, NASA’s director of commercial spaceflight. It’s part of a plan to wean the space station off NASA’s public funding of $3 billion to $4 billion per year.

“We expanded the scope and range of activities that can be done on ISS,” McAlister said in an interview earlier this year. “We carved out resources — power, oxygen, data — and we know we can support a paying customer, probably twice a year for up to a month.”

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SpaceX’s first manned flight gets a launch window

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When will SpaceX’s first manned flight launch? No earlier than mid-to-late May, the company declared via its Twitter account Wednesday. The “Demo–2” Crew Dragon flight will see astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley fly to the International Space Station. A successful mission will enable SpaceX to send NASA astronauts to the space station, giving the agency a new means of ferrying crew.

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International Space Station crew 3D-prints meat in space for the first time!

 

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For the first time in the history of space, meat was ‘created’ on the International Space Station (ISS) and no animals were harmed in the making of this 3D bio-printed ‘space beef.’ On October 7, Aleph Farms, an Israeli food company, announced that its experiment aboard the space lab resulted in the first lab-grown meat in space.

Albeit climate change was the main motivation for the company to produce slaughter-free meat, it seems like a breakthrough for space as an entire piece of real, edible meat was grown out of just a couple of cells in a lab- Bovine cell spheroids to be precise.

The experiment was carried out by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka in the space lab’s Russian segment using a 3D printer developed in Moscow. It involved growing meat by mimicking a cow’s natural muscle-tissue regeneration process. Aleph Farms collaborated with the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions and two U.S.-based food companies to test this method in space.

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Astronauts make cement in space for the first time

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European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst works on an experiment aboard the International Space Station looking into how cement reacts in space.

Concrete could provide humans in space with better protection from radiation and extreme temperatures than many other materials.

In the future, when humans live in and visit space, they’re going to need places to stay and work. That calls for durable infrastructure such as concrete. For the first time, astronauts made cement in space as part of a project looking into the effects of microgravity, NASA said last week.

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Astronaut aboard the ISS needs a wrench and NASA successfully ’emails’ him one

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Astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore poses with the 3D-printed socket wrench emailed

 – We’re finally starting to see the benefits of having a 3D printer aboard the International Space Station, as NASA and Made in Space basically emailed a ratcheting socket wrench to astronaut Barry Wilmore.

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Space will go commercial with 2015 launch of Bigelow inflatable room

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Bigelow Expandable Activity Module

An inflatable workroom from Bigelow Aerospace will be added to the International Space Station,  The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, will head to low-Earth orbit (LEO) in 2015 aboard the Dragon, a rocket built and operated by the privately run, Elon Musk-founded company SpaceX.

 

 

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NASA blasts first 3D printer into space

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The machine hitching a ride on the Space X cargo shuttle isn’t your average, off-the-shelf MakerBot printer.

The SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida last week carrying something that’s never been taken into space: A 3D printer. When it docked with the ISS, it delivered the first machine capable of making things in orbit—a huge step forward for exploration. (Video)

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Cosmonauts find sea plankton on outside of International Space Station

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Cosmonauts found traces of sea plankton and microscopic particles on outside of ISS.

ITAR-TASS, a Russian press agency, is reporting something so surprising that it’s hard to believe: Cosmonauts have found microorganisms on the exterior of the International Space Station. Russian scientists are shocked by this discovery and can’t really explain how it is possible.

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SpaceX set to launch first commercial rocket to ISS

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Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, stands in front of a Falcon 9 rocket at SpaceX’s launch site.

A Falcon 9 rocket will lift-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida tomorrow night.  The craft will rendezvous in low-Earth orbit with the International Space Station (ISS) a few days after it has been launched.

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‘Sticky boom’ – a sticky solution for grabbing objects in space

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For one spacecraft to grab onto another spacecraft in space is a very challenging task. Although the robotic arms on the space shuttles and International Space Station (ISS) have made it look easy over the years, the process requires complex manipulator arms and special fixtures on the objects the arms are grasping, limiting the technology’s use. A small startup company is testing a new approach, though, that could greatly expand the applications of robotic arm technology to include, for example, cleaning up orbital debris and servicing the ISS.

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Space Adventures to Offer Commercial Spaceflight Opportunities to the ISS with Three Seats Available in 2013

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Space Adventures became world-renowned 10 years ago with the launch of Dennis Tito, the world’s first privately-funded space explorer.

Space Adventures, the only company that has provided human space mission opportunities to the world marketplace, announced today the conclusion of an agreement with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA) and Rocket Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) to commercially offer three seats on the Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS), beginning in 2013.

 

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