Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 2-5 Feb 2018

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Demo Success Could Mean Human Occupied Lunar Base Soon To Come

Upcoming 6 Feb Falcon Heavy Launch With Reusable Rocket Components Will Increase Space Travel Sustainability And Possibility Of Permanent Lunar Base; CEO Elon Musk States Aspirations Of Sending Humans To Mars In 2024 At ~US$200K Per Person With Launch Seating Capability Of 100 People, Also Plans To Accommodate Commercial And Government Desire To Reach Moon First As Stepping Stone Into The Solar System; Musk Envisions His Interplanetary Transport System On Self-Proclaimed “Moon Base Alpha” Leading To Speculation Of Personal Interest In Lunar Settlement

Credits: NASA, SpaceX, Elon Musk

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 12-15 Jan 2018

Rocket Lab Second Test Launch Set For NET Jan 20, Could Determine GLXP Finale

Electron Second Test Flight ‘Still Testing’ Planned During 9-Day Launch Window Starting 20 January Could Be Significant Determiner In Google Lunar XPrize 31 March Deadline Further Extension Or GLXP End; Team Indus / ISRO PSLV Contract Cancelled Making It Virtually Impossible To Secure New Contract, Raise Funds, Integrate Lander & Launch Before Deadline; This Leaves Moon Express (Rocket Lab), Synergy Moon (Interorbital Untested Launch Vehicle Neptune), SpaceIL (SpaceX – Team Noted It Needed US$7.5M By 20 Dec 2017) And Team Hakuto (Working To Stay In Competition) To Attempt To Win US$20M Grand Prize

Pictured: Peter Beck, Rocket Lab CEO; Credits: Rocket Lab, Moon Express, GLXP

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 8-11 Dec 2017

Rocket Lab Electron 2nd Test Ideal Launch Conditions Open Monday Local Time (Sunday USA)

Electron Rocket 2nd Test Launch Possible 14:30-18:30 Dec 11 In New Zealand (15:30-19:30 Sunday HST): Live Video Stream To Begin 12 Minutes Before Launch; 17m-Tall, 1.2m-Diameter Rocket Capable Of Taking 225kg To Orbit; This Test Carries 2 Weather-Monitoring Lemur-2 Satellites For Spire & 1 Earth-Imaging Dove Satellite For Planet Labs; Daily 4-Hour Launch Window Continues Until Dec 17; Success Prepares Rocket Lab For Moon Express Lunar Launch Contracted For Q1 2018

Pictured: Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck; Credits: Rocket Lab, Spire, Planet Labs, NASA

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 18-21 November 2016

Japan Epsilon Launch Set For 20 Dec, Intended To Carry SLIM Lander To Moon 2018-19

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The 2nd JAXA Epsilon Rocket Launch Planned 20 Dec Lofting ERG Satellite Should Further Qualify Technology Enabling 1st JAXA Lunar Landing With Smart Lander For Investigating Moon (SLIM); Epsilon Launch Estimated At US$38M (Half Cost Of Predecessor M-5), Uses H-2A Solid Booster, M-5 Second & Third Stages; SLIM To Test Technologies For SELENE-2 (Lander & Rover) And Future Human Missions; JAXA, ISAS, Lunar & Planetary Laboratory ‘Workshop On Planetary Science Enabled By Epsilon Class Missions’ 15-16 Nov Establishing Potential International Collaborations & Inputs For SLIM, Penetrator Probe For Moon Or Airless Bodies, DESTINY+ For Meteor Shower Study

Pictured: ISAS Associate Professor Shinichiro Tokudome (responsible for developing Epsilon propulsion systems & integration)

Credits: JAXA, ISAS

Friday / 16 September 2016

Blue Origin Developing Huge Rockets,
May Launch Moon Missions

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Working Step By Step With Vision Of ‘Millions Of People Living & Working In Space’ Jeff Bezos Of Blue Origin Hints At Return To The Moon With New Armstrong; Could Fulfill Significant Need For USA Human Moon Missions, Catalyze Multi World Species Settlement; Reusable Orbital New Glenn Rocket In 2 & 3-Stage Configuration To Be 82-m & 95-m Tall, Provide 17.1M Newton (3.85M lbf) Thrust From Seven BE-4 Engines, Capable Of Launching Humans & Cargo Beyond LEO; Reusable Suborbital VTVL New Shepard & Capsule Being Prepared For Test Passenger Flights 2017, Full Operations 2018

Credit: Blue Origin LLC, Jeff Bezos, NASA

Friday / 2 September 2016

Team Synergy Moon Launch With Interorbital Receives Official Verification By GLXP

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The Announcement Out Of Los Angeles CA Verifies The Launch Agreement Between Synergy Moon And Team Member Interorbital Systems; Utilizes NEPTUNE 8 Rocket To Lift Off From Open-Ocean Platform Off California Coast During 2nd Half Of 2017; It Is The 3rd GLXP Team To Receive Launch Verification After SpaceIL (Via SpaceX – Falcon 9) And Moon Express (Via Rocket Lab – Electron); Synergy Moon Co-founders Are Kevin Myrick (USA) & Nebojša Stanojević (Bosnia And Herzegovina), Team Includes Randa & Roderick Milliron, As Well As Individuals And Working Groups In More Than 15 Countries

Credit: Synergy Moon, Interorbital

Friday / 8 July 2016

Rocket Lab Electron Rocket May Launch Late Summer, Qualifies Rutherford Engine For Flight

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab Planning Maiden Electron Rocket Launch Within A Couple Months From Wairoa, New Zealand Followed By Launches From New Site At Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula (39° S, 177° E) Which Is Close To Completion; CEO Peter Beck Notes Mahia Can Offer “Widest Range Of Orbital Azimuths Of Any Launch Site Globally”; Electron Is 10,000kg, 16-meters Tall, Able To Carry 150kg To 500-km Sun-Synchronous Orbit For Less Than US$5M; HQ In Los Angeles, Company Working With Moon Express For 2017 Launch To Moon & Potentially 3 Other Launches, And Up To 12 Missions For Spire Satellites

Credit: Rocket Lab, Google, Moon Express

Thursday / 30 June 2016

New Hainan Spaceport / Moonport  “China’s Cape Canaveral” Opens With LM-7 First Launch

LED-6-29-16

New Wenchang Satellite Launch Center At 19°N 110°E On Hainan Island, Southern-most Province Off Southeast Coast of China Is 20-km2 Complex With 2 Main Launch Sites, Rocket Assembly Plant, Command Center, Tracking Stations; Will Host China’s Largest, Most Ambitious Launches For Decades To Come, Including Chang’e 4-6, Mars Probes, Eventual Human Moon Missions, China Space Station; Astronaut Leroy Chiao Sums Up China Space Program “The Message Is The Same That It’s Been For Some Time. They’re In This Game To Stay. They’re Making Long-term Plans To Stay In Space & Expand Their Presence In Space”

Credit:Google, CNSA