Want more commercial space news? There might be a solution.
For those of us who hunger for more, it's worth noting that the Commercial Space blog also aggregates the best international stories on the web into the "More Commercial Space News" feed, which is updated on an ongoing basis, throughout the day.
These posts are also promoted via the @acuriousguy twitter feed, in order to provide a comprehensive and easy to access overview of international commercial space activities.
Here are just a few of the stories currently being tracked:
- The big breaking story in the US this week is, of course, the possible refusal of the Russian government to allow further exports of the Russian RD-180 rocket engine, which is currently used for the first stage engines in the workhorse US Atlas-V rocket. These include the August 29th, 2013 Moonandback article "RD-180 Sales Ban Rumor," the August 28th, 2013 Space Travel article "Russian rocket engine export ban could halt US space program," and even the assumed original source of the rumour, the August 27th, 2013 Russia Today (RT) article "Russian rocket engine export ban could halt US space program." Certainly the situation is complex, both in Russia and in the US as transnational corporations like United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Aerojet Rocketdyne attempt to control access to the Russian engines and even discuss restarting the assembly line to build more. For background, check out the June 24th, 2013 blog post "Bride of RocketDyne!"
- As a counterpoint to the Russian rocket story, NASA has issued another report focused on the equipment being developed for future "beyond Earth" space missions. According to the August 27th, 2013 NASA Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Report, the "Orion, Space Launch System and Ground Systems Development and Operations programs continued to make progress towards sending humans beyond Earth's orb" which is all well and good just so long as no one looks closely at the July 30th, 2013 Space News article "NASA Defends Space Launch System against Charge It is draining the lifeblood of Space Program," which essentially says exactly the opposite. Only time will tell if either, neither or both of these news stories eventually end up being correct.
- Commercial space companies are also tracked in this feed. Sample articles include the August 29th, 2013 Parabolic Arc article "Tethers Unlimited Awarded NIAC Phase II Contract" focused on the recent $500,000 NASA award presented to a private firm with a new method to create space structures, the August 29th, 2013 press release from the European Space Agency (ESA) under the title "ESA Says 200 new start-ups launched at ESA incubators" and the August 27th, 2013 Parabolic Arc article "Space Tourism Startup SHIPinSPACE Receives $7.8 Million Investment."