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http://spacenews.com/darpa-aims-to-disrupt-national-security-space-business/

 

DARPA aims to ‘disrupt’ national security space business



DARPA's Fred Kennedy: "Our savior is going to be the commercial sector."

WASHINGTON — The military space business is stuck in its old ways and missing a "golden opportunity" to capture the energy of a rejuvenated commercial industry, said a former White House space and aviation technology adviser who is now a top official at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
"In the national security space sector, we're in dire need of new thinking and innovation,"  said Fred Kennedy, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. He assumed that post in September after serving as deputy director since January.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation Nov. 15, Kennedy criticized the Pentagon’s methods for acquiring satellites and called for a “shakeup” in national security space programs.

In the Defense Department, Kennedy said, "We've gotten very good at building small numbers of extremely exquisite things, very expensive things on very long time schedules." That culture that emphasizes high performance and low risk is now working against the military because its satellites have become huge targets for adversaries.

"Our savior is going to be the commercial sector,” said Kennedy. Some pockets within the military are moving in that direction but not soon enough. “We’re starting to see an influx of commercial technology, but we need more of it, and quick."

Kennedy worries that the commercial space boom could turn out to be a fad that fades in a few years, so the Pentagon should be harnessing that energy now. "My biggest fear is that in a couple of years people will forget Matt Damon and 'The Martian' and be back where we were before."

'Other transactions' contracting

DARPA’s weapon for capturing privately funded technology is an authority known as "other transactions," or OTA, to sign contracts with vendors that bypasses some of the federal procurement red tape.

"We do that. It's very effective and useful," said Kennedy. "I can’t say it's always quicker than the normal contracting process. But it is actually an effective way of teaming."

The way it works with DARPA: The agency selects a commercial partner and the company is expected to help fund the venture. "Then we can go out and work on problems jointly," Kennedy said.
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A fad, huh. So the Colonization of Mars is seen as a "fad"? A passing ADHD interest that'll lose its' luster in a few years? Nah. That dream of the 50's and 60's, and even the early 70's, when we dared to think that Space was the next great frontier, was killed because of people who worked for DARPA and OldSpace because they were too busy trying to figure out ways to kill other people most efficiently during the Cold War.

 

That's all over with, and they can't get out of that lame-assed midset (being the students of those old idiots) so they have no idea how to deal with the new ideas and new ambitions. Good for them for trying, though.

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  • 1 month later...

AKA braking shields

 

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/uw-team-wins-nasas-nod-small-satellites-magnetic-braking-systems/

 

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UW team wins NASA’s nod for small satellites with magnetic braking systems

 

NASA says itll provide resources for a University of Washington research team thats working on a concept to put small satellites in orbit around other worlds using magnetic interactions.

The concept, known as magnetoshell aerocapture, is one of nine university-led technology development projects winning NASAs backing under the Smallsat Technology Partnerships initiative. The nationwide program is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

Magnetoshell aerocapture uses magnetic fields and magnetized plasma to help slow down spacecraft and get them into stable orbits. The technology is particularly suited for interplanetary missions involving small spacecraft, where size and weight constraints may rule out using thrusters, physical aeroshells or other weighty deceleration systems.

UW researchers have been working on the technology for years. Last year, an associated team from Redmond, Wash.-based MSNW received a $500,000 NASA grant for ground-based development work on magnetoshell aerocapture.

The technology can turn less than an ounce of plasma into a magnetized deceleration barrier that’s as wide as a football field.
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The nine newly selected teams will have the opportunity to establish a two-year cooperative agreement with NASA, through which each university will receive up to $200,000 per year. As part of the agreement, NASA researchers will collaborate on the projects. UWs team, for instance, has been paired up with Langley Research Center in Virginia.
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160513-mag3.jpg

 

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To be fair, these aren't even the really good ones. There's stuff floating around in the theoretical arenas that'll boggle the mind just waiting for R&D funding. :yes: 

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Sounds like Russia lost Angosat-1, a GEO commsat for Angola launched yesterday on Zenit.  Sounds like the Fregat tug got it to GEO, separated then things went south. 

 

http://tass.ru/kosmos/4846548

 

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MOSCOW, December 27. / TASS /. With the Angolan satellite "Angosat", which was launched on December 26 from Baikonur, it was not possible to establish a connection. This was reported by a TASS source in the rocket and space industry.

 

"So far, there are no links with the" Angosat "satellite, we are dealing with the situation," the source said.

TASS does not have an official confirmation of this information.

The source of the agency added that communication with the satellite was lost at the stage of solar battery disclosure panel deployment. 

"After the division with the Fregat upper stage at 06:54 Moscow time everything was regular, the satellite's own orientation system was switched on, telemetry was fully applied, then the solar cells were opened, at this stage telemetry was lost," the source said.
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Bummer for Angola (this would have been their first satellite) ... hopefully it is a temporary glitch and communications will be restored.  If not ... space is hard unfortunately.  

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It's a lot harder when you're launch provider suffers a series of solar panel deployment issues, from which Russia has been suffering for almost a decade. Particularly, this is been a problem on Progress and Soyuz missions.

 

It's a combination of an aging workforce where the young Engineers are heading for Europe or the US for better pay, and poor quality control.

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Founds this video interesting.  A team at the University of Arizona explain how they create mirror glass for Chile's Giant Magellan Telescope, planned for completion in 2025.  The University has made around 20 mirror glasses for other telescopes, which is located under their football stadium.

 

 

 

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Apparently all communications, telemetry, and command/control have been reestablished with Angosat-1. The satellite is reportedly in good health. Wow. Color me surprised.

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He and Crippen were who I would consider to be the "Ultimate Team". Nobody else could have flown that first Shuttle flight with the same level of aptitude, grapefruits and sheer skill level as those two -- because that first Shuttle flight was so close to redline on so many instances that these two Astronauts were the only ones who could have dealt with it.

 

Young was also the Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1974 to 1987, being the longest-tenured Chief of that position. During STS-1's mission buildup and duration he was not required to relinquish that position as it would be his last flight, and training was relatively short.

 

He finally retired from NASA in 2004 at the age of 74, although he would still attend the monday morning briefings for years afterward. :) 

 

Hell of a guy, hell of an Astronaut.

 

(Citation: Wikipedia (John Young) )

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Great Lakes bolide

 

Last night about 2008 Eastern time there was a very bright light, then an extremely bright flash followed by an enormous BOOM!! that shook the entire house. 

 

The local news channels were all over it saying it was seen as far away as Chicago,  massed about 1 metric tonne and it registered on seismographs as a 2.0 earthquake.

 

 

 

Edited by DocM
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Saw this on the news, I guess a piece of it landed in a residential neighborhood in/near Taylor. We all saw the extremely bright light as it entered the atmosphere  ... how could anyone miss it?

 

I wanna know what its' composition/minerology is. :yes: 

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Worth a full read....

 

http://m.aviationweek.com/space/cutting-bureaucracy-meet-cape-canaverals-aggressive-launch-goal

 

Quote

Cutting Bureaucracy To Meet Cape Canaveral's Aggressive Launch Goal

 

Cape laying groundwork for big boost in flight rate

Stepping Up to 48 [launches/year]

The way 45th Space Wing Commander Wayne Monteith sees it, the key to supporting 48 launches a year by 2020 is to remove bureaucratic obstacles such as having customers make reservations for range time at least six months in advance and to invest in new technologies, such as a graphic visualization system to sharpen the accuracy of launch-weather forecasts. 
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Another system ripe for a technological reboot is the Space Wings scheduling tool, which literally consisted of a whiteboard. "Traditionally, if you wanted to get a launch slot on the range, you would plan somewhere between 6-36 months out to get your slot," Monteith says. "The new goal was 90 days, and now most of those requests come in under 60 days. My goal is to get that under 30 days, so a company like SpaceX can come in and say, I want to launch next month and if I have an opening, I want to be able to support that launch."

"They launch on readiness when they are ready to go they want to go," he adds. "Traditionally, we have launched on schedule. We've told our launch provider, 'This satellite will be ready in three years, and that's when you're going to launch. If you're ready early or if were ready early, that doesn't matter.' In order for us to bring business here to the Space Coast, we had to become much more agile and flexible and accommodating. The system has worked since the 1950s and 60s, but that doesn't mean it's going to work for the next 50 or 60 years. You have to adapt, or you become irrelevant."
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Desire vs. Reality ... and getting the FAA and NASA to cooperate will be an entirely different thing. The FAA are going over everything with a fine-toothed comb, and NASA apparently feels the need to triple-check anything and everything that wants to fly out of the Cape ad nauseam before giving approval Which in if itself can take six months.

 

NASA will be the tough nut to crack on that one. FAA will be okay, I think.

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