News

(Discovery News) BitSat Verification: Bitcoin's Giant Leap into Orbit

Bitcoin, the electronic peer-to-peer currency that sidesteps more traditional methods of payment, is about to be launched into space. Continue reading →

(ScienceDaily) Spiders in space weave a web of scientific inspiration for Spider-Man fans

While spiders were busy spinning webs in space, researchers on Earth weaved their knowledge of this activity into educational materials to inspire and motivate students. Now, this free, Web-based guide is being re-released through Scholastic and Sony Pictures as curriculum for educators to leap on the excitement surrounding the release of the film, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."

(ScienceDaily) Equipped with new sensors, Morpheus preps to tackle landing on its own

A test flight later this week will challenge a set of sensors to map out a 65-yard square of boulder-sized hazards and pick out a safe place to land. Mounted to an uncrewed prototype lander called Morpheus that flies autonomously several hundred feet above the ground, the sensor system will have 10 seconds to do its work: six seconds really, as it will take four seconds to map the area before choosing a landing site. The sensor system is a 400-pound set of computers and three instruments called ALHAT, short for Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology.

(ScienceDaily) A step up for NASA’s robonaut: Ready for climbing legs

Getting your "space legs" in Earth orbit has taken on new meaning for NASA's pioneering Robonaut program. Thanks to a successful launch of the SpaceX-3 flight of the Falcon 9/Dragon capsule on Friday, April 18, the lower limbs for Robonaut 2 (R2) are aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Safely tucked inside the Dragon resupply vehicle, R2's legs are to be attached by a station crew member to Robonaut's torso already on the orbiting outpost.

(ScienceDaily) NASA tests Orion’s parachute performance over Arizona while work progresses in Florida

The team designing the parachute system for NASA's Orion spacecraft has demonstrated almost every parachute failure they could imagine. But on April 23, they tested how the system would perform if the failure wasn't in the parachutes.

(Space Fellowship) Hubble Space Telescope Reaches Orbit

On April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-31 mission. The mission featured the deployment of Hubble, the first of NASA's Great Observatories to reach orbit. STS-31 was the tenth launch of the shuttle Discovery. On board were astronauts Charles F. Bolden (pilot, now NASA Administrator), Steven A. Hawley (mission specialist), Loren J. Shriver (commander), Bruce McCandless (mission specialist) and Kathryn D. Sullivan (mission specialist, no [...]

(Space Fellowship) Russia Set to Boost Space Cooperation With India, China

MOSCOW – Russia is set to develop its space cooperation with India and China, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Oleg Ostapenko said on Thursday. “Recently, we received an invitation from Japan to discuss an array of questions,” he added. The announcement was made amid threats of Russia’s western partners to freeze or cut cooperation with Russia amid tensions over Ukraine and Crimea secession. NASA threatened to cut space ties with Russia, but Roscosmos has yet received [...]

(ScienceDaily) Asteroids made easy: 'Patch of asteroid' being built inside a satellite

A dozen astronauts have walked on the moon, and several rovers have been piloted on Mars, giving us a good understanding of these off-world environments. But when it comes to asteroids, scientists enter uncharted territory. Landing on an asteroid is notoriously difficult. Scientists are now looking to mitigate risk involved in landing on an asteroid by building a "patch of asteroid" inside of a small, spinning satellite.

(Commercial Space Watch) Kazakhstan's First Earth Observation Satellite to be Launched April 28

Airbus Defence and Space, the world's second largest space company, is preparing for the launch of KazEOSat-1 (formerly known as DZZ-HR), which is due to lift off on 28 April 2014 into low Sun-synchronous orbit (about 700 km from Earth) on-board a Vega launcher from the European spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana).

KazEOSat-1 is the Republic of Kazakhstan's first Earth observation satellite. It was built entirely by Airbus Defence and Space and is a very high-resolution (1 metre) satellite weighing 900 kg that will provide the Republic of Kazakhstan with a complete range of civil applications, including monitoring of natural and agricultural resources, the provision of mapping data, security applications, and support for rescue operations in the event of natural disasters.

"Like the most advanced space systems that we have built, namely Gaia, Herschel and SPOT 6, KazEOSat-1 benefits from cutting-edge technologies, new avionics, silicon carbide, a large aperture and an agile platform," said François Auque, Head of Space Systems. "Furthermore, through our training programme, we have transferred our knowledge to the engineers from Kazakhstan who will operate the satellite, enabling Kazakhstan to control the satellite completely autonomously, and collect and use the images provided by the satellite."

KazEOSat-1 is the latest in a line of satellites based on the Astrobus platform, including technologies combining performance, quick delivery and high value for money, designed for missions as varied as imaging (Pléiades, SPOT 6 & 7, Ingenio, and others), environmental monitoring (Sentinel-2) and meteorology (Sentinel-5p). This state-of-the-art system also benefits from the unique expertise developed by Airbus Defence and Space in the field of SiC (silicon carbide) space structures and instruments. Together with its partner Boostec, the company has managed to create, through a series of achievements in space (e.g. Herschel, Gaia), an economic sector that is today crowned with success. The SiC produced in the Midi-Pyrénées region is exported worldwide.

KazEOSat-1 is the high-resolution element of a space observation system that will comprise two satellites and their ground segment. The medium-resolution satellite, KazEOSat-2, is built by SSTL, a British subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space.

These two satellites form part of "Kazakhstan's Space Plan", which also includes the construction in Astana, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, of a satellite integration & test centre, for which key equipment is being supplied by Airbus Defence and Space. In 2009, Airbus Defence and Space was chosen by Kazakhstan as a strategic partner in this Space Plan, and has already trained 60 engineers and technicians from Kazakhstan. Airbus Defence and Space and the joint stock company Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary, a national company under the supervision of the National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan, have formed a joint-venture named Ghalam in order to run this centre.

Airbus Defence and Space currently is the world's leading exporter of Earth observation satellites.

(Commercial Space Watch) Raytheon Reports Solid First Quarter 2014 Results

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) announced first quarter 2014 EPS from continuing operations of $1.87 compared to $1.49 in the first quarter 2013. First quarter 2014 Adjusted EPS1 was $1.43 per diluted share compared to $1.56 per diluted share in the first quarter 2013.

The first quarter 2014 Adjusted EPS1 excluded the previously announced $0.25 favorable tax impact from cash repatriation in the first quarter 2014. In addition, the first quarter 2014 Adjusted EPS1 excluded a favorable FAS/CAS Adjustment of $0.18, compared with an unfavorable FAS/CAS Adjustment of $0.14 in the first quarter 2013. The first quarter 2013 Adjusted EPS1 also excluded $0.08 associated with the impact of the 2012 research and development (R&D) tax credit approved by Congress in January 2013.

- EPS from continuing operations of $1.87; Adjusted EPS(1) of $1.43
- Reported operating margin of 14.3 percent; Adjusted Operating Margin(1) of 12.7 percent
- Net sales of $5.5 billion
- Strong operating cash flow from continuing operations of $659 million
- As previously announced, increased annual dividend by 10 percent to $2.42 per share

"Raytheon delivered solid operating performance in the first quarter," said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon's CEO. "Our longstanding focus on operational excellence, consistent program performance and a portfolio of affordable and innovative solutions provides a strong foundation for ongoing value creation for our global customers and shareholders."

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1 Adjusted EPS is diluted EPS from continuing operations attributable to Raytheon Company common stockholders, and Adjusted Operating Margin is total operating margin; in each case, excluding the impact of the FAS/CAS Adjustment, and from time to time, certain other items. First quarter 2014 Adjusted EPS excluded the $0.25 favorable tax impact of approximately $80 million resulting from cash repatriation in the first quarter 2014. First quarter 2013 Adjusted EPS excluded the $0.08 impact of the 2012 research and development (R&D) tax credit, approved by Congress in January 2013 that relates to 2012. Adjusted EPS and Adjusted Operating Margin are non-GAAP financial measures. See attachment F for a reconciliation of these measures and a discussion of why the Company is presenting this information.

- Full financials on the Raytheon website.