CONTINUUM FLUX [Space] 2020.02.15

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides on the company’s path to space tourism (CNBC) – SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity was relocated to Virgin Galactic's new Spaceport America facility in New Mexico on Feb 13. Launch of commercial service is targeted for summer 2020.

Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals
Solid rocket fuel startup Adranos raises $1 million to scale up manufacturing (Tech Crunch) – Adranos is building a new kind of solid rocket propellent called ALITEC, which makes it possible to launch bigger payloads cost-effectively. Target markets include the defense and space industries.

Harwell Space Cluster on Track to Hit 2030 Target of 200 Space Organisations and 5,000 people (Harwell) – Europe’s most concentrated space cluster is on track to reach ambitious targets. Harwell Campus figures demonstrate continued growth with the number of organizations in the Cluster growing 16% in 2019.

Space: Not the final frontier, but the new Wild West (Politico) – Space is becoming a place to do business. Potential rewards of the soon to be trillion-dollar industry are huge for those willing to take the risk.

Space Exploration 
2021 NASA budget request includes $3.3B for human lunar landers, $430M for Moon resource development (Tech Crunch) – The White House issued its 2021 budget request, which includes a 12% increase in NASA funding. The increase will help NASA return to the Moon and land people on Mars.

Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology
Fast radio burst (FRB) with steady 16-day cycle observed ( – Researchers traced the first instance of a repeating FRB to a galaxy approximately 500 million light-years away. Explanations for FRBs range from star collisions to alien probes.
RIT scientists discover the nearest-known ‘baby giant planet’ (RIT) – The newborn massive planet is only roughly 330 light years away from Earth, which will provide researchers with a new way to study how gas giants form.

The Solar Orbiter Is On Its Way To The Sun (IFL Science) – Solar Orbiter will observe from as close as 42 million km from the Sun. The mission will shed light on the Sun’s changing behavior and its significant influence on our planet.

Interesting Finds
As early as 2022, you can experience five-star accommodation in space (GQ) – For those with tens of millions to spare, the budding space hotel industry wants to offer upscale hospitality miles above Earth. Reservations are already available for the super-rich.

Space Jobs
Artemis Generation Astronaut (NASA) – Potentially explore the Moon and beyond as a NASA astronaut candidate. Requires US citizenship and a master’s degree in a STEM-related field. Applications accepted from March 2 - 31.

Environmental Health and Safety Technician (SpaceX) – Oversee site safety and environmental policies. Minimum 2 years relevant experience and willingness to work extended hours. 3 openings in Hawthorne, CA, and Cape Canaveral, FL.

SpaceX Falcon9 CRS-20 (Kennedy Space Center) – 20th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. Scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral on March 2.

SpaceX First Astronaut Mission “Demo-2” Could Take Off in May (TechCrunch) – The mission will fly two astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, to the ISS. The tentative date for the Cape Canaveral launch is May 7.

International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2020: Continuing the Journey (National Space Society) – ISDC 2020 to be held at the Embassy Suites in Dallas on May 28–31. The focus is on getting humans back to the Moon, then Mars.

Techstars Allied Space Accelerator (Techstars) – The program will run in partnership with the U.S. Air Force and Norwegian Space Agency for 13 weeks from June to September 2020. Currently accepting applications through March 1, 2020.

Camp Kennedy Space Center (Kennedy Space Center) – Weeklong NASA-based day camp for students aged 7 through 16. Kids are exposed to hands-on STEM challenges, labs and astronaut-training simulations. ($350; Monday-Friday sessions from June 1 to August 7)