Kent, WA, United States
Kent, WA, United States

Blue Origin is a privately funded aerospace company set up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. The company is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal of dramatically lower cost and increased reliability. It is employing an incremental approach from suborbital to orbital flight, with each developmental step building on its prior work. The company motto is "Gradatim Ferociter", Latin for "Step-by-Step, Ferociously". Blue is developing a variety of technologies, with a focus on rocket-powered Vertical Takeoff and Vertical Landing vehicles for access to suborbital and orbital space.Initially focused on sub-orbital spaceflight, the company has built and flown a testbed of its New Shepard spacecraft design at their Culberson County, Texas facility. According to company statements, it initially planned on placing the New Shepard in commercial suborbital tourist service in 2010 with flights about once a week. In 2008 the publicized timetable stated that Blue Origin will fly unmanned in 2011, and manned in 2012. As of 2013, the company website makes no statements about the date of its first flights.Late 2014 public announcements, and a contractual agreement to build a new rocket engine for major US launch system operator United Launch Alliance, have put Blue Origin into the middle of the orbital spaceflight technology business, as a rocket engine supplier. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk revealed in 2011 that a high-powered rocket named the Falcon Heavy would make its debut in 2013. However, after a series of schedule delays and some accidents, the agency was unable to meet its promised deadline. However, SpaceX finally appears to be nearing the launch phase for the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is based on the less powerful Falcon 9 rocket from the company. SpaceX released a video on May 10, which showed the Falcon Heavy's core engines going through their first static test. The video may be taken as an indication that SpaceX will launch the rocket soon. The first static engine test involves firing up the engine without actually achieving lift-off. The test, which was conducted in its McGregor, Texas, facility was successful and furthers hopes of a 2017 launch. Reports indicate that SpaceX may launch the Falcon Heavy by the end of summer of this year. However, the company has not confirmed the same. However, SpaceX shared a post regarding the Falcon Heavy first stage engine test on its official Twitter account. The Falcon Heavy rocket would pack in three cores instead of the solitary one found in the Falcon 9 rocket. This would give the upcoming spacecraft additional boost. SpaceX claims that it would be able to carry roughly 140,000 pounds of cargo into the Earth's orbit. By comparison, the Falcon 9 can carry roughly 50,000 pounds of cargo. SpaceX also claimed that the Falcon Heavy rocket would be able to haul around 37,000 pounds of cargo to Mars. The company is planning to use the rocket to send two tourists around the moon in 2018 and also has plans of sending it to Mars' surface by 2020. Musk previously revealed that the middle core in the Falcon Heavy rocket features some added hardware, whereas the two cores on the sides are identical to the Falcon 9's core. Not much is known regarding the added capabilities in the middle core, but it is likely a necessary feature for supporting the other cores. The Falcon Heavy will be the biggest and most powerful rocket on the planet until NASA finishes its Space Launch System and Blue Origin launches its New Glenn. Previously, the Delta IV rocket from the United Launch Alliance was known to be the biggest ever. SpaceX fans and space enthusiasts would welcome the news of the agency testing the cores of the Falcon Heavy rocket. All evidence points to a summer launch of the spacecraft from Launch Pad 39A in Cape Canaveral. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

Eutelsat Communications (Paris:ETL) (ISIN: FR0010221234 - Euronext Paris: ETL) today reported revenues for the Third Quarter and Nine Months ended 31 March 2017. Note: Since its First Half results on 9 February 2017, Eutelsat now publishes its revenues on the basis of five applications: Video, Fixed Data and Government Services (Core Businesses), Fixed Broadband and Mobile Connectivity (Connectivity). Please refer to the note in the appendix to H1 results release for more details. Rodolphe Belmer, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Revenues for the Third Quarter were in line with our expectations, with a solid underlying performance in Broadcast. In consequence we affirm our revenue target for the Full Year with an outturn around the middle of our range of objectives. During the quarter, we have made solid commercial progress, with an outcome of the Department of Defense Spring renewal campaign in line with expectations as well as the sale of new and renewal capacity at a number of our Video neighbourhoods. We have continued to maximise capex efficiencies notably with the agreement to host the EGNOS navigation system payload on EUTELSAT 5 West B and the contract with Blue Origin to further diversify our options for access to space. We have made significant headway on our strategic roadmap, with the closure of the first phase of the ViaSat partnership agreement. These elements enable us to look the medium term return to growth with confidence.” During the Third Quarter, Eutelsat made further headway with Third Quarter revenues stood at €364.3 million, down 4.2% at constant currency and perimeter. On a reported basis, revenues were down 4.9% reflecting a 1.9 point negative perimeter effect (reflecting the disposal5 of Alterna’TV, Wins/DHI and DSAT Cinema) and a 1.2 point positive currency effect. Quarter-on-quarter, revenues were down 1.6% on a reported basis and down 2.9% on a like-for-like basis. Unless otherwise stated, all variations indicated below are on a like-for-like basis. Third Quarter revenues for Video Applications amounted to €228.1 million, down 4.1% year-on-year. Revenues from Broadcast were down 3.5% year-on-year with the negative impact of the rationalisation of capacity at the HOTBIRD position and lower revenues from FRANSAT more than offsetting the contribution of incremental capacity launched during the course of last year (mainly EUTELSAT 36C for Sub-Saharan Africa). Without these two negative elements, Broadcast revenues would have been slightly growing. Professional Video revenues were down 9.1% year-on-year, reflecting continued pressure on contribution services in this application. Revenues were down by 0.9% quarter-on-quarter. This sequential decline was fully attributable to Professional Video, with Broadcast revenues broadly stable, despite the end of the contract with Orange TV from 1 January 2017, reflecting sustained performance in emerging markets. At 31 March 2017, the total number of channels broadcast by Eutelsat satellites stood at 6,356, up 3.2% year-on-year. HD penetration continued to rise, representing 16.6% of channels compared to 13.1% a year earlier, or 1,057 channels, up from 807 (+31%) a year earlier. On the commercial front, a multi-year, multi-transponder contract was signed with NTV-PLUS covering the Express-AT2 satellite at 140° East to reach homes in Far East Russia and incremental capacity on the Express-AT1 satellite at 56° East to consolidate coverage of Siberia. Elsewhere, a multi-year contract with Ethiopia’s INSA agency was also finalised for a new TV platform at 7/8° West neighbourhood, while SRG SSR, Switzerland’s public broadcaster renewed a HOTBIRD transponder on a multi-year basis. Third Quarter revenues for Fixed Data stood at €42.1 million, down 12.6% year-on-year. They continued to reflect ongoing pricing pressure in all geographies, albeit at a slightly slowing pace. Quarter-on-quarter revenues were down by 1.4%. In the Third Quarter, Government Services revenues stood at €45.2 million, down 3.0% year-on-year, reflecting the carry-over effect of lower renewals in the US Department of Defense Spring 2016 campaign. They were broadly unchanged quarter-on-quarter. The latest round of contract renewals with the US administration (Spring 2017) resulted in an estimated renewal rate of approximately 85% and new contracts represented an additional three 36-MHz equivalent transponders. In the Third Quarter, Fixed Broadband revenues stood at €24.2 million, up 36.0% year-on-year, reflecting the positive effect of the entry into service in May 2016 of EUTELSAT 65 West A on which the Ka-band payload is fully leased, and resilient trends in European broadband. In the Third Quarter, Mobile Connectivity revenues stood at €17.2 million, up 21.1% year-on-year, reflecting mainly the full-quarter effect of the agreement with Taqnia for the sale of four spotbeams on the High Throughput payload of the EUTELSAT 3B satellite. Other revenues amounted to €7.5 million in the Third Quarter versus €15.2 million a year earlier and €14.5 million in the Second Quarter. Since 1 January 2017 Other Revenues no longer include revenues related to the agreements with SES at 28.5° East. The number of operational 36 MHz-equivalent transponders stood at 1,374 at 31 March 2017, up by 48 units compared with end-December 2016, reflecting principally the entry into service of EUTELSAT 117 West B in January. As a result, the fill rate stood at 68.2% at end-March 2017 versus 70.9% at end-December 2016, reflecting this new capacity and to a lesser extent the end of a contract with Orange TV. The backlog8 stood at €5.2 billion at 31 March 2017, versus €5.3 billion at end December 2016, and €5.9 billion a year earlier, reflecting natural consumption in the absence of significant renewals. The backlog was equivalent to 3.4 times 2015-16 revenues. Video Applications represented 84% of the backlog. Revenues for the first nine months stood at €1,119.4 million, down 2.0% like-for-like. On a reported basis, they were down 3.3%, reflecting a 1.7 point negative perimeter effect (disposal9 of Alterna’TV, Wins/DHI and DSAT Cinema) and a 0.4 point positive currency effect. Based on the performance of the First Nine Months, the group confirms its financial objectives for the current and next two years: The upcoming launch schedule is indicated below. The launch of EUTELSAT 172B is now scheduled for 1 June. CHANGES IN THE FLEET The Board of Directors of Eutelsat Communications decided to submit to the General Meeting of Shareholders which will be held on 8 November 2017 the appointment of Dominique D’Hinnin (currently permanent representative of FSP) as a Board Member. Following the AGM and subject to the approval of this appointment, Dominique D’Hinnin will replace Michel de Rosen who will step down from his functions as Chairman and Board Member of Eutelsat Communications. Elsewhere, Yohann Leroy was appointed Deputy CEO in addition to his function as Chief Technical Officer, alongside Michel Azibert, Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial and Development Officer. The option to extend by one year the maturity of the €600 million term loan and of the €200 million revolving credit facility of Eutelsat Communications, was exercised and accepted by the lenders. These facilities will now mature in March 2022. Furthermore, ahead of the refinancing of the €930 million bond maturing in January 2020, the 7-year-mid-swap rate for an outstanding amount of €500 million has been pre-hedged at 112 bps. The €450 million Eutelsat S.A. revolving credit facility maturing in September 2018 was refinanced at attractive terms. The new revolving credit facility will mature in April 2022 with two options for a one-year extension subject to the consent of the lenders for each extension. As a reminder, proforma revenues for FY 2015-16 were published with the H1 revenues release on 9 February 2017. They reflect: The table below shows quarterly proforma revenues for FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 under the new classifications: For information purposes, the table below shows reported revenues for FY 2015-16 and first quarter of FY 2016-17 under the former classifications. A conference call will be held on Thursday, 11 May 2017 at 18.30 CET / 17.30 GMT / 12:30 EST To connect to the call, please use the following numbers: Instant replay will be available from 11 May, 21.45 CET to 18 May, 21.45 CET on the following numbers: The financial calendar below is provided for information purposes only. It is subject to change and will be regularly updated. About Eutelsat Communications: Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world's leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 39 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location. Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 37 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service. www.eutelsat.com The forward-looking statements included herein are for illustrative purposes only and are based on management’s current views and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks. For illustrative purposes only, such risks include but are not limited to: postponement of any ground or in-orbit investments and launches including but not limited to delays of future launches of satellites; impact of financial crisis on customers and suppliers; trends in Fixed Satellite Services markets; development of Digital Terrestrial Television and High Definition television; development of satellite broadband services; Eutelsat Communications’ ability to develop and market Value-Added Services and meet market demand; the effects of competing technologies developed and expected intense competition generally in its main markets; profitability of its expansion strategy; partial or total loss of a satellite at launch or in-orbit; supply conditions of satellites and launch systems; satellite or third-party launch failures affecting launch schedules of future satellites; litigation; ability to establish and maintain strategic relationships in its major businesses; and the effect of future acquisitions and investments. Eutelsat Communications expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any projections, forecasts or estimates contained in this presentation to reflect any change in events, conditions, assumptions or circumstances on which any such statements are based, unless so required by applicable law. 1 Proforma revenues reflecting disposals of Alterna’TV, Wins/DHI and DSAT Cinema. For more details, please refer to the appendices. 2 At constant currency and perimeter. 3 Other revenues include mainly compensation paid on the settlement of business-related litigation, the impact of EUR/USD currency hedging, the provision of various services or consulting/engineering fees as well as termination fees. 4 The share of each application as a percentage of total revenues is calculated excluding “other revenues”. Unless otherwise stated, all growth indicators are made in comparison with Third Quarter ended 31 March 2016. 5 Alterna TV (Video) deconsolidated from April 2016, Wins/DHI (Mobile Connectivity) deconsolidated from end-August 2016 and DSAT Cinema (Video) from end-October 2016. 6 Number of 36 MHz-equivalent transponders on satellites in stable orbit, back-up capacity excluded. 7 Number of 36 MHz-equivalent transponders utilised on satellites in stable orbit. 8 The backlog represents future revenues from capacity lease agreements and can include contracts for satellites under procurement. 9 Alterna’TV (Video) deconsolidated from April 2016, Wins/DHI (Mobile Connectivity) deconsolidated from end-August 2016 and DSAT Cinema (Video) from end-October 2016. 10 Proforma revenues reflecting disposals of Alterna’TV, Wins/DHI and DSAT Cinema. 11 At constant currency and perimeter. 12 Including capital expenditures and payments under existing export credit facilities and under long-term lease agreements on third party capacity. i) To avoid double-counting, it excludes the €95.2 million payment to RSCC which was accounted in Cash Capex in FY 2015-16. ii) net of the €132.5 million proceeds from the upcoming sale of 49% of the existing European Broadband business to ViaSat 13 Net cash-flow from operating activities - Cash Capex - Interest and Other fees paid net of interest received 14 Discretionary Free-Cash-Flow of €247 million in FY 2015-16.


Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned astrophysicist, wants humans to flee Earth and colonize a new planet - particularly our far-away neighbor Mars - by 2117. In his latest BBC documentary Expedition New Earth, part of the BBC's new science season Tomorrow's World, Hawking claims that the planet is destined for doom. He alludes to existing phenomena we see today that can potentially threaten humanity's very existence - from climate change, asteroid strikes, disease epidemics, and nuclear wars, among many others. "I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet," the 74-year-old Cambridge professor revealed in a speech at the Oxford University Union back in November 2016. But things have escalated rather quickly. Now Hawking says Earth's days are down to 100 years. In his opinion article on Fox News, Michael Guillen, who has a doctorate in in physics, mathematics, and astronomy and who claims to have personally met the famous scientist, challenges Hawking's apocalyptic theory, going so far as to call it "spectacularly unscientific" and also "wrongheaded." Guillen does not mince words in stating his views on Hawking, whom he describes as the "Donald Trump of science, given to saying outrageous things for the fun of it and to attract attention." "Let's see if I have this right: we have trashed the Earth - with the help of science, I might add, given that he asserts technology-gone-wrong is part of our current mess - so now what? Earth be damned, we must save our own hides, and quickly?" Guillen says of Hawking's allegedly flawed escape plan. "Ah, yes. So many more planets to ruin, so little time," he continues. According to Guillen, scientists have been promoting human space colonization as early as the 1970s, with Princeton's Gerard O'Neill leading the charge. Guillen says he sees no merit in Hawking's suggestion to run away from a damaged Earth for humanity to survive - aside from boosting space tourism and making tycoons like Elon Musk (SpaceX), Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), and Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic) richer than they already are. "How is the inevitable pillaging and polluting of other worlds going to lead to 'the dramatic betterment of humanity?'" he asks, pointing out the space junk humans have littered outer space with. Guillen also points out the extremely harsh conditions on Mars, with its freezing temperature of minus 195 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60 degrees Celsius) during winter and barely 70 degrees (20 degrees Celsius) in the summertime. Without a thermal blanket like that of Earth, the red planet cannot keep any heat energy. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.


Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.


Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.


Vehicles with bidirectional control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing.


Launch vehicles with ring-shaped external elements, and associated systems and methods are disclosed. An aerospace system in accordance with a particular embodiment includes a launch vehicle having a first end and a second end generally opposite the first end, with the launch vehicle being elongated along a vehicle axis extending between the first and second ends, and having an external, outwardly facing surface. The system can further include an annular element carried by the launch vehicle, the annular element having an external, inwardly-facing surface radially spaced apart from, and extending at least partially circumferentially around, the vehicle axis. The annular element can have a first edge surface facing a first direction along the vehicle axis, and a second edge surface facing a second direction along the vehicle axis, the second direction being opposite the first direction. A propulsion system can be carried by the launch vehicle, and can have at least one nozzle positioned toward the first end of the vehicle to launch the vehicle. A controller can be in communication with the launch vehicle and programmed to direct the vehicle in the first direction during vehicle ascent, and in the second direction during vehicle descent.


Vehicles with control surfaces and associated systems and methods are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a rocket can include a plurality of bidirectional control surfaces positioned toward an aft portion of the rocket. In this embodiment, the bidirectional control surfaces can be operable to control the orientation and/or flight path of the rocket during both ascent, in a nose-first orientation, and descent, in a tail-first orientation for, e.g., a tail-down landing. Launch vehicles with fixed and deployable deceleration surfaces and associated systems and methods are also disclosed.


Launch vehicles (1400) with ring-shaped external elements (1480), and associated systems and methods are disclosed. An aerospace system in accordance with a particular embodiment includes a launch vehicle (1400) having a first end and a second end generally opposite the first end, with the launch vehicle being elongated along a vehicle axis (V) extending between the first and second ends, and having an external, outwardly facing surface. The system further includes an annular element (1480) carried by the launch vehicle, the annular element having an external, inwardly-facing surface radially spaced apart from, and extending at least partially circumferentially around, the vehicle axis. The annular element has a first edge surface facing a first direction along the vehicle axis, and a second edge surface facing a second direction along the vehicle axis, the second direction being opposite the first direction. A propulsion system is carried by the launch vehicle, and has at least one nozzle (1411) positioned toward the first end of the vehicle to launch the vehicle. A controller can be in communication with the launch vehicle and programmed to direct the vehicle in the first direction during vehicle ascent, and in the second direction during vehicle descent.

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