Space Flight Insider Article


At Bold Marketing Solutions, Inc., we love to spread news news about our friends. Check out our new Articles menu for information about friends and resources. This article, posted November 24, 2014, is about SpaceFlight Insider, an online magazine delivering news on the space program and space exploration.
Delivers More than Just News about Space Exploration

Look across the night sky; marvel at the sparkling constellations shining down on you; and breathe in the fact that you are blind to a gazillion stars burning brightly out of view. From the beginning of time as we know it, people like you and me have watched the skies and wondered about the immense promise and mysteries of the heavens. Where will the answers come from? The answer is likely in space exploration. Spaceflight Insider brings real-time answers about this topic closer through diverse and objective perspectives on aerospace and aviation in one comprehensive online publication.—Space Information Platform
PHOTO CAPTION: British Lunar Mission Team rendering for crowdfunded moon mission. Courtesy of

Senior Editor and Spaceflight Insider Founder Jason Rhian noticed that existing space information resources typically delivered news through very specific mediums, based on individual niche interests and business strengths. That observation Rhian to wonder what if a single news outet offered what all of them did in one comprehensive space—compelling photos, a launch schedule, and current news? What if the medium also provided the news objectively, e.g., without political filters?

The result of his musing is a stunning website chocked full of information for aerospace and aviation enthusiasts. Before launching Spaceflight Insider, Rhian contributed to, Aviation Week, and Universe Today; and he also completed two internships with NASA.

Now Rhian says, “We put all the primary building blocks in place over the past year, and we are excited to debut our first live (video) launch show in December.” That announcement was made possible after constructing the infrastructure needed to transform his concept into a serious media vehicle.

“We want readers to say, “Holy Cow! Everything is here,” Rhian said. “If you’re looking for a brief on a specific launch, space news, photography and illustrations, or even industry contacts, Spaceflight Insider is organizing it for you.“

Telling It Like It Is

Formerly a corrections officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office—and inspired by what he believed was inaccurate reporting on the Columbia disaster—Rhian decided in 2003 to pursue his passion for space. “When Columbia exploded, everybody on TV from the space industry acted as if they were better authorities than other people. They seemed to be reporting opinion as fact. Some were saying things that I knew was false. Other people were asking questions that were ridiculous or presenting crazy information as fact. I noticed and remember one major media outlet getting so many things wrong. And I thought that was wrong and rather than get upset – I should do something about it.”

Rhian, who believed that the job of the journalist was to get the facts right, headed to college to learn how to make that happen. “I went back to BCC (Brevard Community College), got my two-year degree, then resigned from the Sheriff’s Office and entered the University of South Florida to pursue my bachelor’s degree in pubic relations.”

Admitting that he doesn’t come from academia, or even the space industry itself, Rhian expressed his goal to deliver an outside, unbiased, journalistic perspective through his online journal.

“But, we also take the time to connect on ‘the inside’. For example, we get people access to events, open doors for them, and help them enjoy what’s happening with launches and space events. As a soldier and corrections officer, I had served my community for 14 years. Now, I am giving myself over to serving the community by telling the space story as honestly and fairly as possible,” Rhian said.

Why does story telling concern Rhian? “There are some space websites whose content delivers vehement opposition to private space comapnies for example. Prejudices also abound about NASA programs and show through in other written reports.” At Spaceflight Insider, we view ourselves first as journalists. We present news openly and objectively. We don’t judge. We report. That’s it. Our job is to tell the story as it is, not as how we would like it to be.” he added.

Spaceflightinsider China’s ‘Micius’ satellite demonstrates intercontinental quantum key distribution for the first time


China’s Quantum Science Satellite, nicknamed “Micius” (after a fifth century B.C. Chinese scientist) has performed the first intercontinental quantum key distribution by relaying signals between multiple ground stations located in China and Austria.

The test was conducted by a joint China-Austria team of researchers. In a recent study published in Physical Review Letters on January 19, they reported that a decoy-state quantum key distribution between Micius operating in a low-Earth orbit (LEO) and ground stations located in Xinglong, Nanshan (both in China), and Graz (Austria).

“This is the first demonstration of intercontinental quantum key distribution of any kind, and it will stand as a milestone towards future quantum networks,” said Ronald Hanson of the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, whose research focuses on long-distance quantum telecommunication for a quantum internet.

Micius was launched into space on August 15, 2016 by a Long March 2D booster. The satellite was built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences ( CAS ) and weighs around 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms).

The spacecraft is designed to facilitate quantum optics experiments over long distances to allow the development of quantum encryption and quantum teleportation technology.

In order to achieve its scientific objectives, the satellite is equipped with a quantum key communicator, a quantum entanglement emitter, a quantum entanglement source, a quantum experiment controller and processor, and a high-speed coherent laser communicator.

Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a communications method which uses a cryptographic protocol involving components of quantum mechanics. It is based on individual light quanta (single photons) in quantum superposition states that guarantee unconditional security between distant parties. This method is therefore perceived as being more secure than the traditional public key cryptography (which usually relies on the computational intractability of certain mathematical functions).

Now, a team of researchers led by Jian-Wei Pan of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, are working to successful demonstrate the use of QKD using laser beams.

As part of the experiment, Micius has relayed quantum encrypted data in the form of images and a video stream between China and Austria – over a distance of 4,700 miles (7,600 kilometers).

“This was, on the one hand, the transmission of images in a one-time pad configuration from China to Austria as well as from Austria to China. Also, a video conference was performed between the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which also included a 280 kilometer [174 mile] optical ground connection between Xinglong and Beijing,” the scientists wrote in the paper .

Micius is part of an international project called Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), led by Chinese scientists. It aims to establish a quantum-encrypted network – a European–Asian network is planned to be launched by 2020, while a global network by 2030. Pan and his colleagues believe that the latest tests conducted with the use of Micius bring them much closer towards building an ultra-long-distance global quantum network.

Boeing – s Starliner crew capsule launches on 1st space flight

Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule launches on 1st space flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Boeing’s new Starliner capsule rocketed toward the International Space Station on its first test flight Friday, a crucial dress rehearsal for next year’s inaugural launch with astronauts.

The Starliner carried Christmas treats and presents for the six space station residents, hundreds of tree seeds similar to those that flew to the moon on Apollo 14, the original air travel ID card belonging to Boeing’s founder and a mannequin named Rosie in the commander’s seat.

The test dummy — named after the bicep-flexing riveter of World War II — wore a red polka dot hair bandanna just like the original Rosie and Boeing’s custom royal blue spacesuit.

“She’s pretty tough. She’s going to take the hit for us,” said NASA’s Mike Fincke, one of three astronauts who will fly on the next Starliner and, as test pilots, take the hit for future crews.

As the astronauts watched from nearby control centers, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the capsule blasted off just before sunrise from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was a one-day trip to the space station, putting the spacecraft on track for a docking Saturday morning.

This was Boeing’s chance to catch up with SpaceX, NASA’s other commercial crew provider that completed a similar demonstration last March. SpaceX has one last hurdle — a launch abort test — before carrying two NASA astronauts in its Dragon capsule, possibly by spring.

The U.S. needs competition like this, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Thursday, to drive down launch costs, boost innovation and open space up to more people.

“We’re moving into a new era,” he said.

The space agency handed over station deliveries to private businesses, first cargo and then crews, in order to focus on getting astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars.

Commercial cargo ships took flight in 2012, starting with SpaceX. Crew capsules were more complicated to design and build, and parachute and other technical problems pushed the first launches from 2017 to now next year.

It’s been nearly nine years since NASA astronauts have launched from the U.S. The last time was July 8, 2011, when Atlantis — now on display at Kennedy Space Center — made the final space shuttle flight.

Since then, NASA astronauts have traveled to and from the space station via Kazakhstan, courtesy of the Russian Space Agency. The Soyuz rides have cost NASA up to $86 million apiece.

“We’re back with a vengeance now,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said from Kennedy, where crowds gathered well before dawn.

Chris Ferguson commanded that last shuttle mission. Now a test pilot astronaut for Boeing and one of the Starliner’s key developers, he’s assigned to the first Starliner crew with Fincke and NASA astronaut Nicole Mann. A successful Starliner demo could see them launching by summer.

“This is an incredibly unique opportunity,” Ferguson said on the eve of launch.

Mann juggled a mix of emotions: excitement, pride, stress and amazement.

“Really overwhelmed, but in a good way and really the best of ways,” she said.

Built to accommodate seven, the white capsule with black and blue trim will typically carry four or five people. It’s 16.5 feet (5 meters) tall with its attached service module and 15 feet (4.5 meters) in diameter.

Every Starliner system will be tested during the eight-day mission, from the vibrations and stresses of liftoff to the Dec. 28 touchdown at the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Parachutes and air bags will soften the capsule’s landing. Even the test dummy is packed with sensors.

Bridenstine said he’s “very comfortable” with Boeing, despite the prolonged grounding of the company’s 737 Max jets. The spacecraft and aircraft sides of the company are different, he noted. Boeing has long been involved in NASA’s human spacecraft program, from Project Mercury to the shuttle and station programs.

Boeing began preliminary work on the Starliner in 2010, a year before Atlantis soared for the last time.

In 2014, Boeing and SpaceX made the final cut. Boeing got more than $4 billion to develop and fly the Starliner, while SpaceX got $2.6 billion for a crew-version of its Dragon cargo ship.

NASA wants to make sure every reasonable precaution is taken with the capsules, designed to be safer than NASA’s old shuttles.

“We’re talking about human spaceflight,” Bridenstine cautioned. “It’s not for the faint of heart. It never has been, and it’s never going to be.”

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.