March 27 News Items

Sea Launch Commemorates 10 Years since Inaugural Flight (Source: CSA)
Ten years ago this week, Sea Launch succeeded in launching one of the most highly instrumented test missions ever flown. On March 27, 1999, DemoSat executed a precisely controlled flight profile that demonstrated the new sea-based concept, its Zenit-3SL launch vehicle performance and the entire system infrastructure.

This week, the Sea Launch team is preparing for its 30th launch from the equator, in April. With 27 successful missions, accommodating all western spacecraft manufacturers and a history of problem-solving accomplishments, the now seasoned Sea Launch team and its system has matured as one of the world’s three major launch providers. (3/27)

Competitors Envious of Globalstar's Credit Deal (Source: Space News)
Globalstar's $574 million credit backing from the French government's export-credit agency was attacked as a disguised subsidy by Globalstar's mobile satellite service competitors, who also said they envied the deal. (3/27)

Iridium NEXT Satellites to be Integrated in U.S. (Source: Space News)
Integration of Iridium's next-generation mobile communications satellites will be done in the United States even if the current two-way competition to build them ends with a European winner, Iridium Chief Executive Matt Desch said March 26. (3/26)

Satellite Operators Want Access to Chinese Rockets (Source: Space News)
Chief executives of the four largest commercial fixed satellite services operators argued today that China should be permitted to launch U.S.-built commercial satellites, saying it would make the global commercial market more healthy and would also permit U.S. industry to better compete for satellite manufacturing awards. loss of pressurization. (3/27)

New Embry-Riddle Lab Supports High-Altitude Training (Source: ERAU)
Caroline Brozovich’s fingers and lips have turned blue-grey, her movements are sluggish, and her eyes half-shut, as though she’s peering through a fog. The oxygen around her is now as thin as the air at 30,000 feet, the cruising altitude for jet aircraft. If Brozovich were piloting an airliner, she and her passengers would be minutes away from unconsciousness -- and death. But Brozovich is a flight student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and her instructor has just handed her an oxygen mask.

Embry-Riddle is the first university in the United States to acquire the unique lab for the purpose of high-altitude hypoxia awareness training. The lab can accommodate 8-10 people per training session and will include a flight training device at a later date. It was built for use in Embry-Riddle’s Flight Physiology course, to teach the causes and symptoms of hypoxia, a shortage of oxygen in the brain and blood. Research by USDOT and the FAA has demonstrated the need for such training, with the current popularity of new lightweight personal jets that would operate at high altitudes. (3/27)

Shuttle's Re-entry Used as Test for Orion Technology (Source: Florida Today)
In its return to Earth on Saturday, space shuttle Discovery will test a new heat-resistant tile that engineers hope will one day be used on the next-generation Orion spacecraft. Because of its shape, Orion will experience re-entry temperatures about 500 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than those endured by the space shuttle. "We have returned to using the space shuttle as a research vehicle," says the shuttle's program manager. "We're trying to learn more and more about spaceflight and hypersonic re-entry." (3/27)

Japan Delays New Rocket Test (Source: JAXA)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries performed a cryogenic inspection for the first captive firing test at the Tanegashima Space Center. After reviewing the data acquired through the inspection, we confirmed that the cryogenic inspection went well except that an abnormal phenomenon in the coolant supply occurred during the automatic countdown sequence of the inspection. We immediately studied the situation and carried out all possible corrective measures against the abnormality; however, we found it was difficult to timely restore the normal operation. Therefore, we decided to postpone the captive firing test that was scheduled to take place after the cryogenic inspection. (3/27)

Population in Space at Historic High: 13 (Source:
The Thursday launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying the world's first repeat space tourist and a new crew for the International Space Station has boosted the population of space to its historical high: 13 people. The population boom ties the record for the maximum number of people in space at the same time. It is relatively rare but could become more commonplace once the space station shifts to a larger, six-person crew in late May. (3/27)

Spaceport Money for Schools Planned (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
Doña Ana County officials said they're working out a plan for pumping a portion of spaceport tax dollars into area school districts. The pool of funding is 25 percent of a spaceport tax that went into effect Jan. 1. The county is working out a general agreement that would set the framework for how the county would channel the money to the area's three school districts. They'd then submit grant proposals to the county each year saying exactly how they'd use the money. (3/27)

Editorial: An Inspector General Under Fire (Source: New York Times)
Inspectors general at federal agencies often make enemies because they investigate some official or program aggressively with results that make their agencies look bad. The opposite appears to be the case with Robert Cobb, the beleaguered inspector general for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, who is facing calls for his removal because of complaints that he has soft-pedaled investigations, retaliated against whistle-blowers and been too cozy with top management. Three senators — Jay Rockefeller, Claire McCaskill and Charles Grassley — and two House members — Bart Gordon and Brad Miller — have written to President Obama urging him to get rid of Mr. Cobb. (3/27)

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