April 12 News Items

Embry-Riddle Signs on as ISDC Affiliate (Source: SPACErePORT)
Embry-Riddle students and faculty will receive discounted access to the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) on May 28-31 in Orlando, now that the university has signed-on as an "Affiliate Organization" for the event. Visit http://isdc2009.org for information and registration. (4/12)

Embry-Riddle Scientist Leads ISDC Human Factors Panel (Source: SPACErePORT)
Dr. Jason Kring, a professor and scientist in Embry-Riddle's aerospace human factors group, is organizing a panel devoted to human performance in extreme environments, including space exploration behavioral issues. Among his panel presentations will be one touching on how federal agencies other than NASA provide spiritual support for personnel assigned to duty in extreme environments. Visit http://isdc2009.org for information and registration. (4/12)

China Reveals New Super Rocket (Source: SpaceDaily.com)
China has created a new, powerful carrier rocket with military capabilities that can launch multiple satellites into space. The rocket supports China's strategy of marketing satellites, communications technologies and launch services overseas, especially to oil-producing countries. At the most recent Zhuhai Air Show, China introduced a high-capacity LM-5D carrier rocket with a diameter of 5 meters at the core section, bundled with one 2.25-meter-diameter booster and two 3.35-meter-diameter boosters. The carrier rocket has a length of 60 meters, a takeoff weight of 675,000 kilograms and the capacity to send targets of 10,000 kilograms into geostationary transfer orbit. The initial flight of the rocket is expected no later than 2014. (4/11)

China Sells Comsats To Nigeria, Venezuela and Pakistan (Source: SpaceDaily.com)
China has sold three communications satellites to Nigeria, Venezuela and Pakistan that have military capabilities, a service life of 15 years and are equipped with C-band frequency and 18 channels of Ku-band frequency transmitters. The performance characteristics of all three of these satellites were basically the same, and all of them were to be launched by CZ-3B carrier rockets. However, the communications satellite for Nigeria stopped functioning less than one year after it went into operation when its solar array drive assembly failed. This posed a major challenge to the credibility of China-made communications satellites. Two weeks ago, China announced it would replace the Nigerian satellite in 2011 at no charge. (4/11)

Bezos' Space Rocket Plans May Get a Lift from Texas Lawmakers (Source: TechFlash)
We haven't heard much lately about Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' top-secret project to develop a rocket to take paying customers into space. But Texas lawmakers are considering legislation that could aid the Amazon.com founder's ambitions. A bill introduced in the Texas Legislature would limit the liability of "space flight entities." That would be useful for Blue Origin, which has a launch complex in West Texas. The Texas Senate bill is meant to "promote the development of a commercial space launch industry in Texas, by clarifying that people riding on a space vehicle launched in Texas can assume the risk of injury if they are made aware of the risks and sign a written waiver of liability beforehand," according to Senate bill analysis. The bill has companion legislation in the House. (4/11)

Project Calls for Personal Accounts of Apollo Era (Source: Florida Today)
The 40th anniversary of the first moon landing is July 20, and FLORIDA TODAY is about to embark on an ambitious project to capture the history of the Apollo era in Brevard County. We’re looking for everything from diaries and journals to video clips, photographs and technical documents. They will help us build a Web page where people can get totally immersed in that era. We are blessed here to have some excellent museum resources for a lot of “official” history about the Apollo program. But much personal and community history isn’t documented. Where were the best restaurants then? Where did families watch the launch? Did they have parties to watch the landing on the moon? What music were they playing?

A centerpiece of this effort will be held Saturday, May 9, at the planetarium on the Brevard Community College campus in Cocoa. Although it won’t be exactly like the PBS television series “Antiques Roadshow,” it is sort of patterned after it. Residents can bring a variety of memorabilia to the event. Charlie Mars from the Spacewalk Hall of Fame museum in Titusville is recruiting experts to talk with residents about their material. Click here to view the article. (4/12)

Globalstar Slows Payments for New Satellites (Source: Space News)
Mobile satellite services operator Globalstar, its revenue stream slowing to a trickle because its current satellites no longer provide regular two-way communications, has slowed payments to contractors building its second-generation satellites and is unlikely to launch the first of those craft before early 2010, according to industry officials. A promised $574 million loan guarantee by the French export-credit agency, Coface, which is still being finalized, will probably not provide the necessary cash injection in time to prevent the first launch from slipping into 2010. (4/11)

GeoEye Order for Next Satellite Contingent on Customer Guarantee (Source: Space News)
Virginia-based GeoEye Inc. said it will not commit to a contract for full development of its next high-resolution optical satellite until the U.S. government or some other anchor customer guarantees to purchase data from it, GeoEye officials said April 3. In addition to GeoEye-1's higher resolution — 41 centimeters in black and white, 1.65 meters in color, compared to 82 centimeters and 3.2 meters for Ikonos — the newer satellite is able to collect and store a greater volume of data per orbit. (4/11)

U.S. Army Taps Harris for Tactical Satellite Radios (Source: Space News)
Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla., was awarded a $149.7 million U.S. Army contract for tactical satellite radios, associated spare parts and related support services, according to an April 8 Defense Department press release. (4/11)

School Superintendent Finalist: Space Has a Place in Classroom (Source: Florida Today)
Brevard County Superintendent finalist Barry Carroll said he's no stranger to incorporating space into the curriculum -- a key element in Brevard County, where students lead the state in science. For four years, he was the director of secondary education in Huntsville, Ala., home of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. There, he built relationships between the 23,000-student district and the space industry. Carroll is the superintendent of Limestone County Schools in Athens, Ala., a district of 8,613. His contract expires in 2012, so he would have to break it. (4/12)

Russian President: Development of Space Industry a Strategic Priority (Source: Itar-Tass)
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated workers and veterans of the Russian space industry on their professional holiday – Cosmonautics Day. "Domestication of outer space became one of the most spectacular and unforgettable chapters in the history of the 20th century. Yuri Gagarin’s flight on April 12, 1961 ushered in a new era in the development of civilization. The first step into outer space was made thanks to the talent of our outstanding designers and bravery of cosmonauts. We are proud by right of the fact that this scientific and technical breakthrough was made precisely by our country." (4/12)

Managing Ares Rocket Parts a Tricky Job (Source: Huntsville Times)
Marshall Space Flight Center's Dayna Ise keeps track of rocket parts and any problems, challenges or issues the complex pieces might pose. Huge canisters, fuel lines, intricate guidance systems: These will be used to make Ares I - NASA's next rocket, the space shuttle replacement. Each part has to work in conjunction with hundreds of others. "Mostly what I do is make sure everybody is on the same page. Small changes can have major impacts in other areas," said Ise, 32, Marshall's lead manager on integrating the Ares upper stage. "Somebody might want to alter the design of a thruster, but that could cause vibrations elsewhere across (Ares' structure). It's a constant trade-off of what we want and what we can have in the design." (4/12)

Indian Cosmonaut Suggest Yoga For Fighting Space Sickness (Source: The Hindu)
Rakesh Sharma, India's first cosmonaut wing commander wants the next Indian cosmonaut to carry forward the "zero gravity Yoga" exercise to fight space sickness, practiced by him for the first time 25 years ago in Soviet Salyut-7 orbital station. "I had practiced yoga to endure space sickness, while my two Russian colleagues had carried out their regimen for this. However, the collected data was not compared. It would be good if the next Indian cosmonaut continues zero gravity yoga practice, so that we can obtain more data," Mr. Sharma said. (4/12)

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