April 16 News Items

Study Gives OK to Cecil Spaceport Near Jacksonville (Source: Jacksonville Business Journal)
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority came closer to opening up a commercial spaceport at Cecil Field after a federal environmental study found no significant environmental impact to the proposal. The FAA’s positive environmental assessment kicks off a public comment period on the proposed spaceport that would launch up to 52 sub-orbital spacecraft per year. The estimated cost for a commercial flight lasting about 10 minutes is about $200,000. A public hearing on the proposed Westside spaceport will be held May 14 at the Cecil Commerce Center. (4/16)

Florida and California Join in Washington D.C. to Promote Space Reform (Source: Space Florida)
Space Florida will join California Space Authority (CSA) officials next week in Washington D.C. to spend four days meeting with federal officials regarding vital space policy issues. Topics to be discussed include sustaining America’s leadership in space, addressing export control restrictions, space commercialization issues and FAA licensing processes, in addition to the utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory. Currently, a majority of NASA research destined for the ISS is processed through the Space Florida-owned Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL) at Kennedy Space Center.

Space Florida and CSA will participate in private meetings with key executive branch officials from the White House, Department of State, NASA, Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Commerce. Florida and California will also use this opportunity to update their respective Congressional Delegations on state priorities. Space Florida President Steve Kohler will provide opening remarks in conjunction with CSA Executive Director Andrea Seastrand on April 21. (4/16)

Soon to Grow on the Moon: Brussels Sprouts and Flowers (Source: CS Monitor)
The idea of growing common flowers and vegetables on the moon seems like something out of a SF novel. But it’s probably going to happen sooner than you think. Cabbage and Brussels sprouts could be growing in a mini-greenhouse on the moon in 2012. The idea is to find out if and how a moon colony could produce its own food. Why Brussels sprouts, which would rarely top a veggie popularity poll? “Because, brassica [the family of which cabbages, sprouts, broccoli, and kale are members] goes from seed to flower in just 14 days, it can complete its life cycle in a single lunar night.” But even space colonizers can’t live by cabbage alone. They will need beauty. Paragon Space Development Corp., the Arizona company behind this (in partnership with Odyssey Moon Ltd.), is also planning to experiment with flowers and possible aquatic plants on the moon by 2014. (4/16)

The Wealthiest Entrepreneurs Splurge on Space Travel (Source: Inc.)
Despite a devastated economy, entrepreneur and software mogul Charles Simonyi is on his second trip to the International Space Station—-a trip that's costing the co-founder of Intentional Software Corporation and former Microsoft exec a cool $35 million. He's not the only entrepreneur to embark on space tourism as a hobby: he joins Dennis Tito, founder, chairman, and CEO of Wilshire Associates; Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu Project; and video game pioneer Richard Garriot in the growing wave of successful businessmen to travel into space with Space Adventures, a company leading the private spaceflight industry.

In fact, all six of the space tourists to travel to the International Space Station since Space Adventures' maiden voyage in 2001 have been wealthy entrepreneurs. "Entrepreneurs are forward-thinking," says Eric Anderson, CEO of Space Adventures. "And they're willing to take a little risk for great reward." Space Adventures itself is a pioneer; since its start in 1998, the company has paved the way for the privatization of space travel. They offer launch tours, zero-gravity flights, spaceflight training, and a $102,000 suborbital spaceflight. The most popular offering among the world's wealthiest entrepreneurs, pointed out Anderson, is the orbital spaceflight to the International Space Station. (4/16)

Lockheed Martin to Build JCSAT 13 Satellite (Source: Space News)
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, which in recent years has had a virtual lock on Japan's commercial satellite business, has booked another win with a contract from Sky Perfect JSAT Corp. for the construction of the JCSAT-13 satellite, to be launched in 2013 aboard Europe's Ariane 5 rocket, Tokyo-based Sky Perfect JSAT announced April 16. (4/16)

South Korean Official: North Korea Rocket Followed Flight Path of Satellite (Source: SpaceDaily.com)
A North Korean rocket fired last week appeared to have carried a satellite and to have separated in its final two stages as planned, South Korea's defense minister said Tuesday. The three-stage rocket launched on April 5 "followed the trajectory of a satellite" although the North failed to put it into orbit, minister Lee Sang-Hee told parliament. US officials said the first stage landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) while the payload fell with the last stage in the Pacific Ocean. They did not say whether the last two stages separated before crashing. (4/15)

State May Seek Return of Space Tourism Project Funds (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
A key legislator said Wednesday that Florida could attempt to recover grant money given to a Panhandle orthopedic clinic to launch a "space tourism" center. Sen. Mike Fasano, the Republican from New Port Richey who oversees economic development, said he was told Gov. Charlie Crist could try to recoup the taxpayer dollars if the state Ethics Commission concludes that Harris broke the law. "He should never have taken the position," Fasano said of Harris.

Harris declined comment, but Nikki Troxclair, an Andrews Institute spokeswoman, said he resigned to "preserve the integrity" of the program and to "focus on" an upcoming ethics review. Crist asked for that review after the investigators issued their initial findings. In total, Harris netted $500,000 last year for Project Odyssey, which would screen potential space tourists for the rigors of spaceflight. The aim was to help attract commercial space companies to Florida as a way to boost the state's fledgling private spaceflight industry.

Half the $500,000 came from Space Florida, a state agency that promotes the aerospace industry. Space Florida officials said they have frozen $200,000 of the $250,000 investment. It is uncertain whether the state would be able to claim the other $250,000, which came from another state fund meant to stave off military-base closures. The Andrews Institute said the clinic had not been told about any frozen funds and planned to move forward with the project. "We've received all payments at this point in time and plan to stay on track with the project schedule," said an Andrews spokeswoman. (4/16)

SpaceX Wins New Commercial Launches for Argentina Satellites (Source: SpaceX)
SpaceX has signed an agreement with Argentina for two launches aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 medium-to-heavy lift vehicle at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport between 2012 adn 2013. The flights will send the SAOCOM 1A and 1B Earth observation satellites into sun-synchronous orbits, where they will provide imagery for natural resources monitoring, as well as emergency and disaster management. The two SAOCOM satellites will join four X-band SAR COSMO-SkyMed satellites from the Italian Space Agency (ASI), creating the Italian-Argentine System of Satellites for Emergency Management (SIASGE) constellation. The inaugural flight of Falcon 9 is scheduled for this year, with the first Dragon spacecraft scheduled to fly on a subsequent launch, both from SpaceX’s launch facility at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. (4/16)

Space Society’s International Space Development Conference Planned in Orlando on May 27-31 (Source: NSS)
The National Space Society (NSS) today announced that the 28th Annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC) will take place from Wednesday May 27 to Sunday May 31 at the Omni Hotel at Champions Gate in Orlando, FL. The conference will engage the public and decision-makers in an open and positive discussion about the role that space exploration, research and development will play in ushering in a new era of hope in a climate of uncertain change. To register for the 28th Annual International Space Development Conference please visit http://www.isdc2009.org or call (202) 429-1600. (4/16)

California Space Authority to Release Economic Impact Study (Source: CSA)
On April 20 in Washington, the California Space Authority will release a study on the economic impact of California's space industry on the state, nation and world. California ranks #1 in economic impact with 40 percent of the U.S. and 21 percent of the world’s space enterprise. Total annual contributions to the state exceed $76 billion, including $31 billion in revenues, $19.4 billion in wages, and more than 370,000 jobs. California’s space enterprise has a greater impact on revenue and jobs than any other industry, including entertainment, tourism and agriculture. The study also highlights the new generation of entrepreneurial California space companies, well positioned for a game change in the launch segment. (4/15)

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