April 27 News Items

Space 2.0: Bringing Space Tech Down to Earth (Source: Space Review)
While much of the space industry focuses on new rockets and satellites, or emerging markets like space tourism, a whole new aspect of space industry is under development. Burke Fort describes how his group is helping foster the creation of companies that leverage space technology for terrestrial applications. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1362/1 to view the article. (4/27)

Still a Challenge (Source: Space Review)
Six months ago Armadillo Aerospace won first prize in Level One of the Lunar Lander Challenge, but there's still over $1.5 million in prize money up for grabs today. Jeff Foust reports on the plans several teams have to go after that prize money later this year in a revamped competition. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1361/1 to view the article. (4/27)

Space-Based Solar Power: Right Here, Right Now? (Source: Space Review)
Space-based solar power has frequently been promoted as a long-term solution to the world's energy needs, but how should governments support it given the current economic crisis? John Marburry offers one solution to this conundrum. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1359/1 to view the article. (4/27)

Sustainability: Just Another Excuse for a UN Power Grab? (Source: Space Review)
A UN committee has proposed a new set of guidelines designed to promote the "sustainability" of space in light of recent ASAT tests and satellite collisions. Taylor Dinerman worries that this effort could be used by some to thwart US military and even commercial ambitions in space. Visit
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1358/1 to view the article. (4/27)

Aerospace Industry Resilient Despite Economy (Source: Space Review)
The aerospace industry showed modest growth in the midst of extremely challenging economic circumstances in 2008, AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey announced at the 44th Annual Year-End Review and Forecast. Blakey said industry sales are on pace to reach total sales of $204 billion, an increase of 2.1%, a record level for the fifth straight year. Read more here. (4/27)

September Launch For ESA's Water Mission (Source: SpaceDaily.com)
Following confirmation from Eurockot Launch Services that they will launch ESA's SMOS mission on 9 September this year, the satellite has just been taken out of storage - providing an opportunity for the media to view the satellite before it is prepared for shipment to the launch site in Russia. The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission is the next Earth Explorer in line for liftoff after the successful launch of the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) six weeks ago. (4/27)

LockMart Milstar Constellation Achieves 50 Years Of Combined On Orbit Ops (Source: SpaceDaily.com)
A U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team has announced that the five-satellite Milstar constellation has accumulated 50 years of combined on-orbit operations and continues to provide secure, reliable and robust communications to U.S. and Allied Forces around the globe. Of the five Milstar satellites on orbit, two are of the first-generation Block I design, launched in 1994 and 1995. The system graduated to a Block II design and the Air Force subsequently launched three of the Block II configuration between 2001 and 2003. (4/27)

Tulsa Museum Applies for Space Shuttles (Source: Edmond Sun)
Officials with the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium have applied to NASA to become the home for one of the three soon-to-be-retired space shuttles. NASA is looking for permanent homes for the three shuttles and the executive director of the Tulsa museum says the facility meets NASA's requirements. (4/27)

Vandenberg Considers Disassembling Historical Launch Complex (Source: USAF)
Vandenberg AFB is currently undergoing the planning stages of removing and disassembling pieces from one of its historical launch pads, Space Launch Complex-5. The reason behind modifying the vacant complex came about when Vandenberg began receiving numerous requests from different agencies, programs and personnel around the globe for unused SLC-5 parts. Click here to view the article. (4/27)

World's Largest Model Rocket Launch a Blazing Success (Source: National Geographic News)
At nearly four stories tall, the world's largest model rocket was only a tenth the size of its Saturn V namesake. But the craft's April 25 launch in Price, Maryland, was no small feat. A replica of a NASA Saturn V rocket, the massive model broke the world record for the tallest and heaviest model rocket that's ever been launched and recovered—36 feet (11 meters) and 1,648 pounds (750 kilograms), respectively. (4/27)

Florida Students Take Trip to the Moon (Source: NW Florida Daily News)
Hundreds of students from Bob Sikes Elementary School will take a walk on the moon this week in anticipation of Florida's 2009 Math and Science Day, which is Friday. Space exploration is this year's theme, and Bob Sikes' math and science committees joined efforts to create a mock moon landing. An entire room on the school's campus was converted to appear as though students would be stepping onto the surface of the moon. (4/27)

Chairman Gordon Comments on President’s Remarks on Science (Source: SpaceRef.com)
On Apr. 27, the president addressed the National Academy of Sciences. Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) offered the following statement in response: “I wholeheartedly agree with the president that the key factors of our long-term economic competitiveness are investing in basic research, fostering innovation, and improving science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) education.

I am encouraged that the president has made a commitment to keeping the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science on a sustainable doubling path, as we called for in the American COMPETES Act. (4/27)

Nelson Urges Obama to Appoint NASA Chief (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson pressed the White House on Friday to select a new NASA administrator and repeated (three times) what President Obama said earlier this spring -- that the nation's space agency is "adrift," according to the congressional record. "NASA is adrift because it doesn’t have a vigorous leader, appointed by the Obama administration, to take charge; someone who understands space flight, who understands management, who understands aeronautics," said the Florida Democrat. (4/27)

Florida Planetarium Director Reaches for the Stars (Source: Bradenton Herald)
Jeff Rodgers failed biology the first time he took it in college and didn’t really have much of a science background. So how did he come to be the director of the Bishop Planetarium and director of education for the South Florida Museum in downtown Bradenton? “Blind luck,” he says. Rodgers started with the Teach for America program in New York City after college and got involved with a pre-charter school movement there. But the overwhelming bureaucracy he encountered drove him away. (4/27)

Aussies Snap Up Virgin Galactic Space Tickets (Source: IT News)
A 56-year-old Brisbane businesswoman, Glenys Ambe, will be the first Australian woman to be a Virgin Galactic space tourist – one of 11 Aussies to put down a deposit on a $280,000 ticket. Fronting a scrum of media at a ‘launch' of sorts in Sydney this morning, Ambe said she had purchased the flight as a 60th birthday present to herself. Virgin Galactic has already taken some 300 deposits worldwide for the commercial space flights, retailing through a network of "space travel agents" for $200,000. (4/27)

NASA Budget Being Drafted Without a Top-Level Advocate (Source: Aviation Week)
NASA plans to roll out its Fiscal 2010 budget the first week in May, amid complaints that the White House staff is giving short shrift to the U.S. space program. The space agency is struggling to make ends meet during the difficult transition to the post-shuttle era.

Engineers are "on the verge" of pulling two of the six seats planned for the Orion capsule intended to succeed the space shuttle as the route to space for U.S. astronauts. That move - meant to simplify what has become a difficult design effort - comes amid reported findings by The Aerospace Corp. that a shift to a human-rated evolved expendable launch vehicle (EELV) - either an Atlas V or Delta IV - from NASA's in-house Ares I crew launch vehicle could further simplify the transition to Orion. (4/26)

Russian Lunar and Mars Missions Face Delays (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
The planned revival by Russia of its once mighty lunar and planetary robotic exploration program is beginning to falter due to Russian budget and spacecraft problems. The difficulties are threatening to delay Russia's first mission to the Moon in 33 years. A Russian roundtrip mission to the Martian moon Phobos is also in trouble.

The former Soviet Union, which launched dozens of successful deep-space probes in the 1960s-1980s, has not flown a fully successful planetary mission of any kind since the 1984 Vega 2 Halley's Comet/Venus mission. And it has launched no successful missions to the Moon or Mars in 33 years. (4/26)

No comments: