May 18 News Items

DiBello Gets Interim Job at Space Florida (SPACErePORT)
Aerospace industry veteran Frank DiBello, former chief of the Florida Aerospace Finance Corp., was selected as the Interim President of Space Florida. DiBello will serve under a renewable 90-day contract. He will replace Steve Kohler, who stepped down last week amid controversy. DiBello was a favored finalist for the Space Florida job in 2006, but then-Governor Jeb Bush decided to pick an industry outsider for the position. (5/18)

Pensacola Space Tourism Venture Still Moving Forward (Source: Pensacola News Journal)
Space Florida, a state-funded aerospace development body, froze $200,000 of the $250,000 it was to contribute to Project Odyssey. But Dr. Joe Story, Andrews' chief innovation officer, says the institute still intends to press forward with its space programs. The $200,000 from Space Florida will remain frozen pending discussion with Space Florida's board on June 24. Despite the controversy that led to the resignation of project lead Brice Harris, Dr. Story said "we have plenty of staff here to run this program. We're going to run this program with the staff and doctors we have on board." (5/17)

NASA Selects Florida Projects for Reduced-Gravity Flight Testing (Source: NASA)
NASA has selected 21 technology demonstration projects to fly on reduced gravity aircraft flights during the week of Aug. 10 through its Facilitated Access to the Space Environment for Technology Development and Training program known as FAST. The FAST program is designed to enable new technologies to be incorporated into NASA's flight programs and other commercial space applications. FAST provides an opportunity to demonstrate whether emerging technologies will perform as expected in the zero-gravity environment of Earth orbit or the reduced gravity environment of the moon or Mars. Five of the projects are from Florida, including:

Magnetic Un-jamming and Flow Control of Lunar Soil, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL; Tribocharged Electrostatic Beneficiation of Lunar Simulant, NASA Kennedy Space Center with ASRC Aerospace, Kennedy Space Center, FL; Antimicrobial Materials for Microgravity Environments, NASA Kennedy Space Center, FL; Martian/Lunar Dust Mitigation, ASRC Aerospace, Kennedy Space Center, FL; and Cyclonic Filtering of Pneumatically Conveyed Lunar Regolith Simulant, NASA Kennedy Space Center with ASRC Aerospace, Kennedy Space Center, FL. (5/18)

Florida Power & Light and KSC Moving Forward with Solar Energy Initiative (Source: SPACErePORT)
No, they won't be putting up power-beaming satellites. Florida Power & Light, one of the nation's largest electric utility companies, is moving forward with the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, a photovoltaic solar power plant that will be located at KSC. The facility will generate up to 10 megawatts of photovoltaic power and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2010. (5/18)

Minotaur Launch Scheduled for May 19 from Virginia Spaceport (Source: NASA)
NASA has confirmed that a Minotaur launch vehicle, composed in-part of deactivated Minuteman missile components, will take off from Virginia's Wallops Island spaceport on May 19. The launch window extends from 7:35 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. It will carry an Air Force "TacSat-3" satellite as its primary payload. (5/18)

Bolden Meeting with Obama Pushed Back Until Tuesday (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Bolden's meeting with President Obama has been rescheduled until Tuesday morning, as an earlier meeting that Obama had with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ran longer than expected. Obama has gone months without announcing his pick to head NASA, although several of his previous choices have been shot down by lawmakers on Capitol Hill. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, has pushed hardest for Bolden’s nomination while aiming to scuttle other picks. If Obama does select Bolden, an announcement could come this week. (5/18)

Florida Spaceport Panel Planned at ISDC in Orlando (Source: SPACErePORT)
Among the first-day panel sessions at this year's International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Orlando (May 29-31) is one devoted to "Florida Spaceport Strategy". Also featured at the event will be Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp (Space Florida's chairman), and Lisa Rice of the Brevard Workforce Development Board, who will speak on the state's strategy for transitioning the Space Shuttle workforce. (5/18)

To Boldly Go: The Urgent Need for a Revitalized Investment in Space Tech (Source: Space Review)
NASA long invested in development of advanced technologies, but in recent years that effort withered as the agency concentrated on plans to return to the Moon. John Mankins explains why it's necessary for NASA and the nation to reinvigorate its technology development efforts. Visit to view the article. (5/18)

The God that Failed (Source: Space Review)
In the mid-1970s articles and books promised a grand future in the form of space colonies, a future that has not been realized. Dwayne Day looks back at one such description of such a future, and why it hasn't happened. Visit to view the article. (5/18)

Exchanging Uncertainties (Source: Space Review)
It appears increasingly likely that the White House will nominate someone for NASA administrator in the immediate future, solving one problem long identified by NASA's supporters. However, Jeff Foust notes that whoever is selected won't be able to make all the uncertainties surrounding the space agency go away. Visit to view the article. (5/18)

NASA and Augustine's Book of Laws (Source: Space Review)
Norm Augustine, picked by the White House to lead a new panel on the future of NASA's human spaceflight programs, is best known for promulgating a series of "laws" about management practices. Taylor Dinerman examines what those laws, and other experience by Augustine, could mean for the future of NASA. Visit to view the article. (5/18)

Space Debris: Why the US Cannot Go It Alone (Source: Space Review)
Is it really feasible for the US to go off by itself and try and solve the space debris problem? Kirk Woellert provides both technical and policy reasons why that isn't the case. Visit to view the article. (5/18)

Proponents of DIRECT Offer Rebuttal to NASA's Analysis (Source: NASA Watch)
NASA’s October 2007 analysis of DIRECT, on the surface, appears to be a carefully executed analysis of the DIRECT architecture and its central launch vehicle, Jupiter. However, a closer examination of the document reveals significant flaws in the evaluation of DIRECT that set up a scenario where DIRECT would inevitably look inferior when compared to Ares. The errors are so numerous that the only conclusion possible is that this document cannot be used to properly assess the value of the DIRECT alternative. Click here to view their rebuttal document. Editor's Note: The DIRECT team will offer version 3.0 of their plan at the upcoming National Space Society ISDC conference in Orlando later this month. (5/18)

Shuttle Imagery, Logos Up In The Air (Source: Florida Today)
The vibration emanating from the launch of shuttle Atlantis last Monday rattled the dishes and caused a brief symphony of clinking glasses at Shuttles Sports Bar & Grill on Merritt Island. It was yet another melancholy reminder for owner Bill Grillo that the shuttle program doesn't have long for this world. Eight official launches remain between now and the end of the program around 2011, and Grillo concedes his business' namesake could lose some cache as NASA considers moving on to the Constellation program with its Orion spacecraft.

But he has no plans to change the name of his establishment. "Am I going to rename it Orions?" he said. "No." As the shuttle program winds down, marketing gurus, business operators and space enthusiasts question if it's also time to consider retiring some of the iconic orbiter references and imagery that have been a part of the Space Coast's cultural and tourism landscape since the 1970s. This is not for lack of pride or appreciation of what the shuttle program has done for Brevard County and Florida. Rather, they say, it's about looking forward to what's next for the space program and how to incorporate that into future marketing efforts. (5/18)

A Giant Leap Toward Space-Based Solar Power (Source: LA Times)
A Manhattan Beach start-up called Solaren Corp. seeks to launch an array of giant solar power collectors into orbit 23,000 miles above Fresno and beam the energy to Earth. PG&E has signed a contract to buy the power -- if Solaren can make the technology work. The proposal is a potential energy game-changer, supporters say. But, critics dismiss it as pie in the sky.

The scheme highlights a growing dispute as utilities struggle to meet ambitious requirements for energy from renewable sources: Should electricity come from big, bold projects such as huge desert fields of sunlight-reflecting mirrors or should it come from smaller, close-to-the-user efforts such as rooftop solar panels? Should big power companies handle electron delivery or do-it-yourselfers? Solaren won't discuss the details or costs of its plan, other than to give a ballpark price tag at more than $2 billion, to generate enough electricity for 150,000 homes across much of Northern and Central California. It has asked utility regulators to keep the information confidential, for now. (5/18)

What to Expect from New NASA Chief Bolden (Source: Florida Today)
What can we expect from Charles Bolden? There are plenty of hints in the public record about Bolden's stand on the big overarching issues of space exploration. First, Bolden is an astronaut. He would be the first astronaut to get the job since President George H.W. Bush tapped Dick Truly. Bolden is a U.S. Marine aviator who piloted two shuttle missions and commanded two others. However, he is not a one-dimensional advocate of human exploration. In 2006, he testified before the U.S. Senate about balancing human and robotic exploration. Click here to view the article. (5/18)

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