May 30 News Items

British Space Scientist Killed in Balloon Plunge (Source: The Sun)
A top British space scientist was killed in a hot air balloon crash. Nine other Britons were injured when the balloon suddenly plunged 150ft to earth moments after take-off. Dr. Kevin Beurle, an astro-physicist who had been working on a key spacecraft project, was found dead as rescuers raced to the scene. Officials said it was unclear if Dr Buerle, 53, was killed by the impact or jumped from the balloon’s basket trying to save himself. Last night pals of the thrill-seeking scientist, who loved adventurous pursuits such as diving and skiing, told of their shock at the tragedy in Turkey. (5/30)

Posey Staffer Gives Congressional Tips at ISDC (Source: SPACErePORT)
Pam Gillespie from Congressman Bill Posey's office participated on an ISDC-09 panel devoted to congressional outreach. She provided a primer on the legislative process in Washington for an audience of space activists. The ISDC event was held in Congressman Posey's district. (5/30)

Brevard Workforce Development Board Gets $1.85M to Continue Space Coast Effort (Source: SPACErePORT)
The Brevard Workforce Development Board last week secured $1.85 million from Florida to continue their efforts to support workforce training/retraining leading up to the retirement of the Space Shuttle by NASA. (5/29)

Space Shuttle Atlantis May Begin Trek Home on Sunday (Source:
The space shuttle Atlantis may begin a cross-country trek atop a tricked out jumbo jet as early as Sunday to fly from a California landing site to its Florida home, weather permitting, NASA officials said. Atlantis will ride piggyback atop a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet during the planned ferry flight, a $1.8 million trip aimed at returning the shuttle home from California's Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California. The shuttle landed on backup desert runway there last Sunday. (5/30)

Brazil Launches Rocket to Test Spaceport (Source: Xinhua)
The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) on Friday launched a rocket to test the facilities at the Alcantara spaceport. The launching, which took place on Friday afternoon, was "a complete success", AEB said in a statement. The mission was code-named Maracati 1 under a partnership between Brazil and Germany. It was the first launch from the Alcantara base since 2007. The rocket, named Orion 1, was developed by Germany. It was equipped with tracking devices and reached 93 kilometers high before falling into the sea about 80 kilometers off the Brazilian coast.

The Alcantara spaceport, built in 1983 in the northeastern Maranhao state, is the closest launching base to the equator, which gives the base a significant advantage in launching geosynchronous satellites. In 2003, a rocket explosion in the base killed 21 people and completely destroyed Alcantara's launch pad. The AEB's next launch of a rocket is scheduled in 2010. (5/30)

Chiao Another Likely Member of Augustine Commission (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
Add another name to the Augustine commission: ex-NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao. Sources said the former space station crew member likely would be named to the blue ribbon panel headed by retired Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine that will help chart the future of NASA’s human spaceflight program. Reached by phone, Chiao said that he had been contacted by administration officials assembling the committee and that they expressed interested. “I don’t think I’ve done anything since I left NASA to [disqualify] me,” he joked. (5/29)

NASA Awards Liquid Nitrogen and Liquid Oxygen Contracts (Source: NASA)
NASA has selected three companies to provide liquid nitrogen, or LN2, and liquid oxygen, or LOX, to six agency facilities. Linde LLC will supply approximately 256,500 tons of LN2 and 173,000 tons of LOX to Goddard Space Flight Center, Stennis Space Center, and Michoud Assembly Facility for up to $28.8 million. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. will provide 197,250 tons of LN2 and 26,000 tons of LOX to Glenn Research Center and Marshall Space Flight Center for up to $14.2 million. Air Liquide will provide 90,000 tons of LN2 and 1,300 tons of LOX to Johnson Space Center for up to $6.1 million. (5/29)

Shuttle Atlantis Short-Circuit Probe Continues (Source: Florida Today)
NASA is continuing an analysis of a short-circuit that knocked out an electronics box during the May 11 launch of shuttle Atlantis, but the problem isn't expected to delay in the upcoming launch of Endeavour. (5/29)

SpaceX Delays Launch to October (Source: Florida Today)
SpaceX's planned summer demonstration launch of the first Falcon 9 rocket has been delayed to the fall. A combination of technical work and lack of documentation for the Air Force, which manages safety on the Eastern Range, created the delay. The launch has been scheduled for July and now will occur no sooner than October. "It's basically dealing with the complexities associated with lifting a new rocket off from a new launch site," SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said. Before the Falcon 9's maiden flight, SpaceX must test the engines further, integrate them on the rocket and return the components to Cape Canaveral. (5/30)

ISDC A Success for Florida (Source: SPACErePORT)
The National Space Society's Florida chapters deserve thanks for successfully competing to bring the International Space Development Conference to Orlando this year. They brought a lot of space industry people and attention to Florida at a pivotal time for state and federal space policy development. Kudos to ISDC-2009 Chairman Tim Bailey for pulling together a successful event. (5/30)

Buzz Aldrin Presents His Vision at ISDC in Orlando (Source: SPACErePORT)
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, in a speech at the ISDC event in Orlando, said the Moon is a dead-end for NASA's exploration efforts. He advocated a return to the moon, but not as our nation's exploration focus. Instead, he proposes an International Lunar Development Authority to facilitate the commercial utilization and development of lunar resources. He advocates a focus on manned Mars, asteroid and comet missions. "We won't honor Apollo 11 by repeating its [lunar] mission," he said.

Aldrin also advocated international partnerships with emerging space powers like China, India and Brazil. He suggested adding them as partners in the International Space Station program, saying this would demonstrate U.S. strength, not weakness. He said the U.S. should send astronauts up aboard Chinese and Indian vehicles, like we do with Russia. (5/30)

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