June 1 News Items

Shuttle Program Launch Pad Shifts to Constellation (Source: NASA)
The May 31 transfer of Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida from the Space Shuttle Program to the Constellation Program is the next step in preparing the first flight test of the agency's next-generation spacecraft and launch system. The Constellation Program is developing new spacecraft -- including the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles, the Orion crew capsule, and the Altair lunar lander -- to carry humans to the International Space Station, the moon and beyond. (6/1)

Cabana: KSC Jobs Picture is Fluid (Source: Florida Today)
Cabana says the latest analysis shows a net job loss at KSC of about 4,000 people (slightly higher than last reported) in the transition from the shuttle to a replacement space transportation system. To be clear, that's a net loss. The job losses will be steeper right after the shuttles retire in 2010 or 2011, with new positions being added slowly in the years afterward. Editor's Note: The 4,000 figure is also a 'direct' job loss estimate and doesn't factor in the 2.82 multiplier. For every direct NASA or contractor job lost, 2.82 others will be lost in the local economy.

Cabana also said there are jobs to be gained in the reorganization of NASA. He aims to take advantage of the need to find efficiency to try to land Kennedy a bigger slice of the pie. For instance, he wants program engineering for the Orion spacecraft sited here, rather than the current situation where shuttle program engineering is in Houston for spaceships based here. "Wouldn't it make more sense for the sustaining engineering to be here where the vehicle is?" Cabana said. (6/1)

Cabana Supports Keeping Retired Orbiter at KSC (Source: Florida Today)
A friendly war of words is on for keeping one of the retired shuttle orbiters here on the Space Coast, and KSC Director Bob Cabana is lending his political might to the fight. The privately-run Visitor Complex just outside the KSC gates is working up plans for displaying Atlantis, Discovery or Endeavour should they best other museums vying for the three orbiters. Cabana says Florida has home-field advantage. "What the heck? It's sitting out here. How are they going to take it from us? I'm just not going to let it go." To rousing applause, he continued, "Wouldn't it be great to have one of them here, where it all happened?" (6/1)

Cabana Concerned About Funding Levels (Source: Florida Today)
The biggest threat to the new moon program is the budget, KSC Director Bob Cabana said. KSC alone faces a $26 million budget shortfall next year, prompting center-wide looks at facilities, ways to eliminate duplicated work and other cost-cutting measures. Overall, NASA needs more money to fly out the shuttles' last missions, operate the space station and keep the moon program on track. Much is in limbo until President Barack Obama hears back from the blue-ribbon panel he assigned to review NASA's human space flight program. Cabana sees signs that the review might prompt adjustments, but is optimistic the White House will not abandon goals of replacing the space shuttles and returning astronauts to the moon. (6/1)

NASA Announces Members of Human Space Flight Review Committee (Source: NASA)
Members of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee include: Norman Augustine (chair); Dr. Wanda Austin (Aerospace Corp.); Bohdan Bejmuk (Constellation program Standing Review Board); Dr. Leroy Chiao (former astronaut); Dr. Christopher Chyba (Princeton University & President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology); Dr. Edward Crawley (MIT & NASA Exploration Technology Development Program Review Committee); Jeffrey Greason (XCOR Aerospace & Personal Spaceflight Federation); Dr. Charles Kennel (National Academies Space Studies Board & Scripps Institution of Oceanography); Gen. Lester Lyles (National Academies Committee on the Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program); and Dr. Sally Ride (former astronaut & University of California, San Diego.

Dr. W. Michael Hawes is leading the NASA review team that will provide technical and analytic support to the committee. Hawes is NASA's associate administrator for program analysis and evaluation. Philip McAlister is the executive director of the committee and the designated federal official. NASA Acting Administrator Chris Scolese signed the charter for the committee Monday, enabling it to begin operations. The charter can be viewed at: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/353935main_RUSHSFPC_charter.pdf. (6/1)

Waiting for Augustine (Source: Space Review)
It's been over three weeks since the White House announced the panel led by Norm Augustine to review NASA's human spaceflight plans, and very little has taken place publicly since then. Jeff Foust reports on reactions from a variety of people on what the panel should do, and one potential panel member's thoughts on the philosophy of civil space efforts in general. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1386/1 to view the article. (6/1)

A Solution to the Space Station's Long-Term Future (Source: Space Review)
How can NASA continue to operate the International Space Station, now a "national laboratory", for years to come while also funding its exploration plans? Edward Ellegood suggests the solution may be an approach like the one used for managing national labs on the ground. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1385/1 to view the article. (6/1)

Look! Up in the Air! No, Down on the Ground! The NRO's Domestic Ground Stations (Source: Space Review)
In order for its reconnaissance satellites to return data back to the Earth, the NRO needed to establish a network of ground stations. Dwayne Day discusses a newly-declassified document that, for the first time, reveals the details of that system. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1384/1 to view the article. (6/1)

SSP: A Spherical Architecture (Source: Space Review)
Space solar power systems will have to be very large and complex in order to generate large amounts of power. Trevor Brown suggests an alternative architecture that could make such systems much simpler. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1383/1 to view the article. (6/1)

SpaceX and ATSB Announce New Launch Date for RazakSat (Source: SpaceX)
SpaceX and Astronautic Technology Sdn Bhd (ATSB) of Malaysia announce a new launch window has been set for Falcon 1 Flight 5, carrying the RazakSAT satellite to orbit. The launch window opens July 13 and extends through July 14, with a daily window to open at 4:00 p.m. (PDT) / 7:00 p.m. (EDT). The launch was delayed last month after SpaceX identified the potential for an unfavorable interaction between the satellite and the launch vehicle. After further analysis, SpaceX determined the implementation of a simple vibration isolation system would address this concern. SpaceX selected the SoftRide isolation system from CSA Engineering for this purpose, citing the system’s strong flight heritage and established success in addressing vibration concerns. (6/1)

Space Hardware Shipper Wins Small Business Award (Source: SPACErePORT)
Florida Space Coast based veteran-owned logistics provider of land, air and sea services Yowell International was selected to receive General Dynamics's NASSCO small contractor business of the year award last week in San Diego. Yowell has for many years provided specialized transport/logistics services for space hardware. (6/1)

Ready for Hurricane Season? NASA KSC Is (Source: WDBO)
Kennedy Space Center is ready for hurricane season. Actually, they're never not ready. Allard Beutel with Kennedy Space Center says extreme weather is what they do, considering their location. "Hurricane reason obviously raises our sensitivity to watching storms and tracking what's out there," he said. "That kind of storm preparedness is woven into the very culture of what we have to do out here." They have plans for everything, from bagging up computer equipment, to sand bagging a vehicle assembly building should the need arise. Or even locking down a shuttle on a launch pad should a storm sneak up. (6/1)

Editorial: Space Archaeology (Source: LA Times)
The final frontier already has some historic sites -- such as Tranquility Base on the moon -- that deserve protection from well-meaning but potentially destructive private projects in outer space. Cultural heritage has emerged in the last few decades as a subject of increasing debate and interest. Controversies such as the Greek claim on the Parthenon Marbles, in the collection of the British Museum since 1816, the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan in 2001 and the looting of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad in 2003 have shown how objects and sites can have significance for both scholars and the public.

Nations and collectors claim ownership, while disenfranchised populations assert their rights and identities and experts work to preserve fragile ruins. Now, efforts to preserve archaeological remains face a vast and challenging new frontier lacking definitive legislative regulation: outer space. Man-made objects preserved in the vacuum of space are irreplaceable artifacts of humanity's scientific achievements. Although the United States retains jurisdiction over the equipment left at the moon's Tranquility Base, the 1969 Apollo 11 landing site, for example, Neil Armstrong's famous words highlighted the importance of the first moon landing for all of us: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

Today, however, some of the most important elements of that shared space heritage, including Tranquility Base, are threatened. The Lunar X Prize, a $20-million award funded by Google, is being offered by the X Prize Foundation, which previously held a competition to develop private space travel. The first private group to land and maneuver a robotic rover on the moon before Dec. 31, 2012, will be the winner. Click here to view the editorial. (6/1)

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