June 16 News Items

Wyle Develops Sound Generator To Simulate Rocket Launch Acoustic Loads (Source: SpaceDaily.com)
An improved second generation sound source used to simulate the intense noise generated by space rockets during launch has been developed by Wyle engineers. The Wyle Acoustic Source (WAS) 5000 is a high-frequency, high intensity sound source complementing the existing low-frequency WAS 3000 system, which has been regarded by experts as the "world's loudest speaker." (6/16)

New "Space Talk" Radio Program Airing Soon (Source: MILA Solutions)
"Space Talk," a new one-hour radio program dedicated to the topic of America's space program, will begin broadcasting June 20 from the studios of WMMB-AM on Florida's Space Coast. The live, weekly program will be hosted by veteran aerospace writer and commentator Jim Banke of MILA Solutions. All facets of the space program will be featured including NASA, military activities, commercial launches, space education, new space ventures such as space tourism, state space programs, space science, history, and space-related entertainment. Interactivity will be a key feature of the program, which will be streamed live on the Internet and recorded for download as a Podcast – both available at www.wmmbam.com. Audience members from around the nation will be invited to call in to the program at 321-768-1240, send e-mail to spacetalking@aol.com, or interact via Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/spacetalking. (6/16)

Supervisors Oppose Santa Susana Plan (Source: Ventura County Star)
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to oppose any effort by NASA to unload its Santa Susana Field Lab property without a full cleanup. NASA owns 452 acres of the 2,850-acre Field Lab property, and has proposed selling or transferring its share. The county, along with state legislators and much of the state’s congressional delegation, opposes that move because NASA does not plan to clean the property to the standards the state requires, a standard that would eventually allow crops to be grown on the former nuclear test site.

The field lab, which is just outside of Simi Valley, was the site of a nuclear reactor meltdown in 1959, when it was a Rocketdyne testing facility. Most of the property is now owned by Boeing, which has proposed turning it into a park after the contamination is cleaned up. (6/16)

Bowersox Joins SpaceX as VP for Astronaut Safety & Mission Assurance (Source: SpaceX)
Ken Bowersox has joined SpaceX as vice president of the newly formed Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance Department. He has flown five times on NASA’s Space Shuttle, serving as pilot, commander and mission specialist, and once on a Russian Soyuz, where he served as the flight engineer during descent. During his five orbital missions, Bowersox has logged over 211 days in space, including five and a half months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), where he was the mission commander of the 6th expedition.

He was also a crew member for the first two Hubble Space Telescope repair flights and served as the director of the Johnson Space Center’s Flight Crew Operations Directorate, where he was responsible for the NASA Astronaut Office and all aircraft operations at the Johnson Space Center. Editor's Note: This move positions SpaceX to support future Falcon-9/Dragon human spaceflight missions at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport for NASA and commercial customers. (6/16)

Arianespace to Launch ST-2 for Singapore and Taiwan (Source: Arianespace)
ST-2 Satellite Ventures has chosen Arianespace to launch its new telecommunications satellite, ST-2. This satellite will replace ST-1 launched by Arianespace in 1998. ST-2 will be launched by an Ariane 5 ECA during the second quarter of 2011 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. The satellite will be built by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan, using the DS2000 platform and will have a lift-off mass of more than 5 100 kg. (6/16)

Loral Selected to Provide Satellite to Hughes for High-Speed Internet (Source: Loral)
Loral has been selected to provide a new satellite to Hughes Network Systems. Hughes will operate the new satellite to deliver high-speed Internet access service across North America. Employing a multi-spot beam, bent pipe Ka-band architecture, the new geostationary satellite will provide significant additional capacity for HughesNet(r) service in North America and will augment the SPACEWAY(r) 3 satellite system. (6/16)

SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Cargo Demo Flights Running Late (Source: Space News)
Two U.S. firms awarded a combined $3.5 billion in NASA contracts in December to haul cargo to the international space station have fallen several months behind schedule for demonstrating their vehicles, according to a report released June 16 by the investigative arm of Congress. (6/16)

Spaced Out: Is Solar Power From Satellites Achievable? (Source: Wall Street Journal)
Renewable energy still faces plenty of hurdles on the ground. But space-based solar power is rocketing along. PowerSat Corp., based in Everett, Wash., said Tuesday it had filed for a patent meant to solve two of the trickier problems bedeviling those engineers who want to tap into the solar system’s abundant supply of free energy. That includes figuring out a way to tie lots of smaller solar satellites together to act like one big one, and figuring out a cheaper way to get them into space in the first place.

Space-based solar power is back in vogue these days, three decades after the U.S. government started toying with the idea as a way to get steady—if not cheap—power to remote battlefield locations. California utility PG&E just signed a deal with Solaren, another space-solar firm, to provide 200 megawatts of space-based solar power in 2016. Solaren is confident it can meet the timeline, but has been sketchy about the breakthroughs it says can make that happen. PowerSat’s new patent directly addresses two of the biggest issues, though it’s still just a paper solution. (6/16)

Aerojet Successfully Tests Upgraded Block C Solid Rocket Motor Case for Atlas V (Source: Aerojet)
Aerojet has conducted a successful burst test and re-qualification of the upgraded Atlas V Solid Rocket Motor composite case. The test took place at Aerojet's test facility in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The motor case design upgrade qualifies an environmentally friendly replacement resin system and two improved motor case design features which increase reliability and reduce production costs by incorporating manufacturing efficiencies. Early test data and high speed video results of the structural burst test indicate the case performed within predictions. (6/16)

Editorial: End of an Extravaganza (Source: National Review)
Manned space travel always was, and still is, a pointless project. In seven voyages from 1405 to 1433, Chinese explorer Zheng He and his “treasure fleets” carried the imperial banner to Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Arabia, and the east coast of Africa. The striking thing is how utterly little historical consequence these voyages had. It can fairly be argued, in fact, that they had none at all.

There were no colonies established as a result of the treasure fleets, no trade routes opened up, no alliances formed, no enlargements of understanding among China’s educated classes. The Ming court decided, at last, that the whole business was too costly. The records of Zheng’s last two expeditions were destroyed in a court intrigue, and China commenced the retreat into incurious bureaucratic despotism from which she was awoken only 400 years later, when European traders came banging on the nation’s doors.

Now, as we approach the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing (July 20), you have to wonder if history is repeating itself. America’s manned space program was a grandiose public-works project, government-initiated and government-funded, like Zheng’s expeditions. Its achievements, like theirs, were sensational but content-free. Men floated in orbit above the earth’s atmosphere, men walked on the Moon, but nothing changed among the earthbound. Click here to view the article. (6/16)

Europe Seeks ISS Extension, Flights for its Astronauts (Source: Space Daily)
The European Space Agency is in talks to extend the life of the International Space Station and get seats for its astronauts on future flights to the orbital outpost. "From a technical standpoint we are working on keeping the station alive at least up to 2025," ESA's director of human spaceflight, Simonetta di Pippo, said. The International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled to be completed in 2010 after a 12-year assembly effort, leaving only five years before the facility, which has cost tens of billions of dollars, is scheduled to be scrapped. ESA's director general, Jean-Jacques Dordain, said his agency was "looking for new flight opportunities" to take European astronauts to and from the space station. (6/16)

ESA and Thales Alenia Plan Intermediate Experimental Vehicle (Source: ESA)
ESA and Thales Alenia Space have established the agreement for the authorisation to proceed with the development of the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) atmospheric reentry demonstrator. The IXV project is part of the ESA Future Launchers Preparatory Program (FLPP). The objective of IXV is to develop a European autonomous atmospheric reentry demonstrator system, characterized by high aerodynamic performance due to its lifting body shape, equipped with a high-performance control system based on propulsion and aerodynamic surfaces and having advanced thermal protection for atmospheric reentry.

The vehicle will weigh about 1800 kg and will be launched by Vega from the European Spaceport in Kourou. The launcher will place the IXV vehicle at an altitude around 450 km from which IXV will start its flight back to Earth, smoothly and safely splashing-down in the Pacific Ocean. With an entry velocity of approximately 7.5 km/s, the IXV system will perform a mission fully representative of a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) reentry mission. (6/16)

Spaceport Expected to Spark Business Climate (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
Imagine a future in southern New Mexico where flights into space are a common occurrence. Will there be multiple engineering firms and manufacturing locations dotted around the landscape? Could an amusement park or two crop up? What about more hotels? Restaurants? T-shirt stands? The supporters of Spaceport American believe the possibilities — and the resulting economic impact — are as potentially limitless as the reaches of space itself.

Sure, there are those who are skeptical, or at least cautious against over-exuberance. "I'll believe it when I see it," is a not-unreasonable refrain some have taken toward Spaceport America. But if the facility reaches its full potential, many believe the effect on the business climate in the area should be large. (6/16)

Perminov: Almost Every Second Space Rocket is Russia's (Source: Interfax)
Russia is the world's leader in the number of space launches, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Anatoly Perminov said. "Russia's launch vehicles account for around 40% of the global number of launches," Perminov said on Tuesday. Russia became launch vehicle leader in 2006 and has been the leader ever since, he said, noting that out of 69 successful space launches in the world in 2008, 27 were made by Russia. Russia has scheduled 39 space launches for 2009.

Editor's Note: Although they are classified by the FAA as U.S. commercial launches, Sea Launch uses Ukrainian/Russian built Zenit rockets. Also, Atlas rockets use Russian-made rocket engines. (6/16)

Delays Seen for Soyuz, Vega Launches at Europe's Spaceport (Source: SpaceDaily.com)
The first launches by the veteran Russian rocket Soyuz and a new light rocket called Vega from Europe's space base will be postponed to 2010, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Monday. They had been scheduled to take place by the end of the year. A workhorse of space, Soyuz is being added to ESA's launch pad at Kourou, French Guiana, to provide the agency with operational flexibility, to cope with medium-level payloads while the Ariane 5 rocket takes care of heavy payloads. (6/16)

Commercial Spaceflight Federation - New Name, New Chairman (Source: CSF)
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (formerly the Personal Spaceflight Federation), the industry association of leading businesses and organizations working to make commercial human spaceflight a reality, has selected a new chairman, Mark N. Sirangelo of the Sierra Nevada Corporation. In addition, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) has elected a slate of senior space industry executives as officers. The new officers include: Eric Anderson, CEO of Space Adventures; Jeff Greason, CEO of XCOR Aerospace; Gwynne Shotwell, President of SpaceX; Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic; and Stuart Witt, General Manager of the Mojave Spaceport. (6/16)

No comments: