July 13 News Items

Space Station Is Near Completion, Maybe the End (Source: Washington Post)
After more than a decade of construction, it is nearing completion and finally has a full crew of six astronauts. The last components should be installed by the end of next year. And then? "In the first quarter of 2016, we'll prep and de-orbit the spacecraft," says NASA's space station program manager, Michael T. Suffredini. That's a polite way of saying that NASA will make the space station fall back into the atmosphere, where it will turn into a fireball and then crash into the Pacific Ocean. It'll be a controlled reentry, to ensure that it doesn't take out a major city. But it'll be destroyed as surely as a Lego palace obliterated by the sweeping arm of a suddenly bored kid. (7/13)

Ventura County Museum Unveils Space Exhibit at Open House (Source: Ventura County Star)
Rey Trejo of Oxnard said that because his daughter Elizabeth is “a sponge” he decided to take a day off from watching the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants and take her to the Gull Wings Children’s Museum open house Sunday to see the unveiling of a space exhibit. “She loves the museum. It gives her a chance to think outside the box, to expand her mind,” Trejo said. Other parents apparently agreed, with a steady stream of adults and children attending the event, which featured the introduction of the model Orion spacecraft built by John Kelly, exhibits director at the museum. The spacecraft Orion will be used in future space exploration. Kelly said the introduction of the prototype of the vehicle is especially timely, as July 16 is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo launch, which put Americans on the moon. (7/13)

Razaksat Prepares For Lift Off Tuesday (Source: Bernama)
Malaysia's innovation pride, the RazakSAT satellite, is all set for a lift off as scheduled on Tuesday (July 14) from Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Government officials arrived in Guam today to witness the historical launch, via live webcasting, a statement from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) said Sunday. The science minister was also informed that the satellite and launch vehicle, the Falcon 1, which is operated by United States' Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), have now been erected on the launch pad at Omelek Island, the launch site for Falcon 1. The 180kg remote sensing satellite was designed, developed, built and tested locally and it will also be the first remote sensing satellite to orbit the Equator. (7/13)

More Storms Threaten Monday Shuttle Launch Attempt (Source: AP)
NASA faced the prospect of more stormy weather Monday as it tried for the fifth time to launch shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station. NASA began loading about 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and hydrogen into the huge orange external tank in a process that will take about three hours. Thunderstorms prevented Endeavour and seven astronauts from blasting off Sunday evening. Forecasters said there was a 60 percent chance the weather would force yet another delay Monday evening for the space station construction mission. (7/13)

Space Flights: A New Frontier for Hawaii Tourism (Source KGMB)
Imagine seeing the Hawaiian islands and a third of the Earth while traveling interisland. Or flying from Hawaii to Japan in less than an hour. It may be an idea that sounds out of this world. Space experts are hoping to make commercial space transportation a reality here in Hawaii. But will our financial troubles keep this futuristic plan on the ground? Hawaii is one of 11 states looking into this type of technology. If the project is approved, these types of flights wouldn't start until at least 2012 first at the Kalaeloa and Kona airports. "Hawaii has the strategic advantage of having runways proximal to the ocean and that enhances the safety of this operation tremendously and also reduces cost for commercial space port transportation," said Jim Crisafulli, state director of aerospace development. (7/13)

UK Deserves more Bang for its Buck as Minister Hints at a British NASA (Source: Scotsman)
The government is considering setting up a British version of NASA, the American space agency which is currently celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing. After decades in which successive British governments have considered human spaceflight an expensive distraction, the science minister, Lord Drayson yesterday refused to rule out the creation a British NASA. The government is now looking at reorganizing its space policy, which, according to Lord Drayson, required a "much higher profile". The 40th anniversary of the Moon landing in 1969 has sparked new interest in space travel among a new generation, he said. (7/13)

China Tools Up for Asian Space Race (Source: Space Daily)
Forty years after the United States landed a man on the moon, China's fledgling space program is racing to get to the lunar surface before an American return and ahead of its Asian rivals. The United States -- the only country to have sent men to the moon -- is hoping to touch down on the lunar surface again by 2020, almost a generation after it first completed six historic manned lunar trips between 1969 and 1972. Meanwhile, after putting its first man into space in 2003 -- the third nation to do so -- China is aiming to launch an unmanned rover on the moon's surface by 2012 and a manned mission to the moon by around 2020. (7/13)

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