July 9 News Items

Florida Effort Focuses on Dealing with Workforce Shifts (Source: Florida Today)
A regional approach to managing the space industry's job losses -- expected to be in excess of 3,500 when NASA retires the shuttle in 2010 -- is the goal of a meeting of government and industry leaders from seven Central Florida counties. They hope to keep the workforce intact by expanding other industries as the number of space industry jobs contracts.

"We could lose these workers to other states," Tyler Sirois, business liaison for the Regional Aerospace Workforce Initiative, said. "Our goal is to keep them in Central Florida. It's critical to the economy," the former legislative aide with Florida House of Representatives added. A $250,000 regional innovation grant from the Department of Labor will fund the effort that begins with bringing 80 to 90 economic leaders together Friday at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. (7/9)

NASA Administrator: Who Is Charles F. Bolden, Jr.? (Source: AllGov)
President Obama has chosen a former astronaut and Marine Corps aviator with strong ties to the defense industry to lead NASA in its transition from the Space Shuttle era to the next phase of space exploration. Born in the Jim Crow South, retired Marine Corps Major General Charles F. Bolden, Jr., faced pre-confirmation questions about his ties to the aerospace and defense industries, but seems destined for confirmed as NASA’s first permanent African American Administrator.

Born August 19, 1946, in Columbia, South Carolina, Bolden graduated in 1964 from C. A. Johnson High School in Columbia, where his father was the head football coach. He earned a BS in Electrical Science from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1968, and an MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1977. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Bolden accepted a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He flew more than 100 sorties into North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. As a pilot, he has logged more than 6,000 hours flying time. (7/8)

Bolden Identifies Four Challenges for NASA (Source: SPACErePORT)
During his confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden identified four challenges he sees for NASA, including: 1) Building upon our success with the International Space Station; 2) Accelerating the development of next-generation launch capabilities; 3) Expanding our capability to understand Earth; and 4) Inspire the next generation of space industry workers. (7/8)

Bolden and Garver Respond to Senate Concerns (Source: SPACErePORT)
Charles Bolden told Senators that he wants NASA to become the pre-eminent research agency in the U.S., saying that the agency hasn't invested enough in basic research. He also said he sees NASA's focus as "beyond low Earth orbit", although Earth Science must also be addressed. When asked about the Space Station and its status as a National Lab, Bolden said with human Mars missions 20-years out, he can't easily inspire young people with promises of human Mars missions...but ISS is currently operating and can inspire young scientists and engineers. Ms. Garver remarked on the importance of ISS biomedical research. Both nominees view the ISS as a stepping stone to deeper-space exploration. (7/8)

Bolden and Garver Support Commercial Space (Source: Space Politics)
Both Bolden and Garver, on multiple occasions, mentioned commercial and entrepreneurial ventures, both as something NASA can enable and as something that can help NASA carry out its mission. Regarding the Space Station, Bolden said: “It is the way that we will allow commercial ventures, entrepreneurial ventures, to have a place where they can seek to go to carry cargo, and one of these days, maybe even carry crew.” And in his opening statement: “I dream of a day when any American can launch into space and see the magnificence and grandeur of our home planet Earth, as I have been blessed to do.” (7/9)

Atlas Rocket Team Continues Active Year of Launches (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
Inside the towering assembly building at Cape Canaveral's Complex 41, United Launch Alliance technicians have begun stacking another Atlas 5 rocket in preparation for the year's third launch. Following a successful flight on April 3 that deployed a sophisticated Air Force communications satellite and the June 18 launch to the Moon with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LCROSS impactor experiment, attention has turned toward a planned mid-August liftoff of the secretive PAN mission. (7/9)

Top NASA Picks on a Glide Path Toward Their Jobs (Source: Congress Daily)
Charles Bolden, a former fighter pilot, astronaut and retired Marine Corps major general, received assurances of confirmation to be NASA administrator Wednesday, but was challenged by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller, D-W.Va., to explain how he would restore the past excitement and prestige of an organization he said was "adrift." Rockefeller gave a similar assurance and challenge to Lori Garver, the nominee for deputy NASA administrator after 20 years of experience in civil space at NASA and in the private sector. (7/9)

Space Tourism: Tories Accuse Government of Dropping the Ball (Source: Times Online)
Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson's space tourism operation, has announced plans to launch suborbital spaceflights for paying customers from two bases, in the United States and Sweden. But though the British company has discussed the possibility of flying from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, among other sites, it still has no UK spaceport. Virgin Galactic's Will Whitehorn said the reason is simple. He'd love to fly from the UK, and praised Lossiemouth as an "ideal location", but the UK has no legislative or regulatory framework for space tourism.

Adam Afriyie, the Shadow Science Minister, has now discovered that the Government was warned about this four years ago. In 2005, it commissioned a report into the arrangements necessary to promote commercial spaceflight, and though it was never published, some details have been revealed in a parliamentary written answer. The report urged the British National Space Center to "establish precise responsibility for sub-orbital manned flight with the Civil Aviation Authority", and to review licensing procedures and insurance requirements. Yet, Afriyie says, little has been done. (7/9)

China Chooses First Female Astronauts (Source: Russia Today)
China could see its first female astronaut launch into space by 2012 as the Chinese Air Force has begun choosing graduates recently to fill the next team, reports China Daily newspaper. “The selection is underway. I believe Chinese women will be seen in space in the near future,” said China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei. While he wasn’t sure how many women would be selected, he did express certainty that women would be a part of the next team. (7/9)

NASA Drops Ares V from Launch Services Contract (Source: Flight Global)
NASA has dropped the Ares V cargo launch vehicle (CaLV) and Altair lunar lander from its Constellation program's Exploration ground launch services (EGLS) request for proposals citing, the CaLV's distant first launch. The Ares V ground systems' development was to begin in 2012, but in a revised planning chart presented at the 10 June EGLS pre-proposal conference Ares V and Altair are eliminated out to 2020. (7/9)

Why Neil Armstrong Remains an Elusive Hero (Source: Telegraph)
The greatest technological triumph of the 20th Century was the product of eight feverish years of research and development, $150 billion (at today’s prices) and 400,000 people. At the center of it all was the 38-year-old son of a minor civil servant from a small town in the Ohio corn belt. When Neil Alden Armstrong placed his boot on the lunar surface on July 20 1969 he took one small step into immortality, the first human being to touch another world. It was a mythic and insuperable moment, propelling him to global fame, and he has spent the rest of his life dealing with its consequences.

He once said he had no wish to play the part of a “human memorial.” An elusive, reluctant hero, he has long since given up signing his name in books and cards for fear of yet another autograph offer on eBay. “Mr Armstrong,” said one of his university colleagues, “can smell exploitation a mile [away].” Not always. His Ohio neighbors respected the Armstrongs’ privacy and they returned the favor by participating in the local community. Neil would visit Herald’s, a small barber shop where Marx Sizemore cut Armstrong’s hair. In 2004 Sizemore was approached by Todd Mueller, a dealer in celebrity memorabilia. Mueller wanted Sizemore to save some of Armstrong’s hair and sell it to him for $3,000. Sizemore told him he was nuts, but eventually agreed. Click here to view the article. (7/9)

NASA's Ares Partners Say They're Open to Moon-Rocket Alternatives (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
The aerospace giants contracted to help build NASA's next-generation spaceships are quietly hedging their bets and stepping back from the Ares rockets that the agency has staked its future on after the shuttle retires next year. In recent weeks, Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Boeing Co. have reached out to NASA officials, lawmakers and a presidentially appointed panel reviewing America's human-spaceflight plan, expressing a willingness to change plans or offering alternatives to the rockets that until recently they strongly advocated. With contractors distancing themselves, the future of the Constellation program of rockets and capsules to return astronauts to the moon looks bleak, especially if the panel endorses alternatives.

Early last month, top executives from the major Constellation contractors — Boeing, Lockheed Martin, solid rocket builder ATK and rocket-engine manufacturer Pratt Whitney — were in Washington, vowing to oppose any alternatives. According to industry officials present, former astronaut and Boeing Vice President Brewster Shaw, Lockheed Vice President John Karas and other executives met with the staff of powerful U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby to discuss creating a media campaign to counter Ares I critics and alternative ideas. Shelby, R-Ala., is a fierce protector of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, which is designing the Ares rockets. But the campaign never materialized. Instead, Lockheed and Boeing have softened their positions and even indicated some support for looking at alternatives. (7/9)

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