July 2 News Items

Boeing Working on Revolutionary Space Power System (Source: Boeing)
An industry team led by Boeing has received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for work on Phase 2 of the Fast Access Spacecraft Testbed (FAST) program. The $15.5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is currently funded to $13.8 million. DARPA’s FAST program aims to develop a new, ultra-lightweight High Power Generation System (HPGS) that can generate up to 175 kilowatts — more power than is currently available to the International Space Station. When combined with electric propulsion, FAST will form the foundation for future self-deployed, high-mobility spacecraft to perform ultra-high-power communications, space radar, satellite transfer and servicing missions. (7/1)

The Need for Space Treaty Updates - Aldridge Commission Flashback (Source: SPACErePORT)
"Property Rights in Space. The United States is signatory to many international treaties, some of which address aspects of property ownership in space. The most relevant treaty is the 1967 UN Treaty on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (the “Space Treaty”), which prohibits claims of national sovereignty on any extraterrestrial body. Additionally, the so-called “Moon Treaty” of 1979 pro-hibits any private ownership of the Moon or any parts of it. The United States is a signatory to the 1967 Space Treaty; it has not ratified the 1979 Moon Treaty, but at the same time, has not challenged its basic premises or assumptions.

Because of this treaty regime, the legal status of a hypothetical private company engaged in making products from space resources is uncertain. Potentially, this uncertainty could strangle a nascent space-based industry in its cradle; no company will invest millions of dollars in developing a product to which their legal claim is uncertain. The issue of private property rights in space is a complex one involving national and international legal issues. However, it is imperative that these issues be recognized and addressed at an early stage in the implementation of the vision, otherwise there will be little significant private sector activity associated with the development of space resources, one of our key goals." (7/2)

ULA Provides Summer Jobs for Space Coast Teachers (Source: Florida Today)
In an effort to enhance the awareness, knowledge and motivation of classroom teachers related to science disciplines, United Launch Alliance is sponsoring two Brevard County school teachers this summer through the Florida Summer Industrial Fellowships for Teachers (SIFT) program. Andrea Marston, a chemistry teacher at Merritt Island High and biology major from the University of Arkansas, is working with the Delta IV launch team. At the same time, Elizabeth Youngs, a science research, integrated science and physical science teacher at Viera High and an earth/space science major from Florida Tech, is working with the Mission Assurance group. The SIFT program’s role is to provide positions with industry, government or other organizations/institutions for teachers to encourage the transfer of this practical experience into the classroom and benefit students and tomorrow’s workforce. (7/2)

Was the Moon Landing a Mission to Nowhere? (Source: Independent)
Although we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing, for many 21 December 1968 is the more important date. It was then that man first left the confines of Earth, when Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to travel moonward. To some, this was the greatest achievement of the Apollo program; astronauts Borman, Lovell and Anders were the first to see the Earth as a planet. Each hour, it had receded a little more into the great cosmic dark. But for the public and the politicians it was actually setting foot on the Moon that mattered, and, just after Apollo 8 made its triumphant return, the crew of the first lunar landing mission were selected.

Even as Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 walked on the Moon, NASA's budget was being cut. At an Apollo party, President Nixon said "Here's to the Apollo program. It's all over." In a way he was right. Apollo had become a closed ambition, and, having beaten the Soviets, the politicians couldn't see what else there was to do. NASA had enough hardware for nine more landings leading up to a grand finale: Apollo 20 and a touchdown in the dramatic Copernicus crater...

When the history of the exploration of our Moon is written, historians will recall the first landings and a lull before we returned. Generations have grown up without the inspiration of watching a live landing on the Moon. That will change. Soon, schoolchildren will log on to the lunar base website for science lessons from the Moon and go on virtual reality Moon walks – and, once more, they will dream of being astronauts themselves. Click here to view the article. (7/2)

Apollo's 400,000 Strong Backup Team (Source: Guardian)
Falling back from the moon at almost seven miles a second, the crew of Apollo 11 took it in turns to broadcast their thoughts about what their mission meant. Buzz Aldrin spoke not just of it being three men on a mission to the moon, but of their flight symbolizing the insatiable curiosity of mankind to explore the unknown. Mike Collins talked about the complexity of the Saturn V and the blood, sweat and tears it had taken to build. And Neil Armstrong thanked the Americans who had put their hearts and all their abilities into building the equipment and machinery that had made the journey possible. NASA estimated that it had taken more than 400,000 engineers, scientists and technicians to accomplish the moon landings - reflecting the vast number of systems and subsystems needed to send men there. Editor's Note: The average age of Apollo program engineers was 28!

Local Memories of Apollo (Source: Air & Space Magazine)
"I had a bleeding ulcer at age 26, just before the Apollo 1 fire. Divorces were of course common. A good friend fell asleep on his way in for his 12-hour shift at LC-39, hit a utility pole and was killed. The commute on A1A from Satellite Beach was over an hour. A friend told me of one car pool driver who fell asleep at a the Minute Man Causeway traffic light in Cocoa Beach. It was also common to stop at the 7-11 for beer on the way home. There were probably 50 bars between the Cape gate and the 520 Causeway. But what you really remember are moments like midnight on the launch pad before Apollo 7 or the moment when the Saturn V engines lit up. I still dream about it." (6/19)

Apollo's Army (Source: Air & Space)
In order to land on the moon “before this decade is out,” overtime was mandatory. George Skurla, who directed the Grumman Corporation’s lunar module work at Cape Canaveral and went on to become the company’s president, said “I don’t think NASA paid for more than about 70 percent of the true human effort that went into Apollo. A lot of people worked day and night.” Stories of broken marriages, absent fathers (back then it was mostly fathers), lost sleep, and crushing stress were common. More than one doctor in the Cape Canaveral area reported high incidences of ulcers, even among children. (6/18)

Why the Next Man on the Moon will be Chinese (Source: Guardian)
Since the crew of Apollo 17 returned from the moon in December 1972, no human has ever left low-Earth orbit. Five space shuttles, scores of Russian Soyuz capsules, the International Space Station, and more than 450 men and women have left the Earth since Apollo, but all have been bound to a small shell of space just outside our atmosphere. While NASA works toward re-developing its capability for human visits to the moon, once again, the US faces some serious competition. The same year that President George W. Bush tasked NASA with the 21st century moonshot, Yang Lee Wei became China's first astronaut and, explicit or not, another space race had begun.

"The attitude to the space program in China is a little bit like the attitude towards space exploration in the western world in the 1960s," says Kevin Fong, an expert in space medicine at University College London. "There's a deep fervor among their university kids for space technology. The main difference between China and America now is that China can just do something - they don't need to ask permission or go through a democratic process and get the budget approved." This means that China can progress its space program quickly; if it wants to land on the moon - and many observers think it does - the country could do it well ahead of 2020, the earliest possible date for an American return. (7/2)

Laliberte: Cosmonauts Are Much Like Street Performers (Source: Russia Today)
Former fire-eater and founder of Cirque du Soleil Guy Laliberte has booked a place for this September, becoming possibly the last space tourist for many years. Speaking with RT, he compared cosmonauts to street artists. From now on he will be part of space history as the first Canadian space tourist. But the world is likely to remember him as number seven – the seventh eccentric who made his dream come true. The seventh and the last for some time, as the future of space tourism appears vague, after the Russian Space Agency said all trips to the ISS after 2010 will be professional-only. Click here to view an interview with Mr. Laliberte. (7/2)

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