August 2 News Items

Korean Rocket Launch Reset for August 11 (Source: Korea Times)
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said Sunday that it has selected Aug. 11 as the new date for its first space launch. Although technical issues had forced a delay in the attempt originally scheduled for July 30, government officials had been hoping to pull off the launch as quickly as possible to avoid the typhoon-affected months of September and October. (8/2)

Earth Being Engulfed in Dense Cloud of Space Debris that Won't Stop Growing (Source: Newsweek)
The Iridium/Cosmos satellite collision served as a wake-up call to space planners. Insurance rates for the $18 billion worth of active commercial satellites now in orbit have ticked upwards by 10-20 percent since the accident. Governments, too, have grown to rely on networks of satellites to gather intelligence, direct weapons systems, forecast climate and weather changes, monitor agriculture, and operate communications and navigation systems. Experts calculate that debris will now strike one of the 900 active satellites in LEO every two or three years. For the first time, junk is the single biggest risk factor to equipment in some orbits. Among the orbital threats are two former Soviet nuclear reactors. Even the International Space Station may one day be at risk, as debris slowly descends to its 350-kilometer orbit. (8/2)

Experts Puzzled by Spot on Venus (Source: BBC)
Astronomers are puzzled by a strange bright spot which has appeared in the clouds of Venus. The spot was first identified by an amateur astronomer on 19 July and was later confirmed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft. Data from the European probe suggests the spot appeared at least four days before it was spotted from Earth. The bright spot has since started to expand, being spread by winds in Venus's thick atmosphere. Scientists are unsure as to what caused the bright spot tens of kilometers up. However, a volcanic eruption is a possibility. (8/2)

Faulty Valve Triggers One-Day Shuttle Rollout Delay (Source: Florida Today)
Shuttle Discovery's rollout to the launch pad at KSC is being delayed for 24 hours as a result of a faulty valve in the steering system of one of its twin solid rocket boosters. Mounted atop a mobile launcher platform, the shuttle had been slated to be hauled out of the KSC Vehicle Assembly Building by a giant tracked transporter at 12:01 a.m. Monday. But the faulty valve was discovered during routine testing Saturday, and the time taken to assess the situation and map out a course of action resulted in a decision to slip the rollout to 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. (8/2)

Editorial: Follow Recommendations to Boost KSC Role (Source: Florida Today)
At Thursday’s meeting of the Augustine Panel, Florida stakeholders offered several recommendations aimed at maximizing KSC’s role in NASA space exploration programs. Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp carried the message, pointing out that Florida has a proud history of not only hosting our nation’s space activities, but also investing in infrastructure to make space exploration possible. “Florida has done this more than any other state, investing in launch pads, processing facilities, assembly buildings, laboratories, control rooms, and hangars that have saved the federal government hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.

Though significant, Florida’s contribution represents a small fraction of the investment made by U.S. taxpayers. The billions of dollars worth of facilities at the Cape make it the world’s most capable spaceport. We should not let this investment go to waste by accepting a gap in human spaceflight that could exceed five years, and a decade-or-more gap in heavy-lift space launches. Click here to view the editorial by Lisa Rice, president of Brevard Workforce. (8/2)

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