August 28 News Items

Two Florida Firms Among 16 Winning NASA Small Business Research Awards (Source: NASA)
NASA has selected 16 small business projects to address important research and technology needs. The "Phase-2" awards are part of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Two Florida-based companies/projects include: Orlando-based Light Processing & Technologies, Inc., for High Power Compact Single-Frequency Volume Bragg Er-Doped Fiber Laser; and Tampa-based Advanced Materials Technology, Inc., for Advanced Insulation Materials for Cryogenic Propellant Storage Applications. (8/28)

Europe Wants to Buy Russian Soyuz Spacecraft (Source: Telegraph)
The European Space Agency, which is based in Paris, said a space vehicle of its own would enable European astronauts to continue working at the International Space Station even if the American shuttles cease operating. The scheduled launch of the first Russian Soyuz from the ESA base in French Guiana was postponed on Wednesday to 2010. To deliver the module the Russian space program would have to increase production of the vehicle to five units per year. Simonetta Di Pippo, the director of human spaceflight at the ESA, said discussions with her Russian counterparts had been fruitful. "From 13 [2013] on, we would like to have at least one European astronaut per year flying and this can be done in various ways. One of the proposals we are putting on the table is to buy a full Soyuz...I think in two or three months, we will be able to come out with a firm proposal." (8/28)

China, U.S. May Cooperate on World's Biggest Telescope (Source: Reuters)
Astronomers from China and the United States may cooperate on building the world's largest telescope aimed at providing deeper insight into the very early stages of the universe, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. The Thirty-Meter-Telescope (TMT), conceived and headed by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), is expected to be completed in 2019. "It is a big undertaking and it will define the future of astronomy and astrophysics for about 60 or 70 years, so it will automatically involve a large international community," said Caltech President Jean-Lou Chameau. The university and Caltech are talking to Chinese astronomers and scientists about cooperation on funding and technology, although no final decision has been made. Canada and Japan have signed up to the project, which needs total financing of $1 billion, it said. (8/28)

Leadership Changes at Marshall Space Flight Center (Source: SPACErePORT)
NASA has named Robert Lightfoot as the next director of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Lighfoot has been serving as acting director since previous MSFC Director Dave King left in April. Meanwhile, NASA's MSFC-based Ares project manager, Steve Cook, announced that he is also leaving the agency. (8/28)

Northrop to Spend $21M to Help Clean up California Superfund Site (Source: AIA)
Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman Corp. has agreed to spend about $21 million to clean up groundwater pollution in California's San Gabriel Valley from factories that date back to World War II, under a settlement with the EPA. Northrop operated three of 62 factories that discharged pollution into groundwater at what is now a Superfund site near Los Angeles. While the Northrop sites were not the largest source of pollution, the company stepped up and worked with other parties to help with the cleanup, officials said. (8/28)

Embry-Riddle Rocketeers Featured on Aug. 29 'Space Talk' Radio Show
Flying model rockets has inspired many youngsters to pursue careers in aerospace, including Patrick McCarthy and Wes Oleszewski, guests on the Aug. 29 edition of "Space Talk," hosted by Jim Banke. The use of model rockets as an inspiring, educational tool will be discussed, along with "war stories" about launching and recovering the small boosters. McCarthy is director of spaceport operations for Space Florida. He was part of the team that won the championship in their division at this month's National Association of Rocketry Annual Meet. Oleszewski is owner of Dr. Zooch Rockets, a company that specializes in model rockets of historic space launch vehicles. He is an author and creator of Klyde Morris, an editorial cartoon strip about aviation and space. Banke, McCarthy and Oleszewski are all graduates of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and worked together on "The Avion," the student newspaper.

"Space Talk" is broadcast live each Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on WMMB in Melbourne, Fla. WMMB can be heard in Brevard County on 1240 AM and 1350 AM. The show can be heard live on the Internet at Listeners can participate in the program by calling into the studio at 321-768-1240. Questions and comments also can be sent to or via Twitter at (8/28)

Day of Delays for NASA (Source: New York Times)
It was a day of delays for NASA. At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, shuttle managers pushed back the planned launching of the space shuttle Discovery again as they continued to try to work around an issue concerning a fuel valve in the main engines. Instead of 12:22 a.m. Friday, the launch attempt will now be at the end of the day, at 11:59 p.m. Meanwhile, in Utah, a ground test of the first stage of NASA’s next generation rocket was called off with only 20 seconds left in the countdown, because of a failure with a hydraulic system that moves the engine nozzle. That test will now occur no earlier than next Tuesday. (8/28)

Space Traffic Requires Regulations (Source: Russia IC)
Recent International Aerospace Congress, which took place in Moscow, covered issues of mitigation of excessive space debris. Space authorities say that after 2055 steady growth of space debris puts in question further exploration of space by next generations. Experts warn about additional troubles for space exploration, such as possibility weapon deployment in space; growing traffic of small space ships, which are very hard to control; active space tourism and suborbital flights and etc. Russia needs development of international regulations of space activities, which meet all international standards. (8/27)

Details of New Japanese Cost-Cutting Launch Vehicle Leaked (Satellite Today)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is spending $213 million to develop a small launch vehicle in 2010 to reduce satellite launch costs by two-thirds, according to Nikkei. JAXA is working with The Japanese Ministry of Science and Technology and IHI Corp. on the project. The new three-stage rocket will be 24 meters in length and 2.5 meters in diameter at its widest section – less than half the size and carrying capacity of JAXA’s H-2A launch vehicle. The rocket will be able to carry payloads as heavy as 1.2 tons and use solid fuel for all three of its stages. JAXA claims that, since it will not have to fill up with liquid fuel, using solid fuel will cut down on the time that the rocket will need to prepare for liftoff once it arrives at the launch site.

JAXA’s new rocket would bring competition into Asia’s discount launch vehicle market, as China is also looking to provide cheaper launch services through its Long-March vehicle. According to reports, the rocket will cost $32 million to produce and launch – less than a third of H-2A’s price tag. Falcon-1 missions currently cost between $8 and $10 million per launch. The first liftoff is expected to take place as early as fiscal 2012 and will most likely be used to send space research and solar system satellites into orbit. Eventually, the new rocket may carry a landing vehicle for Japan’s Moon exploration project, targeted for 2020, the agencies said in the reports. (8/27)

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