August 10 News Items

Loral Reports Second Quarter 2009 Financial Results (Source: Loral)
Loral announced its financial results for the three months and six months ended June 30, 2009. Combined segment revenues and Adjusted EBITDA, including both the satellite manufacturing and the satellite services segments for the quarter, were $448 million and $125 million, respectively. This compares to $383 million and $120 million, respectively for the prior year period. Combined segment revenues and Adjusted EBITDA for the first six months of the year were $830 million and $246 million, respectively, compared to $769 million and $220 million, respectively for the first six months of 2008. (8/10)

Iridium Reports Results (Source: Iridium)
Iridium subscribers were up 23.9% to 347,000 at the close of the second quarter of 2009 from 280,000 at the close of the second quarter of 2008. Commercial service revenue increased 21.6% to $39.9 million in the second quarter of 2009 compared to $32.8 million during the same quarter in 2008. Government service revenue increased 15.2% to $18.2 million in the second quarter of 2009 compared to $15.8 million in the same quarter of 2008. Subscriber equipment revenue for the quarter declined 25.7% to $24.6 million compared to $33.1 million in the second quarter of 2008. Overall revenue increased 1.2% to $82.7 million in the second quarter of 2009 from $81.7 million in the previous year's second quarter. (8/10)

Foam Trouble Could Trigger Shuttle Rollback (Source: Florida Today)
An external tank foam-shedding problem could prompt NASA to roll shuttle Discovery back to Kennedy Space Center's assembly building for repairs, but the agency still is pressing ahead with preparations for the targeted Aug. 25 launch. Senior NASA and contractor managers will gather Tuesday and Wednesday for a preliminary flight readiness review for Discovery. One key issue to be addressed: Significant foam loss on NASA's past two flights from metal brackets that hold liquid oxygen pressurization lines and electrical cabling on the upper exterior of the shuttle's 15-story external tank. (8/10)

ULA Proposes On-Orbit Gas Stations for Space Exploration (Source: Aviation Week)
United Launch Alliance (ULA) is proposing on-orbit propellant depots to increase the capability of NASA’s Constellation exploration architecture. The plan to use depots derived from an advanced upper stage for the Atlas V and Delta IV evolved expandable launch vehicles (EELV) has caught the attention of the Augustine panel, which has included in-space refueling in four of seven options identified.

“Propellant depots divorce the launch from what we do in space,” says Bernard Kutter, ULA manager of advanced programs. “We can launch on smaller rockets and refuel in space.” The joint Boeing/Lockheed Martin company has proposed several different architectures. The simplest is a dual launch, with the propellant depot being launched first to wait for the payload stage and then transfer fuel in orbit. This would increase payload to the lunar surface to more than 10 metric tons, and mass in transit to Mars by a factor of four, says Kutter. “On-orbit top-off of the Earth departure stage and Altair lunar lander would significantly improve performance. Every 20 tons of fuel on-loaded would increase landed mass by 5 tons” or lower the cost of NASA’s planned Ares V heavy-lift launcher. (8/10)

What's Next for the Space Station? AIA Panel Discussion on Aug. 13 (Source: AIA)
The International Space Station has recently doubled its crew from three to six astronauts. As the ISS transitions from its construction phase to its utilization phase as a U.S. national laboratory in space, what are we learning and what scientific discoveries are being made? Please join the Aerospace Industries Association as we host a panel discussion on the current status of the international space station, its science, its unique role as a laboratory in space, and the benefits it brings our nation and the world. Aug. 13, 10:00-11:00 a.m., 2318 Rayburn Building. (8/10)

Khrunichev Gobbles Up More of the Russian Space Effort (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accepted the Government’s offer to transfer 100 percent of the federally–owned shares of the Voronezh–based open joint stock company “Konstruktorskoe Buro Khimavtomatiky” (OSC KBKhA) to the state-run research and production Khrunichev Space Center (KhSC). The decision is another major step towards the reorganization of KhSC into a large integrated structure which groups together a number of closely cooperating developers and manufacturers of the company’s main products. The KhSC restructuring is aimed at retaining and further developing research and development & production base within the group to ensure consistent quality and increased production of the company’s product lines. The main purpose of the integration is to strengthen Russian space industry’s competitive positions in the global space launch market. (8/8)

House Appropriators Seek Plan for Sustaining EELV; Assessment of ULA Savings (Source: U.S. House of Reps)
"The Committee directs the Secretary of the Air Force, in consultation with the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, to submit an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) sustainment plan to the congressional defense committees by January 4, 2010. This plan should include time-phased actions necessary to sustain the EELV program until 2030. It should also include the actions to insure that EELV launch capabilities and industrial base are maintained. In addition, the plan should include a roadmap for the infusion of new technology as well as increased reliability, maintainability and producibility of Pre-Planned Product Improvement efforts.

In particular, the state of the liquid rocket propulsion industrial base should be addressed in the plan. The report should identify the minimum level of investments and areas of technology development required to ensure the United States has a robust and viable liquid rocket engine industrial base beyond 2015 with focus on upper stage engine development. The report should identify technology development areas and annual funding requirements to support these technology areas. In addition to the EELV sustainment plan, the Committee directs the Department of Defense's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation group to perform a follow-up assessment of the United Launch Alliance merger and assess the status of the projected cost savings suggested at the time of the merger." (8/10)

Microspace and Human Spaceflight (Source: Space Review)
At first glance, there doesn't seem to be much in common between the burgeoning small satellite industry and human spaceflight. However, Grant Bonin argues that the philosophy that has guided smallsat developers over the years may be key to enabling breakthroughs in human access to space. Visit to view the article. (8/10)

The ISS: A Very Expensive Education (Source: Space Review)
As the International Space Station nears completion, what will the US and others get for the massive investment put into the project? At the very least, says Taylor Dinerman, they've learned how to run (or not run) major space projects. Visit to view the article. (8/10)

How High is Space? (Source: Space Review)
Just how high does a suborbital vehicle have to go for its operator to claim it has flown in space? Jeff Foust reports that this is a question some in industry, as well as potential regulators, are wrangling with. Visit to view the article. (8/10)

Spaceflight Federation Creates Suborbital Research Panel (Source: CSF)
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce the creation of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG), composed of experienced scientists, researchers, and educators dedicated to furthering the research and education potential of suborbital reusable launch vehicles under development by the commercial spaceflight sector. The panel is chaired by Dr. S. Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, a space scientist who previously served as head of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters.

The members of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG) are aiming to increase awareness of commercial suborbital vehicles in the science and R&D communities, to work with policymakers to ensure that payloads can have easy access to these vehicles, and to further develop ideas for the uses of these vehicles for science, engineering, and education missions. Among gthe SARG members is Dr. Joshua Colwell, a University of Central Florida faculty member focusing on Microgravity Physics. The first meeting of SARG will occur August 18, in Boulder, Colorado. (8/10)

Will President Obama Keep or Break Space Promise (Source: Florida Today)
A year ago this week, President Barack Obama came to Titusville. Then, he was a candidate locked in a fierce battle for the White House. He needed Florida. People packed the room at Brevard Community College. Many were space workers or people with ties to the industry. "Let me be clear," he said, "we cannot cede our leadership in space. That's why I am going to close the gap, ensure that our space program doesn't suffer when the shuttle goes out of service." His goal was "making sure that all of those who work in the space industry in Florida do not lose their jobs when the space shuttle is retired because we cannot afford to lose their expertise."

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and legendary astronaut John Glenn, stumping for Obama, reached out to reporters. Aides pressed the media to keep noting Obama's commitment to "close the gap" and save space jobs in Florida. My point: The promise was neither ambiguous nor subtle. The campaign wanted voters here to know Obama was good for space and good for space jobs. So, will the president act to save space jobs now to protect the fragile recovery of Central Florida's economy? Will he accept short-term economic pain (and political fallout in the 2010 and 2012 elections) to set NASA on a bolder course? Or might he give several billion extra dollars a year to NASA to try to do both?

There are space workers here who voted for Obama because of the promise made in Titusville. Some were even Republicans. There are others willing to concede circumstances changed and Obama must do what he thinks is right, even if it breaks a campaign-trail pledge. The White House could use the economy to justify anything. The president could say we must fly the shuttles longer to save high-paying tech jobs for now. He also could say there's just no extra money in these lean times for space exploration. But he can't both save jobs and chart a bold new space strategy without a lot more money. There's no indication he is ready to give the space industry one of those super-sized bailout deals like the government gave the financial, real estate and auto industries. (8/10)

North Korea Watching Whether South's Launch is Reported to UN Security Council (Source: People's Daily)
A North Korean spokesman said the country is watching if South Korea's satellite launch will be submitted to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). He said 4 months ago the Six-Party Talk's other parties brought up the DPRK's satellite launch to the UNSC, and applied "sanctions" against North Korea. "This resulted in violating the principle of respect for sovereignty and equality, the life and soul and basis of the talks, and bringing them to an end," the spokesman said. "Their reaction and attitude towards South Korea's satellite launch will once again clearly prove whether the principle of equality exists or has collapsed." (8/10)

India Plans Seven-Satellite Navigation System (Source: Silicon India)
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is developing a constellation of seven satellites to give a boost to the country's security apparatus. ISRO chief G. Madhavan Nair said the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) was being developed "considering security related issues"..."The proposed system would consist of a constellation of seven satellites and a ground support segment. Three of the satellites will be placed in the geostationary orbit and four near the geostationary orbit.

"Such an arrangement would mean all seven satellites would have continuous radio visibility with the Indian control stations. The satellite payloads will consist of atomic clocks and electronic equipment to generate the navigational signals," he said. "The system is intended to provide an absolute position accuracy of more than 20 meters throughout India and within a region extending approximately 2,000 km around it," Nair explained. (8/10)

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