October 12 News Items

Space Foundation Chief Featured on Space Talk (Source: Space Talk)
Elliot Pulham, the head of the Space Foundation, will be the guest on the next Space Talk – this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. In September he was in China to visit their space facilities, and in November his organization will run the annual Strategic Space Symposium in Omaha and talk military space. So he’ll talk about that and his thoughts on where NASA is heading and where it should be heading. The program can be heard in Brevard County on 1240 AM and 1350 AM. The show can be heard live on the Internet at http://www.wmmbam.com. Listeners can participate in the program by calling the studio at 321-768-1240. Questions and comments can be e-mailed during the program to mailto:spacetalking@aol.com. (10/12)

Soyuz returns to Earth with Station Visitors (Source: SpaceToday.net)
A Soyuz spacecraft carrying two ISS crew members and a space tourist returned to Earth early Sunday. Inside the capsule were Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, and spaceflight participant Guy Laliberté of Canada. Padalka and Barratt were returning from a 199-day in space, while Laliberté a space tourist, spent a week and a half in orbit, where he emceed a two-hour entertainment event Friday night held in a number of cities on Earth. (10/12)

Virgin Galactic Adds Satellite Launches to Space Tourism (Source: New Scientist)
Virgin Galactic now plans to launch satellites as well as tourists into space, the company confirmed at this week's International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, South Korea. The company, which mooted the idea in February, has established a division that will both develop a launch rocket and seek satellite customers for it. Satellite propulsion and launch expert Adam Baker from Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) in Guildford, UK, has been hired to run Virgin's satellite venture. He has previously overseen the design and launch of many microsatellites at SSTL, including its Disaster Monitoring Constellation. (10/12)

UP Aerospace, Lockheed Martin Launch from Spaceport America (Source: Spaceport America)
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced a successful launch of a test flight vehicle for Lockheed Martin by UP Aerospace from Spaceport America on Oct. 10. The brief test flight was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of Lockheed Martin, who is testing proprietary advanced launch technologies. “Saturday's launch successfully lifted off at 9:45 a.m. during our four-hour launch window," said UP Aerospace President Jerry Larson. "This is our third launch for Lockheed Martin from Spaceport America, which is proving to be an ideal location for supplying low-cost, fast-turnaround launch operations."

UP Aerospace plans to double its number of customer launches from Spaceport America to six or more in 2010 as demand for the company's services increases. Earlier this year, UP Aerospace provided services for the New Mexico Education Launch on May 2, an event sponsored by the NMSA and the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium. On August 4, UP Aerospace had a successful launch for Moog-FTS, and Saturday's launch was the third. UP Aerospace first launched from Spaceport America in September 2006. (10/12)

Korea Will Join Global Project to Explore Moon (Source: Korea Times)
South Korea is considering joining international programs aimed at exploring the moon, as part of efforts to build up the country's space development capabilities, President Lee Myung-bak said Monday. "Many countries are strengthening collaboration on large-scale space development programs, including one to explore the moon. The administration is also seeking to join such efforts," Lee said. (10/12)

Russia Plans to Launch Three Glonass Satellites on Oct. 29 (Source: RIA Novosti)
Russia is planning to orbit three Glonass navigation satellites on Oct. 29 following their launch cancellation in September. Glonass - the Global Navigation Satellite System - is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian uses. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

The 18 satellites the system requires for continuous navigation services covering the entire territory of the Russian Federation are currently in orbit, and the six due to go up in two launches this year would bring numbers up to the 24 needed to provide services worldwide. The launch of another three Glonass satellites has been scheduled for December 4 also from the Baikonur spaceport. (10/12)

Europa or Mars: Where Could Extraterrestrial Life Be Found First? (Source: Space.com)
A dusty red planet and an icy moon of Jupiter may hold the best hopes for scientists trying to track down extraterrestrial life, at least in this solar system. Mars and Europa each hold the promise of liquid water and possibly life. Mars has a history that suggests water once flowed in rivers and lakes, and it may still harbor liquid water deep underground. The more distant Europa could hide a churning ocean filled with life forms beneath its icy surface, as the moon gets gravitationally squeezed by Jupiter. Click here to view the article. (10/12)

How Long Will the Space Station Fly? (Source: CNN)
It's the most complex construction project in history. NASA's funding of the international space station is scheduled to end in 2016. Now, before construction of the station is even complete, there is already talk of when the lights will be turned off. NASA is waiting for the Obama administration to decide how much longer the station will fly and exactly which direction the U.S. space agency will take next -- a return to the moon, or maybe a trip to Mars?

The initial phase of the international space station was launched in 1998, although the station is still being expanded. The U.S. is one of 16 countries that help build and operate the station, whose laboratory runs a number of science experiments, including measuring the effects of space conditions, such as weightlessness, on humans.

The U.S. contribution to the space station so far: $44 billion. (NASA says it does not keep track of contributions from the other 15 partners.) NASA's funding of the space station is currently scheduled to end in 2016. Click here to view the article. (10/12)

Bolden's Plan: No EELVs, Heavy-Lift Mandatory (Source: Flight Global)
A new heavy-lift rocket and the International Space Station are winners - and evolved expendable launch vehicles are among the losers - in proposals that NASA administrator Charles Bolden will take to President Barack Obama. Bolden is charged with giving Obama proposals for a new US human spaceflight policy following a review.

Bolden outlined his proposal at the International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, South Korea: retire the Space Shuttle by the first quarter of 2011, keep the International Space Station operating long after its planned 2015 retirement date, use commercial launch services - which may have a substantial international element - for cargo and crew transport to station, and develop a heavy-lift vehicle for exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

Expressing concerns that exploration using EELVs required complex multiple launch scenarios, Bolden also rules out their use for crew transport. "EELVs are not man-rated [and] they are middle class," he says, not the heavy-lift class wanted by NASA. He adds that NASA is "costing a heavy-lift vehicle". (10/12)

Is White House Considering Space Funding Boost? (Source: Florida Today)
There are some hints out there that President Obama and his science advisers are leaning toward boosting funding for NASA and its human space-flight efforts. The chorus of voices in support of a funding boost is growing louder. Local elected leaders are pressing for it, and they're pushing a letter-writing campaign to get people to let the White House know how important space is to the country. Influential members of Congress from space states like Texas and Florida last week called for the president to redirect several billion dollars in stimulus money to NASA. Now, the president himself and some of the people likely to have his ear when decision-time comes later this year are beginning to talk more and more about a need to boost the nation's "investment" in science research and technological development. (10/12)

Embry-Riddle Relocates Orlando Campus with Open House, Career Fair (Sourec: ERAU)
Embry-Riddle's new Orlando-area campus will open on Jan. 6 at 3:00 p.m. with an Open House and Career Fair event, at 240 East Central Parkway, Suite 4000, Altamonte Springs. Visit http://www.erau.edu/orlando for information. (10/12)

Embry-Riddle Supports Scouting's 100 Anniversary with Aviation Badge (Source: ERAU)
In celebration of 100 years of Scouting, Embry-Riddle Aeronuatical University will sponsor an Aviation Scout Badge event for a group of boys/girls from ages 9 thru 17 at the Orlando Science Center (http://www.osc.org/InDash_Display.aspx?PGID=1068) on the Saturday May 8 starting at 8:00 a.m. Volunteers with aviation backgrounds are sought to support workshops with the Scouts and sign them off on their knowledge to obtain the badge. Contact Glenn Carter at mailto:cartergl@erau.edu for information and to volunteer. (10/12)

The Promise of Innovation from University Space Systems: Are We Meeting It? (Source: Space Review)
Many in the space industry have emphasized the importance of supporting university-built small satellites, but what benefits do such programs provide beyond their educational value? Michael Swartwout identifies two key innovations that have shaped the smallsat field as a whole. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1490/1 to view the article. (10/12)

The Emperor Needs New Clothes (Source: Space Review)
The spirit of innovation and experimentation that dominated the early years of the Space Age in the US has faded. Brian Horais argues that the country needs to embrace this spirit again to maintain its lead in space technology. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1489/1 to view the article. (10/12)

Thinking a Little Differently at NASA (Source: Space Review)
A few months into the job, NASA and those in Washington who deal with space are starting to get used to new administrator Charles Bolden. However, as Jeff Foust reports, Bolden is not the type of person who appears willing to get used to Washington. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1488/1 (10/12)

To Reach Ever Further: a Mission and a Vision for NASA (Source: Space Review)
The last few decades of NASA may seem like to many to be a disjointed collection of programs, both successes or failures. Doris Hamill argues that, upon closer inspection, there is a clear mission and vision for the agency that connects those efforts. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1487/1 to view the article. (10/12)

Water on the Moon (Source: Space Review)
As scientists sift through the data from last week's LCROSS impacts, other recent findings suggest that water may be far more common on the Moon than onc thought. Arlin Crotts makes the case for an alternative source of the water. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1485/1 to view the article. (10/12)

Aerospace Supply Chain Should be Driver of Northeast Ohio Economy (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Ohio's aerospace supply chain is an under-recognized but important driver of the region's economy, a business-attraction group says. Team NEO is spotlighting the multibillion-dollar aerospace sector in its latest quarterly review. The reviews aim to detail positive aspects of our struggling economy, as a tool to draw new business to the area. Industries whose business includes supplying parts and components to the aerospace industry grew 59 percent in the last 16 years. That's more than twice the growth rate for the 16-county economy.

Ohio is believed to be the second-largest supplier to Boeing Co., the Chicago-based jet maker. Too, the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland engages in research and development in aerospace and human space flight. Team NEO officials said gauging the economic impact of aerospace and its supply chain is all but impossible. It cuts across numerous industries and is often just a component of a company's business. (10/12)

Bolden Talks Frankly: Ares I Might be Dead but So are EELVs (Source: Hyperbola)
While in South Korea, NASA's Charlie Bolden gave away some interesting details about his thinking on the future of US human spaceflight policy. What was surprising was the degree to which Bolden had clearly already decided that Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles were not going to be a part of that future. Despite this journalist's prodding about the interest shown in EELVs during the Augustine review Bolden was very clear, they were not man rated and multiple launch scenarios with LEO rendezvous and docking was just a no-no.

But even before the EELVs were outright rejected Bolden was adamant that beyond-LEO exploration needed a heavy lift vehicle. One wonders what heavy lift vehicle exactly is being costed by the agency, Bolden was guided away by his minders at this point, but the other elements that Bolden was describing match very closely the Augustine summary report's option two; making the heavy lift vehicle the Ares V lite.

Editor's Note: From my read of this Hyperbola article, it looks like Bolden may have been referring to the use of EELVs for heavy-lift beyond-LEO exploration activity, not within-LEO crew transport activity. (10/12)

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