October 30 News Items

U.S.-China Space Cooperation: More Costs Than Benefits (Source: Heritage Foundation)
With the delivery of the full report from Augustine Panel the potential for a substantial, multi-year gap in U.S. manned spaceflight capability has drawn increased attention. In light of this problem, the idea has been raised in some quarters, including in the report, that the United States should expand its cooperation with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and leverage Chinese space capabilities. Such cooperation has far more potential cost than benefit.

The idea of relying on Chinese cooperation glosses over very real problems. At a minimum, it is an open question whether the PRC is capable of providing substantial support to the International Space Station (ISS) in the timeframes discussed by the report. Beyond the technical issues, however, there are more fundamental political concerns. The U.S. military depends on space as a strategic high ground. Space technology is also dual-use in nature: Almost any technology or information that is exchanged in a cooperative venture is likely to have military utility. Sharing such information with China, therefore, would undercut American tactical and technological military advantages. (10/30)

FAA Mulls GPS Interference Detector, Corrector (Source: Flight Global)
The FAA is studying the possibility of deploying a nationwide network of GPS interference detectors that would be placed on cellular communications towers to "mitigate interference in order to protect air navigation system". Protecting GPS signals from jamming, whether intentional or unintentional, will be a critical aspect of the next generation air transportation system (NextGen) as the industry transfers from ground-based networks to GPS for navigation guidance. (10/30)

Grand Jury Indicts UF Professor, Wife in Fraud Case (Source: St. Petersburg Times)
A University of Florida professor and his wife have been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple counts of wire fraud and money laundering that stem from $3.7 million in contracts the couple entered into with NASA, the Air Force and the Navy. In the 71-count indictment, the federal grand jury charged Samim Anghaie, 60; and his wife, Sousan Anghaie, 55, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 50 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, 17 counts of money laundering, and one count of making false statements to the government.

According to the indictment, the engineering professor served as director of the Innovation Nuclear Space Power and Propulsion Institute at UF and also as president and registered agent of New Era Technology Inc., a business in which Sousan Anghaie had previously served as director and vice president. Authorities say the couple submitted proposals for contracts with NASA, the Air Force, and Navy that contained false information. (10/30)

Boeing Seeks To Reduce Losses from Sea Launch Bankruptcy (Source: Sea Launch)
Seeking to reduce its losses from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of launch-services provider Sea Launch Co., Boeing has filed a demand for arbitration in Sweden to force Sea Launch’s Russian and Ukrainian owners to repay $147 million in loan guarantees Boeing made to the struggling firm. (10/30)

ULA & Boeing Hope for Increased Air Force Funding for EELV Launches (Source: Space News)
Boeing said it may be obliged to record $386 million in pre-tax losses if the Air Force maintains its refusal to pay higher prices for four United Launch Alliance (ULA) launches. Boeing has agreed to indemnify ULA against potential losses on these four missions if the Air Force refuses to raise the agreed-to contract price. Denver-based ULA in December requested price increases for two of the four contracts, a request that the Air Force refused in March. ULA appealed the decision in June. (10/30)

Air Force Studying Wider Use of Missile Defense Radars for Space Tracking (Source: Space News)
The Air Force has hired Raytheon to study the possibility of integrating additional Missile Defense Agency (MDA) sensors into the U.S. Space Surveillance Network that tracks orbiting satellites. Raytheon was awarded a $3 million contract for a program called the Enterprise Sensing Prototype Architecture for Space Situational Awareness (ESP-SSA). (10/30)

Bond Denied for Space Scientist Charged with Attempted Espionage (Source: Gazette.net)
The investigation into a space scientist charged with espionage has led all the way to a safe deposit box allegedly filled with hard drives and gold coins in southern California. Stewart Nozette was denied bond as prosecutors argued that he was too much of a flight risk to be released from custody before his trial. Espionage is not the only legal problem facing Nozette. He is scheduled to be sentenced in November for tax evasion and conspiracy related to the company he founded, the Alliance for Competitive Technology. (10/30)

Masten Qualifies for $1 Million Prize with Mojave Flight (Source: Earth Times)
Masten Space Systems successfully qualified for first place in Level Two of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. Flying a brand new vehicle named XA-0.1E (nicknamed Xoie), Masten demonstrated their ability to build, debug and fly a vehicle on a very short timeline. Masten's qualification flight came at the final Lunar Lander Challenge flight window on Friday morning at California's Mojave Air & Space Port. (10/30)

Boeing to Lay Off 330 at Cape Canaveral Spaceport (Source: Florida Today)
Boeing announced Friday it will lay off 330 workers next year from its Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services program at Kennedy Space Center. The layoffs, which represent a third of the company’s KSC work force, will come in January, May and August, as the shuttle program heads toward retirement. (10/30)

Space Auction Promises the Moon (Source: ASF)
Ever wanted to shoot the breeze with a legendary moonwalker? Own a genuine relic of space travel from an astronaut’s personal collection? Don a real astronaut flight suit? Now’s your chance! Starting today, you can bid on these and other cool space artifacts in the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s (ASF) 7th Annual Astronaut Experiences and Memorabilia Auction at www.astronautscholarship.org/auction. (10/30)

Two Parachutes Malfunctioned in NASA Test Flight (Soure: AP)
NASA says two of three parachutes malfunctioned in the test flight of a prototype moon rocket earlier this week. The problem caused the Ares I-X booster to slam into the Atlantic Ocean harder than expected. The booster was badly dented by the impact. Mission manager Bob Ess said Friday the damage is irrelevant because the booster is not meant to fly again. He says the parachute trouble does not detract from the overall success of Wednesday's flight. (10/30)

KSC Topics Among NASA Postdoctoral Research Opportunities (Source: NASA)
The NASA Postdoctoral Program provides talented postdoctoral scientists and engineers with valuable opportunities to engage in ongoing NASA research programs and serves as a source of talent to ensure the continued quality of the NASA research workforce. These one- to three-year Fellowship appointments are competitive and are designed to advance NASA's missions in space science, earth science, aeronautics, space operations, exploration systems, and astrobiology. KSC topics include: 1) Development of Dust Mitigation Technologies for Lunar Exploration; 2) Development of Smart Coatings for Corrosion Detection and Control; and 3) Life Support System Microbiology. Click here for information. (10/30)

Bolden Revamps NASA Advisory Council (Source: Space News)
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has revamped the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), adding four new committees, including a commercial space committee led by Brett Alexander, the executive director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Bolden also asked retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds to oversee a committee to help the space agency manage its information technology and associated infrastructure.

In addition, Bolden created a committee to focus on public outreach and education, chaired by Miles O’Brien, former CNN anchor and space correspondent, as well as a technology and innovation panel led by Est. her Dyson, an information technology investor and space travel enthusiast. (10/30)

India's $3 Billion Manned Capsule Awaits Approval (Source: Flight Global)
The Indian Space Research Organization expects by the end of the year to have government approval for a $3 billion manned spacecraft program designed to launch a three-crew capsule to orbit by 2016. Using ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII rocket to launch the capsule, the agency has had discussions with Russia's Federal Space Agency, which helped China with its manned space program. Nair says that the capsule would be an entirely domestic design and that Russia could provide "test facilities and the astronaut training we need." ISRO wants to join the International Space Station program and it could provide crew transport. (10/30)

Fire Thwarts Rocket in Lunar Lander Competition (Source: Sign On San Diego)
A rocket flew halfway through a simulated lunar landing mission in the Mojave Desert on Thursday before a fire thwarted the attempt to win a $1 million prize. Masten Space Systems' Xoie, a robotic rocket, took off from a launch pad at Mojave Air & Space Port and flew to another pad where it set down on its legs among large boulders as flame licked up the side.

The fire damaged wires, a tube and insulation but the rocket could be ready to fly as early as Friday, said David Masten, president and chief executive of Masten Space Systems, based in Mojave, Calif. However, Thursday's effort had been expected to be Masten's last chance and it was unclear if the judges of the NASA-backed Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge would allow another attempt. The rocket landed only 16 centimeters from its target, Masten said. Landing accuracy is one of the factors that could determine the winner. (10/30)

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