November 29 News Items

Space Florida Updates Master Plan (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Florida needs to create a dedicated fund devoted to supporting space transportation in order to be competitive in the field, according to Space Florida’s newly updated Spaceport Master Plan. The report, published earlier this month, was created “to propose a strategy for expansion and modernization of space transportation facilities and infrastructure in Florida.” State officials are attempting to stem large job losses that will result from NASA’s decision to end space shuttle flights next year and the five-to-seven year gap in flights before the successor vehicle, Orion, will begin flights.

The master plan lays out a series of infrastructure projects at the Kennedy Space Center, Space Florida Spaceport, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Cecil Field designed to service traditional launch companies and space tourism firms. In addition to funding, the master plan recommends the creation of a series of financial incentives to attract new businesses. Click here to view the plan. (11/29)

Central Florida Students Invade Kennedy Space Center (Source: NSCFL)
National Space Club's Florida Committee has donated $40,000 to the Brevard Schools Foundation Space Week, a program that introduces sixth grade students to the space exploration activities that occur at Kennedy Space Center. Over a two-week period in December, more than 5,200 sixth grade students will travel to Kennedy Space Center, listen to an astronaut describe space flight, and participate in a variety of hands-on activities. Since 2004, over 25,000 sixth grade students have participated in this innovative program. (11/27)

UA Infrared Camera Jobs Mostly in California (Source: Arizona Daily Star)
Among the Southern Arizona projects funded by stimulus money, the one that listed the most job benefits was a University of Arizona-based infrared camera project. The project lists 91 jobs as preserved or created by the stimulus funding, but there's a catch: about 87 percent of them are in California. While the nerve center of the project is in Tucson, most of the jobs are at Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, Calif. About a dozen people work on the project in Tucson.

But NASA has had a tight budget for scientific research this year, she said. And because of that, the project was in danger of delays if it hadn't received $10 million in stimulus funding. Despite the nebulous numbers, some economists say that spending on research and equipment is especially helpful to Tucson, even though it might not have a direct jobs-producing benefit in the short term. (11/29)

NASA Clamors for Safer Launches (Source: Florida Today)
President Barack Obama faces decisions that will set safety levels for American astronauts launching on space expeditions for decades to come. Congress will hear this week from NASA officials, proponents of commercial crew transportation and independent safety experts. No current NASA astronauts are scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics.

But documents obtained by Florida Today show exactly where the actual risk-takers stand. NASA's Astronaut Office says the next crew launch vehicle should be 10 times safer than the shuttle, which is set for retirement after five more flights. The system should "dramatically improve crew survivability," Chief Astronaut Peggy Whitson said. "We believe an order-of-magnitude improvement is possible with today's technology and should be the goal." (11/29)

New Satellite Business Shows Europe's Strength In Developing World (Source: Aviation Week)
Two moves in South Asia could provide Astrium with a premier customer for a new small communications spacecraft, while reinforcing the company's lock on the remote-sensing satellite market. On Nov. 16, Sri Lanka signed an MOU to acquire a small telecom satellite from U.K.-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., which Astrium acquired at the beginning of the year.

The sale would be the first for the GMPT, a multipurpose platform intended for communications, navigation and exploration applications. The Sri Lanka MOU followed a preliminary Astrium agreement, revealed on Nov. 13, to provide a remote-sensing satellite system for Vietnam. Astrium would supply the system, VNREDSat-1, within a long-term strategic cooperation framework, including technology transfer, training and technical assistance. (11/29)

India Plans 36 Launches During 11th Plan (Source: Space Daily)
India is planning 36 launches during the 11th plan with more than six a year, a top space official said here today. The expanding horizon of the Indian Space Program, with more number of launches annually and missions like reusable launch vehicle on the anvil, calls for increased productivity with consistent quality and at a competitive cost.

Partnership with aerospace Indian industries was likely to grow multifold with the expanding activities of Indian Space Program and ISRO's foray into International Space market, an official said. Presently more than 500 small and medium industries partnered with ISRO, he said. (11/29)

Land Launch of Intelsat 15 Aboard Zenit-3SLB Delayed (Source: Space Daily)
The launch of a US telecommunications satellite by Land Launch (an arm of Sea Launch) from Kazakhstan was put off overnight for technical reasons. "The date of the new launch is unknown -- either it will be postponed by an indefinite time or by 24 hours," the official said. The reasons for putting off the launch were not specified. (11/27)

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