January 28, 2010

Crist Seeks $32.6 Million for Commercial Space Business (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
In what could be a big boost to Brevard County in the wake of President Obama decision to kill NASA’s moon plans and outsource launches to the International Space Station to private companies, Gov. Charlie Crist announced that he would ask the Legislature for $32.6 million to help build the commercial space business in Florida. The $32.6 million includes $20 million for the state’s aerospace development body, Space Florida, to fund business recruitment activities.

Crist recommended that the remaining $12.6 million be provided to assist in the development and management of state-of-the-art facilities for space businesses that will create high-tech, high-wage jobs. “This funding will enable Space Florida to invest in a technology and commerce park that utilizes Florida’s space assets, refurbish Launch Complex 46 to promote commercial use, and renovate facilities to attract businesses and foster the growth of a sustainable and world-class aerospace industry in Florida,” Crist said in the statement.

The development is a personal victory for Space Florida’s President Frank DiBello, who has been pushing for the creation of a fund that can help him create new jobs and space-related business in Brevard County and elsewhere in the state. (1/28)

Virginia Spaceflight Legislation Advances (Source: Spaceports Blog)
State Delegate Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott County) has obtained House passage of a measure removing the sunset clause on the Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act passed first by Virginia in 2007 and signed into state law. State Senator Ralph S. Northam has obtained Senate passage of a similar measure. Passage of both bills now assure removal of the sunset clause. Virginia elected officials discussed a recent Orlando Sentinel op-ed during their deliberations. Click here to view a video of the remarks. (1/28)

Glitch Takes Eutelsat W2 Out of Action (Source: Space News)
Eutelsat’s W2 telecommunications satellite, which operates at one of the company’s fastest-growing orbital slots, suffered an unexplained on-board failure and placed itself into sun-pointing safe mode late Jan. 27, forcing Eutelsat to begin off-loading customers to three satellites at the same location, including two that just recently arrived there, Eutelsat said Jan. 28. (1/28)

Human Flight To Mars Will Be A Global Mission (Source: Space Daily)
As a leading space-faring nation, India with its low-cost but high-end launch vehicle technology will be a part of the international consortium for the manned mission to Mars. The maiden human space flight to Mars would be a global mission through a consortium by 2030, a top Indian space official said. 'Manned mission to Mars will be a global effort and will be undertaken by a consortium of space-faring nations,' Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters. Radhakrishnan said the global endeavour would be to put a man on the red planet by 2030. (1/28)

SpaceX Wins Spacecom Launch Contract (Source: Space Daily)
SpaceX and Space Communication Ltd. (Spacecom) of Ramat-Gan Israel, operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, have signed an agreement for launch of a communication satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 as early as December 2012. Falcon 9 will insert the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), adding to Spacecom's existing satellite fleet. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) is also involved in the transaction. This latest deal supports company plans to launch at least four additional satellites in the coming years to multiple orbital positions. "As a highly competitive solution for in-orbit delivery, Falcon 9 supports us as we transition into a leading global satellite services provider," said David Pollack, president and CEO of Spacecom. (1/28)

Kosmas: Obama’s NASA Proposal ‘Unacceptable’ (Source: CFNews13)
The Space Coast’s congresswoman said she was concerned over President Barack Obama’s proposal for NASA. There has been anticipation over the president possibly cutting funding for the Constellation program, the replacement for the retiring shuttle fleet. NASA is getting more than $18 billion for next year’s budget already, but had requested an additional $1 billion, but sources said it looks unlikely the agency will get it. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach, said she did not agree with relying on commercial spaceflight alone.

“Though we are still awaiting the full budget details scheduled to be released next week, I am deeply concerned by what Administration officials have said about the President’s proposal for NASA. I agree with extending use of the International Space Station and I am a strong supporter of commercial spaceflight, but I do not think we can rely on commercial flights alone for access to space and the ISS. If we are not moving forward with a specific vision for a next generation vehicle, then we need to take steps to safely extend the Shuttle program in order to fully support the Space Station." (1/28)

Ten Minutes That Mattered: Sally Ride (Source: Forbes)
Often in business and life, an important conversation, a made or missed connection, or even an intrusion of pure fate redirects our thinking and actions for years afterward. Sally Ride was finishing a graduate physics degree at the University of California at San Diego in 1978 when she got the call that would change her life--news that she had been selected to be among the new class of astronauts. She went on to become the first U.S. female astronaut. Today she runs Sally Ride Science, a company that develops science programs for K-12 teachers and students.

"When I got the phone call from NASA, it probably was the most important 10 minutes of my life, because it totally changed my entire career path. I was just finishing graduate school in physics. I was planning to get a post-doc in physics, and go on and be a physics professor or a researcher at some university. In those 10 minutes I went from being possibly a future physics professor to an astronaut, and not only an astronaut but also one of the group that included the first female astronauts ever from the United States. First of all, it was so cool, because it was just something that I had always dreamed of doing, and never thought I would." (1/28)

NASA Glenn Outreach Initiatives to Focus on Community (Source: NASA)
NASA's Glenn Research Center is stepping up its public outreach activities and taking information out into the community about NASA, science and the benefits of careers in math, science and engineering that will inform and inspire the public. In naming the Great Lakes Science Center as Glenn's official Visitor Center, officials at Glenn have decided that the last day of operation of its on-site Visitor Center will be Feb. 6. In the coming weeks, many of NASA's exhibits will be transported to the Science Center for public display. Glenn will continue to operate a robust Speakers Bureau Program, traveling exhibits, public inquiry services and public tours of select research facilities, all of which have benefited the region for years. (1/28)

And Now Sen. Bill Nelson Blasts Space Plan (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
Considering that until now Nelson has been a fierce defender of Obama’s space policy, this criticism will be viewed by many as especially harsh. “Based on initial reports about the administration’s plan for NASA, they are replacing lost shuttle jobs in Florida too slowly, risking U.S. leadership in space to China and Russia, and relying too heavily on unproven commercial companies. “If the $6 billion in extra funding is for a commercial rocket, then the bigger rocket for human exploration will be delayed well into the next decade. That is unacceptable. We need a plan that provides America with uninterrupted access to space while also funding exploration to expand the boundaries of our knowledge.” (1/28)

Space Frontier Foundation Hails Ares’ “Death Sentence” (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
The Space Frontier Foundation praised the White House’s decision to cancel NASA’s failed Ares rocket programs and instead invest in private enterprise systems. "The reforms announced yesterday fix some of the worst errors of the Bush Vision of Space Exploration,” said Foundation chairman Bob Werb. “More than that, they make NASA exciting and relevant again. Canceling the expensive, ill-fated Ares 1 rocket opens the door for private enterprise to create a safe, reliable and low-cost commercial spaceflight industry, with government as a customer and partner instead of a competitor.”

The Space Frontier Foundation has been fighting to kill Ares I for years. We predicted this disaster in 2006, put out press releases, op-eds and worked with our many friends inside NASA, Congress, and both large and small NewSpace companies. “Finally, America’s space agency is starting to behave like it belongs in a capitalist country,” Werb added. “Charlie Bolden and Lori Garver are showing faith in free enterprise and we will not disappoint them.” (1/28)

NASA Tops Off new Ares Launch Tower at the Cape (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
Workers added the final piece of a 390-foot-tall Ares 1 mobile launch tower at KSC on Thursday, topping off a new member of the Cape Canaveral skyline as questions swirl on whether the eye-catching structure will ever be used. A giant crane slowly lifted the tenth and final section of the ironwork structure Thursday morning. The tower is mounted atop a square platform built to haul Ares 1 rockets from the spaceport's massive Vehicle Assembly Building to seaside launch pad 39B. The tower contract is valued at nearly $264 million, if NASA exercises an option for a second platform and tower. The total cost of the mobile launcher project is estimated at around $500 million, according to NASA. (1/28)

Burt Rutan: The Maverick of Mojave (Source: New Scientist)
Burt Rutan is one of the US's leading aeronautical engineers, noted for his innovative designs and light, energy-efficient air and spacecraft, including Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. In a rare interview, he talks to David Cohen about his work, conspiracy theories and the explosion that claimed the lives of three engineers. "We call it Mojavewood - have you seen the movie?" asks Burt Rutan sardonically as we drive away from a glitzy ceremony and towards the legendary aircraft designer's office, tucked away in a hangar at Mojave airport, California. Suddenly he bursts into song "Oh Mojaaavewood, tada tada tada Mojaaaveewooood..." Click here to view the article. (1/28)

Lockheed Sees Higher Revenue, Profit in Q4 (Source: AIA)
Lockheed Martin Corp. earned $827 million, or $2.17 per share, in the fourth quarter, beating analysts' expectations of $1.99 per share. Stronger sales of fighter aircraft and transports helped boost revenue by 13%, and three of the company's four divisions showed profit gains. For 2010, Lockheed raised its profit forecast by 10 cents a share, less than some analysts had expected. (1/28)

Raytheon Beats the Street with Q4 Profit Jump (Source: AIA)
Raytheon Co. exceeded Wall Street's expectations with fourth-quarter net income of $504 million, an increase of about 17% compared to year-earlier levels. The company left its forecast for 2010 unchanged, with earnings expected to fall in the $4.75 to $4.90 range. (1/28)

ORBITEC Working With Bigelow on Life Support Systems (Source: ORBITEC)
Orbital Technologies Corp. (ORBITEC) has been working with Bigelow Aerospace to provide environmental control and life support systems for human space flight. ORBITEC is partnering with Bigelow Aerospace’s technical staff to develop systems for pressure control, oxygen production and supply, hydrogen supply, temperature and humidity control, ventilation, thermal transport, water processing, gas contaminant removal, carbon dioxide removal, and atmospheric composition monitoring. and system impacts resulting from exposure to lunar dust. (1/28)

Russia Launches Military Satellite (Source: RIA Novosti)
Russia on Thursday put a new military satellite into orbit. The Raduga-series satellite was launched with a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. Space Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said the satellite "is a new project that will help significantly increase the capabilities of the space communication system." Russia reportedly operates a constellation of 60-70 military satellites with reconnaissance, missile early warning and other capabilities. (1/28)

Michoud Might be Cut out of Obama's Budget (Source: Times-Picayune)
Louisiana's two U.S. senators are expressing concern about reports that President Barack Obama is planning to provide the space agency with no money in his 2011 budget for a NASA rocket program to replace the aging space shuttle. The sprawling Michoud facility in eastern New Orleans produces the space shuttle's external fuel tanks. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said Congress "should look very closely at any proposal that may set back the important work under way at NASA."

"As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will review and analyze the president's budget in detail and ensure that the Michoud facility in New Orleans east remains a viable player within NASA, whatever its future holds," Landrieu said. She said Michoud "is essential to sustaining good-paying jobs, growing the region's economy and the continuing recovery of Southeast Louisiana." Sen. David Vitter, R-La., also expressed concern about the president's budget request, due out Monday, and how it might affect Michoud. (1/28)

India Plans First Manned Space Flight in 2016 (Source: SiFy)
India's space agency is planning the nation's first manned space flight for 2016, if it gets government approval of the project budget, an official said Thursday. The Indian Space Research Organization has sought 120 billion rupees ($2.6 billion) to put two astronauts in space for a week. The government has already provided a pre-project fund of about four billion rupees ($87 million) allowing the agency to do some initial research on the space flight, he said, adding that ISRO is "hopeful" of getting the entire project approved soon so it can start making full-scale preparations. (1/28)

Israel's IAF Seeks Mission-Specific Micro-Satellites (Source: Jerusalem Post)
Micro-satellites would provide Israel's military with a new level of versatility and enable it to launch satellites for specific missions. Israel is interested in acquiring micro-satellites, OC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan said. Rafael Defense Systems Ltd. and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) teamed up in 2005 to develop lightweight micro-satellites that could be launched aboard a missile from an F-15 fighter jet and orbit the earth. Israel already conducts missile defense interception tests with Rafael's Blue Sparrow missile that is fired from an F-15 into space and then reenters the atmosphere, impersonating a ballistic missile. (1/28)

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