February 8, 2010

"Gateway" Architectures: "Flexible Path" Step to Moon and Mars after the Space Station? (Source: Space Review)
NASA's new exploration plan, as unveiled last week, appears to endorse the "Flexible Path" option in the Augustine Committee report. Harley Thronson and Ted Talay describe some of the studies that have been done on what could be a major element of such exploration. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1561/1 to view the article. (2/8)

An Agency in Transition (Source: Space Review)
Last Monday the White House released a NASA budget proposal that would make major changes to NASA's human spaceflight programs. Jeff Foust reports on the changes and the reaction to them, and how this could be the beginning of a far more fundamental change for the agency. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1560/1 to view the article. (2/8)

Maps and Buried Treasure (Source: Space Review)
How can private enterprise and governments cooperate in human space exploration? Bob Clarebrough offers some rebuttals to common objections about such cooperation. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1559/1 to view the article. (2/8)

Air Traffic Control System for Outer Space Discussed (Source: AIA)
With the amount of space debris in orbit around the earth on the rise, experts will convene at the United Nations next week to discuss a possible international air traffic control system for outer space. The effort comes just a year after an American satellite collided with a Russian satellite, and experts say the potential for more collisions is only going to rise as more objects are sent into space. (2/8)

Senator Holds Up Obama Nominees Over Tanker Contract (Source: AIA)
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is reportedly holding up more than 70 of President Barack Obama's nominees due to his disagreement with the way the Pentagon has handled a refueling tanker contract that could benefit the city of Mobile, Ala. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Shelby represented "a poster child for how this town needs to change the way it works." Editor's Note: Hundreds of jobs for one of the tanker contractors could be located on Florida's Space Coast, offsetting Space Shuttle job losses. (2/8)

Bolden: Florida Should Be Home of Private Spaceflight (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
NASA chief Charles Bolden said he will try to lure potential operators of commercial space taxis to use processing and launch facilities at Cape Canaveral. "My plea to the commercial industry is, look, don't build more infrastructure," Bolden said. "Come here to the Space Coast, at least see what we have to offer, and then work with us to find ways that we can modify it to your needs so that you can use what's here."

Last week, KSC director Robert Cabana said NASA will upgrade existing infrastructure at the spaceport over the next few years, in hopes a private company will rent the facilities for new rockets and spacecraft for human space transportation. On Saturday, Bolden echoed Cabana's statements, saying he hopes the Space Coast remains at the vanguard of space exploration. "The Space Coast is where I hope we will always launch humans in space," Bolden said. "That's something we have to discuss among the entities in the government because somebody could decide that we can launch humans out of Dallas, Texas. I don't think so, but that's the discussion we need to have." (2/8)

Shuttle Lights Up Predawn Sky at Florida Spaceport (Source: NASA)
Space shuttle Endeavour lit up the predawn sky above Florida's Space Coast on Monday with a 4:14 a.m. EST launch. The shuttle's last scheduled night launch began a 13-day flight to the International Space Station and the final year of shuttle operations. Attached to Tranquility is a cupola with seven windows, which houses a robotic control station. The windows will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft. After the node and cupola are added, the orbiting laboratory will be approximately 90 percent complete. (2/8)

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