April 20, 2010

Russia To Build Submarine-Detecting Satellite (Source: Space Daily)
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Apr 21, 2010 - Russia could build a satellite for the detection and tracking of submarines from space, a defense industry spokesman said on Thursday. Vladimir Boldyrev, of the Kosmonit science and technology center, said the group had developed a space satellite module that could carry out remote sensing of the sea and "detect submerged submarines." (4/20)

Words, Words, Words ... NASA, NASA, NASA (Source: Huffington Post)
The proposed annual budget for NASA is only $19 billion ... and do you know what we spend in Iraq every single day? $7 billion. That's right. Three days from now, we will have spent on Iraq the entirety of next year's budget for NASA, and then some. So, listen up. Develop a sense of urgency and a respect for the benefits we gain from going to space ... without knowing what those benefits will be.

Even if he knew precisely what was going to happen, how far would JFK have gotten had he described to Congress a world of cell phones and laptops, YouTube and Google, wireless and texting - for the seeds of all that technology trace directly back to the communications tech required for the Apollo program. Demanding usefulness as a precondition for any NASA budget is wrong-headed thinking; demanding cutting edge innovation, paradigm-shifting scientific, breakthrough technologies - that's the ticket! (4/20)

India To Return To Russian Boosters After Failed Rocket Launch (Source: Space Daily)
India will temporarily go back to using Russian-produced space equipment after its indigenous GSLV rocket failed, an ISRO spokesman said. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV D3, fell into the Bay of Bengal 304 seconds after liftoff as its cryogenic engine failed to perform. "Five launches are scheduled for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, including two GSLV and three PSLV launches. The next two GSLV will be launched with Russian cryogenic engines," a spokesman said. India earlier bought seven Russian-made 12KRB oxygen-hydrogen booster sections, five of which have already been used for launches. (4/20)

Russia's Bulava Missile Designer Blames Industry For Test Failures (Source: Space Daily)
Yury Solomonov, the designer of the troubled Bulava ballistic missile, said that the poor state of the Russian defense industry was the main cause of the weapon's failed test launches. Solomonov resigned from his post as general director of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT) in July 2009 after a series of unsuccessful Bulava tests, but retained his post as general designer of the missile. "I can say in earnest that none of the design solutions have been changed as a result of the tests. The problems occur in the links of the design-technology-production chain," Solomonov said. (4/20)

National Space Club Luncheon Features DiBello on May 11 (Source: NSCFL)
The National Space Club's Florida Committee will hold its next luncheon meeting on May 11 at the Radisson Resort in Cape Canaveral. The featured speaker will be Frank DiBello of Space Florida. Visit www.nscfl.org for information and registration. (4/20)

Florida Community College Students Selected for NASA Program (Source: NASA)
Nine Florida community college students have been selected to participate in NASA's National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program. They are from Pensacola Junior College, Brevard Community College, St. Petersburg College, Lake Sumter Community College, and Palm Beach Community College. NCAS is an interactive online learning opportunity highlighted by a three-day experience at Johnson Space Center in Houston. (4/20)

NASA and Other Federal SBIR Opportunities Discussed on Apr. 29 (Source: TRDA)
The Technological Research & Development Authority (TRDA) will sponsor an all-day Apr. 29 workshop in Melbourne, focused on increasing Florida’s access to federal R&D funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program. This is the first of seven such workshops being held statewide. The workshop will be facilitated by Mark Henry, a nationally recognized expert in crafting winning SBIR proposals. Joni Richards, SBIR Technology Infusion Manager at NASA-KSC, will make a presentation on the NASA SBIR program. Click here for information and registration. (4/20)

The Very Real Plans to Put Marines in Space (Source: Popular Mechanics)
When then Marine Lt. Colonel Roosevelt Lafontant first started pushing the idea of a space plane for the U.S. Marine Corps in 2002, skeptics didn't even bother to suppress their laughter. But now, with a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) completed (but not yet released by the Pentagon), people are beginning to take note of the Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion, or SUSTAIN, the notional concept of a Marine space plane.

The Marines' space plane takes the Corps' slogan of "first to fight" to the extreme: It could transport a squad of Marine riflemen to anyplace on earth within 2 hours, and then extract them after their mission is complete. Though the goal is appealing—imagine delivering well-armed Marines at hypersonic speed to a suspected Osama bin Laden hideout or besieged embassy—the concept seemed outlandish to many when it was first proposed. (4/20)

Plan Your Travel Now: Only Three More Space Shuttle Launches Left (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
Space shuttle Discovery has landed after a 15-day mission to the International Space Station. Now the real countdown begins and those wishing to see the last of the shuttle launches have only three shots left -- one for each of the three remaining orbiters in the fleet. Next up is Atlantis on STS-132 slated for a 2:30 p.m. launch on May 14. Then Endeavour will shoot for STS-134, planned for July 29 at 7:51 a.m. The final launch will be Discovery on Sep. 16 at 11:57 a.m. The last one will be a media circus and the crowds will should be incredible, so if you're a space enthusiast, you may want to make plans now for where you're going to stay. (4/20)

Orbital Announces First Quarter 2010 Financial Results (Source: Orbital)
Orbital Sciences Corp.'s first quarter 2010 revenues were $296.2 million, compared to $295.7 million in the first quarter of 2009. First quarter 2010 operating income was $17.4 million, compared to $11.2 million in the first quarter of 2009. Net income was $9.3 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to net income of $9.2 million in the first quarter of 2009. (4/20)

Air Force Delays Launch of Mystery X-37B Space Plane (Source: Space.com)
This week's planned launch of a secretive U.S. Air Force space plane prototype has been delayed one day to allow NASA's shuttle Discovery a clear shot at returning to Earth. The unmanned X-37B space plane, known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, was slated to launch into space Wednesday from the Cape Canaveral Spaceport on a secretive mission of unknown duration. But the mission will now blast off Thursday evening between 7:52 p.m. and 8:01 p.m. EDT aboard an Atlas-5 rocket. (4/20)

Orbital Blames Galaxy 15 Failure on Solar Storm (Source: Space News)
The in-orbit failure of the Orbital Sciences-built Intelsat Galaxy 15 telecommunications satellite on April 5 was likely caused by unusually violent solar activity that week that damaged the spacecraft’s ability to communicate with ground controllers, Orbital officials said. Similar events have occurred, if less severely, on other Orbital spacecraft over the years, and all of these satellites were returned to service. Company officials said they remain confident that once Galaxy 15’s commercial traffic has been off-loaded to another Intelsat satellite and full testing of the stricken spacecraft begins, Galaxy 15 will recover its full operational status. (4/20)

Orbital Delays Taurus-2 Inaugural Launch (Source: Space News)
Orbital Sciences Corp. says a series of minor delays in development of the company’s new Taurus 2 rocket and its Cygnus space station cargo transporter will push the inaugural Taurus-2/Cygnus launch into May or June 2011 instead of the March date earlier targeted. Orbital Chief Executive David W. Thompson said that Taurus 2 and Cygnus, which are the company’s two biggest development programs, nonetheless are moving forward without major roadblocks. As of March 31, three-quarters of Orbital’s total investment in Taurus 2 and a little over half of its investment in the Cygnus cargo carrier had been completed. (4/20)

White House Seeks to Consolidate Export Licensing (Source: Space News)
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates outlined broad reforms of the U.S. export control system that the White House will seek in the coming year, including plans to consolidate technology export licensing functions within a single agency and combine the federal government’s multiple rosters of controlled military and dual-use items into a single list. President Obama also plans to stand up a single entity to enforce arms export rules and will develop a new information technology infrastructure to help streamline the licensing process. (4/20)

NASA Astronaut Trainer Would Like to Support India Astronaut Corps (Source: PTI)
Michelle Ham, a trainer for astronauts at NASA, has expressed her willingness to extend her support to the ISRO's human space flight program, slated for 2015-16. "I would love to be part of the Indian space program when you guys start sending people to space," she said. Besides NASA, Michelle has trained astronauts of European, Japanese and Russian space agencies in past seven years. According to ISRO officials, the space agency has already drawn an outline for astronaut training center which would come up near Bangalore. (4/20)

Asteroid Angst Should Guide Space Role (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
Folks here should quit whining about President Obama whacking our boondoggle moon trip and get with the new space program: saving planet Earth from certain destruction. That gig could keep us fat in NASA pork for decades to come. Forget the moon. It isn't going to crash into us and extinguish all life as we know it. Asteroids are another matter. Eventually one is going to take us out, just like one took out the dinosaurs. Even a mini-roid, the size of a Thornton Park bungalow, would flatten Orlando. It could happen today, tomorrow or in 1,000 years.

Let me explain in scientific terms. Pretend you are Planet Earth. Your journey through the solar system is akin to driving down State Road 436. The asteroids are the text-messaging teenagers blasting through red lights — mindless, unpredictable and undirected. They are mass multiplied by speed, just waiting for a collision to convert them to force. Going to the moon is maybe a 20-year gig. Saving the world is the never-ending journey. (4/20)

Amid Defense Cuts, Raytheon Lays Off 225 in Arizona (Source: AIA)
In its first mass layoff since 2002, Raytheon Missile Systems announced this week that it is laying off about 225 salaried workers in Tucson, Ariz. The layoffs follow the cancellation of three major programs due to cuts in the defense budget, but the company said the layoffs were part of a broader realignment of resources. (4/20)

Shuttle Lands Safely at Cape Canaveral Spaceport (Source: SPACErePORT)
The Space Shuttle Discovery landed safely in Florida on Tuesday morning, ending a 14-day mission to the International Space Station. Click here for a photo of the landing. (4/20)

Boeing Praises Obama's Vision for NASA (Source: AIA)
Boeing says it supports President Barack Obama's vision for the future of NASA, which was described in a speech by the president at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida last week. "The president's enthusiasm for space exploration was encouraging," Boeing said in a statement. "We are pleased that the president remains committed to human spaceflight." The company said it backed the plan to invest more than $3 billion to research an advanced heavy-lift rocket for deep space exploration but emphasized that a deep-space capsule also is necessary. (4/20)

Jacksonville Well-Suited for Privatized Space Industry (Source: Jacksonville Business Journal)
Jacksonville stands to benefit when the private space industry lifts off. Even though NASA is winding down the space shuttle program, Florida is still an ideal site for private shuttle launches and as the industry tightens its supply chain, Jacksonville’s manufacturing base and logistical advantage positions it well, said Frank DiBello, director of Space Florida, the state’s aerospace economic development agency.

Aerospace companies with a local presence such as Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. could move their space-related operations from the West Coast to Northeast Florida. “NASA is going to turn over logistics support, transportation of cargo and eventually transportation of the crew to the private sector,” DiBello said. (4/20)

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