April 6, 2010

Embry-Riddle Center for Aerospace Safety/Security Education Offers New Courses (Source: ERAU)
Embry-Riddle's Office of Professional Programs now offers on-site, customized continuing-education and training in a variety of aerospace, safety and security subjects. Embry-Riddle's Center for Aerospace Safety / Security Education (CASE) Courses include Accident Investigation and Management, Aviation Safety Management Systems and Aviation Ground Safety for Managers/ OSHA 30-Hour General Industry Safety & Health. Completion of these three courses results in the Certificate of Management in Aviation Safety, which combines the latest in safety, security, human-error and accident investigation topics in a professional and dynamic classroom environment at our Embry-Riddle Campuses. Visit http://www.erau.edu/academic/ep-case.html for information. (4/6)

Japan's Manned Space Program at Crossroad (Source: Daily Yomiuri)
Seven astronauts. Twelve missions. But is this the end of the line? Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki on Monday became the seventh and last Japanese to blast off into space onboard a U.S. space shuttle. But with the shuttle fleet to be retired this year, Japan's manned space program has come to a crossroads.

Japan has been dependent on the United States for its space development. This nation has picked up technologies needed for manned space flights, which were previously dominated by the United States and Russia, and has sent an experiment module called Kibo that is now at the International Space Station and the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), an unmanned cargo spacecraft, into space onboard its own rockets.

Getting to this stage was not easy, though. "At first, we were treated like outsiders," recalled Yoshiyuki Hasegawa, a senior official of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). "[The United States] didn't give us any details about space flight operations. But through persistent negotiations, we gradually persuaded them to share more and more information with us." Hasegawa said U.S. expertise on risk management theory and ensuring the safety of space flights were particularly useful to Japan. (4/6)

Russia to Launch 7 New Navigation Satellites in 2010 (Source: AFP)
Russia is to launch seven new satellites this year for Moscow's GLONASS navigation system, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. "By the end of the year, we plan on launching seven new satellites" which will bring the number operational to 27 or 28, Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying. "GLONASS will cover the whole planet," he added. Russia is to spend 1.7 billion rubles (42.5 million euros, 58 million dollars) developing the system next year compared to 2.0 billion rubles this year and 2.5 billion rubles in 2009, he said. (4/6)

US Concerned Over Indian Satellite Communication Regulations (Source: Space Daily)
The United States has expressed concern over Indian rules over the provision of satellite capacity saying the system lacks transparency. "A lack of transparency in the rules governing the provision of satellite capacity in these countries ( China and India ) is also a concern", US trade representative Ron Kirk said.

He added China and India both generally require that foreign satellite capacity be sold through an intermediary-ChinaDBSat or the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), respectively. These comments were made by Kirk in his report where he said experts have expressed concern that India and Mexico require mobile satellite operators to install local gateways as a condition for providing satellite services into their territories. (4/6)

Mars Society Foresees Obama Policy Shift (Source: Mars Society)
Information received by the Mars Society indicates that there is a real chance that on April 15, President Barack Obama will announce a bold new space policy that breaks substantially from the current disastrous “flexible path to nowhere” policy. The reaction to the policy from Congress has accordingly been extremely negative, and not merely from Republicans, but also, in fact especially, from Democrats, who face electoral destruction in Florida should the plan remain in place. The pressure to break from it has therefore become extreme.

The nominal objective claimed by both camps is Mars. The question at issue is it "Mars someday" or "Mars in our time." This is THE central issue, not just because many of us would prefer to get to Mars sooner rather than later, but because "Mars someday" means that no real flyable hardware will be built. In contrast, "Mars in our time" means we really develop an HLV and other flight hardware, and not only keep flying, but make real progress. (4/6)

NASA Awards Ames Business Operations and Technical Services Contract (Source: NASA)
NASA has selected Deltha-Critique NSS Joint Venture of New Orleans to receive a contract for business operations and technical services at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. The contract has a maximum value of $70 million. (4/6)

NASA Extends Contract with Russian Space Agency (Source: NASA)
NASA has signed a $335 million modification to the current International Space Station contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency for crew transportation, rescue and related services in 2013 and 2014. The firm-fixed price modification covers comprehensive Soyuz support, including all necessary training and preparation for launch, crew rescue, and landing of a long-duration mission for six individual station crew members. (4/6)

Virginia Barnes Named President and CEO of United Space Alliance (Source: Biloxi Sun Herald)
Veteran Boeing executive Virginia A. "Ginger" Barnes has been named to replace Richard O. Covey as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Space Alliance (USA). Barnes, who is the first woman to serve as USA's President and CEO, joins USA from The Boeing Company where she has worked on a variety of programs, a diverse set of customers and in a vast number of roles. (4/6)

Is a Space Exploration Compromise Planned? (Source: NASA Watch)
There seems to be a general consensus forming among NASA, OSTP, and NSC as to what sort of rethinking might be acceptable to all parties with regard to where NASA human spaceflight is going: Ares 1 and 5 remain cancelled. Orion is continued - but in a "Lite" variant that could fly on human-rated EELVs. The commercial crew/cargo approach would remain unchanged. Meanwhile, NASA will continue to fly the Space Shuttle, albeit at a stretched out rate (2 or so flights/year) while ET production is restarted.

In addition to closing the "gap" for American human spaceflight, stretched out Space Shuttle operations will allow a rapid implementation of a Shuttle-derived heavy-lift rocket for cargo (not crew). NASA will also seek to develop a human-rated exploration spacecraft that only operates in space. The initial version will likely use unused ISS modules and Constellation systems. Its component parts would be launched by the Shuttle/Shuttle-C. The exploration vehicle will be assembled on-orbit at the ISS. This exploration spacecraft will be a pathfinder for more complex systems that will be able to traverse cis-lunar space on a regular basis.

It is anticipated that NASA will be called upon to do a routine 30-60 study following the summit and that formal White House approval would come some time during the Summer. This "compromise" will bring layoff numbers back down from the looming abyss that overt Constellation cancellation and Shuttle retirement would cause; keep the Administration's interest in commercial space alive; retain in-house NASA experience in human spaceflight systems, bring the ISS to its full potential; and field human-rated spacecraft capable of leaving LEO much sooner than Constellation is ever likely to have done. (4/6)

Russia Surges Ahead as U.S. Pulls Back from Space Exploration (Source: AIA)
As the U.S. pulls back on its space exploration program, the country is relying more on Russia's federal space program for assistance. While President Barack Obama has proposed major cutbacks for NASA, the Russian government has increased spending on its space exploration program, and one Russian expert said he expected the U.S. to be dependent on Russia to transport astronauts to space until at least 2020. An American astronaut was among Soyuz crew members that included two Russians and launched from Kazakhstan this week. (4/6)

Report: U.S. Space Industry Faces More Level Playing Field (Source: AIA)
The U.S., long the global leader in the space industry, will take its place on a more level playing field, according to the Pentagon's interim Space Posture Review, which was sent to Congress last month. The country faces increased competition from dozens of countries in the market and in expertise in fielding space capabilities, threatening the historical advantages that U.S. industry has enjoyed. (4/6)

Houston Counting Down the Months on Space Shuttle Program (Source: AIA)
After the space shuttle makes its final flight in September, shuttering the program will take until February 2011, according to a government report. That's seen as good news for space workers in Houston, where the shuttle program is worth about $200 million per month. "It's good news in that we indirectly will be keeping the program alive, we'll keep people employed and the program goes forward," says Houston City Councilman Mike Sullivan. But what the Houston area really needs, Sullivan says, "is a commitment from the current administration, President Obama, to extend the life of the program and let us go on with long-term plans." (4/6)

Russia: Nuclear Weapons in Space will Undermine Global Stability (Source: Interfax)
The prospect of deploying arms in outer space and making conventionally-armed strategic offensive weapons could undermine global strategic stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. "If we are to seriously discuss what practical steps must be taken to advance toward a world without nuclear weapons, we must pay attention to a number of factors which could potentially upset global strategic stability," Lavrov said. "This involves in the first place the prospect of deploying weapons in outer space. The second factor that could seriously destabilize the global situation is conventionally-armed strategic offensive weapons," he said. (4/6)

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