May 11, 2010

DiBello: Diversification Key to Creating Vibrant Space Industry (Source: Florida Today)
Space Florida President Frank DiBello said Tuesday that his agency’s goal is to triple the value of the state’s space industry through diversification by 2020. “Space is a catalyst for an innovation future and a knowledge base to come,” DiBello told the National Space Club. “We set a pretty audacious goal for ourselves.” He pointed out that the Obama Administration’s $6 billion budget increase for Kennedy Space Center surely will translate into jobs. (5/11)

Loral To Offer Stock in Satellite-making Division (Source: Space News)
Loral has hired two investment banks to manage an initial public stock offering of up to 19.9 percent of the company’s satellite-manufacturing division, Space Systems/Loral, and also “evaluate other strategic alternatives for” the satellite builder, Loral CEO Michael Targoff said. Loral is apparently seeking to reduce its exposure to what many industry experts say is a likely dip in the commercial satellite manufacturing market in the coming years as the largest satellite fleet operators wind down their current fleet-replacement and expansion efforts. (5/11)

Huge Chunk of Universe's Missing Matter Found (Source:
A giant reservoir of intergalactic gas was detected lying along a wall-shaped structure of galaxies about 400 million light-years away from Earth, providing the strongest evidence yet that the "missing matter" in the nearby universe is located in an enormous web of hot, diffuse gas. Observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton observatory have allowed astronomers to examine the missing matter, which is not the same as dark matter.

The missing matter is composed of baryons, which are particles such as protons and electrons that make up most of the mass of the visible matter in the universe. A variety of measurements of distant gas clouds and galaxies have provided a good estimate of the amount of "normal matter" that was present when the universe was only a few billion years old. But, an inventory of the much older, nearby universe discovered only about half as much normal matter – a surprising deficit. (5/11)

Air Force To Buy Two Cubesats For Space Weather Monitoring (Source: Space News)
The U.S. Air Force in June plans to issue a request for proposals to deliver two fully integrated cubesats for monitoring environmental conditions in space, according to a May 10 posting on the Federal Business Opportunities website. The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles, will be seeking a contractor to design, build, test and deliver two experimental satellites with Space Environmental Monitoring payloads, the posting said. (5/11)

AIAA Dinner Meeting in Cocoa Beach on May 20 (Source: AIAA)
The next AIAA Canaveral Section Dinner Meeting will be held on May 20 from 6-9PM at the International Palms Resort (formerly the Holiday Inn) in Cocoa Beach. This event features one of AIAA's distinguished lecturers, Mr. Ken Szalai, former director of NASA Dryden, who will speak on "Flights of Discovery - Experimental Research in the Modern Era." RSVPs are encouraged by May 13 at (5/11)

South Korea to Launch Second KSLV Rocket in June (Source: Korea Times)
South Korea’s first space rocket launch was a dismal failure, although government officials insist on calling it a “half-success.” The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the country’s space agency, doesn’t intend to leave any doubts this time around as it prepares to light up the Korea Space Launch Vehicle 1 (KSLV-1) again for an optimistic retry on June 9.

Yet it is difficult to pinpoint the areas required for improvement, when engineers and officials are still unsure what caused KSLV-1 to fail to place its payload satellite into orbit on its maiden flight last August. “Our engineers know that failure is not an option this time around, and we are thoroughly inspecting every single possibility,” Cho Gwang-rae, who heads KARI’s rocket development unit said.

The agency’s predominant objective currently is to improve the design of the KSLV-1’s second stage, the part of the rocket that holds the satellite, redoing the wiring and adjusting the mechanical structure to simplify the system and reduce the possibilities of malfunction, said the KARI official. (5/11)

NRC: NASA Facilities Deferred Maintenance is "Staggering," Affects Safety (Source: Space Policy Online)
A National Research Council (NRC) study finds that NASA's basic research facilities are in a state of decline. Committee co-chair John Best says that it is "imperative that NASA restore and maintain its basic research laboratories" or jeopardize its ability to meet major mission goals. The report is based on the committee's examination of laboratories at Goddard Space Flight Center, Glenn Research Center, Langley Research Center and Ames Research Center. The committee found that NASA's deferred maintenance budget grew from $1.77 billion in 2004 to $2.6 billion in 2009, a "staggering" bill yet to be paid. "NASA is spending well below accepted industry guidelines on annual maintenance, repairs, and upgrades," with consequent effects on safety, says the NRC. Click here to download the report. (5/11)

Lockheed Martin To Build Vietnamese Telecommunications Satellite (Source: Space News)
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems will build Vietnam’s Vinasat 2 telecommunications satellite under a contract signed May 11 with the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT). Financial terms were not disclosed, but VNPT has said in the past that it expects the Vinasat 2 project, including the satellite’s launch and insurance, to cost around $300 million. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Lockheed Martin also is responsible for selecting the launch services provider and insuring the satellite’s launch under the in-orbit delivery contract. (5/11)

Kosmas tries to lure 'hot prospects' to Brevard (Source: Florida Today)
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas says she has strong leads, as she works to attract new commercial space and alternative energy companies to the Space Coast. "We feel very, very strongly that we've got some very hot prospects," Kosmas, a New Smyrna Beach Democrat, said in an interview Monday after her speech at a Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon. "I'm very encouraged by the number of companies that want to come to the community."

Kosmas, whose district includes northern Brevard County, said she could not discuss the identities of those companies because the deals aren't done. Attracting new jobs to the region is crucial because the end of the space shuttle program is expected mean a direct loss of about 8,000 space worker jobs at Kennedy Space Center -- a work force Kosmas called "highly professional and very skilled." (5/11)

Space Events Planned in Miami (Source: NASA)
Join the American Astronomical Society for a pair of events taking place in late May in Miami, Fla. Attendance at both events is free. "AstroZone: Miami" is planned for May 22 at the Miami Dade Main Public Library. AstroZone is a four-hour open house for the public to learn about the cool science currently being done in the field of astronomy. During the event, attendees will have a chance to meet scientists, take part in hands-on astronomy and collect lots of cool astronomy-related resources to take home. Visit

On May 23, a K-12 Educator Reception: "Better Than Google and Wikipedia Combined!" is planned at the Hyatt Regency Miami: Foster. Attendees at this exclusive evening reception will learn about the latest astronomy results and how to use them in the classroom. Visit (5/11)

Man Gives Up Auto Job to Chase Space Dream (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
To say that Rono Danakili likes outer space is an understatement. Indeed, the 56-year-old Las Crucen and his wife completely upended their lives about a year ago to give Danakili a better chance to pursue his passion. Danakili spent most of his life in Detroit, where he logged more than 30 years working in the auto industry. He said he's always had an interest in aerospace - his Wayne State University thesis examined possible uses for the region of space between Earth and the moon - and astronomy.

Danakili always had pursued his aeronautical interests outside of work. But one morning in the summer of 2008, he was surfing the Internet at his home in Michigan and came across an advertisement for New Mexico's Spaceport America. He clicked on the link and wound up viewing a promotional video about plans by the Britain-based Virgin Galactic to launch passengers to suborbital space from the southeastern Sierra County site. Danakili said he was "captivated" by images of the astronauts, the desert landscape and -- likely something overlooked by most -- the instrument panel of the spaceship. (5/11)

Editorial: Testing Gets Us the Answers We Seek (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
Testing - I've been thinking about that this week. There's a lot of it going on here in Las Cruces. It was finals week at New Mexico State University. And as I write this, lots of my friends are grading exams, reading final project papers and making critical decisions. Testing can be a way for the tester to learn how well they did by looking at the performance of their students or instruments.

You thought they only cared about your performance? Nope, they care about their own as well, testers learn about themselves, too. Last Tuesday, you read about the very successful Student Launch at Spaceport America. That was an inspiring final exam for the students from all over New Mexico who had instruments on the flight. We recovered the experiments and got them back to the students by the end of the day so they could begin looking at the data they collected during flight. (5/11)

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