July 11, 2010

Failure of Imported Components Behind Loss of Satellites? (Source: IANS):
The recurring loss of Indian satellites because of power supply glitches may be due to the failure of imported components, according to Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists. ISRO has lost two of its satellites earlier -- Chandrayaan in 2009 and INSAT-2D in 1997 -- and INSAT-4B partially now.

Scientists of the Indian space agency are working to fix the power snag that switched off 12 transponders of the INSAT-4B communications satellite Wednesday night. A big setback to the space agency, which is trying to get a foothold in the global communications satellite building market is the failure of the W2M satellite co-built by ISRO and EADS Astrium for Eutelsat Communications in January.

"It seems the culprit is imported components for satellite power systems. The Chandrayaan satellite was lost due to power problems in an imported component. The DC to DC converter in the Chandrayaan satellite failed, which in turn heated up other components/equipments and stopped their functioning, ultimately forcing ISRO to junk the mission well ahead of its planned life of two years. (7/11)

DiBello: Don't Lose KSC Investments in Space Plan Compromise (Source: Florida Today)
In a meeting Saturday with Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas, Space Florida President Frank DiBello said he is concerned about any compromise details sacrificing presidential budget line items that are good for Florida. Development of a heavy-lift launch vehicle, for example, is a "good thing over the long haul, but not if we pay for it with flagship technology programs that are key to moving Kennedy Space Center into more of an R&D role." (7/11)

Kosmas Meets with Local Leaders on Space Plans (Sources: Florida Today, WESH)
Officials met on Saturday with Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas to talk about the future of space jobs on Florida's Space Coast. "Our main mission, of course, is to preserve the workforce here in Central Florida, and at the Space Coast particularly, and that we keep those highly skilled workers employed," Kosmas said. "They're the people with the problems and, frequently, the best ideas come from people with the problems," Kosmas said. "We need some bottoms-up input."

Dale Ketcham uses military-style imagery to illustrate what's happening on the Space Coast and beyond with the shuttle retirement. Some communities handle the closing of a military base magnificently, said Ketcham. Some areas, years after a base closure, still suffer. Ketcham is part of the movement to avoid the latter picture as the region moves toward and into the post-shuttle era.

"This can be a real opportunity to turn this more from a model of 20th-century Detroit, with a single program that's very labor-intensive, into a Silicon Valley, much more innovative. I think we've got that opportunity," he said... People along the Space Coast are bracing for major job losses after President Barack Obama slashed NASA's budget. Editor's Note: WESH is inaccurate saying that Obama "slashed NASA's budget." He actually proposes a significant increase, including major investments at KSC. (7/11)

Congress May Not Decide Constellation's Fate Until Next Year (Source: Huntsville Times)
Last month, NASA voluntarily starved its own post-space shuttle rocket program and threw 500 Huntsville aerospace employees out of work. Politically, observers called that a bold - even risky - play by NASA Headquarters to get in step with a White House that has wanted to kill the program called Constellation all year.

But Congress has been skeptical or hostile to killing Constellation from the start, and NASA's June massacre didn't build any bridges. So, NASA is now in rare territory for it, but a familiar place to its big brother, the Defense Department - a funding face-off between a White House that wants to kill a big-ticket program and lawmakers who do not. Click here to read the article. (7/11)

Anderholt: Human Space Flight Worth Saving: Robots No Sub for Manned Trips (Source: Huntsville Times)
The president says that his plan is fully committed to the mission of NASA, but many members agree with me that it forfeits America's leadership in space and unnecessarily cuts thousands of jobs across the nation at a time when we are trying to recover from a recession.

The president's plan proposes to "lease" rides on a fleet of commercial rocket taxis in order to send cargo and crew to the ISS. But the U.S. taxpayer will have to fund almost the entire cost of developing those taxis, and the administration has not set a minimum percentage of funds which the private company must invest. The plan would also cost $4 billion or more in unnecessary shutdown costs. As the biggest NASA policy change in 50 years, this approach warrants, at a minimum, a transition process, not an abrupt leap of faith. (7/11)

No comments: