July 12, 2010

Northrop Grumman to Locate HQ in Falls Church, Virginia (Source: AP)
Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. said Monday it has selected a location in Falls Church, Va., to be its new corporate headquarters. Los Angeles-based Northrop said it will begin operations in the new facility next summer. Northrop announced in January that it was moving its corporate offices to the Washington, D.C., area to be closer to government customers. In April, Virginia beat out Maryland and Washington, D.C, in an tax incentives battle to land the new office. (7/12)

Obama’s Latest Reform? NASA: Norm Augustine’s Subversive Agenda (Source: Canada Free Press)
The Committee to Review U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans, chaired by Norman Augustine, was ostensibly tasked by Obama’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, itself led by ultra-radical Communist-sympathizer John Holdren, with weighing the pros and cons of NASA’s current manned--program and to recommend various alternatives for making it safer, more competitive and more sustainable. But if the recommendations of the committee’s final report were to be adopted, it would be giant blow, costing thousands more jobs, ushering in the end of American leadership and exceptionalism in space and threatening the very existence of the U.S.

Complicating matters is Obama’s new, National Space Policy, which provides only for deterrence from interference or attack in space, and if those methods fail, “To defeat efforts to attack them.” Omitted is any mention of any preemptive, offensive capability. (7/12)

Editorial: Lost in Space: Obama’s NASA Program (Source: Daily Caller)
The idiocy of the Obama administration continues to amaze us, even after eighteen months of leftist policies. After becoming president, Obama sent federal spending into the stratosphere, increasing the burden on future generations of Americans. However, one of the few agencies that he has grounded is involved in one of our most vital national missions, space exploration. Sadly, the president has reduced spending for NASA, while boosting spending for almost everything else in the federal government.

The result is that facilities like Michoud in New Orleans East are in danger of closing, resulting in the loss of thousands of high paying jobs. Instead of reaching for the stars, the president wants NASA to become more focused on earthbound challenges like the politically charged issue of global warming. This is a ludicrous departure for the once proud agency, which is now led by staunch Obama supporter Charles Bolden. (7/12)

Reagan Invited Muslim to Fly on Shuttle (Source: SpaceKSC Blog)
Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan went on Fox News and called on Bolden to resign after his Al Jazeera remarks. Cernan is a vocal advocate of Constellation. Apparently Cernan and other critics have heard of Prince Sultan ibn Salman al Saud. He was a Saudi Arabian who flew on STS-51G Discovery in June 1985 at the invitation of the Reagan administration.

He carried not only a Koran with him on his space voyage, but an astrolabe, the instrument of astronomical computation used in the medieval Islamic world. While he might not feel like the personification of the Islamic renaissance, he knows the comparison is not without meaning. It is not coincidental that so many of the stars have Arab names, he said, referring to the astronomers, mathematicians and physicists of that earlier time. (7/12)

Gunman Kills Workers at Space Company (Source: Space News)
Six people are reported dead and four injured after a lone gunman went on a shooting spree at the Albuquerque, N.M., campus of Emcore Corp., a photovoltaics and fiber optics provider. Police said the shooter was a former Emcore employee and that the incident is a case of workplace domestic violence. Emcore is a leading provider of satellite solar cells and related hardware whose customers include some of the biggest names in the space business. The company also builds satellite communications ground equipment. (7/12)

White House Denies NASA Remark on Muslim Outreach (Source: AP)
The White House is contradicting the NASA administrator's claim that President Barack Obama assigned him to reach out to Muslims on science matters. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden recently told Al-Jazeera network that one of the charges Obama gave him was "to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering."

Some conservative activists criticized the remarks. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that such activities are not among Bolden's assigned tasks. He said administration officials have spoken with NASA about the matter. (7/12)

Former CAIB Members Support White House Space Policy (Source: NASA Watch)
"As former board members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), we agree with your view that assuring crew safety is an essential element in the discussion of future U.S. crew transportation systems...we have also noted with interest recent space policy discussions where our report has been cited.

In particular, we have been somewhat surprised to learn that some people, both within and outside of the Congress, have interpreted the new White House strategy for space which gives a greater role to the commercial sector... as being not in line with the findings and recommendations of the CAIB report. Our view is that NASA's new direction can be a) just as safe, if not more safe, than government-controlled alternatives b) will achieve higher safety than that of the Space Shuttle, and c) is directly in line with the recommendations of the CAIB." (7/12)

NASA Glenn Mobilizes Moon Power Grid Plans (Source: Crain's)
To figure out the best way to build a power grid on the moon, Jim Soeder and Joe Shaw want to build a similar one that will help power the western portion of NASA Glenn Research Center in Brook Park. The two NASA Glenn officials are helping plan a project that would involve dispersing several alternative energy sources and storage technologies throughout the campus's West Area. A NASA Glenn official said the project, should it receive the money it needs, could go on for decades, incorporating new energy and grid technologies as they are developed. (7/12)

The Gap in NewSpace Business Plans (Source: Space Review)
Last week came word that Rocketplane has filed for bankruptcy, ending its long but ultimately unsuccessful effort to develop new suborbital and orbital launch vehicles. Jeff Foust examines how the company's failure can be linked, at least in part, to a gap in financing models for NewSpace companies. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1663/1 to view the article. (7/12)

Weather and Launch Failures (Source: Space Review)
Weather is a frequent cause of launch delays and has been linked to a number of launch failures over the years. Wayne Eleazer examines two such launch failures and what they say about the launch decision process. Visit
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1662/1 to view the article. (7/12)

Big Changes in the Works for Defense Spending (Source: AIA)
Big changes in the national security budget appear in store after a record amount of spending over the past decade has left the military in a state that some argue is little improved. Democrats are stepping up their efforts to challenge Defense Department spending, and the Pentagon last week announced a general change in contract types to a system of stricter fixed-price agreements. Think tanks predict more changes lie ahead, even if spending levels stay the same. (7/12)

NASA Budget Fight - Is Utah Emerging as Rival to KSC? (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
The Senate subcommittee charged with NASA oversight will present a $19 billion bill this week that kills President Barack Obama's proposed shakeup of the agency's human-spaceflight program, in the process cutting billions from commercial rocket and technology projects that supporters say would have benefited Kennedy Space Center.

Though the bill effectively cancels the delayed and over-budget Constellation moon-rocket program — as Obama requested in his NASA budget — it would repurpose that money to build a new heavy-lift rocket while largely ignoring the president's call to fund new space-faring technology and commercial rockets that would send humans into space. Several Florida Space Coast leaders have expressed concern about its impact here.

Of particular concern is the fact that Nelson — Florida's main space supporter — would take away billions of dollars from commercial rocket and technology development that over the next decade would have diversified the aerospace industry in Florida and provided KSC with new jobs and prestige. "We are afraid the compromise bill compromises Florida's long-term interests," said Dale Ketcham, director of UCF's Space Research and Technology Institute. (7/12)

Spaceflight Federation Responds to Misperceptions with "Myths & Facts" Document (Source: CSF)
As a strong supporter of a robust NASA human spaceflight program, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation has released a document to address topics related to human spaceflight, including commercial human spaceflight. The "Myths & Facts" document addresses many of the conerns raised as objections to NASA's plans for relying on commercial launch providers for crew transport to the International Space Station. Click here to read the document. (7/12)

India Launches Remote Sensing, Other Satellites (Source: Space Today)
An Indian rocket placed a remote sensing satellite and four smaller spacecraft into orbit on Monday. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan spaceport on India's east coast and placed into orbit the Cartosat-2B satellite. The spacecraft, weighing nearly 700 kilograms at launch, is the latest in a series of remote sensing satellites. It features a panchromatic camera that can take images with resolutions better than 1 meter per pixel. Also launched on the same rocket were four smaller satellites ranging in mass from less then 1 kilogram to 116 kilograms. (7/12)

Sky Not the Limit for Rocket Maker (Source: Highlands Ranch Herald)
It was 1997 when Jerry Larson and a friend set their sights on becoming the first amateur team to send a rocket into space. Nine years later, they would realize their dream. Larson was 9 years old when he watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. His childhood fascination with space flight did not relent, but rather flourished as he grew into adulthood. Now he is at the helm of a groundbreaking company based right in Colorado. (7/12)

Skydiver Plans Record-Breaking Supersonic Space Jump (Source: Space.com)
A skydiver is making progress with plans to leap from near the edge of space in a dive that would break world records and the sound barrier. Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner is a step closer to attempting the feat after a series of recent high-altitude test jumps. He plans to make his ambitious jump attempt later this year.

Starting in the stratosphere at 120,000 feet above the ground, Baumgartner will leap from a capsule suspended by a hot air balloon near the boundary of space. A team of aeronautics experts recently led Baumgartner through a week of testing meant to illuminate any possible weaknesses in his equipment and to familiarize him with the skills needed to navigate the conditions expected to assail him as soon as he opens his vessel door. (7/12)

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