August 17, 2010

Embry-Riddle Icarus Team Launches Again With Test of Payload/Recovery System (Source: SPACErePORT)
Embry-Riddle Future Space Explorers and Developers Society (ERFSEDS) successfully launched and recovered their Icarus payload and recovery system test vehicle "Hyperion" on Aug. 14, with support of the Northeast Florida Association of Rocketry (NEFAR) at their Bunnell range. The rocket included a master flight controller, telemetry downlink, six axis Inertial Monitoring Unit (IMU), GPS receiver, launch control ground link, two ARTS2 flight computers, and a Rouse Tech "CD3" CO2 system and line cutter for dual parachute deployment.

Hyperion is ten feet in length, and has a lightweight carbon composite airframe and carbon-overlaid honeycomb fins, all fabricated by the student team. It was launched with a Loki M-1882 motor. A video of the flight is available here. (8/17)

Nelson Wants Tax Breaks for Commercial Space Industry (Source: MSNBC)
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., wants to create five business enterprise zones around the country, including one possibly at the Kennedy Space Center, where investors who put their money in commercial space ventures would get major tax breaks. Nelson plans to sponsor legislation that would give tax breaks worth 20 percent of their outlays to investors in private space-related businesses. The Commercial Space Jobs and Investment Act would help attract engineers and scientists to these enterprise zones and create jobs in a space industry facing uncertainty, Nelson said.

"What we're doing now is everything we can to ensure KSC's continued importance to our nation's space exploration effort, while also broadening the economic opportunities along our Space Coast," Nelson said in a statement. The U.S. space program is undergoing its biggest transformation in a generation with the last space shuttle flight scheduled for next year. Thousands of workers are expected to lose their jobs when the shuttle program ends. The Obama administration has pledged $40 million to Florida's Space Coast to help ease the transition. Another $60 million has been proposed for other regions around the nation affected by the end of the program. (8/17)

Space Florida Board Discusses Projects and Priorities (Source: SPACErePORT)
Space Florida chief Frank DiBello on Tuesday presented a list of new projects and priorities for the agency, including three code-named projects that could have a major impact on Florida aerospace employment, a plan for sponsoring multiple high-profile aerospace conferences in the state, and plans for sponsoring university-oriented centers focused on micro-satellites, hybrid air vehicles, and International Space Station research.

Space Florida is looking to build a leadership role for the state in operating the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. They will continue efforts to expand launch operations at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, including the potential use of LC-36 as a test site for launch system components (while concurrently serving as an active launch site).

The Space Florida board approved the following investments: up to $1M in financial support for a reusable launch vehicle company; up to 30% of the estimated $2.9 million cost for Starfighters Aerospace to procure multiple F-104 jet aircraft from Italy; and $2 million over three years to match the FAA's investment in research at a proposed Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has teamed with Space Florida to establish this Center at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport). (8/17)

National Center for Simulation Plans Space Modeling & Simulation Initiative (Source: SPACErePORT)
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Thomas Baptiste, president of the Orlando-based National Center for Simulation, presented to the Space Florida board his plans to establish a Space Modeling & Simulation program under the Center, with support from Space Florida, Kennedy Space Center, and various universities. The initiative would focus on space mission analysis, planning, test & evaluation, logistics, and training & operations. (8/17)

Embry-Riddle’s Aerospace Engineering Named Best in Nation for 11th Straight Year (Source: ERAU)
For the 11th year in a row, the annual “America’s Best Colleges” guide published by U.S. News Media Group has ranked Embry-Riddle’s aerospace engineering program #1 in the nation and has also named Embry-Riddle to the top tier of universities granting mainly bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In the specialty category of “Best Undergraduate Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering Programs at Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Bachelor’s or Master’s,” Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus took first place and the University’s Prescott, Ariz., campus was #3.

Additionally, in the broader category of “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs at Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Bachelor’s or Master’s,” Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus was ranked #11, up one spot compared to last year, and the Prescott campus climbed from #34 to #17. Among the 118 schools in the category of “Best Regional Universities (South),” Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus was ranked #10, up two notches this year. (8/17)

NASA Engineering Official Featured at Space Club Luncheon (Source: NSCFL)
The National Space Club's Florida Committee will host its next luncheon on Sep. 14 at the Radisson Resort in Cape Canaveral. Russell Romanella, NASA Associate Administrator for Engineering and Technical Operations, will discuss NASA's exploration plans. Visit for information and to register. (8/17)

James Cameron Wants to "Get People Excited About [Space] Exploration" (Source: MTV)
For Oscar-winning director James Cameron, whose box-office clout at this point seems unmatchable, making mega-blockbusters like "Avatar" and "Titanic" might not be enough. So next year, Cameron is taking his filmmaking expertise to the final frontier. In April, it was announced that Cameron had partnered with NASA to help build a 3-D camera mounted atop the Mars rover Curiosity for a mission planned for launch next year. When MTV News caught up with the filmmaker, we asked if, in addition to sending 3-D cameras to Mars, he's thinking about how to send humans there. Click here to read the article. (8/17)

Huntsville Space Center Offers First Hand Look at Space Race (Source: Russia Times)
Huntsville, Alabama, located in the deep south of the US, is a city dedicated entirely to the space race. “This was the beginning of our man spaceflight program,” said historian and author Ed Buckbee, referring to Hunstville’s role in the beginning of the space race. Hunstville is where one man’s special vision became reality. (8/17)

China Finishes Construction of First Unmanned Space Module (Source: Xinhua)
China has finished construction of its first unmanned space module, Tiangong-1, and it is testing the module's electronic, mechanical and thermal properties, a military source said here Tuesday. The 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1 will be put into preset orbit in 2011, the source added. The space module is expected to carry out China's first space docking, with the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, which will be launched in the second half of 2011 after Tiangong-1. The source said experts are currently building the Shenzhou-8 and testing the Long March II-F carrier rocket on which the Tiangong-1 is expected to be launched. (8/17)

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