August 29, 2010

Putin: Manned Space Flights From New Spaceport in 2018 (Source: Space Daily)
Russia aims to begin launching manned rockets from its new Vostochny cosmodrome located in the far east of the country as early as 2018, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said. Russia has been leasing the Baikonur cosmodrome from Kazakhstan for launching manned and unmanned rockets since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but in 2007 announced plans for the Vostochny complex to have its own launch site. (8/29)

Moon Rock Now Tethered to Mines School (Source: Daily Sentinel)
The travels of Colorado’s wayward moon rock reached an end last week at the Colorado School of Mines, where it was locked away behind steel and glass. There are no immediate plans for the rock to be taken to the highways and back roads of Colorado to be seen elsewhere, a spokeswoman said. “In the near term, because of all the recent publicity, people will expect to see the moon rock when they come to the Geology Museum, and we are pleased to display it for them,” Mines spokeswoman Marsha Williams said. “In the longer term, if there is a lot of interest, we may consider allowing the rock to travel to other secure public areas.” (8/29)

Burt Rutan May Be Retiring and Leaving Mojave (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Reports out of Mojave, Calif. indicate that famed aircraft designer Burt Rutan is looking to retire from the company he founded, Scaled Composites, and move away from the desert town where he designed and built groundbreaking aircraft and spacecraft for 36 years. Rutan is putting his Mojave home on the market and plans to move to a spread in Idaho with his wife, Tonya, according to several reliable sources. Rutan has lived in the Mojave area almost continuously since 1965, when he went to work for the U.S. Air Force as a flight test project engineer at Edwards Air Force Base. (8/29)

India to Focus on Satellite-GPS (Source: Deccan Chronicle)
The Indian Space Research Organization will shortly launch a series of satellites to improve basic services in the country and also to augment technological development. The organization will launch microwave RISAT-1 next year that has all-weather imaging capabilities. INSAT-3D with imager and sounder for retrieving water vapour, wind and temperature, SARAL for sea surface altimetry and small satellites for measuring aerosols and trace gases. (8/29)

India Develops Space Food for Astronauts (Source: sify News)
India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has developed dried and packaged food for astronauts. "This mainly includes some freeze dehydrated items that is some juice products, mango juice products, pineapple juice products, grape juice products and some rice based and chicken based items," said an official. The food laboratory has developed around 70 varieties of dehydrated and processed food items that have undergone strict procedures to zero-in on micro bacterial and macro bacterial nutrients. (8/29)

Moon Capital: A Commercial Gateway to the Moon (Source: Commercial Space Gateway)
On September 21, the Moon Capital Competition will accept entries for the architectural design of an international and commercial lunar habitation. Sponsors of the competition include the Boston Society of Architects; AIAA; Draper Laboratory; Google Lunar X Prize; and Boston Center for the Arts.

The competition is open to all comers, although its slant is largely toward space architects and architects who may become inspired to design in space. The website is at: and contains rich background content. Under Documents, the Category 1 Architectural Design Program describes the commercial dimension of the Moon Capital. A novel aspect of this competition is that it has two submission categories one called "Let's Get Serious" and the other "Let's Have Fun". click here for more. (8/29)

Editorial: Museum in Seattle Good Match for Shuttle (Source: Spokesman-Review)
NASA’s future is up in the air. Its history, or at least a significant part of it, may land in Seattle. It’s a way-cool opportunity, and Seattle’s nonprofit Museum of Flight is enthusiastically offering itself as a home for the Enterprise, the Atlantis or the Endeavour. Being a government operation, the decision is going to be tied up in political considerations. In an election year.

But on the merits, the Seattle institution has a compelling case to make, especially when it comes to addressing NASA’s – as well as the country’s – high-priority interest in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the so-called STEM courses) among America’s middle school students. (8/29)

Planning Proceeds for Space Film Fest on Space Coast (Source: Florida Today)
Local film buffs are planning what they call one of the most unique film festivals to date in the area. Although only in its initial planning stages, the International Space Film Festival could be a big hit and a way to celebrate the space program, according to space enthusiast Bill Larson, who sits on the planning committee. “We’re losing our race for space, and somebody needed to do something to bring the space program back to the American public,” said the former broadcast journalist.

The Space Film Festival is being scheduled for April 2012, soon after the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic Mercury flight, Larson said. Organizers aren’t sure how many people the festival will attract, but they are hoping for 10,000 to 15,000 during the first year. They also are planning for a three- to four-day event to be held in the northern part of the county. (8/29)

AEHF Thruster Failure Stalls Trip To Orbit (Source: Aviation Week)
In the latest delay to the decade-long effort to field a replacement for the Milstar protected communications constellation, Air Force officials are still assessing how best to transfer the $2 billion Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite into geosynchronous orbit after a disappointing problem with its liquid apogee engine. Program officials say the separation of the Atlas V solid rocket motors was nominal, as was the functioning of the payload fairing.

The liquid apogee engine, one of three onboard propulsion systems on the Lockheed-built satellite, failed to start, program officials say. The other onboard propulsion systems, which include a hydrazine-fueled thruster and an ion thruster, were designed for in-orbit stationkeeping. These maneuvers are needed during a satellite’s life to maintain the proper position and downlink to ground stations.

It is unclear whether the Air Force will be able to return the liquid apogee engine to service or be forced to use one of these other two thruster systems for the remainder of the journey 22,000 mi. into geosynchronous orbit. If so, the trip will consume precious onboard fuel and it will affect the life expectation for this spacecraft. Failure to reach orbit is a major disappointment for the Air Force, which has been plagued with management problems of its space programs in the past decade. (8/29)

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