November 9, 2010

LaunchSpace Offers Training Classes in Cocoa Beach (Source: LaunchSpace)
LaunchSpace Training is currently planning four specialized courses in 2011 in Cocoa Beach for space industry professionals. The courses include Launch Vehicle Payload Integration; Launch Vehicle and Spacecraft Acoustic Testing and Analysis; Space Vehicle Mechanisms; and Launch Vehicle Systems Design and Engineering. Click here for dates, costs and course descriptions. (11/9)

Outgoing Sen. LeMieux Mulls 2012 Senate Bid (Source: Florida Today)
U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, appointed to his job in mid-2009, said Tuesday he is alarmed by soaring federal spending and that it might prompt him to run in his own right for the Senate seat held by Democrat Bill Nelson in 2012. LeMieux was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to finish the last 16 months of Republican Mel Martinez' term. He will be succeeded in January by Marco Rubio, the Republican who won last week's election over Crist — who bolted the GOP to run as an independent — and Democratic U.S Rep. Kendrick Meek. (11/9)

Iridium Boosts Revenue to $94.5M, Raises Forecast (Source: Washington Business Journal)
Iridium Communications Inc. added more subscribers in its latest quarter, lifting revenue to $94.5 million. The company also increased its guidance for annual subscriber growth. Third quarter revenue increased 12 percent from the 2009 period due to gains from both commercial and service businesses. (11/9)

NASA Selects 7 Huntsville Companies for Heavy-Lift Rocket Analysis (Source: Huntsville Times)
NASA named 13 companies Monday - seven of them from Huntsville - to negotiate for potential contracts to conduct systems analysis and trade studies for evaluating its next-generation heavy-lift launch vehicle. The Huntsville companies are: Analytical Mechanics Associates; Alliant Techsystems; Boeing; Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman; Science Applications International Corp.; and United Space Alliance. (Decatur's United Launch Alliance also received one of the contracts.) (11/9)

Sen. Warner to Visit NASA Langley (Source: Daily Press)
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., will visit NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton on Thursday. Warner will meet Clint Cragg, a Langley engineer who was among four NASA employees to assist Chile in rescuing 33 miners trapped underground last month, said Keith Henry, Langley spokesman. It is the senator's first visit to the facility, NASA's oldest, according to Henry. It follows his counterpart, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who visited Langley for the first time in September. (11/9)

Hall, Johnson Seek to Lead House Science Committee (Source: Dallas Morning News)
The science and technology committee in the U.S. House soon may be led by two North Texans. Rockwall Rep. Ralph Hall, who currently holds the ranking member slot on the committee, stands to become chair once Republicans take over the House in the next Congress. He said two weeks ago that he has "almost been assured" of the position, and his office said today that's still the case. Meanwhile, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, of Dallas, announced she intends to run to be the top Democrat on the committee. (11/9)

SpaceX Raises Another $50 Million (Source: Business Insider)
Elon Musk's space company, SpaceX has raised another $50 million in funding, according to a SEC filing. A company rep tells us, "Existing investors expressed an interest in making an incremental investment and we accommodated their request." The company has raised $150 million so far. Existing investors include Elon Musk, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and the Founders Fund. (11/9)

UC Riverside Physicist’s Talk Covers History of Universe (Source: UC Riverside)
How did the universe begin and how did it evolve? The public has an opportunity to learn the answers to these fundamental questions in about the time in takes to eat breakfast. Bahram Mobasher, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside, will talk about the history of the universe when he addresses the upcoming Citizens University Committee (CUC) breakfast meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 7:15 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. at the University Extension, Rooms D/E, 1200 University Avenue, Riverside, Calif. (11/9)

India Aims High With Satellite Technology (Source: Aviation Week)
India is becoming a power in satellite development and a significant player in the use of space for military as well as civil needs. A number of Indian-built military satellites with surveillance, imaging and navigation capabilities are planned for launch in the next few years, to both keep “a watch on the neighborhood and help guide cruise missiles” should the need emerge, says V. K. Saraswat, scientific adviser to the defense minister. “[The satellites] will have tremendous applications.” (11/9)

Update: Mystery Missile Was Likely a Jet Contrail (Source: SPACErePORT)
A supposed missile launch off the southern California coast was caught by CBS affiliate KCBS's cameras Monday, and DOD officials are denying it was one of theirs. Some credible bloggers are now suggesting that the "launch" was actually an eastbound jet aircraft contrail. The "launch" location appeared to be about 35 miles out to sea, west of L.A. and north of Catalina Island. Click here to see the initial news report. (11/9)

NASA'S Fermi Telescope Discovers Giant Structure In Our Galaxy (Source: NASA)
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way. The feature spans 50,000 light-years and may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our galaxy. "What we see are two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000 light-years north and south of the galactic center," said an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "We don't fully understand their nature or origin." The structure spans more than half of the visible sky, from the constellation Virgo to the constellation Grus, and it may be millions of years old. (11/9)

United Space Alliance to Lay Off Another 173 (Source: Houston Business Journal)
United Space Alliance is planning to lay off another 173 workers at the beginning of the year, according to a company spokeswoman. Kari Fluegel said that the layoff is in addition to 1,200 let go in October. In a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission dated Oct. 29, the Houston-based commercial space company stated that it would be laying off employees at eight of its locations, including a few workers who were subcontractors for Lockheed Martin as well as the NASA Johnson Space Center. (11/9)

Aviation Company Plans Expansion to Florida's Space Coast (Source: Space Florida)
AAR has selected Melbourne, Florida, as the new location for its airlift services and specialized airlift modifications businesses. AAR will move to facilities at and near Melbourne International Airport, which is expected to be completed by spring 2011. They expect to create up to 225 local jobs by the end of 2012. AAR serves aviation and government/defense customers through four divisions: Aviation Supply Chain; Govt and Defense Services; Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul; and Structures and Systems.

Space Florida has been an integral part of AAR's site selection process in the past months, in partnership with the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Melbourne International Airport and Enterprise Florida. Space Florida will provide up to three years of rent deferment funding and assistance in securing equipment and building infrastructure at commercially-competitive terms. Space Florida will also facilitate ongoing working relationships between AAR and the DoD and U.S. State Departments. Additionally, Space Florida will work in partnership with the EDC to leverage job training assistance and support the company’s overall relocation to Florida. (11/9)

Who Will Be the New Leadership of the House Science Committee? (Source: Space Politics)
The retirement of Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), the outgoing chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, creates a vacancy in the Democratic leadership of the committee. Yesterday one member, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), formally declared her interest in being ranking member of the committee in the new Congress. “I would fight to ensure that our aviation industry and, NASA specifically, remains strong, and able to undertake each and every new mission that draws them further away from our planet and into depths of scientific discovery,” she said.

On the newly-majority Republican side, current ranking member Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) has already shown an interest in the committee chairmanship. However, two other members are reportedly interested in the post: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Recall that Sensenbrenner served as chairman of the science committee from 1997-2001, and under House GOP rules would have two more years of eligibility as committee chairman. (11/9)

Globalstar Revenue Up But Losses Widen (Source: Space News)
Mobile satellite services provider Globalstar Inc. on Nov. 8 reported slightly higher revenue but sharply increased losses for the three months ending Sept. 30 and said it has stabilized its base of voice customers as it prepares to return to full service with a new generation of satellites. The company said it has managed to hold onto 105,000 voice subscribers, in part by offering limited-time deals including a new Qualcomm-built handset and 12 months of unlimited calling for less than $750. (11/9)

OHB’s Sales Rise on Galileo and Weather Satellite Work (Source: Space News)
German satellite and rocket-component manufacturer OHB Technology on Nov. 9 reported 50 percent increases in revenue and backlog on the strength of its contract to build 14 of Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites, and said its expected work on a European meteorological satellite program has increased to well over 300 million euros ($420 million). (11/9)

LOX and Bagels (Source: Space KSC Blog)
You won't find Mary Sherman Morgan's name among the historical displays at the Air Force Space & Missile Museum at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. The "Explorer-1" mission's literature tells us that the Jupiter-c Redstone rocket used a mixture of liquid oxygen (LOX) and "Hydyne" as the fuel in the first stage, which was powered by a descendant of a German V-2 engine. These engines typically used a mix of LOX and alcohol, but this didn't produce enough thrust to place the Explorer-1 into orbit. Ms. Morgan worked at North American Aviation's Aerophysics Laboratory, and she invented Hydyne.

Mary wanted to call the new fuel "Bagel" so people could say the Redstone was powered by "LOX and Bagel." The Army did not share her sense of humor, and instead named it "Hydyne." Mary Sherman Morgan was a woman who shunned publicity, so her story is not well known. Click here to learn more about her. (11/9)

Japan-U.S. Space Program Group Plans Hawaii Event on Nov. 14-18 (Source: JUSTSAP)
The Japan-U.S. Science, Technology & Space Applications Program (JUSTSAP) is an association of scientists, business executives, government officials, educators and students from Japan and the United States with a common interest in space exploration. JUSTSAP was established in 1990 under the auspices of the Japan-U.S. Leadership Council to foster bilateral collaboration in the public and commercial use of space-related science and technology. JUSTSAP will sponsor a Nov. 14-16 event focused on Building Sustainable Settlements Beyond Low-Earth Orbit. Click here for details. (11/9)

Harris to Purchase Satellite Company (Source: Florida Today)
Expanding its worldwide satellite communications network, Harris Corp. announced plans for the nearly $400 million purchase of Schlumberger Limited's Global Connectivity Services business. Combined with the July acquisition of CapRock Communications, Harris will have invested about $900 million in worldwide satellite communications this year alone. A unit of oil drilling giant Schlumberger Limited, Schlumberger GCS has projected revenue of $170 million, 400 employees, customers in more than 50 countries and 12 globally deployed teleports, where satellite communications are sent and received. (11/9)

Winter Park Couple Signs On for Space Trip (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
It was by happenstance that Marc and Sharon Hagle decided to fly to outer space. The Winter Park couple, known locally for their philanthropy and support of the arts, were celebrating a wedding anniversary three years ago with a zero-gravity airplane flight out of Cape Canaveral. Among the other passengers floating about in the specially modified Boeing 727 was a group of sales people from Virgin Galactic, the commercial space-flight venture being developed by British billionaire Richard Branson. It didn't take much to sell the Hagles on the chance for some real space travel. (11/9)

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