December 5, 2010

Ares Institute Plans Plasma and Fusion Research Lab on Space Coast (Source: ARES)
As Brevard County prepares for the end of the space shuttle program, the Aerospace Research & Engineering Systems (ARES) Institute is fostering the growth of high-technology research on the Space Coast through the establishment of a state-of-the-art plasma science and fusion research laboratory. The Spacecoast Plasma & High-Energy Electrostatics Laboratory (SphereLab) will provide the opportunity for researchers from academia and industry as well as university students in Florida to engage in cutting-edge plasma and fusion research while also attracting talent from around the U.S. Click here for information. (12/5)

Russia Launches More Glonass Navigation Satellites (Source: AFP)
Russia launched a rocket carrying three of its Glonass navigation satellites into space on Sunday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Proton-M rocket blasted off on time carrying three Glonass-M satellites, part of a system designed by the Russian government as a rival to the United States government's Global Positioning System (GPS). (12/5)

Russian Glonass Satellites Fall Into Pacific (Source: Washington Post)
Russian news reports say a rocket and its payload of three communications satellites has fallen into the Pacific Ocean after failing to reach orbit. RIA Novosti cited an unidentified source as saying the rocket and satellites went into the sea Sunday about 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos declined to comment to The Associated Press. The Proton rocket blasted off Sunday from the Russian launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. It was carrying three satellites for GLONASS, the Russian analog to the U.S. GPS system. (12/5)

Enter the SpaceX Dragon (Source: Florida Today)
NASA and SpaceX aim to launch a new spaceship from Cape Canaveral this week, and it's a game-changer. If the Dragon capsule, and its Falcon 9 rocket, ace three planned test flights, the space agency and the startup space venture could forever change how NASA -- and perhaps other government agencies -- pursue big space development projects.

To be sure, there's a long way to go to prove Falcon 9 and Dragon as a viable space transportation system for supplies or people. But the system is getting off the ground far faster and for much less taxpayer investment than any comparable space development project by NASA or the Pentagon. (12/5)

A Lot Rides on Upcoming Launch of Private Spacecraft (Source: AOL News)
For the first time in history, a private spaceship is scheduled on Tuesday to orbit the planet and return to Earth, in a risky endeavor that's key to the White House's plans for space exploration. Both the rocket and the spaceship scheduled to blast off from the Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida are the property of a private space company funded in part by multimillionaire Elon Musk, who made a fortune off the online payment system PayPal. (12/5)

Islamic Group Wants to Develop Canadian Spaceport (Source: Winnipeg Free Press)
The head of the Muhammad Institute for Space Science wants to build a spaceport in Canada. Redouane Al Fakir's goal is putting the Islamic world back at the forefront of scientific discovery. But the Vancouver astrophysicist wants all Canadians to be involved in his project.

His proposed commercial spaceport in British Columbia would be the first of its kind in this country — and Al Fakir says it's about time. The way he sees it, if countries like India, China and Japan can launch satellites into space, why not Canada? The UBC astronomer is out raising money, especially in the Middle East, but he faces a big challenge: Al Fakir estimates that it would take $100 million to build a facility, and $500 million to send up a rocket. (12/5)

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