August 14, 2011

FAA Spaceflight Center of Excellence Holds Roadmapping Workshop (Source: Stanford)
The second research roadmapping workshop for the FAA's new Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation will be held Aug. 16-17 in the Washington DC area. On the afternoon before the workshop (Aug. 15th) FAA-AST will be hosting a short overview course in current space transportation regulations. The workshop will continue the process of developing a prioritized research agenda in concert with the FAA AST staff. (8/14)

Sparkle Gone From Buzz Aldrin Space Odyssey (Source: The Telegraph)
He became an icon of the space-race generation, pulling off one of mankind's greatest achievements and proving himself as an all-American hero with the world at his feet. But more than four decades after he and Neil Armstrong earned the title of first men on the Moon, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, 81, is experiencing the dark side.

In recent years he has converted his fame into a multi-million dollar industry through books, celebrity appearances, commercial endorsements and even a rap song, yet now the octogenarian spaceman is fighting to regain control of his own name and image in a legal showdown with his wife Lois, whom he is divorcing, and her daughter, Lisa Cannon.

He accuses Miss Cannon, a lawyer whom he has previously credited with helping to turn his business life around, of having duped him into signing a contract that gave her and her mother a majority stake in Starbuzz, the business that manages and promotes Buzz Aldrin and his "Rocket Hero" brand. (8/14)

Surrey Launches Android Application Contest for Smart-Phone Powered Satellite (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Surrey experts in space technology have launched a competition challenging the British public to develop innovative applications that will run on its smartphone-powered satellite due for launch into space next year. STRaND-1 (Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator) weighs just 4kg and is a collaborative effort between engineers at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and University of Surrey researchers. It is being built in their free time to test innovative ideas for lower cost space missions. (8/14)

One Year Later: Air Force Craft Still Fighting Adversity (Source:
Launched from Cape Canaveral a year ago Sunday, the first satellite in the U.S. military's next-generation secure communications network continues its arduous journey to reach the correct orbit. A manufacturing mishap prevented the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite's main propulsion system from firing once the craft reached space, prompting ground controllers to devise emergency plans for salvaging the mission.

Burning its exotic electric thrusters for 12 hours per day over the past 10 months, AEHF 1 has reached an orbit of 22,000 by 27,400 miles inclined 5.1 degrees to the equator, according to hobbyist satellite observers who continue to keep tabs on the craft's trek. It should achieve the desired circular orbit with a 4.8-degree inclination on October 3, allowing payload activation and testing to begin in preparation for entering service at long last. (8/14)

Ancient Oceans Offer Key to Extraterrestrial Secrets (Source: Nova News Now)
Peir Pufahl looks at ancient oceans for a record of early life. The Acadia University professor, who specializes in chemical sedimentology and paleoceanography, recently helped lead a team of NASA scientists on a rock hunting expedition near Thunder Bay, Ontario. The NASA team of 30 affiliated scientists, Pufahl says, wants to know more about the signature of life embedded in the Ontario rocks and will compare them with rocks found on the surface of Mars. (8/14)

Lt. Gov. Carroll: How Florida Will Remain a Launch Pad to Space (Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Florida will remain a major participant in space flight with the goal of becoming one of the world's capitals of high-technology and science. Floridians should know that we have a very good, aggressive, active working plan to fill the gap between the end of the space shuttle program and the beginning of 21st century commercial launch applications.

As Florida emerges in this new era, it will have to build not only new facilities, but continue to develop the next generation of skilled workers to meet the challenge... Nowhere else on the planet is there a larger collection of rocket scientists, experienced engineers and loyal high-tech manufacturers than in Florida... Florida's human capital and our Space Coast facilities are two of the main reasons many businesses are moving to Florida or expanding their operations here.

I have personally worked with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and have his word that NASA will continue to make Kennedy Space Center, the Space Coast and our state the space capital of the world... Florida's universities are doing their part to prepare a new workforce for the opportunities a revived space program will offer. For example, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University produces some of the world's most sought-after aerospace engineers. These engineers are specifically trained to enter the aerospace workforce, where their knowledge is rare and in very high demand. Click here. (8/14)

Chinese Space Lab Set to Soar (Source: USA Today)
China looks ready to launch a small space lab into orbit, space policy experts report, perhaps as soon as this month. The 8.5-ton Tiangong I space lab, the next step in China's manned space program, follows three successful launches of Chinese astronauts, or Taikonauts, into orbit in the last decade.

Smaller than NASA's 85-ton Skylab, launched in 1973, Tiangong I will be unmanned when it launches. The lab will mostly serve as a test-bed for as many as two manned docking missions in its two-year lifetime, says space analyst Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. "It is a logical move in developing manned space capabilities." (8/14)

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