March 8, 2012

Embry-Riddle Working to Develop Space for Aerospace Companies (Source: FLDC)
Imagine 10 years from now: A Boeing engineer strides across the courtyard of a 600,000-square-foot complex off Clyde Morris Boulevard, chatting with a colleague from Raytheon about the latest drone aircraft research. Meanwhile, executives from a major airline fly into Daytona Beach International Airport to check on the latest research being performed in the test facility next door. It may sound far-fetched, but Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is working to develop an aviation-based research and development park near its Daytona Beach campus that could include test labs for some of the world's leading aviation and aerospace companies. (3/8)

EADS Reports Profits Up Sharply in 2011 (Source: AP)
Strong demand for commercial jets and helicopters helped bring Airbus parent company and aerospace giant EADS NV a 72 percent jump in fourth quarter profit and a similar full-year boost, the company reported Thursday. Shares surged as EADS' quarterly profit of euro612 million ($803 million) beat market expectations, thanks to huge demand for Airbus' revamped single-aisle A320neo passenger jet and record orders that beat out U.S. rival Boeing Co. for the fourth year running. (3/8)

NASA Leader Defends Budget (Source: Florida Today)
Some congressional lawmakers are unhappy with NASA's proposal to spend $829 million on a private-sector rocket program designed to replace the space shuttle, saying more money should be steered toward a manned mission to Mars and other priorities. Appearing before two separate panels Wednesday, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden defended the fiscal 2013 funding plan for the Commercial Crew program. NASA's overall budget request is $17.7 billion, slightly less than it got in fiscal 2012. Click here. (3/8)

Can We Colonize The Moon? (Source: Asian Scientist)
The drivers for lunar exploration and a future Moon base where humans could reside for short or extended periods are plentiful. Apart from being a radical tourist destination, it would offer incredible opportunities for scientific advancement and cooperation, and serve as a base for future space exploration. It would provide scientists with a hub to observe, experiment, measure and explore a drastically different environment – and its effect on the physiology of organisms plus well-established Earth-based building processes.

For large multinational companies it offers an opportunity to set-up shop and to promote their status through unique advertising campaigns, and manufacturers of delicate products would find the high vacuum and lower gravity on the Moon helpful to their operations. Click here. (3/8)

Nelson: Shuttle Workforce Revitalization Act (Source: Sen. Bill Nelson)
I wanted to let you know about legislation I introduced with Senator Marco Rubio to give Brevard County businesses a boost now that the shuttle program has ended. The Shuttle Workforce Revitalization Act would designate Brevard County as a "historically underutilized business zone,"or HUBZone. Businesses in HUBZones are given preference in government procurement. Right now, only parts of Brevard are designated as a HUBZone, based on 2010 census numbers compiled before the shuttle program ended.

Designating the entire county as a HUBZone could help attract new businesses to Brevard. In order to qualify as a HUBZone, an area must have low income, a high poverty rate or a high unemployment rate. And, companies with HUBZone designation must have a principal office in that area and 35 percent of their employees must live in that area.

Brevard residents know that space exploration didn’t end with the shuttle program. The county is home to a talented workforce that is an asset not only to Brevard, but to the entire country. These folks should have the best chance possible to continue doing what they do best– innovate, create and explore. (3/8)

Mars Satellite Photo Captures Towering Dust Devil (Source: NY Daily News)
A NASA Mars satellite has captured an image of a massive dust devil twisting its way across the Red Planet's surface. The towering dust plume casts a snake-like shadow across the smooth plains of the Amazonis Planitia region of northern Mars. Scientists who have examined the image, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Feb. 16, estimate the twirling cloud of dust is more than a half mile high, with a plume that's about 30 yards wide. Click here. (3/8)

Lockheed Martin Space Fence Radar Prototype Tracking Orbiting Objects (Source: Lockheed Martin)
A prototype of a new radar system developed by a Lockheed Martin-led team is now tracking orbiting space objects, bringing the U.S. Air Force's Space Fence program one step closer to revolutionizing our nation's space situational awareness. Utilizing powerful, new ground-based radars, Space Fence will enhance the way the U.S. detects, tracks, measures and catalogs orbiting objects and space debris with improved accuracy, better timeliness and increased surveillance coverage. (3/8)

Drop in Services Revenue Keeps Astrium Revenue Flat (Source: Space News)
Europe’s EADS aerospace conglomerate on March 8 said its Astrium space hardware and services division reported flat revenue and lower pretax profit for 2011, with increased satellite manufacturing and launch-vehicle sales offset by lower services revenue. The company said restructuring charges associated with Astrium’s Agile performance-improvement program also weighed down profitability and likely would continue to do so in 2012. 93/8)

U.S. Lawmakers Question NOAA’s Satellite Spending Plans (Source: Space News)
During congressional hearings March 6 and March 7, lawmakers expressed concern that the growing cost of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite programs was forcing the agency to short-change other worthwhile initiatives including weather monitoring, fisheries management, tsunami warning and ocean research. (3/8)

Boeing Outlines New Modules/Technologies for Near Earth Asteroid Missions (Source:
As NASA continues the early development phase of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, contract companies of the U.S. space agency continue their push for new and innovative technologies – including Radiation Storm Shelters, Deep Space Habitats, and Solar Electric Propulsion – to be used as humankind pushes beyond the confines of planet Earth toward Near Earth Asteroids.

Presented at the Global Exploration Workshop as an “Asteroid Mission Concept with Solar Electric Propulsion,” Boeing’s Director of Advanced Space Exploration, Mike Elsperman, presented the concept under the Global Exploration Roadmap. Focusing near-term capabilities on “Guiding capabilities, technologies, and levering [of the] ISS,” the concept for humankind’s push into the inner solar system would eventually build to a “long-term focus [of] discovery driven and enhanced emerging technologies.” Click here. (3/8)

Mark Kelly: An American Hero (Soure: ECT.Coop)
Long before he commanded space shuttle flights and flew combat missions over Iraq, Mark Kelly drove an ambulance in some of New Jersey’s toughest neighborhoods. “I learned early in life, at 17, 18 years old, how traumatic a gunshot wound-—especially a gunshot wound to the head-—can be,” Kelly recalled. “And this would certainly come back 30 years later.” Click here. (3/8)

Why Asteroid Panic Is On the Rise (Source:
Asteroid 2012 DA14 is making headlines this week, despite the fact that the "incoming" space rock, as it has been described, definitely won't hit Earth. The 150-foot-wide space rock will pass within 17,000 miles (27,000 kilometers) of us next February. That's nearer than the orbits of some geosynchronous satellites, and the closest shave of a mid-size asteroid ever predicted before the actual flyby has occurred. But even so, NASA assures the world that there is no chance of asteroid 2012 DA14 hitting Earth next year. Zero, zip, zilch.

Why, then, all the terror about this unthreatening space rock? And why the recent doom and gloom about another space rock, the big asteroid 2011 AG5, a football-field-size rock that NASA says will almost certainly not collide with the planet in 2040? Don Yeomans of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory blames the upsurge in asteroid panic on two main factors. "One problem is that the Internet is wide open to anyone to say anything," Yeomans said. The other half of the problem is that many people do not know how to judge the validity of the pseudo-scientific information they read. (3/8)

Titusville Aerospace Technician Helps Prepare Shuttles for Museums (Source: Florida Today)
Jay Beason is still living the dream. Sitting in the commander’s seat on the flight deck of the orbiter Endeavour, Beason is a spacecraft operator, one of a small cadre of specialists closely acquainted with every one of the 2,000 switches, circuit breakers, displays and controls that dominate the shuttle’s cockpit. A 1985 graduate of Titusville High who grew up watching Saturn V rockets blasting off, Beason now is a certified aerospace technician. And it’s all coming to an end. Beason, who works for shuttle fleet operator United Space Alliance, is one of a few hundred people preparing Endeavour, Discovery, Atlantis and the prototype Enterprise for museum display. (3/8)

Doubts Hang Over EU's Sentinel Radar Mission (Source: BBC)
The European Space Agency will ask its member states next week if their new radar satellite should simply be put in storage rather than launched into orbit. Sentinel-1a is supposed to lead a new wave of Earth observation spacecraft that are being built to provide an unprecedented view of the planet. But this project's future financing has become mired in arguments over the 2014-2020 European Union budget. ESA directors do not want to launch the Sentinel without full funds in place. (3/8)

Aerospace Contributes $37.8B in Tax Revenue, AIA Study Says (Source: Defense News)
The Aerospace Industries Association released a study on Wednesday on jobs in the aerospace industry. The industry represents 2.23% of U.S. gross domestic product and accounts for $37.8 billion in tax revenue from companies and employees, the study shows. "This report sends the clear reminder that sequestration is a local, community issue, the jobs at stake are not here in Washington, D.C. Over 1 million American jobs and the security of our nation are at stake," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey in a statement. (3/8)

FAA Asks for Public Comments on UAS Test Sites (Source: LA Times)
The FAA is seeking public comments on its process for choosing test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles. "Unmanned aircraft can help us meet a number of challenges, from spotting wildfires to assessing natural disasters," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "But these test sites will help us ensure that our high safety standards are maintained as the use of these aircraft becomes more widespread." (3/8)

Bolden Locks Horns with Hutchison Over Commercial Crew, Orion Funding (Source: Space News)
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told U.S. lawmakers that spending more on the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket and Orion crew capsule would not allow the government-owned vehicles to make their debut any sooner than 2017. “More money would not change that date,” Bolden told the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee during a hearing on NASA’s 2013 budget proposal.

Bolden made his assertion in response to complaints from the committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), that President Barack Obama’s $17.71 billion NASA budget proposal draws funds away from SLS and Orion to pay for a steep increase for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA is seeking nearly $3 billion for SLS and Orion for 2013. But with about 10 percent of that money budgeted for related ground and support infrastructure, funding for actual vehicle development would be about $325 million less than Congress provided for 2012.

At the same time, NASA is seeking to raise the Commercial Crew Program’s budget to $830 million for 2013, which is significantly above the $500 million Congress authorized for the program and more than double the program’s current budget. NASA’s plan to cut SLS and Orion while increasing commercial crew did not go over well with Hutchison, whose state is home to NASA’s lead human spaceflight center. (3/8)

Santorum Visits Space Camp Too (Source: Huntsville Times)
GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum plans a rally at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Thursday, according to a campaign official. Debbie Bailey, a North Alabama representative of the Santorum campaign from Cullman, said Santorum plans to be at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at 10 a.m. The public is invited to attend. Santorum's stop at the Space Center comes two days after Newt Gingrich campaigned there on Super Tuesday. (3/8)

France Decides Against Privatizing Military Satcom System (Source: Space News)
France has formally scrapped plans to privatize its military satellite telecommunications system through a sale and leaseback formula after concluding that its defense authorities prefer to keep full ownership and control of the system, Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said March 6, according to an industry official who heard his remarks. (3/8)

Iridium Expects Hosted-payload Agreement by June (Source: Space News)
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications reported a 10 percent increase in revenue for 2011 and said it is close to announcing an arrangement to provide air traffic management support via hosted payloads aboard its second-generation satellite constellation.

Iridium said its revenue increase included a 12 percent jump in service revenue and that the services portion of its business should grow by an average of at least 9 percent annually through 2015. The company said its net debt, which will climb through 2015 to up to five times its operating cash flow as it finances its $3 billion second-generation satellite constellation, will begin to drop substantially starting in 2016. (3/8)

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