May 6, 2012

ULA Union Will Not Strike (Source: WAAY)
Workers at United Launch Alliance in Decatur voted Sunday not to accept a new contract from the company. However the union did not get enough votes to strike. The Decatur plant builds and tests the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets to the launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Union reps have been in negotiation with management for weeks. (5/6)

China Launches New Mapping Satellite (Source: Xinhua)
China successfully launched its Tianhui I-02 mapping satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu province at 3:10 p.m. Sunday. The satellite, which was launched using a Long March 2-D carrier rocket, has entered its preset orbit. Another similar satellite, the Tianhui I, was launched into space in August 2010. (5/6)

A Desert Town on the Way Up ... to Space (Source: New York Times)
The sign into town, slightly weathered, says “Gateway to Space!” Several times a week, the Mojave-based Masten Space Systems flies its reusable rockets. Beyond it lies the Mojave Air and Space Port, once a Marine auxiliary air station during World War II, now an incubator for the tinkerers and dreamers in the New Space movement. Adherents believe that the next phase of space exploration will be led by nimble, ambitious entrepreneurs — a new generation of people like Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, who helped create the electronics industry in a garage — and that this is their moment to come together and make it happen. Click here. (5/6)

US Chases Shooting Stars Over China (Source: Asia Times)
Few parts of the American mythology resonate more deeply in popular consciousness than the Cold War-era space race. Americans recall with a certain fondness a time when the country led the world in manned space exploration, a group of accomplishments set in motion only after the Soviet Union shocked the world with its Sputnik launch.

Even today, during one of President Barack Obama's recent State of the Union addresses, he harkened back to this moment as an example of America's ability to come together and rally after being surprised by a foreign competitor, except this time it would be in an effort to build consensus domestically for a focused effort to match China's immense energies in the clean-tech and high-speed rail areas. (5/6)

DigitalGlobe Board Rejects GeoEye $792 Million Bid (Source: CNBC)
Satellite company DigitalGlobe Inc. on Sunday said its board had rejected a $792 million takeover bid from rival GeoEye Inc. because it undervalues the company. DigitalGlobe, which collects satellite and aerial images that are used for defense and intelligence, mapping, environmental monitoring and other uses, said the bid was not in the best interest of the company's shareholders. GeoEye on Friday had launched the $17 per share hostile bid for DigitalGlobe after holding talks with its target over several months. (5/6)

Measuring SpaceX Success with ISS Flight Won't Be Easy (Source: Florida Today)
There is much debate about what would constitute success for Space X’s coming landmark attempt to launch a privately developed spaceship to the International Space Station. The answer is layered and depends on whose measures of success you’re considering. Technical experts in the aerospace industry, whether they’re from SpaceX, NASA or competing commercial space ventures, will say there are so many parts of this program in “testing,” that pulling off a launch, an orbital flight and close-up rendezvous with the space station would represent major progress. (5/6)

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