September 30, 2012

Russia to Establish “Super-holding” Company for Hypersonic Weapons Development (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Russia will set up an aerospace “super-holding” company consisting of missile makers NPO Mashinostroyenie and Tactical Missiles Corporation to develop hypersonic weapon technology, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. Rogozin called on Russia’s defense industry to develop hypersonic air-breathing weapons as a future strike system. He pointed at American development work in the X-51, Falcon, HiFire and HyFly programs as examples of what he described as the potential threat posed by U.S. hypersonic development work. (9/30)

Embry-Riddle Supports Engineering Event for Girls (Source: SWE)
Registration for the Society of Women Engineers program for girls in 7th to 10th grades -- WOW! That's Engineering! is closing on October 2. This full day hands on workshop is being held at Bayside HS in Palm Bay on Saturday, October 13. Girls have an opportunity to participate in 5 different hands on activities throughout the day and meet a number of women engineers who will share their experiences as an engineer and engineering students from FIT and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
In addition to having a fun time with the hands on activities, you will receive lunch, a tshirt and a tote bag full of goodies.  The program ends with door prizes. You can request being registered with a "buddy" and be in the same workshops all day, so ask a friend to join you. Register now at (9/28)

UCF Teams Up with NASA for Mission to Mars (Source: Knight News)
Three UCF professors recently won a $1.2 million grant from NASA to do research on teamwork training for the purpose of sending a crew of astronauts to Mars by 2030. Psychology professors Eduardo Salas and Kim Jentsch along with Stephen Fiore, an assistant professor from the department of Philosophy, wrote a proposal to NASA in response to the space organization’s call about 3-4 years ago for researchers on team cohesion, and their group was one of the few chosen winners to receive funding for this project.

“Here at UCF, we are probably the world’s experts on teamwork, team performance and team training,” Salas said. Helping the future Mars-bound team of astronauts help themselves while on their space trip is the main goal, said Salas and Jentsch.  Their concerns mainly consist of how the team of 5-7 astronauts is going to stick together. So far, they have interviewed 12-15 people that have been in the international space station for at least 3 months so as to obtain a better idea of teamwork needs. (9/30)

The 2012 Space Race Is On! (Source: America Space)
Saturday evening, the Romney campaign released its space policy white paper, Securing U.S. Leadership in Space. As Obama showed on Aug. 3, 2008 when he told the Space Coast of his unwavering support for NASA’s Constellation program, hope can be an important selling point to the Space Coast, and to winning the eastern anchor of the I-4 Corridor and Florida in 2008. Compared with what President Obama has in the last four years given the space community in general and the Florida Space Coast in particular, Romney’s space policy appears downright reassuring.

Unlike the President’s 2010 space policy, Romney will, as he first discussed in Florida in January, bring together experts from several disciplines to develop new goals for NASA. This point alone would differentiate in a large way a Romney Administration in developing a roadmap for NASA from that of the Obama Administration. Today, there is little debate within Congress that NASA is not better off today than it was four years ago. NASA people at JSC, MSFC, LaRC, and KSC all say the same thing; that NASA’s spaceflight engineering talent is slowly being disassembled.

Voters now have two visions for NASA. One that seeks to strengthen the Agency so that it can lead, with the help of the commercial space companies, the march outward from low-Earth orbit. The other will see the continued transformation of NASA into a mere contracting agency for companies whose own technical skills and understanding of human space flight do not match that of NASA circa 1964, much less today. (9/30)

Rowling 'Turned Down' Space Travel (Source: Independent)
JK Rowling has claimed that she created a cosmic vacancy when she turned down a trip on a spaceship. The Harry Potter author, whose first novel for adults was published on Thursday, told fans she was given the chance to go into space. "I was offered a seat. For a mere £2 million I could have been on the shuttle, but I turned it down," she said. (9/30)

Out of This World Gift for Aussie Space Tourist (Source: Courier Mail)
A birthday present that cost his wife $191,000 will see Brisbane entrepreneur Rob Nixon among the first Australians to blast off on a commercial flight to the stars with Sir Richard Branson's space tourism pioneer Virgin Galactic. Mr. Nixon, who runs a Fortitude Valley accountancy consulting business, became "future astronaut" number 293 after wife Nat surprised him with the ticket to outer space three years ago on his 40th birthday. (9/30)

India Steps Up Space Program with Big Budget, Bigger Sats, Leap to Mars (Source: Russia Today)
India is stepping up its space program with a higher budget, the launch of a new satellite and a proposed mission to Mars. The country's space agency will attempt ten space missions by November 2013, bringing its total budget to $1.3 billion. ISRO faces a hectic schedule for the next year, with 9 more missions on the agenda. The most high-profile event is the launch of an orbiter to Mars, slated for Nov. 2013, which aims to collect data on Martian methane sources. (9/30)

Russian Space Research in 2012 (Source: Space Daily)
We consider that of course the space was opened by the Russian sputnik in 1957. And it is true, the Russian sputnik gave a tremendous push to the discussions of space. One of pioneers of space law, of the rules of behavior of different countries in space, was Argentinean Ambassador Alfredo Cocca. And he put forward the fundamental formula for the space that space is the common property of all mankind and space belongs to all mankind and the sovereignty of space is a joined exercise of all the countries.

That included in his ideas the use of the Moon in peaceful purposes because he also considered that the Moon belongs to the family of the nations of the world. And in 1963 the General Assembly of the UN unanimously adopted a resolution which is called the Declaration of Principles which reflected all these ideas of space as a common property of mankind. And this resolution gave birth to the first agreement which was signed in Moscow in 1967 which has put these ideas into the legal form and introduced the idea of space as international area which lies beyond the national jurisdiction. Click here. (9/30)

Australian Hypersonic Test a Success (Source: Space Daily)
Australian military scientists successfully completed another test flight of an experimental hypersonic vehicle, this time at the Andoya Rocket Range in Norway. A test vehicle reached an apogee of nearly 218 miles and then achieved speeds of up to Mach 8 -- about 6,100 mph -- on descent. The two-stage vehicle performed its nominal, sub-orbital space flight powered by a VS-30/Orion rocket, a Brazilian sounding, or research, rocket consisting of one Sonda stage and one U.S.-built Orion stage. (9/30)

NASA'S Top Space Technologists Head Back To School (Source: NASA)
NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck and Space Technology Program Director Michael Gazarik will be visiting some of America's most recognized universities next week. The NASA top technologists will meet with students and faculty to discuss the agency's current and upcoming new technology and innovation initiatives. Peck will be visiting Purdue University in Indiana on Oct. 3, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Oct. 4. Gazarik will visit the University of Virginia on Oct. 2; Duke University in North Carolina on Oct. 3; and North Carolina State University on Oct. 4. (9/28)

NASA Completes Water Testing of Orion Capsule (Source: Virginian-Pilot)
NASA says it has completed final testing of the water impact of the Orion spacecraft at its Langley Research Center in Hampton. The space agency says it recently completed the testing of the impact of an 18,000-pound test version of the spacecraft in the same facility where Apollo astronauts trained for moonwalks.

Officials say swing and drop testing began last summer to certify the Orion spacecraft for water landings. The next round of water impact testing is scheduled to begin in late 2013 using a full-sized model. NASA says the first space-bound Orion capsule will launch on an uncrewed flight planned for 2014 to test several systems. (9/30)

Hard to Grade Brevard Workforce's Effort So Far (Source: Florida Today)
The loss of half or more of the jobs at the Kennedy Space Center posed an incredible challenge, not the least of which was the assignment given to Brevard Workforce. The taxpayer-funded agency is charged with helping those space shuttle workers, many of whom spent decades on a perfection-demanding job, to transition into new careers.

Still, it’s a bit disconcerting to hear that almost two-thirds of the money provided to the organization had gone unspent as of June 30 and millions of dollars might be given back to the federal government at a time when this community can use all of the help it can get recovering from the shuttle shutdown. The money, awarded before the space shuttles were retired and most of the layoffs happened, has sat unspent in part because of the delayed nature of the impact from the program’s end. Click here. (9/30)

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