November 5, 2012

4 Ridiculous Space Accidents (Where Everyone Survived) (Source: Mental Floss)
From wolves to lightning strikes, even the most well-planned space flights are often plagued by ridiculous accidents. Sometimes lots of them all in a row. And even more unbelievably, sometimes everyone involved lives. Click here. (11/5)

Japan Schedules Launch of Innovative Epsilon Rocket (Source:
Japan is scheduled to launch its first Epsilon solid-fueled rocket next year, deploying a planetary telescope in orbit while demonstrating new low-cost rocket assembly and control techniques, the Japanese space agency announced last week. The three-stage rocket will launch from the Uchinoura Space Center on the south shore of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's main islands.

The Epsilon program is designed to cut in half the cost of Japanese small satellite launches. Japan's M-5 rocket, which launched seven times before retiring in 2006, cost $94 million per flight. Each Epsilon launch is pegged to cost $47 million. The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported last week the first launch of an Epsilon rocket is scheduled for August or September of 2013. (11/5)

How the US Can Become a Next Generation Space Industrial Power (Source: Space Review)
There remains considerable uncertainty about whether the US can sustain any kind of space exploration program despite current plans. Charles Miller argues that what's first needed is a compelling answer to why have a space exploration program, and from that, the "how" will follow. Visit to view the article. (11/5)

Sustaining Momentum After the Final Wheels Stop (Source: Space Review)
The Space Shuttle program was back in the news last week as the final orbiter, Atlantis, was formally transferred to its new home at the Kennedy Space Center's visitor complex. Jeff Foust discusses how the challenge for NASA now is to make the case to the public that the end of the shuttle program doesn't mean the end of human spaceflight for the agency. Visit to view the article. (11/5)

Analyzing Public Interest in NASA Spending (Source: Space Review)
How does public sentiment for funding space exploration translate into actions by Congress? Alan Steinberg analyses budget and survey data and finds some mixed messages. Visit to view the article. (11/5)

Gemini on the Moon (1962) (Source: WIRED)
In June 1962, a little more than a year after President John F. Kennedy put the U.S. on course for the moon, NASA’s piloted spaceflight organizations agreed that Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR) should be the Apollo lunar landing mission mode. LOR would employ two spacecraft; a Command and Service Module (CSM) for carrying three astronauts from Earth to lunar orbit and back again; and a small Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) for landing two of them on the moon and returning them to the CSM in lunar orbit. Click here. (11/5)

MARS Gets New Director (Source: Parabolic Arc)
Mr. Sean Mulligan has been selected to fill the position of Director, Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (or MARS Director) for the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA). Sean will report directly to Executive Director of VCSFA, Dale Nash. He will begin in his new position on Nov. 5. All MARS functions (whether direct or subcontractor) including the Operations, Engineering, Planning, Maintenance, Facilities, and Security, will report directly to this position.

This position during MARS launch operations is the primary interface with the NASA Range and Mission Management Office for day-to-day MARS direct launch mission support functions. This position will also be the primary interface for spaceport activities for launch customers. The Director of MARS will also serve as the primary liaison with NASA Wallops Flight Facility organizations. (11/5)

Futron Assesses the Isle of Man's Global Space Competitiveness (Source: SpaceRef)
Futron prepared a benchmarking assessment that evaluates the space competitiveness of the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man's space sector enjoys a competitive advantage against its peers which derives from the unique business model that the Manx government has adopted in developing the space sector on the Island.

The study, an update of an analysis originally done in 2010, finds that the Isle has strengthened and grown its space sector. Key performance indicators include: four satellite operators are currently making International Telecommunications Union (ITU) filings through the Isle of Man; more than 22% of the objects on the U.K. Registry of Space Objects as of March 2011 are registered through Isle of Man companies; the Isle of Man was one of only two compared jurisdictions where the number of space-related companies increased between 2010 and 2012.

These, and other results of the study, indicate that the Isle of Man continues to drive forward as a niche innovator in the global space sector. The study benchmarks the Isle of Man's competitive position against seven peer jurisdictions - Bermuda, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. (11/5)

Inmarsat Adds FleetBroadband Subscribers Despite Price Increases (Source: Space News)
Mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat on Nov. 5 offered what it said is fresh evidence that its price increases for maritime customers have not eroded the popularity of the company’s product line, notably its FleetBroadband service. In a conference call with investors, Inmarsat officials said FleetBroadband subscriptions increased by 2,128 in the three months ending Sept. 30 and totaled more than 32,000. (11/5)

Best Inventions: NASA’s Z-1 Space Suit (Source: TIME)
The biggest thing NASA’s first space suits had to do—aside from keep astronauts alive—was to look spacey. So ordinary test-pilot suits were simply redesigned in a nifty silver. Things are harder now as the U.S. prepares for new deep-space missions. The Z-1 space suit provides go-anywhere garb featuring more-flexible joints, radiation protection for long stays in space and a hatch on the back that allows the suit to dock with a portal on a spacecraft or rover so an astronaut can crawl through without letting dust in or air out. (11/5)

Groupon Offered for Spaceport Indiana Program (Source: Spaceport Indiana)
Groupon for SpaceLab sessions have arrived! These all day sessions are designed to help you explore your "inner Astronaut" by engaging in experiments and projects that test your skills as a commercial Astronaut. This is a fun and challenging class for ages 10-adult. A mix of ages will work together to see if you can survive the space environment. (10/30)

Launches Take Off in December at Spaceport Indiana (Source: Spaceport Indiana)
Spaceport Indiana will begin to implement its unmanned rocket program on Dec. 29 when the first of many rockets launch from Pad 1A. This is a first in Indiana history as a facility, based in Indiana, will begin routine unmanned rocket launches of various sizes. The launches will range from academic payloads to commercial applications. By early 2013, SPI will have finished the build-out of the control and fabrication center.

This will create a facility that can provide a number of services from within the SPI center directly. Want to be involved in this historic moment? Just contact us and let us know if your company or organization wants to become more involved in the launch of systems from SPI. Call us at 765-606-1512 or email (10/30)

Neil Armstrong's Corvette Gets a Makeover (Source: Florida Today)
Aiming a swivel-lens digital camera, Roger Kallins meticulously captured close-up images of the Corvette’s wheel well, brake assembly and front coil spring. The Ormond Beach photojournalist is collecting hundreds of images documenting the restoration of one of America’s most unique vehicles: former NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong’s 1967 Corvette Sting Ray.

“We have to document every square inch of this car, inside and out. We have to record every single part of this car in its current condition,” Kallins said. Merritt Island resident Joe Crosby bought the one-of-a-kind coupe from an undisclosed Georgia owner in February. Crosby won’t say how much he paid for the car. In January 2007, a 1967 Corvette formerly owned by astronaut Gus Grissom sold at auction for $275,000 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (11/5)

Engineers Confirm Problem in South Korea's Rocket (Source: Yonhap)
South Korea and Russian engineers have confirmed the problem in South Korea's space rocket is more serious than earlier thought, the Seoul government said Monday, further delaying the scheduled launch of the rocket. The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) was scheduled to be launched on Oct. 26, but the launch has been delayed at least until Friday due to a damaged rubber seal in a connector that links the rocket to its launch pad.

The Russian manufacturer of the first-stage rocket of the KSLV-1 has been working to identify the cause of the damage to the seal and has confirmed there is a gap between the rubber seal and steel component of the rocket. The problem recurred when helium, which is used to pressurize the rocket's fuel tanks and also control various rocket devices, was injected for over three hours, according to South Korea's rocket Launch Preparation Committee. The problem disappeared after the defective steel component in the connector was replaced with a spare part. (11/5)

Korea to Set New Launch Dates for Naro Rocket (Source: Arirang)
A new study shows that the Naro rocket has no material defects and can be cleared for a future launch.
Officials from Korea's science ministry and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute announced that the technical defect that delayed the launch last month was minor and that its replacement will not be enough to delay the launch any further. A new launch date will be set after the arrival of replacement parts shipped from Russia. (11/5)

NASA to Support Rocket Test Flight in Virginia (Source: AP)
NASA will support a test flight of a commercial suborbital rocket this week. The launch of the 10-feet-tall rocket is scheduled between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Wednesday from the Wallops Flight Facility. The backup launch days are Thursday through Thursday through Nov. 14. The liquid-fueled Ventions VR-1 is 6 inches in diameter. It is projected to fly up to about 3 miles altitude during its more than 3 minute flight. (11/5)

Vostochny: A Russian Boongoggle? (Sources: Parabolic Arc, Russian Space Web)
The current capabilities of Soyuz rockets are considerably below the mass required to carry the next-generation manned spacecraft, which was expected to ride Rus-M from Vostochny. Thus, this move undermined the highly advertised purpose of Vostochny as the spaceport for the manned space program. The existing Soyuz manned spacecraft could not fly from Vostochny either due to the lack of capability to conduct high-precision emergency landings into the few small designated areas in the midst of the heavily wooded and rugged terrain of the Far-Eastern taiga.

To make matters worse, the Soyuz launcher would carry even less payload from Vostochny than the same rocket already delivers from its brand-new launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana, thus making the future facility useless for most commercial missions, which constitute the absolute majority of the rocket's unmanned passengers. Finally, the Russian military, another customer of Soyuz, steered clear of any participation in funding or use of a "civilian" launch site in Vostochny, relying instead on its existing Soyuz and soon-to-be-completed Angara facilities in Plesetsk. Click here. (11/5)

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