January 15, 2013

Embry-Riddle Accepts Donation of Space Technology Archive (Source: ERAU)
Under an agreement with the Canaveral Council of Technical Societies (CCTS), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has gained access to a unique archive of over 1,000 space-focused technical papers from more than 40 years of annual Florida Space Congress conferences dating back to 1966. ERAU's Hunt Library will digitize and catalog the materials for access by students and faculty.

CCTS, an association of engineering, technical and scientific societies with chapters on Florida’s Space Coast, sponsored the Space Congress events to promote the exchange of space-related scientific and technical information. During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, these annual events were the nation’s premier space conferences, attracting thousands of industry, government and university peer-reviewed papers. After a long hiatus, CCTS sponsored the 42nd Space Congress in 2012 and plans to continue organizing the events and adding their technical papers to the archive at ERAU.

The archive had been in storage at the CCTS offices in Cocoa Beach, with limited availability to non-CCTS members. One of the CCTS member organizations, a Florida chapter of the National Space Society, requested on behalf of ERAU that the archive be transferred to the university to serve as a resource for student and faculty research. (1/15)

Virgin Galactic's Lease Details in New Mexico (Source: Parabolic Arc)
After delays in construction at Spaceport America, Virgin Galactic is only now beginning to pay for its 20-year lease of the facility. During the initial five years, Virgin Galactic will pay a minimum of $135,833 per month. The construction delays benefitted Virgin Galactic, which has experienced its own delays with vehicle development and testing. If the spaceport had been completed on time two years ago, the company would have spent millions on a facility from which it wasn’t flying anything.

After the first five years, the lease will be adjusted to allow New Mexico to recover the cost of building the facilities with interest. The company is also required to put up a $2 million performance guarantee that covers the possibilities of the company discontinuing operations in New Mexico and beginning them elsewhere.

The state would not be able to recover a $1.5 million portion as long as “Virgin employs the minimum number of full-time employees and launches the minimum number of flights from the Spaceport with the minimum number of passengers required...and...at least seventy five percent (75%) of the total number of flights launched by Virgin carrying paying people, experiments or cargo are launched from the Spaceport.” Click here. (1/15)

Questions About Virgin Galactic's Hybrid Rocket Motors (Source: Parabolic Arc)
There have been stories for years – persistent, consistent and never really denied – that Virgin Galactic's hybrid rocket motor just doesn’t work very well. SpaceShipTwo is set to begin its first powered test flights later this year using a “starter motor” that will be smaller than the full-scale hybrid engine that will be used for flights into space. The motor will allow pilots to test the space plane in the transonic flight region, which would be a major step forward.

Whether the full-scale RocketMotorTwo engine, powered by nitrous oxide and rubber, will be ready to fly this year is an interesting question. Hybrid motors can function effectively for smaller vehicles, such as the smaller SpaceShipOne vehicle that flew in 2004, but are difficult to scale up. SpaceShipTwo is three times larger than its predecessor.

Virgin appears to be hedging its bets. There is on-going development and testing of two backup hybrid motor designs in Mojave. Virgin Galactic is also working on a long-term solution, a liquid motor for the LauncherOne rocket that would be air launch satellites from WhiteKnightTwo. That motor could eventually replace the hybrid one on SpaceShipTwo in about three or four years. (1/15)

Update on What Happened to 2012 Space-Related Bills in Congress (Source: Space Policy Online)
President Obama signed into law yesterday the FY2013 Intelligence Authorization Act (S. 3454) and the Space Exploration Sustainability Act (H.R. 6586). Those are the last two space-related bills that we were tracking in the 112th Congress. Congress didn't pass any of the regular FY2013 appropriations bills, instead passing a 6-month Continuing Resolution through March 27, 2013. As for other space-related legislation that was being considered in the final days of the 112th Congress, here is how it all turned out. (1/15)

Carbon Planets Turn Earth’s Chemistry on Its Head (Source: Scientific American)
The study of exoplanets—worlds orbiting distant stars—is still in its early days. Yet already researchers have found hundreds of worlds with no nearby analogue: giants that could steamroll Jupiter; tiny pebbles broiling under stellar furnaces; puffy oddballs with the density of peat moss. Still other exoplanets might look familiar in broad-brush, only to reveal a topsy-turvy realm where rare substances are ordinary, and vice versa.

Take carbon, for instance: the key constituent of organic matter accounts for some of humankind's most precious materials, from diamonds to oil. Despite its outsize importance, carbon is uncommon—it makes up less than 0.1 percent of Earth's bulk. On other worlds, though, carbon might be as common as dirt. In fact, carbon and dirt might be one and the same. An exoplanet 40 light-years away was recently identified as a promising candidate for just such a place—-where carbon dominates and where the pressures in the planet's interior crushes vast amounts of the element into diamond. Click here. (1/12)

Esther Dyson is Ready for Liftoff (Source: Columbia Journalism Review)
Esther Dyson always figured she would ride a rocket one day. As the daughter of renowned physicist Freeman Dyson, she says, “I took it for granted. I just assumed it was like airplanes—my parents would fly on airplanes, and when I grew up I would fly on them, too.” About 10 years ago, she realized no spaceflight was imminent, “and thought, This is something that needs a little help.”

This is a woman who likes a challenge: A former journalist, Dyson was the founding chair of ICANN, the nonprofit board that coordinated the taxonomy of the early commercial Internet—domain names and IP addresses and such. She has since become a bellwether investor in emerging technologies, particularly in Eastern Europe, and she currently sits on 10 boards, including those of Meetup, 23andMe (a personal genome sequencer), and Yandex, the Russian search engine. “Basically I do stuff that needs disruption and that seems to be ready for it,” she says. Click here. (1/15)

FAA’s NextGen Program Reaches Critical Period (Source: Aviation Week)
The next year looms as a critical period for the U.S. effort to revamp its air traffic management (ATM) system. While some of the core programs are on track to achieve major deployment milestones, the FAA will need to show that it has solved policy and technology headaches that still could stymie progress.

The FAA’s NextGen ATM upgrade plan is expected to increase the efficiency and safety of the aviation system as traffic grows. The target date for full implementation is 2025, and two of the crucial foundation systems are scheduled to be largely completed by the end of this year. Succeeding with these will boost confidence that other NextGen goals can be achieved as planned.

NextGen was launched in 2004, so it is now a relatively mature program. It has gone through a few organizational shake-ups, but despite fears to the contrary, the effort has not faded away. While the sequestration debate cast a cloud over all federal funding in the later months of 2012, Congress and successive administrations have so far supported NextGen funding requests. (1/14)

NASA Picks 9 Universities (Including UF) for SLS Research (Source: Huntsville Times)
NASA chose nine universities to share $2.5 million in research funding for work on its new heavy lift rocket known as the Space Launch System. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is leading development of the new rocket system, which will evolve from an initial capability of lifting 70 metric tons to the capability to lift 130 metric tons -- enough lifting capacity to carry the fuel and supplies for deep space missions.

NASA sought proposals to help it develop innovations in the areas of concept development, trades and analyses, propulsion, structures, materials, manufacturing, avionics and software. Editor's Note: The University of Florda was the only Florida university selected by NASA for this. UF's project is titled: "Development of Subcritical Atomization Models in the Loci Framework for Liquid Rocket Injectors." Click here. (1/14)

NASA Promotes Solar Imagery As Ideal Content For New 4K TVs (Source: TPM)
One of the most-hyped new product categories to be demonstrated at the 2013 annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week were new “4K” ultra-high definition TVs, that is, TVs with over 4,000 pixels on one or both sides. Sony, Samsung, LG, Toshiba and Panasonic showed off their own 4K models, and Panasonic even demoed a 4K 20-inch tablet.

But beside the extremely high starting price (upwards of $20,000 for 84-inch sets, although Sony has claimed that upcoming 55-inch and 60-inch models will be more affordable when released later this year), a major problem facing adoption of these new Ultra HD sets is the lack of content. Enter NASA: On Monday, the U.S. space agency announced that it has collected enough ultra HD imagery of the Sun to allow viewers using the new 4K sets to “watch eight hours of sun movies a day for almost four months.”

The imagery was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, an Earth-orbiting, sun-gazing satellite launched by the agency in 2010 specifically to study our star’s magnetic field, surface, underlying processes and the weather it produces throughout the universe and here on Earth. Click here. (1/14)

The Fisher Space Pen Boldly Writes Where No Man Has Written Before (Source: Smithsonian)
Recently on Design Decoded, we looked at President Obama’s favorite technologically advanced pen and today we’re looking at mine. During my last visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, there were two things I had to do: see the original 1903 Wright Flyer and buy a Fisher Space Pen. I couldn’t help but wonder though, just who was this “Fisher” and what makes the Space Pen so space-y? Click here. (1/11)

NASA Begins Robotic Refueling Tests on Space Station (Source: Huntsville Times)
Testing techniques that may lead to robotic tenders that can refuel and repair satellites in orbit, NASA today begins new manipulations of the ISS robotic arm known as Dextre. If Dextre can do it, NASA says even satellites not designed to be refueled may one day be, and that would be a huge cost savings over building and launching new ones. Ground controllers at JSC and the Canadian Space Agency will activate what is formally known as the space station's remotely operated Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator to snip a cap wire and remove a cap. Other manipulations will follow over the four-day mission. (1/14)

Space Hopes Flicker for Sochi Winter Games Flame (Source: RIA Novosti)
The chief organizer of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games on Monday revived the possibility of the Olympic flame journeying into space. Details have been sparse on the plan first voiced by Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov in 2011 to send the flame to the International Space Station. Dmitry Chernyshenko went no further than to say he "hoped" the flame would be taken into "open space" before the Games, which start February 7, 2014. (1/14)

Rokot with Military Satellites to be Launched from Plesetsk (Source: Itar-Tass)
Russia’s Aerospace Defence Troops (VKO) will start a new space year on Tuesday, January 15, by launching a Rokot carrier rocket with three dual-purpose Kosmos satellites aboard at the Plesetsk spaceport. “The decision to fuel the Rokot carrier rocket was made at a meeting of the State Commission held at Plesetsk. In accordance with the process schedule, the Rokot carrier rocket was taken to the launching site on January 9,” VKO spokesperson, Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin told Itar-Tass on Monday, January 14.

“After the fuelling has been completed and final operations carried out, a meeting of the State Commission will be held to make the final decision on the launch of the Rokot carrier rocket,” he said. “This will be the first space rocket to be launched by the Aerospace Defence Troops from Plesetsk in 2013,” the spokesperson added. Initially, the launch was scheduled for December 8, 2012, but was postponed because of defects in the Briz-KM booster made by Khrunichev. (1/14)

Iran to Try Launching Monkey Into Space Again (Source: Space.com)
Iranian space officials announced they will make another attempt to launch a live monkey into space within the next month. "Testing phase of these living capsules has ended and monkeys to be sent to space are now in quarantine," Hamid Fazeli, head of the Iranian Space Agency, said on Tuesday. "These monkeys will be sent into space according to a timetable on Fajr Ceremonies," Fazeli said, referring to a 10-day period in the beginning of February when the Iranian Revolution is commemorated. He added that the capsule is called Pishgam, which means "pioneer" in Farsi.

Iran apparently failed in a 2011 effort to launch a live monkey into space. News reports out of the country at that time did not explain what went wrong, but the plan had been to send a Rhesus monkey into orbit atop a Kavoshgar-5 rocket. A successful mission this time around would seem to advance Iran's goal of sending a human into space by 2020 and an astronaut on the moon by 2025. (1/15)

Obama Signs Law Permitting NASA to Pay Russia for Astronaut Transport Through 2020 (Source: Itar-Tass)
President Barack Obama signed the law, which permits the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to make payments to Russia for the delivery of the US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) until the end of 2020, the White House reported on Monday. In particular, the law extends the NASA powers, which permit the US space agency to make the payments to Russia for the work at the ISS from July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020. (1/15)

Roscosmos Releases Strategic Guidance Plan (Source: Flight Global)
Russian space agency Roscosmos has released a strategic plan, meant to guide the agency through 2030. The strategic guidance is a broad overview, with specific requirements to be established by 2020. The report states that priorities should be established along three differing areas: first, guaranteeing Russian access to space and development of the national space industry; second to advance space-based scientific research, and third to guarantee crewed spaceflight.

Amongst the specific activities listed are building a new launch site in eastern Russia - a reference to the under-construction Vostochny launch site, development of advanced launch vehicles and maintaining the International Space Station (ISS). The report mentions economic competitiveness in space, which Roscosmos hopes to increase from the current share - around 10% of the world market - to 16% by 2020.

The report also mentions "improving the management of the rocket and space industry, [and] implementation of comprehensive measures for its restructuring." The Russian space industry has been under significant political pressure after a series of incidents resulting in the loss of both rocket and payload, some of which were traced to quality control problems in manufacturing. (1/14)

Reality Check on Star Wars Jump to Hyperspace (Source: NBC)
In the "Star Wars" saga, the Millennium Falcon's jump to hyperspace is totally fictional — but if it could happen, some enterprising physics students in Britain say that it wouldn't look anything like the stretched-out beams of light shown on the movie screen. Instead, Han Solo would see a disc of bright light right in the middle of his windshield, representing the blue-shifted afterglow of the big bang. He'd also get a killer jolt of X-rays. (1/14)

ATK Reveals Some Details on Booster Rockets for SLS (Source: NasaSpaceFlight.com)
A presentation overviewing ATK’s preliminary proposal for the upcoming advanced booster competition for Space Launch System (SLS) claims the new motor will be 40 percent cheaper and 23.5 percent more reliable than the five segment booster that will initially launch with the Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLV) – all while adding 15.1mT of additional performance. While the boosters are continuing to evolve, the huge legacy of their role with the Space Shuttle will directly feed into their use on the SLS – a Shuttle Derived (SD) Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLV). Click here.

Editor's Note: This speaks well of the open competitive process for SLS boosters. Thanks to competitive pressures, ATK was able to offer a 40-percent cost reduction, higher reliability, and greater performance. I don't think this kind of innovation and cost-savings would have happened under the sole-source Ares rocket program. It also gives me confidence that NASA's Commercial Crew program, with multiple competitors, will bring signifiant advances in human spaceflight. (1/15)

Russia to Launch Spacecraft to Moon in 2015 (Source: Xinhua)
Russia plans to launch an unmanned space vehicle to the Moon in 2015, federal space agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday. "In 2015, the first launch from the Vostochny cosmodrome will be the Luna-Globe launch," said Vladimir Popovkin, head of Roscosmos. Vostochny is a new Russian space center under construction in the Far Eastern Amur region. The Luna-Globe vehicle would carry a minimal set of scientific equipment because the mission was mainly aimed to work out the Moon landing operation itself, he said. The 1,400-kg spacecraft would drop a 500-kg landing module on the Moon's South Pole. (1/15)

China Promotes Beidou Technology on Transport Vehicles (Source: Xinhua)
Major transportation vehicles in parts of China are now required to use homegrown Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), according to the country's transport authorities. All tour coaches, long-distance scheduled buses and vehicles for transporting dangerous articles, should install the BDS service when they renew mobile navigation terminals, according to a Ministry of Transport (MOT) conference. The instruction covers provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Hebei, Shaanxi, Shandong, Hunan and Guizhou, as well as Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Tianjin Municipality. (1/14)

New Mexico Spaceport Legislation: Take Off or Fizzle? (Source: Albuquerque Journal)
Legislation that some say could make or break the state’s $209 million Spaceport America is expected to be one of the sticking points of the 60-day session of the Legislature that began Tuesday. State lawmakers pushing to shield manufacturers in New Mexico from space travelers’ lawsuits say the legal protection is the last hurdle to recruiting new companies to the spaceport. The proposal will go before the Legislature this year, for the third time.

Critics say the effort is the latest in a series of demands from commercial space companies threatening to locate their companies in other states that offer a better deal, such as legal protections and millions of dollars in state-funded incentives. The liability waiver legislation also has faced strong opposition from the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, which has called the effort an unprecedented rollback in legal protections.

New Mexico law already protects spacecraft operators such as Virgin Galactic from lawsuits filed by space passengers. The legal protections for spaceflight are not a new feature for risky activities in New Mexico. The state provides liability waivers for businesses such as ski-lift operators and horseback riding stables. Opponents of the expanded spaceport liability waiver question whether the expanded protections truly are the final obstacle to other spacecraft operators and manufacturers moving their businesses to Spaceport America. (1/15)

China's Space Activities Raising U.S. Satellite Security Concerns (Source: Reuters)
The U.S. is concerned about China's expanding ability to disrupt its most sensitive military and intelligence satellites, as Beijing pursues its expanded ambitions in space. A classified U.S. intelligence assessment completed late last year analyzed China's increasing activities in space and mapped out the growing vulnerability of U.S. satellites that provide secure military communications, warn about enemy missile launches and provide precise targeting coordinates, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

"It was a very credible and sobering assessment that is now provoking a lot of activities in different quarters," said one former government official who is familiar with U.S. national security satellite programs. The intelligence report raised red flags about Beijing's ability to disrupt satellites in higher orbits, which could put the most sensitive U.S. spacecraft at risk, according to the sources. China has already conducted several anti-satellite tests at lower orbital levels in recent years.

Given the heightened concerns, Washington is keeping a watchful eye on Chinese activities that could be used to disrupt U.S. satellites. It is also urging Beijing to avoid a repeat of its January 2007 test that created an enormous amount of "space junk," said one senior defense official. Details of the latest Chinese moves that have raised U.S. concerns remain classified. (1/14)

Ad Astra Scouts Role In Future Deep Space, Orbital Ventures (Source: Aviation Week)
Internal studies by Ad Astra Rocket Co. propose key propulsion roles for the company’s Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (Vasimr) on formative space missions drawing interest from Washington and abroad. Those missions include the retrieval of a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) to prepare for future human deep-space exploration and mitigation of the Earth orbital debris threat, as well as commercial initiatives to reboost and refuel Earth-orbiting spacecraft.

Space tugs powered by one of several Vasimr solar electric propulsion (SEP) options, which rely on magnetic containment and directional control of superheated fuels and their thrust, could potentially lower mission costs and advance or sustain operations longer than alternative strategies, according to company presentations prepared for the investor community. (1/14)

Mars 2020 or Bust (Source: Space Politics)
When NASA announced last month that it had selected a rover similar to Curiosity for a mission slated for launch in 2020, it raised some concerns among planetary scientists that exploration of the rest of the solar system was getting shortchanged in favor of what they perceived as an overemphasis on Mars. The head of the agency’s planetary science division is now making the rounds in the community explaining that the money planned for the Mars mission was not available for any other mission.

Jim Green, head of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said money in the outyears projections of the FY2013 budget proposal for what was at the time an undefined Mars mission had to be used for Mars. “We were given the opportunity—-the challenge, if you will—-to define strategically what that mission was to be, or we would potentially lose the money,” he said. NASA was given about a year to develop a mission that would take the place of NASA’s previously-planned participation in ESA’s ExoMars program. “If we were not able to come up with a major match in this particular area, we would lose the funding.” (1/15)

Rocket Testing Heats Up at Marshall Space Flight Center for SLS (Source: NASA)
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has started a new series of test firings of the gas generator in the F-1 engine. NASA and industry will use the information gathered from the series of F-1 engine tests to develop new advanced propulsion systems for the Space Launch System, a new heavy-lift launch vehicle managed at Marshall. The F-1 engine launched the Saturn V rocket that sent humans to the moon.

The F-1's gas generator is the part of the engine responsible for supplying power to drive a giant turbopump. The gas generator components are often among the first parts designed on a new rocket engine because they are key components for determining the engine’s size. A Marshall engineering team removed gas generators from F-1 engines stored at Marshall and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Test conductors will use modern instrumentation to record new information and data during the test firing of the refurbished gas generator. (1/15)

Private Space Stations: Bigelow's Big Dream (Source: Space.com)
Bigelow has already put hardware into space, launching the prototype modules Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 to orbit in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Both Genesis habitats are 14.4 feet long by 8.3 feet wide (4.4 by 2.5 meters), with about 406 cubic feet (11.5 cubic m) of pressurized volume. The BEAM module that will be attached to the International Space Station in two years or so will likely be of similar size.

But Bigelow is developing a much larger module, called the BA-330 because it offers 330 cubic meters of usable internal volume. The company envisions linking up two or more BA-330s in orbit to create its first space stations, which have already attracted attention from potential clients like the governments of Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Japan, Sweden and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. (1/15)

Orion Teamwork Pays Off (Source: NASA)
Using its experienced workforce and state-of-the-art facilities, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is working with private companies to ensure the future of U.S. space exploration stays on course. By bringing contracted work to Kennedy, NASA is providing a means to expedite Orion work from months to build and ship across the nation, to mere days.

NASA and Lockheed Martin employees are working side by side in a revamped area of KSC's Operations and Checkout Building. Their goal is to prepare the Orion spacecraft for its first launch in 2014. Orion is designed to take American astronauts farther into space than ever before.  Colocating contractors on-site provides the advantage of having center personnel and facilities readily available. Because of this cooperative effort, the Orion team is achieving its scheduled milestones for assembly and checkout of the spacecraft ahead of schedule. Click here. (1/14)

NASA Plans Modification of Ares-1 Mobile Launcher for SLS (Source: SpaceRef)
NASA/KSC plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the modification of the existing Ares-I Mobile Launcher (ML) for the new Space Launch System (SLS) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This project includes removal and storage of existing system components, equipment, and materials for reuse/reinstallation; demolition of system components and structure not to be reused; modification of structural elements and installation of new structural elements; reinstallation of salvaged equipment and materials, and installation of new systems, equipment, and materials. Click here. (1/14)

Unilever Buys 22 Flights On XCOR Lynx Suborbiter For AXE Campaign (Source: Space Daily)
Commercial spaceflight is entering the main stream and looking (and smelling) quite good! United Kingdom-based Unilever Group, and Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) announced a 22 flight purchase on XCOR Aerospace's Lynx Mark II suborbital spacecraft for Unilever's space-themed AXEApollo campaign for the AXE brand of men's cologne, body spray, shower gels and other personal care products.

Unilever will award the first flight to a lucky winner selected from a drawing just after the Super Bowl on February 3rd, and the 21 other winners will come from a year long, 60 country promotional campaign. That larger campaign includes a 100+ person December 2013 space camp for early stage winners in Orlando called the AXE Apollo Space Academy (A.A.S.A.). (1/14)

Australian Observatory Survives Wildfire (Source: Space Daily)
Telescopes at a global astronomy research hub appear to have survived a devastating Australian bushfire that destroyed nearby homes and damaged several buildings on the site, officials said on Monday. The fire, which raged through the night fuelled by hot, strong winds, damaged parts of the Aus$100 million (US$105 million) Siding Spring Observatory some 500 kilometers (330 miles) northwest of Sydney, officials said. (1/14)

MDA Awarded Contract to Build Three Radar Satellites (Source: Space Daily)
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, a provider of essential information solutions, has announced the signing of a $706 million contract with the Canadian Space Agency to build, launch and provide initial operations for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM). The contract is expected to extend over a period of seven years and brings MDA's current backlog to approximately $2.9 billion. (1/14)

Xinhua: Cold War Mentality Fuels US Satellite Export Prejudice (Source: Space Daily)
Despite counting itself among China's "partners," the U.S. has failed to follow through on its promises. Last week, the U.S. decided to maintain its controls on satellite exports to China, a decision that came less than a month after it pledged to export more high-tech products for civilian use to the Asian nation.

China and the U.S. define their relationship as "partners," but the jittery U.S. obviously believes the restriction will prevent China, which it perceives as its top rival in the Asia-Pacific region, from improving its own technologies and thus becoming a threat. However, the concerns are without merit. On various occasions, China has reaffirmed its commitment to peaceful development, and its relations with other countries offer proof in this regard.

In fact, this kind of strategic thinking on the part of the U.S. is what's worrying. In the past year, it has started to shift its security priorities to the Asia-Pacific region and taken a more active part in the region's affairs. The shift was clearly directed at China, whose rapid rise has left the long-time superpower across the Pacific ill at ease. (1/14)

Stennis Supports "Industry Days" (Source: SpaceRef)
The Mississippi Enterprise for Technology in conjunction with the Stennis Business Consortium (SBC) is presenting the 2013 Stennis Industry Days event on February 27 and 28, 2013 at the IP Casino in Biloxi, MS. This event will promote awareness of the SBC, update the business community on activities at Stennis Space Center, and give businesses networking opportunities. (1/14)

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