March 30, 2013

Quest: The History of Spaceflight (Source: Quest)
The 20th anniversary of the journal, "Quest: The History of Spaceflight' was celebrated with the release of an expanded issue featuring a piece by Skylab astronaut Ed Gibson, an interview with George Mueller, and details on the history of "Launch Pads, Gantries, Shelters, Coffins, Silos and Bunkers" including many of those located here in Florida. Additional details on "Quest" can be found at SPACErePORT readers can get 20% off a subscription and back issues by entering in the discount code: TWENTY. (3/29)

Space History Prize Offered (Source: SPACErePORT)
The submission period for the 2013 Sacknoff Prize for Space History is now open. First awarded in 2011, the annual prize is designed to encourage students to perform original research and submit papers with history of spaceflight themes. The winner receives a $300 cash prize, a trophy, and the possible publication in the journal, "Quest: The History of Spaceflight". It is open to undergraduate and graduate level students enrolled at an accredited college or university. 
Submissions must be postmarked by 20 June 2013, with the winners announced in August. Manuscripts should not exceed 10,000 words, be written in English, and emphasize in-depth research, with adequate citations of the sources utilized. Originality of ideas is important. Diagrams, graphs, images or photographs may be included. The prize committee will include the editor of "Quest: The History of Spaceflight" and members of the Society for the History of Technology / Aerospace Committee. Click here. (3/29)

North Korea Turns Up the Crazy With "Full War Declaration" (Source: Reuters)
"The era when the U.S. resorted to the policy of strength by brandishing nuclear weapons has gone. It is the resolute answer of the DPRK and its steadfast stand to counter the nuclear blackmail of the U.S. imperialists with merciless nuclear attack and their war of aggression with just all-out war. They should clearly know that in the era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from what they used to be in the past.

The hostile forces will clearly realize the iron will, matchless grit and extraordinary mettle of the brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu that the earth cannot exist without Songun Korea. Time has come to stage a do-or-die final battle... From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations. The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula. (3/30)

Orbital's Private Launch May Show Whether NASA Made Right Call (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
The planned mid-April launch of a new commercial rocket from Wallops Island won't be one for the record books. A number of barriers for commercial space already have been broken — SpaceX has flown to the Space Station — and the maiden flight of Orbital's two-stage Antares is expected to do little more than prove it can put a dummy payload into orbit. But the test flight's outcome, and the rocket's performance going forward, could be an indicator of the strength of the emerging space economy — and whether NASA made the right call in relying on commercial companies.

"The company experienced frustrating delays in completing the Antares launch [pad] and in conducting main-rocket-engine testing," David Thompson said. The engine problems were more dramatic — a side effect of using decades-old equipment left over from the Soviet Union's efforts to build a moon rocket in the 1960s. Though the engines since have been upgraded in the U.S., one caught fire because of a ruptured manifold during a 2011 test. Subsequent testing revealed cracks and corrosion on other manifolds, forcing repairs and retesting.

In the past four years, a different Orbital rocket failed on two separate NASA missions. Jeff Foust said Orbital needs a success to stake a bigger claim on the space-launch market. "If they have problems with [these Antares test flights] … it starts to raise the question on whether they can make this whole thing work," Foust said. The Wallops launch also will be closely watched by Florida officials, as success there would bring more proof that the number of rivals to Cape Canaveral in the launch business is growing. (3/28)

Woman Indicted for Defrauding NASA, NSF (Source: El Cerrito Patch)
An El Cerrito woman currently living in China faces prison and hefty fines after a federal grand jury indicted her and a colleague for bilking the government out of more than $1 million. Federal investigators allege that Yang Zhao lied on grant applications to the NSF and NASA while she was an employee of San Jose-based Atlas Scientific. Investigators also claim that Zhao misrepresented her status at UC Berkeley.

Mr. Ali Kashani, 52, and Ms. Zhao, 40, through their scientific research company, Atlas Scientific, are alleged to have defrauded the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA by creating the false impression that they had not applied for overlapping Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants with both NSF and NASA. The SBIR program requires that grantees disclose similar or “essentially equivalent” research proposals the grantee has submitted to other federal agencies. (3/29)

Georgia Bids to Land SpaceX Base in Camden County (Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Georgia is making a late-to-the-game push to land SpaceX — a rocketship company that delivers cargo to the International Space Station — as the first tenant of a proposed “spaceport” in coastal Camden County. The site is one of three under consideration, according to company and economic development officials, for a project that could almost overnight create a commercial space industry in Georgia. SpaceX would launch rockets from the complex and could build them there as well.

Last Friday, Gov. Nathan Deal pitched Georgia and its 4,000-acre site to SpaceX founder and noted entrepreneur Elon Musk. State and local economic development officials are considering possible inducements — free land, job-creation incentives, equipment and machinery tax breaks, workforce training — to persuade Musk. Musk said recently a decision will come by year’s end.

Even if SpaceX locates elsewhere, the development of an airport for rocket ships along the coast is the ultimate objective of Robert Braun and other members of the Georgia Space Working Group. The public-private group, established two years ago, seeks to attract space industry companies to Georgia. “We’ve got commercial space company people telling us we’ve got the best launch location on the East Coast and, if you develop it right, it could be the best site in the country and world,” said Bob Scaringe, chairman of the space working group. “There’s a tremendous opportunity for the state to attract employers in the space industry.” (3/30)

India Begins Integrating Payloads for ‘Project Mars’ (Source: Deccan Herald)
With the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) integrating payloads for the “Mars Orbiter Mission”, India’s plan to send a spacecraft to the red planet is inching towards reality. After leaving the earth’s orbit in November, the spacecraft will cruise in deep-space for about 10 months and will reach Mars around September 2014.

Sources within the Isro confirmed that the agency has begun integration of the payloads, adding that the preliminary design reviews are complete and the integration process has begun. “The structure has been delivered to clean room and the propulsion system integration is in the final stage,” a source said. Termed the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the spacecraft will be launched using the PSLV-C25. (3/29)

The Origins of Commercial Space (Source: Space KSC)
You've heard them. Read them. Seen them. The people who claim that NASA was a perfect place where everyone had guaranteed jobs forever building wonder ships that would take American heroes back to the Moon and beyond. Until Barack Obama was elected. They claim that Obama destroyed NASA by imposing the commercial space program so he could give taxpayer money to political cronies like Elon Musk who bankrolled his election campaign.

It's all a fantasy, of course, but these people live among us here in the Space Coast, continuing to spread this nonsense. Here's what really happened. Today's commercial spaceflight push originated not in 2009 when Obama took office, but in 2004 with President George W. Bush's Vision for Space Exploration.

On January 14, 2004, Bush gave his Vision for Space Exploration speech. He didn't mention commercial space, but in the detailed proposal submitted to Congress in February 2004 were the first mentions of transferring Low Earth Orbit access to the private sector. Click here. (3/29)

The Politics of Space Junk (Source: Foreign Policy)
In a presentation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies today, Frank Rose, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of State for space and defense policy, gave a presentation on the space diplomacy priorities of the Obama adminsitration. There isn't really a formal international body or set of standards governing the international use of space, though there is increasing movement toward adopting the Space Code of Conduct put forward by the European Union as an international standard.

(Notably, this is not being proposed as a binding treaty. Given the difficulty the Law of the Sea has had in the Senate, it's hard to imagine that international space law would fare much better.) The two main priorities discussed by Rose were taking steps to avoid the weaponization fo space -- a central tenet of the space strategy document released by the White House in 2010 -- and the removal of debris from space. Click here. (3/29)

Why Humans Should Go to Mars (Source: The Bulletin)
Humans first emerged from Africa around 60,000 years ago in search of new lands to explore and colonize. Since then, we've spread out across much of the planet and even gone into low Earth orbit in the International Space Station. The need to explore new frontiers appears to be embedded in our DNA. The Mars venture will satisfy that need to explore new frontiers, advance science and technology, and inspire the next generation. Most important, perhaps, it will promote global peace and cooperation, as nations work together to conquer the final frontier. Click here. (3/28)

Asteroid Used as Ham Press by Spanish Farmer Worth $5.3 Million (Source: New York Daily News)
A rock used by a Spanish farmer for more than 30 years to press ham has turned out to be an iron meteorite worth at least $5.3 million. Faustino Asensio Lopez found the 220-pound rock, which measures just 18-by-12.5-by-8 inches, as he was tending to livestock with his father in a field near Ciudad Real in 1980. Believing it to be military scrap from the country's civil war, it sat on his patio for more than three decades — used by family members to help cure meat. (3/28)

SpaceX Reusability Trials Coming Soon (Source: Flight Global)
SpaceX CEO and chief technologist Elon Musk, speaking at a NASA press conference, says the company will start efforts to recover the used Falcon 9 core stage on the next flight. He also released details on a new version of the crewed Dragon capsule. The next launch of Falcon 9 is the first flight of a substantial upgrade to the rocket, called version 1.1 (v1.1), which incorporates major changes to the engines and fuel tanks.

"The first stage will continue in a ballistic arc and execute a velocity-reduction burn before hitting the atmosphere just to lessen the impact," says Musk. "And then right before splashdown of the stage it's going to light the engine again." Musk stressed that he does not expect success on the first few attempts, but that in "the middle of next year" the company hopes to land the core stage back at its launch pad. SpaceX is currently flying the Grasshopper, but testing has not advanced to the point where it resembles a real-world launch.

In addition, Musk announced a "substantial upgrade" of the Dragon crew capsule, dubbed the Dragon v.2, especially outfitted for propulsive landings. The new Dragon, which Musk says he hopes to formally unveil later in 2013, will relocate Dragon's thrusters from the bottom of the capsule to the sides, and have retractable landing struts. All capsules built to date, including current versions of Dragon, have landed using parachutes to slow their velocities. (3/29)

How to Advertise NASA Without Saying Its Name (Source: Popular Mechanics)
One upon a time, the ads that ran before a movie were previews of other movies. Now it seems like anything is fair game—TV shows, cell phone carriers, snack brands—and now, apparently, space exploration. A recently conceived Indiegogo campaign aims to raise $33,000 with the intention of selling summer moviegoers on the promise of human spaceflight. Before screening of Star Trek Into Darkness, out this May, the campaign's backers want to play a video called "We Are the Explorers," a celebration of going to space.

But while NASA produced the video, another group—the Aerospace Industries Association—is backing the campaign. That's because NASA isn't allowed to do anything that might seem like product endorsement, even if the product is a fantastically nerdy movie franchise that you know everybody at NASA loves. Because the AIA is a trade organization, however, its marketing department is free to run commercials anywhere it can afford—and its director thinks that a 30-second recut of the video, which is voiced by the same actor as Optimus Prime, will resonate with Star Trek fans. (3/29)

U.S. Lawmakers Add $23M for SBIRS, Fund Responsive Space (Source: Space News)
Amid widespread budget uncertainty, the U.S. Congress funded several key military space programs at or near the president’s requested levels in a new spending plan for the remainder of the fiscal year, and even boosted support for some activities. Among the programs slated to receive more funding than President Obama requested back in 2012 are the U.S. Air Force’s new missile warning system and the ground segment for the next generation of GPS navigation satellites.

awmakers also funded an office dedicated to fielding quick-reaction space capabilities, an activity that the Pentagon had marked for termination. Obama signed the Defense Appropriations Act of 2013 into law March 26. All of the programs funded in the defense bill are subject to the automatic, across-the-board budget cut known as sequestration, which is expected to be about 9 percent. The new law provides $105 million for the Air Force-led Operationally Responsive Space Office, which the service had marked for closure this year. (3/29)

Commercial Ventures Planning To Gather and Sell Weather Data (Source: Space News)
GeoMetWatch Corp. and PlanetIQ are seeking private financing for unrelated efforts to gather the type of detailed atmospheric data used to forecast severe weather and study climate change. If the ventures are successful, they could pave the way for greater government reliance on commercial firms to provide data from space-based instruments. Click here. (3/29)

WGS Launch on Delta 4 Now Slated for May (Source: Space News)
The U.S. Air Force’s fifth Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) X- and Ka-band communications satellite has been scheduled to launch May 8 aboard a Delta 4 rocket in what will be the launcher’s first mission since an October anomaly, the service said in a press release March 29. During Delta 4’s otherwise successful Oct. 4 launch of the Air Force’s GPS 2F-3 navigation satellite from Florida, the rocket’s Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne-built RL-10 upper-stage engine underperformed.

The incident triggered an investigation that delayed several missions, including WGS as well as launches aboard the Atlas 5 rocket, whose upper stage has some hardware commonality with the Delta 4. In early December, United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Denver, which manufactures and operates both rockets, said the anomaly was due to a fuel leak in the interior of the RL-10’s thrust chamber. (3/29)

Don't Let This Happen to Your Planet (Source: NASA)
Ozone stinks. People who breathe it gag as their lungs burn. The EPA classifies ground-level ozone as air pollution. Yet without it, life on Earth would be impossible. A fragile layer of ozone 25 km above Earth's surface is all that stands between us and some of the harshest UV rays from the sun. The ozone molecule O3 blocks radiation which would otherwise burn skin and cause cancer. On Mars, which has no ozone layer to protect it, solar UV rays strafe the surface with deadly effect, leaving the apparently lifeless planet without the simplest of organic molecules in the upper millimeters of exposed Martian soil.

To keep track of our planet's ozone layer, NASA is about to launch the most sophisticated space-based ozone sensor ever: SAGE III, slated for installation on the International Space Station in 2014. SAGE III works by using the Sun and Moon as light sources. When either one rises or sets behind the edge of the Earth, SAGE III analyzes the light that passes through Earth's atmosphere. Ozone and other molecules absorb specific wavelengths that reveal their density, temperature and location. (3/29)

How A Tool For Perfect Human Vision Grew From One Of NASA's Greatest Blunders (Source: Popular Science)
Since the day the Hubble Space Telescope blinked open and saw a blurry heavens, the world of telescope optics has revolved around double-checking every possible detail. To see clearly, a telescope’s mirrors must be flawless, bending and reflecting photons with absolutely perfect accuracy. While working on ways to fix Hubble’s poor vision, Dan Neal and his colleagues realized another optical system could benefit from perfectly designed corrective lenses: Our eyes.

Now a system designed to make sure Hubble doesn’t happen again is being used to build better contact lenses, and to ensure more accurate laser surgery. It’s one of many ways in which NASA technology spins off into new consumer products--but it’s one of few that stems, at least in part, from one of the space agency’s biggest blunders. (3/29)

NASA Stitching Orion Components Together at Marshall Space Flight Center (Source: America Space)
NASA’s engineers have been assembling the components for the flight test article that will fly on the Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) mission at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville. These elements will now be used to connect the Orion spacecraft to the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy that will ferry this iteration of Orion to orbit. EFT-1 will be used to validate the heat shield, avionics, and other flight systems that will be used on crewed versions of NASA’s newest spacecraft.

The work is being conducted at the MSFC’s Building 4755, where welders have been using modern friction stir-welding techniques to assemble the conical interstage assembly. The process involves the vertical welding machine stitching panels together to produce this essential piece of flight hardware. (3/29)

EADS’s Newfound Freedom May Lead to Clash With Berlin (Source: New York Times)
Like the farmers tilling the fields that surround its sprawling German offices south of Munich, European Aeronautic Defense & Space, the parent company of Airbus, is making preparations for new beginnings. This past week, its shareholders approved a new board of directors and formally dissolved a complex agreement that, for more than a decade, had given the governments of France and Germany an effective veto over company strategy.

The board’s new independence is likely to be put to the test quickly, as EADS prepares to disclose a new strategic plan that could put management on a fresh collision course with Berlin. The broad outlines of the new strategy are likely to involve a re-evaluation of the company’s previous goal — formulated before the financial crisis — of increasing its military business to 50 percent of revenue by 2020. That, analysts said, would mean a new approach to the lucrative U.S. market in the aftermath of the failed BAE merger. (3/29)

Undersea Cable Outage Spotlights Satellites’ Virtue (Source: Space News)
One of the best arguments for satellite telecommunications bandwidth in a world carpeted with cable is on display following the outage, apparently due to an accidental cut, of an the 18,000-kilometer-long SEA-ME-WE-4 undersea cable on March 27. The cable, one of several connecting Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe, serves as the Internet backbone for many of its users.

Operator Seacom of Mauritius, which has battled several service outages recently, said it had provided alternate connectivity to about 90 percent of its customers within a day of the outage. The company said the outage’s source had been traced to an area off the Egyptian coast, but on March 28 it dismissed reports that linked the arrest in Egypt of individuals trying to cut fiber cable with the SEA-ME-WE-4 problem. (3/29)

NASA Trailer Reaches Crowdfunding Goal (Source: The Verge)
"We are the Explorers," an Indiegogo campaign that aims to create a 30-second trailer about the US Space Program, reached its crowdfunding goal of $33,000 this morning, just five days after launching. Created by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the campaign was inspired by a nearly three-minute video that NASA released last year. The clip gives a brief overview of NASA's history and its latest developments in spacecraft technology, but federal law prohibits the agency from purchasing advertising time to air it. (3/30)

Guiana Spaceport Contract Renewed through 2017 (Source: Space News)
The French and European space agencies on March 29 signed a five-year contract valued at 438 million euros ($570 million) giving the European Space Agency (ESA) access to the Guiana Space Center spaceport through 2017. The contract, which had been approved by ESA’s 20 member governments in November, was signed by ESA Launcher Director Antonio Fabrizi and Bernard Chemoul, the Guiana Space Center’s director for the French space agency, CNES.

CNES officials say they have succeeded in reducing the operating cost of the Guiana spaceport, on the northeast coast of South America, by organizing competitions for much of the work. Located near the equator and providing launch trajectories over the water for liftoffs to the north and east, the spaceport’s geographic location is viewed as ideal for launches of most types of satellites to geostationary, near-polar or other orbits because the rockets do not overfly populated territory. (3/29)

On Space Coast, Signs of Comeback After End of an Era (Source: New York Times)
The day after the shuttle Atlantis landed for the last time at the Kennedy Space Center on July 21, 2011, Angel Telles, a man with three master’s degrees, scooped up his white Mission 101 coffee mug and drove away from NASA after 24 years on the job there. The shuttle era had ended, and with it the jobs of 8,000 NASA and civilian workers who found themselves unemployed in the midst of a harsh economic downturn and a crush of home foreclosures.

So great was the blow to the state and NASA’s traditional space program that it put politicians, including presidential candidates, on the defensive on the campaign trail. Private employers on the Space Coast, which includes Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island, have created more than 4,000 jobs since 2010 and have added 1,000 more this year, including jobs in aerospace, aviation, engineering and other high-technology sectors. Companies like Embraer, which makes jets, Northrop Grumman and Rocket Crafters were among those that moved here or expanded.

Small businesses are also opening at a faster clip. Housing prices are rising, and the pace of foreclosures is slowing in some areas. The linchpin in Brevard’s recovery was a plan to diversify beyond aerospace while maintaining its astronaut aura and capitalizing on its coveted labor force: well-trained, highly educated workers with security clearance who have demonstrated the ability to launch manned spacecraft into orbit. Click here. (3/29)

Follow the Water? No, Follow the Martian Salt (Source: America Space)
You may be familiar with the phrase “follow the water” when it comes to the search for life on Mars, and for good reason—any place on Earth where there is liquid water, there is life. So, logically, the best places to look for evidence of past or present life on Mars would be where there has been liquid water in the past (or perhaps even still is, underground). But now there is also another approach being taken, in terms of possible present-day habitability in particular: follow the salt.

For a long time now, it has been postulated that liquid water might still be possible on Mars today—thanks to salts. From the various lander and rover missions, it is already known that salts such as perchlorates are common and widespread on Mars. Bright deposits have even been churned up from just below the surface by the rovers’ wheels (see image above). These deposits are evidence for liquid water on or near the Martian surface in the distant past. But what about the present?

On Mars’ surface, it is too cold (most of the time) and the air is too thin to normally support liquid water. But water with a high salt content—i.e. brines—can remain liquid under lower atmospheric pressures and in lower temperatures than pure liquid water can. To scientists, the perchlorate salts are an exciting discovery. As Chris McKay from NASA Ames Research Center puts it, “I would say it is probably the most important astrobiological discovery since Viking—the discovery of perchlorate.” (3/29)

Challenges Ahead for Space and Major Disasters Charter (Source: Space News)
A 13-year-old group of nations providing Earth observation satellite imagery free of charge after natural disasters anywhere in the world is being forced to evolve with the imminent retirement of its most-utilized spacecraft and the privatization of many of its satellite sources.

The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, formed in 1999 by the French space agency, CNES, and the 20-nation European Space Agency (ESA), has grown to 14 member nations and agencies — Russia is about to become the 15th — plus 41 nations that have created Authorized Users of the charter and can activate it on their own.

More than 90 other nations have access to the charter through the United Nations or through regional disaster-response networks such as the 32-nation Sentinel Asia network. Between 2000, when it first entered into operation, and 2012 the charter has been activated 369 times, according to Philippe Bally, the charter’s coordinator at ESA. Half of the emergencies have related to floods, many from tsunamis. (3/29)

ATK Layoff Slashes Utah Staff by 140 Employees (Source: Salt Lake Tribune)
Alliant Techsystems Inc. said it reduced its Utah labor force by 140 employees on Thursday with 90 of those workers voluntarily leaving the company. Another 10 workers were laid off in Ohio and Mississippi, said Trina Helquist, a spokeswoman for ATK in Utah.

In early October of last year ATK told its approximately 2,600 employees in Utah that there was going to be another wave of layoffs in early 2013. At that time, Charlie Precourt, ATK’s vice president and general manager for Space Launch Systems, said he anticipated that the reduction in force would involve only a small number of employees.

Precourt emphasized at the time that the looming cuts in early 2013 would not be part of the earlier stream of layoffs that occurred in the previous 3-1/2 years, which were largely related to the end of the space shuttle program and resulted in more than 2,000 employees being let go. (3/28)

Hearing Set on Texas SpaceX Legislation (Soure: Port Isabel Press)
A bill critical to the effort to attract SpaceX to the Brownsville area has been set for a hearing before a Texas House of Representatives’ committee. The bill will permit Cameron County and the GLO to temporarily close Boca Chica Beach for rocket launches, should SpaceX be granted permission to launch by the federal government. “This bill is absolutely critical to keeping Brownsville in the running to attract SpaceX,” said State Representative RenĂ© O. Oliveira, the author of the bill.

“If we can’t temporarily close the beach, SpaceX can’t secure the launch site. If they can’t secure the launch site, they can’t choose Brownsville. It’s about that simple.” Texas law generally prevents the closure of public beaches unless the public’s health, safety, or welfare, are at risk, though some exemptions do currently exist. Should the Federal Aviation Administration approve SpaceX’s proposed launch site near Boca Chica Beach, the bill would permit the county and the state to close the beach, with the exception of summer weekends and holidays, for a reasonable period of time. (3/29)

Closing the Doors on the Shuttle Program (Source: Florida Today)
NASA decommissioned the Merritt Island Launch Annex tracking station a week after the final shuttle landing in July 2011, ceremonially pointing a 30-foot antenna skyward. Just over a year later, the station’s control center, two S-band antenna stands and supporting structures were gone. “It looks like a golf course now,” said Dan Tweed, associate director for facilities at Kennedy Space Center.

The tracking station was among the first shuttle-related facilities razed at KSC, and dozens more – ranging from buildings to small substations and fuel tanks – are slated to come down over the next few years. That work, plus final contract closeouts, is what remains to be done after an 18-month effort to shut down the shuttle program across the country.

NASA’s Shuttle Transition and Retirement program officially disbands Sunday. Since September 2011, it transferred or disposed of a million line items of shuttle program property worth $18 billion, including the orbiters. The fate of some of Kennedy’s biggest and best-known shuttle facilities, including two vacant orbiter hangars and a mothballed launch pad, is still to be determined as NASA seeks new commercial or government users for them. (3/30)

FAA/AST Affirms Commitment to Safety with First-Ever Course Approval (Source: Black Sky Training)
The FAA awarded Black Sky Training the first-ever safety approvals for space training. “The flying public has come to expect the highest level of safety for its passengers, and training for the men and women whose job it is to transport passengers to and from their destinations," said Black Sky Chairman George Tyson.

"By establishing a standard protocol for training of the flying public and flight crews, they [the FAA/AST] have signaled the burgeoning space flight industry that nothing but the highest safety standards are to be provided to the passengers. We continue with our philosophy of ‘train and train the right way’ by having several ground courses, as well as the flight courses currently in the approval process.“

Spokesman David Allen confirmed that Black Sky Training was working on course offerings that number well into the double digits, “we set out, at inception, to be the leaders in Space Flight Training, whether it is for the participants, flight crew, or pilots. And with this approval, and the pending courses, we are well on our way to fulfilling our goal of multiple training programs at multiple sites.” Black Sky Training is a privately held Space Flight Training Company. Home office is Oviedo, Florida. (3/29)

No comments: