February 8, 2014

Government Outlines Canada’s Role in Space (Source: Global News)
Federal Industry Minister James Moore announced the government’s new space policy framework at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum on Friday. Moore said that security and prosperity will be at the heart of Canada’s space activities. He was joined by Canadian astronauts Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques who presented to several school children who were present, telling them that the the first person to be on Mars might be one of them. President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Walt Natynczyk was also on hand. (2/7)

Canada's Space Agency to Take Back Seat to Private Sector (Source: CBC)
The Canadian government is repaving its path to the final frontier. The Canadian space program is getting revamped to allow more partnerships between government, the private sector and various research bodies in the country, as well as continue to support major international projects and training for future astronauts.

Canada is also pledging another $17 million to build the James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2018 as the successor to the famed Hubble Space Telescope. The Canadian Space Agency dubs it to be the "most powerful space telescope ever." (2/7)

Antrix Signs 4 New Launch Deals (Source: The Hindu)
ISRO has launched 35 small foreign satellites into space and has seven more lined up through 2016-17 along with its own primary spacecraft. India will launch four more foreign earth observation satellites on its light-lift PSLV rocket towards the end of 2014 and end-2015, according to an official announcement. Three spacecraft are from the UK and one from Singapore, a release said. (2/7)

Nevada Commercial Space Company Competing in North Carolina (Source: Durham Herald-Sun)
Engineers at a Durham office design and build parts that go into satellites, probes and other space technology. Now the office, part of Nevada-based Sierra Nevada Corp.’s space systems division, is also designing parts for a new project. They’re working on equipment that would help control the flight path of a new spacecraft called the “Dream Chaser,” which they hope will be selected for NASA contracts for transporting astronauts to the International Space Station. (2/6)

Lady Gaga Getting Ready to Perform in Space (Source: MTV)
Lady Gaga will be the first recording artist to perform in space in 2015 thanks to everybody’s favourite billionaire, Richard Branson. Virgin Galactic’s spaceship festival, the ‘Zero G Colony festival’ will play host to Gaga and the star couldn’t be more excited. "I can't wait to design the performance.” She said.

Talking to Harper’s Bazaar in the US, the 'Born This Way' star divulged some of her initial thoughts around the spaceship concert.  "I want to make a moment that is about much more than me. Performing in space is such an honor. For those mega fans out there, you also have the chance to bid for Gaga’s spare seat and catch the record-breaking show. "I'm auctioning off my second seat [on the space flight] to raise money for the Born This Way Foundation.” (2/7)

Bill to Divert Spaceport America Money for Schools Reaches House Floor (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
A House bill that would return to the state 75 percent of spaceport tax funds now going to local schools cleared its final House committee Wednesday night, over the strenuous objections of two local lawmakers. House bill 13, sponsored by Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, is now scheduled to be heard on the House floor, but efforts are underway to either amend or defeat it. Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, said Thursday. (2/6)

Indiana Doctor Headed to Mars Simulation in Hawaii (Source: Journal Gazette)
Dr. Ron Williams. He has a doctorate as a clinical neuropsychologist. He is the director of the neuropsychology department with the Fort Wayne Neurological Center. And at age 60, his lifetime fascination with space will take him on another imaginative journey, this time to Mars.

Chosen to be part of a six-member international crew that will participate in a NASA-funded research project to simulate life on Mars, Williams will spend four months at an outpost on the lava fields on the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. The site – on the active volcano whose peak is 13,680 feet above sea level – was chosen by NASA because it, perhaps more than anywhere else on Earth, closely resembles the barren geological landscape of Mars. (2/7)

NASA Technology to Help Develop Noninvasive Medical Treatments (Source: NASA)
NASA has signed two patent license agreements with GRoK Technologies LLC of Houston to help develop novel biotechnology approaches that could have multiple applications in space and on Earth. The agreements are the results of the agency's Technology Transfer Program, which helps opens up NASA's research and technology to the public for use and development. (2/7)

Europe To Demonstrate Space-Based UAS Airspace Integration (Source: Aviation Week)
Europe’s defense and space agencies are to expand their cooperation on integrating unmanned aircraft systems into civil airspace for commercial and government missions with a second phase of a project to demonstrate that UAS can be controlled via satellite communications.

The European Defense Agency (EDA) and European Space Agency (ESA) staged a demonstration in Spain in April 2013, controlling a UAS in nonsegregated airspace via satcom under the Desire (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in Europe) project.

The agencies have agreed to cooperate on a Desire II project to demonstrate that UAS flying beyond radio line-of-sight can provide services such as environmental monitoring and maritime surveillance using satellite-based command-and-control data links. (2/7)

Europe To use Satellites for UAV Command and Control (Source: Space News)
ESA and the European Defense Agency (EDA) will extend their joint work on introducing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into civil European airspace through a 2.4 million-euro ($3.4 million) campaign to test UAV command and control via satellite, the two agencies announced. Under the new agreement, ESA and EDA will test the use of UAVs for environmental monitoring and maritime surveillance beyond the line of sight of ground antennas to manage the UAVs’ performance.

European militaries are gradually introducing UAVs into their future plans, starting with non-European hardware including U.S. aircraft and, in this case, the Israel Aerospace Industries’ Heron vehicle. Brussels-based EDA is financing 600,000 euros of the DeSIRE 2 program, with ESA paying between 1.2 million and 1.8 million euros, depending on the size of the contribution of the industrial consortium that will take part in the project. (2/7)

Russia May Make Decision on New Super-Heavy Carrier Rocket Shortly (Source: Itar-Tass)
Russia should make the decision on building a new super-heavy lift launch vehicle as soon as possible, Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) chief Oleg Ostapenko said. "We are working on this matter very closely with the Russian Academy of Sciences. When we have finished it, we will submit it to the Military Industrial Commission,” Ostapenko said on Thursday, February 6. (2/7)

Who Made That Planetarium? (Source: New York Times)
“Late in 1924 there appeared something new under the sun, an apparatus that shows every object in the sky that is visible to the unaided eye, and in a most realistic manner,” wrote the scientist and educator Clyde Fisher a decade after the opening of the world’s first projection planetarium in Munich. “It matters not whether the audience be made up of children or adults, professional people or laymen, the emotional experience is always the same.

When the light is gradually diminished bringing on the darkness of night in the dome, and the stars are ‘turned on,’ the audience gasps audibly in surprise at the breathtaking beauty of it.” The “artificial sky” of Fisher’s essay, created by means of a projector and a concrete dome, had in just 10 years been replicated throughout Europe, and in Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. (2/7)

Hubble Helps Solve Mystery of Universe's Massive Galactic Burnouts (Source: Space.com)
Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories, astronomers are learning why some massive galaxies hit their peak young and quit making stars when the universe was less than a quarter of its current age. Scientists have been puzzled by compact, elliptical-shaped galaxies that seem to have burned out when the universe was 3 billion years old.

For comparison, our Milky Way galaxy is 12 billion years old and still making stars. These burnouts are sometimes nicknamed "red and dead" galaxies because of their reddish color, compared to the blue hues of star-making galaxies, according to NASA. Strangely, these dead galaxies are just as massive as today's large spiral galaxies, but with stars squeezed into an area three times smaller. (2/7)

'Space Cops' To Patrol Low Earth Orbit And Watch For Space Junk (Source: Huffington Post)
A fleet of tiny 'space cop' satellites could be launched to patrol Earth's orbit. The small bots developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will "help control traffic in space" and watch for space junk. There are at least 20,000 pieces of space junk (usually old satellites and craft) among the operational satellites currently in low-Earth orbit, and collisions between the two are increasingly common and damaging to communications systems. Click here. (2/7)

Red Tape in Outer Space? More Regulations Could Be On Way (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
It's a story almost as old as humanity: Braving unknown dangers, a team of explorers settles a wild frontier, and then — almost as quickly — bureaucrats tie it up with red tape. This time, the frontier is outer space. And the regulators are from the Federal Aviation Administration, which licenses commercial-rocket launches in addition to monitoring the airlines.

The FAA has so far been constrained by one major loophole: Once a spacecraft reaches orbit, it's largely free of regulation — a libertarian's final refuge. But that could change soon. This week, at a congressional hearing and an industry conference in Washington, FAA officials and space attorneys began seriously discussing rules of the road for outer space, from mining rights to safety practices. (2/7)

Russian Telecoms Satellites Readied for March Launch (Source: RIA Novosti)
Two Russian telecommunications satellites have been delivered to the Baikonur space launch facility in southern Kazakhstan in preparation for a mid-March launch, space officials said Friday. The satellites, built by the Reshetnev Company in cooperation with France’s Thales Alenia Space, will provide direct-to-home television and radio coverage across Russia.

Prior to launch, the pair will be mated with a Proton-M rocket, built in Moscow and delivered Thursday by rail to Baikonur, Russia’s Roscosmos space agency said. The satellites, each with an expected lifetime of 15 years and weighing nearly two tons, will be operated by the Russian Satellite Communications Company. (2/7)

Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville to Receive Nearly $1 Million Grant From NASA (Source: Huntsville Times)
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville announced today it will receive a nearly $1 million grant from NASA to inspire students to enter  careers in the field of science. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Engage and Equip to Empower: Building an S-Stem Generation proposal was selected to receive $998,000 over a four-year grant period.

The funding was offered through NASA's Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities. Deborah Barnhart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, said the money will be used to develop an International Space Station exhibit called Space Station: Science in Orbit. (2/7)

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