October 4, 2014

Spaceport Indiana Plans Exploration Center (Source: Spaceport Indiana)
Spaceport Indiana is moving forward with the development of the Spaceport Exploration Centre. The planned interactive centre and museum will give a unique perspective on the future of space exploration as part of the commercial space program. The Centre will house space artifacts but only as a back drop to interactive programming, space habitat, aeroponics systems, UAV/Drone training/curriculum to name a few.

The concept for the new facility is to continue building on Spaceport Indiana's successful edicational outreach and give opportunities to people of all ages to train, re-train or make career choices that support STEM fields. Spaceport has become one of Indiana's largest STEM providers. Our programming includes launches, landers, RF technology, astronomy and the list goes on. Our goal is to continue to reach as many youth as possible and engage them in STEM activities. (10/3)

Rosetta Spacecraft's Comet Companion Is Spouting Jets (Source: Space.com)
A European spacecraft's comet companion is starting to wake up as it gets closer and closer to the sun. The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe, which arrived in orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August after a 10-year deep-space chase, has photographed jets of gas and dust erupting from the icy wanderer's surface.

"What we’re seeing is the product of ices sublimating and gases escaping from inside the comet, carrying streams of dust out into space," they added. "As the comet gets progressively closer to the sun along its orbit, the surface will become warmer, and the level of activity will increase, producing a vast coma around the nucleus, along with a tail." (10/3)

FCC Drafting Rules To Streamline Satellite Registrations (Source: Space News)
The U.S. telecommunications regulator is proposing to revamp filing procedures for new satellite systems to cut costs and complexity for satellite operators and reduce their incentive to seek a regulatory home outside the United States. In a notice of proposed rulemaking issued Sept. 30, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposes to adopt many of the proposals it has heard from satellite operators in the two years since the last regulatory reform was undertaken. (10/3)

European Re-entry Demonstrator Ready for November Test Flight (Source: Space News)
An experimental European Space Agency spacecraft designed to test re-entry technologies for future reusable vehicles is on track for launch in November. “All lights seem to be green” for the Nov. 18 launch of the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) on an Arianespace Vega rocket from Kourou, Giuseppe Rufolo said. The Vega will boost the IXV on a suborbital trajectory, where it will reach a peak altitude of 450 kilometers before re-entering and splashing down in the central Pacific Ocean. The vehicle will reach speeds of 7.5 kilometers per second during re-entry, similar to a re-entry from low Earth orbit. (10/3)

Midterm Elections Could Shape the U.S. Launch Debate (Source: Space News)
The debate over national security launch policy that has all but consumed U.S. congressional defense committees for the past six months could shift after November’s midterm elections, with the direction depending on the outcome. Republicans hope to win enough seats to gain a majority in the Senate, a move that could affect decisions on how to introduce more competition into the U.S. Air Force launch program and wean the service from the Russian-built RD-180.

If Republicans win the majority, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) likely would take the chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank here. McCain has been a powerful and persistent competition advocate and critic of ULA in the past two years.

If Democrats hold on to their majority, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) is likely to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee, whose current chairman, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), is retiring, Eaglen said. The military space community is also watching the Colorado U.S. Senate race, which features incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, facing off against Cory Gardner, a Republican House member representing the Greeley, Colorado, area. (10/3)

Air Force Seeks to Apply Satellite Savings Lessons to Other Programs (Source: Reuters)
The U.S. Air Force hopes to translate its recent successes in driving down the cost of huge satellite programs to a range of other weapons, including Lockheed Martin Corp's C-130J transport plane. Lt. General Ellen Pawlikowski, who won praise for reversing years of cost increases on big satellite programs in her previous role, hopes to apply those lessons to other programs after she took over in June as the service's top military acquisition official.

Pawlikowski has launched a new "matchmaking" initiative to bring together industry executives from different weapons programs to compare notes on ways to reduce costs. Pawlikowski has urged Lockheed's space division to show the company's aeronautics division how it was able to lower the cost of recent orders for Space-Based Infrared System satellites and Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites by over 30 percent. (10/3)

World Beats Path to Israel’s Door for Better Space Tech (Source: Times of Israel)
Israel hasn’t sent astronauts to the moon, at least not yet, but its know-how in space technology starred at a major professional show in Canada this week. Over 200 leaders in the “space business” gathered on Wednesday at the Israel exhibition at the International Astronautical Congress in Toronto. The event brings together experts from industry, government and academia to discuss the latest trends in the satellite industry, exploration technology, communications, and other space-related matters. (10/3)

News Soon on Cause of Soyuz Solar Array Glitch (Source: Itar-Tass)
Roscosmos said on Thursday that the special commission is due to announce next week the cause of Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft’s solar battery glitch. “Technically this is clear to us, but now a commission is working and we want to find out what caused this incident,” Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko said. The capsule carrying two Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut reached the ISS early on Sep. 26, despite a struck solar battery that failed to deploy just after its launch from the Baikonur spaceport. (10/3)

MIT Students Study in Near-Weightless Environment (Source: PhysOrg)
A group of MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics students got to conduct satellite-instrument experiments in a NASA-sponsored environment that created near-weightless conditions. The team climbed aboard NASA's reduced gravity Boeing 727-200, modified to simulate space-like conditions, to work on satellite instruments used aboard the International Space Station. (10/2)

Russian Scientists Develop System for Monitoring Space Junk (Source: Itar-Tass)
Scientists from St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have developed a monitor system to follow space junk. The system is a set of monitoring meters intended for a spaceship to ensure its safety if established on board, said Andrei Rudskoi. The space litter monitoring project aroused interest at Roscosmos. Chief of the Roscosmos agency Oleg Ostapenko has promised support to St. Petersburg Polytechnic University to enable it to test the litter monitoring meters on the orbit. (10/2)

Canadarm Robotics Technology Performs Breast Cancer Biopsies (Source: CBC)
Canadarm robotic technology has been adapted to perform breast cancer biopsies inside an MRI scanner, the Canadian Space Agency says. The iconic Canadarm technology graces the Space Station and flew on NASA’s shuttles to help position astronauts and satellites. Now researchers are using image-guided robotics to perform biopsies with greater accuracy than most humans can achieve.

"The capability of this system to get the tip of the needle to within a fraction of a millimeter close to the targeted lesion is where this used the Canadarm technology," said Dr. Mehran Anvari, chief executive officer and scientific director at the Center for Surgical Invention and Innovation in Hamilton. (10/3)

After Political Dispute with Russia, Canadian Satellite to be Launched by India (Source: CTV)
The M3M communications satellite, which was originally to be launched aboard a Russian rocket, will instead blast into orbit from India next July. The announcement that a deal has been signed with India was made at the International Astronautical Congress in Toronto, a few days after Canada refused to allow Russian delegates to attend the prestigious symposium which opened on Monday. The exclusion angered Moscow, which said it flew in the face of international space co-operation. The Russians said it amounts to politicizing space exploration over the conflict in Ukraine, where fighting has raged since Russian troops moved on the Crimea in March. (10/3)

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