January 21, 2015

What Corporate America Knows That NASA Doesn't (Source: Bloomberg)
Houston, we’ve got a workforce problem. NASA may be a vanguard of aerospace engineering, but when it comes to management, it lags far behind your typical corporate bureaucracy. Innovation suffers at the U.S. space agency because employees stay in their jobs too long and don’t work well with colleagues or industry peers, according to an article published in Space Policy.

What many successful companies have learned to master—the art of collaboration and how to keep their workforce stocked with the fresh ideas that come with eager new recruits—has eluded the space agency. Employee turnover is down to 1.7 percent a year (minus retirees) from 10 percent to 15 percent during its heyday in the 1960s. Consequently, the workforce has grown older: Some 58 percent of employees are age 45 to 59, up from 38 percent in 1993. (1/20)

SpaceX Gets $1 Billion From Google and Fidelity (Source: NBC)
SpaceX sights set on a globe-spanning satellite constellation, says it has received a $1 billion investment from Google and Fidelity that values the company at more than $10 billion. Advance reports about the investment had been rumbling for a couple of days, and those reports were confirmed in a statement issued by SpaceX on Tuesday. (1/20)

USAF Looks to Take Better Control of Procurement Process (Source: National Defense)
The U.S. Air Force is undertaking a new initiative to gain better control of the procurement process through improved communication with contractors and an examination of its internal decision-making processes. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James announced the plan last week in Washington, D.C. (1/19)

Editorial: U.S. Satellite Needs (Source: Defense News)
The 2011 National Security Space Strategy (NSSS) for protecting US space capabilities, passed in 2011, contained various elements, including developing international norms of behavior, building commercial and international coalitions, enhancing the resilience of space capabilities, deterring aggression against critical space systems, and preparing to defeat attacks and operate in a degraded space environment.

Language in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) suggests new focus on the last two elements — deterring and defeating attacks — in response to what the national security community perceives as a greater counterspace threat from Russia and China. But doing so at the expense of the other elements is likely to increase risks to critical space capabilities and jeopardize the strategy's objectives. Click here. (1/20)

EU Forced to Oppose Russian Resolution on Arms Ban in Space, Moscow Says (Source: Sputnik)
European Union countries were under pressure during the December voting on Russia's draft resolution "No first placement of weapons in outer space" (NFP), the head of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov said Tuesday.

The NFP resolution was adopted during the UN General Assembly's 69th session in December 2014 with 126 votes in favor, 4 votes against and 46 abstentions. Georgia, Israel, Ukraine and the United States are the four countries that opposed the draft resolution. (1/20)

NASA Joins White House to Discuss State of STEM Education in America (Source: NASA)
NASA will join the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) Wednesday, Jan. 21 for its third annual State of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (SoSTEM) event. The event will air live on NASA Television, beginning at 1 p.m. EST, and also will be live-streamed online.

Approximately 130 middle and high school students from schools in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington will join OSTP Director John Holdren and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden for a rare opportunity to connect with two members of the International Space Station crew at 1:30 p.m. for a live ground-to-space question and answer session. (1/20)

Spaceport America Expected to Ask for Emergency Funding (Source: KRQE)
Spaceport officials are expected to ask for emergency funding from New Mexico lawmakers this legislative session. The Spaceport is still waiting to open following the deadly October crash that destroyed Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft. Virgin Galactic officials say they won’t move into the Spaceport until 2016 at the earliest. That leaves a shortfall of about $1.7 million. Spaceport officials say they’re looking at different ways to make up for that, but need the money in case they don’t land new tenants. (1/20)

Europe's Spaceport: 35 Years and Counting (Source: E&T)
As I watch the thundering Ariane 5 rocket arc across the darkening tropical sky in a familiar battle against Earth's restraining gravity, I cannot help but be impressed. The arcane knowledge that turbopumps are forcing cryogenic propellants into a seething cauldron of a combustion chamber developing 138 tonnes of raw thrust does little to detract from the excitement of seeing Newton's First Law in such demonstrative action. Click here. (1/20)

NMSU Students Part of Competition to Launch Their Own Satellite Into Space (Source: KOB.com)
College students from all over America are getting a chance to design a satellite that may launch into space from Kirtland Air Force Base – if they can design the best one. Students from ten universities, including New Mexico State, will partake in the project, so how does NMSU stand out from the other nine schools? "These missions are judged on their maturity, their ability to converge and come to completion, so they can fly as well as their military relevance," said Kyle Kimble, with Air Force Research Labs. (1/19)

Why Haircuts, Food and Exercise are So Hard in Space (Source: SEN)
In space, even the simple act of getting one's hair cut is a complicated procedure. This month on the International Space Station, European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti received a haircut in what was dubbed "Terry's space salon", a joking reference to fellow Expedition 42 crewmate Terry Virts cutting her hair.

While Virts carefully plied the scissors, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov stood ready with the vacuum cleaner to make sure that no hair accidentally strayed away in the microgravity environment. This is paramount, as debris can clog the station's air systems or potentially interfere with experiments or other activities on station. Click here. (1/20)

No comments: