April 27, 2015

Mismanagement and Favoritism in ISRO Stifle India's Communication Dreams (Source: The Week)
September 29, 2012, was a red letter day for the Indian Space Research Organization. GSAT-10, India's heaviest communication satellite, was launched into space on board the Ariane-5 rocket from the European spaceport in French Guiana on that day.

The satellite, which weighed 3,435kg, carried 30 transponders (12 Ku-band, 12 C-band and 6 extended C-band). It was expected to augment India's communication capabilities, especially in the direct to home (DTH) sector. Yet, nearly three years later, the Indian satellite communication space is in disarray and remains reliant on foreign satellites, despite launching two more satellites in the GSAT series. Click here. (4/27)

Abu Dhabi Forum to Highlight Space Education (Source: Trade Arabia)
Regional and international leaders from the space sector will be highlighting the importance of investing in space education and development at the upcoming Global Space & Satellite Forum (GSSF) 2015 in Abu Dhabi. The fifth edition of the forum will run on May 26 and 27 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.

It will discuss topics such as space technology applications, innovative solutions; low-cost satellite developments such as macro and nano satellites; and how satellite systems are improving lives – ranging from life-saving developments in the field of disaster management to the delivery of entertainment media via handheld consumer devices. (4/26)

Mexico Postpones Satellite Launch After Flaw Found in Similar Model (Source: Latin American Herald Tribune)
Mexico’s Communications and Transport Secretariat, or SCT, has postponed the launch of the Centenario satellite, the second orbiter of the state Mexsat communications system and previously scheduled for April 29, at the request of the manufacturing company, which detected a flaw in a similar system.

In a communique, the SCT said Friday that the request was made by Boeing Satellite Systems International, which had detected an operations failure in a satellite with characteristics similar to the Centenario, and which could have implications for the Mexican satellite. (4/27)

NASA Awards EPSCoR Grants for Research, Technology Development (Source: NASA)
NASA has awarded 26 grants totaling $9.9 million to help bolster the capacity and competitiveness of 28 states and territories (jurisdictions) in the area of technology research and development. Through its Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program, NASA awards Research Infrastructure Development (RID) grants every three to five years to jurisdictions that have not, in the past, participated equitably in aerospace and aerospace-related research activities.

The grants have a three-year period of performance, with renewal each year contingent on annual performance. Each awardee receives $125,000 per year, with the exception of Hawaii and South Carolina, each which receive $150,000 a year in order to also provide funding to the territories that fall under their program purview (Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, respectively). (4/27)

Internet Billionaires Face Off in Renewed Texas Space Race (Source: AP)
An isolated edge of vast West Texas is home to a highly secretive part of the 21st-century space race, one of two being directed in the Lone Star State by Internet billionaires whose personalities and corporate strategies seem worlds apart. The presence of Blue Origin, LLC, the brainchild of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, barely registers in nearby Van Horn, a way station along Interstate 10, a full decade after he began buying land in one of Texas' largest and most remote counties.

At the opposite end — of Texas and the competition — is the highly visible SpaceX venture, led by PayPal co-founder and electric car maker Elon Musk. His company contracts with NASA to resupply the International Space Station and is building a launch site about 600 miles from Van Horn, on the southernmost Texas Gulf coast, with the much-publicized goal of sending humans to Mars. SpaceX and Blue Origin are among several U.S. companies engaged in the private space business. Click here. (4/26)

Lockheed, Arianespace Challenge NewSat Bankruptcy Plan (Source: Law360)
Two of Australian satellite company and Chapter 15 debtor NewSat Ltd.'s most important contractors, Lockheed Martin Corp. and space launch firm Arianespace SA, launched challenges Friday to the Delaware bankruptcy court's temporary order last week halting creditor action, both arguing it shouldn't apply to their agreements as is. (4/27)

Blaming Valve, SpaceX Plans Another Falcon 9 Recovery Attempt (Source: Aviation Week)
Undeterred by three failed attempts, SpaceX in June will try again to recover the first stage of its Falcon 9 booster after a launch. But later this summer the company may move the landing site to firm ground, rather than a floating platform off the U.S. East Coast. Slower-than-expected throttle valve response was the cause of the latest failure on April 14, SpaceX founder and Chief Technology Officer Elon Musk tweeted on April 18.

Biotech’s Not Lost in Space (Source: GEN)
GEN’s first-ever List of 10 experiments carried out in space features applications for human health or drug R&D. The 10 are among a sample of the hundreds of research topics and experiments carried out in space in recent years. Each experiment topic is listed alphabetically by its title, with additional information on purpose, partners, principal investigator(s) and other investigators/collaborators, dates and distinctions, and links for more information. Click here. (4/27)

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